Posts Tagged ‘“A” is for Applique’

Yes my friends the New Year is finally here. There was no fuss or singing in happy longarm quilter land. We just quietly went to bed and when we woke up it was 2014. It was as easy as that.

And on this first day of a fresh new year, we in happy longarm quilter land, made the most of yet another free and easy day. Although it was meant to be a quiet downtime day we still got a few useful things done. The washing machine was agitating and a little tidying got done but for the most part we sat quietly hand stitching and preparing a new appliqué block while watching a couple of DVD movies. My Sarah will soon be back to college so it was rather nice to have her quiet company. Truth be known, I think we’re both looking forward to going back to some kind of normal everyday life.

I thought we were having rotten weather here in the UK with gale force winds and lashings of rain which is causing flooding in places. Well it seems that in Montreal they’ve had -39C which I know from experience is very cold indeed. They’ve had loads of snow which of course I have been longing for. Well I think I’ll have to change my mind about having snow. Adding snow to our miserable winter weather would just make things unbearable. So I’m hoping for a wee bit of sunshine over the next few days.

I did get some sewing time in today along with my chores. I have finally finished appliqueing all four long borders of my Whimsy quilt…….

Whimsy Border progression

These borders have been pressed and stabilised ready for embroidery work which I plan to start tomorrow. And as planned I did some preparation work on my December “A” is for Appliqué block. I chose my fabrics including the background and traced the shapes onto freezer paper. I ironed the freezer paper onto the back of the fabric and I will do the next step this evening. I can’t wait to see this block take shape. It looks nothing on paper but I think once the fabric patches have been prepared it will look a whole lot different. I hope to bring you a progress report soon.

December A is for Applique progress

Well it’s been a really good day in happy longarm quilter land. We stayed warm and cosy in the safety of our little humble abode. Tomorrow I guess things will start getting back to normal. I have scheduled a couple of weeks to dedicate to one or two projects that I need to start and see thru to completion before the end of the month. The fabrics have been chosen for these projects I just need to change the blade in my rotary cutter, clean my sewing machine and I’ll be ready to start. I’m looking forward to getting started on my gentle goals for 2014.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be preparing patches for my December “A” is for Appliqué block. I hope your first evening of 2014 is filled with something interesting. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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I sit here composing my very last blog post of 2013. I still can’t believe that the year is almost finished. We’ve all had such a busy year in happy longarm quilter land. Life has changed quite a lot for us as a family. We all seem to be running around doing things independently of each other. So when we get a chance to spend a day or even an afternoon together it’s a very rare treat indeed. I believe that 2014 isn’t going to be much different regarding our family life.

I sat quietly at my hobby table this afternoon contemplating what my gentle goals were for the coming year.  So I made a list of a dozen projects of various sizes and complexity just to get me started. These projects will be designed by me from scratch for teaching purposes. I pulled out a brand new notebook to get the New Year started off. I use simple notebooks that I carry around with me to record inspiration and ideas that I come up with otherwise I forget. And it’s in this notebook that I write my To-Do Lists from day-to-day.

New notebook ready for 2014

This afternoon after composing my list of gentle goals for 2014 I also set one for today. That goal was to draw my December “A” is for Applique block. You might remember that the theme for December is your Favourite Quote. Well I decided on my favourite quote weeks ago but I just haven’t gotten around to doing anything about it yet. So I got a few simple tools out ……

Drawing December A is for Applique block

and drew something simple using my simple tools.

December A is for Applique block

If you’ve seen any of the appliqué blocks I have designed myself you will notice that they are usually simple and have clean lines. My preference is for keeping it simple. Less is more…….

So that’s my little hand sewing fix for tomorrow. I will choose my fabric and make up my patches and get a little “A” is for Appliqué work done on the first day of the New Year. If all goes well and I don’t get distracted, I should be able to tack all the components in place ready for fine hand stitching. I have really enjoyed this project over the last nine months. There were times when I thought I couldn’t keep up but I am caught up now. My projects have taken on a new look since the summer. That’s when the cleaner lines started appearing.

While we are on the subject of “A” is for Applique I would like to show you Donna’s December block. Donna never disappoints me. As always she has pulled it off on time.

Donna's December block

If you want more if on the “A” is for Applique challenge click here. It’s never too late to join in. The more the merrier.

So that’s my little report for today. I’ve had a wonderful year and I want to thank you all for letting me share it with you. I have appreciated all your positive comments. And I hope to keep posting interesting posts throughout 2014.

So for this New Year’s Eve, this very happy longarm quilter and company will be welcoming the New Year in the comfort and safety of our own little humble home. Jammies, a few treats, some hand stitching and some watchable TV shows will keep us entertained this evening. And my wish for you is I hope 2014 brings you everything your hearts wish for. Until you read me again in 2014,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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I’m suffering from cabin fever.  Apart from walking the dogs I haven’t been out of the house for days! Here’s what I have been working on today ….

Kay's quilt 1

Kays's quilt 2

Kay's quilt 3

Starlet by Lisa Calle

This quilt was pieced by Kay. I love the fresh prints Kay used. The chosen quilting design is Starlets by Lisa Calle and the thread I used is a lovely bright red. I believe this quilt will be used by a young fellow.

For some reason I never got around to doing any hand sewing today. I got a late start on Kay’s quilt and it was nearly supper time by the time I finished. However I did take a few minutes to layer up Carolyn’s snowman stitchery ready for quilting this evening. I love this little stitchery. I plan on adding some naïve quilting using some perle cotton and small buttons.

Stitchery layered ready for quilting and finishing

Tomorrow I hope to work on the penultimate quilt of 2013. If everything works out tomorrow I will be able to take a break until the last quilt top arrives sometime next week. Perhaps after tomorrow I will be able to relieve my cabin fever as on Friday I will be heading up to Stitchin’ Heaven to help some ladies put the last borders on the beginner’s sampler quilt they have been working on all year. I’m sure each lady is looking forward to seeing their particular sampler finished. What an achievement. I’ve made a few samplers over the last twenty years. So I know how great it feels to finish something you’ve been working on for a long time.

The lovely Donna has been up to her old tricks again. I received a photo of Donna’s “A” is for Applique ‘Tis the Season block……

Donna's 'Tis the Season Block

As always Donna has done a great job. I really look forward to seeing how Donna’s put all her hexagon blocks together. I send a big thank you to Donna for inspiring me with her blocks. Don’t forget folks that the December theme is your Favourite Quote. I’ve chosen my quote now I just have to draw something that depicts it. At times “A” is for Applique has been a rather challenging challenge. Back in October I didn’t think I would be able to keep up but now I’m right up to date. In three months we will have made 12 blocks which is definitely enough to make a quilt. I look forward to putting my blocks together. My goal was to make a pretty quilt. I don’t often do pretty so I hope that it will end up being the pretty quilt I wanted. I’m already thinking about how I will quilt it ……

It’s been another busy day. I had a few problems to overcome this morning but that’s all behind me now. I look forward to meeting tomorrow’s challenges. Best of all I look forward to having a proper over the holidays.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be quilting and finishing off a stitchery wall hanging. I hope you all have a splendid evening working on something festive. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥



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Marions Pink Lemonade 1

Marions Pink Lemonade 2

This is a very nice quilt. I would love to see it bound and spread out on a bed. I think Marion will be very happy with this quilt. I finished longarm quilting it today. I worked thru the storms. The lights kept dipping but I put my head down and just kept working. The next batch of quilt tops will start arriving tomorrow morning and by early next week the last of them will be here. I can see light at the end of the tunnel. Three weeks today is Boxing Day!

I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the whirlwind year I’ve had and on the year to come. There are so many things I want to do so I had better start making a list in order of priority. Something I would like to do more of is Freemotion Quilting using any and all of my domestic sewing machines with lots of different threads. The last few months have kept me so busy that I haven’t had a lot of time to play. In my opinion it’s our playtime that produces new ideas/projects. So the top of the list should read have more playtime ……

I got a lovely little gift on Tuesday from my lovely friend Shelley who is a very crafty person. Shelley made this lovely brooch/charm. I love the bright cheery colour and the fact that it’s funky. I plan on using it as a charm on a bag. I guess I had better design a bag using fabrics that tone in with my new funky charm. Isn’t it funny where we get our inspiration?

Shelleys funky charm

Over the last few days I spent a wee bit of time working on this little stitchery……

Friends stitchery

This was a free pattern on the internet which I printed quite some time ago but I can’t figure out where I got it. So if anyone knows please let me know and I will post the link. I plan on turning this stitchery into a useful Christmas gift. I really enjoyed working on this little stitchery and I love the words.

And now a little update on “A” is for Applique. I finished doing the applique work on my November block ‘Tis the Season……

Tis the Season

At the moment it doesn’t look like much but I plan on adding some stitchery work which I think will bring the block to life. Over the Christmas holidays I plan on stabilising all my “A” is for Applique blocks and doing some stitchery. It’s hard to believe that I’m up-to-date with my blocks. However I haven’t announced the theme for December yet. So let’s get that out of the way so you can all come up with a plan. The theme for December is your Favourite Quote. So basically take your favourite quote and turn it into an applique block. It should be fun to see all the different interpretations of different quotes. Don’t forget it’s never too late to join in. The last theme will be in March. By then we will have 12 blocks to work with. I reckon that’s enough to make a quilt. I can’t wait to get started on my Favourite Quote.

Now the weather in my little corner of the England hasn’t been very good today. It was wild and woolly making it feel rather cold. Even my dogs didn’t want to go out for a walk this morning. I’ve been awake since the wee hours because the wind was making so much noise. So after today’s storms I think I’m ready for a bit of snow……. I would love to have a white Christmas.

So it’s been a really good day in happy longarm quilter land. I finished Marion’s beautiful Pink Lemonade quilt and started planning what I’m going to work on over the weekend. I don’t think there will be enough hours to get everything done that I would like to do! My lovely friend Karen asked me today if I was planning on getting myself a Poinsettia this year. Well the answer is I haven’t decided yet. My local supermarket has plenty in stock at the moment but I worry that the sooner I bring a plant home the sooner I might kill it. So you’ll just have to wait and see what I decide over the next week or so.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will most likely carry on working on the Dr Who scarf. It’s such a simple project that it’s very relaxing to work on. I hope you have a splendid evening working on something relaxing too. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥


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Well it’s Thursday. The week is almost over. I’ve been keeping busy today by longarm quilting this morning. I worked on Pat’s sampler. This sampler is a UFO that has been sitting for some fifteen years. I think her son will be very pleased to receive his quilt sometime soon. I chose Plush designed by Hermione Agee as a quilting design and a lovely fine cream colour thread. I plan on hand finishing the binding sometime over the next few days.

Pat's sampler quilt

I quite often wonder what’s on everybody’s design wall at any given time. This afternoon I worked on a co-ordinating knitting bag to go with the knitting needle roll which I made yesterday. So the bag quilt top is on my design wall today. I hope to get it machine quilted tomorrow. I haven’t decided how to quilt it just yet. I’m hoping that when I sit in front of the sewing machine, with the bag quilt top inserted under the needle, I’ll be struck with inspiration and know exactly how to quilt it. I do know one thing, it’s going to be a simple quilting job.

Bag quilt top

I spent a few minutes preparing patches for my latest “A” is for Applique block, ‘Tis the Season. A few evenings ago I drew this.

A is for Applique Tis the Season layout

And then I chose fabrics and ironed the freezer paper shapes onto it. I have decided to piece the background for this block. Hopefully it will make the whole block more interesting. It looks nothing on paper but I think once I add the coloured fabric patches it will look good. Once again I opted for something simple to keep it manageable. Less is always more.

Tis the season patches

So it’s been another productive day. And I must admit I did enjoy it. Tomorrow is a downtime day. My body feels the need to step away from my longarm quilting system. Besides I need to catch up on a few chores and perhaps even get out of the house for a couple of hours. This weekend I plan on playing in my sewing room creating once again.

Before I finish for today I’d like to wish all my stateside bloggy friends a very happy Thanksgiving Day. I hope you all have a super day. Thanksgiving is not a big holiday here in the UK. We do celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada but we celebrate it in October.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be working with on freezer paper applique and reading some recently received magazines. I hope you have a splendid evening doing something festive. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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Helloooooo my lovely friends. It’s been another super day in happy longarm quilter land. I spent a good part of the day in my sewing room longarm quilting Margaret’s lovely funky girly quilt……

Margarets quilt 1

Margarets quilt 2

Margarets quilt back 4

What a super quilt this has turned out to be. I think the young lady who will receive this quilt is very lucky indeed.

I did a little more work on my Christmastime Bunting. This is what it looks like at the moment. The buttons are just lying on top. I plan to sew them in place sometime over the next few days. I can’t wait to hang this bunting on my chimney breast. I love the colours Anni Downs has used in this design. I’m well on my way to Finishing up this project while Using up some of my stash.

Christmas Bunting progress

Christmas Bunting progress 2

A couple of days ago I started painting a Needle Threader Tidy. This little Tidy is a Christmas gift for someone crafty. Hasn’t it changed since the last time you saw it……

Needle Threader Tidy 1

I took this wee bit of fabric and wadding……

Needle Thread Tidy 2

and turned it into a simple mini pincushion. I love the simple things in life. More often than not less is more.

needle Threader Tidy 3

Well it’s been another productive day around here. Along with the few tasks I mentioned I also did a couple of loads of washing, unloaded the dishwasher, walked the dogs and answered a few enquiries. I like days like today. Working on a variety of things makes life interesting. I’m hoping to design another block for my “A” is for Applique challenge this evening. The latest theme is ‘Tis the Season. And although it can be any season, I plan on making mine Christmas festive which will be quite difficult due to the fabric collection I’m using. I do have a few ideas and as usual I’m going to keep it simple enough so that I can manage to achieve it.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be searching the internet for vintage Christmas ideas and hopefully designing another block. Are you looking forward to a vintage Christmas? I hope you have a lovely cosy evening working on something seasonal. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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Well Christmas and the end of the year are both looming in happy longarm quilter land. I’ve simply had no time to start Christmas shopping! Usually by now I’m well on my way to finishing up. I’m quite looking forward to Christmas. I enjoy quietly slowing down for a few days. I enjoy spending time with my family and best of all I enjoy not watching the clock.

I have spent the weekend doing nice things at my own slow speed. And while playing in my sewing room at a snail’s pace I’ve had time to think. Thinking can be dangerous …… So over the next couple of months I’m going to try to stick to UFOs and new projects that I can make using up what I have in my stash and scrap bins. Well I’m going to try! I have a sampler quilt to piece for a class I’m hoping to teach in the New Year so why not use up all the lovely fabrics I’ve accumulated over the last year. I’m honest enough to admit that I will probably have to purchase fabric for the sashing and borders to pull it all together though. What a treat that will be. Starting a new project is always a thrill! And now I have an excuse. So anyone else pledging to Use it Up and Finish it Off over the next few months? How many of you would like to join in that challenge? Let me know if you’re already doing that and perhaps you have a few wise words to keep me on track.

I stepped out this morning to attend an Art Journaling lesson at The Crafts House. What a great time I had! We were a small crowd and therefore got plenty of attention to keep us on track. Here is a progress photo of what I worked on…..


I still have a bit of shading to add and of course more embellishments. I’m really pleased with my work. It’s not the type of thing I would hang on the fridge but I will definitely make more art journal pages and eventually bind them together.

While I was catching up on some TV shows I taped recently I decided to do more painting. So I chose colour pallet and started working on this Needle Threader Tidy…….


Since taking the photo I have nearly finished the job. It looks great with a bit of colour and shading. Something else I’m really pleased with. It will make a great gift for someone.

So that takes me to what I will be doing this evening …..


I plan on doing some fine hand stitching to secure the patches on this applique blocks which I tacked down last evening. I drew this block last week and now it’s finally starting to show progress. It’s not a complicated block but once I add a little stitchery work I think it will look great. So that’s a little more progress on my “A” is for Applique.

It’s been a quiet weekend in happy longarm quilter land. I worked on lots of little projects and I even pieced a throw size quilt top. I wish all my weekends were so productive. Tomorrow it’s back to the drawing board.

So you know what I’ll be working on this evening already. I hope you work on something you really enjoy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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Brrrrrr. It really feels like winter in my little corner of northeast of England. I guess I had better start dressing warmer. Tomorrow I have three hours of me-time booked. So I’m going to dress myself in woollies and go off and enjoy breathing……

Today I set off first thing to have a haircut and I’ve been shivering cold ever since. The brrrrrr cold makes me feel like knitting. And perhaps I will later.  What a fab activity while I watch Strictly Come Dancing in a while.

It’s been a lovely day in happy longarm quilter land. My Sarah has been out having an adventure and I have been playing with my little pile of Blitzen fabric. I worked out on paper what to make with it last evening, with the help of a calculator and a crude drawing. As soon as I got home from the hairdresser I put the kettle on, made a coffee and disappeared into the sewing room. And when I shut down the sewing machine and iron this is what I was left with…….

Blitzen Quilt

Once again the photo doesn’t do the fabric justice. This simple quilt is bright and cheery. I’m going to make a point of longarm quilting this one before Christmas. It’s the perfect quilt to snuggle under over the Christmas holidays. Now I just need to get some backing fabric. I’m sooooo looking forward to binding this quilt.

I have a little progress to report on my “A” is for Applique blocks. I finished hand stitching September’s block but I don’t have a photo of it as I forgot. I have set up the October block which I plan on working on a little bit this evening……

A is for Applique Block 22

With the temperatures taking a plunge I seem to need proper hot meals ……


So yesterday I made the most delicious pot roast. It’s something I haven’t made in years but I will make it more often now. And if that isn’t enough, I made a pot of Sarah’s favourite vegetable soup and had some for my lunch today. I’ve got enough leftovers to keep me going for the weekend. In this colder weather comfort food really hits the spot.

It’s been a lovely weekend so far. Everything I’ve done so far I’ve done at my own quiet speed. It seemed to be so much easier than when I rush thru everything. In fact I might even say that I enjoyed it. I’m going to try to replicate my quiet time next weekend. I’ll let you know how that works out for me.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be doing a little applique work and perhaps some knitting while watching Strictly Come Dancing and Dr Who’s fiftieth anniversary special. I hope you have a lovely evening doing whatever you love the most. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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Oh dearie me! It has been a busy day in happy longarm quilter land. My day kicked off at 04:00am with a trip to the airport. It’s very dark at 4:00am! I’m glad I don’t have to do that very often. The rest of the day was spent meeting various quilt makers who need quilts longarm quilted for Christmas. Marion, who is an old timer like me, dropped off her Pink Lemonade quilt. And Margaret and Freda, relative newbies to quilt making, popped in with their masterpieces. I’m really looking forward to showing you their quilts as and when I complete the longarm quilting. Longarm quilting is a solitary pastime but I do see some extraordinary quilts!

In between meetings I slipped out to collect my new specs. I’ve been wearing my new specs since I collected them this morning and so far I’m able to see quite well. I’ll know better when I do some fine hand stitching later this evening.

I do a bit of sewing this afternoon. I worked on these wee blocks ……

Spacer Blocks

What fun it was to work on little blocks. I mainly work on 12” blocks so working on these little 6” spacer blocks was quite a treat. I have decided that I would love to work on a dolls quilt sometime soon. The Churn Dash/Double Monkey Wrench block happens to be one of my favourite. So perhaps I should make a dolls quilt/small table topper with Churn Dash blocks. I think it would be a manageable project. In fact I might even use some seasonal fabrics and make it jolly. I really enjoyed my little session today. It’s really satisfying to start and finish something all in one session.

I played with acrylic paint again today.  And the finishing touch was this raffia …….

Playing with raffia

And now the Thread Keepers are finished and they look like this……

Thread Keepers

These Thread Keepers are quite easy to make; especially if you’re doing a few at a time. Mind you, everything takes time. And this project is the type of thing that’s worth making as they make great gifts.

It’s been a superb day in happy longarm quilter land. I got more done than I expected I would. And the icing on the cake is that I got to meet a couple of new quilt makers for the very first time. There are so many enthusiastic crafters out there. And I would love to meet them all. I wonder what would happen if I gathered up every crafter that I have met over the last five years in one room. That would be one great party!

I have chosen a nice project to work on this evening……

Drawn applique block

Do you remember this block which I drew last week for my “A” is for Applique challenge? Well tonight I’m going to start fine hand stitching the patches to the pieced background. It’s the perfect project to test my new specs. I’ll let you know how I get on soon.

A is for applique progress

So you already know what I’m going to be working on this evening, so all that’s left is to wish you a splendid evening working on something as interesting as I will be working on. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥


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Well the weekend is almost over….. And I was having such a good time. What a shame! Never mind, I’m going to make the most of the remaining six Sundays that are left in 2013. Can you believe how rapidly the year is coming to an end? This year has just flown by for me. Especially the last four months.

It’s been a generally quiet day in happy longarm quilter land. The only chores I did today was empty the dishwasher. What a nice break but I’ll have to make up for it tomorrow.

This afternoon I sat down and drew a block which I will use as my October “A” is for Applique block. The theme is Autumn has Landed. Well once again, I have opted to keep it simple. More often than not lately, I think less is more. So I drew a wreath type applique block that has four leaves. When I hear the word autumn, fallen leaves springs to mind. This block is not new, it’s loosely based on the oak leaves and reel traditional block. I look forward to tracing the shapes onto freezer paper and ironing the freezer paper onto the fabric and so on….. I think it will be a nice block once all the shapes have been sewn to the background fabric. I’m considering piecing the background like I did for the last block I set up.

drawing a new a is for applique block

drawing a new a is for applique block 2

It seems once again, I have forgotten to announce the “A” is for Applique theme for the month. I have been so busy with everything going on around that I forgot all about that. So I have decided as Christmas is just around the corner, I think the theme should be Tis the Season ….. Now you can choose which season you would like to portray. Personally, I’m going to choose Christmas as I am a big fan of Christmas. I invite everyone to join in. You can turn your seasonal applique block into anything you wish….. wall hanging, table runner, placemat, gift bag etc….. Let’s all start having a festive time now. If you decide to join in, please send me a photo of your block either finished or in progress. And you can either use a pattern that you have or draw/design a block yourself. The whole point is to just to do a little applique work and …. have fun with it! I really enjoy applique. I went on to draw a whimsical Christmas tree as well this afternoon but I’m not ready to reveal it just yet.

I had a little bit of messy time this afternoon. I got the acrylic paint, paper, glue stick, pencil, scissors, rubber stamps, ink pads etc and went to town…..

Paper and painting today

I set to and worked on these thread keepers. I haven’t finished the job yet but what I have done is looking pretty good. These thread keepers are gifts for a select few. By the time I was finished playing I was all gummed up with glue stick and had loads of paint under my nails. Yuck…. but I have to admit I did have a good time being creative.

It’s been a good weekend for me. Tomorrow my front door will be transformed into a revolving door. I have several quilt tops arriving to be longarm quilted over the next few weeks. I have loaded the next quilt into my longarm quilting system which I hope to start tomorrow. This next quilt is a custom job which always takes longer than an all over. The next few weeks are going to fly by for me. I wonder if that means that Christmas is going to arrive sooner for me….

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be doing some stitchery work. I hope you have a super evening filled with interesting things to do. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥




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