Bed of Roses – Block 7

Simple.  Easy.  That is how I am going to describe Block 7 of “Bed of Roses”.  Seriously.  Take a good look at the shapes and I think you will agree!

Let’s get started!  First, I traced the block onto the background with a water soluble marker.

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Next, I used a 1/4″ bias maker to make all of the stems.

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After I finished stitching the bias stems in place, I went along my merry way prepping the many pieces.  Instead of tracing my templates, I simply photocopied the pattern onto freezer paper.  All of the pieces in this block are symmetrical, which means you do now have to worry about making mirror images.

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So now its time to start gluing the pieces in place.  I started with the small flowers and leaves.

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Next, I added the pretty pink flowers.

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I love these dark pink centers!

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Looking good!

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Now I started on the larger flowers.

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The excitement is definitely mounting!

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Now I am going to show you how I tackled the center section.  The center consists of 5 separate pieces, which if layered one on top of the other, would be very bulky.  So this is how I eliminated the bulk.

I prepped all of the pieces in the usual way.

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Next,  I glued one section on top of the other…

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…and stitched it in place.

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Once I finished stitching the piece in place, I very (very!) carefully trimmed away the first layer, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.

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Okay, now I repeated those same steps with each new layer.  I glued the yellow piece in place….

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….and stitched it in place.

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And I trimmed out the second layer.

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And here is the second last piece stitched in place.

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And, finally, the last piece!

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The rest of the leaves and……Voila!

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You can find Block 7 (along with the 6 previous blocks) of Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses” on my website Simple Bird Studio.

Til next time….

Kerry

Bed of Roses – Block 5

My goodness!  I must say the 1st of the month seems to sneak up on me!  I am just putting the finishing stitches on the fifth block of Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses”, a BOM I started back in April.  I love this quilt because the blocks are actually easy (oh yes they are!) but the blocks don’t look easy.  I hope that makes sense!

Ok, so first I traced the block onto the background with a Clover water soluble marker.  Notice, I don’t trace what is inside the shapes, for example, the big flower.  The reason I don’t do this is because once the prepped piece  has been glued in place, it covers up all the inside markings and then you can’t see them.

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Next, I added all the bias strips.  I use a Clover 1/4″ bias maker to do all of my stems.  I glued them in place and then I stitched them before I added any more pieces.

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Next, I prepped the three pink flowers in the usual way.  I iron my freezer paper templates to the wrong side of the fabric and press the seam allowance over the templates with liquid starch and a mini-iron.  (Note to self…maybe its time to replace the fabric on my pressing board with something less grungy.)

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Once the piece is prepped, I take the freezer paper template out…

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…and then I place the template shiny side up on the prepped piece and mark any remaining seam allowances.  It makes lining up multiple pieces soooo easy.  Trust me!

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Next, I prepped the big flower that sits right in the middle of the block.

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Notice the marked seam allowances?  Now I know exactly where the next pieces go.  Easy Peasy!

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I prepped a bunch of the yellow doo-dads and glued them in place.  I even marked the seam allowances on them!

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Now I placed the green pieces in place.  See what I mean about being an easy block?

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So, now I added the tiny leaves and four smaller posies.

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Now it’s time to add some circles….

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Lots and lots of circles!

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And, to top it all off, a sparkly little vase.  I am giddy with excitement!

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Here are all 5 blocks so far.  All these blocks are available on my website Simple Bird Studio.

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Last weekend was the quilt show at the Simcoe County Museum.  Ruth, from Stitiching Impressions, kindly displayed my “Friends of Baltimore” quilt at her booth.

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My friend Kathy and I go to the show every year.  Not only do we love to see the awesome quilts, we love  to have a piece of Sugar Pie!  Of course, we did a bit of shopping at the Merchant Mall.  New fabric and pie….does it get any better?

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What else am I working on?  Oddly enough, I am enjoying sitting at my sewing machine working on a scrappy quilt called Trail Mix, designed by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts.  So much fun!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Bed of Roses Block 4 – Part 2 and Some More Baltimore Pics!

This past weekend I finally put the binding and hanging sleeve on my “Friends of Baltimore”.  I am reluctant to actually finish this quilt.  Not sure why.  I think it marks the end of a journey that I just don’t want to end, but I have loved sharing the journey on my blog!

First, I made sure the corners were square.

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Then I trimmed the batting and backing.  I always find this step most nerve-wracking.   It just seems so much could go wrong at this point!

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I carefully machine stitched the binding to the quilt, making sure that the seam was exactly where it was supposed to be so that the triangles on the sawtooth border were perfect triangles and had all 3 points!

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So far, so good!

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Next, I made a pot of tea (or two) and hand-stitched the binding in place. Thank goodness for audible books!  And as usual, I had lots of company!

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Here are a few more blocks showing the amazing machine quilting that Ruth Quinn from Stitching Impressions did.   If you check out her blog, you will see that Ruth describes in detail how she came up with the designs for each of the blocks.  Very informative!   Ruth is displaying my quilt in her booth at the Simcoe County Rug and Craft Fair this coming weekend.  Hope to see you there!  It is always a great show,  with not only quilts, but hooked rugs, spinning and the most amazing sugar pie you have ever tasted.

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If you are stitching Bed of Roses along with me, you will receive Block 4 this week.  This package will include the first border, so here are a few helpful hints.

Cut 15 assorted pink rectangles according to the directions.  Stitch these rectangles together, but only stitch half way up the seam (about 2 “).  Press these seams open.

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Place the bottom edge of this strip along the edge of the border and stitch in place.

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Next, make a template of the curve provided in the pattern.  I used plastic template material.  Trace the curve on each of the rectangles.  I am not going to lie, when I first read the directions, I was a little leary of this process, but it is pretty slick.  I’m impressed!!

So is Bruin.  Very Impressed.

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Before I forget, the white border is cut extra long, so don’t be concerned that the pink strip is shorter than the border.

Okay, so now just trim 1/4″ away from the and start to stitch!

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Slick.  Indeed!!

Til next time…

Kerry

A Few Helpful Hints!

A few of you asked if I could do a little tutorial on how I prepped that centre piece in the third block of “Bed of Roses”.  As always,  I am happy to share this with you!

First, I always use 2 layers of freezer paper to make my templates and I iron it to the wrong side of the fabric.

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I trim the seam allowance to less than 1/4″, even in the inside curves.

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Now I need to clip the inside curves.  By the way, I never clip an outside curve.  Never!

I have drawn lines where I will clip.  (I don’t really draw the lines before I clip them, I am just showing the position of the lines.)  Notice that the lines are always perpendicular to the freezer paper.

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It is very important not to clip right to the freezer paper.  I like to leave about 1/8″.

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So now, starting at an inside curve,  I apply liquid starch to the seam allowance and pull back the seam allowance with my left hand….

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…..then I pick up my mini-iron and iron the seam allowance.

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And now, if I did not have the camera in my left hand, I would pick up my stiletto and pick up the mini-iron with my right hand and start to press the seam allowance over the freezer paper.

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If really just takes a bit of practice!  Here is what it should start to look like.

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Once the piece is completely prepped, I add a tiny dot of glue to each outside curve.

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And now I am ready to stitch the piece in place!

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Til next time….

Kerry

 

 

 

Bed of Roses – Block 3

When I begin a new quilting project, I soon form an impression or a feeling about the quilt.  The impression I have about Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses” is that it is a perfect example of the quote by Aristotle: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.  The part (or pieces) of this quilt are actually quite simple….bias strips, circles and very simple shapes.  Put them altogether and you end up with an awesome and very complex looking block.  This block (and Blocks 1 & 2) are available on my website Simple Bird Studio.  You can order just the patterns, or you can order each pattern with the same fabrics I am using.

If you would like a few simple tips on how to make bias strips, circles and other common shapes, you can watch my youtube videos.  Always entertaining!

So, let’s start with the bias.  These pieces get glued in place first because they will go under the next piece.  Notice that I have trimmed these bias strips on an angle where they meet and will be covered.

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Next, I added the flowers, which are made up some very simple pieces.

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The next shape is very unassuming (and not very exciting!).  But just you wait!

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Add some more simple pieces and look what you end up with.  I can’t be the only one getting goosebumps!

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Now this next piece might look a little overwhelming, but just clip the curves and away you go!

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Believe it or not, it just gets easier from here!  Add some leaves….

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…and some circles……

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…and you have just completed a very easy (but most complex looking!) block!!  How easy was that?

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Til next time…

Kerry

Bed of Roses – Block 2

Today I spent some time in my sewing room putting the final touches on the second block of Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses”, a block-of-the-month I started just last month.  This block (and the first block) is available on my website Simple Bird Studio.  Block #2 was fairly easy, with just a few deep curves, but I will show you how I handled them!

This block started with bias strips.  Lots of bias strips!

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Next, a few simple flowers which are actually squared off and not round.  Nice for a change!

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Now I am ready to start those deep curves…take a deep breath!  First, I ironed the freezer paper template onto the wrong side of the fabric and I trimmed the fabric, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.

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Using a paint brush, I paint liquid starch on the seam allowance and turn the edge over the freezer paper template.  Note:  I iron 2 layers of freezer paper together to make a template that is stiffer than just one layer of freezer paper.  I clip into the curve (about 1/8″ away from the template) and prep as usual.

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As you can see, there is not much of a seam allowance at the deepest part of the curve.  I just dab a bit of Fray Check to that dicey area and remove the template.

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Here is the piece ready to stitch onto the background.  Just 3 more to go!

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The green section is basically the same as the pink section.  Some deep curves, but now you have some practice. They aren’t so bad, are they?

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Now for the last section… Of course you can trace the template as one piece, but I decided to cut this shape into 3 easy shapes.  (Easy is good!)  This is one of my favourite techniques.  You can see how I used the same technique on a horse’s legs here.

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So now, I just glued these pieces in place.  Sweet!

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And here is the complete block!

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And here is Block 1 and Block 2.  So far, so good!

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Til next time…..

Kerry

Bed of Roses…..Part 2!

Thanks to everyone for the overwhelming response to the first block of Bed of Roses!!  I quickly sold out of patterns and BOM kits, but don’t worry, I quickly placed another order for patterns and they are on the way.

So, here are a few details about the Bed of Roses BOM.  If you ordered Block 1 (pattern and fabric) I assume you are going to want all 12 blocks.  I have put aside a complete set of patterns (and fabric) with your name on it.  The fabric that you will receive in your kit is the exact same fabric as in mine!  At the beginning of each month, I will write a blog post outlining how I prepped and stitched each block.  That block will then be added to the website and you can order it at that time.  Note:  If for some reason (like maybe you are on vacation and quilting is the last thing on your mind!) you don’t order it at that time, that’s ok!!  I will ship your block to you whenever you order it.

Bed of Roses is broken down into 12 patterns, so I will do one a month.  However, you can start whenever you want. If you want to wait for a couple of months to see more of the finished blocks, you can order at that time.  Really, I just want to keep it simple!!

Speaking of “keeping it simple”, I just finished the second part of Block 1.  The first pattern consists of one block (which I showed in my last post) and 2 corner triangles.  If you check closely you can see that I modified the flower centers a little.  Feel free to do the same, or you can do the centers the way they are in the pattern.  Again….just trying to keep it simple!

So, I stitched both corner triangles at the same time on a background square (rather than cutting 2 triangles and stretching the bias edges), a tip provided by Sue in the directions.  You can see the diagonal centre crease.

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Next, I added the pretty pink flowers.

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Then I added the yellow centers and the green thingies.

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Pretty simple, eh?

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Til next time…

Kerry

Bed of Roses BOM

I decided a while ago that I would like to start a new quilt.  Something a little simpler (ok…a lot simpler!) than “Friends of Baltimore” and “To Everything There Is A Season”. But challenging enough to hold my interest.  After giving it a lot of thought, I have decided to start Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses”.  You may think I am crazy, but let me explain!  At first glance, it looks like a very complicated quilt, but it really isn’t.  In fact, I was blown away by how easy (yes…easy!) the first block was.

The patterns for Bed of Roses are available on my website.  You can order the complete set, or you can order a pattern or two a month.  The choice is yours.   I have added another exciting option….I am offering this quilt as a Block-of-the-Month, complete with the pattern and the exact same fabrics that I am using. I will post a detailed tutorial of each block from start to finish on my blog around the first on the month and you can stitch each block along with me.  Check out my website for the details!  Also, make sure you check out my Youtube videos where I show you how to make bias stems, circles and some other neat stuff!

Before I started to work on this block, I pre-washed all of my fabrics including the background.  The fabrics I have chosen for this quilt are Toscana and Shimmer, both are from Northcott.

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Ok, so here is Block 1.  If you can make bias strips, make circles and stitch some gentle curves, then you can do this block.  It has some very simple elements in it, but the arrangement of those simple elements makes it look like a very complex block.  Watch closely and you will  how easy this block is…

First, I made the bias strips and glued them in place.  It doesn’t look like much now, but keep reading!  By the way, I have traced the pattern onto the background using a Clover water soluble marker.  I am using a crisp white background, so I do not need a light box to trace my pattern.  I simply placed my background fabric on top of the pattern and traced away!

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Next, I added some more stems.  These stems will be covered up with another stem, so I like to trim the edge on an angle.DSCN6925

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So, here all the bias strips glued in place.  That wasn’t painful at all, was it?

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Next. I started to prep the pieces and put them into place.  I started with the centre pieces.  I prep my pieces using liquid starch and a mini-iron.  Once the piece is prepped, I remove the freezer paper template.  You can see that the seam allowance is ironed in place, so there is no need to turn the edge under as you are stitching.

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Next, I use Roxann’s glue (instead of pins) to hold the pieces in place until I can stitch them.

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Once I glued the centre pieces on, I came across my first “uh oh…now what do I do?”  I am not sure how well it shows in the photo below, but the yellow fabric is quite a bit lighter than the dark pink fabric it is on and the dark pink shows through.  So…..I went to put the kettle on and made myself a cup of tea.  Let’s be honest, you have a few options here. You can leave it alone and love your quilt just the way it is.  Or you can fix it and love your quilt.  Either way, you (and only you!) have to be happy with your results.  I knew I had to fix it.

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So this is what I did…I took the yellow pieces off and added another layer of yellow fabric to the existing piece (without the seam allowance).  I just tucked it inside the piece with the seam allowance.

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I glued everything in place again and look!….no shadowing!!

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So, now I just started to add all of the prepped pieces.  This is a very simple tip that I like to use whenever I have a few layers that need to line up.  Once I prep my piece, I remove the freezer paper template and place it on top (shiny side up) and draw on the seam allowance wherever there is a raw edge.  I do this to all of the pieces.

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So, now when I start to place the pieces on top of each other, I have a nice crisp line to use as a guide.  Very precise!

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Now I have a line so that I know exactly where to place the next piece.  Magical!

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I did the same thing with the smaller flowers…

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Here are most of the pieces glued in place and ready to stitch.  Depending on the number of pieces in a block, I like to prep some pieces and then go and stitch.  Some people like to prep the entire block before starting to stitch.  The choice is yours!

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Next, I added the leaves.

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It was when I was at this point in the block that I realized that there wasn’t anything that I would describe as “difficult”.  Quite the contrary…pretty simple.

Now onto the circles.  When I do my circles, I like to use Perfect Circles.  One afternoon I decided to go on a “Circle Marathon” and just do all 72 circles in this block…you know…get it over with!  I lined the completed circles up in rows so I could see my progress.  Thank goodness for audio books, that is all I can say!

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Once all the circles were ready, I glued them in place and started to stitch them.  I don’t recommend gluing all 72 circles in place before you start stitching.  The thread gets caught up in the circles and its annoying!

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And here we are.  Finished.  Yummy!

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Block 1 also comes with enough fabric to complete 2 of the side triangles.  I will do a separate blog post about those. Stay tuned!

Til next time…

Kerry