Category Archives: Crochet and Quilting (15)

all about quilts, Indian quilts, quilt designs, crochet, folk tales and personal stories about crochet and quilting

Crochet: Baby Items

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What’s on my hook? Recently I’ve been doing simple, small crochet projects for babies. Left over yarn scraps and a ball of baby soft wool both came in handy. Here’s what I learned.

Baby Girl Crochet Dress

  1. Browse and research well on You Tube, Etsy, Ravelry, CrochetCrowd on FB and other sites for patterns.
  2. Do a proper read through to understand/grasp.
  3. As a beginner, choose something simple and easy to finish within a time frame.
  4. If trying out a new stitch, make a small tester sample. What lessons did you learn about the hook size, yarn tension, suitability of colour, yarn and pattern for that particular piece?
  5. Adjust and apply this knowledge.
  6. Take a T shirt or dress of the required size, or visit a children’s shop for accurate measuring. Some sites offer details of size, some are dodgy.

This dress is worked top – down. Begin at neckline with 55 chains (or as required) and work a single crochet into each for a firm neckline. Add next 3-4 rows of dc.

crochet-baby-dress

Pattern from WoolyWondersCrochet.

A good idea is to watch the tutorial video few times, if you are a beginner, to understand the process. Choosing pastel or soft colours, soft wool is advisable.

Crochet Baby Dress

Crochet Unisex Vest

Baby soft acrylic or cashmere wool is great for this project. Decide the size ( a plus ) is always better. You want the piece worn for couple of years at least. The reward for your time, skill and patience!

I made up this pattern ‘on the go’ to practice a variety of stitches, see the outcome of design and texture and become a sampler vest.  Finished size measures 9 and 1/2 inches across and 13 inches height.

Basket weave stitch and double crochet

Row 1: Slip knot and chain to make size of 9 and 1/2 inches across.

Row 2: Add 3-4 rows of single crochet in each chain stitch, this serves as a  border.

Row 3 – 12: Basket weave stitch till the required height is reached. Chain 2, at end of each row and turn. Measure and adjust using sample shirt.

Row 13: Slip stitch into first 3-4 stitches, this makes sleeve indent. Then dc all the way across. Last 3-4 stitches slip stitch for sleeve indent.

Add more rows, measure height and make neckline. Add dc to both sides to make straps, add buttonhole by making 2-3 chain stitch /loop.

2 sides of crochet vest

There are many YouTube crochet vest sites for detailed patterns.

Best of luck! Do add a photo of your work.

Please do not link or copy this site. Please contact me for using any photos or material. I devote much patience and time for making this blog and I’m happy to share it.

Do share your work with me too.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2017) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer.

 

 

 

 

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Be like the perfumed flower, that gives out its own perfume to 

                make other’s happy, but, takes nothing from anyone.’

Anonymous.

I LOVE flowers, and I must have them everywhere. In my garden, on fabric for dresses, cushions or bedspreads, gorgeous floral bunch at the table or prayer altar, flower garlands in my hair. Flowers also make the best birthday gifts for dear and near. The colour and fragrance of flowers is soothing, refreshing and mood uplifting. Nature speaks to us in the form of flowers – warm spring weather gives new life to closed winter buds, reminding us of passing of time and changes in life.

Each flower is unique in its colour, fragrance and shape. Are you so busy in life’s activities that you don’t stop a moment to smell the flower? Sadly… you missing out on the the essence of Creation!

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Past few weeks, at the onset of spring (it’s almost summer now!) I am learning to crochet small projects like flowers and butterflies.

YouTube and many crochet websites like http://www.ravelry.com and http://www.petalstopicots.com are helpful.

In tune with Nature

In tune with Nature

When time is limited time one needs to plan and organize small projects. Working on dainty doilies, flowers or caps, making squares proves easy. Repeating the same pattern means less thinking too. Stock up and rearranging can be done at a later date. Just keep at it.

Row of crochet flowers

Row of crochet flowers

Make use of your time, create a hobby and follow it with passion.Practice, practice! Why not bring a smile to someone’s face by gifting your crochet flowers?

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

 

Crochet: Spring and Summer Flowers

Crochet to Heal: Therapy

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Phew! The past few weeks have been mentally exhausting caring for an aged geriatric member. I feel so drained, but thankful that I did a service. The well deserved ‘quiet’ time was very essential to keep my own mental balance:) and help me re-energize.

I definitely found therapy in doing crochet. My time to sit down and do nothing – just twiddle with soft balls of yarn between my fingers. I had no goal or patterns, no deadline. Just crochet away anywhere – on the balcony of the apartment, kitchen, relaxing on the couch or even taking the yarn to nearby restaurant and the playground. In out, in-out …went the needle.

Crochet had a calming, centering effect on my mind. It helped me concentrate, meditate and even improve my posture. Making projects for ‘others’ was a way of reaching out to friends and family, building my own self esteem that ‘I can’ which was very important to nourish me. 

The stack began growing. Wonder what this will become?

Cushion? Blanket? Baby dress? Tea Coasters? stack of squares

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bored of repeating? Work with new colours. Work on small projects. Practice. Meditate.

Granny square using left over yarn.

Granny square using left over yarn.

Vary the colour, thickness of yarn, practice with wool, cotton or jute. Granny squares are so versatile and can be turned into just anything – a big blanket, a vest, a small shoulder bag or clutch purse. Endless options, so be creative!

Multi colour granny squares

Multi colour granny squares

 

              PEACE    LOVE   CROCHET

May your day be wonderful and sunny!

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

 

 

 

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Yes, another crochet project done! This time it’s a small New Year gift for my grandchildren (boy’s) in teal blue. Paired with soft cream using the basic treble stitch, it worked quick and dense.

‘When you give a gift made with love,

                             it turns into something priceless.’

Crochet scarf - border and tassels

Crochet scarf – border and tassels

Materials:

Yarn:Teal blue (1 ball 200m) paired with camel brown and soft cream.

Brand : Nako Superlambs.

Needle size:  5 mm.

Scarf length: 52 inches and width: 8 1/2 inches.

Bundles of yarn await dextrous hands.

Bundles of yarn await dextrous hands.

Pattern: Chain 22 for the base. Row 1 and up, treble stitch for desired height. Chain 1 to turn at each end of row. For second colour, add 2 rows in brown (treble cluster + 1 treble). Add 1-2 rows of teal for contrast. Next work 2 rows in additional colour (treble cluster+ I treble) done here in soft cream. Continue treble stitch in teal blue, for desired length.

Central Part: For the part that will go around the neck, I wanted to add broader bands for more colour and experimenting. Broad bands in both colours are made with (3 rows of cluster stitch/ alternate with teal blue/3 rows of cluster in another colour).

Then, continue to add length to equal the other end, repeat small band pattern of cluster stitches. Finish off, once desired length reached. Tidy up loose ends.

Tassels: They add length, variety of colour and give a softer look. Here is your chance to get creative. Make tassels in solid one colour, mix and add or alternate solid colours ( teal- brown-cream). I’ve made tassels 7  inch long. Remember to cut double + little more length (=15 inches) as after tying, they will become only half the length.

Ta…da…the scarf is ready.

Winter is here, and so is grandmother’s (Nani’s gift)!

Boy's crochet scarf in Teal Blue

Boy’s crochet scarf in Teal Blue

Till then……I hope I’ve inspired you to reach out for some yarn.

How are you keeping those fingers busy this winter?

 

Crochet A Boy’s Scarf

Therapeutic Craft : Crochet Blankets

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It’s common knowledge that brain games like Suduko, crossword puzzles and the like promote neuro pathways that help improve cognitive therapy. But what about serene, arm-chair craft like needlework, crochet and  knitting as meditative therapy?

Research has proven that they do calm the mind and body, the lulling effect created by repetitive to and fro needle movement and concentration. No wonder doctors (and jail programs) recommend such craft to patients! Colour matching and coordination, hand eye coordination are other benefits. There is also the social part. Group teaching and learning offers a creative and fun environment and opportunities for new friendships. Read here –

http://blog.lionbrand.com/2015/01/21/6-reasons-why-knitting-and-crochet-group-therapy-works/

My interest in crochet was recently rekindled by a dear friend Lesley. Saying goodbye was not easy, as tears rolled down our cheeks. And more tears (this time of joy) as she put a colourful, hand-made crochet blanket around my shoulders. What a lovely gift! Thank you.

Colourful Granny square blanket

Colourful Granny square blanket

Choosing the right colour combinations as well as a pattern to suit the yarn is as important as the needle work.

This blanket consists of  using Granny square blocks of 5 inch in multiple colours. Granny blocks made in a single colour are great for beginners. This blanket has 7 rows of blocks. After joining them together, the border is made of 4 rows of a cluster treble stitch. One row of single crochet in the base colour provides a neat finish. The square woollen blanket measures 54 inches.

Granny square blanket

Granny square blanket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, off you go find some yarn and a needle and practice some granny blocks for yourself. Bella Coco tutorials on You Tube are a good start, or join a crochet class and make new friends.

 

‘One loss opens doors to another gain.’ Goodbye Lesley. Hello crochet.

Since then I’ve been ‘hooked’ on and busy practising beginner stitches and patterns. I decided to make ‘Elmer the Patchwork Elephant’ themed blanket using the solid granny square blocks. A perfect way for beginners to learn and repeat a new stitch, so meditative. Choosing colour combinations, placing the blocks together to create the right effect, choosing a stitch to join them, and finally learning more techniques for a neat finish are some of the things I learned in the process, as I often sat quietly crocheting in a corner.

To read /listen to Elmer the elephant story see here:

Here is the blanket I have just completed. Do you like the bold colours?

Elmer the Elephant themed crochet blanket

Elmer the Elephant themed crochet blanket

To make a solid granny square see here

These are samples of the solid granny blocks I made. Then I used the chain stitch to join them together.

crochet squares- solid granny pattern

crochet squares- solid granny pattern

For a dainty contrast to the bold colour blocks, I made a shell scallop edge using 5 trebles in the ‘home’ stitch.

Shell scallop edging for crochet blanket

Shell scallop edging for crochet blanket

 

Here is sampler Granny square block I’m currently working on. Love the Elmer theme, just changed the pattern.

Sampler: Elmer the Elephant themed Granny square block

Sampler: Elmer the Elephant themed Granny square block

What’s my next project ? Wait and see….

Till then, happy hooking 🙂 Hope I’ve inspired you to begin a new craft.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2015) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alphabet Block Quilt

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                        Alphabet Block Quilt

A thorough peek into my sister’s cupboard revealed the stashed away ABC block quilt I made almost 20 years ago. THAT was for the arrival of my little niece, a new-born baby. To date, the family cherishes this hand sewn quilt, filled with love and warmth.

I dedicate this post to Nandini, my loving and intelligent neice,who turned 21 years of age this January 2015.

Nandini is God’s gift to our family, a Down’s syndrome child. Each Down’s person has some intellectual and developmental problems that range from medium to acute. Nandini is a warm, loving, meticulous and smart child. Like other Down syndrome children, who love dance and song and learn through observation, she too enjoys participating in dancing. To develop fine motor skills she engages in drawing birthday cards, helping fold clothes and cutting vegetables.

Nandini brings positive energy and smiles to all those around her. She loves to enjoy life at its best – eat ice creams, meals in a restaurant or dressing up for functions and weddings, Nandini soaks it all up! Thanks to her family: strength, patience and medical knowledge has brought out the best in her!

Here is how Nandini keeps herself productive and busy.

Often she participates in school programme: dance, drama, speech giving and making Art projects.

Art Project by Nandini

Art Project by Nandini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more on Down Syndrome:

http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/genetic/down_syndrome.html

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/down-syndrome/basics/symptoms/con-20020948

Here is my quilt story:

About 20 years ago, I made this ABC alphabet block quilt as a special present for my sister’s baby shower. I was not so colour wise- blue for boys and pink for girls. The choice of fabric was determined by availability and time.

ABC Patchwork and Block Quilt

ABC Patchwork and Block Quilt

The quilt has six blocks. Three alphabet blocks of A,B and C with applique work and three blocks with matching motifs. An 8 inch white block was used as the base.

Block B of ABC quilt

Block B of ABC quilt

Bear patchwork on ABC quilt

Bear patchwork on ABC quilt

Printed border of 2 inches was stitched all around white block. Another 2 1/2 inch polka dot border and the lace trimming overlapping was added. Each finished block was about 14 inch wide.

Block C patchwork on ABC quilt

Block C patchwork on ABC quilt

The blocks were stashed together with the printed fabric. The back cloth was kept plain. Single batting was sandwiched between layers, making the quilt suitable for Mumbai weather. Yes, temperatures in winter are never below 25 degrees 🙂

Cat patchwork on ABC quilt

Cat patchwork on ABC quilt

 

Have you made an Alphabet quilt? Did you use stencils? What motifs did you make ?

 

 

Block Quilt :Ohio Star and Nine Patch

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 Block Quilt : Ohio Star and Nine Patch

This quilt was made about 10 years ago from scraps and old bed sheets bits of pieces from family members – a recycling project. My mother has since been using it for her holiday home in Pune, India. Since then it’s been treasured and used by all us all visiting her holiday home, a sense of joy to find our little patches as if in a game.

This block quilt has 6 blocks : Two 9 patch squares and two Ohio stars and two evening / Christmas stars.

Basic Nine patch – 4 base colours preferably in similar shades or contrast with similar prints in floral or checks. Arranged here in available fabric choice.

Block quilt - 6 blocks

Block quilt – 6 blocks

 

Ohio Star -4 corner squares in one bold colour. Centre square in contrast colour. Half triangles in contrast colours make one square. Carefully sew pointed tips to touch each other inwards.

Evening Star – Cut out 8 diamond shaped pieces. Sew together adjacent edges to form star shape. Align the pointed ends carefully. Add 4 corner squares in contrast colour or print.

Evening star block

Evening star block

 

Ohio star in blue

Ohio star in blue

Sashing and binding: Solid colour or white 6″ border all around each block. This adds width and uniformity to each block. A printed blue /white sashing in 6 ” width finishes off the entire quilt together.

Additional, sashing in indigo blue binds the entire quilt, and gives necessary length and width.

 

6 block quilt

6  block quilt

 

 

Guest Post – Quilting

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Quilting: IS a Therapy

Often friends and family ask me ‘why and when’ I quilt. ‘When I am lonely, when I am quiet and when my mind needs creative stimulation’ is what I answer. I strongly understand that the feel of fabric between the fingers, the rhythmic motion of needle work creates peaceful and enchanting therapy.

I have invited my friend Amruta, a young IT professional and beginner quilter to share her thoughts too.

Recently I moved to a new country. As exciting as it was to open the cartons and reassemble my home, I was also lonely. Without my friends and family around me, I found comfort in arranging familiar fabric pieces to make a ‘scrappy quilt’ and a table runner.

  • Quilting gives me ME time and space – I can think quietly, plan and organize thoughts in my head.
  • It is calming and soothing – a great stress buster! In fact, it brings out creativity.
  • Banishes loneliness and boredom – playing with fabric is comforting , in fact, addictive. You can’t put it down!
Colourful scraps turn into   a baby quilt

Colourful scraps turn into a baby quilt

Table runner - 3 blocks in Pinwheel pattern

Table runner – 3 blocks in Pinwheel pattern

And here is Amruta’s gorgeous quilt ! I can’t believe she is a beginner…she is a show stopper!

You can visit her on her website http://www.basicquilting.wordpress.com. She has immersed herself into Quilting – a new hobby she is taking seriously!

Colour ME Red - 6 quilt blocks made by: Amruta

Colour ME Red – 6 quilt blocks made by: Amruta

Blocks 1& 2 :   Monkey Wrench , Dutchman’s Puzzle

Blocks 3&4 : Ohio Star,  Jacob’s Ladder

Blocks 5& 6:  Maltese Cross, Card Trick

Here are Amruta’s words:

” It is always tough for me to express my feeling in words, but for Veena, I would like give an attempt.

Happily married, in a love drenched life there was a feeling of dryness at some corner. It was loads of free time, post marriage that was becoming a burden with a feeling of joblessness, as I proudly decided to be a home maker. It even got heavier as we moved to Singapore.

On a bright evening our paths crossed. Although completely strangers, Veena and I spoke and became friends forever.

Hobbies were NEVER my priority. I don’t know what being a homemaker was, as I was busy working in an IT office. It was that day when Veena showed me her quilt, she was making for her grand-daughter, I decided to take up quilting seriously. Learning sewing was always on the back of my mind since childhood. Holding tread and needle again was like re-discovering myself ! 

As a first step I got myself enrolled in a basic patchwork class and ‘proudly’ completed my first quilt. Bright Red colours attracted my attention, and the teacher balanced it with black and white – ALL BOLD colours! I felt bold and happy once again.

Quilting soothed my strong frustrated emotions, giving way to peace and new beginning. It filled up not only corners of my home, but the long boring hours of boredom. It was like having a friend close by’.

Veena always said to me” One should always have a lifelong hobby”, Now I have one.”

Do you have any quilts /patterns to share ? What are your feelings about hobbies ? What makes you feel calm and relaxed ?  Do post your comments and feelings. 

Quilt in Autumn Colours

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Maple Leaf Quilt

Few years ago I wanted to quilt something unique. That’s when I came across the Maple leaf design. This large double bed size quilt is completely hand-stitched.  I know piecing the blocks, using a machine would have made it much easier and neater. However, the warm colours and the thought of a new design, kept me going.

The Maple leaf is the official symbol on the national flag of Canada. Eastern Canada is home to the sugar Maple tree. In autumn, the tree sheds its large 4- 5 point leaves, that create the most colourful, textured carpet on Mother Earth. Warm browns, rust, deep yellow, orange, fiery reds are the colours in autumn. However, for me in Singapore, its purely magical understand how seasons bring on changes in the colours of Nature.

Maple leaf king -size quilt

Maple leaf king size quilt

The block detail

The block detail

As you can see, the soft coloured leaf are at the centre, slowly bursting out in deeper colours in circular way. I wanted to create the effect of twirling leaves, undergoing gradual colour change.

Here are the details :

Total Yellow patterned blocks = 27

Light colour leaf blocks (Centre) = 4

Red colour leaf blocks ( inner ring) = 10

Deep maroon leaf blocks (outer ring) = 14

Border width = 2 inches by 10 cm. Pieces of all colours ( and more if you wish)

Finished square block = 12 inches.   9  patch square for the leaf design. Each finished small square = 4 1/2 inches.

Other maple leaf quilt patterns and block sizes are found here :

http://quilting.about.com/od/quiltblocklotto/ss/maple_leaf.htm

http://www.countrylanequilts.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/mapleleafblock.pdf

Maple leaf -Block pattern

Maple leaf -Block pattern

Uni directional maple leaf quilt

Uni directional maple leaf quilt

I leave you with few pictures shared by my friends, during their stay in USA and Canada.

My friend Medha, from India, is visiting her daughter in USA.  She loves to draw and paint. What better time and place could she possibly be in but USA ? She is having a wonderful time watching the colours of the season and collecting colourful Autumn leaves. Look how creatively she has displayed her fall collection ! Medha,I am sure you are going to paint a stunning picture on your return. Thank you for sharing and inspiring us.

Medha's collection of Maple leaves.

Medha’s collection of Maple leaves.

Medha's collection of Maple leaves -2

Medha’s collection of Maple leaves -2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janet and her baby have been busy watching the Autumn leaves change colour. Here are some photos she shares.

Fiery Orange Autumn leaves

Fiery Orange Autumn leaves

 

 

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Quilted Table Mats – Set of 4 

Few years ago I made a set of 4 table mats for the blue dinner set.  It has a star applique patched on a blue thick linen material. I used complimentary colours with small checks.

Finished Size with binding : 17 inches /11 inches.  The mats were machine –quilted for ease and I sandwiched the 3 layers ( top /batting/bottom) with simple, diagonal running stitches in deep blue thread.

If making a set today – do check the size of your dinner plate, now they come not only in various sizes, but even square shapes !

Dinner plate on quilted mat.

Dinner plate on quilted mat.

Quilted Table Mat

Quilted Table Mat

Quilted Table Mats

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My work of Art and ….Heart

Quilting is my companion, it relieves stress, brings beautiful and  fond memories, and stirs the mind to create something different.

That is what I wanted to do – make a unique quilt for my grand-daughter ! So everyday, after finishing housework, I sat quietly on the apartment balcony, sipping some warm tea, singing and chanting hymns as I quilted. I wanted my grand-daughter to have something to cherish, to learn, to share with her friends as she grows, and then begin to value the patience and labour gone into quilting.  Patience…..almost a lost word for the  young generation, isnt’ it ?

I planned the baby quilt with Alphabets and corresponding motifs – A for apple, B  for bear, C for Cat ,  D for Duck  – I used  left over fabric pieces and hand stitched.

Baby quilt  with Alphabet and motifs

alphabet quilt

Then, my daughter suggested – ‘Mummy, Why don’t you add something like Eric Carle’s theme ?’ So we planned to add numbers 1-10 and shapes. These were all made with baby’s out-growns dresses. The white all-round border is wider than the blue one. Final trimming is done with left over fabric and dress materials. Quilting was set 1 inch apart, starting from the centre of the quilt, then moving outwards into the four quadrants.

And here is  the final version – complete with Alphabet , numbers and shapes.  I hope you like my innovative baby quilt.

1st year birthday gift for baby.

1st year birthday gift for baby.

Birthday Baby Quilt

Quote

Sometimes while quilting I have a surge of emotions – sometimes happy, sometimes pondering over life’s issues. Recenlty while quilting for my first grand -daughter, I wanted every stitch, every pattern to be filled with love. Just to convey Grandma’s love. At other times, while travelling around the world, I learn new stories, meet people and learn some local phrases. How can I put ‘these’ into a new quilt ? It will be a patchwork quilt, isnt’ it ? 

Then I stumbled upon these meaningful  quotes. Sharing them with you all.

Some Fun Quilting Quotes

Just 4 You

Our lives are like quilts – bits and pieces, joy and sorrow,
stitched with love.
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Is a nine patch part of a twelve step program?
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If I stitch fast enough, does it count as aerobic exercise?
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Quilters come with strings attached.
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Quilters never cut corners.
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I‟ve spent most of my life making quilts. The rest I‟ve just wasted.
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When life gives you scraps make a quilt!
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Sewing fills my days, not to mention the living room,
bedroom and closets.
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Creative clutter is better than idle neatness.
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I‟m creative. You can‟t expect me to be neat too.

Taken from : http://siterepository.s3.amazonaws.com/00544201010140143564888.pdf

 

Fun and meaningful Quilting Quotes