Is it a “saga” yet?????…………

I mean the “Forest and Loons” quilt. I hope not ‘cuz this is one enjoyable quilting (for me!). I finished the leaf motifs on the cream (checked), tone-on-tone blocks and did half of the remaining center blocks (that had fairly “busy” prints on them) with a repeat of the swirly vine stitching. That motif will be done in the outer leaf printed border, also. The narrow brown border is SID (Stitch in the Ditch) and will be left without further stitching to give the quilt a place to “rest the eyes”. Here’s a photo of the whole top, as a reminder to what’s been goin’ on……………004    You may, also, visit yesterday’s post here. The vine was stitched in those outer green(ish) corners and in the blocks between the brown HST (Half Square Triangle) and the solid cream blocks.

007  Maybe it’s a bit easier to see from the back………005 006

Here are the threads I’ve been using: 003    I’ve laid them on the blocks they were used on and, in the photo below, is the thread used on the very center and the outer vines………………….. The thread below and above (on the green plastic cones is Isacord poly and the red plastic cone is Aurifil cotton. The thread on the blue is Marathon poly # 2276


The thread used in the bobbin, as always, is Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly, 70 wt.

Remember….”clicking” on any photo will enlarge it.

That’s it for this week. A long weekend is ahead……the camper awaits……….. til Monday, my friends. Have a good one…..

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Wordless Wednesday…………………….






008009   The last 2 are the very interesting batik backing. The rest of the cream blocks today.

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I am in need of a motif/design that will fit in the cream tone-on-tone blocks in the “Forest and Loon” Quilt…….001 (2)

Those blocks form a very dominant diamond surrounding that center portion. I need something that carries the “leaf” motif along but is different from the HST (half square triangle) blocks I just finished. A bit of thinking, doodling and cruising through my Pinterest boards, some modifications…. and………wha-la!!!! I think I’ve got it!!!!! 002 

This is my thought on a test muslin……the blocks will be marked into quadrants and on the diagonal (using a Frixion pen). The lower left portion shows a pen marked motif, above that a marked motif that I stitched over to get the “feel” of it and the other 2 (right top and bottom) are totally freehand. Yup……….it’s a “go”!!!! See ya later…………………………………

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End of the day wrap up………………

It’s had its ups and downs…..a bit of “frogging” to break the monotony of “smooth sailing”!!! All’s well, though and it will be waiting in the morning. 005004 003001 

And a couple of back photos………………   006 007 

The “leafy feather” motif is going well and certainly fits the woodsy theme of this quilt.

Remember…….clicking on a photo will enlarge it.

Have a great evening (or morning, if that’s where you live!). Til next time, I enjoyed our visit and, please, stop by again!

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“Forest & Loon” progress………..

First begun here, there will be some FMQ fun today!!! The initial marking (minimal) has been done…………..012013 

And the test motif is completed……………..014 

This idea was posted on Fb a few days ago, by bloggy friend Rhianon Taylor (you MUST pay her a visit at her “home” The Nifty Stitcher………. go ahead…..I’ll wait—but allow some serious time for this as she is one talented gal!!!!!). Her love of feathers (all types, including the “leafy” variety!) equals mine!!!!! Wow!!!! On to the stitching………..


The above is keeping the studio humming, laundry is being completed and sourdough bread dough is raising. Separated a bit off and made pitas for tonight’s gyros…………yum!!!!!! 011

Back later with the end-of-day photoSleeping half-moon!

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I think there’s a “Super Hero”….

Or 2, or 3, or 4, in my future!!!!  

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Next up………….

Another client quilt… fact, very similar to the one posted here. Yup, the last one was a special gift but this one is for her DH. I think I’ll call this one “Forest and Loon Quilt #2”. Enough fabric had been purchased for the first top to make it larger but those plans were changed. So, with some minor changes, ‘take 2’ was created!!! A couple of photos of this start………

Misc & Mary's Loon quilt #2 030

Misc & Mary's Loon quilt #2 031

That’s it for today. Threads used: Isacord and Connecting Threads Essential Pro Poly (bobbin).

It’s “wine time”……I think it’s rhubarb today…yum.

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What’s better than…………..

A “Friday Finish”????? Why, a Tuesday finish!!!!!! I give you “Super Hero(ine) #3”……………………

001            A quick outdoors photo before washing. The following pictures are of the crinkly awesomeness post-laundering!

013 015



Isn’t this binding just the perfect match-up????010

And, of course, the obligatory label. The last few donation quilts have had the label quilted right onto the back. Works out perfectly! I had a small cut-off of the city-scape that was just the ‘ticket’ for a themed label, don’t cha think????009  

And, finally, the top thread used for this project: C & C Trilobal Poly, 40 wt. The perfect purple, lots of shine but definitely didn’t play well with me!!!!!016

The bobbin thread, once again, was Connecting Threads Essential Pro Poly, 70 wt.

Batting: Hobbs Heirloom cotton/poly (80/20)

This was a Robert Kaufman Hero panel.

Finished size: approximately 41”x 57”

This quilt is destined for the Rochester, MN, Ronald McDonald House, as was the last “Super Hero #2”.

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Design wall Monday…..Progress………….

Stitching with a vibrant, deep purple Coates & Clark Trilobal poly, 40 wt and Ms Sweetie is having a time of it! All’s going well until I stitch on the purple batik borders (which means I’m stitching on 2 layers + batting of batik…..yes, the backing is that same purple batik) and the residue in the batik layers cause the stitches to either skip or knot up in a weird way. The short of it is that I have to stop, break thread, check the bobbin and, sometimes, take out a few majorly unbalanced stitches before beginning again! Ugh!!!!!! I should have had this done by lunch but……………………………





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Design wall Monday….early!…



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Super Hero(ine) Saturday……………….

It’s what is next up………………..


When I purchased this last, 3rd, “Super Hero” panel, I really thought it would be just a donation to my guild for someone else to have the fun of making one for our Ronald McDonald donation quilts, BUT………while out in the Black Hills (Belle Fourche, SD) and at my friend’s quilt shop (the Bakery Fabrics), I found that FAB piece on the left in the above photo!!!! I just could NOT resist doing a “Super Heroine” version……..really!!! I just couldn’t!!!!!!! So, I’m ready for some “Girl Power”….aren’t you????? Stay tuned…………………..

Previous “Super Hero” quilts found here and here.

I do hope your weekend is progressing nicely!!!!!

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A Friday Finish……………..

I just love those words!!!!!! The “Paisley feathers meet Minky” quilt (first posted yesterday) is done and lookin’ good. Here are the “finish” photos (which, actually, look just like yesterday’s photos only the quilt is totally covered with stitchings now!)……………..006


002  A view of the plush Minky backing….and, yes, I used a “Turkey Red” thread in the bobbin!!



The actual colors of the fabrics are more “true” in the first 2 photos, rather than the last one (the blue background picked up a tad too much of the green).

Thread: (top) Sulky Viscose rayon; (bobbin) Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly 70 wt.

Not sure of the batting. The client supplied it.

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When paisley (feathers) meets Minky…………

Glorious texture occurs! Photo evidence following: 009





Even though this is a large lap size quilt, because of the Minky plush fabric, the weight of this one is a challenge. The quilting is a bit more dense to aid in stabilizing the stretchiness of this backing. Come winter, this is going to be one cozy warm wrap!!!! As much as I would love to say that this is my quilt, it isn’t! It’s another lovely client’s quilt that I’ve had the privilege to finish….sigh…. It will be finished up this morning and ready for delivery next Monday.

Thread: (top) Sulky Viscose rayon; (bobbin) Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly

In other “news”, the deer population that has begun to call our place ‘home’ has grown. It is not unusual to see up to 7 deer casually munching away a few steps from our home!


The view from our livingroom window towards our wind break and one of the reasons we have never regretted our move from the St. Paul/Minneapolis Metro area some 40+ years ago!!!!!!!

Now, to find that morning cuppa and begin the day!!!!!!!! Til next time, dear Friends, thank you so much for your sweet visits!

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Wordless Wednesday: Client Finish………………..








Thread: (top) Aurifil & Isacord (bobbin) Connecting Threads Essential Pro

Batting: Hobbs Heirloom cotton/poly (80/20)

Note: Click on photo to enlarge

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Auditioning/tension testing………………


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When “Traditional meets Modern” or Loose ends #2…….

Begun in this post, is now complete and gifted. 034

The hexies were from a package of premade Moda hexies using fabrics from Aneela Hooey’s lines. I’m sure they work great as English paper piecing handwork but really weren’t as exact/identical in size & shaping as those that I would make so, when it came to do the “grid”, the straight stitched lines were a bit of a challenge to get lined up with the pieces (which were held in place with dabs of glue and are 3 dimensional as they aren’t totally stitched in place). 022 023

And a glimpse of the back…………….032

Usually, I put some type of label on a gift but this is to be totally reversible, so no label this time!

Thread: (top) Aurifil Mako 50 cotton; (bobbin) Connecting Threads Essential Pro Poly

Batting: Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 (cotton/poly)

Client’s quilts up next. Stay tuned…………………………

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Attention all my quilting peeps……………………

There’s something new here! Did you spot it?? OK, I’ll wait……it’s that cute little square button on my right side bar. It looks like this:

Such a beautiful summery orange color and when ‘clicked’ will take you to a wonderland of FMQ (Free Motion Quilting) motifs and ideas, found on my friend Lori’s blog “Inbox Jaunt”, that will get your “creative juices” flowing and help to eliminate (or, at least, make fewer) those moments of “quilter’s block”. You know what I mean. That first real look at your finished quilt top/flimsy that’s just begging to be brought to life, but…………………….oh my!!!! So many possibilities!!!!! Or, your quilty ‘tool box’ seems to have taken a hiatus and left you without a clue on what to stitch!!!!!!

   Well, now’s your chance……………..move that curser over a bit and….yup, let me hear that little ‘click’. I would wait for you but I just know that, once you’ve arrived at Lori’s treasure trove of stitching ideas you won’t be back here any time soon. So, I’ll leave you….for now. “Loose Ends #2” coming soon! Til then, take care, dear friends….

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On a sunny Spring day…………..

Each of us has our priorities. Some may clean some windows (not in my world….sigh), or do some gardening (nope), maybe some fresh laundry on the lines (a bit more possible!) BUT, around here, in my world, you are more likely to see these getting a bath………………………..001  The bikes, from left to right, my lovely Heritage Softail, DH’s Road King and #2 son’s custom.


In the second photo you see the latest addition to our “stable”. Our son just recently put the finishing touches on this beauty……..his newest ‘ride’. He built it “from the ground up” and just completed the paint job on it.

This is to give you a glimpse into what goes on ‘round here when quilting or wine-making isn’t taking place!!!!!001 (A peek at DH’s pastime whilst I am stitching!)

That concludes my teensy peek at our “behind the scenes” activities. Now, back to those quilts!!!!! Til next time…………

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Loose ends……………….

That’s what happens when many projects are started, little blog peeks are posted and weekends intervene! So, here’s my version of attempting to finish what was begun a bit ago.

First up……..The linen piece that started as a dupioni tension testing here and went to a partial completion here and looks like this now………………………


Again, with a bit(?) more texture………………………………….035

Detail “shots”……………………………………


The obligatory back view: 013

The “blue” silk is a lavender-blue…most accurate in the first photo.

Thread: (top) Isacord (white) and Sulky Viskose (blue/gray); (bobbin) Connecting Threads Essential Pro Poly.

Batting: Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 (cotton/poly) & Hobbs Silk (under linen portion only)

***Machine used: Juki TL2010Q (DSM-domestic sewing machine)

Note: “click” on any photo to enlarge.

“Loose ends” #2 to follow……………soon………….promise!!!!!!


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News Flash!!!!!! Urgent QPSA!!! (Quilters’ Public Service Announcement)………

This has been on Fb for a few days now and, just so you (my dear readers) are part of the well-informed/up-to-date (dare I say “cutting edge”?) readership in the blog-osphere, I am borrowing this critical piece of penmanship to share with you. So, grab a cuppa and prepare to see in print what we all know to be fact but has now been exposed to the daylight of the heretofore unaware general public. Credit goes to Kayy.


A speech on quilting

As you know, I’m a lawyer when I’m not sewing (or knitting). As such, I subscribe at work to e-mails that tell me of the latest decisions of the important courts here in Canada. There is one such e-mail prepared weekly by a local law firm. I always scroll to the end where, after the serious stuff, there is a section titled “Last Word”. Today, it was about a speech given at a conference on quilting (Quilt Canada 2010) by Allan Fradsham, a criminal court judge in Calgary, Alberta, where the conference was held.
Here’s the text. It’s long but amusing, and so worth a read:
“When, some years ago, Gloria told me that she was going to build upon her years of sewing experience, and take up “quilting”, I thought she was telling me that she was going to take up a new hobby or a new craft.  I was completely oblivious to the fact that what she was really announcing was that she was taking up membership in a tightly knit (if you’ll pardon the expression) group of individuals whose loyalty to one another makes motorcycle gang members seem uncommitted, and whose passion for quilting activities makes members of cults look positively disinterested.  As is the case with many spouses, I was completely unaware that there existed this parallel universe called quilting.
However, to be completely unaware of a world-wide sub-culture operating right under our noses and in our homes is a bit obtuse even for husbands.  But there it is, and here you are.  And, most oddly, here I am.  You might wonder how all this came to pass; I know I certainly do.
I cannot now identify what was the first clue I detected indicating that Gloria had entered the fabric world equivalent of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts.  It might have been the appearance of the fabric.  Bundles of fabric, mounds of fabric, piles of fabric, towering stacks of fabric.  Fabric on bolts, and stacks of small squares of fabric tied up in pretty ribbons (I later learned these were “fat quarters” which to this day sounds to me like a term out of Robin Hood).  The stuff just kept coming into the house as thought it were endless waves crashing onto a beach. And then, just like the waves, the most amazing thing happened: it would simply disappear.  It was as though the walls of the house simply absorbed it.  Metres and metres (or as men of my generation would say, yards and yards) of fabric would come into the house.  It would arrive in Gloria’s arms when she returned from a shopping excursion.  It would arrive in the post stuffed in postal packs so full that they were only kept together by packing tape (these overstuffed Priority Packs are the equivalent of me trying to fit into pants I wore in law school).  These packages would arrive having been shipped from unheard of towns and villages in far away provinces or states or overseas countries (I am convinced the internet’s primary activity is not to be found in pornography; that is just a ruse, the internet’s real function is to facilitate the trafficking and distribution of fabric).  Wherever we went, be it in Canada, the U.S., Europe, wherever there was a collection of more than three houses, Gloria would find a quilt shop from which she would pluck some prize from some bin with the enthusiasm and unerring eye of an archaeologist finding a new species of dinosaur.
And of course, the reason that there are quilt shops everywhere is because there are quilters everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE.  A few years ago, Gloria had been visiting her sister-in-law in Kelowna.  While there, she found and purchased a Featherweight sewing machine.  I understand that making such a find is a matter of such joy that it may eventually attract government taxation.  When it came time to fly back to Calgary, Gloria worried about what the people at airport security would have to say when she tried to take the machine onto the plane.  She need not have been concerned.  Now, airport security takes pride in preventing me from carrying onto a plane a small squirt of toothpaste left in a rolled up toothpaste tube if the tube in which it is lodged did at some point in the distant past, contain a prohibited amount of toothpaste.  My spot of toothpaste is a national security threat.  However, when it came time for Gloria to go through security with the Featherweight, which is made of metal and has needles in secret compartments, airport security came to a standstill.  Why?  Were they about to confiscate the machine, and detain the person who dared to try to board with it?  Of course not.  They gathered around it in awe and admiration, asking Gloria questions about where she had found it, and expressing admiration for her good fortune in finding it.  And why did Gloria get such warm treatment when I am shunned for trying to maintain some degree of oral hygiene?  Well, the answer is obvious; the assembled airport security staff were all quilters, complete with the secret handshake.
Maybe I should have twigged to what was happening when the washing of all this fabric led to having to replace our washing machine, which was clearly not designed for such industrial use.  Now, let me pause here.  I understand that there is an intense debate within your world about whether or not fabrics should be washed upon purchase.  I do not wish to be caught in any cross-fire between the two camps, for all I know, as an outsider, I may not be authorized to even know of the controversy.  I do suspect that if men were making the decision, quilting would involve  lot less fabric washing and a lot more beer drinking.
I did eventually discover where all the fabric went.  It went into drawers, cupboards, shelves, and, eventually it completely filled up a closet, which took up one full wall in Gloria’s newly built “sewing room”.  What we now call Gloria’s “sewing room”, we used to call “the basement”.
I have discovered that one of the art forms mastered by quilters is the ability to purchase container loads of fabric, conceal it in the house, and camouflage the purchase so that it slips right under the nose of the unsuspecting spouse.  As a loving and obedient spouse, I have on many occasions found myself in quilt stores where I serve two useful functions: I can reach bolts of fabric stored on top shelves; and I can carry numerous bolts of fabric to a cutting table.  However, I have also started to listen to what is said in quilting stores, and one day, in a little quilting shop in the heart of Alberta farming country, I heard something that made it clear to me that quilters are so clever and, dare I say, devious, that there is really no sport for them in fooling we naive husbands.  Gloria had decided to buy some fabric (which is similar to saying that Gloria had decided to breathe), and had gone to the till to pay for it.  Upon running through Gloria’s charge card, the clerk quietly said, “Now, when you get your credit card statement, don’t be alarmed when you see an entry for our local feed store.  We run our charges under that name so that if a husband looks at the credit card statements, he will think that the entry is just something he bought at the feed store for the farm”.  That sort of financial shell game would make Goldman Sachs proud.  I knew at that moment that there had been a major and probably irrevocable shift in the world’s power structure.  I concede it is basically over for the non-quilting husband.
As you have been told, I sit as a criminal law judge, and as such I often find myself sitting on drug trials, or  issuing search warrants in relation to drug investigations.  I must say that the more I learned about the quilting world, the more I started to see similarities between that world and the drug world.  It has caused me some concern.
We all interpret events from our own perspectives using the lessons we have learned through life.  When I saw the extent to which Gloria’s collection of fabric was growing, I began to worry.  In the law relating to drugs, the amount of a drug one has in one’s possession is an important factor in determining the purpose for which the person has the drug.  For example, if a person is in possession of crack cocaine (to use a drug with an addictive power equivalent to fabric), one look at the amount of crack the person possessed.  If the amount exceeds the amount one would realistically possess for personal use, then one may reasonably draw the inference that the purpose of the possession is not personal use, but, rather, it is for the purpose of trafficking the drug.  So, you can imagine what I thought when I saw Gloria’s collection of fabric grow to a point where she readily admitted that she could never use all that fabric in several lifetimes.  I reluctantly concluded that I was married to a very high-level fabric trafficker.  Mind you, in order to qualify as a trafficker, one does have to part with fabric, and I see very little evidence of that happening.
In fact, the more I thought about the parallels between the quilting culture and the drug culture, the clearer the similarities became.  Consider the jargon.  I have learned that this vast collection of fabric, which is stored in our house, is a “stash”.  Well, drug dealers speak of their “stash” of drugs.  Gloria speaks of doing “piece” work.  In the drug world there are often people who bring together the crack cocaine dealer and the buyer; think of a real estate agent, but not as well dressed, through perhaps somewhat less annoying.  Those people speak of breaking off a “piece” of crack as payment for bringing the parties together.  Sounds to me like a type of “piece work”.  Those who transport drugs are often called “mules”; I have frequently heard Gloria refer to me as her mule when I am in a quilt store carrying stacks of fabric bolts (or did she says I was stubborn as a mule?).  Well, it was something about mules.  And I should think that this whole conference is a testimony to the addictive qualities of quilting.
In my role as a Sherpa, I have accompanied Gloria on various quilting expeditions, and I have been impressed by many things.  One is, as I have mentioned, that no matter where one goes, there will be a quilt store.  The proliferation of quilt shops makes Starbucks outlets seem scarce.  One day Gloria led me into a hardware store, which seemed odd to me, that is until I discovered that, as I walked towards the back of the store, the store had become a quilt shop.  The metamorphosis was extraordinary, and very crafty (if you will pardon the pun).  At that moment, I knew how Alice felt as she followed that rabbit down the rabbit hole.  Suddenly, one was in a different universe.
Another thing I have learned is that the operators of quilt shops have great business acumen.  In one of Gloria’s favourite shops, upon entry I am greeted by name and offered a cup of coffee.  If the grandson is with us, he is allowed to choose a book to take home.  It is all so friendly that I don’t even notice that I cannot see over the growing pile of fabric bolts which fill my arms.  I wish that my doctor did such a good job of distracting me when it is time to do a prostate exam.
I have learned that quilting is both international in scope and generous in spirit.  I have learned that quilters are quick to assist those in need, and that they have always been prepared to stand up for what is right.  For example, I think of Civil War quilts, which often conveyed messages about the Underground railway for slaves escaping to Canada.  I think of the One Million Pillowcase Challenge, and the Quilts of Valour project.  At one point, I thought of suggesting the creation of an organization akin to “Doctors Without Borders”, but decided that an organization called “Quilts Without Borders” would indeed be illogical.
And of course, there are the resultant quilts.  We have quilts throughout the house.  They adorn beds, chesterfields, the backs of chairs.  They are stacked on shelves, they are stored in drawers, they are shoved under beds, they are hung on walls.  There is even one on the ceiling of the sunroom.  They compete for any space not taken up with the fabric, which will eventually result in more quilts.  I live in a cornucopia, which disgorges quilts instead of produce.   I have decided that quilts are the zucchini of crafts.  But who can complain?  Quilt seriously, each one is a work of art, and an instant family treasure.  While family members and friends are delighted to receive them, I churlishly begrudge seeing them go out the door.
Though I tease Gloria about the all-consuming nature of her obsession, I am constantly amazed at the skill necessary to create those works of art.  I stand in awe as I watch her do the mathematics necessary to give effect to (or correct) a pattern.  When she quilts, she combines the skill of an engineer, a draughtsman, a seamstress, and an artist.  Her sewing machines require her to have, as she does, advanced computer and mechanical skills.  She knows her sewing machines as well as any Hell’s Angel knows his Harley.  She uses measuring and cutting tools and grids, which would challenge the talents of the best land surveyors.
In short, I am very proud of what Gloria does, as each of you should be proud of your own skills and creations.  They are impressive and very evident at this Conference.  On behalf of those of us who wouldn’t know a binding from a batting, I simply ask that when you finally and formally announce that have already taken over the world that you find some simple tasks for us to do to justify our existence.  You might call those tasks… the QUILT PRO QUO.
Gloria and I very much appreciate your warm hospitality this evening.
In closing, the hotel management has asked me to remind you that those found cutting up the table cloths for quilting fabric will have their rotary cutters confiscated and forfeited to the Crown.”

Any and all feed-back will be acknowledged and greatly appreciated!

End PSA……………………

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A little tease……

    Using Aurifil Mako 50. Ms Sweetie and I are having a glorious time on this little (soon to be) gifty. 

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When does “thread/tension testing” go beyond “testing”????

After 5 minutes, 10 minutes, an hour????  


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