Giving Back

Quilt

Stashpoppa and I are getting ready for an adventure in Brazil so there is a long list of to-do items before the adventure can begin.  One of those items was to attend a wedding shower for a friend’s daughter.  During our conversation my friend mentioned that she still had her daughter’s wedding quilt to quilt and with the wedding  just one week away, she knew she was running out of time.  I weighed in my head all the things this dear friend still needed to do, in addition to her daily employment, and all the things I still needed to do and I decided that helping my friend was the most important thing I should do.  So I offered to quilt the wedding quilt for her.  Knowing that this friend also quilts I wasn’t too sure that my offer would be accepted.  But I had offered!

Three days later there was a knock on my front door.  The bride stood there with her quilt and asked if my offer still stood.  Of course I said yes.  She thanked me profusely and said that her mother would be so relieved if I would do this for them.  That evening was spent putting the quilt on my rails and the next day was dedicated to quilting the wedding quilt.  I had my fingers crossed all day that my machine would cooperate fully, especially that the thread and tension would get along nicely so that the stitching would be perfect.

Corner  Border

After a long day at the rails, having had to unpick only one small section, the quilt was finished.  As I removed it from the rails I marveled that the stitching was almost perfect.  Almost always when I quilt I have to unpick at least one or two rows because of tension issues.  For whatever reason, this day my machine, the threads, and tension, were all in agreement and the finished product was indeed a beauty.

Back

The colors of the quilt are so vibrant and fresh yet timeless that it is one of my favorite quilts.  Also,the bride and both her parents were so pleased with the results that it was very rewarding to know that I had been able to help.  But isn’t that what service to others is all about?

Christmas in April?

It is when I get a Santa quilt finished in plenty of time to display it this coming Christmas which is still 8 months away! Yahoo!!

XmasScraps

This is actually the second quilt I have made from this fabric.  A few years back when hubby and I were living in England, I made it a point to visit every quilt/fabric shop I could find especially when we were vacationing around the UK.  This beautiful Christmas fabric collection was found in a shop in Cornwall.  I had fallen in love with it before I realized that it was manufactured by a US based company and imported to England.  Translation = double the cost per yard!!

But what is a girl to do when she has fallen in love and really, really wants the fabric? We all know that she buys it!!  And since I did NOT have a pattern in mind, I did not know how much yardage I needed. When estimating I gave myself plenty of wiggle room because I did NOT want to run out of fabric as I would probably never return to this particular shop (and to this date-2016- I have not been back) and chances of finding this line of fabric still being sold when I FINALLY got around to choosing a pattern and then sewing it were pretty nil!!  That being said, I justified the purchase of many yards of each fabric.  Little did I know that I had enough fabric to make not ONE twin-sized quilt but TWO twin-sized quilts plus a pieced backing!!!

 First quilt finished about 2013

XmasOriginal

With fabric still left over from the second quilt, I put on my designing cap and came up with the back.

XmasPileofScraps

From this pile to this back:

XmasScrapBack

So was my initial investment in all this fabric worth it?  Absolutely!!  When I gaze upon my finished quilts, I fall in love all over again with the fabric and remember the lovely time we spent in Cornwall and know that I made the right choice:)

Another unfinished project becomes a finished project!!  How are you doing in finishing those UFO”s?

Let’s Bee Social!

Spring Is Coming!!

It has been a long, cold winter with more snow on the ground than has been seen for almost a decade.  With the water shortage we have faced for the past few years I am grateful for all the snow we received, but I am so ready for warmer temperatures and no snow adorning the ground!  So to celebrate the coming of Spring, I finished a quilt colored spring green and baby pink!

XBlockQuilt

 

This color combination is one of my favorite.  It speaks to me of calmness and gentleness.  Years ago when we were just out of college and starting life in the “real world” we bought our first home.  It was an older home that had been remodeled but I wanted to put my touch on it and I had big plans!  The first project was redoing our daughter’s bedroom.  I scraped off wallpaper and Stash Poppa built drawers into the attic eaves.  Guess what color I painted the walls?  Yup, spring green with an accent wall of baby pink!!  I loved it!!

Years later when perusing a quilt catalog I saw this fabric and knew it belonged in my stash- spring green and baby pink flannels.  And then when  I attended a class at one of my favorite Bernina stores introducing X-blocks rulers I knew that fabric needed to be made into an X-block quilt.  So I bought the rulers and the book, Once Upon A Time in X-Blocks Land It’s a Fabric Fairy Tale! by Patricia Pepe.  You can find the book at xblocks.com.

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I got home and the rulers, book and fabric got put away for a few years until I hired my daughter to sew for me.  We decided on the quilt pattern, Sleeping Beauty, found in the X-blocks book and she loved sewing with the X-blocks so much that she and her daughter (my granddaughter) designed their own pattern.  We now market her pattern as Hot Lips.

HotLipstop                                    Red:turquoise

You can find the pattern, kits for the quilts we’ve made, and also X-blocks rulers in our shop at stashladies.com

So in the spirit of finishing UFO’s in 2016, this quilt top was high on my list.  I knew I wanted the same simple, yet elegant design we used for the red/turquoise Hot Lips quilt.  One can never go wrong with a feather design as they always looks so lovely.

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Another UFO bites the dust!  My only question now is who should I give it to?

Let’s Bee Social!

Calendar Makeover 3 Ways- JANUARY

Calendar Makeover 3 Ways -JANUARY

Jan-Ohio Star

January is always a great time for fresh starts & new beginnings!
(Although I am not opposed to needing a fresh start in February or March as well! 😉
It has been a great year of revisioning and modernizing traditional patterns.  And it has been so inspirational to see the creativity blossom as we have put our own style on each of the patterns.  We also have realized more than ever that fashions and fads cycle through about every 30 years so it is really true that “old becomes new again.”

And as we complete our Calendar makeover this month, we invite you to take inspiration from us and take this year and work thru this project, in which ever form you choose.  There is no time like the present!  Without further adieu we present our final makeover:

StashMomma
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I love snowmen!!  One of my favorite winter songs has always been “Frosty the Snowman” and a few years ago decided that since January has always been such a “blah” month for me that I would use snowmen as my decorating theme.  It has been so fun to shop for the perfect snowman to add to my collection.SnowmenA few years back, one of the quilting magazines had a snowman quilt made from flannel that I fell in love with so I purchased the kit.  I made the quilt for a daughter-in-law but the fun thing is that I had enough leftover fabric to make a second quilt for me plus this cute wall-hanging.
Jan 
From the original wall-hanging I took the design elements of two columns, the block pattern for three of the blocks and the remaining 3 blocks I used the fabric squares of snowmen.  I machine quilted in the ditch around each square and then did a criss-cross for the triangles.  Super simple yet effective!
I love how it turned out and with it hanging on my wall, I smile each time I see it.
And maybe that is because the snowmen evoke a feeling of warmth and happiness despite the snow falling around them and that reminds me that I need to smile regardless of what is going on around me!!

Happy New Year!!

 

 

Quilted Harmonies

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My Makeover this month stems from my Thanksgiving visit to StashMomma’s house… she is the Queen of having anything and everything you ever thought you needed, or even Everything You Never Knew You Needed!

Speaking of “Old becoming New Again,” as we were playing in her stash (and by “playing,” I mean I was pawing through it and drooling over it all), I found a cute collection from Riley Blake I fell in love with that just screamed “make snowflakes out of me!”

Now, in the interest of Full Disclosure, you should all know that I have heaped much abuse upon my mother over these many years over her choice of wedding colors.  Yes, you heard me.  Wedding colors.  Even as a child, I thought they were the ugliest choice known to man.  I mean, in my six year old mind, whoever heard of spring green and turquoise making a good color match?  (And this is coming from a girl who got angry because that same mother wouldn’t let her wear her knee high pink cable knit socks with her awesome red corduroy pants.  At the same time.  On the same day. Humpfh.)  
Well.  In front of you all and the Universe, I would like to apologize to StashMomma for completely undervaluing her awesome sense of fashion and style.  She was obviously on the forefront of fashion in 1973, and remains so today. (In that same vein, maybe I should apologize to StashPoppa for hating his much beloved 1973 Pontiac LeMans-orange with a cream roof…  hmmm….nope. nah.  Sorry, PopPop!  Not happening!)

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But I digress…  Now that I am a much older and *cough, cough* wiser woman, I can admit that I was wrong as a child, and see the beauty in this colorway.  So, I borrowed StashMomma’s Accuquilt, and cut ALL of the shapes I needed for this quilt- the squares, the half-triangles, and the snowflakes.  I twisted the small quarter-triangle square blocks on their heads to give the overall impression of a crystalline shape.  In the negative spaces, I planned to appliqué blue snowflakes in the middles.  However, while auditioning the snowflakes, I was a little disappointed that the blue didn’t pop more off of the green background.  I left this lying on my family room floor for several days as I considered how to make it better.
My problem was solved when I remembered some chunky TulaPink Renaissance Ribbon I still had that matched the blues and greens.  It has a bit of pink running through it as an accent color, and that’s when I hit on it:  Use the ribbon as the border, and bring the pink into the quilt by appliquéing the edges of the snowflakes with shiny pink embroidery thread.  (luckily, I collect just as much thread as I do fabric, so I was covered in that area!)

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Check back for an update when I get the snowflakes all “pink-i-fied!” And follow my progress on Instagram! @quiltedharmonies or @stashladies
LovinglyLexi
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I have thoroughly enjoyed “expanding” my creative juices with this calendar makeover project.  To look at a quilt piece that is largely very traditional and spin it into a new and modern direction with paper was such a fun experience.

One of my favorite things about January is the fresh clean slate that it brings.  My house looks a little bare after I take down all of the Christmas decorations. But in that bareness I can see where the dusting and vacuuming may have been neglected during the festive month.  So even though it is cold and icy outside, my house is fresh and clean.

I used this approach to my January makeover.  Using this beautiful “icy blue” paper with a little bit of glimmer and shimmer, I tried to emulate the feelings of a fresh cold January.  Mimicking the original pattern, I switched out the 6 blocks with 6 snowflakes.
 

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I added a dark frame around both the focal point photo block and underneath the snowflakes to really make them pop.  Then I added strips of foil paper to really accent the middle of the page.
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Using one of my staples, Thickers, to make the title really gives it an elegant pop.  The letters are soft yet big enough to stand out and be noticed.    

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One to the tricks I used to make my snowflakes stand out was to only glue down the very center of the flake.  This give the arms movement and it really gives the look of 3 dimension without adding a ton of bulk to the page.  

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We hope that you have enjoyed our year long Calendar makeover and it has inspired you to pick up a small year long project this year!

Stay tuned for our Next “3 Ways” StashLadies project!

 

Calendar Makeover 3 Ways – DECEMBER

Happy Holidays From All of us At StashLadies!!

 

Dec-Christmas Sampler

This month’s Makeover is chocked full of traditional elements.  We had many fun family traditions growing up with StashMomma & Poppa.  We made homemade movies for our families far away. (What gems those are now.  Who doesn’t LOVE family movies from the 80’s!!)  We baked goodie trays for our friends and neighbors. Homemade Christmas presents almost ALWAYS made an appearance under the tree.  And speaking of trees, how about the year that StashPoppa brought home a real charlie brown tree.  I think we tied red ribbons around the branches to disguise the lack of needles.  😉  *a note from QH- I recently re-watched one of those Christmas home movies we had written and scripted when we were young…. talk about cringe worthy!

 

StashMomma
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I love scraps!!  I love to take a pile and sort them into shapes and sizes and then ponder the possibilities.  This is what I started with:
XmasScraps

The fabric is from a kit that I purchased a number of years ago from Keepsake Quilting and yes, there was enough fabric in the kit to make 2 quilts with a pile of scraps leftover!!   The fabric was designed by Faye Burgos for Marcus Fabrics.  I love the Victorian look and old-fashioned appeal of the colors and prints.  In the pile were lots of strips, triangles, and odd shapes.
First I sewed together 8 “odd shaped” pieces that were perfect to form a hexagon and then add half-square triangles to the corners to make a square:
CenterSquare
Next, I sewed together some small strips: 

Strips

Then I sewed together half-square triangles to make a square.  Lucky for me the half-square triangles had already been cut for the correct direction of the wording:

HalfSquare

Now all I had to do was decide how to make this a calendar make-over.  Since the original design was squares in two columns, I decided to use the squares element and put them in three columns or a nine-patch configuration.  The finished size of the squares was dependent upon the center square as it was the smallest of them all.  So after “squaring” nine squares up, I sewed them into 3 strips of 3 squares each, then sewed the strips together.  This is the result of a very enjoyable afternoon of “creativity!”

Decmakeover

I am absolutely in love with the finished product, especially since the only cost involved was my time!!

Have a very Merry Christmas from the “StashLadies.”

 

Quilted Harmonies
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Our family made a last minute decision to travel up to visit StashMomma and StashPoppa for Thanksgiving this year.  Since it is a long drive, we try to break it into two days- two days up, two days down.  So, between the driving, the visiting, and the eating, quilting and sewing wasn’t going to get much time.  (BTdubs- StashPoppa is a known Foodie, (and StashMomma a baker) so when I say eat, I really mean EAT.  We didn’t just have Thanksgiving dinner.  We had THANKSGIVING DINNER.)
Thinking outside of the box, I hit upon an excellent substitution:

raid StashMomma’s Stash! I found a Christmas panel that she had bought and stored away for an unknown-yet-sure-to-be-awesome project.  Named “Holiday Cheer” and designed by Jan Shade Beach for Henry Glass, I thought it matched the original quilt’s theme and motifs.

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There wasn’t a good way to cut the panel down as that would have cut off some of the postcard pictures, so I fussy cut them out, applied fusible web, and sprinkled them on a beautifully clean and simple background of the solid Snow by Art Gallery Fabrics.

I didn’t have time to hand bind anything, so I made a “faux” binding by sandwiching the back, batting, and top like you would to make a pillow, then sewing around the outside edge, making sure to leave an opening to turn everything right side out.  I used some chunky red thread from StashMomma’s stash to sew 1/4″ from the edge all the way around.  This gave a nice, simple, “binding” look.

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I finished the “postcards” by sewing around each raw edge with more of the chunky red cotton thread, a bulky blue cotton, and a shining green poly thread.

There was more of the panel leftover than I needed, but now I know what my Christmas cards will be!  Stay tuned!

Lovingly Lexi

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December holds a very special place in my heart.  Each year I get so excited to put lights on the house, put up the tree in the family room and adorn every square inch of space with garlands, lights, glitter and well, Christmas!  I feel like people I encounter are easier with their smiles, greetings and holiday politeness.  I also “bombard” my children with traditions.  A fresh batch of cookies every Tuesday in December is one of their favorites.  Making Homemade Christmas Cards & Delivering Homemade Christmas Goodies to our friends and neighbors is one of my favorites!

With that said, I was so excited for this month’s Calendar Makeover.  I love traditional Red & Green so I really wanted to stick to the color scheme.  I used the “grid” on the original as my jumping off point.  

I gave myself 4 places to add in my pictures and a nice spot for journaling.
I plan to add in pictures of the kids doing some of our family traditions.

I did an “over-under” pattern for my grids and stitched with the sewing machine for a bit of detail.  I love that cute red and green stocking in the center.

 

I used Red Foil Thickers for the word December.  It pops off the page perfectly.

 

Of course, I had to use a bit of stickles glitter to dress up the berries and the word Christmas.  I popped the elements off the page with pop dots just to add a little dimension to my whole page.

My paper is from the WE R Memory Keepers YuleTide page kit.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas filled with Traditions and Cheer!!

 

 

Calendar Makeover 3 Ways – NOVEMBER

Trip Around the World

Nov-TripWorld

Such a classic pattern and so easy to sew with just squares and strips, even a beginner can do it with great success! It will be fun to see what we recreate this month!

STASHMOMMA
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I won’t lie, this pattern has been the toughest one yet to “modernize” because it is such a classic and simple design.  I have made more than one “trip around the world” quilts through the years and have always been so thrilled with the results.  I also have been lucky enough in my married life to travel with “StashPoppa” to many, many places around the world so if I ever get around to making a quilt of my life perhaps this is the design I would use (actually not a bad idea)!

But as I pondered what to create I tried to think beyond the box and settled on not a “trip around the world” but a “walk through the seasons.”  Experience has taught me that seasons of life come around almost as frequently as the seasons in life.  And that each season comes with its own set of joys and sorrows!  Yet there is always the wonder and newness of each season that begets a hope of better things to come and more of life to experience.

  Spring means the renewal of life as flowers and plants brave the waning winter weather and poke through the soil to share the beauty of their colors and so as the center focal I chose fabric with my favorite flower, red tulips!  Summer is represented by the dark greens and browns of late summer beauty.  The brillance and mixture of colors displayed during  Autumn is stunning.   And in my part of the world, Winter usually means snow.  I love the feeling of serenity that comes when the ground is covered with a dusting of snow.

SMNov

As you take your own “trip through the seasons” I hope you can find peace, tranquility and thankfulness for each season you have experienced Thanks for stopping by!!!

Quilted Harmonies
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I pondered and thought and then pondered some more about what I would do for this month’s Makeover.
  Trip Around the World is one of my favorite traditional patterns.  I must have thought of a million and one ideas to change it up, and then discarded a million and two.  (The others said I was overthinking it… ???? Probably.  Only a teensy bit, though!)

How to modernize a pattern that has already been modernized by so many talented quilters in so many amazing and beautiful ways?  (If you don’t believe me, just google it!  It’s incredible the number of hits that came up!)

My focus finally came to rest on the title itself:  Trip Around the World.  I liked the idea of playing with the word “around.”  Circles and spheres are “around.”  So is the world itself.  Why not have fun with that?

I pulled a set of Story Strips I had gotten from Anthology Fabrics a few years ago, stripped them together, and then, using the miracle of modern technology, cut them into circles using my Go! Baby from Accuquilt.  (Sewing and pressing the batik strips took WAY more time than actually cutting the circles out.  Yay me!  That meant I had some extra time to watch my current Netflix binge- Bones!  ????)

I love how colorful and beautiful my little “worlds” turned out!

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Lovingly Lexi
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I love Fall!  Have I said it before? Because let me say it again. I love Fall!  After residing in Arizona for 7 years, I am so happy to live in a state with the most beautiful 4 seasons.  I can see the snow capped mountains but still enjoy jacket weather.  The days are beautiful and sunny and the evenings have the crisp cool air that means snow is right around the corner.

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As I contemplated my modern scrapbook makeover with the Trip around the World block, I was drawn to the squares.  My design evolved from there because I wanted to 
incorporate a tree.  Adding a tree to my November theme symbolizes several things to me.  My family, First and most importantly.  And also the change of seasons and the “fresh start” that nature graces us with!

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You can see that my Calendar page looks nothing like the original design.  I am totally in love with the way that my leaves are highlighted within each “block”.  I purposely matted each block with a splash of orange red color to make them pop.  I also used pop dots on 4 of the 5 leaves so they would really stand out.

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And don’t worry, I didn’t forget to add a little glimmer to my leaves.

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I hope you have much to be Thankful about this November!!  Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at StashLadies!

Calendar Makeover 3 Ways – OCTOBER

Calendar Makeover 3 Ways – OCTOBER

In the original wall hanging, it was full of plaids and symmetry.  While we adore plaids and symmetry as much as the next girl, it is time to flip this pattern and give it some good mix ups!!

Oct-Churndash

Stashmomma
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Where has the year gone?  Is it really October already?  I guess the older I get the faster time goes, either that or I really am getting slower and not able to get as much done in a day 😉  (Not a pretty day when that realization hits!!)
Knowing that my travel schedule these past few weeks was going to be pretty hectic,  I spent some time a couple of weeks ago planning and organizing this project.  I started the day with good intentions but I got so excited with the scraps from a Halloween quilt that I derailed and made a table mat before the calendar makeover:) That was fun!!  But that aside and using the same Halloween scraps, I decided to enlarge the Churn-dash block, put it on point and add filler fabric to complete the wall
hanging.  I love the diagonal of the block and the cute little squares created by the quilting.  I contemplated hand quilting this one, but that thought lasted about a minute.  Why do something by hand when I have a sewing machine that will do the work for me!!
Oct

Quilted Harmonies
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In the quilt that StashMomma gave us year’s ago, she had used purple, black, and orange fabrics, so I naturally thought that she had made us pumpkins.  It wasn’t until after I had planned for this one that I looked at the Original Calendar, and realized that it was not, in fact, pumpkins, but a Churn Dash block.  

I considered going back to the drawing board.  But this challenge, is, after all, to makeover the original pattern.  I recently bought a new pattern book by the Buggy Barn, and love their concept of cutting and piecing patterns.  I searched for a pumpkin pattern I could buy, but alas, I couldn’t find one.  So, it was up to me to figure it out.

Suffice it to say, creating this pattern wasn’t a walk in the park.  In fact, you’ll be able to tell by the final results that only ONE pumpkin looks like it made it through Halloween without being smashed on the street.

File Oct 05, 8 33 45 PM

While I love the funky, angle-y look to my little guys, my favorite part is, once again, the Fabric.  (Fabric that you absolutely love and adore should always and forever be capitalized when raving about it!)  I saw these prints at a craft fair in July, and instantly knew they were from Art Gallery Fabrics.   LovinglyLexi and I drooled all over them, but ultimately walked away from getting them.  I found them, however, at my newest favorite website, Hawthorne Threads.  And proceeded to buy a yard of each, not even knowing what to do with them- until I began designing this month’s makeover, and needing 3 different fat quarters, I realized two things:

1.  I had these three pieces that coordinated perfectly, and
2.  How AWESOME would it be to have plum, white, and grey pumpkins?

I Know, Right??
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Lovingly Lexi
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My calendar makeover this month just sort of happened.  One evening I was “bored” (which doesn’t happen much around my house with 3 teenagers!) and popped up the picture of the original so I could get my creative juices flowing.  As I was looking at it thinking about how to incorporate a fall theme, the churndash pumpkin popped right out at me!
AND into my scrap pile I went!

October3I was so excited about the idea that I just started creating it and even snap-chatted it!  😉

I stuck to the plaids and but added in the solid orange to give the pumpkin some weight! As I dug into my scraps I found this cool frame that was clearly a cast off from another project, and it worked magically here.  This is very much an old meets new type of project.  See the orange plaid along the sides and the in the middle of the pumpkin?  That sheet of paper is “vintage” 1998 scrapbook paper.  The other plaid and the cool pattern paper are from We R Memory Keepers “Happy Campers” collection.

October

Isn’t that exciting that you can mix and match old and new scrapbook paper as well as you can fabric!!

My title was cut with my Silhouette and a Miss Kate Cuttable Title and fall swirl.  I opted to do the swirl in turquoise just because and stuck to orange for October!  And true to my style, I blinged it up with stickles.

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I popped up the bottom pumpkin to give it a bit more definition and make the swirl really looks like it is moving.

So, ladies and gents!  How would you remake the classing Churn-dash block?  Would you keep it classic or add a modern twist?!!