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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

365 NOTES, in a quilt, every DAY for a YEAR???


Yes you read it right?

Hi faithful readers of Sew We Quilt ( @Stash Manicure), I'm Mama Spark of Mama Spark's World. A great BIG thank you to Madame Samm for inviting me to share with you today. Ok, so here's the Reader's Digest condensed version of who I am. Wife of almost 28 years, mama to three wonderful children, 2 daughters and a son, scientist by day, avid quilter by night. Also herder of 5 cats and one dog. I think that about sums it up. Want to know more? Stop over and visit me. Now on to my topic.

I was a relatively new blogger in 2008 when I discovered Leanne Beasley's blog. You know her, right? Amazing Aussie designer. She had done a quilt she called the 365 Day Challenge quilt. I was intrigued. At the time, many people around the web were participating. I decided to jump in with both feet! There is a tutorial over at Leanne's blog with photos. I on the other hand have no individual pictures but you will enjoy hers, which she had given me permission to use here to show you all!!

You will be making a quilt that you write on, like a journal or your blog EVERY DAY FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR! Yes, you read that correctly every day for an entire year. I know what you're thinking. "Mama Spark, why would I want to do that?" I say why not? It was an amazing way to chronicle a year of my life. Ok, pipe down, I hear you asking, "What would I write about every day?" Whatever you want. I wrote about events of the day, or things I wanted my children to know about or current events or the weather, but what you write is totally up to you. You could just draw a picture! It was challenging but worth it when it was all finished. My eldest daughter said, "Now you have to make 2 more so we will each have a year of your life!"

Alright, "How do I do this?" I hear you ask? You are sure chatty today!! The supply list is pretty simple.

-Lots of light colored fabric scraps! You could use all one color family, or like me just mostly creams but including some pale colored fabrics for interest. If you want it to look more like an actual journal you could stay with lots of creams and off whites.
- Freezer paper.
- Permanent fabric marker(s). I used several colors, but I liked black the best.
- Rotary Cutter, ruler, and mat.
- Sewing machine with a 1/4" sewing foot
_You will need approximated 5 1/2 yards for the back of the quilt


Finished size of quilt: 64" by 93". Approximately Queen Comforter size. This assumes no borders. I chose not to add borders but you could put borders on yours if you want to.

You need to begin by cutting LOTS of 4 1/2" strips.
You can either iron the freezer paper on before you cut or you can do it as you need it to write on the squares later. I did mine later, but you could do it now and that might be easier.
Once you have your fabrics cut into 4 1/2" strips you will sub cut as follows:

160 - 4 1/2" x 3 1/2" pieces
80 - 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" pieces
80 - 4 1/2" x 5 1/2" pieces
48 - 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" pieces

I made ziploc bags labeled with each size so I could keep them straight and used post-it notes to keep track on how many I had as I was cutting, but you might have another method. I just hate counting and re-counting!
Now you will divide these into groups to sew into vertical columns as follows:

This equals one column and you will end up with 16 of these columns for the quilt.
10 - 4 1/2" x 3 1/2" pieces
5 - 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" pieces
5 - 4 1/2" x 5 1/2" pieces
3 - 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" pieces

Since there will be 16 columns, you may want to make these up and either pin the columns together or bag them so you know what you have to sew together to make all your columns the same size. You will take all the pieces for one column and sew them together randomly (using an accurate 1/4" seam allowance, of course). Best to just do random, no seam matching later when you sew your columns together! Once you have all your columns sewn you can store them any way you like. I kind of rolled mine together and put in a plastic bag for sake keeping. I would take one column out at a time to write on.

Ahh now for the fun part, the writing! Don't be afraid of your own hand writing, it will look great! Don't forget to leave a 1/4" area all around for joining the strips together. You will want to iron the freezer paper on the wrong side of one individual square to help stabilize the fabric for writing. The same piece of freezer paper can be re-used multiple times before you need to cut another one. Don't sew the columns together yet though.  It is kind of nice to have the columns by themselves to do the writing. This makes the project portable. If you happen to go out of town or something you can just pack that column and take it with you! Pretty handy huh?

Once you have 2 columns finished you can sew them together. Just keep sewing the newest column to the previously sewn together columns until you are done. I waited and did mine all at the end. It's pretty cool to see them all come together.


Now I will show you mine! Here are days 1 and 365. The beginning and the end.
































Next up are some shots from the middle of the year:






































Here is my finished quilt. You can see that I decided to use a flannel for the back that I thought reflected me. It has both cats and quilt blocks on it. Purrr-fect wouldn't you agree?








































I am so very excited to be able to share this quilt with all of you! I had a lot of fun doing it and you will too. I often thought it might make a great gift for a new bride or for a baby shower gift. They could chronicle the first year of marriage or part of a pregnancy and the birth and part of the first year of the baby's life. It would be a great gift for someone going off to college or graduating from college and beginning a new job.

The possibilities are limited only by what you can imagine! So are you up to the challenge?

Oh my gosh, I almost forgot, if you are interested in making a 365 day challenge quilt for yourself or a loved one I have a great way to get you started. I will be hosting a giveaway over on my blog for a Moda BELLA SOLIDS Natural Layer Cake. Leave a comment here and then pop on over to Mama Spark's World and see what you need to do to enter to win! Thanks for letting me share a little bit of your day too !! If you have any questions I would be happy to help you!!
XOP

120 comments:

  1. you are kidding right? 365 days of notes,I don't think I have that much to say giggle. Wonderful work, very inspiring Mama Spark!

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  2. Your quilt looks great (better than I would have thought! Writing all over it?). I was imagining it more like a signature quilt but this is truly like a journal. Very interesting!

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  3. Cool Idea. I doubt I'd be able to accomplish the writing part, buy my sister would... I think I just found her next Birthday Gift!

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  4. Its a great quilt. I am a reader not a writer so that would be a challenge for me for sure! thanks for sharing - my daughter wants one, so there is my out - we can share the writing!

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  5. I don't know that I would have 365 interesting things to say.. I feel like maybe I could just photocopy the same thing and put it on most of the squares.. I'm quilting.. I'm quilting.. I'm quilting.. I made dinner again. I made dinner again. It wouldn't make for a very interesting quilt in 20 years. LOL. But I like yours better Maybe I need to find more interesting things to write about my day.

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  6. Great idea, thank you for sharing.

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  7. What a great idea.

    I think I will make one and every day write about good things that happened that day or something I'm grateful for.

    Thanks for sharing

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  8. always so much fun to read your creative posts, mama spark - thanks for coming on Stash Manicure today !

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  9. Wow! I would never had thought of that. What a great idea and such a keepsake. How fun for a future bride to chronicle the year of waiting for the wedding-don't have anyone getting married but the idea just popped into my mind. I am seriously going to have to start collecting fabric for this!Best idea yet.

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  10. Great idea-I am intrigued! Thanks for sharing.

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  11. What an incredible idea. I love it.

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  12. Cool idea. Would be great for a new baby and have the parents write a daily journal about the babies first year.

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  13. That is a fantastic achievement. You should be very proud of yourself. A little each day is achievable.....Love the salami method.

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  14. What a fabulous idea!! Wouldn't this just be a wonderful gift for a new baby to record something about each day of their first year of life! I am not a great journal writer but this I could get into :)

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  15. How fun - this is marvelous. Thank you for sharing with us.

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  16. That is great. I like the idea of journaling. It would be fun to make a quilt top for the backing too. Another wonderful idea in my hopper!

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  17. Totally amazing quilt - and what a wonderful keepsake for the kids and grandkids.

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  18. That is one of the most unique quilt tops I have seen! What a terrific idea to get your thoughts out and on fabric of all things!! I wonder how well it washes though?

    Thinking of making one when my hubby is deployed later this year in the summer with my 3 yr old son:)

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  19. What an awsome idea---can you imagine what our decentants would think of something like this 100 years from now. Talk about living history.

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  20. This is so cool! I've already forwarded this to my sister - since we've missed the New Year we're going to start July 1st through June 30th. Thank you for sharing!

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  21. I've seen the instructions for a quilt like this before, but never the finished project. thanks for sharing it. it looks great. where do you use this quilt?

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  22. I'd be afraid I would get half way through and forget where I put the pieces. I'd love to try this one year. What great memories.

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  23. Hi All,
    Thank you for your wonderful comments! Don't forget to go over to my blog to enter the giveaway!

    As for the washing question, I heat set the ink and the quilt you see here has been washed. It washed well, but I would make sure to heat set with an iron first.

    If any of you make one I would love to see some photos!!

    You have all made my day!! XOP

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  24. I would say that is the neatest idea I have
    run across in ages, good for you!
    I would love to do a memory quilt but of
    course, I do need to win that layer cake
    to get started. Please, please pick me!
    Marie

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  25. How wonderful to see your 365 quilt! I participated in that challenge and your quilt is only the second finished one I've seen. Excellent work! You inspired me to dig out my blocks and finish mine!

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  26. Great idea, I think it would be especially cute for a baby's first year. They have something new every day. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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  27. Great idea, what a fun way to pass a slice of life down to your children and grandchildren.

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  28. Oh, wow--what a wonderful world you just opened up for me. Bible verses, devotional thoughts, answers to prayer, milestones, last year of high school...can you imagine?

    I need pale fabric. Lots of pale fabric.

    Thank you!
    Dot
    dminshall67@yahoo.com

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  29. Great idea! I especially like the idea of using it for a baby's first year. Thanks for sharing.

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  30. This is quite an interesting idea! A challenge but as you say also a lot of fun! Might think a bit more over this new possibility! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  31. I have some friends that have done this --- but used pieced blocks, so the quilts look very different. I really like yours --- may have to put it on my project list. Thanks for sharing it.

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  32. Wow what an amazing amount of work! Good for you. I am afraid I would cheat and not write one a day but do some all at once trying to remember what I did on a day. I get project intensive which to me means I start on something and have to work on it for huge amounts of time. I hyper focus. Great to see!

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  33. It's even better this time around!

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  34. What a clever idea. Good job.

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  35. Love, love, love this quilt. In fact, I have had the 365-day tutorial bookmarked for over a year now. Why haven't I started one yet? Afraid to committ to such a long project. :)
    Although, winning some fabric would help!!

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  36. What a neat ideal! I so want to make one.
    Patti

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  37. This is such a great idea....maybe instead of me writing the notes, I could get my children to write a note or draw a little picture.....

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  38. We are expecting 2 grandchildren right now, both are early in their pregnancy. I think i will give them each a bunch of peices with freezer paper and have them write their thoughts and feelings during their pregnancy... then put the quilt together for them! I love it!!

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  39. What an incredible memento for your children and grandchildren! I can just imagine how fascinating it would have been to read my mother or grandmother's diary in a quilt!
    I just might try this!

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  40. What an interesting idea...to journal each day would be the challenge. The quilt was interesting looking

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  41. I love, love, love this idea...I want to do it. I wonder if I can follow through. :) Every day seems a little daunting but if I put the strips with my morning devotion stuff that would remind me. Love it! blessings, marlene

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  42. Dear madam Spark - I love this idea and can't wait to get started. I think it will be an awesome quilt to pass along from generation to generation. I may even make a couple. : )
    I also visited your blog and signed up and entered your giveaway - very cool gift. Thanks so much for sharing. : )

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  43. Very neat idea! I am all for passing along things for posterity...thanks!

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  44. This is a great idea. I want to adapt it to something like pregnancy or a specific event or something like that. I look forward to trying it (although I'm concerned I don't have enough to write!)

    (and I already follow Stash Manicure)

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  45. What a great idea! For someone in the future collecting antique quilts imagine what a prize this would be! Or generations from now, a great family treasure!

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  46. I love the idea of making this and giving it to a new bride - but how would she ever get up the courage to write on a quilt - she'd have to be very brave and have a steady hand!! It's truly wonderful!! xo, Nan

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  47. What a great idea! I'd have to be careful what I wrote or the quilt would end up stashed in the closet - lol!

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  48. Interesting idea...not sure I am up for 365, but possibly weekly would work too with a design...definately worth thinking about different ways to use this idea! Thanks for sharing!

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  49. That is so great!! I love the idea of making a quilt with a year of journal entries. It would make such a great heirloom to pass on. I may have to think about making one of these. Thanks for sharing this idea with us. Your quilt is gorgeous!!! Hugs Ariane

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  50. Great job! A truly awesome journal quilt.

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  51. Wow Pam! Such a cool way to chronicle a year and all it has to hold for us. Thank you.

    Carolyn

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  52. I find this so inspirational. Great quilt!

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  53. Clever way to keep a diary! Much more useful and lasting, too.

    :) Linda

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  54. NEAT IDEA-JUST LIKE A JOURNAL!
    THANKS FOR SHARING!

    jldouglas@wispwest.net

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  55. Oh, I LOVE this idea! I started going through my stash the other night collecting fabrics that will work - but I'm coming up short! Thanks for the idea and the chance!

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  56. I've never been able to keep up a journal. This just might work for me (I like it that you've got a limited space to write and a novel a day is not necessary! What a super cool idea. Congratulations on completing this amazing quilt.

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  57. incredible and surprising idea!
    Hello from Italy - Tiziana

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  58. I still can't believe it!.......I am just AMAZED!!
    And it's so beautiful :)

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  59. That's amazing! I've never seen one of these before... thanks for sharing!

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  60. I don't think I have that much to say...grin.

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  61. Wow, what a great quilt and an inspirational idea.
    You come up with some of the best ideas!

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  62. What a cool idea and it turned out looking really good. Thanks for sharing!!

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  63. What an amazing quilt! I must admit I was skeptical until I saw the finished product!

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  64. WAAAAY Cool idea! Thank you for sharing it!! What a treat to pass on to your heirs someday!

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  65. Wow! Talk about industrious! I doubt if I'd have the tenacity to hang in long enough to finish it. I'm more of a "immediate gratification girl" I think. Interesting concept hough........I give you tons of credit for your patience.

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  66. This is an awesome idea -- and it's so pretty, too. Way to go! :)

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  67. This is an AWESOME idea! I'm hopping on over to your blog. :-)

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  68. I love the idea!!! What a cherished keepsake that would become!

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  69. That is such a great idea. I think I will make some for my kids. I might go from Birthday to Birthday. That way I can begin and end with a CELEBRATION!!!!!!

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  70. What a great idea! For someone who is trying this, you could use your status posts from Facebook, a condensed blog post or even the weather for the day.

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  71. Wow! It looks awesome! Do not know if I would have something to write about each day to make it as wonderful as yours looks. It is a wonderful quilt though. Enjoyed the post!

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  72. Wow. That quilt is really impressive and really inspiring and, and, and...wow. You know, making a 365 quilt for the first year of your child's life sounds pretty cool....'cause I need another WIP in my sewing room. Thanks for the awesome post.

    molly_dye(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  73. I've been searching and searching for a project to start on my 50th birthday, and I think I just found it! I haven't been looking forward to this birthday, and in an attempt to change my perspective, I've been looking for something special to do for my 50th year of life. Thank you so much for posting this project!

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  74. Lol,I have trouble remembering to write items on the grocery list for when I go shopping! This is a great achievement to complete something like this and an heirloom piece for whoever inherits it, if you haven't used it to pieces by then. I think like sbcmom I'll do it for a 50th birthday project but mine will have to wait a couple of years yet :P.

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  75. This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

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  76. Sent over from Pam. I will try to catch up and do this. sounds like fun.

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  77. What a wonderful quilt! I would love to have the discipline to do this on a daily basis.

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  78. What an interesting idea for a quilt!

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  79. I just love your quilt!! What a great idea. I can't wait to make ones for my three kids.

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  80. I like this idea but may use a few photo transfers too...just in case I run short on words!

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  81. INTERESTING..but doubt I'll ever get around to it since my bucket list is longer than I can get around to right now!! YIKES! Thanks for a great post, Pam.

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  82. That is such a nice idea. It would be really nice for grandchildren, only I have 8 of them, yikes that is a lot of writing. LOL

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  83. What an interesting concept - I really like the final quilt, a huggable diary!

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  84. My comment was on the earlier posting and now see that we are to leave them here - so reposting. I love this journal quilt and the idea. But a weekly journal would be easier for me - can add some embroidery or specialty fabrics on some of the weeks blocks to represent events of the week. It would make for a nice memory quilt for my grandies as NaNa may not be with them when they are older.

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  85. So very very interesting! I see so much potential for this venue...LOL, I love it!
    Glen

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  86. A really neat idea, but I don't think I have the patience. It is lovely, though, and the backing fabric is wonderful! (I have lots of cats, too.)

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  87. What a fun idea! I can see why each of your children would want one.

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  88. Very cool idea. Yours turned out nice.

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  89. Thisis an awesome tut on the 365 day quilt. And a wonderful idea. i think I might be up for the challenge. Thank you somuch for the challenge and thank you Madame Samm for having her

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  90. What a wonderful quilt, it will be so interesting for someone to read in years to come

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  91. I don't know if I'm dedicated enough to do 365 days, but I love the concept. I think this would be a perfect gift for a new mom. I wish I had discovered this a year ago when my DGD was born. Her 1st B-day quilt would be her mother's journal instead of carousel horses :-)

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  92. Your 365 day quilt is awesome....I'm thinking I might start one when DH retires....write a journal about our retirement. I'd like to make 2 at the same time.....one for each of our sons.... I would probably not write every day but often, maybe twice a week or weekly....write about the first 2 - 3 years of retirement in a quilt. The more I think about this idea, the more I'm liking it. This idea has lots of possibilities....and will be a big commitment but will be a treasured heirloom for the boys and grandpeeps. Thanks for sharing. lol XP

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  93. I really like this idea...I might even try one...next year of course! Your quilt is lovely!

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  94. Love the quilt! It's gorgeous! I'm doing a different kind of 365 experiment (just a few months to go) but I may have to try this!

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  95. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  96. I'm just popping over from Mama Spark's blog to say Boo! Great idea - 365 notes. :)

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  97. I just followed the breadcrumbs (or should I say ink dots...) from Mama Sparks to here. I think I will do this but add some embellishments for special days (snow man buttons for snowy days a picture for secial occasions etc)....Thanks for the great idea!
    Maria

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  98. Wow - this is a wonderful idea! I can't wait to suggest to my friends. I know I am definitely going to start pulling fabrics today. Only regret is that I have already missed 20 days in 2011.... Thanks!!!

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  99. OH MY GOSH!!! A Quilt Journal! I love the idea and I need to think back and make some note until I can get to my sewing room. I'll have some catching up to do but it is such a great idea. Just imagine the memories as you look back over it in the years to come. This is a MUST DO for me. Thank you so much for this wonderful post! I'm so excited. As soon as we finish the renovations, about three weeks from now, I will be able to get busy sewing. In the meantime, I'll keep a journal so I don't miss a single day, then copy it to my Quilt Journal. Hugs....

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  100. I love this idea - I am definitely going to try it. Now do I start on my birthday and make it about my 32nd year.....or do I start on my son's birth and make it about his first year....or do I start now and make it about 2011....decisions decisions :)

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  101. Wow! This ended up looking much different than what I was envisioning. I can see so many uses for it, and can hardly wait to share this with some friends. dmj53(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  102. I really like this whole site...but this particular idea has "sparked" my creative juices. Thanks!! I've been following your site, but didn't realize until today that I wasn't an "official" follower. Now I am!!

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  103. You did great, Pam - with both the quilt and your post here. What a wonderful memory quilt you have.

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  104. love your quilt, such a great idea...

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  105. What an interesting concept- I am sure that it is family treasure for your children. Thanks for the excellent explanation of your process Mama Sparks.Thanks for the opportunity to win such a nice prize.
    Regards from a Western Canadian quilter,
    Anna

    I have become a follower of your blog Stash Manicure.

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  106. great idea... but i don't think i could stick to it...

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  107. What a fantastic idea. You did a great job

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  108. I love this idea! And I think I can keep up with it because of the simplicity of the method. Thanks!

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  109. What a fantastic idea. I'm learning how to quilt or I should say I reading how to do quilts. I guess the best way is to jump in and just do one.
    Love the idea of the 365 note quilt. That one I might be able to do. Thanks for sharing

    Mary in Texas

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  110. What a cool idea. Everyone should have your gift of gab, Pam. Have you ever kissed the blarney stone? Anyway I love Michelle's idea of counting your blessings every day. It would head us all in a positive direction.

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  111. What an interesting and cute idea Pam! I love that you always follow through on your quilts!

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  112. I love this! Now I just need enough cream and white scraps to make it happen. Thanks for the wonderful idea!

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  113. This sounds like such a neat idea. I have been contemplating making a quilt and I love the idea of making it so personable. Thank you for the ideas. I actually would like to go ahead and start it so I may have to try to remember what I did in January to write about. lol

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  114. I have been thinking about quilting for a long time. But this is right down my alley, with the journaling and the want to quilt, I should be able to accomplish thia. My daughter of 27yrs would love one, and she is pretty much my world. STILL. Wow what Pinterest can lead you to! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

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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...