Friday, October 28, 2011

Author Interview & Review | Modern Basics by Amy Ellis

Author and co-founder of the Sewing Summit, a sewing and blogging conference for the modern sewist, Amy Ellis has made a name for herself in the quilting stratosphere with the release of her book, Modern Basics: Easy Quilts to Fit Your Budget, Space, and Style. Published earlier this year by That Patchwork Place, an imprint of Martingale & Company, Amy's book celebrates the creative person who lives in a busy household. For those of you who tell yourselves, "I don't have the time or space to quilt," yes you do!

In her book Amy showcases 14 different quilt projects each constructed from one repeating block design. Beautifully photographed and filled with great tips, Modern Basics would make the perfect gift for a beginner or someone who's interested in quilting, but needs a little nudge to take the leap. We all know that quilting can get overwhelming sometimes, even inconvenient. To help, Amy includes several tips throughout her book about topics like design walls, choosing fabrics, organizing your projects and encourages you to enjoy the process.

Filled to the brim with 63 pages of original, contemporary quilt designs I recommend this book to non-quilters, confident beginners, all the way up to advanced quilters looking to share their love of quilting with the younger generation. I encourage you to grab a copy of Modern Basics today. You or someone you know might just be inspired to make your very first quilt!

A few months ago I had the opportunity to email Amy a few questions about her book. Here's a transcript of the interview:

RWQ: Thanks for talking with me today Amy. Modern basics is a wonderful book for people looking to fit quilting in their busy schedules. In your introduction you mention most often the people who say they don’t have time to quilt are most in need of a creative outlet. Would you say this book came about because of your own need to express yourself creatively while trying to manage a busy household?

Absolutely! My house is non-stop, like so many other moms, yet I have this deep desire, or need to create on a regular basis. I’m fortunate enough to stay home with our four kids (3 in school this year), and am so thankful, as it has afforded me opportunities I never could have dreamed of!

RWQ: How long have you been quilting Amy? What design/fabrics did you use for your first quilt?

My oldest is eleven now, and that’s how long I’ve been quilting. I used simple charms, but living in Southern California at the time, I skipped the batting, didn’t want her to overheat! Next I moved on to tiny 9-patches alternated with a white on white fabric - simple and fun! I didn’t learn about designer fabrics for a few more years, so those were made with less quality fabrics. I learned to sew garments as a girl, and love the methodical process of quilting now, as it is the only thing that stays done around our house.

RWQ: My favorite quilt in your book is the Basic Puzzle featured on page 33. Can you tell us how that design came about?

Basic Puzzle is one of my favorites too! I actually was watching Project Runway, and I saw a wall in one of the apartments that had wood in the same shape repeated. I had to pause the tv, and grab my sketch pad! From there it was just a matter of getting the proportions to a size that I liked, and sorting out the puzzle as I pieced it!

RWQ: What quilt in your book was the most fun for you to make?

Hmm, that’s tough! Modern Maze narrowly wins over a couple others. It’s a simple quilt to piece, yet it’s so dynamic! I remember staying up, even later than planned, to watch it come together into a quilt top.

RWQ: What is your most favorite part of the quilting process, what is your least favorite part?

I love finishing the binding (by hand) and watching the final product as it transforms into a quilt, finally. My least favorite is cutting, but only because my back usually hurts when I’m done! I need a taller table.

RWQ: Are you a one quilt at a time type of person or do you have multiple projects going on at once?

Both! Usually I’m working on my next deadline, while something fun is catching my eye in my fabric drawer. So I try to stay focused, and get what needs to be done, done. However, while working on the quilts in my book, I learned I was faster when I simultaneously pieced three quilts, instead of cutting one, piecing one.

RWQ: When you design a quilt do you already have the fabrics in mind that you want to use or do you select fabrics after the design is complete?

In the last year, I’ve started designing in solids first, then once I’ve found the right overall look for the pattern, I’ll add in fabrics until I have it just right. Instead of a sketch pad, I’m now designing on the computer, which makes this so much fun! I’m always designing something new, and when I see a group of fabrics I like, I look over my designs to see which I like best for it.

RWQ: Please tell us about the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival you host. I always enjoy visiting your website, more so during Quilt Festival time!

Bloggers’ Quilt Festival is my bi-annual event scheduled around Quilt Market, for bloggers to showcase their current favorite quilt! I love reading the stories behind the quilts, so often the making of a quilt is emotional, or healing in some way to the maker. And quilts are always made with love, so having that understanding, makes each quilt even more special! And that is what I always find lacking when I walk the halls full of quilts at a “live” festival - the emotional connection. Anyway, any one can join, there’s no judging, just a fun community of quilters, sharing, and connecting with one another. Oh, and I have fantastic sponsors each time, with an abundance of giveaways!

Visit Amy's Creative Side during the week of October 28th thru November 4, 2001 to see the quilts featured in this seasons festival!

The first Sewing Summit has come and gone. Amy shares with us a little insite about the included activities:

"Earlier this month a group of 200 sewists gathered in downtown Salt Lake City, for a non-stop weekend! The Sewing Summit is the brain child of myself and my partner Erin - we planned, and made decisions for an entire year before the event came to fruition. It was an amazing time - imagine a room full of your blogging friends, whom you've never met, but "know". There were lots of nervous butterfly's the first evening, but once everyone started chatting, the rest of the weekend was a blur of activity! We offered classes in garment, bag and quilt construction; with lots of inspiration in every class. I hope you will make plans to join us next year!"

Links :
Amy's Sewing Summit Recap
Official Sewing Summit Recap
Erin Singleton's Website (Co-Founder)

To learn more about Amy and her book, Modern Basics: Easy Quilts to Fit Your Budget, Space, and Style, please visit www.amyscreativeside.com. Amy has generously offered a copy of her book to one of my lucky readers! If you'd like to win, please leave a comment on this post. Only one entry per person. All duplicate entries will be deleted!

I will draw several winners using the Random Number Generator and announce them here in an upcoming post!


You can purchase a copy of Modern Basics at the Fat Quarter Shop!

Happy quilting,

101 comments:

  1. I love her blog and haven't managed to get my hands on a copy of this book yet.

    Thanks for the chance!

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  2. I would love to win a copy of this book, thanks for the opportunity. I'm dying to make that first one that's pictured.

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  3. Those look like so much fun! I'd love to give the one with the crosses a try.

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  4. OOOhhh! Would love to win, and go to summit next year!

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  5. Great interview! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  6. Fun book and a busy quilter!!! I don't know how she does it all. thanks for the chance!

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  7. Amy is such an amazing lady. She coordinates the very fun Bloggers Quilt Festival every Spring and Fall. Her book looks so awesome! Thanks for offering a copy to give away.

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  8. Amy's book looks great! Thanks for the chance to win! :)

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  9. I would love a copy of this book to add to the growing list of projects I am never going to have the time to make. Think I will have to live to be 200 to get everything done.
    The key to immortality - never finish your to-do list. :)

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  10. I really enjoyed reading the interview and think that this book sounds like it would be a great resource for someone like me. While I have some experience quilting, I'm still very much a beginner and completely self-taught, so I would love to have a more formal resource to refer to. I will have to get my hands on a copy of Amy's book (maybe even win it here!). Thanks for the giveaway!

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  11. I'm hooked. I think this book would be so useful since it sounds like the quilt patterns in it were designed just for people like me!

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  12. Looks like a great book! thanks for the interview I always love to hear how others work, what they are inspired by and I always love reading book reviews!
    there is nothing more I treasure then my quilt book collection, ok yes there is my children/family then my books, then my quilts!
    thanks
    Kathie

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  13. Amy's book looks like it has lots of fun, creative projects. I would love to have this book join my quilting library.

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  14. Love the pics of modern quilts...this book looks like a lot of fun!

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  15. Working outside the home does cramp my ability to quilt as often as I'd like. Having simply quick quilt patterns would work for us busy ladies! Thanks for the opportunity to win this wonderful book!

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  16. I don't know how Amy gets done all she does! this book looks gorgeous.

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  17. Amy's book looks great and I enjoyed "meeting" her through the interview. With a house full of young children, I don't know how she does it all!

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  18. I would love to win this book! Thanks for the opportunity.

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  19. Thanks for the chance to win! Amy's quilts look awesome! :)

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  20. Looks like a great book. Thanks for the chance!

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  21. I love what looks to be the modern maze quilt pattern. Such a happy cover to her book!

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  22. I just love modern style quilts! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this fantastic book!

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  23. I am new to quilting and would benefit from a copy of this book. The use of colors is just fabulous. Thanks!

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  24. I appreciate the chance to win a copy of this book! Thank you!

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  25. Looks like a great book, Thanks for the chance to win!!

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  26. Thanks for the review of the book and a chance to win it. Kathie L in Allentown

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  27. Love Amy's blog! Love yours too, Ryan! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  28. I'd would love reading this booking and learning more. Dacia

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  29. What a great interview and book. Would love to win.! Thanks for the chance.

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  30. love this post. i too, thought i did not have time or space to quilt. untill i actually got off my butt and did it.

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  31. This book sounds right up my alley! Would love to have it.

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  32. Looks like a wonderful book. Thanks for the chance!

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  33. I follow Amy, and have been wanting to get her book for a while now! Maybe I can win one! Thanks for the chance!

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  34. Thanks for the great interview and another great blog to check out!! Would love to win this book. Thanks for the chance.

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  35. I love the bloggers quilt festival. It's so much fun to see great quilts.

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  36. Great interview! I am fortunate to have space & time (after work) to quilt. If I win the book I will give it to my daughter for inspiration for her busy life.

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  37. I really love Amy's puzzle quilt--it's on my to-do list!

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  38. This book has been on my wish list! Thanks for the chance!

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  39. I read Amy's blog and love what she does. Thank you for the chance to win her book. Take care and God bless, Cory

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  40. Wow, this book looks great! I will definitely add it to my next order at the Fat Quarter Shop!

    Kathy McDonald

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  41. thanks for the review and chance to win!

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  42. This book looks like a great one to have. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  43. This book looks like a great one to have. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  44. I'd love to create some quilts from this book! THANKS for the chance!
    ourbusylittlebunch(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  45. looks like a fantastic book! that puzzle quilt is great.

    thanks!

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  46. I would love to add this book to my library. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

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  47. Amy's blog is one of my favorites. So busy lady but takes time for others. Love the book, want the book. Thanks

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  48. I'd love a copy of this book! Thanks for the interview and the giveaway!

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  49. Thanks for another great interview and a chance to win a copy of this book.

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  50. I've wanting to attempt quilting, but am afraid to try it - this book might be just what I need to get motivated to try it!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  51. Thanks for the opportunity to get a copy of Amy's book.

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  52. I just 'pinned' two of these quilts (new to Pinterest, but loving it!). Gorgeous! Hope I win the book so I can make them!

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  53. This book looks good. It's inspiring to know that a busy mom of 4 can write a book. (I have 5, 11 and under so I'm in the same boat.)

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  54. i would enjoy amy's book and would like to win it! thanx for the opportunity to do so!

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  55. Looks like a nice book, Amy has a nice blog and manages to get a lot accomplished in her busy life.

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  56. Great interview! I love Amy's blog & have loved reading about the Sewing Summit. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of the book.

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  57. I have been eyeing Amy's book since it came out, and it was fun to read a little background on her. Thanks for the chance to win it!

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  58. This book is on my Christmas list!

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  59. Thanks for the great interview! I have been looking at this book and would love to win it!

    Sandy A

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  60. Love these interviews-learn that we all have creative juices just waiting for a chance to channel them!
    Thanks!

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  61. Well, I now have another blog to follow!Love the quilts featured in this post, so sure would like to be the winner of her new book!
    Thanks for the giveaway!!

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  62. Enjoyed your interview with Amy and would love to win her book. I'm teaching one of my children how to quilt-long distance-he's in CA and I'm in Ar, but it is at his request! This book would be great to gift to him, so thanks for the opportunity! sharonbrown.99@comcast.net

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  63. Ryan, great interview, and Amy, your book looks fabulous! I'd love to win a copy and thanks for the opportunity!

    ljhlaw{at}cableone{dot}net

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  64. thanks for the great interview with amy. i enjoy her blog.

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  65. That looks like a great book! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  66. Ah, how I wish I had gone to Sewing Summit. Maybe next year... I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks!

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  67. I'm always amazed and impressed by what Amy accomplishes. This is a great book--thanks for the chance to win a copy.

    wordygirl at earthlink dot net

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  68. This book is on my (increasingly long) wishlist. Amy makes plain block patterns practically sing! Thanks for the opportunity. Tania.

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  69. Great interview! Love reading about other stay-at-home quilting moms!

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  70. Excited about the book! Thanks for a great giveaway!

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  71. Love the quilts. Need this book for inspiration and instruction. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Mary Beth

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  72. Amy is so great! I sure hope I get to go to Sewing Summit one day and meet her!

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  73. I'm excited to go and check out the Blogger's Quilt Festival this year!

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  74. Thanks for a chance to win this fun book, I'm such a fan of Amy's blog.

    rhianneholmes(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  75. Would love to win this book! I'm a very beginning quilter and this book sound like just what I need.

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  76. Thanks for a great interview with Amy! I'd love to win a copy of her book!

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  77. Thanks for the chance to win one of Amy's books. One of the first blogs that I read when started my quilting adventures was Amy's!

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  78. my favourite is the puzzle quilt too!
    beautiful!

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  79. Thanks for the interview with Amy and a chance to win her book. Looks like she has a lot of quilt patterns in her book that would be fun to make.

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  80. I've been a huge fan of her blog for a while. Would love a copy of this book - and I know who I'd love to share it with as well. Thanks!

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  81. I follow her blog and have had this book on my wish list since it came out. It would be wonderful to win a copy. Thanks for the chance.

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  82. I love that modern wall quilt with the brown border and sashing. (And I'd love to win a copy of her book too!)

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  83. great interview with Amy - thanks for the chance to win her book!

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  84. I would love to win one of those books. I follow her blog as often as I can. Thanks for the chance to win one.

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  85. Thanks for a great interview. Being a new quilter this book sounds like a great one for me. Thank you and Amy for the giveaway.

    missmoozie(at)gmail(dot)com

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  86. I'd love to add this book to my shelves. It seems to be full of fun projects !
    Thanks for the chance

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  87. This book is on my wish list. I'd love to win a copy. Thank you!

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  88. Oh I would love this book, could definately use some more advice on "fitting" quilting into everyday life and Modern Basics sounds like just the tool. Who couldn't use another quilt book! Thanks for the opportunity.

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  89. Would love to win a copy of this book! Love her blog!

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  90. Great interview - and this book looks awesome! I really like the cover quilt :)

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  91. I would love her new book. Thank you so much for offering the giveaway items.

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  92. I love giveaways especially if it is an awesome book. Thanks.

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  93. What a great book!! Id love to win a copy!

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  94. Another great interview Ryan, Thanks. Amy's book looks great and I love her quilts. Total eye candy!!

    Thanks for the giveaway and a chance to win.

    usairdoll(at)gmail(dot)com

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  95. I love this book - got it from the library and is on my wish list :) thanks for the review/interview and giveaway!! The book is great.

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  96. I really enjoy looking at the quilts at the Bloggers Quilt Festival. I haven't put up a quilt there, but who know, maybe next spring!

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  97. I have been eyeing this book and would love to win a copy!

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  98. Hi! Greetings from Finland! I love the quilts! They are so stunning! It's so nice to find other quilters all around the world! :)

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