Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pillow Talk

I'm going to do the Moda Pillow Talk blog hop in two postings. I know it isn't my day....my day for the blog hop is tomorrow, Feb. 2nd....but with the quilt info. I want to post, I need to get part of this done now. I'm never able to follow the rules correctly. I accept my personality disorder and hope you will too.

The mission was to make a pillow that reflected us. The above pillow was the one I made. It was made from a block I discarded while making the theme quilt for the book Garden Club. (The pattern for this block is in the book. I just changed my mind about background fabrics for the quilt.) So, I began this task by cheating.

I used the block because it was already done. I just didn't want to discard the block. Think of it like giving a UFO another life.

I made up for using this block by adding layers of texture that were interesting to me.

I thought it would be fun to quilt the piece with embroidery stitches. Using a cream pearl cotton I stitched the chain stitch and herringbone stitch around all of the shapes. I hand quilted a running stitch along the printed stripe with the same fiber.

Instead of using poly-fil to stuff the pillow, I decided to use feathers. I love the drape of a feather pillow. They look natural instead of stiff. (If you do this, please make sure you line the pillow! My feathers are still popping out of the back as I didn't line it.)


A small ruffle finished this. Just enough to add a bit of color to frame the applique. This really went pretty fast. I didn't go for perfect stitches. I went for speed! I did note after stitching a couple of stems, my technique got better.

Here are the questions we were to answer.....you can skip this part if you want to!

What is a little known fact about yourself?
I enjoy playing the piano. I’m not very good, but I'm ok with that. As I learn a piece of music I feel a sense of accomplishment though. I'm thinking about learning how to play the accordion or squeezebox. I almost purchased one recently in an antique shop. It just looks like a joyful musical instrument to play.

How do you relax?
Reading is always relaxing for me. My favorite genre has always been science fiction. The stories literally transport me out of this world. Now I’m reading mysteries. People are always seem to be killing each other or loosing things! (Maybe I should go back to science fiction!)

What do you sleep in - PJ’s or Nightgown?
I’m a t-shirt and shorts kind of gal. I don’t like nightgowns. You get all tangled up when tossing and turning in bed.

What kind of pillow do you like, Hard or soft, foam or feather? And why?
I really like a couple of feather pillows. But really, it doesn’t matter what kind of pillow. When my head hits the pillow, I’m gone.

When you were young did you sleep with a stuffed animal? If so what?
I don’t remember sleeping with a stuffed animal. My second son had a polar bear called “Huggy Baby” and it was a crisis if we couldn’t find him at bedtime. Maybe that’s why my parents didn’t encourage me to have one.

Do you sew in bed? Read? Watch TV? eat?
I read in bed and drink a cup of tea.

How many nights have you or your spouse spent on the couch?
None...we did have a young man wander into our house one Thanksgiving and spent the night on our sofa. We were very surprised to find him there the next day! We had to call the police and have him removed. After that, no one wanted to sleep on the sofa.

Nighttime toddy?
Just hot tea.

Early to bed or all-nighter?
Early to bed and early to rise......

Who would you most like to have a pillow fight with?
Heath Ledger....although he’s gone and was much, much, much too young for me. I loved watching him on-screen. Just wish he were still around to act in movies. If he were smacked by a pillow, I imagine he would have a very cute grin.

Tomorrow a contest and quilt instructions. My friend Jan Patek is up for Feb. 3. Click on her name to go to her site.

Until tomorrow dear friends! It's snowing up a storm here. Hope you are all warm and cosy!

Alma

104 comments:

  1. Alma,

    That is a beautiful pillow, it would look beautiful on my shabby denim couches :) I remember that Thanksgiving story, too funny. I'll see you and Barb soon at market, I think we're just a few booths apart. Sixth floor RockS!!! :) Much love to you both..

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  2. What a gorgeous, fabulous pillow - I wish I could quilt :-)
    It was interesting to read a bit about you - fancy finding a perfect stranger on the sofa, yuck!!

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  3. That pillow looks so comfy! Fun to read your answers too.

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  4. My fabulous sister gave me your book, The Garden Club, for Christmas. Yesterday I tossed it into my stitching bag as I left to go stitch at my LNS. I pulled it out there and all the ladies ooooed and ahhhed all over it! They were promptly on the internet ordering themselves one! What a fun book it is! Can't wait for market Alma!

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  5. Lovely pillow!!!! I do like the extra stitching on the pillow. It adds lovely texture.

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  6. I couldn't pass on the Garden Club so it is now a part of my collection...afterall in the middle of winter one needs a little spring! I also love reinventing my UFO's!

    [url]http://www.wooliemammoth.blogspot.com[/url]

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  7. "Garden Club" is close to my heart since I'm from NE. I have your material but I am a beginner quilter so I want to improve. Love your pillow

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  8. Your pillow is so beautiful, Alma. I love how you added texture with the embroidery stitches -- and the ruffle too! I loved reading the answers to those questions about you! What fun to learn more about you! Stay warm -- seems like everyone is getting either snow or ice. We have an ice storm warning. Ugh.

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  9. Alma, i love your pillow...
    ciao Maria

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  10. Your pillow is beautiful. Love the added texture through embroidery stitches.
    Enjoyed reading all your answers to the questions. What a shock you must have had that Thanksgiving morning.

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  11. I love the Heath Ledger comment...you're too funny, but I agree. 0:D I can't imagine finding someone on your couch! But better sleeping than harming, right? I love the embroidery idea for the pillow.

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  12. Lovely pillow--hope that's not the one you'll use in your fight with Ledger.

    I'm sorry but I can't let this pass without comment. You are not literally transported out of this world by science fiction. If that were true, we could save millions on space travel! Sorry--it's the English teacher in me.

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  13. I love the pillow! The embroidery and the hand quilting really do add so much texture to it. And the ruffle, oh the ruffle, be still my heart. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

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  14. Love the stitching around the flowers and stems on the pillow!

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  15. I love the pillow, it's funny about you not lining it and having feathers keep coming out. I've never thought of actually using feathers - but now I am. That whole finding the stranger on the sofa was mind-boggling. Did he say why he came in?

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  16. Lovely pillow - the embroidery makes it! Enjoyed your stories - could just see the images through your words! Will be back tomorrow now that you've informed me of the pillow tour.

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  17. I've been out of town for eight days (four days at a Quilt retreat) so I'm just catching up reading the blog! LOVE the pillow - where do you get feathers to stuff it with? I'd love to try that. FYI...I was in Iowa with Marian (we were at the Boxwood & Berries gathering in SG in October), we picked up the fabulous quilt you had us work on in class - it was beautifully quilted. Love that piece as it had colors I wouldn't pick but I loved them! Can't wait for the new book.

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  18. Alma, I thought you would want to have the Pillow Fight with Paladin! Although, Heath Ledger would have been fun too! Love the feather pillow!

    Hugs,
    Patti

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  19. Alma,

    I love the pillow! Great use of a UFO. Can't believe you had a surprise visitor. Hope he did not scare you too badly!

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  20. I received the Garden Club for Christmas and the idea of a pillow sounds great! Your pillow is lovely. I love feather pillows too. Sounds like I need to take a trip to IKEA!

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  21. I am following Moda's Pillow Party and found your blog, although a day early. I have to tell you, that in addition to your wonderful creativity and sense of color, your post really cracked me up! - especially about the person that slept on your couch without your knowledge. Too funny!!!!!

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  22. Anxious for tomorrow, but was really surprised today by the bonus pillow, thank you!! Enjoyed the reading the Q & A. Glad you kept the block, made a super good looking pillow!!

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  23. I love your pillow and the stitches you did on it.
    I also love to read sci-fi.

    Debbie

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  24. Hi Alma - I love that you don't follow the rules correctly. I'm sure that contributes to your creative genius! Love the pillow and am looking forward to seeing the quilt pattern. Thanks for all you share with us.

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  25. I like the thread work you did on the flowers, Scary about the young man on the couch. Glad noone was hurt. See you tomorrow on your day.

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  26. I love your pillow. The appliqué, the quilting, the ruffle - it's all beautiful. We're warm and cozy, but it's a -12 and blowing outside.

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  27. Alma,
    Love your pillow, the old gold yellow of the flower is one of my favorite colors. The extra stitching adds so much to the applique.
    It is so fun to read your answers too!! Look forward to tomorrow!

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  28. Your pillow is beautiful. I'm a country girl, and all of your fabrics seem to encompass the beauty of nature, antiques, and history. I fell in love with Antique Fair the moment I saw it & I'm currently making a quilt using the fabric line. My mother wants one as soon as I'm done.

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  29. I have this book, it is very beautiful, just like this pillow.
    Martine.

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  30. What a lovely transformation of such a pretty block. I used to sleep on a feather pillow at my grandmothers house. I still remember being poked.

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  31. Gosh Alma, you just keep on creating the most beautiful pieces.
    Love the way you embellished the flower on the pillow. I think that quilt using Antique Fair is pretty wonderful as well.

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  32. your pillow is so simple and quaint I love it

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  33. you've given me some great ideas for embellishment of the applique blocks I'm currently making for a wedding quilt - thanks. Such pretty fabric choices! I love it!
    Janet in snowy Nova Scotia

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  34. I love your pillow, and I also love the way the feathers allow it to do what it wants! We always had feather pillows made by my grandma when I was little, with the old, sturdy ticking, and the feathers even poked through that sometimes (persistent, aren't they?).

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  35. Your pillow is wonderful! I had a feather pillow for my couch that I couldn't bear to part with -- and then it just "disappeared" during the move to our new home about 4 years ago. Maybe I'll make a new one like yours! :-)

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  36. A beautiful pillow. And a good use for an extra block. I have sometimes used 2 extra blocks to make a pillow sham for my quilts. I like the extra stitching you did also. It really changes the block.

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  37. What a great idea from Moda! I loved getting to know you a little bit better! The pillow was really pretty too!

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  38. Love that pillow..Love you things..wow what a pleasure it is to read your blog.thanks Lisa

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  39. I LOVE how you used fancy stitches on the applique pillow. thanks for the idea.

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  40. Hi
    Just found your blog today and wondered why it seemed so "famiiliar" but years ago I was a huge fan of your counted cross stitch designs. Skip forward 15 years and I feel like R.V.W. waking up to a new era of blogs, designers transitioning from one medium to another and my own revived interest in sewing, quilting and fabric arts!
    Gail :)

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  41. This is beautiful. I love the fabric choices and hand embrodiery

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  42. That pillow is wonderful. I would not have thrown out that block either. Love how you used feathers in it.

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  43. I love all the stitching on your pillow. I have to admit, though, that this is the first time I've been to your blog, and I was so struck by the beautiful soft colors in your pictures at the top.

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  44. Lovely pillow and great interview, Alma! Is it really cold with your snow, too? We're down to -14 degrees but, with no snow falling, I'll take it since it's supposed to warm up to the 20's tomorrow. Snuggle up and keep warm! ~Kathleen

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  45. What a pretty pillow. Glad it was a quilt reject so we got to see it here. Thanks for the good ideas with it & all of the pretty embroidery stitches.

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  46. I love the pillow and think it really expresses you! The re-use, hand work, all of it!

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  47. BEAUTIFUL PILLOW!
    THANKS FOR SHARING ABOUT YOURSELF TOO

    jldouglas@wispwest.net

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  48. Your pillow is lovely! Reading at bedtime with a cuppa always makes me fall asleep. I barely get my glasses off my nose. Loved the fancy stitches; you do nice embroidery work.

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  49. Love the gorgeous pillow. I have Garden Club on order and can't wait to get it. Are you done digging out from the blizzard?

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  50. I had to chuckle at your comment regarding your personality disorder. I often think I might have one as well. However, yours is just fine to me! Love the new book.

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  51. Love the pillow! Love your stuff - a huge fan here! Can't wait to see the quilt!

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  52. Have to agree w/you about Heath Ledger! Love the use of embroidery stitches for applique on the pillow. Definitely going to try that on a quilt I'm working on right now...think it will really make mine stand out.--Marsha in sunny(but cold) Fair Oaks, CA

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  53. Cute pillow. I haven't seen your book yet but will be sure to check it out this week. Thanks for all your wonderful patterns and ideas.

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  54. Love your pillow - the stitches pull it together nicely. Thanks for sharing almost everything about yourself - it was a fun read.

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  55. I just LOVE that pillow, and the embroidery really makes it stand out ... thanks for a great idea! And eww on the Thanksgiving Day wanderer story!

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  56. What a beautiful pillow! And although i never would have thought of it myself, I would have to agree with you on Heath Ledger...

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  57. I am so glad you cheated and gave the block a new life. It is a beautiful pillow. I like the idea of using embroidery stitches!

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  58. Hi Alma,

    I just ordered your Antique Fair fatquarters and loved your basket quilt. Will there be a pattern for that?
    Thanks!
    Maureen

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  59. I love everything about your pillow.
    Connie F

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  60. I just got my copy of Garden Club and can't wait to start a couple of the projects--especially Autumn Parade. I miss Heath too :-(
    Karen in Breezy Point

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  61. I love how you did the various stitches around the pieces - totally wonderful!

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  62. Great pillow! I love the applique on that ticking.

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  63. Your pillow is wonderful - the stiches were a perfect addition.

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  64. Lovely pillow ... sorry about no lining in the back ... ouch here and there. I agree with the Heath Ledger grin :) Thank you for sharing!

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  65. The pillow is just lovely. I used to cross stitch and embroider and maybe I'll just have to try it on one of my quilted creations. Love your fabric!

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  66. Love the way you edged the appliqué - very creative.

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  67. Great pillow! I'm very impressed by the stitches!

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  68. Very pretty pillow. I really love the soft colors.

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  69. I love the colors of your pillow. Your hand work is awesome. I am going to have to get that book. Can't wait to see more.

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  70. What a beautiful pillow! I love the stitching you added to it. That gives it a more personal touch. How smart of you to complete a ufo.

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  71. I love the pillow and love the textures. love it.
    love me :-)

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  72. Alma!
    You gave a UFO (WIP also...work in progress) another life! I LOVE that philosophy! That is a great pillow. You have really inspired me.
    Thanks so much.
    Mary

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  73. Love your pillow! Wish I could get the hang of applique. Ick....stranger on the couch, sounds like time for a new couch!

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  74. I love the ticking fabric with the floral. Also the ruffle and the stitching...great pillow!

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  75. it is a beautiful pillow. thanks for the info. thanks.

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  76. I'm new to you blog. I love the pillow. The embroidery and ticking are great. I'd love to win the layer cake.

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  77. A beautiful pillow. Hopefully i can be that good at quilting one day. Love your page.

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  78. It is sooo pretty!! I love the book and have several projects lined up (just one of my problems!)

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  79. Beautiful pillow. I too would have like to had a pillow fight with Heath, such an awesome smile!

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  80. Love, love, love this pillow. I don't usually like quilted pillows, but this is gorgeous. Once again, you have given me fresh ideas for my UFOs in the closet! Thanks!

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  81. Love, love, love this pillow. I don't usually like quilted pillows, but this is gorgeous. Once again, you have given me fresh ideas for my UFOs in the closet! Thanks!

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  82. Love the pillow! HUGS... and stitches

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  83. I love the charm your embroidery/quilting added to your pillow. Made it very unique.

    Stranger on the sofa! Oh My Goodness!!
    I can't imagine how freaky that was!!

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  84. Beautiful pillow - I love your fabrics and patterns. I just got the fabric together to sew Home Sweet Home. I also love your books!
    Maria

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  85. I love your pillow - the stitching really makes it! I can't imagine finding a stranger on you couch! A little scary.

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  86. What a nice way to use an orphan block. That pillow would look lovely on any bed and I'm going to use the feather idea in my next pillow--can hardly stand those foam inserts or the poly stuffing anymore.
    Jane

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  87. I just picked up When the Cold Wind Blows and have fallen in love with your work. I need to scope out Garden Club. Thanks!!

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  88. I love the stitching on the applique edges - it adds so much

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  89. It would never matter if you took shortcuts as everything you two do is always "just the best". I love the big vases with flowers. As for your pillow, another perfect touch.

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  90. Beautiful pillow. What a great idea to use leftover blocks. Your bread looked so delicious.
    Alda, Fl

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  91. Lovely pillow and thank you for sharing!

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  92. This pillow is absolutely beautiful - thank you for sharing with us.

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  93. Blackbird Designs is always among my favorites. Why am I not surprised that I absolutely love this pillow?

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  94. Love all of your work and enjoyed your interview. Buy an accordion! It's much easier than piano on the left hand and it is a very joyful instrument. I went back to it two years ago after my father had died and the music really did help bring back my childhood joy. Have fun in Nashville!

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