Monday, October 5, 2015

Teal Mini Swap Blog Hop

The third annual Teal Mini Swap (formerly Two for Teal mug rug swap) is in the books, and I could not be happier with how it all went. This year's event more than doubled participation from last year and raised $2000 for Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, as well as raising awareness of ovarian cancer as the silent killer of far too many women (and quilters in their prime!) that it is. We had participants from all but four states, and next year I WILL shame Hawaii, North and South Dakota, and West Virginia into participation if it kills me! The Teal Mini Swap 2015 FB page is a riot of reveals this week as everyone is receiving their minis, and the comeraderie has been amazing.

I was thrilled to receive this fantastic mini from my partner, Gina Tell of TX. Gina and I are like Sistahs from Another Mistahs in so many ways, and this mini, which she made in honor of her grandma who lost her life to ovarian cancer several years ago, is just gorgeous. I am completely honored to have it in my home to remind me daily of the women we have loved and lost. I absolutely love it.

It's just so beautiful. The kites are 3" blocks. She's way better than me.

Close up of the stunningness.

I made Gina a (rather cool, if I do say) little appliqued number using Sue Pelland Designs' "Hearts and More" templates to easily cut some teardrops from scrappy teals. It may not surprise you I have a few of those. As usual, I didn't know where this design was going exactly until I was done, but man do I love it. Sometimes I amaze me.

A collage was in order, I thought.
I was also lucky enough to receive an extra mini gift from my friend Barbara Gifford, whom I guess figured all my planning and organization was good enough to merit a little thank you gift. It is flipping amazing. It was completely unnecessary of her to make me a thank you gift, but man I love this one too.

Better Barbara than me with all the little squares, and they are SO PERFECT!

We decided a celebration of all the creativity in the form of a blog hop was in order. There was just so much teal-flavored awareness and beauty with these minis and we don't want to keep them for ourselves. Please join us October 12-16, 2015 as we show them off and try to convince you to join in next year - we're looking at you, Dakotas, Hawaii, and West Virginia!

October 12 - Twelo Quilting and One Quilting Circle
October 13 - Susan Brehm and Books Hooks Sticks Etc
October 14 - Teachpany and Bobbin's Lullaby
October 15 - Splitting Stitches and Purple Leaf Quilts
October 16 - Blue Ribbon Sewing and Quilt Art by Megan

While it will be another 9 months before I start ramping up for Teal Mini Swap 2016, I really hope you won't miss out next year. Go right ahead and join the swap facebook page, stay informed by making sure you are a member of my EPQD business page, follow this blog regularly, and/or join my newsletter. That way you won't miss out on all the fun, awareness, and virtual group hugs and high fives next year, AND you'll get to see what else I might have in store for you.

During the hop, I will donate 30% of any pattern purchases from my online shop which feature teal fabrics in the cover quilt to OCRF. This includes almost all of them, because I happen to love teal: Crystallize, Garden's Gate, Greta's Kaleidoscope, Happy Jacks, Harlequin Shake, Hexies a la Mode, Kickin' Stash, Syncopated Ribbons, and Modified Trees. Just because it's October now doesn't mean awareness for ovarian cancer or donations to the cause should be over!

I'm blessed to be in a position to create some awareness among a female-driven hobby, and I hope each year will just get better and better!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Expo-nential Fabulousness

Some of you may remember my sheer excitement and joy when I received the letter accepting my lecture proposal for WI Quilt Expo. Some of you may have even heard my squeal. It was pretty obnoxious, as I recall. Drove away a few stray cats and dogs.

Last week, the time had arrived for me to pack up the "Give it a Scrap Slap" lecture into two giant bags and head on out to Madison so I could inflict myself on a whole new region of quilters. I am happy to say that the only parts of my journey and experience that were less than perfect all centered around Midway airport not having their act completely together, which really only amounted to 4 hours of my whole four day trip. The rest? Seriously amazing.

First of all, all I knew about WI Quilt Expo before I went:

1. It's the brainchild of Nancy Zieman.
2. It is somehow a fundraiser for Wisconsin Public Television.

That's pretty much the extent of my previous knowledge. A little research might have led me to more, but who had time? Better to just go and enjoy. But my knowledge has vastly improved.

1. This show is HUGE.
Don't you love a bird's eye view?

I've been to regional, volunteer-based (read: not owned by a large quilting conglomerate but bigger than a guild show) shows before in various capacities. I thought I knew what to expect. I was SO VERY WRONG. With 30+ lectures a day, plus tons of sit and sew and hands on workshops, over 200 show quilts plus four special exhibits, tons and tons of vendors, probably 30,000 attendees and OVER 500 VOLUNTEERS, this is a crazy insane show. It was awesome.
One parking lot, filling up outside our hotel window.
 2. The Quilt Show part is nationwide.

"Well, obviously," you are thinking. It's a big show. But refer to point #1 to recall I had no idea how big this thing was. Quilts by national big names abounded. Quilts by regionally famous quilters abounded. Quilts by quilters of every ilk abounded. It took me three days to choose my Viewer's Choice.

This was amazing. And a winter scene by a FL quilter. I think she deserved a ribbon just for that.

Best in show

Remind me to start watching Sherlock

Fun quilt by my new friend Kim Lapecek

The best example of "consistency in the crazy" in a scrap quilt outside of my own I've ever seen!
3. Did I mention the Volunteers MAKE THIS SHOW AMAZING??

No lie - I woke up in a cold sweat about two weeks before I left because I couldn't recall if I had put on my lecture proposal that I would be needing handlers. Not so much for me, although someday maybe I'll rate those, but to help hold up the quilts I would be talking about during my lecture. I pull from the audience when I do lectures for guilds, and it is never a problem, but I felt weird doing it at a show.

Well, not to worry. From the second my friend Jen Eskridge (who was also doing lectures at the show) and I showed up, volunteers were swooping in to help direct us where to go, check our bags in a secure location when we weren't using them so we didn't have to haul them around all day, provide actual good tea(!), give us any info we needed, and most importantly every lecture was assigned our very own volunteer, with whom we could do whatever we wanted. A Minion for an Hour, if you will. Huge shout out to Pam, Nancy, and Karen, my amazing volunteers who kept all three lectures going smoothly, held up those quilts like rock stars, and made sure everyone had a handout. So simple, yet SO invaluable. Special shout out to Nancy, whom I kept running into later that day and she kept telling everyone near us how great I was. I heart her. I heart them all. This show could not happen without the volunteers and every one of them was awesome.

Because I loved all the volunteers I was encountering, I decided to join their ranks, and I became a workshop assistant for Eric Drexler Friday afternoon. Kind of on a whim, but it was way fun and I got to take his thread painting class for free - my only jobs were ticket and evaluation collection, and chocolate distribution. When no one was about to pass out from needing chocolate, I could make friends with Sulky blendables, which I always thought hated me but I may or may not now own 6 spools.

Coneflower? Daisy? Who cares! It was fun!
4. Madison is, as we say in New England, wicked cool.

Thanks in part to Trish Franklund, a local regionally famous quilter (it even says so on her business card, which is brilliant) who took Jen and I under her wing and shopped us around town, including to the Mad Mod Quilt guild meeting, and to Budget rental car for finally finding me a car after 2 hours at Midway, we were able to leave the hotel and see the sights. Madison is a very cool city indeed. Sadly, the only photos I have to prove this are of my beer choice from The Old Fashioned restaurant and a bunch of flowers from the Saturday morning Farmer's Market at the capitol. But trust me. If you haven't been, go.
I'll just say it was one of the IPAs.

So pink. So much more lifelike than my thread painting. Oh, wait.....
5. Wisconsin is the number one producer of cranberries. I may have died a little inside.

As every MA resident knows, the number one producer of cranberries is Cape Cod. This is a well known fact I learned in my cocktail waitressing days, when I was schooled on what goes into a "57 Chevy with a Massachusetts License Plate," a drink featuring cranberry juice. The drink names don't lie, people.

So imagine my utter dismay when Nancy Zieman herself, with whom I was lucky enough to sit down for lunch in a small group one day, informed me that WI had overtaken us. I just wasn't sure what to do. My dreams of living in a cranberry kingdom were shattered!

Side note: Nancy Z is absolutely what you see on TV. Kind, down to earth, real, unflappable, and surprisingly a little taller than I pictured.

6. I must go back.

That's all. Here's hoping!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Snowball's Chance

Summer is the time for snowballs, didn't you know? At least it was around here this year, as I finished up my latest scrappy pattern, "A Snowball's Chance." I woke up this morning to the happy email that a couple of people had discovered it on Craftsy last night, so I figured it was time to officially give it a blog post all its own in celebration. Around here a pattern has to prove its worth first, apparently.

So does everyone remember this quilt from last Halloween? It was one of my Scrap Squad projects and the first Halloween project I ever made, because in all honesty, I despise Halloween and never had felt I needed a quilt to remind me it was the time of year of gross disgustingness all around. I still haven't figured out what possessed me to make a Halloween colored quilt, but I also have to admit it really is one of my favorites now. I actually really love it. Probably because unlike other "celebrations" of Halloween, this one isn't dripping in gore.

Supernatural Snowball Fight
 I'd never really worked much with the snowball block, but I kind of found it a relaxing way to bust some scraps, so I decided try a little something for my "inspired by" quilt pattern using snowballs. Those paying attention will recall that each of my Scrap Squad projects resulted in an "inspired by" pattern or project - otherwise my "Give it a Scrap Slap" lecture would be very short indeed. After playing around for a while I came up with the these blocks, which have snowballs sort of in a frame, or if we are being honest, the grey fabric almost makes them look like snowballs in a dirty window. Whatever.

The blocks themselves were pretty simple to put together, and used up lots of my pink scraps in my bin. Not that you'd ever know.

As much as I know I'm not supposed to give big sneak previews of my new patterns on my EvaPaige Quilt Designs facebook page or IG, and as much as it is really not to my advantage because it takes me so long to get the directions like I like them and bring the pattern to completion, excitement always gets the better of me. I want to share, so I do. I am a rebel after all. So I did post this photo of the unbordered top, lounging on my outdoor lounge, back in June. You can tell it is June by the maple wingy things all over the deck and couch that I so fabulously didn't sweep away before taking the photo.

Almost immediately it garnered a ton of response, which let's face it, boosted my ego and sometimes you just need that. So that's another reason I break the rules. I'm a showoff. To their credit, not one commenter mentioned the maple wingies.

Obviously it needed a border, and I decided on some smaller snowballs to mimic the strippy borders of the Halloween quilt. So it was back to the old machine to chain piece my face off.

Eventually I was at the point where I had to face the fact that my cheapo fabric buying ways meant that I had no possible fabric in my stash that would both work color-wise or be big enough. Since my cheapo fabric buying ways also mean that I head directly to the sale racks for backings, always, this is the fabric I came home with. Another post on FB left the question of "Is this ugly or not?" unanswered, but was an entertaining debate.

This was the summer not only of snowballs, but also of teaching my girls how to sandwich a quilt, which left them little time to fight amongst themselves over the crisis du jour. While I won't set them loose on it quite yet, they did a great job helping, even caught a wrinkle or two I didn't see, and I was able to get down to quilting that much faster. I chose to "curvy wave" (a technical term) the snowball parts of the blocks, mimicking what I had done in the Halloween quilt. It was easy the first time around, and I liked how it looked, so why not. Sometimes decisions are just that simple.

The light green snowball shows it best here
More curvy waves, this time linear, filled the background and borders. I'm a big fan of Leah Day's ideas about "busting through" to fill in your quilt with machine quilting with big patterns. The patterns don't have to be complex to get the job done and look good. You might even trick people into thinking you know what you are doing.

Is there anything like that feeling of trimming a quilted quilt? Am I right?
Since despite my cheapo fabric buying ways I managed to way overbuy on the backing, because math schmath, and because the possibly ugly fabric was not offending me much by the time I was done quilting, I decided to use it as the binding as well. A extra pop of yellow with the pink and grey was actually kind of surprisingly okay. Plus who can see it in this photo anyway? You also can't see the pool toys under the deck, which we so cleverly disguised with the length of this quilt.

Using my Quilt Vannas one more time before school starts.
But a photo with headless children and lots of dying grass does not a good cover photo make. So it was up to my photo guru chick to fix that problem. And voila! Once again, she amazes me. I refuse to even listen to her apologies about the wrinkle she couldn't remove because for the love of all that is holy, it looks amazing!

"A Snowball's Chance" is available now; pattern includes two sizes (50" x 50" and 60" x 80") and is appropriate for confident beginners, which I define as "anyone who has used a rotary cutter successfully, made a quilt once on their own, and is ready for a new project."

I'm really excited to bring the actual quilt with me to Wisconsin Quilt Expo next week, where it will take part in my "Give it a Scrap Slap" lecture at 10am each day. I'm so looking forward to meeting several of my midwest peeps and bringing my wacky to a whole new area of the country. If you are coming to the lecture, I might even let you touch this quilt. If that isn't a reason to sign right up, I don't know what is!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Three years new website is here!

You just can't rush greatness. Or in my case, passable okayness. However I am thrilled beyond words to officially announce here on the blog that I am breaking up with my current website ( in favor of a new and improved website experience ( that for you features a clean look, easy to access info about my lecture and teaching schedule, and cool new products and for me features a way to update it that doesn't involve balding myself as I try to write code. Yes. Code. Me. There are oh so many reasons that was a disaster.

I'd love to know what you think, if you haven't already told me. Those on my FB page and newsletter already know all about it, but the blog suffers in summer. One more week! Until October, both sites will be live, so you can compare, contrast, and tell me how much better the new one is all you wish.

Anyway, to celebrate, I've been running a YAYNEWSITE sale on the products portion. When I lecture, I bring along all sorts of patterns and kits of my own, but I also like to include a few items for sale that I just couldn't live without for whatever reason, and neither should you. 20% off all purchases over $10 with code YAYNEWSITE through 8/31.

"Finally" doesn't even begin to express the feeling.
You have no idea how happy I am to have that checked off my summer list. Sadly a few other things didn't go as planned, but for the most part it's been okay. Number 8 certainly was accomplished, anyway.

Sigh. I used to have such nice nails before children.

One thing I totally forgot to add to the list was prepping for Teal Mini Swap, which of course takes a lot of time and energy, but the fabulousness of everyone helping to market this year has made the prep so much easier. With a week to go, we have almost the entire map teal! So exciting! If you are in a grey state, please join and help me meet my goal of all 50 states! If you are in a teal, please join and help fight ovarian cancer, which is way more important! The more the merrier - registration form HERE!

We see you, North and South Dakota. We know you have quilters.

With one more week to go before school is back in session, I'm losing my Quilt Vannas. But a second session of photography of "A Snowball's Chance" yesterday I think finally led to something my photo guru chick can use. God willing we are finally days away from the pattern release.

A Snowball's Chance, copyright 2015, pre photo fixer guru.
And as fall approaches, I'm looking at my schedule and hoping I survive the busy, but I can't stress enough how exciting it is to be booked solid for lectures and events this fall. I thank you for trusting your guild's entertainment and quilty inspiration to me for an evening. I'm especially excited to head to Wisconsin in a few weeks to give my "Give it a Scrap Slap" lecture at 10am every day, so if you are a midwestie, I expect to see you there!

Enjoy the final days of summer!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Come On and Get Your Teal On

As advertised in the previous post, the Teal Mini Swap is upon us!
Who can resist a fun little gift in the mail, am I right?
Every year I do my darnedest to kick ovarian cancer to the curb and pounce on it with my stiletto thigh high boots. Mr Quilting Hottie wishes. That was supposed to read adorable sandals. But either way, if we make it a little more dead, it's good. If we make it a little more in the public eye through awareness, also really good. If we get a fun gift in the mail too? That's just the trifecta of awesomeness right there.

All the info you could ever need along with the sign up form is all to be found over HERE; just read and scroll and hit the button that says register now and you will be directed exactly what to do. It really is that simple. Along about August 29 I will start mailing out swap partners and the lovely Blank Fabrics focus fabric you are to use in your mini, and then it's all you and your creativity and stamping out ovarian cancer.

Registrations are open and I'm thrilled to report that I already have just about exceeded the number of registrants in all of last year, and we still have 2 weeks to go before they close. My other, sillier goal is always to try to get at least one participant from each state. To me that just seems a great indication that we are getting the word out not only about the swap, but about ovarian cancer awareness. I'm thrilled to say that so far we are at 31 states, and are a long way to turning the map teal!

Looking good! Who knows quilters who hate cancer in AK and HI? There must be some!
So,  are you a sewist? Do you hate ovarian cancer? Do you want to meet new people and get a cool gift? Wait no more....head on over to the Teal Mini Swap group on FB, and if I haven't convinced you to sign up, that group of enthusiastic teal lovers will!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Teal Mini Swap 2015 - Here's the Deal!

It's almost here...Teal Mini Swap 2015!

It's a new year, a new sponsor, and a bit of a new format - therefore, as you may have noticed, it's got a new name. It's also time to answer, in frequently asked questions format, some of the burning questions you may have regarding this year's "kick ovarian cancer to the curb and run it over with the car" swap and fundraiser, perfect for sewists everywhere.

 What is the Teal Mini Swap?

Teal Mini Swap, formerly known as Two for Teal Mug Rug Swap and OCRF fundraiser, is a way for EvaPaige Quilt Designs to help raise awareness of this ridiculous disease during the months of August and September, which is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. The basic premise is formulated around the What We Know of All Quilters and Sewists Trifecta:

  • They love to sew
  • They like fun gifts in the mail
  • They are mostly women and/or have women in their lives and would like to prevent women from dying from ovarian cancer if at all possible.
Participants are asked to pay a nominal fee when registering. They are then sent the name of their swap partner along with a small piece of the focus fabric, to be used somewhere in the mini quilt they are to make for their partner, which they are responsible for making and sending by 9/30/15.

This year participants can choose to make either a mug rug (up to 10" square) or a mini quilt (up to 18" square). Partners will be matched according to their preference, ie, if you request a mug rug, you'll be matched with someone who also is requesting a mug rug. Same for minis. Just be sure to check the appropriate box on the registration!

What is the focus fabric? What if I hate the focus fabric?
This year's focus fabric, a piece of which will be sent to each participant, will be a lovely tone on tone teal from our sponsor, Blank Fabrics. The exact size of the piece will be determined by the number of participants, but it will be enough to put somewhere in the project. I'm sure you will love it. However, if you do hate it, you can always use it on the back. That is totally legal.

I'm thrilled to have Blank as a sponsor this year - they have been a voice from our industry for ovarian cancer awareness for some time now, and I think it is a great partnership!

I'm sure we will all be way inspired!

Ovarian Cancer Research Fund is amazing. They've funded over 200 new clinical research grants since 1998. Directly from their website, OCRF researchers are conducting all types of research, including:

  • Developing innovative strategies for early detection
  • Discovering genetic polymorphisms that increase risk for ovarian cancer
  • Understanding the underlying genetics and molecular biology of ovarian cancer
  • Identifying new, better targets for treatment
  • Determining how to super-charge a woman’s immune response to better fight ovarian cancer
  • Deciphering how and why ovarian cancer spreads, and how to stop it
If you've dealt in any way in your life with OC, you know all of these areas are incredibly important in finding ways to kill this thing dead. I receive and read their quarterly newsletters and I am inspired by the accomplishments they are helping to create in this fight. That is why I choose to make them the recipients of the fundraiser.

Why not wait til October and pink it up?
Breast cancer sucks. I hate it as much as anyone else does, and even more than I ever did at this point as each year I seem to know more people my own age fighting the bastard. However, teal is important to me as my mother died of a rogue and awful form of ovarian cancer (as if there could ever be a good and sweet form) in August of 2002, so I've chosen to raise awareness and funds for this cause instead of jumping in the pink piles of fabric in October. I know many other designers and fabric companies will have ample opportunities for us then. This is my contribution to the health of quilters, I'll let them have theirs.

How much will the fundraiser cost me?
The cost for US residents will be the same as last year, $15 per participant. This year I am also opening the fundraiser and swap to Canadian residents, who unfortunately due to higher postage costs will need to pay $18. I will attempt to match Canadians with Canadians and US with US so as to keep postage costs for mailing of your projects fairly even,

How much do you plan to profit from this?
Nothing. Here's the breakdown:

  • $10 from every participant will go directly to OCRF
  • Approximately $3 per participant will go toward postage (higher for Canada)
  • Approximately $2 per participant will cover miscellaneous expenses such as envelopes, extra fabric, and paypal fees
As much as I wish I could absorb all of those extra costs, EPQD is not rich. At. All. I've learned the hard way that I can't give stuff away or expect to work at a loss most of the time with my events. So I have no choice but to pass those costs on and hope you all understand.

Okay. I'm convinced you aren't trying to get rich off a cause. When can I sign up?
Sign ups will be open via a PayPal link, available on the sidebar of this blog, starting August 10 and will stay open until August 29.

Great. Then what?
The timeline will be as follows:
August 10-29, signups
August 30-31, I prep the packets for mailing on September 2
September 2, I mail packets and make donation to OCRF
September 3 - 5, race to your mailbox to get your packets
September 5- 30, create your mug rug for your partner and mail it off
September 5-30, watch your own mail for your own mug rug!
Whenever you receive your mug rug, post a photo of it to the Facebook Open Group. 
That way we can all admire it!

This all sounds fantastic. But how am I supposed to remember to sign up?
 Put an alert on your phone. Or you could go all old school and write it on your calendar, your hand, or put a note on the fridge. Better yet, check out the Facebook Open Group now as all the details and announcements will be available there the second I think of them.

If you see this image, you landed in the right place.

I hope that answers most of the questions. Any more can be directed to me at Let's turn our studios teal in September!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Whole "Quilting Makes the Quilt" Thing

Quilting makes the quilt. In the case of the quilt I finished binding yesterday after a marathon week of quilting it in pebbles and tiny lines, quilting also makes one run screaming to the chiropractor for an adjustment.

If you've been following the progress of The Great Pebble Undertaking of 2015 on my EPQD facebook page or Instagram feed (@evapaigequilts), you've been a witness to not only the progress, but also a not-so-rare look into my feelings on my choice of quilting pattern, with captions expressing my horror upon realizing it took me 38 minutes to quilt one triangle section, admissions that I fortified myself with chocolate covered almonds to keep going, and hashtags like #bringthecrazy, #stupidpebbles, and #aurifilrocksmyworld. I thank everyone who shouted encouragements at me through every update. It was, next to the almonds, the thing that most kept me going.

So remember this quilt top?

Working title: Big Old Star
 Shown here hanging off the side of the deck as we are wont to do around here, it's quintuple nesting stars in 80" of pure quilting dilemma. Which is why it ended up in the UFO pile for a bit while I contemplated. Then once I decided it was time to start quilting it, I of course had no backing fabric big enough, so it went back to the pile for a week or so. The motto of EvaPaige Quilt Designs has never been "Bringing you new quilt patterns with utmost alacrity in a prolific manner," after all. I didn't adopt such a motto for a reason. Sometimes these things need to marinate. Or they just piss you off. Or you are out of backing. Regardless, the EPQD motto, "Inspired Designs, Relaxed Attitude," could just as easily have been "We'll Get to it Eventually. Relax with Us. Enjoy an Adult Beverage While You Wait."

Once it was time though, I dove in.

And we're sandwiched!
And we're off!
For whatever reason, the quilt, with all of its white background, was screaming for some heavy quilting. I tried to shut it up for a few minutes, but gave up when I saw how cool it was going to look. So despite the fact that three rounds of stars, which were barely 1/8 of the entire quilt, took me over two hours and three bobbins to quilt, I was stuck. And a little bitter toward myself, to be honest.
However, come on. It's looking amazing.

So the pebbles filled the white, and in the star points I did wavy/straight lines in a triangular spiral. For thread I used Aurifil 40 wt 2510 "Light Lilac" on the top and 50 wt 2150 "Pumpkin" on the back. Did I notice that the numbers were almost exactly the same until I went to buy more? No. But it confused the heck out of me and I'm glad I had the spools with me or I definitely would have ordered the wrong thing.

The quilting was by now making the quilt. It was killing me to admit it, but it is a true statement. And as one who has ruined more than one quilt with less than stellar quilting, I was loving what I was doing to this one and that made me want to continue all the more, even though my shoulders were killing me and my machine area was getting messier by the second as every time I moved this monstrosity under my Janome 6125, it knocked more crap off the table to the floor. I can't wait for school to be out to make my children clean up my mess. Payback is awesome.

Halfway there!

The final pebble section. I may have been shaking with joy.

I also definitely celebrated at lunch that day.
 For the first time in my life, I love the back almost as much as the front. Plus those circles are so circular! Eat your heart out, Mr. Galluci, my fifth grade teacher who liked to amaze us by drawing perfect circles on the blackboard. I challenge you to a circle contest any day.
Love love love.
Isn't it cool how the circles make those white areas of the back look like carnations? I totally planned that.
By now you realize I am teetering on the edge of the deadly sin of pride. We're just going to go all the way into the abyss, so stop reading if you just can't take it.

For the 8" borders, I switched feet and did straight lines about 3/4" wide, about the same size as the pebbles, but much quicker.

And then, joy of joys, it was time to trim the excess! I pretty much was in an ecstatic state of glee and am lucky I didn't slice off a finger in my joy.
 I had my concerns about switching to straight lines from pebbles, but overall, I think it worked. Plus it was done, so I no longer cared.
Works for me. Done is better.
 Love this fabric I chose for the binding. It, like the blue part of the backing, is a Riley Blake print, although this one, being newer, is actually available.
 Then came the fun of adding the binding, and an epic display on my part of the Stupid Quilter Trick of managing to get the binding seam right at the corner the quilt. Because I did it not just once...
first corner
 Not just twice.....
second corner

Third corner
I win.

I did love that posting a photo of the first corner on my facebook page garnered a ton of reaction, both from the masses who do this all the time too to the superior among us who test it out first to make sure it doesn't happen to them. As I said to one of my friends who falls into the latter category, but then what would I have to complain about?

Which brings us all to the reveal of the completed quilt. While it is much more evident in person, I hope you can see a bit how the quilting of this thing, despite the fact that it took several years off my life, used up over 1000m of top thread and 25 bobbins, and generally drove me up a tree on multiple occasions, resulted in a really cool looking finished product, so much better than the top we started with. Plus it's so stiff with thread it could practically stand on its own, which could come in handy at lectures. I do pity the helpers who will be holding this sucker up when I give my "Give it a Scrap Slap" lecture - I hope they have their Wheaties that morning!

You are sick of me, but I really really love it.

I'm going to be needing some pattern testers in July to make me a top and let me know if my directions make sense, so if you are interested, let me know. I will NOT be requiring you to quilt it in pebbles, straight lines, or at all. Cross my heart.

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