Tuesday, November 16, 2010

...when I was 17, it was a very good year.

ok, I am ready???

Good morning!

I'm Miranda  here is my blog. I am 17 years old, I have an obsession with fabric, a love affair with my sewing machine and I love to quilt! And I bet many of you never would have thought of sewing at my age, at least that is what Madame Samm shared with me. (did you know she only began quilting in June of this year and she is just a few decades only than me lol ?)
Charlie and Me
This is Charlie- he is always with me throughout my crafty & quilting adventures and often likes to make a very cute appearance on my blog.

I am sew excited and honoured to be here today, but a little nervous, as I have never written for sew many people before. As I write this post I think there is 1241 followers...Scary!!
Anyway, today I though I would share with you a little about how I got into quilting, my quilts, my stash and how I am manicuring it (or intend to anyway!).

How did I come to be a quilter?

I have been handsewing since I was very little- I use to make clothes for my barbies and make cushions for everyone! but it wasn't until my 16th Birthday that I got my first real sewing machine.
To be honest I don't quite remember what sparked this obsession but one day I decided I would like to make a quilt (however as my mum would say- unlike any other normal person I decided to leap into making a full size quilt after having only made a small wonky pinwheel block! haha). I had never made a quilt before though, nor had anyone in my family and as I had only had my sewing machine a few months, a lot of people doubted that I would actually get very far and a lot of people, especially my mum, thought I was a bit crazy. I really had no idea what I was doing and it was very much a "learn-as-you-go" experience but I needed the challenge and I really enjoyed it. I did a lot of googling (if that's a word) on quilting basics as I got to each step and I used up all the printer ink on quilt  pictures (dad wasn't too happy) but I was determined to prove to them that it was possible.

My First Quilt in all its wonkiness!
As a result of having taught myself I don't always do things the same way as others- I'm sure I have raised a few eyebrows at the guild before...especially when I had basted a quilt with sewing pins (that was a bit ouchy but it did the job!). The owl fabric I used in my first quilt I found on Ebay and absolutely adored it. I think it was also the start of my slight owl obsession. As my mum thought I was completely crazy she refused to buy anymore fabric too and all I had was various shades of blue so it's lucky I love blue! I finished this quilt on the 2nd of October last year. My Grandma was coming to visit us from Perth the next day and she had given me the sewing machine for my birthday so I really wanted to finish it in time for her. I remember walking into my Mums room that morning and going "Tada!" She was so surprised and I don't think I have ever been so proud in my life!
My 2nd Quilt "Just dreaming summer" and WIP. Finally decided that I want to hand quilt it.

You can read a bit more abour my first quilt on my blog but I know this quilt will always be special to me and even with all its uneveness, I love it for the journey it took me on and the people I met along the way. Although since then I have now discovered many tools including rotary cutters and special rulers, my quilts still seem to have a wonkiness to them, which originally use to really upset me (I was a bit of a perfectionist), but I have grown to embrace the wonkiness and accept the fact that I can't cut a straight line to save myself (dad often helps with cutting lol). In the end I decided that they are not perfect but neither am I and as I am having fun it doesn't matter!

My first quilt was also sort of a therapy me. At the time I had been suffering from migraines (which I found out many months later was a result of anxiety) so it became my go to and cure for when I was stressed or not feeling 100% and it gave me something to be proud of. Although I am a lot better now, you will still find me quilting during stressful times! The past 2 years I think I have started quilts either a few days before exams start or during the middle of exams! It's a bit difficult to explain and probably sounds a bit silly...but when I finished my first quilt I thought to myself, "that if I can make a quilt and not really know what I am doing, then surely anything is possible if I set my mind to it."

Mums Fancy Pink Quilt
So why do I quilt?

~I quilt because I love fabric and colour and seeing a quilt and fabric come to life.
~I find the process very rewarding
~I love the challenge
~ Sewing is actually very calming and destressing! I recommend it next time you are feeling stressed :)
~ Although my quilts seem to take a while to finish, it's the journey that makes it all worthwhile, the story and the inspiration behind it along with the memories that a part of it that make it special. So never ever be ashamed of a quilt thats been in the process for a while, even years! It also takes time for inspiration to strike, it's not something you can make happen, you just have to wait.
~ I love that feeling when you are suddenly bursting with inspiration! ( yes...I am probably a bit crazy!)
This is an Art quilt on the Aurora Borealis/ Northern Lights I made as one of my major works for Studio Art this year. I wish I had a better picture of it.

Where do I sew?

I am slowly taking over the study! Originally I had just a small space on the table but that small space has grown to the whole table (including surrounding floor and wall space), 3 shelves in the bookcase and a shelf above my table. When I need to cut fabric, sew on borders, binding or quilt, I take over the dining room table. I guess you could say I am slowly taking over the HOUSE!

As I was telling Samm the other day, my design wall is more like a design floor that comes with complimentary cats and a dog. Whenever I turn my back, even for just a second, a naughty one appears on it! those with cats know it can be very annoying. Charlie on the other hand likes to think of himself as a quilt sitter/ guarder and he keeps the cats of the quilts, which is good.


 Stash Time!

To be honest as I'm still new to the sewing world I don't have a very mpressive stash, it's looking a bit sad, especially in comparison to "Teresa's giant wall o'stash"! Have you seen it? it's amazing! BUT I do love scraps, possible a bit obsessively as I keep even the tiniest of scraps. I often have to say to myself  "Miranda, honestly, are you really going to use that?" I have actually tried to use these itty bitty scraps before, but they just fall to threads so I wouldn't recommend it.
In the new year I intend to organise my stash by colour and I love the idea of organising scraps into squares and strips, especially as I would love to make a scrappy string quilt. Unfortunately as all my quilts have been so different, my scraps don't all go together harmoniously so this could take a while!

I am also going to find lots of pretty glass jars as I have a gorgeous one my dad gave me  which I like to store my coordinating scrappy strips in. I think they look really pretty so work great for decoration  and I find it really inspiring when I am thinking how to use the scraps. It allows me to clearly see all the fabric mixed up together, ecouraging me to use them too. I put in any coordinating scraps I find and then when I decide to make a quilt/ have enough on the jar to make one, I instantly have a conderful mix of fabrics that go well together and as I am indecissive- I dont have to spend hours trying to pick coordinating fabrics.


How am I going to manicure my stash?

My stash isn't that large! ok ok I will manicure my scraps. After 5:15pm on Tuesday I will have finished all my exams which will mean no more school or study and Uni doesn't start until March, so I am very excited to finally have all this time to bring my ideas to life. I have a list on the side of my blog with lots of scrappy projects I am going to try but these are a few of my own scrappy projects.

so this is how I have been manicuring my scraps....

House Cushion!
Scrappy Owl!
I am also going to be making scrappy name cushions for my cousins for Christmas and making a wall quilt soon with a huge tree with little owls and the leaves are going to be made from lots of scraps, I am really excited!  maybe if I am lucky I will be able to come back and share it with everyone.

Whew....That was a long post! lol

Thank-you so much Samm for the opportunity to be here, it has been so much fun! and thank-you so much to those of you who leave a comment or come and visit Charlie and I. We would love to have you join us on our quilting adventures and as I start this new beginning. I promise Charlie doesn't bite...but you might get stuck throwing his ball for him!

61 comments:

  1. What a future you have in store for you! You really have an flair for this...and at 17! Great post!

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  2. Miranda, what an absolutely inspiring girl you are! I just joined your blog and can't wait to see what else you do on your quilting adventures. I really love your From Chicago with Love quilt and am very impressed with how you have used your little scraps. Thanks for posting!

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  3. So nice to read about your quilting adventures! I love your Northern Lights quilt.

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  4. Oh, sweetie, you did just fine! I think you will find that many quilters have their first quilt - it reminds us of "our" journey. My 1st was a little crib quilt for my daughter, now 29, and I saved it in all its imperfections even though I was horrified by it - even stopped that journey. But it was well loved and with just a new binding given it; it is being well loved by the next generation. I love your glass jar of fabrics - I like to keep mine in clear containers, too. In themselves, not fully dressed, they flirt with us saying "you can do more". I re-started my quilty path just 3 yrs ago - the stash will surpass your destination.

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  5. Miranda,
    I like your idea of putting scraps in glass jars so they can decorate and store at the same time. Best wishes on your quilt journey through life! Sarah in CA

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  6. wow can i keep you!!!
    How wonderful to start so young, I'm sure I'm not the only who wishes they had started quilting sooner, to get more projects done!I will need to put in a request to live at least until I'm 200yrs old to my stuff made!!
    I'm off to YOUR blog now.

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  7. love the windy city quilt! I have Fiddler on the Roofs "If I were a rich man" in my head now..haha Really great guest blog addition, loved reading it! Have a great day, Christel

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  8. Fun to hear your story! I began my first quilt at about age 10, but didn't finish it until my son was born fifteen years later. I thought it was lovely, but the first washing revealed a problem with some of the seams. They were then zigzagged through all the layers to keep it together, and my "heirloom" quilt became a rugged floor quilt for the baby to play on. But I still have the wonderful memories of cutting the very roughly 4" blocks out with my grandma. You're off to a great start--I wish you many years of enjoying the colorplay of quilting!

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  9. Well done. We need young quilters among us :)

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  10. I loved the summer quilt...awesome colors! You do have a very promising future in sewing, quilting, crafting and all things artsy!! Follow your heart and do what you love. Your post was refreshing and motivating to read. Thanks ;-D

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  11. I love your house cushion and scrappy owl!

    Good for you for starting so young. You are doing fantastic. Your Northern Lights quilt is really beautiful. Quilting is a very good hobby. I wish I would have started young(er) ~ it probably would have kept me out of trouble! :) Good job!

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  12. I love your Aurora Borealis quilt! You have come a long way in a short time. You have a great connection to your sewing machine and the two of you are headed for great things. Well done!

    Leslie S. in MN
    esclante at comcast dot net

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  13. Good Morning my sweet Miranda. I was possibly more excited than you this morning. As I read the delightful comments I am not surprised you managed to find a place in all of our hearts. Forget your young years, you my dear are an old soul, a guide in your own right who doesn't even quite realize the impact and lesson you have given us all this morning... Your quilts not only mirror your passion for your craft but also a reminder what a delightful world this is, because you are in it...From my heart to yours, savor this moment, you are truly special...all 17 years of YOU. lovingly ...

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  14. psssst Charlie...thanks for choosing Miranda as your companion. Stick by her closer today, you will also feel the love. ( oh and you are doing such a great job of guarding her quilts) wink.

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  15. I am totally in awe of all that you've done in such a short time! How wonderful to be at the very beginning of your stash building and be able to organize it just as you want without it growing to an overwhelming size and THEN having to go back and organize. Trust me, that's a giant task. :) I read somewhere that sewing lowers the blood pressure so I'm not surprised that it helps with your headaches. And when you make your first scrappy quilt you'll be amazed that no matter what crazy colors you put together you'll love the finish - that's what so wonderful about the scrappy ones. blessings, marlene

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  16. Wow. 17? Wow. You clearly have a bright future in sewing and quilting, Miranda! You have done some beautiful work thus far. Love the owl, so cute! And as a cat and dog owner with a design "floor," I can definitely relate to the random dog or cat on a quilt. Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Miranda, your Aurora Borealis quilt is beautiful! I think it's great that you are teaching yourself. By the way, I think all quilts should have some wonkiness - it's part of the charm :)

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  18. Hey Miranda, you aren't alone! I'm only 20 :) I'm also slowly taking over my own how with quilting stuff. I especially love the aurora borealis quilt and the owl! Also, the idea about the glass jars! :)

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  19. Miranda, You are a delightful young lady! You're drive to learn all there is about quilting is inspiring to so many other beginner quilters. More people should have your ambition! Good luck with University and all those handmade presents!!

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  20. Oh Miranda, you are super!! I, too, started sewing early, early, but I didn't start quilting until I was 22. Some of my family has held on to some of the creepy things I used to sew and paint when I was in my "tweens" - it is hilarious to see some of them now (and when I see that they still have them, I always tell them that it is OK to throw them out - LOL!). YOUR items look so mature and sophisticated...I love the scrappy owl! One year everyone I knew got bean bag frogs...back then the fabric choices were so laughable...MUCH better now! And then there was the year of the hats...(shudder!). You sound fabulous and so ahead of your years...I am sure you will succeed in whatever you tackle!

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

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  21. It is so nice to hear of a young woman with a passion for quilting. My daughter quilts, but just occassionally. She is 25. Have fun and good luck in school.

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  22. Your owl is really cute, thanks for sharing and happy sewing!

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  23. Such a great feature!

    I started sewing when I was 11, but didn't do quilting...just clothes. =) Love your feature and blog!

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  24. Miranda, you wrote a wonderful post! I love seeing your quilts, but even more is hearing the excitement and enthusiasm in your "voice" for what you do! I'm headed over to your blog right now, because I really want to be on hand to see what you do in the future!!!

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  25. Your first quilt is better than mine and I was 30! I love the owl and I'm so glad you found your passion in life so young!

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  26. Miranda, what a wonderful post. You have a talent that I hope takes you places that you never dreamed of. I started to sew when I was 11 years old and have always loved fabric. I did not start to quilt until about 20 years ago. You are an inspiration to all young girls. Keep on quilting.

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  27. Miranda, we all need to start somewhere and sometime. I also started sewing at a young age with no guidance; I took myself off to the local library and learned from books. That means I often do things that are just a bit different, but it works. Continue to follow your passion and your dreams. Life is a learning experience, enjoy and embrace every moment. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful talent and enthusiasm.

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  28. Yah Miranda!! Good for you! I love seeing the younger generation get into sewing/quilting. You do some lovely work. Keep at it, and I know you'll go far.

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  29. How inspiring to read about your quilting adventures. And how brave to just teach yourself and get quilting. your quilting ideas and quilts are wonderful. And isn't it nice to have quilting to relax us and give us so much joy.

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  30. Hi Miranda! Nice meeting you here today. Your imagination and talent are obvious and will take you far in all aspects of life.

    Your quilts are really great. I also love the owl and pillow!

    Quilting is a wonderful thing and brings out the best in us. Best of luck with school.

    Karen

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  31. Great job on your first post here. I used to crochet when I was young, started when I was 12 and was always making something. Keep quilting and that stash will soon take over the house!

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  32. What a lovely post this morning! I can see about 10yrs ahead that you will be putting up ribbons from quilt shows on your walls. *S*

    Charlie surely does look like "best friend" material. :)

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  33. I am amazed by your drive and talent to recognize at such a young age, that you need to play with fabric. You have alot in store. I think using your scraps is great, but I don't think you are required to manicure your stash until you are at least 30.

    Janice

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  34. Wow, what fun that the quilting bug is caught at all ages :)

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  35. I think it's just fabulous that you are sewing at 17. Personally I can't remember when I became creative. But I know it has always helped me along my journey.
    I also understand about the migranes. I am older with children of my own, and I am also going to college at the same time. It seems as if there is times when I really shouldn't be sewing. But it seems to put my mind at ease.
    I wish you the very best, may your creativity take you far. Your only limited by your imagination.

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  36. What a great post!!! Thanks for the inspiration...you are off to an amazing start and I'm anxious to see where quilting takes you in the future! Go, Miranda!

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  37. It is wonderful to see another young lady quilting. You remind me so much of my daughter. She started sewing at 12 with her own sewing machine and has never looked back. Six months ago she started quilting (she is 20) and loves it. Great post!!

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  38. Incredible post! You are an inspiration to many - young & old.

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  39. Miranda,
    What a lovely post you have written! I love that you and Charlie are enjoying making quilts.
    I, too, have found that quilting is good therapy and very engaging and relaxing at the same time. I totally understand quilting during exams!

    I hope we will hear more from you here at Stash Manicure!

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  40. It is so good to see a young lady quilting and making these beautiful quilts. Quilting makes me calm and takes all my stress away. What a clever and smart young lady at the age of 17!
    Thanks for a great and inspiring post.

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  41. Oh my, I fear you have been seriously bitten by the quilting bug and at such a young age! I, too, succumbed to this same illness when I was 17 - making my first quilt out of jeans as I had no other fabric. So I started buying fabric, thread, and more fabric and more thread and now, 37 years later I'm still suffering from the quilting bug! Resisting is futile, so don't fight it, just continue making adorable quilts, as there is no cure!! xo, Nan

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  42. Awesome!! I started quilting when I was 15 so I know how you feel!!

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  43. Great post, Miranda -- and way to get the quilting bug *early* in life!! I love your owl pillow -- did you do him from a pattern? :)

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  44. So refreshing to hear about such a young quilter! I was afraid sewing & quilting would become a dying art!

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  45. Hi Miranda, what an awesome post for a future budding quilting - well you most definitely are an amazing quilter...I started when I was 24 and everyone around me thought I was CRAZY too lol...Keep at it you have amazing talents and a good eye for colour. Keep your pets close too because they inspire us and keep us warm and friendly. I love your space and how your store your scraps in the glass containers...beautiful!
    Valerie
    http://www.PastimesOnline.ca/Vals-Quilting/

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  46. I so enjoyed hearing about your start in quilting. What an amazing young woman you are! Keep at it! Your art quilt is inspiring and beautiful! Your future holds some greatness! Enjoy! and thanks for sharing it with us. We are all blessed!

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  47. This post has just given me such a boost Miranda!! You remind me of when I was your age. Although I didn't quilt at the time, I used to paint and do crafts when I was stressed. You are doing so well. Because you are starting so young, you will be able to learn so much. By the time you hit my age, you will be a pro. Thank you so much for everything you have shared. I can't stop smiling just thinking of the journey you just shared. It's very inspiring. Keep up the good work. You are doing amazing!!

    Hugs

    Ariane

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  48. You are a talented lovely young women. I love that you joumped in with both feet and taught yourself. You have such a head start on everyone that waits until later to begin quilting. Let your talent grow. You have amazing things instore for you. YOU SEW GIRL!

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  49. I am soooooo excited that you love quilting and that you already know how calming and wonderful it is. You make me so happy to just read what you have been doing. I have been quilting for 38 years and I am getting a thrill hearing how you love it already. You go girl!

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  50. what a qtpatutie, you make me proud and I don't even know you. Thanks Madame Samm for finding her and giving her this opportunity to put a smile upon our faces this evening.Miranda, you are OUR future of quilters and I am sitting here on my laptop and I am raising my cup to you. Bravo for finding your craft. bravo

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  51. Aurora Borealis is beautiful beyond words ... you Go, Girl !!!

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  52. Thankyou so much to all of you for reading my post and for the lovely comments you left both here and on my blog!

    I was actually in a 2 hour German Exam when it was posted and was feeling quite drained and flat when I got out so it was really uplifting to read such kind comments when I got home. They really made me smile and continue to :)

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  53. Wow Miranda, love your post...you are well on your way to being a great quilter!! Keep it up!

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  54. Love your post, Miranda. Keep up the attitude that you can do anything you put your mind to...it is true! Remember if a quilt is perfect, it has been made by a machine....and has no oomppphhh!!! I don't know how far away from Perth you are, but Carols of Midland (18 Victoria Street, Midland) has a stack of fabrics for $12 a metre. She also has coordinated fat quarter packs for $24 a metre. You can usually find something nice at Textile Traders for about $14 a metre...the one at Osborne Park is pretty good, but Midland and Morley are ok, too. They also have fabric which is $7 for 1.5 metres. I think you have guessed by now, I live in Perth. ;) Congratulations on finishing your Year 12 exams. Enjoy your holiday and Uni next year. Remember to KEEP ON QUILTING!!!!

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  55. Miranda, you have found the real secret of quilting!! It is our Therapy!! Quilt Therapy! Hmmm? Now that's a good idea for a post....How about Nov. 22nd?? Right Madam Samm?
    Miranda, you are such a cutie patootie and your little friend Charlie is precious. You will have a lifelong skill in quilting. Be glad you discovered it young! Loved your post and plan to visit your blog.
    Blessings
    Gmama Jane

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  56. Great post, great quilts. Why not try having your work published as there's lots of quiltmags in Oz looking for new and future designers? You have talent!!

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  57. I too am a "Google taught" quilter!
    good for you! I wish I had started quilting earlier in life like you.

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  58. Hi Miranda! It is so wonderful to see someone your age with such a passion for quilting and sewing! I too started very young, I made my first quilt for a baby shower gift when I was 13. I still have the same passion for it today and like Madame Samm, I'm a few decades older than you :-). I loved reading your post today, you a very entertaining and talented. I'll watch for future posts. Keep enjoying every moment and give Charlie a scratch behind his ears for me!

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  59. I was your age when I started quilting too. I love your northern lights quilt. Keep working at it and the wonkiness will take care of itself.

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  60. Miranda congratulations on your win over at Stash Manicure....you're going to love that prize! :) blessings, marlene

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You think they are just words...they are sew much more than that...your wee messages tell me, you are kind, smart and important...