TGIFF: Seminole Table Runner

I’m not sure what it is about the holidays but every year I get the wild hair to start something the week before Christmas that I MUST GET DONE by Christmas.

It happened last year with my first Dresden project that turned in to a holiday runner.  I was literally sewing the binding on before we left for our family gatherings! I was so proud of it that I took it with me so it would be used as a part of the holiday decor at each house we visited!

This year was no different. My husband went to Green Bay for a Packer’s game and went out of his way to find a quilt shop and bring home a kit for me. How thoughtful! Well, I started that project on Monday with the intention of working on it with my friend while the kids played together. That partially happened: I got to work on it but not with my friend because my son got very, very sick. ūüė¶

The first part of this project is linked here. Check it out so see how the runner top came together!

Since that Wednesday post, I’ve been stuck at home with a sick kid and a lot of rain. So I’ve poured all of that pent up energy¬†into¬†sewing. I hit up Joann’s Wednesday night with a few coupons and swatches from the runner to audition backing fabric.

I got down to four. The decision was tough as so many worked really well with all the colors or at least complemented them.

I ended up choosing that upper left fabric  with the poinsettias and ribbons. It had enough of each original color in it to tie the whole thing together while having a bit of gold sprinkled about to give it some holiday flare.

Then I sat down to sew. Now the biggest issue I had was that I wanted to quilt these grand things and really go ALL OUT with my designs. But as I started with a red thread on the red squares, I chickened out and stuck to what I know: a meander on the red and some straight lines on the green. I used red and green thread to blend in to the color square I was working on.

It’s been a long time since I’ve quilted something using my free motion foot and I forgot that I tend to hold my breath when I’m quilting. As I took off and made my first stitches, I totally caught myself NOT BREATHING!

It’s an odd thing…

To keep things moving and to simplify my job, I had my side-threading needle handy to bury my thread as I went. This way I wasn’t going back and having to seek out where I started and ended. Instead I was doing it then and there!

I decided to attach the binding to the back and fold over to the front where I pressed and clipped it down. Originally I started sewing the binding from the front to the back and I hated the way it looked. It gave it a “fringe” that I didn’t like. I think I used this technique WAY in the beginning with one of my first quilts and while it worked for me then, now I’ve progressed to a point where I know I can do better.

So I decided to attached the binding using the “stitch in the ditch” method for a quick and clean look. I did alright, much better than I have in the past with this method, although I did have a corner to fix and some areas where I missed the binding and had small gaps.

And before the clock struck midnight, I was done! I was aiming to do some of my best work (really focused on pressing and starching my fabrics before and during the process) and I feel I really did a great job!

All the fabrics seem to work well together. My binging is not too shabby (although it could still use some practice). My quilting has really come a long way and I like the flow of the two types; straight lines and the meander.

I used pins to hold down my binding and I took my time to measure and cut carefully¬†and yet, it’s still not completed flat and one end is a quarter inch wider than the other. I’m still working on achieving a more perfected rhythm to the whole thing. I’ll get there someday!

But hey… I started this runner on Monday and I finished by Friday. I’m proud of my self for sticking with something from beginning to end, trying some new techniques, and even going back to some old ones and working on improving them. Those are some big improvements in the way I tend to work so this is a serious accomplishment for me!

And this weekend¬†it will travel with me to all of the holiday parties we have lined up. I may even leave it up until we go back to school. I mean, why not? It’s beautiful and I want to leave it out so I can enjoy it as long as I can!

Check out our side bar for some great link ups. This post will be added to the list of other great finished over at Crazy Mom Quilts!

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WIP: Seminole Table Runner

I’ve got a wonderful man in my life. Not only is he my best friend but he is a great guy all around.

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Recently he traveled all the way to Green Bay to see his favorite football team play in the snow. He’s nuts, we know. Leaving the mild Southern California fall/winter weather for the freezing temps of Wisconsin to sit through a Packer game at Lambeau field just because he loves Green Bay that much.

But that’s not what makes him great. While there, he went to Manitowoc to see the sights and take a few pictures but he also went looking for a quilt shop for me. And while there, he picks dup a beautiful Terry Atkinson Christmas table runner kit.

It was a wonderful surprise to receive when he came home. And a beautiful one too! Once I was out of school and on break, I decided to dive in and give this kit a go. It seemed clear cut and simple enough that I could put it together by Christmas.

I started on Monday night and put a good 3 hours in. I made sure to press everything before cutting and¬†to¬†be as meticulous with the instructions as possible. I wanted to do a really good job (not that I don’t always want to do a good job but sometimes I just want to get done more than anything).

I slowly made progress and found the instructions in this kit really easy to understand! I’m usually so turned off from ¬†patterns because they seem to be poorly written and hard for me to understand. I’m so visual I do best when I can see the information as well as read each step.

So far so good! I’ve made it to the point that I’m ready to add the inner borders and then I just have to cut the thicker borders to wrap up the top.¬†img_0786

A friend is planning on coming over tomorrow to sew with me so I’d love to have the whole thing basted and ready to quilt by then. After the kiddos bedtime tonight I plan to sit down and get the top finished. I’ll have to dig up some batting and maybe even shop for a little bit of backing fabric if I don’t have it in my stash.

Crossing fingers I can stick to my sewing schedule so that I’m not rushing to finish it like I did last year with the Dresden wall hanging that I was literally binding on Christmas Eve!

For this post and other great WIP posts, check out the side bar for link ups around the web!

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Hobbies Up To Here Episode #35

Hey Hobbyist and Crafters, it’s a special day today! Not only is it our podcast day but it’s our anniversary!!!

Happy 1st year Hobbies Up To Here!!
Check out our first podcast episode for old time’s sake!
Episode One

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On today’s podcast we list our top 5 projects that are the most memorable over the last year. It’s never easy to pick your favorite quilt or craft but we made the tough choices and are excited to share them with you!

Katie’s Top Five Favorites

  • My 4th of July table runner was my first quilted project that really came together beautifully. I loved everything about it!

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  • Another finished runner, our Halloween runners, came out so different yet so great. We love them both!

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  • It seems any time I tried something new, I loved the outcome. My Christmas Dresden hanging came out beautifully and I would love to have it out all year long!

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  • The holidays really lit a creative fire and I couldn’t put it out. Along with my quilting projects, another holiday favorite was my Christmas wreath.

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Katie’s Honorable Mention

During podcast episode 4, my mom surprised me with a new sewing machine. My Elna, aka Rosy, has become my best friend. I’m so thankful for the gift and so grateful for the opportunity to work with it!

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Dori’s Top Five Favorites

  • Dori’s first favorite memory recalls her first finish! Mike’s birthday quilt, the Music Quilt, was a grand undertaking and it came out beautifully!

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  • She also did a beautiful Dresden plate for a baby quilt that came out so¬†incredible. It really showed how much she’s grown and how far her quilting has come.

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  • She also attempted some “3D sewing” and made a purse for my sister’s birthday. While the pattern was not as clear as she would like, it still looks amazing.

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  • And Dori’s last favorite is her current in-progress project, paper piecing. Having gone from not knowing that paper piecing existing to this beautiful outcome is saying a lot about her talent!

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Dori’s Honorable Mention

It can be easy to forget where you started but Dori’s honorable mention is just that, her first official finished quilt from this past year. Her first baby quilt was not only her first in decades but her first quilt-as-you-go!

A Last Honorable Mention (Or Two!)

QuiltCon was an amazing experience! Check out my mom’s thoughts on meeting Mary Fons and Jenny Doan,¬†our live podcast episode while we were there, our wrap-up podcast after we returned, and¬†our¬†YouTube¬†video to share our thoughts.

The So Cal Quilter’s Run happens every June and local quilt shops participate in a themed shop-hop that runs two weekends in June. We went last year and had a blast and we plan to go again this year. Hopefully we’ll get to hang out again with our friend Melanie at Thousand¬†Needles and maybe even visit a few shops together!

We have some exciting goals we want to work towards this coming year so make sure to subscribe to us wherever you can and return as often as possible to keep up with all of our crafty endeavors. And THANK YOU THANK YOU to all our listeners. Without you, we’d just be two crazy ladies sitting around, talking about our hobbies!

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TGIFF: Halloween Table Runner Sew Along

There is nothing like the satisfaction of a finished product!

This week we completed¬†our month long Sew Along project¬†and our table runners¬†couldn’t have come out looking more different and more adorable than they did!

We had a nice chat last night on our podcast about what we enjoyed and what we didn’t, what we would leave as is and what we would change.

Overall, we loved our runners and how they turned out. Only a few small changes would be made.

Katie’s Binding

For me, my binding technique still needs to be refined. I’m not 100% happy with the way it came out so I feel that this is a skill I still need to improve upon even though I’ve bound multiple projects.

Dori experimented with the roll over binding from the backing and even played with a different styled stitch. It really gives the finished look a nice touch!

Dori’s Binding

Dori and both agree that appliqu√© is the shizz!! While Dori loves her pumpkins, she learned a few other techniques that she wants to incorporate in her next appliqu√© project. She’s even talking about hand stitching our appliqu√©d pieces. I’m good with the outcome and just need to continue practicing.

Dori’s Pumpkins

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Katie’s Pumpkin

As for our free motion quilting… WELL… That’s a whole different story. While I like my end result, I know for certain I can use a lot of practice. I need to learn to BREATHE through my free motion quilting as I tend to hold my breath. And Dori also felt that her free motion needs some practice.

We¬†both had the similar thought¬†it wouldn’t be so difficult and yet when we got going, we both realized¬†that it was tougher than we expected. What we both took away from this project is that we want to work on our free motion quilting because it’s definitely a technique that we like but need some major work on!

Katie’s FM Webs

More FM Webs

We both used a fabric pencil to draw in the straight lines and a few of the strains between but found that it was easier to just go with it after awhile instead of spending time drawing in every single line.

Dori’s FM Web

We both had a problem with nesting threads on the back of our runners though we tried different techniques. I know we need to tack down our quilting but my machine didn’t want to corporate with me and make it neat. So I have clusters of thread knots along the edges of my backing.

Katie’s Nests

Katie’s Finished Product

In the end we have a finished product ready to be placed out for everyone to see for Halloween! It’s been a learning experience but we got a lot out of it.

Doris Finished Product

Check out our side bar for all the great sites we link up with weekly. Today this post is linked to Crazy Mom Quilts, TGIFF at Faith and Fabric, A Quilted Passion, and over at Richard and Tanya Quilts.

 

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Hobbies Up To Here Episode #18

It’s been two weeks TOO LONG but we’re back with episode #18!

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What we learned from this episode is that we don’t do well with late night podcasting! This one goes off the rails a bit but hang with us and enjoy the wild ride!

Hope everyone enjoys the weekend! We do celebrate Halloween and we’re looking forward to the costume parties and parades and all those goodies!

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Our Hobbies Up To Here Sew Along is all done! We’ll be posting the official finished products some time this weekend. For now, check back to watch our progress on our table runners for Halloween!

Week One
Week Two
Week Three

If you haven’t discovered Periscope yet, we highly suggest checking it out! It’s a free app that allows you to watch or broadcast live content and interact with your viewers at the same time. Dori and I both have discovered a love for Periscope.

The #honestcraftroomies hashtag on Instagram helps you to link with other quilters and see the weekly schedule for the Periscope hop that has been taking place Tuesday and Thursday evenings. We’ve had such a positive response to the hops that we’re now broadcasting two nights a week!

Check out our side bar on the right for some great website and link ups around the blogosphere to enjoy!

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Sew Along Week 3: Borders, Backing, and Quilting Galore!

A day late but never fear, we are here!!!

This week both of us had company in from out of town plus a lot of events going on so it was a weekend without sewing…EEKK!!!

That also meant no podcast this week and our Sew Along is a day late. BUT, we have an update and our next steps to begin wrapping up our table runners for Halloween.

Before going ahead, check out Week 1 and Week 2 first to see our process from the very beginning.

Don’t forget to check out our past podcast episodes if you haven’t already. We talk about all our hobbies and then some!

For week 2 we focused on our appliquéing. Our tops were done and we had an idea for our appliqué images but we both had very different ideas on placement and design. Which is what makes this whole project awesome. We each have similar  goals but will end up with different results.

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We initially went with the original size from the link but realized as we went along that it’s actually a bit too small. So we amped up the size and made it bigger! Due to this being my first attempt at appliqu√©ing I decided to leave out some of the smaller details and simply added a second leaf to my pumpkin. I also attached it to the center of my runner.

My mom chose to make TWO pumpkins, one on each end. Her thought is that she tends to place her decor right in the center of her runner so having the images on the ends would keep them visible and the table runner usable. Makes sense!

As you can see from our fabric choices below , we have some similar thoughts about fabric and color but we are VERY different. While we both chose to go with three colors and range from orange to yellow, I went with a deeper orange and made a wide jump to a lemony yellow at the center. My mom stayed closer in tone with her colors and her change from the darkest shade to lightest has less of a jump and more of a flow.

Mine (left) and my mom’s (right)

Test run

To make sure I didn’t screw up my whole runner, I was smart and took my time making a smaller pumpkin to do a test run with. ¬†I was really happy with the outcome! I used a black thread and a blanket stitch to give my design a Frankenstein like appearance and I think it worked out well!

My finished project!

While I think overall I did a pretty good job, my tight corners and smaller spaces need some work! I couldn’t remember where the needle would land with the stitch so I would pivot incorrectly and it got a bit jumbled up on my leaves.

For my mom, she went a completely different direction. Using the same stitch, she actually changed out her thread and used a different color for each piece. She went with yellows and oranges that matched her fabric. So not only did she do TWO pumpkin, but she also had to change out her thread for each new fabric!

She even has a nice green for all of the smaller details and the leaves. Fabulous!

Now it’s time to start wrapping things up. Time for our week 3 steps!

Week 3 Instructions

  • Using your choice of multiple fabrics, cut 1 1/2 inch strips from one and 2 1/2 inch strips from another. Then, attach the smaller strips to the patchwork top followed by the larger strips around the outside.
  • Press and trim where needed.
  • Layer¬†using the top with the borders attached, batting, then a backing of a new fabric or a previously used fabric. For a fold over binding that matches¬†your backing fabric, make sure to leave 2-3 inches or more of the backing fabric extended beyond the end of your runner.
  • With basting pins or spray, adhere the three layers together, smoothing out as you go.
  • Quilt with your choice of pattern. Have a blast designing as you wish!

Week 4 we’ll trim the layers and get to binding. How we will bind our runners hasn’t been discussed but for now we’ll focus on layering everything together and getting that quilting finished.

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Sew Along Week 2: Time To Appliqu√©

Week 1 was a huge success! Not only did we both get our tops done in time but we also really liked how they came together. Nothing is worse than working hard on a project and not loving how it turns out!

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My mom did add an extra row and my son did accidentally get a bloody nose while holding my runner, but all in all they came out great! If that is the worst of the issues we run into, then I’ll be happy!

Now we’re ready for week 2! Appliqu√©!

Through the wild world of Pinterest, we found our template for our pumpkin. Kathryn over at The Scrap Beach posted her layered pumpkin template and we fell in love with it.

We decided that we would appliqu√© before we added borders so that we wouldn’t have so much extra fabric to manipulate while sewing down our designs. For now that seems like a GREAT idea but we won’t really know until we’re done so make sure to check back and see how it worked out for us.

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Using¬†my mom’s homemade light table to trace and cut out out pumpkin appliqu√© pieces really helps to see through the designs and onto the appliqu√© paper, giving us more precision when tracing. My mom is a step ahead of me due to the supplies being handy in her work space so we were able to see that the pumpkins are a little too small.

Yeah…it’s cute but not quite what we are going for.¬†With some elbow grease and lots of patience, we were able to enlarge them¬†a bit using my mom’s¬†¬†printer/copier. Now we have two sizes to work with if we choose.

My mom has her fabric all picked out with a sparkling orange as her biggest pieces, a lighter orange with some white and yellow texture to the second layer, and the top being a muted yellow.

Even though her colors look great and there is enough fabric for me to cut from it for my own pumpkins, I wasn’t sold on it. It just wasn’t ME.

Now these….THESE are very moi!

So together we went to Joann’s and I played with all the fabrics! I love fabric shopping. I’d rather shop at a quilt store, especially some of the smaller ones near us but sometimes Joann’s is all I can manage time wise (and cost wise). I was a little pressed for time so I had to skip the smaller mom and pop shops.

Smartly, my mom brought her runner with her pumpkin already ironed on. I was able to match the fabrics to her runner and sift through all the colors until I made my decision. I tend to walk into our local shop and take over this little workbench they have set up near the fabric section. I spread out all my choices and play with everything I think looks good.

And here they are!

In the end I went with simple patterns but a gradient change from dark orange to a light lemony yellow. Now for our plan!

Week 2 Instructions

  • Piece and trim runner top.
  • Choose three colors/patterns to layer for your pumpkin and two for your leaves/tendrils.
  • Using the template for the pumpkins (or your choice of picture) print and resize as needed.
  • Trace your picture onto paper backed fusible webbing. ¬†We used Lite Steam-A-Seam2. ¬†Remember that your traced image will be fused to the back of your fabric, so take note of the direction of the design and flip the image before tracing it, if needed.
  • Cut out the images on the fusible webbing with a bit of a margin around each piece.
  • Peel one side of the paper backing, and place sticky web side to the wrong side of your fabric.
  • Cut out each appliqu√© piece.
  • Apply to your runner, layering from the bottom to the top piece.
  • Then appliqu√© into place using thread and stitch of your choice.

Check back on Friday for our podcast when we dish on our experience for week 2 of our sew along. If you missed last week’s podcast, listen here and find out what worked and what didn’t.

Peek at our wonderful side bar there and see a few of the great link ups we play along with. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a new blogging friend to follow!

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WIP: Sew Along Table Runner

We love Halloween! So this past weekend we decided to start a Halloween craft together!

Using our Haunted Mansion charm pack by Moda, we planned it out together! You can check out our post here to see our layout and applique plans.

I had a good start this weekend due to some free time. Plus I knew that if I didn’t get a jump on it, my week would fill up fast with work. While my mom and I were able to work together a bit on our runners, we spent most of our time apart working separately.

This is my mom’s layout as she had it on her design wall. Pretty cute thus far!¬†

Later on she sent me a picture of her finished top! How quickly she worked!

Great job, mom! Our next step will begin this weekend when we design and layout our appliqué pumpkins!

Now for my runner….with a story.

My runner top was completed yesterday. I put a lot of the work in earlier in the week due to my hectic schedule of work and mom duties. I really wanted my runner to come out well so I took the time to square things up, press my seams open, and spray the snot out of it with fabric starch. It was looking great and I was super pleased with my finished product.

Then my son happened…

I told him to grab my runner so we could snap some shots for the blog today. He happily ran upstairs to get the runner and model like the goofball he is.

Then this happened.

Poor guy is prone to nose bleeds. He has them at night, in the morning, at school, while walking, talking, hell even when swimming. You name it, he’ll bleed.

While he was holding my runner, all perfectly pressed and immaculate, he suddenly exclaimed, “MOM! Bloody nose!” Of course this would happen right at the moment I have him hold my project I worked so hard on! Gah!!!

Lucky for me I have some Oxiclean handy for his nosebleeds.

I sprayed this stuff on all the spots and worked quickly to scratch out the blood spots on the runner. Oddly, it didn’t make a HUGE mess, it just happened to have dripped ALL THE WAY DOWN. Just a drop every couple of blocks down the whole way.

Sigh….

It’s now drying out on our patio. I just had to laugh. It’s been a rough week. We’ve had plumbing issues and I’ve had to deal with tension at work so my sewing was one of my joys that helped me get away from the bad things happening. So for it to get dirty with blood was just comical, in a Murphy’s Law kinda way.

I’m still proud of my work. It looks great and I’m ready to start the road to appliqu√©ing my pumpkin on!

Check out our side bar for some great link ups around the internet! This is linked up with Sew Cute Tuesday,¬†WIP Wednesday and Let’s Bee Social!

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Sew Along Week 1: Cutting and Piecing, HO!

This Fall Dori (aka Mom) and I decided to create a project that we could both work on together. We discussed what we wanted to gain from our project and which skills we wanted to work on so that by the end, when we had the finished product, we would feel like we improved in some areas and maybe learned a new skill, too!

Since we both love Fall and I have these great packs from Moda called Haunted Mansion by Sanae, we decided on a pattern and a sewing schedule so that we could work together or on our own. We even picked out a cute pumpkin applique to add a little extra practice in layering and adding some decoration to our project.

Using the charm pack, which has 42 mixed squares of a Halloween theme, we decided to make an alternating pattern like the one below.

Sew Along

We will cut each square in half then mix them up and sew two together to create a single square. Those pairs will then be trim down to 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 in squares and attached to another square. A row will consist of four squares alternating from vertical to horizontal, like above.

Our whole table runner will run 4 squares x 9 squares. We will include two borders, a slim 1 1/2 in border followed by a thicker 2 1/2 in border to finish.¬†We’ve even gone so far as to agree that our binding will match our backing!

Here is a sneak peek at the trimmed and ready squares waiting to be put into rows.

If you’d like to play along, we’re starting this week and checking in every Friday (podcasting day!) until October 30th when we will reveal what we have completed. The length of time for this project is so that we don’t abandon all of our other projects or our day to day chores/jobs. You can play along or just follow our progress here. On Instagram we’ve created our own hashtag #huthsewalong for easy progress monitoring.

Week 1 is cutting and piecing. We are aiming to be ready to with a completed top by the weekend of Oct 2nd. Week 2 and the next steps will be posted next Sunday.

Week 1 Instructions

  • To start,¬†you’ll need 5×5 squares of any fabric or a charm pack to start. Having at least 32 squares should be enough but it never hurts to have a few more, just in case.
  • Cut all of these in half to 2 1/2 in x5 in strips.
  • Mix them up and sew all of the strips into pairs.
  • Press open the seams then trim the squares to 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 in squares.
  • Then, alternating the squares between vertical and horizontal, sew a row of four squares.
  • Create nine¬†rows then sew them all together to create a completed top.

We’ll share our progress during next week’s podcast. Don’t forget to the check back each week to see how our individual runners are coming along!

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Hobbies Up To Here Episode #12

It’s hard to believe but summer is officially over. The kids are going back to school and homework is now an evening activity instead of swimming until bedtime.

While it’s depressing to think that beach days are over and sleeping in is a thing of the past, now we have the holidays to look forward to!

So listen in and join us as we start talking about holiday crafting ideas, especially for Halloween, my personal favorite!

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Can you tell we’re excited about starting a project together? I think we’ve decided definitely on a table runner and going with a Halloween theme first. If we’re lucky and we like the process, then maybe we’ll do the same for Christmas and Thanksgiving!

If you haven’t had the chance to check out our vlog on opening and going through our stash, be sure to watch our Youtube video on it.

Any holiday projects on the books for you??