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A very sad, sad day today.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Today is a very sad, sad day for me.

Nick is on the right. Gone, but never forgotten!

It is with great sadness that I write this. Nickolas died today, Tuesday, November 17, 2009 around 10:00 a.m. at Texas Childrens Hosptial at age 16. His family and grandparents were with him when he died. Nick fought the most courageous battle any of us could imagine and his spirit will live in all of us.

Thank all of you who have prayed. Nick knew his quilt had arrived, and stated many times he could feel the love and hugs it contained.

Nick requested to be buried with his quilt.

Please do not let this discourage you from making quilts for kids who are fighting cancer. Yes, we do lose some of them, but there are also many who recover.

When your heart gets heavy, remember Ally. She has now begun her third year of remission!

Yesterday another quilt went out to NY.

With love and appreciation for all you do,
Krackers and Ally

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BACONLADY 11/24/2009 8:56AM

    Ooh, so sorry to hear about Nick.
What a beautiful quilt to be buried with...

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BEVPRESLEY 11/18/2009 9:31PM

    I am so very sad for your family, but thankful he had your love and is now at peace and pain free. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

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ANUT4DISNEY 11/18/2009 11:39AM

    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and his family.

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KAROUSELL46 11/17/2009 9:33PM

    I feel so sad. I pray that God wraps his loving arms around Nick's family and comfort them. It so hard to when you lose a child. I'm so glad he got his blanket and it will be with him forever. God bless you. emoticonKaren

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MYMEGGIE1 11/17/2009 9:19PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. I have had students who have had cancer and so far, they are all still with us. Thoughts anr prayers go to you.

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    My prayers go out to you and Nick's family, what a wonderful gift the quilt was and what a gift from Nick that he loved his quilt and wanted it to be with him thru eternity.

Comment edited on: 11/17/2009 8:30:27 PM

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LOULOUBELLE2 11/17/2009 7:35PM

    A hard blog to read.....My prayers are with Nicholas and his family.... You can be assured that you brought him much comfort with the love you sent in that quilt...
Thank You for showing so much love to these kids that need all the love and support they can get.

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ILOVETOCRUISE 11/17/2009 7:33PM

    So sad to hear of your loss. I understand the loss as we have a grandaughter born with cancer and we still worry for her. She is now 14 years old and we still have her. Our neighbor in Texas lost their son years ago of cancer and the hurt is deep. God has another angel. Prayers to all. emoticon

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MOCNVW23 11/17/2009 5:26PM

    Sorry to hear about your loss. My love to you and your family.I am glad that Nick recieved the quilt, and that there are people out there like you to be with and support all the others, to let them know that they are loved and cared for.

Missy emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GCHUNG 11/17/2009 4:30PM

    I'm glad he was able to receive some enjoyment out of the gift made with love.

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HINOTO 11/17/2009 4:09PM

    I am very sorry for your loss

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ANDREA0301 11/17/2009 3:48PM

    Heavy hearts for sure. Thank you for all you continue to do for the "least of these".

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LOPEYP 11/17/2009 3:41PM

    Sorry to hear. I'm sure the love of friends and family and those that cared enough to make/send the quilt carried him safely to the other side.

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EVVYSBABY 11/17/2009 3:35PM

    I am so sorry - kudos to you and others that are there to make the final days of these kids as bearable as possible.

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EJORDANE 11/17/2009 3:34PM

    Aw, this is so sad. :( Good thing there are people like you out there who are so pro-active.

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Showing off My Quilt Room and a few Stockings

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Well, here are the photos. Actually, you have to go to my page and click photos to see what I am talking about.

I thought it easier to answer quilters' questions as to how I store my stash by posting photos. You know the old saying....one picture is worth a thousand words.

I also posted three of the Christmas Stockings that I finished for the troops. There are more to make, and they are coming along nicely.

Note that DH got my Elna all up and running again.......bless his heart!

I will be posting more photos of Ally Cat Quilts that are nearly ready to ship, too.

Anyway, I am very busy, quilting, quilting, quilting!

I did manage to get a mile walk in today, though. That is a great way to stretch after quilting for hours!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

14JESUSGIRL 11/17/2009 7:52PM

    Wow! Your room, equipment, fabric, EVERYTHING, looks so good!
What a blessing to have all these at your fingertips. Your quilts and stockings are beautiful. Thanks for sharing with us!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOULOUBELLE2 11/17/2009 11:13AM

    Got to click right over to see your pics.
Be right back. emoticon

Oh WOW.....What a spectacular quilt room you have and so organized....I'm so envious.........
What's your room dimensions...Mine is 8' by 8'...Can't get a long arm machine in it, that is and still have a sewing room and storage.
You deserve it though after all the long hours you spend in there doing all thosebeautiful Ally Cat Quilts.

Comment edited on: 11/17/2009 11:30:53 AM

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KAROUSELL46 11/16/2009 6:39PM

    I'm impressed! Nice to see you got Elna back. You've got one heck of a talent! The stockings are beautiful. You are so lucky to have so much room. I'd go nuts in there.

Comment edited on: 11/16/2009 6:41:04 PM

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DARCEYOH 11/16/2009 4:15PM

    Now THAT is a sewing room!

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BEA-N-ME 11/16/2009 4:08PM

    Great photos and sewing room! Loved the stockings! ( I have two soldiers myself, both home now!) Always love seeing your work, you inspire me as always!

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NOTFATCAT 11/16/2009 11:41AM

    What in the world? It is unbelievable how great a set-up you have. You are fortunate in both the ability to have this room but also the talent that you have. It's great that you are able to do something you love.

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BACONLADY 11/16/2009 8:46AM

    Thank you for showing us your quilting room.. First of all.. I wanna play in it too.. but secondly, now I see how you stash your fabric on the shelves! Wow!
How large is your room? It looks so sunshiney and roomy!

The soldiers will love getting those stockings!
I'm fixing a box to send to my daughter very soon..

Thanks again for the wonderful tour!

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SCOUTHARPS 11/15/2009 11:04PM

  I love the stockings! The room is impressive too. Ummmm....want to move south so you can help redo mine?

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RELGRAM 11/15/2009 10:16PM

  Loved your pictures of your sewing room. I could wish mine were so tidy! You are the quintessential quilter, having all the good stuff, and you use it so beautifully. You are a most inspiring person. Love ya, relgram emoticon

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BEVPRESLEY 11/15/2009 9:44PM

    OHHH, I wanna play in your room. Santa is talking mid arm and frame for Christmas. I can't wait.

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AMYLT82 11/15/2009 7:53PM

    I love quilts. I had an Aunt who was the true quilter in our family. She had a quilting machine. She didn't always use it, but her quilts were really pretty. She started making quilts for all occassions. My favorite quilt that she made me was for staying with my Grandmother, the week my Grandfather was in the hospital before he died. She always wrote something on the quilts so besides the quilts being pretty they tell why she made them. If and when I can I would love to make as many as she did. Now most of the sewing I do is plastic canvas. Someday I would like to sew quilts for holidays and special occassions. The quilts I make now are usually baby quilts for Project Linus.
Anyone who has ever made a quilt knows that they are truly special. Your Friend, Amy emoticon

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My Elna is Being Serviced, Can't Walk Miles...Is There Anything Else?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Yesterday my overworked Elan sewing machine started making s whiney kind of noise I have never heard before. It needs to be serviced.

DH does my machine service, which is a good thing, and a bad thing.

Good thing because he knows what he is doing, and it is much less costly.

Bad thing because he frequently gets distracted and hops from one "job" to another, not really finishing any of them.

But he WILL finish the Elna, if only to shut me up. I will nag him like a Fishwife until it is ready to sew again.

After all, there are quilts that must be stitched, right?! And Stockings that must be made for the deployed soldiers, right?! And Christmas gifts to be made, right?!

Ah, yes, I will harangue in my best Fishmonger's way and get my Elna back.

"She" and I have spent many long hours together over the past 12 years, and we are good friends. Together we have made over a thousand quilts, mended clothing, put together placemats and wall hangings, stitched up passport holders, pot holders, table runners and curtains. The list could go on and on.

My knee is still touchy about walking very far, so heading out for the wonderful nature/health walks is out.

The walks are very important to me. I love being outdoors, and love the meditative release the walking gives me. I solve all kinds of supposed problems during those walks, and Winsten and I appreciate nature's surprises found along the way.

Sometimes I have even caught myself humming as the road passes under my feet.

Let me tell you about my humming. Actually, I will tell you about my singing.

A long time ago (not long enough, because I still remember!), I was married to a different man. We will call him Durwood. Durwood is a very good description of what was in his head.

Anyway, Durwood and his family loved to go camping. Of course, they would take the women and kids so they would have someone to do all the work while they enjoyed the great outdoors, fish and do music.

We women and children set up the tents, unloaded the vehicles, cooked all the food, cleaned up afterward, gathered wood and made sure the campfire was appropriately rock and stone walled in.

We did all this AFTER we had done all the grocery shopping, pre-cooking and baking, got all the gear together and packed up, made sure the medicine chest was hauled into the car, selected His Majesty's clothing and packed that, and then loaded up the car, making sure all the kids were accounted for.

We would be stuffed in the car among all the baggage and supplies, while HM always did the driving, which was the least crowded place in the vehicle.

Anyway, about my singing.

One night they got out their guitars, sent the kids out Snipe Hunting, and proceeded to play music. It was very nice to listen to music under the sighing of the wind through the trees while the stars twinkled in amusement.

It was his brother, David's, birthday. I made the stupid cake for it before we left, and everyone gulped it down without comment.

While we were all sitting round the campfire, they started to sing "Happy Birthday" to David. I joined in.

I am singing away with gusto (which is the way Happy Birthday should be sung) when I realized I was singing alone. The music had stopped. They were all looking at me, and not in an admiring way, either!

Then Durwood lowered the bomb. He sarcastically said "Sandy, just MOUTH the words. Your singing is driving us off key."

NO, I did NOT bury his face in the campfire, although I must admit I thought of it!

That ended me singing for a very long time.......years, in fact.

By now you have probably also figured out why I am not married to Durwood any more. Which is a good thing! Since dumping HIM, my life has improved thousands fold.

Anyway, I am pouty today because my quilting has to be put off, and I can't go walking to gather my meandering thoughts.

What to DO??? I mean, is there really LIFE without Elna and walking???

Huh? Did I just hear Ms. Smarmy say "clean house"? Did Miss Goodytwoshoes just chime her nasty little comment "there's LOTS of housework to get caught up with!"?

Housework? HOUSEWORK??? Is that as far as their pebble sized brains can take them??

Haven't I tried to teach them "Quilting Forever, Housework Whenever"? They are slow learners, those two.

I happen to be very emotionally close ot my dust bunnies. they all have their own names and resting places. They are not loud or boisterous, and do not interrupt with any needs of their own. And they don't eat much either.

Ms. Smarmy points to what SHE calls "cobwebs". Stupid person! Those are NOT cobwebs!!! They are DREAMCATCHERS, for Pete's sake! They do a great service in separating the good dreams from the bad. They add character to otherwise boring ceilings. They are gossamere stalacmites!

Then Ms. Goodytwoshoes points to the furniture. She calls it dust. Moron!

That is NOT dust! It is simply message pads for those who cannot find paper and pencil.

I mean, honestly! these two just don't get it. They think life is all about cleanliness and orderliness. It isn't.

Life is all about breaking all the rules, trying scary things at least once, laughing till I pee and snort. Grabbing challenges I don't believe I can accomplish only to find that I am my own hero! Life is taking a different path, just because it is there and I haven't been on it yet. It doesn't matter if I color outside the lines or match my outfits. It doesn't matter if I don't put on make-up or change clothes before I run into town for some groceries. It only matters that I GO!

So now I can sing as well as Barbra Strisand, dance as well as Cyd Charrise, and am as beautiful as Audrey Hepburn.

Is there anything else?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SCOUTHARPS 11/13/2009 10:30PM

  I love it! And yes, I've been camping with Durwood and friends myself. I'm going to leave my dream catchers!

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DAISES2 11/13/2009 12:29AM

    life is for living,not for dusting.
anyway you can evict those dust bunnies,but they always sneak back in,so might as well live with them emoticoni really enjoyed reading this blog

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TERI99 11/12/2009 8:00PM

    Wow, could I ever identify with almost every word!
Thanks for the great chuckle -- I have had lots of reasons not to dust, but I hadn't considered being "green" and saving paper...Lets's save the trees!
emoticon emoticon

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KAROUSELL46 11/12/2009 5:18PM

    You are way to funny! I have some of those dreamcatchers too. So far they have worked. I hope hubby gets Elna working soon. Its lonely when your best friend isn't feeling well. emoticonKaren

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GEINAHG0757 11/12/2009 4:26PM

    I am going to remember that one about the dust! It is being saved to take messages...


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MARYMAC45 11/12/2009 3:35PM

    I would miss my sewing machine if it broke down now. Good luck I hope hubby gets it done fast.

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DARCEYOH 11/12/2009 2:18PM

    Well, I have a sewing machine. And I have things that need to be finished. You are more than welcome to go to my house and finish my projects. hehe.

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ANUT4DISNEY 11/12/2009 2:11PM

    I love when you write, it brings a drop of sunshine to my day.

I tell everyone that it says bring a joyful noise unto the Lord, which is what I do when I sing, lol.

Have a great day.

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Clearing Up Some Confusion About Ally Cat Quilts by Krackers

Monday, November 09, 2009

I have had quite a number of folks asking me for patterns for the Ally Cat Quilts by Krackers. There are none. Let me explain:

Ally Cat Quilts by Krackers all begain when our beloved Granddaughter, Ally, was diagnosed with leukemia.

She and her Mom called one day and asked me to make quilts for the bigger kids.

At that time I didn't know that folks or guilds typically do not make quilts for teens, and there is a large population of teens who have cancer.

The kids get extremely cold during their battle with cancer, and the quilts were badly needed.

To make a long, heart-warming story short, between Ally, my daughter Cindy and I, we came up with a design that will work for these kids.

There are no patterns. Every quilt is different, and every quilt has a cat on it somewhere, in honor of Ally's battle.

I make these quilts using my table top Elna. I do not charge any fees for these quilts, and absorb all the cost, including shipping myself.

I have, on occassion, been given fabric. I only use 100% cotton, from quilt shops. It is necessary to use very strong fabric because these quilts are really put through the wringer.

Recently, some lovely ladies in my quilt club have begun making quilt tops for me. They are what I call "My Catty Angels".

I stopped counting 2 years ago when I sent out quilt no. 867. Many more have gone since then.

And so, dear readers, nope, I can't send you the patterns. As I said, there are none.

However, there is something you can do for Me, and that is to send me the name and contact information of any kid between 8-18 that you know of who is fighting cancer so I can make them a quilt.

I can't heal the kids, but I sure can keep them warm!

By the way.......Ally will have her 17th birthday in February, and she is heading into her 3rd year of remission! Thanks to all of you who donate $$ toward research, we are saving a lot of kid's lives!

Here is a photo of the real ALLY CAT!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOULOUBELLE2 11/12/2009 12:02PM

    What more can I say to this that hasn't been already said. You are an amazing gal, doing a tremendous gift of warmth for those kids that need not only warmth but love. That Love they feel in your quilts must make them feel so much better.
Your Ally Cat is a beautiful girl. She rightfully deserves that name of "Earth Angel" as someone else stated.
Here's a big emoticonOn behalf of all those hundreds of kids and their families that you have given so generously to. If you ever need more help. let me know.

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NOTFATCAT 11/10/2009 1:00PM

    You are very generous and thoughtful to take on this mission of love and sacrifice.

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MIMAWELIZABETH 11/10/2009 3:03AM

    Reading your blog brought tears to my eyes ~ your generosity is boundless! I canít thank you enough for what you do. I will keep Ally in my prayers, and put in an extra "please keep that sewing machine running smoothly!" too.

A charity my family supports is The St. Baldrick's Foundation, a now-international organization which raises money for Childhood Cancer Research. (There are photos of fundraisers in my Spark Gallery.)

After my son's accidental death in 2008, we asked people to support their annual fundraiser, as he would have. Along with dozens of participants and volunteer hours, over $5,500 was raised in his name!

I can get names of children fighting cancer in my area from my friends, a married couple who organizes our local St. Bs event. Their young son died in 1994; the research foundation they began in his memory was subsequently taken under the St. Baldrick's umbrella of charities, all of which are dedicated to CCR.

I hope you don't mind me passing your information on to them, and sharing with them the amazing works of love you create for these children. Take care and God bless you always!
Elizabeth ~ emoticon

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BIZEEMOMTO3 11/9/2009 9:52PM


Thank you so much for all you do for the teen kids. I know from personal experience that it means so much to them. Often times the older kids feel left out and forgotten about. They miss so much of traditional things, dances, sports, school and just being with their friends because they are so sick. It means so much to know that someone out there is thinking of them, praying for them and loving them through chemo and adolescence.

I am proud to be your Bossy Daughter,
Love you to pieces,
Lulu emoticon emoticon

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PERFECT01 11/9/2009 8:35PM

    As before, I am really impressed with what you do and why you do it! It is nice knowing an earth angel.

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MAZACK 11/9/2009 8:03PM

    You are doing something wonderful.

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PAG2809 11/9/2009 6:32PM

    Wow. This is a very special thing you're doing! emoticon

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KAROUSELL46 11/9/2009 5:51PM

    You are one special lady. Ally is very beautiful. Thanks for all you do for the children.

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DARCEYOH 11/9/2009 5:26PM

    You absolutely amaze me! You've made that many quilts?! and they're gorgeous to boot!

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TRYAGAIN150 11/9/2009 5:16PM

    How wonderful. Thank you for all you do and Congratulations to Ally on her remission.

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    That is the sweetest thing I have ever read.

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TAZZYM150 11/9/2009 4:41PM

    You are doing a great job. I am a quilter also. Very new to this hopefully one day I will be helping a child like you do.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

Isn't this just the MOST?! I found it on Jonathan Lockwood's page of ispirational quotes. It has inspried me to do the day BOLDLY, WITH COLORS!

I am making some great Christmas stockings for my deployed soldiers. I found the pattern on Eleanor Burns' TV show. I am making the stip stockings for the guys, and Crazy Quilt ones for the girls.

It's a lot of fun, and I need a break from the Ally Cat Quilts by Krackers today. Sometimes I just have to go in a different direction to find my spark toward life again. Making these quilts can be quite an emotional toll on me. I find that if I take a break once in a while, I am re-energized and better equipped to handle my emotions.

I will post photos of the stockings when I get them finished.

In the meantime, what better place to live BOLDLY, WITH COLOR, than a QUILT ROOM???

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BETHSHEALTH 11/9/2009 2:58PM

    I had to go look up Ally Cat Quilts by Krackers. I think I have one of those patterns in my stash. I'm going to have to go tear out the boxes. Need to get in that room and make it useable again anyway.

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WANNABEETRIM2 11/9/2009 1:22PM

    Love the "horse of many bold colors".
That's a wonderful gift you are making for the troops and a terrific way of re-enerigizing yourself.
Eagerly awaiting the photos of the Christmas Stocks.

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DARCEYOH 11/9/2009 1:06PM

    Very nice!

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RELGRAM 11/9/2009 12:35PM

  YAY for Bold Colors! and Yay for you, dear Krackers!!! Go girl.

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ANUT4DISNEY 11/9/2009 12:04PM

    You are one awesome person.

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ALICIA214 11/9/2009 11:26AM


Love your colourful blog, very inspirational too. Looking forward to seeing your stockings.



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ALICIA214 11/9/2009 11:25AM


Love your colourful blog, very inspirational too. Looking forward to seeing your stockings.



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WANDAC2013 11/9/2009 11:13AM

    How fun!!!! I would love to learn to quilt....can't wait to see pics of the stockings! emoticon

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