Saturday, December 1, 2012

Modern Mirage - Complete! Just In Time!

Modern Mirage
Well, I made it! I completed my new quilt in time to enter it into the Quilt Con show, and with a few hours to spare, no less.

Quilt Con quilt
It was not without its challenges. This quilt fought me tooth and nail into existence. First of all, piecing it was a BEAST. I knew extreme accuracy was going to be crucial, so I paper-pieced some of the small units, but when it came time to do the traditional piecing, it was still tough to get all those seams and points lined up. I didn't count the number of times I had to tear out stitches and re-do, but I can assure you it was a lot. The top took forever!

Modern Mirage Then, I started quilting it by outlining the vertical wavy pattern the design makes between the stars. But straight-line quilting isn't my strong suit, and this type of quilting was kind of straight-line plus. Straight enough to require a walking foot, but with some turns that were so slight, it was hard to decide whether to turn as sharply as possible or to make it more curvy and flowing. And it ended up looking like a mish-mash of both. : ) So after four rows, I decided to change strategies and do loose wavy lines instead. That meant all the previous quilting stitches had to come out. You should have seen my family room yesterday. It was seriously covered in all these tiny little pieces of thread! Ugh!

Then, just because I apparently needed an extra challenge, when I finished my wavy line quilting yesterday morning, I turned over the quilt and found this—a huge crease on the back! Really??? The feeling when you work your butt off and then discover something like that is The. Worst.

This was my first real spray-basting fail. For some reason the 505 I use just didn't seem all that sticky this time around. After basting, I noticed I didn't have to clean up nearly as much overspray residue as I usually do—I guess that should have been a warning sign. Then the whole back of the quilt seemed to come loose during quilting. It's totally weird, I've never had that happen with 505. Maybe I didn't shake the can enough? It was a new can, so I hope the entire thing isn't defective. Or worse yet, that there's been some sort of formula change. Anybody have a similar problem with 505 lately?

(Updated to add: I just heard from my friend Katie at Swim Bike Quilt that she often has basting problems with Art Gallery fabric—and that is exactly what I used on the back of this quilt. Ironically, I think it's the fact that Art Gallery is so high-quality and has such a nice sheen to it that accounts for this problem—spray-basting doesn't work on voiles either, probably for the same reason. But at any rate, if you're using a lot of Art Gallery fabric in a quilt, be aware that you may want to pin-baste.)

 So I ripped out 5 more rows of quilting and re-did it all, and finally finished the quilt with no further incidents at around 3 p.m. Whew. So here it is—I'm calling it Modern Mirage. I entered it in the "Modern Traditionalism" category, which is the category I was most excited to see included in the show.

Modern Mirage
The design originally started with a variation on a traditional star block. I set that on point and liked the vaguely "Storm at Sea" feel it gave to the quilt. To modernize it, I gave the design some negative space on each side, but off-center (because I love me some off-center designs!). Then, when I was playing around with the colors, I came up with this palette, which gives it sort of a transparency effect, and I loved it! And I thought the wavy line quilting added sort of a "heat-haze" feeling, so that's where the "Mirage" name came from.

For those who have asked about a pattern—um, we'll see. : ) I have to admit, I'm a little sick of this design at the moment! It would be quite the complicated pattern to write up, with all the strategic color placement and what-not. And I don't know how many people want to buy a pattern with such nit-picky piecing! But give me a few months, and then maybe I'll want to revisit it.

As far as Quilt Con, since we were allowed up to three entries, I decided to throw two older quilts into the mix as well.

Shattered Spectrum I'm now calling this one "Shattered Spectrum," since "HST Mini" didn't quite have that show ring to it. I entered it in the Modern In Miniature Challenge sponsored by Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine. I gave this little quilt to the lovely Susanne earlier this year as a thank-you for driving all the way from Madison to take my headshots and pictures of my family. But she was nice enough to give me permission to enter it and said she would ship it back to me if it gets accepted into the show. Thanks again, Susanne! Here's the full blog post about this quilt.

Third Quilt Con entry And I'm also entering my Lifesavers mini, since that one did so well for me in the EZ Dresden Challenge. I entered Lifesavers in the "Minimalist Design" category. Honestly, I'm not sure if it really qualifies as minimalist, but since I'd already entered something in the mini challenge, it seemed like the best fit for this one. Here's the full blog post with more information on Lifesavers.

I was quilter #435 to enter the show, and my quilts were #587, #595, and lucky number #600! Wow! That's a lot of competition for this show. I'm just hoping that at least one of mine gets accepted, and I cannot wait to see the entire show in Austin in February. Good luck to everybody who entered!

103 comments:

  1. Oh My GOSH! Lee! Seriously!?! So fabulous. LOVE the colors and the design is Knock Your Socks Off! Where does this creativity come from? I want some!

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  2. Oh, good lord. That is breathtaking. I know that you are in the post-submission recovery mode (enjoy!) but will there maybe one day be a pattern?
    You have produced some amazing quilts - good luck!

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  3. Yep, LOVE this! Congrats on your finish, and good luck! I did not make anything in time to submit, but maybe next year. :)

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  4. Wow, I can't believe how beautiful the modern mirage quilt is... it is absolutely amazing.

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  5. Fingers crossed, it's awesome! All of them!

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  6. Good luck! You have some real beauties there.

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  7. Wow, great quilt! I love the subtle curvy effect you're able to get with just straight line piecing.

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  8. It is stunning Lee!!! Way to persevere through all of the unpicking. The finish is totally worth it!!

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  9. Modern Mirage is fantastic! I love how you faded the colors out from the center - great effect. Good for you for getting it done despite some serious obstacles :)

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  10. All three quilts are stunning but all the work that went into Modern Mirage makes it incredible. Congrats on getting it finished in time.

    Out of curiosity do you have to use anything besides soap and water to clean up over-spray from spray baste? I've only used it once but had to clean the floor 3 times before it wasn't sticky.

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    1. I've had success with a product called "Goo Gone" to clean up the overspray.

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    2. Heather, when I baste, I surround the quilt with lots of old towels to protect the floor, but inevitably a little bit gets on the floors anyway. For that small amount, I just scrub at it with soap and water and it seems to come off pretty easily. But this time, there was hardly ANYTHING on the floor at all! It was really weird.

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  11. Love your Mirage quilt! I really hope you win!

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  12. It's a fantastic finish! Beautiful and modern. Good luck in the show.

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  13. What a fabulous quilt!! And all those solid colors! Very special

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  14. Wow!!! You GO! That is really stunning. I love the modern take on stormy ocean.

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  15. What a great design, and awesome color work!

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  16. Wow - crossing fingers and toes for you, I love them all but shattered spectrum I just want to stare at it! which is a good thing... Again good good luck. Kx

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  17. Love them and have pinned two of them. They are both absolutely fabulous.

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  18. This is gorgeous!!!! :)

    oh, I just bought a can of 505 and I had the same problem! I was NOT happy!

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  19. wow - that is seriously amazing! I hope it gets in, because I would love to see it close up!

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  20. Modern Mirage is really wonderful, I love that you used solids for it.

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  21. the modern mirage is beautiful!

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  22. I can see the complexity in the color planning and shape placement that went into this quilt. Wow Lee! It's truly beautiful. Good luck!

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  23. Gorgeous! I really love your colors!

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  24. Absolutely stunning quilt!! Even more so for the grief it gave you! It is just beautiful (and I'm glad I'm not the only one that has had that horrid crease vs quilting thing happen!!)

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  25. Modern Mirage. It is a work of art!! Just fantastic.

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  26. Super quilts!!! I LOVE Modern Mirage...everything about it!

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  27. I certainly hope you win a prize, it sure is worthy of one! Way to go for not giving up. Ripping seams is the absolute worst. It looks ahhhhmazing!

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  28. Wow, that is one stunning quilt Lee. Just beautiful. I could feel your frustration as I was reading and when I saw that pic of the back, I just couldn't believe it...one challenge after another. But the final result....amazing.

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  29. I am in awe of Modern Mirage. All your work is lovely. Thank you so much for sharing. Best of luck for QuiltCon!!!

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  30. Lee: You are a quilting rock star. I love it!

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  31. Treat yourself and sit back, relax. You have rocked it!!! Mirage is awesome!!!! The colors really do make it!! The others are knock-outs, too. The best to you.....hugs, D

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  32. Your Mirage quilt is simply stunning! I like your other entries as well. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you win!

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  33. I love all the quilts you entered - the colours are just perfect!

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  34. Well, I think you outdid yourself! What a shame about the issues you had in construction and quilting, but it'll be more than worth it if it gets accepted and I wouldn't be surprised ONE BIT if it does. It's really pretty special. Congrats & good luck!!

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  35. This one is amazing!! I absolutely love how you played with the color of the fabrics. Great work, as always!

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  36. Very cool, love the effect created on it, looking like curves but without a curve in sight! Good luck :o)

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  37. This quilt is a masterpiece! Thank you for showing us the goofy things that happen when we quilt. Makes us all feel better - haha!

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  38. Wow, that new quilt is amazing. I know I would have cried at the big crease, but I'm so happy you persevered. It is a wonderful quilt!

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  39. Beautiful quilt! Hope all of the trouble was worth it in the end! Good luck!

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  40. Beautiful! I have felt the same pain when turning over a quilt.

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  41. This is an absolutely stunning quilt, Lee!
    The wavy line quilting is just perfect - it highlights the design beautifully! Wow!

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  42. The quilt is gorgeous! This happened to me the only time I tried 505 (after reading so many rave reviews). I had always used The Original Spray (in the pink can). I honestly think I got a bad can because so many others can't be wrong, right? I'll stick to buying my pink stuff locally instead of trying to save a few dollars online. It just wasn't worth it!

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  43. All three look great.Sorry about all the trouble. Good luck with your entries!

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  44. Gorgeous! Love it!!! And for all the grief you went through, they'd better give you SOME kind of a prize. :) Glad to hear I'm not the only one who's too well-acquainted with the dreaded seam ripper.

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  45. Those are absolutely GORGEOUS quilts!!!!!

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  46. Soooo beautiful! I love your work!!!

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  47. Oh my! Modern Mirage is Drop. Dead. Gorgeous!

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  48. Modern Mirage is completely amazing!! I would totally understand if you couldn't do a pattern though with all those points;)

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  49. I don't blame you for not wanting to write up a pattern for that one. It's stunning but I can see how much work it is. And if it doesn't get accepted into the competition then I'll eat my hat (well I would if i had one). I entered a mini as well...but I'm honestly not even sure what category I put it in. I'm hoping they'll figure that out for me. lol

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  50. I hope you're not tired of fielding praise on this one! It's seriously incredible, Lee. I love everything about it. The color palette is so fresh.

    And I admit--after hearing your struggles with it, I'm a little less eager for a pattern! It sounds really difficult. Maybe you can just make one for me! KIDDING, kidding!

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  51. Wonderful work. You should be proud of the creative ideas you inspire in all of us who love to quilt or at least follow along. Keep us posted as to your success with these.

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  52. Omg I'm in love with Modern Mirage. What an incredibly striking and mesmerizing pattern! Your choice of color and craftsmanship is superb. Your work is so inspiring. I seriously need to do an all solids quilt asap. Thanks for sharing!

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  53. Wow! You stunned me with your new one:) The others I still love too.

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  54. Wow! The mirage is fantastic. Don't write a pattern just for me though! I'd never get anything to match. And I missed your life-saver quilt to. Stunning.

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  55. Wow! The modern mirage is genius! I'm about to pin it! :)

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  56. I have heard that 505 does not work well with polyester batting....but it sounds like they forgot to put the sticky stuff in your can:/

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  57. Lee, I always do a basting line along the edges, even if I use 505 to baste with. Then something like this doesn't happen! And the basting will not have to be removed again - in fact in will even make the binding proces easier and a nice finish.

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  58. The quilt is gorgeous. And I'm not surprised you're sick of it!! Seeing the same part do it so any times over would lead to that. I understand from experience! I'm glad to see even quilters who enter quilts in shows get puckers in the backing some times. Weird about the basting spray. I've never used that brand. Don't think it's in Australia.

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  59. Your quilts are fab Lee! I am sure they'll be a big hit at the show!

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  60. such beautiful quilts, love especially the first one, what a fantastic design. Good luck!

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  61. Really beautiful work; great colors and quilting....

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  62. I can only imagine the challenge of those points but boy it was worth it! Spectacular optical effect. I use 50 but I also add a bit of basting, usually a 14" x 14" grid using tatting thread which has a bit of grip on it- still better than safety pins for me

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  63. Wow I love the quilt. You must be so pleased that you persevered.

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  64. Well, you've managed to make me feel better about not entering, because I would have been in the same category as Modern Mirage, and I know of the two which would have won! I finished mine around 8 without thinking about the fact that I couldn't get a decent picture at night. Ah well...I'll make something better next year after ogling beauties like this at the show (no doubt in my mind it will be accepted!). I finished a storm-at-sea earlier this year...the precision piecing is a pain, but the results are so stunning. I really want to make a king-sized one, but if I do, I'm going to borrow a page from your play book and add some serious negative space! It's perfect, and smart! Congrats, and I'm looking forward to seeing these in person in February!

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  65. Gorgeous, brilliant, enviable! Love!! <3

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  66. This is a stunning quilt. Excellent design and color placement. Beautiful work! I'm glad it all worked out in the end even though it was so frustrating.

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  67. These are amazing quilts. I think they all deserve to be in the show. I hope to see them there.

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  68. I can't even tell you how much I love Mirage! amazing work Lee! You should take that category with that one!! Good luck with all your entries. You have inspired me to go back and look at traditional patterns in a new way.

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  69. Gosh Lee. I'm just in awe of Modern Mirage, and how you seemingly whipped it up after deciding at the 11th hour (or so it seems) to enter a quilt in the MQG show. I know, I know... you didn't really "whip" it up as it's apparent the sewing and quilting of it gave you fits and starts. But golly, is it ever a gorgeous quilt. You have such great design skills in that pretty little head of yours that I can only be in awe. It would take me months - if ever! - to come up with such a creative design as that! Do tell... has the concept been rolling around in your head for weeks? Or honestly, did it just come up as you thought about it? I am truly fascinated by the design process of gifted quilters. Not many of us - especially me - were blessed with your kind of talent. Keep up the beautiful work. I'm a fan!

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  70. All 3 quilts are amazing---I am particularly astonished by how beautiful Modern Mirage turned out. When I saw your "sneak peak" of some of your piecing for this quilt, I couldn't quite visualize how this would work. The colors you chose and pattern you designed created a very refreshing and appealing quilt. Congrats!

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  71. WOW! your quilt looks amazing. It must have been tough to find the problem after all the quilting. Now you know.
    Any way , enjoy your wonderful quilts.

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  72. What incredible work you do!! It's so discouraging to find problems mid-way through a large and difficult project like that, but you ended up with a glorious quilt. Congratulations!

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  73. Your Modern Mirage is fabulous! The best of luck at QuiltCon!!!

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  74. Your mirage is absolutely stunning. It's one of those quilts that is jaw-dropping. I think I'd be way to scared to even pick up the pattern, but I'd definately spend an hour or two just staring at your quilt.
    E

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  75. How are they supposed to choose??? Seriously?

    I'm in LOVE with the mirage!!

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  76. Gorgeous finish Lee! Good luck with the Quilt Con show. I am sure all three of your quilts will be accepted!

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  77. Good luck with your Mirage quilt- it looks fantastic, and great choice of colours!

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  78. Gorgeous quilt - love the colours and your wavy quilting!

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  79. Your quilts are absolutely gorgeous!! The color combo and design of Modern Mirage is especially outstanding. Best Wishes in the competition!!

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  80. What an ordeal! I looks amazing though and even with all that you finished it time is really a feat! I love it and wish you luck.

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  81. This is just the MOST fabulous quilt. It took my breath away!

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  82. It has a great 'fish eye' lens feel to it --- love the quilt! Spectacular work!

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  83. Lee, this is spectacular! Beautiful work--you should be very proud!

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  84. All three of the quilts are just stunning. Love your color choices. Good luck in the show.

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  85. Simply awesome! Love a good solids quilt.

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  86. Yea for getting your quilt finished and entered! It's just spectacular. Best of luck in getting a quilt or three into the exhibit. I am so looking forward to February too.

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  87. I think this is the most beautiful quilt I have seen this year. Wow.

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  88. I know you posted this over a week ago, but I have come back to this post to look at your quilt several times, so I think it's time I comment to let you know how much I *love* this quilt! I think it's beautiful and modern and just very cool! I even showed it to my teenage step-son, and he even thought it was neat (which is saying something, because it's not easy to get much of a response from him on anything!).

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  89. This is such a stunning quilt!

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  90. I love how it looks both modern and incredibly traditional at the same time. I love how it looks curved and moving. I am in love with this quilt! Great job, Lee!

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  91. The Modern Mirage is absolutely delightful! I just gasped out loud at the loveliness of it! I love it and I've pinned it to my "Quilty Goodness" board on Pinterest (with proper credit, of course!). Feel free to follow me if you'd like: http://pinterest.com/lipglass/quilty-goodness/

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  92. This is one of my favorite quilts for sure! Hope to see it in person.

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  93. Really beautiful, really draws the eye around with the pattern and colour and a great Modern twist to something that could be quite traditional. Would LOVE to see a pattern for the block for the variation on the traditional star.
    A fantastic entry for Quilt Con!

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  94. Your quilts are absolutely stunning! I'm certain that they will do well at QuiltCon. Here's hoping that we have an opportunity to meet each other while there. I'm terribly excited to see all the beautiful quilts, especially yours, and I have a quilt in the Modern Traditionalism category, also. It's almost too much to handle!

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