Monday, July 14, 2014

A Quilter's Mixology by Angela Pingel Review & Giveaway


I am excited to be back here to share with you a really amazing new quilting book that joined my bookshelf. It is A Quilter's Mixology by the lovely Angela Pingel who blogs at Cut to Pieces!

By Angela Pingel
Interweave/F+W; $27.99

I have known Angela for years and she has been a huge inspiration for me. She is one of those girls who can make anything! Her quilts are crazy amazing, but she has designed all sorts of other things including children's garments and even zakka items that made my jaw drop to the floor. She has been big source of my inspiration, and I couldn't help telling her that she needs to write a book, so it was really exciting when she finally told me she was doing it! We chatted often while she was working on her book, which is over a year ago.  I feel I waited so long for this book! Angela's projects are always rich in colors and incredibly executed Her projects are great representations of herself as a person. She is so organized, posotive and oh just so lovely :) 

Medallion Baby Quilt, Page 63

Her book was guaranteed to be one of my very favorite quilting books, and I was so right about that. I have had AccQuilt and Drunkard's Path due cutter, but had not have enough inspiration to actually use it until I saw this book. Now I am itching like crazy to tackle curvy seams so I can make a beautiful quilt using Drunkard's Path blocks! If you have been in blogland, you've probably heard about this book and have seen the pictures of all the beautiful quilts in the book on Angela's blog. If you haven't, you really need to check that out! Maybe you will have goosebumps like I did! :)

There are 16 beautiful and unique eye-candies made by her. Every project uses the Drunkard's Path block. OK, maybe I just need to shut up and have you hear Angela's voices now! I was able to interview her, so here you go!

Petal Pusher Quilt, Page 127

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1) You probably expected this was coming, but what is your advice for people like me who are a bit scared of sewing curvy seams? Which projects would you recommend for beginners?

Curved Seams are really not scary.  It's always a leap of faith to tackle a new skill but the reward is well worth it.  And though there ARE people who perfect a pinless curved piecing method, my advice for beginners is to use pins.  There is no shame in it.  I'm a pinner by nature and use pins in regular straight line quilting all the time.  So using pins here is no big deal.  But I know some people NEVER use pins and I'd have to tell you to get over it and grab a pin or two. ;)  Curved piecing is something I think every quilter should know how to do.  You don't always use it all the time but it's a technique you want to have in your back pocket.

The best pattern for the true beginner is probably the Ombre Drunkard's Path Pillow.  There are no seams to match up and the curves don't meet each other.  It's a small project that is easy to tackle.  And if you have a die cutter then life is even easier.  But don't stop there or even start there if another pattern is just calling you.  Go with your instincts.  Make a piece that inspires you!

2) How did you design these beautiful quilt patterns using only two types of Drunkard's path blocks? Did you use a software or design on paper?

I eventually get all patterns into the computer for technical purposes of sending them to the publisher, but truly...so many of my patterns really do start with sketches.  I find shapes that inspire me and I often have to sketch them out to break the pattern down into the curved blocks I need.  I can see an image and know that it can be made with these blocks but I still have to sketch it out by hand.  That puts it into my mind in a different way than designing straight from the computer.  But the computer is awfully handy once you have an idea of what you are doing with a pattern and just want to create alternate versions or flip flop blocks etc.  It's much faster for that type of work.  But yes, I'm old school.  I have lots of little notebooks filled with graph paper for sketching.


3) I think you are amazing at creating very original and modern quilt patterns, but what I think sets you to a different level as a quilter is your choice of fabric and colors. I find it very striking and eye-pleasing. I just love the way you make beautiful fabric design pop like a magic. What inspires you to choose colors/designs?

Well you are going to give me a big head with all that type of talk!  My goodness!  So first, thank you for that! And then to answer your question, picking out the colors and type of patterns I want to use is as vital as the pattern itself often.  I learned a lot about color and pattern when I was studying for one of my degrees, Interior Design.  I have to watch myself because I will tend toward a certain palette of colors for sure.  I wanted the book to have a diverse amount of color schemes but still feel like me.  I choose fabrics that make me happy and then pair them with something often that rubs me the wrong way a bit.  That way you get that extra bit of "pop" in your color scheme and keeps it from being too flat and predictable.  Like all of us, I have favorite designers and design companies.  I tend to use those as a base place to start and work out from there.

4) Probably most readers of this blog are rather zakka makers than quilters, so I want to ask a simple question about making a quilt. How long does it take to make a quilt, say Butterflies quilt for example?

Ah...a difficult question to answer.  How long did it take me? How long should it take?  How long COULD it take?  All very different answers and completely dependent on your ability to spend time making a single project.  But make no mistake, a quilt is not a "quick" project.  I can knock out a bag or dress in a day or two and that feels like a luxury.  Quilts take hours of cutting fabrics, sewing them together, lots of pressing and usually more sewing...repeat as needed.  And of course the size of the piece changes that time dramatically.  If you are nervous about tackling a large scale project like a bed size quilt, just look at some of the smaller pieces.  There are pillows (very accomplishable!), wall hangings, baby quilts etc.  In general, bigger projects take more time...but it really all depends on the number of seams.  I wouldn't expect to finish a bed size quilt in less than 2 weeks.  And it could take significantly longer.  There is no "right" amount of time to spend on a long term project.

Butterflies Quilt, Page 55 (My favorite project!!)

5) You made incredible 16 projects (14 quilts and 2 pillows) in such a short period of time for your book. And you did't even stop blogging while you were working on your book! You are awesome! How did you manage the time to work on your book when you had so many other things going on? Any tips to be very organized like yourself?

Well first of all, let's admit that it's a little bit nuts to do that.  I had quilt alongs going on and book reviews and swaps and other publications that I was doing all while writing the book and making those projects.  I had to put my creative life into two categories, the blogging world and the book world.  And never the two shall me until I can share publicly what I'm making.

It definitely takes some organization.  I had a list of the projects that needed to be completed and I stuck to a deadline for each one individually.  But it was actually important for me to do other sewing because I got tired of sewing sooo many curves for one and I also needed more immediate gratification projects.  Small dresses for my daughter were perfect for that...but the Super Mario Brothers Quilt along was probably a bit much. ;) I needed to make things that I could share though.  It's an important part for me of being a member of the online sewing community while sewing in isolation at my home.

6) What are you going to do with your quilts once they are returned? This is just from my curiosity :)

Well right now they are rather glamorously being housed in some large tupperware tubs in the middle of my living room.  But I hope to be able to display a number of them around the house.  I also intend to use them for trunk shows for lectures and teaching.  There is nothing like seeing a quilt in person to love it even more.

I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to give these away...but it does seem like a lot of quilts to hold on to! lol And I want them to be loved!!

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Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer these interview questions, Angela!

The publisher kindly allowed me to share a copy of her book with one of you based in the US! If you'd like a chance to win it, please leave a comment telling me about your favorite place to visit in the summer! The giveaway is open til the next Monday. I then will announce a winner!

99 comments:

  1. I love going somewhere warm! Anywhere!!

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  2. I love to go back home to visit friends and relatives.

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  3. The Sleeping Bear Dunes on Lake Michigan is my favorite summer vacation destination.
    I do love that butterfly quilt! I haven't had the nerve to do curved piecing yet but that quilt may get me started!

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  4. I like going to a drive in movie theatre once every summer. The kids love it too!

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  5. I love to have picnics and enjoy the rivers during the summer - so that is one of my favorite places to visit.

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  6. I love spend time in Mystic Conn. and Newport RI. So much fun.

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  7. I love to be at the beach in the summer but I'm hoping for a trip to Alaska next summer!

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  8. I love road trips, anywhere new is fun? But I really do love the Oregon coast!

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  9. Hi, we love going up into the Rockies here in Montana and taking a picnic+explore nature!
    Thanks for sharing!

    msstitcher1214@gmail.com

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  10. I love going to a lake-side cottage in Michigan in the summer. Its nice to escape the Texas heat for awhile!

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  11. I love to visit Bald Head Island, NC!

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  12. I'm at my favorite summer place right now! At home it's 90+ degrees, but here at the coast it's overcast, cool, and breezy. Ahhhhhh......

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  13. Alaska. I have family there and it's gorgeous in the summer!

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  14. New England coastline. Haven't been there yet.

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  15. We love heading to the mountains for biking, hiking, sightseeing and escaping the heat.

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  16. Love heading to the beach nearly every evening! Thanks for a chance to win, I'd love to make that baby medallion quilt

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  17. Any place I can travel to that I haven't been. I live near some of the prettiest beaches I can imagine so they are always there and I live in a warm climate so I visit them summer or winter.

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  18. We go to Cape Ann in Massachusetts. Fried fish, onion rings and whale watching- perfection! thank you for the opportunity to win! Take care, Pam

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  19. I live in the middle of Vacationland Minnesota, so we do a "stay-cation" and enjoy our lake!

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  20. Canon Beach, Oregon is a favorite of ours!

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  21. I love going to Michigan's Upper Peninsula .. thanks for the chance to win!

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  22. Looks like a lovely book!
    My favorite place to go in the summer is central Oklahoma. Actually going there next week, yes, to the blazing heat!
    Thanks for the giveaway.

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  23. I love going to Maine in the summer to escape the Tennessee heat. Love Angela's book!

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  24. The mountains are my favorite. Both Mt Hood and Mt Rainier being my favorite summer spots

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  25. When my children were small we would head to the beach. Now I head to Tuscon for some serious bird watching in August.

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  26. I grew up in Rhode Island, so I have to go back once each summer to get my Atlantic Ocean "fix," to carry me through the NW Ohio winter.

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  27. PDF for an International winner???? I love visiting any beach here in the UK. I like the pebbles!

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  28. Summer means Christmas here and my favourite summer place is going home to New Zealand for Christmas with my family.

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  29. Going back to my hometown of Huntington Beach, CA, USA is my favorite summertime trip.

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  30. I love to travel to Ireland in the summer.

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  31. I am going to Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes! I would love to be confident with curves, thanks for the chance to win this book.

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  32. My absolute favorite place is the beach. I hardly get there, but one day I will live there!!!

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  33. The coast of Maine is about the most beautiful of anywhere I've been. We love to take the convertible and just meander down small windy roads.

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  34. It's so nice to see Angela's book here. One of my favorite places to visit is Camp Ondessonk in IL. There is no cell service, lots of trees, paths and nature to explore and it is a place that gives my boys and our family great joy.

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  35. I love the coast of Maine in the summer but I love the White Mountains of New Hampshire just as much. Each is beautiful and refreshing but they are completely different from one another.

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  36. I love going to the beach and any will do on the Oregon Coast! The next best place is with family in Southern California.
    Thanks so much for the giveaway!

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  37. My small hometown in northern Minnesota. Lakes and stars and family...

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  38. Off to Redmond in central Oregon Thursday.
    Even though 'I don't quilt', I would like to try the butterfly quilt.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

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  39. I like my deck that is overflowing with potted flowers--- I don't have to pack or drive and there is no mound of laundry at the end of my stay!

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  40. Oh, our favorite place to visit in summer (or any time for that matter) is North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It is my "home away from home". We have been there so often it feels like "coming home" every time we go. Thanks for the chance to win her book...it looks WONDERFUL!

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  41. I love getting out of the city and visiting my parents on their farm. So refreshing! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  42. My very favorite place in the summer is Panama City Beach, the beautiful white sand, the sound of the ocean, it is my little piece of heaven on earth! I sure hope I win this book, I want to make the baby quilt!

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  43. In the summer, I like to go to my favorite fabric/quilt shop. It's air conditioned! I want this book.

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  44. Wow, such gorgeous quilts in that book! One of my favorite places to visit in the summer is San Diego Comic-Con. It's so much fun, and people wear the most amazing costumes that they have spent a year making. The creativity and craftsmanship is mind-blowing!

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  45. Lombok is the most place I want to visit again, that was my first place I traveled with my future husband... It was an amazing quite place - I want to visit again someday with my little one, so she will have an experience play , picking sea shell on the beach , see the sunset .. ect ..

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  46. All of the seasons where I live are mostly the same, so I don't have a special summer destination, but I sure would like to go somewhere cold for the summer! :D

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  47. my favorite place to visit in the summer time is our North Carolina mountains

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  48. I love to visit the mountains in my area - Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead and Wrightwood. Of course I also love Hawaii.

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  49. I like to visit Arizona. It might be hot in the summer but family and a Arizona sunset makes up for all the heat.

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  50. I live in the MO Ozarks so my favorite places to visit in the summer are the local rivers here.
    kdavis1@centurytel.net

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  51. Thank you for a chance on this book. I love those big modern patterns. I live in wonderful scenic northwest Oregon. Going to the beach on our coast is our big summer destination, or up our cool, very green, and waterfall filled Columbia Gorge.

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  52. So many amazing places in the U.S. It's hard to select just one. I love all the national parks and the Outer Banks. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  53. This looks like a wonderful book! Love that Butterfly quilt! Oh my! My favourite place to visit will be my sister's house in Ottawa, Canada! I will be there in a few short days and cannot wait. We will be checking out a few quilt shops in the area and probably hanging out in her sewing room every night.

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  54. Growing up, my family visited Northern Wisconsin every single year. I haven't been in quite some time, but it was the best and someday I will go back! Always glad when I get to see a post from you, Ayumi. :)

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  55. That book looks so great! Definitely one to add to my wish list!

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  56. I enjoy going back to MN in the summer. Family is there and it isn't as hot as KS.

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  57. A rather isolated campground a couple hours away called Troublesome Creek. It's quiet except for the rather loud creek. :)

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  58. No specific place but we like taking road trips and seeing new national parks. Thanks!

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  59. My favorite place to visit is the oregon coast. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  60. My favorite place to visit is... oh, there are so many! Anywhere with lakes, I guess, and a bonus if there are mountains! sarah@forrussia.org

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  61. We enjoy visiting family in Maine in the summer. Thank you for leading me over to Angela's blog, and thanks for the giveaway!

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  62. I like to visit Alki Beach in Seattle, a nice stroll along my childhood haunt followed by a nice dinner at any of the restaurants that have opened up in the last 20 years after!

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  63. I would love to win this book! The projects look amazing. I love the medallion baby quilt! My favorite place to visit during the summer is the lake or the beach. I live in Seattle, and today I took the kids to the beach, sand, sun, swimming in the water, and tons of fun! I love it. It's so beautiful.

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  64. I love to visit my in laws. They live about 4 hours away and it is a nice time to relax and catch up with family. Usually it is a holiday, so we BBQ and shoot off fireworks too.

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  65. How wonderful to have this introduction to another gifted quilting designer! Thank you so very much Ayumi.

    How quickly this summer is speeding past. I am glad that some of the days have been relaxing. One of my favorite NYC summer places is the Union Square farmers market, held on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. It's a joy to chat with the farmers who bring their delicious summer produce into the city from their farms some miles away. Being able to bring home tomatoes at their flavorsome prime is a delight!

    xo to you and yours.

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  66. Boston. I love the warm afternoons, the cool evenings, the fantastic 4th, the history and memories and the entire city!

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  67. I love the Black Hills in western SD always hiking, and fun things to do there.

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  68. I love going to the pool! Lovely giveaway.

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  69. Anywhere that isn't as hot as here in Northern Virginia!! When I was pregnant with my first baby, we went to NYC on the hottest day of the year. I was so miserable!! My highlight that time was the a/c in the car as we went home! I do love all the various free toddler friendly activities that we have around here in the summertime - splash pads, concerts, petting zoos, outdoor movies, and the pool!

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  70. Ooooh! I've been eyeing this book for a while now and am a big fan of Angela's! Thank you for an opportunity to win a copy! My favorite place to visit is Southern Maine. My husband has been going to the same beach since he was 2 years old with his family and we continue the tradition with our daughter who is now 3! I love watching my husband relive his childhood past-times and share them with our daughter!

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  71. This book looks great! My spot is Centerville, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. I love the small town feel and going out to eat at Centerville Pie, Craigville Taco & Pizza and the best for last is Four Seas Ice Cream!

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  72. My favorite vacation spot is Pawleys Island, SC. Love the lowcountry!

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  73. Because I work full-time (until I retire on 12-1-14), my favorite place really is at home. My DH and I live on a lake with beautiful hills and pastures around us...not too many houses. It is peaceful and a perfect place for quilting in my little bit of spare time.

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  74. I love to spend time at our summer home in East Hampton, NY. Working in my garden and visiting the beach make summer a perfect time for me.

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  75. I love to spend the summer holiday time on the Michigan beaches!

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  76. My favorite places to visit in the summer are England and France. Sadly, that is a rare treat. This summer we will be leaving New England to spend time back in our old stomping grounds of So. Cal--- and that will be fun too.
    Can't wait to check this book out in person.

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  77. "I choose fabrics that make me happy and then pair them with something often that rubs me the wrong way a bit." I love that! What a great interview. Thank you! I will for sure be introducing this book to my bookshelf!

    My favourite place to visit? hmm, when I was 12 my parents took me to New Brunswick, which was where my Grandmother was from (she took a train across Canada to marry my Grandfather in Alberta). I love NB and I'd love to go back one day.

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  78. Montana! Going in October! Thanks for the chance.

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  79. I love a little place called Knott Island, NC! Great camping and fishing! Family time! Really miss it there!

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  80. I love heading to Ireland to see family and spend time on the beach. Thanks! notwendy gmail

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  81. I love heading anywhere that is warm, lovely, and holding a quilting retreat!

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  82. Summers in Wisconsin are nice, so we tend to stay close to home and do things around here, and take our summer vacations in the winter to get away from the snow!

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  83. I love going to Snoqualmie Falls in the summer! It's fairly close by where I live (about 30 minutes away) but the view is just so pretty! Both my husband and I love this place!

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  84. If I had my choice, I'd be in Italy. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

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  85. Anywhere by the ocean with sand is a favorite for me. Nothing better than toes in sand.

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  86. my favorite place to visit in the summer is the our local botanic gardens…even for a few hours I feel like I'm somewhere else it's so pretty and since we can't go on a real vacation it's a wonderful substitute

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  87. Wow, absolutely beautiful! Our favorite summer place is a little B&B we always sneak away to for our anniversary each year.

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  88. I love to go to Mammoth Springs, Arkansas and walk through the beautiful paths and watch the water flow. The Spring River starts at this point and it is beautiful

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  89. My favorite place to visit in the summer would be the beach! I love to collect seashells and sea glass :)

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    1. I love going to a large park near our house and walking down to the beach!

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  90. OMG! This is the perfect book for inspiration for projects for our house remodel. Many of the motifs mimic Spanish Revival and that's exactly the style of our house. I've been thinking about these designs the last few months, trying to come up with some ways to incorporate the designs into making new things for the house and this is PERFECT!

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Thanks for taking the moment to leave a comment ;) I always love hearing from you!