Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Japanese Flower Blanket

Hello Lovelies!! I hope you are all having a great start to the week? 
I can not tell you how excited I am to be sharing this project with you. It's a soft, delicate project. An explosion of colour that has been growing over the past 2 and a half years and it's finally finished!!

Now this project is extra special, not because I'm totally in love with it, but because it's a project that Dennis and I have worked on together. 

I can not take the credit for the initial vision of this project, it was Dennis who started it way back in 2011. It was Dennis who stumbled upon the deliciously soft and vibrant Drops Alpaca Yarn on a trip to Norway and it was Dennis who made the colour choices and started this magnificent blanket.



It was me that copied it with my own version using my left over Stylcraft Special DK. 


Together we worked on our own individual blankets and it was together that we both lost interest in our blankets. 
Dennis lost interest in his blanket because of the huge amount work, colour changes and ends to sew in. We all know how working on a massive project can get a little tedious and so Dennis left it to work on his other fabulous projects. 
I lost interest in my blanket for a similar reasons. I was distracted by other projects, not to mention I  was a tad envious of how Dennis' blanket was turning out using the gorgeous Drops Yarn.
For the first time since discovering it, I was not satisfied with how the texture of the Stylecraft DK was turning out for this project and was preferring the look of the yummy alpaca yarn. 

As for the pattern for the Japanese Flower: It was becoming a bit of a trend in "crochet world" back in 2011 and the first time I saw it I was in love. 
The pattern was tricky to get hold of online and so Dennis and I researched the origins of the pattern. Thanks to a link from Lucy at Attic24, we were pointed in the right direction and found the beautiful pattern in a Japanese Crochet Book, Motif Book volume 4 by Nihan Vogue Sha. (It's available second hand for about $15. However, as a "heads up" it is in Japanese so you'll need to be able to read crochet diagrams).

I lost interest in my Japanese Flower Blanket, but not in the pattern and so back in 2011 decided to make my lovely mum a scarf using the same pattern:



After this scarf was finished I moved on to my next project, an Autumny granny stripe blanket.....


.........and somehow managed to forget about the Japanese Flower. 

Jump forward two years later and as I'm starting to prepare my belongings in Hamburg for a move to Stuttgart,  I stumble upon Dennis' Japanese Flower blanket bagged up and hiding at the bottom of our yarn box. It was crumpled up, bright and gorgeous ends hanging down like little roots to real flowers:


It sent my heart a fluttering and I knew that I had to complete this project. 
At the time Dennis was away working on a cruise ship and so during one of our regular Skype chats I asked him if he would mind if I finished the project he had started.  He was thrilled by the idea! 

Along with the blanket, Dennis had left some of the yarn along with the original labels, so it was easy for me to know which colours he was using and order extra yarn to continue the blanket. 
The Yarn is so delicious that each time a package would arrive full of yarn, I'd open it with a smile on my face and enjoy its soft texture as I squished the skeins between my fingers.


For those of you interested here are the colours that we used on our blanket:


Light Blue, 6205

Dark Turquoise, 2918 

Purple, 4050

Dark Lime, 2916

Dark Purple, 4400
   
Deep Pink, 2922

Pink, 2921
 
Orange, 2915

Goldenrod, 2923
  
Dark Green Grey, 7139
  
Red, 3620

With a fresh stash of yarn, I continued to work on the blanket Dennis had started.
Round by round I started to work on creating more and more of these beautiful flowers.


I made the flowers in batches.


Then with the fourth and final round, I'd join them onto the existing blanket. Before long the blanket started to grow and I was sat with a meadow of gorgeous flowers on my lap.
I followed the pattern that Dennis had started and tried to keep the colour choices as random as possible.


I loved how soft the yarn felt to work with. I sure wasn't the only one :-)


After a few months hard work the blanket was complete, although I stupidly hadn't sewn the ends in as I went along!!!!! EEEEEEEEK!!!!!


I made a little deal with myself that I wasn't allowed to share my lovely blanket with you until every last end was sewn in. This gave me a great motivation to get working on the ends. 


There were a lot of them!! 2920 ends in total!!!

Dennis and I worked together on sewing in the ends, whilst working our way through the TV series Greys Anatomy. 


As a team we made fast progress


Gradually our blanket had more complete flowers than incomplete .




The amount of cut of ends grew and I decided to save them as an end mark of how much work we had done.


I had been told by a few of you lovely readers to save the cut off ends and put them outside for the birds. I was told that the birds would use the little woollen strands on their nests for insulation. I loved the idea and will definitely be doing this with my left over ends.
I can only imagine what the local birds nests will look like!


After a couple of weeks of team work we were done with all of our ends! After two and a half years the blanket is FINISHED!!!!!!! 

Want to see it???!!!!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP!


365 flowers in total.  149 of which Dennis made back in 2011 and the rest we added recently over the last couple of months.
It stretches right across our double bed, it's soft and luxurious and I'm so so happy with it. 


It's vibrant and fresh and drapes across our armchair like a gushing waterfall.


It adds sunshine to our bedroom and I can't wait to snuggle under it throughout the remaining Winter months.


It's a blanket that both Dennis and are so proud of, We worked hard on it together and it's a sure sign of our teamwork and shows our passion for creating together. 
I love this blanket because it's bright and beautiful, but mostly because we did it together! 

108 comments:

  1. Woohhhhhhhhh! what a beautie, i love it!
    what a job!
    greetings Jacqueline

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  2. It is lovely! So jealous :) www.castlecountry stitchery.blogspot.com

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  3. Im weeping....Not really it is just stunning again! You guys are troopers!

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  4. Oh my God!!!!! This is absolutely beautiful!!!!!!!!...!!what an unbelieveable job you both have done!!!!
    This is a true piece of art.... I am so so so impressed!!!!

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  5. That is absolutely gorgeous. Y'all should be really proud of yourselves for doing something so magnificent!

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  6. *C*O*N*G*R*A*T*U*L*A*T*I*O*N*S*!* on finishing this massive work of fabric art! You should enter it into an art contest! I have a similar shawl in the works... and similar colors. I am inspired to take it back up again. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  7. Oh Wow! That is amazingly lovely! The colours you used are wonderful

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  8. So beautiful. I love your colors.
    Hugs from Norway

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  9. Hi, I love your blog, is beauty, I love the colors, I love your crochet, visit my blog too,hugs from Brazil.
    http://www.titacarre.com
    http://elo7.com.br/titacarre

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  10. What an accomplishment for both of you. The blanket is just absolutely gorgeous! And what wonderful memories you will have knowing you made this together as a team. And yet it represents your life together: brigh, beautiful and with lots of different colors to share. You should be proud, it is an art piece!

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  11. I forgot to say I'm also making a Japanese flower blanket for my SIL who is turning 50 this year. I have just posted on my blog, however mine is slightly different and I have just started... I can't wait to finish it and see the result!

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  12. Dear matt, this is great! I understand the process and admire you persevered... The end result is stunning! Well done! Enjoy this, i think you will.
    Love heleen

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  14. Is just the perfect touch of color!!!
    I looooove it!!!
    Great team work!!
    By the way!! I think I missed ur doggie's name!! What a cutie :D

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  15. Wow, Matt and Dennis, you have made a beautiful blanket! I LOVE the colours you've used! I experienced the same thing when I made an flower scarf (a bit different from the japanese flower) although Stylecraft is an absolutely lovely yarn, for this kind of projects it is nice to have a 'wooly' effect.

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  16. woooow! super! what a patience and what a gorgeous blanket!

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  17. Wow! That blanket is absolutely gorgeous! I agree, Stylecraft is a lovely yarn for blankets like a hexagon, granny stripe or ripple but with flowers like this, or more ópen'crochet works, it is nice to have that 'wooly' effect. I made a scarf with a similar pattern, and after 2 flowers frogged the stylecraft and bought a more wooly yarn.

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  18. Beautiful. What inspiration. I'll keep going with my hexagon blanket!

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  19. Simply incredible! It looks like what dreams are crocheted from! Many congratulations to both of you for finishing it off (I can barely imagine the monotony of weaving in ALL those ends!) but I'm glad you got to work on it together and I hope you get lovely, cozy use out of it as well as a feast for the eyes. Thanks for sharing it with us - what a treat after a long day! :)

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  20. Oh wow, that looks gorgeous! I want one like that now... if only I had the time. *sigh* It's ever the problem, I suppose. :) Well done for getting all those ends done, anyway

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  21. Well done Matt and Dennis!! I've been toying with the idea of a blanket like this, 'cause it just shouts spring to me :-) Have FUN with your blanket!!! It's the best reason to snuggle up.
    Esther.

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  22. Wow that's a lot of ends to weave in! It's a stunning blanket, so special that you worked on it together
    :-)

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  23. E' bellissima , complimenti ! Anche gli uccellini ne saranno entusiasti !
    Maddalena

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  24. Your blanket is absolutely stunning! and you both deserve a lot of kudos for finishing such an involved project!! thank you for sharing it!

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  25. That blanket certainly has WOW factor. It was definitely worth all of that work to finish it.

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  26. What a perfect beauty!!! Congratulation!

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  27. That is stunning.......absolutely STUNNING!! So very pretty against the white bedding! Magnificent job. It's amazing what a little teamwork, or in this case, a lot of team work, can accomplish. I'd say you guys work very well together! ;-)

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  28. The blanket is beautiful, I love the colors.
    Best regards,
    Martine - Homemade and more

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  29. your teamwork blanket is awesome! Congrats to both of you for finishing it!

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  30. So uplifting - the colour choices are incredibly inspiring - congratulations to you both!

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  31. Oh my... I think this is the most beautiful blanket i've ever seen!!! Those stunning colors, and it just looks like real flowers, and to have that cover up your bed and wake to that happy sight evey morning... That must be well worth the work I think! Even all those ends.... ;)

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  32. I'm speechless!!! The blanket is divine!!!! Bravo,Mat!

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  33. Oooh just gorgeous..and I love your little hairy helper too!

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  34. That is absolutely MAGNIFICENT!!! I actually don't think there is a word big enough o cover how amaaaaaaahzing this blanket it. Such love and hard work was put into it. GORGEOUS! SUPERCALAFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS!!! (I don't even think that word is big enough). LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

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  35. Wow that is really beautiful.

    Dennis is so organised with the labels I really must try to be as organised.

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  36. All your hard work was SO worth it...it's breathtakingly gorgeous. Well done to you both it's a masterpiece! X

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  37. This is a marathon project, but my goodness it has been worth it. It is BEAUTIFUL. Well done to both of you.

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  38. Absolutely stunning....I love it!
    Hugs,
    Sabine

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  39. It is absolutely gorgeous! Great job! I love the story behind it and all of your beautiful photographs to. A flower a day for a year... Hmmm... I might have to make one for myself. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful afghan and story with us.

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  40. Awww. What an amazing work! I'm totally impressed. Congrats to both of you.

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  41. That is the most breathtaking blanket I have ever seen! You two should be so very proud of your work. What a wonderful piece of art, for that is what it is, art. Hope you have a wonderful week!
    Hugs...

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  42. This is amazing and the photos are stunning - although I think my favorite is the bird's nest ;) I love that you persevered through weaving in the ends -- totally worth it!

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  43. Ooooh how lovely, I'm jealous, it is still on my to-do list and when I see this one I wish I hade more time

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  44. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! You two should be very proud. The colors are absolutely stunning!

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  45. It's gorgeous! Congratulations on picking it up again and getting to the finish line (but WOW! at all those ends).

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  46. Oh my goodness Matt and Dennis it is absolutely amazing and you will both treasure it for years to come. So vibrant. Will you be writing up and sharing the pattern? Love Joy Xx

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  47. Your blanket is absolutely beautiful and its so romantic that you and Dennis made it together. Its lovely. Well done. xxx

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  48. Wow, that is truly stunning. I absolutely love the color combinations. Can I get a woot, woot to the ‘70’s, lol. The white bedspread really sets off the colors and looks great in the room. Beautiful work by the both of you.

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  49. Wow, that is truly stunning. I absolutely love the color combinations. Can I get a woot, woot to the ‘70’s, lol. The white bedspread really sets off the colors and looks great in the room. Beautiful work by the both of you.

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  50. Beautiful Work Matt, I loved the story of you both 'sharing in the making'.. sweet..
    Hugs
    TracySC
    Somerset

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  51. Wow, such a beautiful blanket! I have yet to crochet a blanket of my own, but this inspired me a LOT!! :D

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  52. What a beautiful blanket & great teamwork to finish it! Thanks for sharing it with us!

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  53. What a beautiful blanket & great teamwork to finish it! Thanks for sharing it with us!

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  54. that is just absolutely amazing - a fantastic job, I have serious blanket envy!!!

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  55. Gorgeous Matt and cute dog too, and that birds nest would be awesome ☺

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  56. Stunning - and super special because it's a shared project. The colours look fabulous in your home. Did so love the birds nest!

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  57. It is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing all your hard work with us. Those colours are fantastic & the wool is so soft and warm! I love DROPS Alpaca. Their other wools are lovely too. I'll never wear man made fibre jumpers & cardis again!

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  58. Hola Matt me encanta la manta pero aun mas todo lo que platicas!! que maravilla !!
    es como si yo estuviera al lado de ustedes!! su casa es preciosa decorada con muy buen gusto
    fenomenal la manta luce regia en la cama felicidades para ti y Denis!!

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  59. Gorgeous!!!!! Your dog is adorable too.

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  60. What a wonderful item to have in your home. You two have done an amazing thing here and you will always be proud to have it in your lives. I love it.

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  61. Thank you for making my "to-do" list even more longer!! *cries.

    But seriously, that looks totally, absolutely stunning!

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  62. This is stunning and a real project of love. Lovely to think the birds will enjoy it as well.

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  63. THAT. IS. ASTONISHING. the work, the ends, the beginnings, i want to eat that blanket!!

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  64. Wow. Absolutely mesmerizing... I'm sharing this on my Facebook page! HOLY COW. Beautiful job. The hours spent on that must have been numerous. Thank you for sharing it with us!!

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  65. Hello from a German in London! Your blog is wonderful and very inspiring. I only recently learned to crochet and I am still working my way through a hundred of very basic granny squares (I don't even know how to sew ends in yet) But looking at your photos I can't wait to try different patterns and colours.
    All the best
    Sarah

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  66. Oh my god I can't believe you had almost 3000 ends!! I would have gone mad or thrown it away! It's a fantastic blanket and you should both be very pleased. I love that you made it together too, really special :)

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  67. Oh what a lovely breathtaking blanket!Congrats!AriadnefromGreece!

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  68. Wow! Stunning work. Gives me motivation to finish my own forgotten-about granny square blanket.

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  69. the blanket is absolutely beautiful. sewing all that ends in was real "monnikenwerk" (You can ask Dennis what that means) but the result is fantastic..
    Emma

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  70. Totally gorgeous and wonderful, I have shared on my FB page (with the appropriate credit to you and a link to your site). can't wait to see your next project! karen@MixTure43

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  71. It's a fabulous blanket made with not just Drops Alpaca but with lots of love. You should both be proud of yourselves

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  72. The blanket is absolutely gorgeous. I'm sewing in my ends as I go on my granny blanket (otherwise I'm not sure that I would ever finish it!!).

    Jacqueline

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  73. Oh well done on completing your blanket. It looks absolutely beautiful and I just love all the different colours that you used.

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  74. it is absolutely stunning, and your bed! Wow, beautiful! you are both so talented and how lovely to have something you made together X

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  75. With tears in my eyes after reading your story, I can truly say that it is very beautiful and so are your pictures when the blanket lies on your bed and draped over the chair. Isn't is special what colour, a great pattern, soft yarn and a lot of dedicated work can do? Congratulations to you both.
    Groetjes
    Annemieke (first time on your blog and I found this blanket!:)

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  76. Oh my word, what a challenge to sew in all those ends but fabulous, gorgeously wonderful result! x

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  77. Wonderful, I have never seen such beautiful crochet, those ends though!! You were stars to finish.

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  78. What a wonderful creative statement! Love the blanket and am also a huge fan of the Drops Alpaca.
    Your birds will love you too.

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  79. Omigod! That's like, soooo totally awesome, I mean like, sooooo awesome!!

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  80. Hola, hola, chico, esa manta esta espectacular, tejes muy bonito, un saludo desde Veracruz, México, también tejo, pasa por mi blog yotejo99.blogspot.com , bye.

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  81. Gosh! An amazing piece of work and really, really lovely! It looks fabulous on your bed.
    Denise
    x

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  82. It is absolutely gorgeous!!!! Such a wonderful mix of colours, it is totally amazing - well done both of you!

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  83. I am LOVING your Japanese flower garden!
    And Be Still My Heart! That adorable doggie is just too darn precious :)))
    ~Danette

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  84. It's wonderfull!
    Beautiful colors, a real dream!
    Bravo (sorry for my english...)

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  85. What a beautiful blanket - one that will bring joy for years to come!

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  86. Gorgeous! Oh that is a beautiful make xx

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  87. wow & wow you guys did an amazing job - well done

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  88. Beautifull, Superbe !!! I love it great job !!!

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  89. Oh guys what a beauty en what a teamwork, you can be proud the two of you. Congretiolations
    From the Netherlands, Ria

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  90. Oh wow, LOVE the blanket! And how sweet the picture is of the two of you sewing in the ends together. I am so going to teach my hubby to do that on my next big blanket :D Thanks for the idea. I just found your blog through some search on google. I cant remember the site that I was on but I was reading the comments and saw one from a Denis (must be your Denis) to check out your blog and he left a link. Your blog is so colorful and fun. I have been having fun reading some of your posts.

    Cheers from Iceland,
    Birgitta

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  91. Drop dead gorgeous and what a labour of love! Any chance that someone translated the Japanese flower into English? My Mother was Japanese (she has passed on) and she would love all that color against the stark and clean white. Kudos to you both for such an exquisite work of art.

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  92. Bravo! That was beautifully done! :D

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  93. Absolutely Gorgeous!!!!

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  94. Very great job! Wonderful!

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  95. So inspired by this wonderful japanese flower blanket ....i just had to share my FIND xoxoxo http://quiltingsquareone.blogspot.com/2014/03/i-am-bigtime-wanna-be-crochet-girl.html

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  96. Wow! I've just found your blog. Its amazing. I love the colours, what heirloom!! Did you ever finish the style craft one? I just wonder as I suspect its more in my price range!!! Thank you for our lovely blog Moray

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Thank you so much for leaving me a comment!