Ludlow – In Progress

November 11, 2019 Leave a comment

I’ve reached the point in the year where my quilt photos aren’t keeping up with the season we’re in, and its noticeable.  I took this quilt top with me to photograph while I was visiting family in North Dakota over Labor Day weekend – back when the weather was warmer and everything was still mostly green.  But now that some parts of the country are starting to get snow, I thought I should actually blog about this quilt before the pictures are really outdated, so here it is.

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This fabric in this quilt is Ludlow by Denyse Schmidt and the pattern is inspired by a vintage quilt I saw.

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I’ve written often about how terrible I am when it comes to doing quilt math and making sure I have the correct amount of fabric for my quilts.  I tend to take a ‘let’s just start and see what happens’ approach, which more often than not works fine.  This time, however, IT DID NOT WORK.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  I was way short on fabric and had to make some adjustments.  My solution was sashing.

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I’m normally not a sashing kind of person.  On rare occasion I use it, but I think it can make quilts look a little too traditional for my personal taste.  Had I not used sashing in this quilt I could have made it to be crib sized, but I wanted something a little bigger.

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After I got the whole thing pieced together, I decided I made the sashing too wide.  I almost ripped it apart right then and there and cut the sashing width in half, but like most things in life it’s not a bad idea to sleep on it.

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Full disclosure I ended up sleeping on it for months because I moved on to another project, and by the time I pulled it back out to photograph I decided I didn’t hate the sashing width as much as I originally did.  I think I’m going to keep it as is but I could be convinced otherwise.

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I’m off to do an Instagram poll to get some feedback on the sashing.  Feel free to weigh in there!

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Star Rush – In Progress

September 25, 2019 2 Comments

Mark this day in history. I made a red quilt.  Or red(ish) quilt.  It’s not totally red, but close.  This is noteworthy because I’m not into red.  It’s not my color.  I don’t wear red, I don’t decorate with red, and I use it very sparingly in my quilts. I know a lot of people love it; I just don’t.  But once in a while you have to get out of your color comfort zone, and that’s what I did.

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I have to start by saying I’m not 100 percent into this quilt.  I think I missed the mark just a bit on my fabric selection.  I wanted to use up some scrap fabric and use what I had in my stash, but (shocking!!!) I don’t have a lot of red fabric.  And my lack of red fabric kind of came back to bite me, but I didn’t realize it until the quilt was pieced together, and I was not going to start over.

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Notice the darker red points on the stars?  Not all of them are as dark as they should be and don’t stand out enough as the corner star pieces.  In a few of them the red fabric is just a bit too light and it doesn’t define the star points enough, in my opinion.

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The fabric I do think I got very right is the strawberry background fabric.  It is the special reprint of the Heather Ross strawberries from her Briar Rose collection.  Even though it’s red, I could use those strawberries all day every day.  Love them.

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My feeling with this quilt is that, it is what it is.  I don’t hate it by any means, it’s just not 100 percent there.  Close, but not quite.  More importantly, it’s a lesson learned that in the future I need to define those star points with darker fabric!

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Fantasy – In Progress

September 9, 2019 2 Comments

Continuing with my year of making vintage-inspired quilts, I present my latest called Fantasy, named for the Fantasy fabric used in it.

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Fantasy is a new collection from designer Sally Kelly and starts shipping next month.  (You might want to add it you your fabric wish list.)  Windham was nice enough to send me some fabric this summer to try out and I’m completely sold on the collection.

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The use of color immediately caught my attention, and mixed with the different patterns and it’s right up my alley.

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It didn’t take long to decide on a quilt pattern once I saw the fabric.  I’ve had my eye on it for a while and was just waiting for the right fabric to take it on.  I’m not sure what the name of this pattern is but I’ve seen it a couple of places.  Can anyone help?

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Fantasy is perfect for this quilt pattern because it has a small-scale print that works well for cutting smaller pieces like the ones used here.  You can cut it up without losing the overall effect of fabric.

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To break up the busyness of the fabric and add interest to the blocks, I mixed in some of Windham’s Artisan Cotton solids.  Windham recently added new colors to their Artisan Cotton line and many of them coordinate perfectly with Fantasy.

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If you look at the blocks, you’ll see there’s no rhyme or reason for the fabric layout.  This is done on purpose to make it look a bit scrappy, although it’s not scrappy so maybe that’s not the right word.  I guess what I’m saying is that I didn’t want the quilt to be too uniform so I mixed each block up.  The only constant is the red center pieces.  There’s also red triangles mixed throughout the quilt that really stand out because of their dark color, but again, the red triangles mixed throughout are random.

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I love how this quilt turned out.  It’s pretty much how I envisioned it in my head, which sometimes happens and sometimes doesn’t!

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The only downside is that it requires a lot of cutting and sewing, but when you see the finished product it’s all worth it.

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Crossroads to Texas?

August 12, 2019 Leave a comment

Remember earlier this year when I mentioned I was feeling inspired in 2019 by vintage quilts and had a bunch I wanted to recreate or make my own version of?  Well, this is one of them.

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I can’t remember where I saw the original version of this quilt, but I filed it away in my brain and knew it was one that I wanted to try and make myself.

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Notice that I titled this post Crossroads to Texas with a question mark.  I think that’s the name of this block, but if anyone knows better please weigh in.  It’s not one that you see often or is as well-known as other quilt blocks, so I’m not entirely sure it’s correct.

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I like this pattern because I think it looks good using a mishmash of fabrics (a.k.a. sew your stash), and that’s exactly what I did.  I had a bunch of Cotton + Steel and a few other stray fabrics that I pulled together.  The pieces are pretty small so it’s an opportunity to use up some of those smaller scraps we all have.

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A warning about this block: It is more labor-intensive than other quilt blocks, but I think it’s worth the effort.  It’s also one that requires precise cutting and sewing.  I had a few blocks that got a little wonky.  I fixed that ones that bothered me, but there were a couple others I left alone because I didn’t think they were that bad and they add character, right? Lol.

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One last thing before I go. If you look closely you’ll notice that a few blocks are scrappy.  I actually did a couple of them scrappy on purpose, and then a couple others I had to make scrappy because I ran out of fabric and had to improvise.  But quite frankly, that’s some of my favorite kind of quilting.  Cheers!

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Daisy Chain – Finished

April 15, 2019 Leave a comment

This finished Daisy Chain quilt may be new to you, but it doesn’t feel that way to me! I think I’ve had this quilt done for over a year and it’s just been sitting in a quilt pile waiting to make it on the blog.  Today is the day that happens!

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These quilt pictures were taken on the Brooklyn Bridge and in the neighborhood right next to the bridge, DUMBO.

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I’ve always wanted to take a quilt picture on the Brooklyn Bridge, but unfortunately it was a very cold and windy day in New York when I finally hauled a quilt up there and it was nearly impossible to get a good shot.  So we decided to walk around DUMBO and get some pictures there, too.

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The fabric is Annabel Wrigley’s Daisy Chain collection from Windham.  You can read more about the fabric and this pattern in my first blog post about this quilt here.  Windham describes the collection as “a modern take on the vintage floral vibe,” and I would say that’s about right.

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In fact, I was getting such a 70s vibe from the fabric I thought using a vintage floral bedsheet for the backing would be a perfect match, and it is!

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This sheet was discovered in a drawer at my parents’ house.  It had never been used and my mom didn’t want it so I claimed it.

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A note about using vintage sheets: Most of them are a cotton/poly mix.  That may turn some people off but I’m fine with it.  I did pre-wash the sheet in hot water to make sure it wouldn’t shrink later.  I have not washed the finished quilt yet but I don’t anticipate any problems.

When you touch it you can tell that it has some polyester in it, but I find it weirdly comforting, in a way that reminds me of sleeping in cotton/poly blended sheets as a kid.

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In short, I recommend giving those old bed sheets a try.  I’ve been slowly collecting them and one day will make an entire quilt out of old sheets.  More on that later.

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Trixie Project for Heather Ross

March 4, 2019 Leave a comment

The new Trixie fabric collection from Heather Ross is now shipping.  Hooray!  Given that it is finally available in stores, I wanted to share the quilt I made for the look book.  I think this is the fourth quilt I’ve made for one of Heather’s fabric collections and it’s so fun each time.

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The Trixie collection is named for the cute little mouse featured in the fabric.  In addition to Trixie, there is some gingham checks, florals and strawberries as well.  I’m very smitten with Trixie and I think you will be, too.

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For the look book, Heather asked me to make a wonky log cabin quilt using the pink, purple, orange, red and yellow colorways.  Shockingly I had never made a log cabin quilt so I was more than game.

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The pattern for this quilt is available for sale if you want more specific instructions.  You can visit the Windham website where you will find retailers that are carrying it.  I did not write the pattern and haven’t seen it – I simply provided my notes to the pattern writer – so I can’t speak to specifics in the written pattern, but some of you have messaged me directly asking for more info so I thought I would give a few tips and tricks.

Heather wanted a large quilt which made it quite the project to tackle.  Each block is a finished 12” and I made the quilt 96” x 96”.  That requires making 64 total blocks.  That’s A. Lot. Of. Blocks.  You can make it smaller, but in order to get the repeating pattern it limits your size options a bit.

Note: Most of the images you will see are photos I took before it went to the long arm.

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This quilt is not all Trixie fabric but also has solids from Marcia Derse’s Palette collection.  There are pinks, purples, reds and yellows to coordinate with the Trixie fabric.  To get the log cabin look, I used varying shades of gray and white as well.  I also mixed in the white and peach mouse print and the peach floral print to add some additional variation to the white and gray solids.

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You could eliminate the wonky part and make this a standard log cabin quilt if you wanted.  It would definitely take less time than making all those wonky cuts, but if you do want a wonky version, this is how I did it:

I cut some pieces in each block at an angle but it’s mostly made of curves.  Some have slight curves and others have more obvious curves – it’s your personal preference.

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If you are unfamiliar with sewing curves, there are lots of YouTube videos that will show you how. Don’t be afraid to give them a try! The nice thing about these wonky curves is that you really can’t screw them up. If one piece gets really narrow, don’t worry!  You can make it up later with a wider piece.

While each block in this quilt is different, there is some consistency in all of them.  Let me explain.

Like I said, the finished blocks are 12” or 12.5” before sewn together.

The block pattern calls for a specific number of pieces in each block.  I stuck to that number for each block but made the curves in each piece different. That provides a bit of consistency and, most importantly, makes it easier to have each block be about half low volume fabrics and half dark fabrics.

You can fudge the 50/50 low vs. high volume fabrics a bit, but you don’t want to stray too far from being half and half or it won’t look wonky but instead will just look odd.

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As I finished making each block they were not perfectly square.  I made them each around 13.5” (give or take) and then used a 12.5” square ruler to square them up.  I highly recommend investing in the square ruler, whether you are making a wonky version or even a straight-line version.  It is a lifesaver.

My only other tip is to find a large space to lay the blocks out as you go.  I really had to step back and see the whole thing as I was going to make sure I had the color and fabric variation just right.  And I still feel like I missed the mark a bit!  It wasn’t until the very end that I decided I used too much bright yellow fabric.  I wish I would have used about a third less.

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I would add one other note about the fabric direction in each block.  Some people are sticklers for having the fabric all go in the same or “right” direction in a quilt.  I am not one of those people (most of the time).  I kind of think that a quilt will be viewed from all different angles while it’s being used so it doesn’t matter if your fabric is all going in the “right” direction.  Just my two cents, but you do you.

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So that’s it.  If you have any other questions feel free to comment and I will try to reply.

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And if you want to see the entire Trixie look book and the other quilt projects you can check it out on Windham’s website here.  There are some amazing quilts made by my very talented quilting friends.  Go give it a look.

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Winter Walk – In Progress

January 28, 2019 1 Comment

Since much of the country will be dealing with frigid temperatures this week and we’re in the middle of winter, it seems appropriate that we talk about my Winter Walk quilt. Don’t you think?

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I took these pictures while I was in the Midwest over Christmas and it took FOUR tries and two different states to get useable pictures.  The wind would not cooperate at all.  That’s why you are going to see pictures in different locations.  But after some frozen fingers and a few choice words, I finally prevailed.

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This quilt was inspired by a vintage quilt I saw.  The blocks are not a true Granny Square but they are Granny Square(ish).

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If anyone knows if these blocks have a specific name let me know.  Again, I saw them in a vintage quilt and recreated them.

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The fabric is Winter Walk by Denyse Schmidt and the gray sashing is from the Palette collection by Marcia Derse.

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If you haven’t used the solids from Palette I highly recommend them.  The colors are so beautiful and have kind of a hand-dyed look. In the description on Windham’s website they describe the colors as having “subtle movement” and I wholeheartedly agree.

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The creamy white color in the blocks is also one of the Palette solids.  It’s not quite a true white; it doesn’t have that stark whiteness that true white has.  I think it’s just right and goes so well with Winter Walk.

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I made this quilt towards the end of last year after looking at a bunch of vintage quilts.  I came away 100 percent inspired by all the old quilts I saw and I think I’m making 2019 the year of vintage quilts.  I saw some that I want to recreate and some that I want to do my own version of.

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Now, don’t hold me to ‘the year of vintage quilts’ thing because I may not stick to it completely.  But right now, all I have on my brain are a bunch of old quilts.  This could be fun.

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MSP Factory – Finished

January 9, 2019 Leave a comment

Happy 2019!  We made it to the new year.  Always have to be thankful for that.

First up for 2019 is a quilt I finished last year and photographed in November, hence the beautiful fall foliage in the pictures.  I was planning to get this posted last year, but sometimes time just gets away from you.

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I made this quilt top back in 2017 when it was my year of ‘using what I had,’ which basically meant I was trying to sew my stash and buy as little fabric as possible.

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This quilt uses all Denyse Schmidt fabric.  I have a huge DS Quilts fabric collection, including lots of smaller scraps, so this quilt was designed specifically for the purpose of trying to use some of the smaller scraps up.

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I chose a few different fabric color families to include in the quilt and then picked equal amounts of fabrics for each of the color to use.

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For example, I used a pink/purple(ish) color, a lighter pink, orange, yellow, blue, etc.

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When paired with the Kona Cotton white it definitely makes the colors pop.

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The back of the quilt also uses Denyse Schmidt fabric.  I had a couple larger pieces of DS Quilts fabric from her Joann Fabrics collections that I pieced together along with a piece of Kona Cotton Windsor.

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The binding is DS Quilts fabric as well.  In this image you only see one of the binding fabrics but it actually is a scrappy binding.

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I haven’t don’t a scrappy binding in a while and I forgot how much I like it!

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That’s a wrap on this quilt.  I have some other projects filed away and will be ready to share them here soon.  Can’t wait to show you what I’m working on in 2019!

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Friends On The Way – Finished

December 12, 2018 Leave a comment

Is there anything happier than a rainbow?  I think not! That’s why I love making rainbow quilts; they’re just so fun and easy to make.

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I say easy to make because you don’t have to spend a lot of time picking your fabric, planning the layout or worrying about the order of blocks.  Just follow the rainbow!

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This quilt is all about them scraps.  In fact, I put it together with the sole purpose of using up a bunch of leftover triangles I had cut for a different project.  The patterned fabric triangles are all Denyse Schmidt prints.  These are combined with solids.

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In this quilt, none of the Denyse Schmidt triangles repeat but some of the solid colors do and some don’t. Like the patterned triangles, I wanted to use up as many solid scraps as I could.  In some cases, I had enough solid fabric in one color but a lot of them I didn’t.  This really was about using and using up what I had.  I kind of like the mix of the different shades of one color family.

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For the back, like the front, I pieced together a print and solids.

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The floral print was the starting point and came from a large piece of fabric I had in my stash. I have no idea what it is except that it’s a cotton lawn.  I randomly picked it up at a hole-in-the-wall fabric place here in Brooklyn and it ended up matching perfectly with the scrap pieces of Artisan Cottons in green and purple.

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In keeping with the Denyse Schmidt fabric theme, the binding on this quilt is also DS Fabric.  It’s an old print of hers from Joann’s.

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This quilt pattern is now available for purchase.  I have listed it in my Etsy shop and you can DOWNLOAD THE PATTERN HERE.

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Sugarplum Quilt for Heather Ross

November 26, 2018 Leave a comment

Happy holiday season!  Now that Thanksgiving is over, we’ve officially reached that magical time of year when it’s time to start decorating.  So grab your tree, all the ornaments, your Christmas quilts, and get started!

Don’t have Christmas quilt, you say?  No worries! I’ve got you covered.

Today I’m sharing a quick and easy Big Star quilt you can make using Christmas-themed fabric, all in an afternoon.  Seriously.  This mini quilt takes very little time and can be cut and pieced long before Santa arrives. It’s also a great project to do with kids.

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I made this sweet little mini star quilt way back in October of last year.  Heather asked me to make it for her Sugarplum collection that she was showing that same month at Quilt Market.

There was never a look book made for Sugarplum but you can see all of the fabrics here.  This collection has been in stores since last spring, however I’m sure it’s still available for purchase at many places, especially online shops.

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This pattern is made using 9-7/8squares cut in half to make the triangles.  The four corner squares are 9-½” each.  If you want more specific instructions I found this pattern online that is very similar and provides step-by-step info.  That pattern, however, includes a border and I did not use a border on mine, but I think it would look cute either way.

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This quilt is small enough that a standard cut of fabric is wide enough for the back.  I don’t have a picture of it, but the back of this quilt uses the Sugarplum large-scale mice print, and the border is the pink peppermint candy fabric, which just may be my favorite from the collection.

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So there you have it. A mini star quilt that will add a little bit of holiday cheer to your home.

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