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Back from vacation...

I'm back from two weeks vacation and have had to drag myself back to the computer to work again.

I spent the first week of vacation in Shipshewana, Indiana at the Dear Jane quilt retreat. I missed going last fall so it was especially wonderful to see old friends and meet some delightful new ones as well. The weather was interesting the last day we were there - these two photos were taken 10 minutes apart! It was fun to see snow the last day we were there and a relief to not see too much of it on our drive home the next day!

 
I stitched all the way up on the drive but spent the rest of the past two weeks doing hand applique. I'm hoping to put a quilt in our local guild's quilt show in April and was able to get a lot accomplished but I still have to stay on task the next few months! I finished up the 40 applique blocks for the quilt - here are the last ones I finished up at the retreat - I'm not sure what I was thinking when I picked out the brown flowers in the middle one...there's red in them but it sure doesn't show up in the photo. My background fabric is fun - it looks like an overdyed fabric with tints of blue and green. It's more subtle in person than this photo shows.
 

 
 Here is a border that I finished last week (it's 72 inches!) - three more to go! After finishing this, I think I can finally say I'm comfortable with hand applique. It has been a long time coming...
 
and a close-up of part of it...
 
This is a fun quilt but I'll be glad to get it done, mostly so I can start something else. I've been working on it since March to the exclusion of everything else in my sewing room and am looking forward to getting back to my machine.
 
I celebrated Thanksgiving and my birthday (same day) with my family in North Carolina - since it was a big birthday (you know, the ones with a zero at the end), mom made a cake and even put candles on it. By the time they were blown out, wax had to be scraped off the frosting, giving everyone present a great laugh. It's always fun to have my birthday fall on Thanksgiving, especially as I was born on Thanksgiving as well.
 
 
Will write again soon with photos of stitching in progress...until then, keep the needles moving and pause to enjoy the holidays... I'm still trying to decide if I want to take the time to put up a tree...
 
Kathy
 

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