One More Granny Square {and quite a few thoughts}



feel free to join me as i indulge in a little trip down memory lane!  if you like, you can read this post, which is my original 'granny square post', and then my tutorial, which was a part of Stitched in Color's Scrappy Quiltalong.

i find it kinda funny to look back now on this silly little block.  i really did go about designing this quilt from the direction of making it look like a granny square afghan.

of course i never assumed that this was an 'original' idea, i knew that there was very likely a traditional block similiar to this, although i never researched or looked for any quilts like it.

i finished up the quilt and wrote the tutorial.  i felt happy with the quilt, i thought i had achieved my original goal fairly well.  (my goal being to make it look like a crocheted granny square afghan)

and here's my honest confession.  i was never super crazy about this quilt!  i felt pleased with it because it was a nice mix of clean and simple, yet fun and whimsical.  it was fairly easy to put together, although i didn't really enjoy making the blocks.   (oh, isn't this terrible!  i'm turning traitor on my 'baby!)

all this to say it was completely shocking to see so many people get enthused about this quilt design!  talk about unprepared!  i could/should have taken that time as an opportunity to grow my blog, etc.  but i turned down opportunities to lead quiltalongs, write further tutorials, etc.  i guess i followed my heart instead of my head. (and by that i'm SO not implying that you shouldn't take opportunities like that, it just wasn't right for me at the moment)

as i'm sure any of you who have been happily plugging along at your little blog and then had something of yours become suddenly popular can relate to, this whole thing was a great experience of learning for me.

there was the positive and the negative, although it was 95% positive.  seriously i can say so very many good things about fellow quilters/bloggers!  everybody was so very courteous about linking back to my tutorial and giving credit to my idea.  i can't say what a positive feeling that was!  i'll say it again that i don't feel like i 'own' any design.  i know that all ideas are inspired by something else and i don't claim any 'rights' here.  but in this case, i did actually feel that the idea to make a 'granny square block' was an original idea that i had not seen elsewhere.

i just want to say that when you take the time on your blog post, or wherever you post your quilt, if it was directly inspired by someone else, then link to them!  I try my best to do that, just because i know it makes a difference to that person, even though i think they might never see what i made.

so of course the 5% negative experience is the part where you see something made so very much like yours and then that maker sort of 'owning' the idea.  but even this tiny bit of negativity has been a great growing experience for me.  i've always wanted to live by the philosophy of generosity and sharing.  sort of the idea of having an open palm, rather than a closed fist.  if i can share (ideas in this case), then my open palm will also be able to receive as well.  if i hold things close, then i can keep them safe, but i can't receive anything else!

sounds good, but to mentally give something up and set it free, now that can be harder than it sounds!

another good lesson i learned first hand is to always give the benefit of the doubt.  most likely they didn't now that it was actually 'my' idea to call this a 'granny square block'.  and actually maybe someone else did have a very similiar idea.  it is so hurtful to be wrongly accused of copying someone, and i don't want to be the one to assume that of someone else.


sooooo.....coming up for air...........if you read that you deserve a medal!  granny square fever had died down but when i thought about it, i just had to get that out there.   (and i just want to say that just because this quilt was not my favorite of all time, does not mean that i don't think that you all made some seriously amazing granny square quilts!  and it has warmed my heart every.single.time i see a new one, or a new interpretation of one, or someone has emailed me to say how they enjoyed making a quilt like this.  thank you ♥ )

and all this to say.............


for some strange reason i said 'yes' to a request to rewrite the granny square tutorial in strip piecing, or jelly roll format.  so now you can find it over on the Moda Bake Shop site.  i puzzled over it a bit, wanting to do it right this time.  I wanted it to be simple and fast, yet still look a bit scrappy, and also be constructed in the best way possible.


i knew i wanted to make it with Posy by Aneela Hoey, because i was just envisioning something so sweet and girly.


and ever since seeing this granny quilt (which is possibly my fave granny ever) i knew i wanted to try one with a subtle border and rounded corners.


so here we have what is most likely my last granny quilt.  i like her, actually i love her although i think the biggest reason i like this one is the colors!  these funky pastels in this fabric collection just melt my heart!

if you'd like to make a granny quilt, i recommend this new method, it's faster and better than my old tutorial.  the only reason i'd still use the old one is if i wanted to use up smaller individual scraps.

69 comments:

  1. Lovely quilt and congrats on the new and improved tutorial. I shared some of your experiences with the recent run on my "Triple-Zip Pouch". Gee what an interesting experience! But good. Very very good.

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    1. i'm glad to hear your good experience! it does feel so good when someone likes what you've made!

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  2. I admit I jumped on that bandwagon and made the cutest little quilt ever! I've always appreciated the work of bloggers that teach and inspire me and yours was especially fun as my flickr quilt group made them together. This new version is lovely and I just pinned your Moda tutorial for a future quilt.

    Thanks for leading the granny square movement in blogland. Even if it was unintentional ... it was FUN!

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    1. I'm so glad you like Granny Squares and had a good time making and sharing them!

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  3. Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed making a granny square quilt using your ‘old’ tutorial. I joined in the ‘I love granny squares quilt-a-long’ on flickr last year and contemplated today if I would make another one for myself using a jelly roll!

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    1. thanks! it's a good feeling to know that people enjoyed making these quilts. one more good thing about the new tutorial that I forgot to mention is that i used wider strips on the edges, so it fixes those gappy edges.

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  4. adorable, thanks for this new tutorial. I made two granny square quilts using your tutorial and they are still some of my all time favorite quilts. Thanks for all the amazing inspiration. I just finished my Single Girl and used different neutrals just the way you did and it looks amazing. Thanks again for having your palm open - love this comparison.

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    1. yes, i saw your Single Girl and it's so great! love the bright happy colors!

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  5. love this post! Love your honesty and love the 'lessons' you recognized that you learned and/or need to work on. And mostly love your 'open hand' over 'closed fist' philosophy! The 'ego' ours and others is always present and reminding us that we remain human. The main thing,(I believe) is that i/we can't control anyone else's actions or words, however, I/we can control and own our own and when we can, we are moving in the right direction. To detach with love to praise or criticism -how great it would be. hugs

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    1. you are so right! thanks for the insightful comment.

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  6. Ah, the conflicting feelings that come with quilt blogging. : ) You're not as in love with something you did as everybody else seems to be. You don't want to feel like you "own" an idea, but you find that's easier said than done. I have so been there! Your open and honest thoughts on these subjects are one reason I love your blog so much, Jolene! This final granny square quilt is just beautiful, by the way.

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    1. thanks, Lee! it's always nice to hear that i'm not alone in my feelings.

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  7. I have adored the Granny obsession! I am new to blogging and have linked to your quilts!I love your style and color combos! I recently made a little granny quilt and I used your tutorial...like you, i did NOT like making those blocks for some reason... but love the look! I think it is fair to say if someone is using your tutorial...give credit where credit is due! Keep on keeping on!

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    1. i always appreciate honesty! glad you like your finished blocks though!

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  8. I haven't made a granny square quilt yet but now I think I will try your new method for a baby quilt I will be making. I'm hoping one of the babies is a girl because I would love to use the fabric you chose.

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    1. Posy is so perfect for a little girl!

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  9. Something so attractive about your blog, besides the amazingly beautiful quilts is your sweet spirit. Love how you shared your heart without attacking anyone. I also just realized in my bloggy naivete I has posted a pic of my granny square quilt and totally didn't put any details or credit. I just posted a pic in haste and never revisited to add the details. Very few people read my blog but still this has been a good lesson for me. Thanks for sharing your heart, your creativity and your sweet spirit!

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    1. don't feel bad at all! that's why i would hesitate to write a post like this, because I don't want to give the impression that I expect recognition, or am snooping around for people who may not have credited me for something I assume to be mine. i say it more as something to consider and be aware of, rather than a hard and fast rule that can be constricting.

      thanks for your sweet comment:)

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  10. Oh and I did correct my wrong. :)

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  11. I love your Posie quilt! I haven't made a granny square either but I do have a jelly roll that's been hanging around for awhile and now I know what I'm going to do with it! Thanks :)

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  12. i Love your new quilt. Congratulations on your revised tutorial.

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  13. Thanks so much for putting this out there. I never made the granny square quilt but a group I am in did a quilt along based on the original tutorial. I'm much more likely to check out the jelly roll friendly method. And your Posie quilt is so sweet I love the rounded corners.

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    1. i think the rounded corners are my fave part of this very 'square' design.

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  14. This is a great post! I started my grannies probably this time last year when there was granny mania and then ended up putting them aside. I just recently picked them up again and I'm loving them again. Thanks so much for keeping it real and sharing your thoughts.

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  15. Totally gorgeous! The colours, those rounded corners... oh my... a new crush. ;o)

    I've been completely smitten with your Granny blocks from the very beginning, Jolene and want to thank you so much for your "open hand" approach and this thoughtful post. A good reminder to take the time to say thanks for all that is shared here in blogland... a link is such an easy but meaningful acknowledgement. I know I always appreciate them and I intend to be more vigilant to see that I always include them.

    PS. I've grand plans to make a king size quilt using mini grannies... to go with the pillows I've already made, all due to seeing your inspiring grannies.

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    1. Oooo, king-sized mini grannies? Ambitious but stunning!

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  16. I got caught up in the original granny square craze. I loved making it and did it from 'hello lucious". The colours are similar to your new one.
    Thank you for each and every post you do. Always inspiring ; )

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  17. Hi Jolene's, I loved your granny quilt from the start and had such fun making my own version, which I blogged about and linked back to you. I too want to thank you for your open hand with your creation and appreciate your thoughts in this post (yes, I read it all!!). Love your new version. Can't wait for winter to roll in so I can start hand quilting mine. Thanks again, cheers, Meredithe.

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  18. Enjoyed reading about your process. To be honest, since I only started quilting about a year ago, I thought "granny square" quilt block had been around for ages - I had seen your tutorial, and loved your original quilt (those colors!) but didn't know you were the creator. Glad to know, and definitely appreciate your sharing, I can't wait to make my own version of your quilt!

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    1. I don't know if I'd call myself the creator:) I guess I should do a bit of research to find out more about the origins or names of this block. I think I just reinterpreted this block and gave it a different spin.

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    2. There is a version similar, but with more squares by Lissa Alexander in American Patchwork and Quilting October 2010, that she calls "Granny Squares". But, like I said, it is a different block. Just similar and with the same name.

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  19. I read every single word of all your blog posts . I love your honesty and your sensitive thoughts . Your quilts are all lovely . I too have made quilts I'm not crazy about and yet others love them ! It's a strange feeling .

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    1. Thanks Gina! Yes and strange feeling, and my favorites are definitely not 'trendy' so they go unnoticed too.

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  20. You are amazingly honest. Thank you for sharing from your heart. I love the Granny square block! I haven't yet made one, but have a jelly roll I've been wanting to make one with. The strip piecing tutorial makes it so much easier. Can't wait to get started on my next quilt.

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  21. So great to hear how you feel. I love the posy version!! I have this one on my list and always love a quilt that I can use my scraps.

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  22. I got into the quilting thing a little later than most people and missed the initial Granny Square fever, but I knew from the moment I saw it I wanted to make one, and I am in love with Posy. I know what I am going to make with it now! This quilt is fantastic!

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  23. Still on my list of quilts to make one day and I love this version in Posey. The 'link' to your favorite granny square quilt is not working and I'd love to see it.

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  24. I am always about a year past the initial quilting craze, so I have all my stuff to do your granny square quilt, just have to do it. Same with a Swoon, etc., etc. I LOVE the new jelly roll method! I want to do quilts for two of my nieces and this would be perfect for them.

    I appreciate your willingness to share your creativity. I know you weren't looking for props or for belated acknowledgement, but I can see where it would smart if you didn't get credit for something you've done.

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  25. Oh it's so pretty. And I want to thank you for starting off the granny'athon, it was brilliant and I loved making mine :) thank you, thank you xo

    p.s. I wish I could see who's your favourite granny quilt was, I don't think the link seem's to be working??

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  26. So, I absolutely love this post! thanks for putting it all out there. It is great to feel enough clarity to express these kinds of feelings and it definitely helps others to hear them.

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  27. Thanks so much for the updated pattern using a Jelly Roll. I made one granny square block last year in a hand pieced quilt along I was in and have planned to make an entire granny square quilt in the future. Now with the new pattern and several jelly rolls in my stash I am excited to have a go at it. Love the rounded corners on the quilt it is the perfect addition to a perfect quilt.

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  28. You know you are one of my favorite bloggers, right? Your writing and your beautiful quilts! I will check out the jelly roll method. I admit to being totally in love with granny square blocks. And your Posy version is just lovely! Thanks, Jolene. You always brighten up my day.

    P.S. For some weird reason I couldn't open up the link to see YOUR favorite granny square quilt--I'm so curious!

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  29. I'm a new blogger myself so I found your post very interesting. I work full time outside the home and don't have the time to do anything as ambitious as this project with a timeline like MBS may want. But I totally get what you meant when you didn't think it was a new design. When they put the call out the MBS website for contributors I thought, "What could I possibly offer that isn't already out there? All I do is copy old ideas." I love to share ideas that others may not know so the blogging spirit lives within me, but the negative self-talk can be a very strong initimidating force. In your case, it's important to realize that what may be a no-brainer for you because you've been doing it for years and years, is totally new for someone else. Why do you think Disney re-releases and re-releases...and re-releases, classic cartoon movies? Because every 10 years, there's a new generation that never heard of Sleeping Beauty! So you keep doing what you're doing and there will always be someone, somewhere who truly appreciates what you have to share as new to them.

    Love this quilt. Beautiful work and I adore the rounded corners. I have a jelly roll of Notting Hill that I couldn't figure out what to do with and this pattern does it justice. It's my new "big" project! Thanks and God bless you. ~Becky, LaVernia, Texas

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  30. I think I am the only person in blogdom that did not make at least one block from your Granny Square tutorial. I'd watch as one quilter after the other caught the Granny Square fever and made gorgeous blocks and quilts. I resisted because I had so many other things on my list that "had" to get done. Seeing your recipe on the MBS blog broke down my last shred of resistance. I love how the quilt looks in Posy. The rounded corners look great. I really love your blog. It is on my Google homepage. I'm glad your whirlwind experience with the Granny Square fad was mostly positive. The attention was well deserved.

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  31. I really love your new Granny quilt, and it was interesting to read your take on a surprise avalanche of people in love with your new idea!! We live and learn, don't we?!! Good luck on future endeavours, and thanks for the tutorials!!

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  32. Actually I think the 'original' idea should go to Gai Perry. She did a granny square quilt in her book, "Color from the Heart". I think the book came out in the late 90's. But you sure did start a 'craze' and get quilters quilting.

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  33. well done for creating a lovely block and being followed by so many!

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  34. I read this post twice and realized the first time when I tried to leave you a comment didn't make it through. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and I read it by heart!I have the same feeling/thoughts that you mentioned on this post, but I always not sure how to express my thoughts in writing { I am not a very good writer}. I love how the new version of Granny Square turns out! I went ahead and order my Posy fat quarter bundle after the first reading! I love round corner quilts. It gives soft and extra cozy look. Each time when I come visit this space.. You've always inspired me! xc

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  35. I am making this right now using a Dream On jelly roll and your ModaBakeShop tutorial. I just wanted to drop by and say thank you. Thank you for making this gorgeous design so easy to tackle. I love strip-piecing and short-cuts. I am intimidated by blocks that need a million individual squares. This jelly roll method is perfect for me and perfect for my hoarded Dream On. There are pics in my IG stream (username Frecklemama). Thanks again for taking the time to make the original and then adapt it to make it even more accessible.
    Chris

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  36. I love the granny square quilt and I am two blocks into making mine. I love this new one too but one of my favourite things about your old one was the hand quilting. Thank you for your lovely blog xx

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  37. I say when your heart is good and kind and a few negatives appear in life, they should not set you back. Take a moment, take a deep breath, and let it go. There are other things to focus on that are oh so much more fun.
    That is the perfect time to find some happy fabric and make something.
    Best wishes to you.

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  38. I am so glad you modified the pattern to accomodate jelly rolls. Thanks!! I'm in a Bee and was planning on having everyone make this glorious block when it's my month AND I'll be linking to your original tutorial since it's more suitable for scraps. But I do want to make another one using a jelly roll and noticed there are some questions about the tutorial over on your Moda Bake Shop lesson. I only read thru it quickly once but something about two 10.5" STRIPS being called for when only one was called for in the cutting section? I'm sure it will make sense to you.
    Did I tell you I love your blog thanks to Faith's link and many from Threadbias!

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  39. I'm always inspired by your quilts! In fact, I'm in the process of making your Hope Valley patchwork quilt right now (only larger for my queen sized bed). My 3 year old daughter saw a granny square quilt on flickr and has decided that she wants one of those for her bed. Thanks for the tutorial. Your quilts are beautiful!

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  40. First off, your quilt is really pretty. I love the colors and rounded corners also. I'm not a blogger, but I am a quilter and there have been several times that I have been blog hopping and come across a quilt design that someone says is their design. It really was their idea. It also really was the idea of several or many other folks'. That's what happens when people do the same thing. We humans have lots of differences and lots of similarities. Oodles of fashion designers come up with the same ideas independent of each other. Oodles of mystery writers come up with the exact same plots and even subplots. I don't know what negative experience you had regarding this granny square block, but I'm sorry you did. I hope the folks who really did get the idea from you will give you the credit and the folks who got the idea elsewhere will give credit elsewhere.
    Lisa

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  41. gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!!!
    LOVE the colours!

    thea.
    (spoonfulzine)

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  42. Jolene - I am still "Granny Squaring"! I happen to really like making the blocks (love that squaring up thing at the end - LOL!) My first one is almost done - I took the opportunity to use up bits of favorite scraps from other projects and I'm thrilled with it! I've also started a second and I do see more Granny Squares in my future. And, I'm definitely going to be trying your new Jelly Roll GS method too! So, thanks for "spearheading" this craze! o:)

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  43. This is a gorgeous pattern, very original!

    Our readers at FaveQuilts would love this. : )

    Kathryn

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  44. I love this post Jolene!! I have felt the EXACT same way before. And have turned down some opportunities that now I wonder why I did but at the time it just seemed the right choice for our family and myself. I think you have such a unique and beautiful style and I love your Granny Square tutorials (the original and the "improved" one) :-)
    I feel like most of our quilting community online is good about sharing their inspiration and I really appreciate that. Always hurts my heart a little when I see things I know were inspired by someone else and there is no mention of it anywhere. Such a good reminder to always give credit where credit is due. You always inspire me :-)

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  45. I don't know how to really comment on these posts but I love love love this quilt. I am so tempted to "copy" exactly what you did. It is really beautiful. Debbie

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  46. This is a really beautiful quilt. I loved your first one but this one is perfect. You do stunning work. thank you so much for sharing - you inspire me.

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  47. Heya.. I had just finished a quilt top called "midnight at the plaza" from Quilters Newsletter's Best FAT Quarter quilt magazine. Then I saw your Granny at Moda Bake shop and I just had to do it. It was super super quick and I finished it in 2 afternoons. It was amazing and delightful! So now I have two quilt tops waiting to be quilted.

    Thank you!

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  48. this block is a traditional one that i have in many quilt books, that i've owned for over 30 years and you can be sure it's much older than that,i've made quilts from it forever and its called many trips around the world, quilt history, helpfull to know it , just sayin,

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  49. I really appreciate the honesty in your posts, Jolene. I loved your original Granny Squares quilt (and this one too, love those corners). Your quilt was so inspiring and I love when I get really excited about a quilt. I was SO inspired I even started crocheting Granny Squares. I do believe you made your squares look just like crochet squares. I had seen similar blocks before but the layouts are different and they have different names and they didn't at all remind me of Granny Squares. So when I think of a Granny Squares quilt I think of yours and give credit to you because you had the idea, tutorial and you totally rocked that block, girl!!! P.S. your photos are always really great too, so glad you kept on blogging!

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  50. So many gorgeous quilts. I now have a lot of reading to do!

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  51. I also loved both your quilts. The Posy one is so delicate and girly, and you photographed it so well that I ordered a fq bundle of Posy and have put it aside to make a twin size quilt for my little girl when she moves into a "big girl" bed (she's only 9 months now). It's just beautiful! (Like all of your quilts!)

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