Thursday, January 27, 2011

CaraQuilts

  Hi everyone! I'm Cara from CaraQuilts and I am soooo excited to be here!
 Thank you Madame Samm for inviting me! I'm truly honoured!

I'll tell you a bit about me. I design quilts for Moda Bake Shop, and will soon be doing some for sale patterns as well for my company, CaraQuilts Designs! I also am the designer of Stitchin Heaven's Charm school, and Perse-Anality monthly clubs.
Every Tuesday I host a twitter chat, Talkin Tuesdays, from 9-11 pm EST. We have sponsors and giveaways every week and just have a great time talking about fabric, sewing, quilting and whatever else comes up! You can find out more on either my blog, CaraQuilts, or the Talkin Tuesday blog.



And between all that I have a very special 7 year old daughter who has more energy then should be allowed! And the two most adorable Maltese dogs, who absolutely love to snuggle up in quilts, whether they're ready for it or not!


  Stash Manicure is such a fantastic resource for all us quilters!! I love reading everyone's suggestion for managing their stash and scraps. So many ideas!
For me I find it necessary to cut my scraps as I go. Well of course I cut them as I go or they wouldn't be scraps would they? LOL
What I mean is as I'm cutting a project and I know I'm done with a fabric I will take the scraps and cut them into the largest possible piece, to the 1/2". For example, a 4 3/4" x 6 3/4" piece will be trimmed to 4 1/2" square, and 2 2" squares.
If I don't do this as I go I find I just end up throwing all the pieces in a shopping bag, and I forget about them and they never get used. This way they can be put in baskets with like sized pieces and whenever I need them I know if I go to that basket it will have the right size, and all I have to do is look for the right colour or value.
I also throw all my left over precut pieces into the baskets, otherwise they end up lonely and unused! And how sad is that! With so many designers lines being similar in feel and colour, you'd be surprised how quickly you can have a new jelly roll or charm pack, made totally of scraps!!
Because scraps take up so much space I keep smaller baskets near the cutting table and when they're full I transfer to the larger, often less attractive, tupperwares.
Because these are soooo much cuter than these
Which is still better than this!


  Another thing I like to do is stitch scraps together and then use them as yardage. This is especially fun for applique. It give projects a really interesting look, and there is no way two will ever be the same!

I know a lot of people love to make HSTs with their scraps and once they have a gazillion and one turn them into some of the awesome scrap quilt patterns out there. Me? I love nine patches. LOVE them. And the nine patch is so versatile! Here's a cute way to put them together to get something a bit more interesting than just straight ones. Play with the setting, add plain blocks or snowball blocks, and you've got some super easy, and fun, quilts!
 Decide on the size you want your nine patches, it's easiest if it's a multiple of 3, and whenever you have finished a project take some of it's scraps and make up some nine patches. Put them in a basket.  Or raid you scraps for the right colour if you want it to be more monochromatic. If you want to do a checkerboard, everytime you do one switch up the light and darks, so which one has 5 pieces and which has 4, and eventually you will have about an equal number.
If you have strips use them! Just stitch together dark, light, dark or light, dark, light, and then cut them into smaller segments. You don't have to use them all together, you can put them aside until you have enough to make each nine patch from different strip sets.
Here are some setting ideas. The chains use a snowball as the alternate. The boxes one uses plain white strips, the same size as the nine patches. This one require fewer nine patches but also uses smaller ones.



  To make the box of ninepatches, sash the middle nine patch with fabric the same width as the nine patch, so if it's a 3" finished nine patch add a 3.5" square to the top and bottom, and then a 3.5" x 9.5" strip to either side. Alternate dark and light nine patches, for around the sashing. For the sides go light, dark, light. Add to the sides. For the top and bottom go dark, light, dark, light, dark. Stitch to the top and bottom. Make 9 of these blocks and sash them in a 3 x 3 setting.

Now if you read through all that I have a reward for you! Leave me a  comment here and then head over to my blog for a giveaway sponsored by Stitchin Heaven!

117 comments:

  1. well this wasn't hard at all to read through. I'm always looking for ideas of what others do with scraps.

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  2. Well look at those great patterns! Nine patches are my friend! Thanks for the inspiration :)

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  3. Oh what fun! I LOVE the nine patch blues in squares... where is my pen and paper to write that down... I am off to find some blue scraps- can't wait. Maybe I will make one in reds for Valentines day. :) Thanks so much. Can't wait to run over to your website.... it will give me sweet dreams. :) Thanks.

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  4. Thanks so much! I am also heading over to your blog,Amy

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  5. I am off to read your blog, am glad you wrote a guest blog here. I am always looking for more blogs to read.

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  6. Ninepatches are great and you have come up with some interesting ways to put them together.

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  7. Lovely to read about you and I too just love nine patches, I teach classes here in Australia and have been to Houston last year November, had a great time.

    Thanks for sharing your scrap baskets too, I love the idea about sewing them and using them for applique
    Christine

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  8. Aww, I have a little white Bichon Frise who is often mistaken for a Maltese. Love that little face peaking in on what you are working on. :) Thanks for sharing all your awesome ideas!

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  9. I do the same with my scraps. I have a scrappy nine patch always on the go.

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  10. Love the idea of making nine patches with my scraps - I love 9s too! :)

    Linda

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  11. Nothing more simple than a snowball and 9-patch quilt. Whether done in traditional, re-pros, or brights - it just has a crisp look to it. Oh, I'll confess, I am a throw the scraps in a tote, but I never know what size I will need. Occassionally I will pre-cut so my jars are full for leader/ender projects. I've boxed 4-patch and 8-patch blocks, but never 9's. That is something I will have to try as I love that setting. Thank you for sharing with us at Stash Manicure.

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  12. I wish I had gotten organized right from the beginning so I wouldn't have such a daunting task now of cutting scraps into usable sizes! That's a great idea.

    Leslie S. in MN
    esclante at comcast dot net

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  13. Great ideas cutting your scraps as you go. Thanks for a great post

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  14. More good ideas for using the stash up!!! Thanks!!

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  15. Great idea to cut as you go - except sometimes you will cut a flower in half and not be able to use it for applique!! But you are certainly right about how flexible 9 patches are

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  16. I love nine patches too, love the layout of the third one

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  17. I am guilty of having a shopping bag full of scraps, although I am slowly working my way through sorting it out, the 9 patches sound like an excellent idea.

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  18. I really have to make something with ninepatches, they are so much fun!

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  19. You make the idea of 9 patch come alive. Thanks for the post.

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  20. Love your suggestions, and I've just recently started cutting better scraps and strips and saving in containers too. I live the last 9 patch blocks in blue. Think I'll go for that with some of my stash!

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  21. Great post! Thanks
    I really should sort out my scraps and somehow the idea of nine patch seems so achievable!

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  22. Excellent idea for using up your scraps in a not too painful way.....
    Hugz

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  23. Yep I read through it all, I now have some scraps, does that mean I am now a "proper" quilter LOL...still working on the stash though. Hugs Linda

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  24. I am the one that just throws scraps into a tote. I am just now starting to go through them and use them up so I can organize. It is a job and a half and will take forever. Love your 9-patches

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  25. great post! I am going to have to give more thought to cutting scraps as I go, fun nine patch designs!

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  26. You're singing my song with the nine patch blocks...they are my favorite too! Sewing large pieces together to create a background for applique is a great idea...

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  27. I'm glad you "jooged" me again about scrap tending as I go. I get lazy and toss them in a pile, which ends up getting stuffed in a box or bag. Great 9-patch ideas!

    Linda

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  28. Oh my gosh! This was a great post! Now to my scraps! I just wish I could keep mine organized!
    Thanks for sharing!

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  29. Lovely ideas for scraps - thank you! Hadn't thought about the box of nine patches before - looks like a great idea!

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  30. Oh I love the last one! I have an obscene amount of scraps & I love seeing what becomes of them.

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  31. Good Morning Cara....Look at you!. You are one amazing over the top put together quilter...From the sounds of your timetable of activities it is any wonder you have time to stitch and design. Love your last design. Simpliticity at its best.

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  32. The box of 9 patch quilt is great! I'm gonna have to do this one, for sure! :o)

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  33. Great nine-patch ideas! I've got a box of cut squares that can go to work now!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  34. Pretty quilts. I do throw my scraps in a bin, but I use the scraps for many different things, so it hasn't spread to other containers yet.

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  35. Wow, never cared for 9 patches but love what you've done with them. I'll have to start looking at them differently!

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  36. Thanks for the great cutting ideas.

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  37. What a great idea, cutting your scraps as you go, sure is a lot easier than cutting trimming up a basket of scraps at one time. Great post, thank you!

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  38. Thanks for all your great ideas, I'll be checking out your blog.

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  39. Thank you for posting today and for all the great ideas. I always find something useful!

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  40. The top made with 9-patches and sashing, with 9-patches borders is wonderful. And leaves room for some really pretty quilting. Love it!

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  41. I'm going to adopt your idea of using cuter smaller scrap containers on my sewing table and saving the ugly bins for out-of-sight. Simple fix to my hubby's main annoyance, I think. :)

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  42. Some really great ideas! I started a tall laundry basket last summer to put scraps in and it's full to the brim! Now, to sort....ummm, love the idea of 9-ptchz....=D

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  43. I really need to start using my scraps. So many wonderful ideas. I love what you do with the nine patch!

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  44. Thanks for all the great ideas for using up scraps. Love your butterfly baskets. I am always on the lookout for ways to use up my scraps. Scraps are overtaking my sewing area.

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  45. Wow, another quilting resource. Thank you for sharing your ideas. Love the Nine patch idea. I have a ton of scraps looking to improve the system better.

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  46. 9 patches are my faves, too. Give me some squares any day and the first block to pop into my mind would be a 9 patch. Thanks for the setting ideas!

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  47. you have some very good ideas - I love scrap quilts and have tons of scraps - enough to make - well I don't know how many quilts and I really need to organize them in some way!
    Karen
    http://karensquilting.com/blog/

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  48. I see your doggie likes to be a helper too. So thoughtful of them Huh.. LOL. I appreciate your visit and your wonderful ideas. Thank you for coming to guest host :)

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  49. Great idea on cutting up the scraps right away. I love 9 patches because they are so versatile too.

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  50. I love 9 patches!!! They are just so versatile :)

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  51. Cute dog! ANd those nine patches are so pretty.They're also great for mindless sewing days. Thanks for sharing!

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  52. I'm embarrassed to say that my scraps mostly reside in shopping bags...thanks for the great tips.

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  53. Loved the quilt with snow balls+nine patches!!, never easier!!
    I love yr work! xoxo

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  54. Oh, my, scrappy nine patches AND a lovely little dog, life just doesn't get any better than that"! Great posting.
    Marie

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  55. What great advice about cutting up scraps immediately--I shall start forthwith. And nine-patches; weren't they everyone's first quilt block?

    I was recently in a play called "Quilters." I played the mother, the main character, and when we started the rehearsal period I taught the rest of the actresses to sew a quilt block. You guessed it...the good old reliable 9-patch! So that block has really special memories attached--thanks for giving me different ideas about how to set it!

    Headin' your way...

    Dot
    dminshall67@yahoo.com

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  56. I am starting to clean up my mess of boxes and bags and baskets. Now if I had some place to put it neatly.

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  57. Love the quilt ideas for your scraps. 9 patches are my favorite thing to do!

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  58. Hi Cara!! What a great post. I love it!!! The nine patch patterns that you shared are so great. I really need to make some of those. Thanks for sharing your ideas on how you manicure your stash. Hugs Ariane

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  59. Thanks Cara! I have been tryinf to figure out how to organize my scraps in a way that makes sense to me and cutting them and storing by size makes the most sense - Thanks! I am heading to your blog now!
    Maria

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  60. I love 9patches too! And my plan this year is to get my scraps under control, I like your tips.

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  61. Thanks for the idea of cutting scraps up as you go...I tend to store my scraps in bins never to see the light of day again...at least for a while! I have a GO cutter now, so I hope to tame the bin!

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  62. Your dog is a cutie,guess he needed the spotlight some(or her). I love the last nine patch one by far. LOVE your ideas for scraps too. Saw somewhere yesterday someone use their scraps to make long wonky border strips:)

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  63. I love nine patches! They are like a colorful checkerboard!

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  64. Wow look at all those pretty crisp clean blue quilts. I love the 9 patch quilt!

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  65. Cara, what a keen idea to use nine patches in all those different ways. I also like your idea of sewing strips together to make "ysrdage" for applique.

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  66. Loving your storage of scraps, as well as your tips! Thanks so much.

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  67. I did read all the way through! Great tips - wish I could say I would cut my scraps right away, but I do just the opposite - I suppose in my NEXT life I'll be as organized as you! xo, Nan

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  68. Love the colors.....so happy!!!!
    Thanks for sharing, Amy (Mom to the Four Sisters)

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  69. =) I love your use of scraps!! =)

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  70. Thanks for your tips. I love 9 patch quilts. I enjoyed checking our your blog.

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  71. I love the last one, nothing prettier tham blue and white.

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  72. I loved the picture of your dog sitting on the fabric layout!

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  73. I have just begun using scraps in quilting projects. I've always cut what I needed and thrown the scraps into baskets. Now I'm going back and making project after project with scraps. It makes my brain work and I'm not having to buy fabric as often. I really need to start cutting scraps before sorting them. That's such a great idea. Thanks for the inspiration. Love me a nine patch, too!

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  74. Wow great ideas for using up scraps!

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  75. Thanks for the idea of cutting the scraps to usable pieces right away and then storing them together. Much better than a giant tub of any size scraps. I am off to read your blog now.

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  76. Love the White and Blue 9 Patch... I have always been reluctant to work with white, but I really like that look, I may have to give it a try!

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  77. Nice post. My first finished quilt was a 9 patch.

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  78. Love the snowball quilt .... what a great idea. I never cut mine up ... I know I should, I know you are right ... I'm gunna start .... tomorrow!!!

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  79. I have a huge bin of scraps and now a great idea of what to do with them so they don't go to waste. Thanks for a great post!!

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  80. I love the boxed nine-patch quilt. I haven't seen this setting before - wonderful!

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  81. I love the nine patch and snowball quilt. We made those in a nine patch exchange in my quilt guild and they turned out so pretty!

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  82. Thanks for the nine-patch ideas. I really liked the box pattern, have to try it

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  83. I absolutely love your idea for cutting your scraps as you go. Makes perfect sense and makes it so much easier then moving on to the next project! Thanks for the idea, Cara! We love you!

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  84. I'm a nine patch lover also and I love your scrap cutting idea for planning out a quilt with them. I'm adding to my Stash Manicure. Thanks for sharing. Best wishes. Patty

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  85. Thanks for sharing this. I also use them for leaders and enders and keep a stack by my machine.

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  86. Great ideas Cara, thanks for sharing. Wish I had learned this when I first started quilting a few years ago. Love the Boxed Nine Patches.

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  87. Great Post! I need to adopt your habit of cutting leftover pieces into usable squares. Your fabric-filled garbage bag looks suspiciously familiar...

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  88. I really love the stash bins...they are cute!

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  89. Thanks for your inspirational ideas Cara! I too have just started cutting my scraps into usable sizes--I like the idea of bins for each. And your nine patch ideas are great!

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  90. I really need to develop a plan like yours for my scraps. Makes them more likely to be used :) Thanks for sharing all the great ideas!

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  91. Nine patch is by far my favourite block. I look at other patterns, but, in the end, I come back to the nine patch. It's so versatile and looks good in any setting and any fabric. Thanks for all your great ideas.

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  92. I've never done a nine patch...can you believe that? I haven't made a ton of quilts either but you've inspired me to add 9 patch to my next project.
    Gmama Jane

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  93. love your box of nice patches!

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  94. Love love love the blue and white 9-patch boxes picture at the bottom of the post. That's a definite 'to do'. I hear you on cutting scraps as you go - I have two large garbage bags full and it's a bit daunting. Oh well, I guess it's the elephant - one bite at a time.

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  95. 9 patch and squares in general are my favorite! loved all your ideas...julie

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  96. Oh wow! I've had nine patches on my mind for some time! Now I'm more determined to play! Great post :)

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  97. In spite of its simplicity, I've never actually done a nine-patch before! This clearly should be the year that I change all that!

    Thanks for guesting!

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  98. I've just started dealing with my scraps and so far, I've been sewing 4-patches, but I love your Snowball 9-patch. I might have to start sewing those too!

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  99. Thank you for sharing your ideas. I love 9 patches as well. Your placement ideas are so good. Thank you for the give away.

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  100. Woo Hoo, love the nine patch in a box. Variations in size would make the perfect baby quilt.

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  101. Love your last nine patch! I have a lot of unorganized scraps (sigh). My organized homespuns got made into a quilt already-yes it is a great idea to precut scraps into sizes. It is just the catching up from years of being disorganized. Someday-

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  102. Thanks for the ideas for using my scraps. Have you ever made a disappearing nine-patch quilt with your scrappy nine-patch blocks? It would be colorful!

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  103. I love nine patch too but never thought of cutting my scraps as I go ...thank you so much for the idea!!

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  104. Ooo, I love nine patches, too--they're so VERSATILE! And I'm leavin' Sat. for a cruise with Stitchin' Heaven..YAY!

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  105. I love that last one! Thanks for explaining it! I just started cutting up my scraps into useable pieces. I have a lot of trash bag type scrapes. It is so much easier to do it right away!

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  106. Thanks for lots of great ideas and examples. I especially like the last one. I'm going to have to check out the chat, sounds like fun!

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  107. Great ideas! and I just love th 9 Patch one of my favorites!

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  108. Thanks for all of the great ideas. I love 9 patches, but I tend to turn my scraps into 4 patches that languish in the fabric closet. I'll have to try some of your suggestions.

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  109. Thanks for the pattern of the 9 patch in the box. I LOVE IT. Guess that I will have to try this next - Good thing I already have squares cut out.

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  110. Love your ideas for making 9 patches. I'm going to start doing that also.

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  111. I participated in my first Talkin' Tuesday's and had so much fun. Thanks Cara

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  112. Your totes with the different sizes are smart. I like little 1" squares, perfect for nine patches & so much more. Great ideas, thank you!

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  113. I'd love to join you guys last year but that's 2am in the morning for those of us in the UK... I guess it's time for me to join this year :-)

    regards,
    irene of Executive Career Coach

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