Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What do I do now?

Hello! I’m Val Laird, spending time with you today from my little bit of paradise in Queensland, Australia.

My dilemma started when I was asked by a magazine editor to rework a design I had submitted for publication.  The request was that it be made using a beautiful range of fabric called “Garden Party” by Blackbird designs for Moda.  I fell in love with the range and decided to buy at least a set of 40 Fat Quarters. Then I thought further and realized I wouldn’t have any long width-of-fabric strips, so purchased a Jelly Roll as well:


The wall-hanging was duly completed and I loved the way it turned out, showcasing the beautiful fabric. It was simply called “The Herb Garden”.  I love fresh herbs and had taken the sketchbook out to my herb garden and the project was born from there. The editor must have liked it too as it ended up on the front cover of the magazine:


So ‘project complete’ and I had used a miniscule amount of those Fat Quarters and a whole 2½ inches off most of the Jelly Roll strips!  What do I do now?  I couldn’t justify spending all that money and just put the fabric in the already overcrowded stash!

Well, the obvious answer was to make a quilt! Now, before I show you the quilt I made, you have to understand a couple of things about me.  Firstly, embroidery and appliqué is top of my “to do” list, and piecing elaborate large quilts is right at the bottom of the agenda.  Second, I am fairly impatient, get bored quickly and like ‘instant’ projects.  The math is easy = simple lap quilt:

Fan Heart and Charm quilt

That used up a bit more of those fat quarters, but made no impression at all on the Jelly Roll. I had admired the lovely braid quilts for some time, but had never tried my hand at that technique, so out with the Jelly Roll and the Hearts & Braid Table runner used up lots more of the strips:


I had a bit of braiding left over, so “waste not, want not” – into a bag they went:

Sweet Harmony Bag

And still there were mountains of fabric left.  What do I do now? I guess I could have made another quilt, but I’m only good for one quilt every two or three months.  By making smaller projects in between quilts, I find I don’t get sick of the fabric.  Also a quick turn-around keeps me interested and enthused about a project. So another wall-hanging was next in line.  Fans again – love ’em:

Fantasia

And still there was a lot of fabric left!  I decided to rework my most popular pattern – the Garden Dreams Calendar.  The Jelly Roll strips started to diminish as I made all the Prairie Points and the borders for the little mini-quilts:

Garden Dreams Calendar

A blogging friend designed a lovely bag with all the proceeds from the sale of the pattern going to mission work in the Philippines.  What better fabric to use to make the bag for DD?


There was enough of those Jelly Roll bits and pieces left to cut a border for a cushion.  The centre featured some of the lovely roses in a Broderie Perse technique:

Persian Rose Cushion

Christmas loomed, so a Drawer Sachet was quick to whip up for a gift:


Still had some of those fat quarters left.  A quick patchwork table runner would be useful:

Charmed Life Table runner

Now what about those Jelly Roll ends?  A couple of Fun and Fruity mug rugs were a delight to make:


Now the Fat Quarters were looking decidedly thin!  There was enough fabric left to cut a set of 30 charm squares for a giveaway I was hosting:


There was still a bit left on those Fat Quarters, but most of the gorgeous fabric was gone by now.  I was left with the colours that weren’t my favourites – yellow, brown and white backgrounds.  We needed a new Breakfast Cloth, but would I be happy with it in those colours?  Put it together and see – yes, there were enough pink roses on the fabrics to keep me happy:


With a clear conscience, I sorted the bits and pieces that were left into colours, and put them in the “itty bitty” scrap boxes, happy that I had used all that gorgeous fabric, with such a variety of projects, without getting to the stage where I never wanted to see the range again. (Of course, I made other projects in different fabrics in between the designs above … and moved house … so there wasn’t much chance of getting bored!)

And to thank you for taking the time to read right to the end of this post, I am having
a GIVEAWAY - in fact, three giveaways! 
Yes, there will be three winners. The prize will be one of my e-patterns (a pattern that is e-mailed) for each winner.

To enter the giveaway, go to my website pattern pages and see if you can find a pattern that you would like, then leave a comment at the end of this post, and another comment on my blog, telling me which one of my patterns you would like to win. The three winners will receive whatever pattern they choose from my range. 

Giveaway closes 12 noon Sunday 15th May, (Aust EST).

Thank you for allowing me to share with you today. I hope this post has inspired you with ways you could manicure your stash of pre-cuts!

Blessings
Val

123 comments:

  1. wow, that is truly an impressive body of work out of 40 FQ's and a jelly roll. Unbelievable!! Thanks for that inspiration Val!

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  2. Lovely projects!
    I love your Hearts & Braid Table Runner :D

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  3. What an amazing assortment of projects and a good lesson for all of us on using that fabric! Thanks for sharing.

    After looking at your lovely patterns, I would choose 'Garden Dreams Calendar".

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  4. That is one big achievement out of a simple intention! And I salute you Val and they are all gorgeous! I wish I could have done the same :) Thanks for sharing

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  5. I love the "All My Sewing Things" Quilt pattern. It always surprises how far fabric can go!

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  6. I love Val's Garden Caddy :) I missed this info in my earlier post...:)

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  7. I would like the Soft Jelly Sewing Folder pattern! Very cute. Need one for hexagon supplies.: )

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  8. Hi Val,

    I love your post here, your patterns, and definitely your style! I like the Garden Dreams Calendar the best. Jo Anna

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  9. Wow so many projects.....great use of the fabric. I have been looking at your patterns my favorite is the Spring Garden Scrappy Quilt, what a great way to use all your scraps.

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  10. Now I just love the way you used all that fabric - yummy line too. Each piece is stunning - and so VAL! My favorite though is the braid bag - just different with a little flirt.

    I love your Tickled Pink Sewing Compendium pattern as a give away. It would make for some lovely X-mas gifts for our sewing 'clutch' ladies.

    Thank you for a very inspirational post (hmm, I have some bits that might just......)

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  11. Hi Val,
    All your patterns are lovely, so it's quite difficult to choose only ONE, although I can see "All my Lovely Sewing Things" on the wall of my sewing room. I've got the perfect spot!
    Thanks for offering this chance to win!
    All the best!

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  12. I can't believe how many things you made from fqs and a jelly roll!! I love your childrens things, those tools were too cute!!!

    glen

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  13. Isn't it amazing how many projects we can make out of a limited amount of fabric. Thanks for sharing a few more. I loved your "All My Lovely Sewing Things" pattern. Thanks for the chance to win it.

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  14. love the fan charm and heart quilt pattern.

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  15. Way to go Val!!
    Awesome..fabric does go a long way, but I'm so impressed that you got all those things finished.
    Phew and thanks for the inspiration.
    Love your work.
    Robyn xx

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  16. Great post! Lovely projects. :)

    left a post on your blog about which three patterns.

    :) Linda

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  17. amazing how many projects you have made, all really lovely, thank you for sharing. I went to your blog first and chose the fans hearts and charm quilt pattern, I havent taken the plunge yet to make a quilt but loved this, then on this blog I found the quilt listed first (g)

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  18. Thank you Val, I just love the fabric and all the projects you managed to make out of them. Very inspiring!

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  19. What a great amount of loveliness from one bid range, well done! I had a lovely visit to your shop, the cupboards are lovely, I've never seen anything like them! So difficult to chose, but my favours is the kitchen: this lovely cups and saucers!!

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  20. Your post shows how an experience hand can use fabric almost without any waste. I love your Country cottage Calendar.

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  21. Forty Fat Quarters and a Jelly Roll - Now that sounds like a song title! Great post Val. You've got too many lovely patterns to choose from but I've decided on All My Lovely Sewing Things.

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  22. Can't believe all those gorgeous projects came from that smallish amount of fabric. Very inspirational!

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  23. How many lovely projects from fat quarters and jelly rolls without wasting fabric! You are my kind-a-girl! Thanks for lovely ideas.

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  24. All of your patterns are just adorable, but I'd love to win "Love never fails" pattern :)

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  26. Oh, I'd love to win Val's lovely "Garden Dreams Calendar" pattern.

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  27. Well done for sticking with it. This is a good lesson in stash busting. I love your patterns, but the Fairy Floss would be just perfect for a project I have in mind.

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  28. what a project good for you that you got it all done :))
    i would like the rustic hearts tote pattern

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  29. Val, every thing you make is just so beautiful. I love the cottage calendar.

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  30. Everyone of your projects looks lovely. My favourite patter is the Garden Dreams Calendar.

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  31. Gifts of Grace would be my pick.
    Thank you for the chance to win!

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  32. Wow!Sew many projects and they are all lovely! How's the weather down under?

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  33. Are you kidding me? That has to be some kind of record!!! And they are all so pretty, great job.

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  34. I am so excited that you were a guest blogger today. Wow, your creations are wonderful. I am quite smitten with The Herb Garden! It would be the perfect addition to my kitchen/dining area. But it was a difficult choice and took forever to look through and check out all you designs. Now, back to your site to explore some more!! ~karen

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  35. Love your designs and my "fantasy" would be to win the Fanatasy Fan cushion - I just love this one. Your post on Stash manicure is full of great ideas and info on your designs -which are all so lovely and small enough to finish

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  36. You made so many projects, and they all look great and not matchy-matchy at all!
    I love the Tool Cupboard and the Garden Dreams Calender - I just can't decide which one!

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  37. I love the Garden dreams Calendar. Would love to win that one.

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  38. I love the Fan Fantasy Pillow, I love blues and purples, and the fan is so cute. That's the one I'd like to win the pattern for. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  39. What a beautiful collection! Truly inspirational!! My favorite is the Fantasia Wall-hanging. I love it!!

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  40. That was amazing!! I absolutely love the Hearts and Braid Tablerunner! I can't believe all that you did with that batch of fabric! Thanks for inspiring me!
    Jacque in SC
    quiltnsrep(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  41. Good Afternoon Val, I am sew impressed. and these days it takes a lot for me to be...but to work on the same fabric for multiple projects...well you WIN...lol. My admiration, my applause.

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  42. Val, all of your patterns are beautiful, but if I had to choose just one it would be The Garden Dreams Calendar.

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  43. Wow, those are a lot of projects out of one bundle. They are all beautiful and I bet you really love those prints to stick with them for so long :)

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  44. What great ideas for using up leftovers from projects. I have lots to use up. Thanks!

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  45. That's an amazing amount of items you came up with out of all those fat quarters and a jelly roll and they are all sew different and still sew cute! I've been to your blog and I love the French etui. Thanks for the chance to win the pattern!

    Mary Ann

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  46. Hi VaL! It is just fabulous to see you as a guest here. I have followed your blog for ages and also follow this one. Great to see an Aussie designer on here!!! I selected a different pattern on your blog, but that Garden Dreams Calendar is just ssssoooooooo lovely!!!

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  47. My opinion- the best Stash Manicure yet! Great, great projects. I'd love to have your pattern for " All My Lovely Sewing Things" ( hard to decide- "The Herb Garden" is wonderful, too!) Thanks for the chance to win and THANKS for the ideas.

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  48. I love the Hearts and Braid Table Runner. Thanks for the giveaway. I love how you used up every bit of the fabric. Your patterns are so cute.

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  49. Wow! Thank you for the inspiration on how to use up every last bit of a favorite collection. Love your Hearts & Braids Tablerunner and The Herb Garden. Thank you for sharing.

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  50. Val... I am impressed. All those projects from one set of fabrics.

    Very nice. Braiding is one of my "Need to Conquer" techniques. Curved pieces will follow shortly thereafter. Your braided pieces look great! I like the use of them in the bag. I need to make a few PIF projects, maybe a braided bag is the thing to do.

    Paul
    www.OutnumberedQuilter.com

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  51. What wonderful projects you have created. The fabric that continues to give beautiful things. I love the Tickled Pin Sewing Companion and would be Christmas gifts for my sewing friends. Thanks for the wonderful opportunity and beautiful giveaway. Judy C

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  52. Wow! You did a great job using up all that fabric! I love all of your projects!
    Thanks for doing such a generous giveaway!

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  53. Great use of the fat quarters. I love the Garden Dreams calendar and the herb garden wall hanging.

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  54. Your designs are wonderful. Hard to choose from, but I finally picked All my Lovely Sewing Things wallhanging pattern. Debbie in WV

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  55. Hi, Val! What a lovely surprise to see your name this morning--hadn't gotten to your blog yet, I'm sure you posted about being here. I've been subscribed to your blog much longer, so it's further down on my reader! I don't even have to look at your patterns--know them pretty much by heart! I've promised myself not to buy anymore 'til I've finished what I have, though. Winning one wouldn't count, though, would it? And I could start "Herb Garden" right now, when mine is so beautiful. Congratulations on a job well done!

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  56. You have a great imagination! Love your Hearts and Braids tablerunner.

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  57. I love the Garden Dreams Calendar! LOVE IT!

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  58. I would very much like the garden dreams calendar. When I am not stitching my stash away, you will certainly find me in either my flower garden - next to my home - or my vegetable and fruit garden, a fews miles further down the road. Dreaming my time away after taking care of the weeds 8^}
    Smiling from a sunny Amsterdam, Irene

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  59. Wow...you have been busy. How long did it take you to do all those. I love the Hearts & Braids table runner too.

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  60. Val, it was nice to get to know you on Stash Manicure! Your talent is inspiring, and I have to go shop my stash right now. vbg I would love to have the Garden Dreams pattern for the homeschol room - what a delight! Thank you for the giveaway. Blessings!

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  61. All of your projects are simply wonderful. My favorite of your patterns is also the most popular - Garden Dreams Calendar!

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  62. Good Lord! Are you sure you didn't buy a BOLT of each??? That is a lot of projects - all wonderful, might I add!

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  63. Val, I love all of your patterns so it is hard to choose just one! I would pick the Heart, Fan and Charm Quilt pattern if I were lucky enough to win. Thanks for a chance to win.

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  64. I can't believe you made all of that from that delicious sounding stash!!! I am so envious. I think, for myself, I would pick the Fan Fantasy Pillow.

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  65. While over at your blog I got to reading and looking and almost forgot to come back here.You have a new follower at your blog. I really like the Rose Delight Etui. Very pretty and useful. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  66. Thank you, Val, for great lessons your post has taught me. I love all your patterns, and have a lot of them, but I would love to have the Hearts and Braids table runner pattern. This is my first visit at Stash Manicure, so thanks to them for having you post here and thanks, Val, for the giveaway!!

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  67. Val - so many lovely patterns! Thanks for your generosity. I loved the post. Lots of wonderful things from a group of fabrics. Tons of inspiration. It was hard to pick a favorite pattern but I think I like Herb Garden - so pretty. Thanks again.....have a pieceful day!

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  68. Hearts & Braids Tablerunner would be the one for me! My daughter has a new home and has been on a tablerunner kick, wants several new ones, this would be perfect! Beautiful selection. Thanks!

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  69. Thank you Val for a great (and amusing) post!
    I'd love to win your herb garden pattern!

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  70. Wow, what an outstanding group of projects you managed to accomplish. I love your Rose Delight Etui. It is simply stunning.

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  71. Wow!!!!! Your projects are great. Sew cute and sweet. Love the Gifts of Grace pattern. Veronica
    veronicakersting@yahoo.com

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  72. I am in awe of all the wonderful things you created from this special fabric line. I love the Scrappy Spring Garden Quilt.

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  73. Wow! Amazing what you can get out of a FQ stack and a JR! And everything you made was so beautiful! Very inspiring, indeed.
    I would love to try your Fan Fantasy Cushion. It looks so pretty. I've never done embroidery like that, so it would stretch me outside my comfort zone a bit, which is always a good thing. Thanks very much!

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  74. Wow! I was exhausted by the time we finished with all those fat quarters - LOL! You are a very dedicated seamstress!
    I love the Tool Cupboard pattern for a new grandson!

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  75. Your children patterns are amazingly interactive. I love all of them and it is so hard to choose a favorite. So the one with the matching shapes has to be my choice.

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  76. Wonderful makings from you fabric! I think my favorite pattern of yours is the Rose Delight Etui. I have always wanted to make one!

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  77. Your "Hearts and Braid" table runner is lovely - my favorite pattern!

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  78. What as great post! Thanks for sharing all your lovely ideas and projects. You certainly whip the projects out!

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  79. I am loving your projects and don't want to pick one. But the one I loved the most was the Hearts and Braid table runner. May pick it up if I don't win it.

    --
    Wanda
    http://wandas-quilts-crafts.blogspot.com/

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  80. What a great imagination you have to go with your wonderful talents. So, so inspiring. selina

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  81. Thanks for the chance to win, I love your Country Dreams Calendar. I also saw your BOM I have to get in on that.

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  82. The Etui patterns are wonderful and would make unusual gifts for stitching friends. Great post!

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  83. Hi Thanks for the giveaway and the post. I think that I may try what you have done, get a collection and then make as much as I can out of it. sounds like fun. I particularly loved the Garden calendar so that would have to be my pick of your patterns. Thank you. Caroline
    carolinehemsley@btinternet.com

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  84. I love this post. You did a great job showing us how many things you can make with the fabric you bought. I love that. I love your Country Cottage Calendar pattern. I would love to make it!

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  85. Wow - that's a lot of projects! Your All My Sewing Things pattern is adorable (as are all the other patterns).

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  86. Amazing projects you made with the beautiful fabric. I had chosen the Spring Showers Cushion and the Herb Garden wall hanging but now that I see the Herb Garden project I love it best.

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  87. i think the one I love best is the fan, heart and charm.
    debbie

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  88. Quanta coisa linda! Quanta criatividade!
    Parabéns! E que belos tecidos.
    Adorei o love never fails wall-hanging
    Beijos!
    Helck

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  89. What fun to make all those wonderful projects. I was going to pick the herb garden as my favorite but then I saw your Love Never fails pattern. Very nice. ANd I love the mug rugs too. I think I should try some stitchery and piecing to make a few mug rugs.

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  90. I like them all but if I have to chose, All my Lovely Sewing Things is my favourite.

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  91. Well, after posting in 2 different places on Val's blog, I'm back over here to say that I would love the pattern for the Hearts and Braids table runner. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  92. You needn't thank me for reading your post--I will thank you for writing all about your innovative use of fabric! I also use up every bit I buy and then save the "itty bitties", but I've never been as creative as you were in your projects.
    I'd truly enjoy having your pattern called the Joy of Stitching Sewing Compendium, to make myself a pretty gift.
    Thanks very much.

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  93. so wow the projects and wow your ideas make me smile talented girl thanx renee

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  94. I left a pattern saying I would like the French Connection Etui pattern :)

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  95. Those were great projects you made. I would love the Hearts an Braid table runner. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  96. those are some really great projects. If I won, I'd choose the Colourwash Diamonds Quilt pattern. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  97. I just LOVE your patterns, Val! If I win, I'd like the Garden Dreams Calendar.

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  98. Wow you sure did use all that fabric wisely. I went over and checked out your patterns. They are all wonderful. But my choice would be the wall hanging "ALL My Lovely Sewing Things". I have been looking for a pattern for a wall hanging for my sewing area. This would be perfect.

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  99. Your big dilemna turned into endless possibilities! I love, love, love "The Herb Garden". Thank you for sharing!

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  100. Now that is the way to use fabric!!! Love them all, thank you for sharing.

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  101. It's amazing how much you can get from all those bits and pieces. Thanks for sharing your lovely projects! My pattern pick (and it was hard to pick just one) is All My Lovely Sewing Things.

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  102. Oh my gosh you got so much mileage out of that fabric - and made so many gorgeous things! You inspire me, Val! I'm going to look at my stash in a whole new way. I love The Herb Garden, but my favorite is the Country Cottage Calendar!

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  103. This is a great post. Thank you for all the inspiration.
    If I should be one of the lucky winners I would like the 'Heart & Braid table runner'.
    It is fantastic what you have made out of the 'Garden Party' fabrics.

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  104. Wow, what a lot of projects!! I LOVE your herb garden hanging, I fell in love with it in Homespun. I love a lot of yur patterns, but have some of them already in magazines, so I'd choose one of the kid's interactive wall hangings - My Kitchen Dresser probably!

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  105. I love the herb gardening hanging too. Thanks for the chance to win one of your patterns. I also like the Remember the Lilies pattern that you have up now. THANKS!!!

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  106. Wow love your talent & imagination to make so many different projects from your fabric choice.
    I really like your Hearts & Braid Table Runner, it would look great on my table.
    Thank you
    hadacres at comcast.net

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  107. There are several patterns I like a lot, but Garden Dreams Calendar is my favorite ( I think LOL)

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  108. There are lots of beautiful ones but I love the one 'All my Lovely Sewing Things'. Your work is awesome!!

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  109. Wow..This must be some kind of record, just goes to show us what can be made from 40 charm squares and a jelly roll. Lovely fabric range also. I like everyone, found it difficult to choose only one of your beautiful designs. But decided on the Vintage Peg Bag, as it is practical and will make hanging out the washing more enjoyable. LOL.

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  110. Lovely designs. I would choose Garden Dreams Calendar. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  111. Your designs are lovely - will select Colourwash Diamonds Quilt
    Thanks for the post -- loved the saga of so many FQs and a jelly roll. Looking forward to the next Consider the Lilies installment.

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  112. Love all your patterns but I like Vintage Peg Bag best.

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  113. Hearts and Braid Table Runner is just awesome. Amazing what can be made with a jelly rolls and left overs.

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  114. Hi, I probably like 'My Gardening Cupboard'
    best!

    Crispian

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  115. Hello, I really want the 'Country Fruit Table Runner'.

    Jomai

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  116. Wow, what am amazing range of projects from the fabrics brought. From your site Val I choose the Spring Showers Cushion. However now I think I am in love with all of the above projects too! Tracee xx

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  117. Who would have thought you could have made so much stuff from your left over's.
    I would choose "All my lovely sewing things"

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  118. I like a couple of patterns, but my favorite would be the Colorwash Diamonds Quilt.

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  119. I absolutely loved this post , wow you are an inspiration with all of those projects from your FQ'S , all very beautiful . It would be a hard choice to pick just one pattern but I REALLY love the Hearts and French Braid runner , just gorgeous but I would truly be happy to have any of your patterns.

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  120. Just love how you use up your stash and have to say that I love quite a few of your patterns but my number one would be Love Never Fails.. thank you again for the chance to win..

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  121. I am amazed that you were able to make so many projects from your fat quarters & jelly roll and they are all lovely. Viewed your patterns and to choose one was really hard, they are all fantastic but the Rose Delight Etui caught my fancy, i have never seen one made like that so it would be enjoyable to win!

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