Sewing Classes and Lessons

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sew Tina Giveaway and Interview!

Tina Givens has written a great new book, Sew Tina,  for projects for clothing, accessories and decor for kids! I am just in awe of Tina's creativity. She is a great artist, who has designed fabric lines and stationery in addition to her own sewing pattern line. Her style is fun and whimsical, and totally Tina!

We are so happy to be a stop on Tina's blog tour to announce her new book. We are giving away to one lucky reader a great gift that includes the book, 4 yards of fabric, 2 boxes of stationery, and 2 extra sewing patterns! The book is 144 pages and includes a gorgeous set of full size patterns.  To enter the giveaway, leave a comment at the end of this post  Good luck, everyone!

I was able to ask Tina a few questions, and I think you'll find her answers very fascinating!  I'll intersperse from photos from the book along with her answers.
This is what the patterns look like from the pull-out section.


Where did you grow-up, where did you go to school, where do you live now? Tell us about your family.

I grew up in a far far away world... in Zimbabwe, Africa. It seems like a whole life time ago and practically is. I was born there and left when I was 17 years old. Life there was slow and very beautiful with a sort of tropical current in weather and palm trees even though we were not on the coast. I grew up within a large extended family made up of many cultures and creative personalities. The women ran the family on the Greek side who were eccentric, ambitious and outspoken. I inherited a little of that!
At 17 we immigrated to Canada where I went to college and experienced a culture change so drastic that my sister and I held on to each other for dear life. We spoke differently, we dressed differently and we nurtured ourselves into the fast paced Toronto big city life but quick! I fell into a corporate world after graduating into sales and marketing in high exposure advertising at the down town offices of DDB Needham where accounts including Maybelline, Porsche and Volkswagen. I always thought I'd be on the creative side of the agency but with my degree in economics and business management I was a junior account executive managing budgets schedules and strategic branding.... Life went on and years later found myself on client side as marketing director. Met my American husband in Canada, and we moved around until we settled in Cleveland for sometime, and then where we live now, Raleigh North Carolina.
We have 3 children, Alex who is now in college, Freshman.... and the twins who are 8, girl and a boy who inspire many outrageous characters I paint and projects I sew.



Chef's Hat
How did you learn how to sew, and what kinds of things do you like to sew now?

In Africa, many women sewed and my mother and grandmother taught me to sew at an early age. We had a dedicated sewing room and enormous ping pong table I cut out on. Perfect cutting table by the way. The room was under the house with walk out doors and loads of windows into the garden, so it was a spacious and light filled room. I spent many hours in that room. If no one could find me that's where I was... creating my own doll clothes, and moved onto my own clothes. I don't remember ever using sewing patterns. When my mom first taught me we cut from sewing patterns but that's the last I remember. I would have an idea for an outfit, pants, a dress.... and I'd lay the fabric down and cut out the basic shapes. If I made a mistake it became part of the outfit!
I still do this. My sewing studio is now in the house, and I have what I call a 'sewing bar' where my machines are set up and I have the luxury of cutting on an old buffet which is the perfect height for cutting and depth for the folded fabric width. Drawers hold my tools and bits and pieces... I sew a lot... I sew for my kids and myself and of course the house. I love to slip cover things, make drapes and cushions... but I also sew quilts for each fabric collection I do, and create a 'story' around each fabric collection at market. My most recent was Opal Owl in vibrant colors. I created much of what's in the book in Opal fabrics, but also my sewing patterns, new kids patterns and of course slipcovered an ottomon made crazy pillows and applique wall art!
I like to sew my own clothes in linen and unique upholstery fabrics. I love velvet and make loads of scarves and wraps. Yummy... I just made a pair of fall baggy pants to wear with a fitted jacket and oxfords..... oh, and I love making hats!


Sweet Dreams Canopy
What advice do you have for beginning sewers?

My strongest advise is to relax and don't take it so seriously. Follow the instructions but if you mess up, find a way to incorporate it. Be creative and have fun with your sewing projects. And always, always use fabrics you love. Sharp pair of scissors, press all seams as you sew, and again enjoy the process and journey of sewing. You'll be constantly learning new techniques, and always be inspired by what you have made! 
Annie's Top

What makes your patterns unique?

I'm not sure. At first I was disappointed that they were not crisp and clean and perfect like many other designers out there, but then forgave it and grew a little confidence in that the designs are mine and have a signature to them. I embraced that and celebrated that I seem to have my own style. I should be happy about that! And it's still being refined.. we all grow in any capacity of life and mine among many others is as a painter, illustrator, seamstress and fabric designer. I love color, and I enjoy mixing colors to create unusual palettes to bring the unexpected to life. I think my fabric collections each tell a story, from Zazu, Annabella, Chloe's Imagination, Olivia's Holiday, Treetop Fancy and now Opal Owl. I just approved a new floral collection which is called Haven's Edge, and wow it is an eclectic and eccentric group of patterns.... My next collection is inspired by a childhood book, Miss. Z. and I am painting green lions, beautiful unicorns and fanciful fountains with colorful parrots... Maybe simply my imagination is what sets me apart, what do you think?

Dude Tunic and Shorts
Ann, thanks so much for having me.
All the very best,
tg 


Thank you Tina and Lark books for sponsoring this generous giveaway! This giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to Linda Armenti who is the winner!


Ann

111 comments:

  1. This is such a cute book. I would love to win a copy because I sew items for my grandchildren

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  2. What a creative spirit! The book looks as intriguingly interesting as the person who put it all together!

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  3. beautiful book! new to me & I am so happy to have learned more!

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  4. Love your creativity. You are such an inspiration to me.

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  5. I love the canopy! The designs look just like the style I prefer to sew.

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  6. I would love to win this book! And sew all these adorable projects!

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  7. What a great book. I just started sewing for my granddaughter and would love to win a copy of this book.

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  8. Wonderful story, it just shows how small the world is now. Africa to Canada to the USA.

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  9. I'm intrigued with "Sew Tina" and would love to win this collection of patterns. For the past two years I've sewed for children who were the victims of very unfortunate circumstances. Maybe one day I'll earn some money from my sewing, but for now my reward is the sweet smiles on their faces when they open a gift of hand made clothes.

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  10. I would love to have Tina's book. I do a lot of sewing for my grandchildren and am always looking for inspiration and unique designs. My fingers are crossed for good luck. Pam

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  11. Tina Givens is one of my favorite designers. She inspires me. What a fun give away!

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  12. Love the cute photos of items in the book. Would love to win! Thanks.

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  13. I hope I win! I'm so intrigued by her story. I would love to read the book and try some of her projects!

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  14. I would love to win this book! Tina's things are lovely!

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  15. It would be cool to win the book! This is stuff looks like sooo much fun to sew!

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  16. Wow! What an interesting person! You could see it in her design style, but to understand part of where it comes from, love it! :) Thanks for including the interview and thanks for the fun opportunity to win! Love that there is something for lil' boys too!!!

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  17. What a beautiful book! With three small kids, I'm sure I'd be sewing from this book for ages!

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  18. Thanks for the interesting interview. It was fun to read. The book looks like another wonderful creative collection. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  19. Great interview; what an enjoyable read! The book looks sweet and fun!

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  20. I love seeing new patterns that are not just the "Same old thing done the same old way! Very creative patterns!

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  21. Just looking at the pictures I can tell that I would love this book. I am always looking for something new and different. Such a wonderful story and creative person.

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  22. Thanks for the interview! And the patterns are so cute!

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  23. What an amazing lady with such incredible talent. What an honor to be selected to have her book and all her wonderful creations. Thanks for the interview so I can get to know this artist much better and for the giveaway to keep us coming back for more!

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  24. I would love to see the book. I am always looking for new ideas and new challenges.

    clarkclay@bellsouth.net

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  25. What a beautiful giveaway. Thank you for sharing your creativity with us.

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  26. This book looks wonderful! Thank you for the giveaway!

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  27. Her designs are gorgeous! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  28. This book looks amazing. I love her creativity and fanciful style!

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  29. Tina, you sound exactly like me...I will not let any pattern intimadate me at all!!! I find your story so inspiring to me as a seamstress myself and you are now sewing after being in the corporate world for years. Your book and patterns would be such a welcome inspiration to me!!! Can't wait to see if I won!

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  30. So inspired by you Tina...I can't wait to get my hands on your book...then off to my sewing room I go.

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  31. Your life story and work is very interesting and I find your creativity inspiring. I am looking forward to looking through your book, won or purchased. :)

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  32. This book is so yummy. I love it! Just the kind of thing I fall for!

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    :)

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  33. This is fantastic! I would love to win this book. If not, I might have to look into buying it :)

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  34. I love Tina's stuff! Thanks for the give away

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  35. What an awesome designer! It's really refreshing to see patterns for kids' clothes that don't look like they wish they came from the mall.

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  36. So cute! Especially love the canopy--would have killed for that when I was about seven!

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  37. Would love to win a copy of this book- thanks for another great give away and good luck everyone!

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  38. Loved reading the interview and it would be great to win the book and goodies. I have some "Olivia's Holiday" in my stash that I would love to use with an idea from the book.

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  39. Great ideas! Loved reading the interview.

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  40. what fun! reading this helps to keep my mind open as I sew for my my two grandchildren - soon to be 3 more!

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  41. Congratulations on your new book, Tina! The patterns shown are just darling. I'd love to be in the drawing, I have all sorts of little grand kids to sew for.

    Rose

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  42. Beautiful book.....I should know since I am a voracious reader and lover of books...this one took my breath away...and sewing patterns to go with it......Heaven!!!...

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  43. I would love to win this book! Love her fabrics and designs. Thanks for the opportunity to participate:)
    Laura t

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  44. Great give away! I am sure my two year old daughter would love for me to sew her somethings for this collection.

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  45. How exciting to have a book complied with pattern ideas I just love the Sweet Dreams Canopy what a sweet idea please enter me in contest giveaway thanks :)

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  46. This book looks fantastic! It looks great for boys and girls! We need more books like this. I would love to win this!

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  49. I love Tina's story and would be delighted to have a copy of the book. Thanks for sharing a great giveaway!

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  50. This book looks fantastic! It looks great for boys and girls! I have 3 young children and although I can find things for my girl I can't hardy find any for my boys. We need more books like this. I would love to win this!

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  51. Oh, would I love to win!! I so enjoyed Tina's story and like her I learned to sew from my Mother. I think I was so young I just grew up knowing how to sew. But to this day I still love the joy of learning something new.

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  52. Oh I think these projects would be so fun to make for grandkids. I would love win this book.

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  53. This book looks lovely! I am very inspired just by the few photos that were shown. Awesome giveaway package! Thanks for the opportunity.

    tonia_holm_96 @ msn dot com

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  54. I love hearing your story and discovering your fabulous fabric and stationary! What an interesting life! I would be honored to win. I look for unique stationary to send thank you notes to my clients. I know they would be thrilled to see your stationary plus I can't wait to make several outfits for my two new grand daughters. Keep inspiring us to stretch our creative gene! Thank you!

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  55. I love Tina Givens fabrics and am very excited to be entered in this drawing. Thanks much!!
    Desi

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  56. How imaginative you are! Thanks for letting us delve into your mind so we can learn from you!

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  57. Tina is so talented and to make clothes without a pattern is amazing! I make baby and childrens clothes and do smocking but have no-where near the creativity Tina has. I would love some more inspiration with the fabrics and book. Hope I win.

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  58. What a great giveaway! Thanks for sharing your creativity with all of us!

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  59. I love it....I love to sew for my grand daughter and adult children...always looking for unique styles.

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  60. Count me in for the giveaway. I'm pregnant with my first child, so I need to start thinking children's patterns soon.

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  61. Thanks for the chance...I love to sew for my family and this would bring such joy. XXX

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  62. This is amaizing giveaway! I really love to sew for myself and all people, dear to my heart.
    oboskovic at gmail dot com

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  63. Tina is so talented and versatile! Can't wait to see her new book!

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  64. I also started cutting out fabric on a ping pong table in the basement. There are a lot of good memories about sewing starting as a child until now. All my family sews. I would love Tina's book to make things for my grand daughter.

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  65. This sounds like such a neat book and she sounds like a neat person. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

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  66. I just love your children's clothes. I sew for my granddaughter who is 3 and she wants twirly dresses. The dress with the shirred bodice is my favorite. Looking forward to seeing what's ahead in the future. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

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  67. Love Tina Givens too! Hope I win a copy of her new book and all the great fabric (:

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  68. Very interesting to read about someone so creative! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  69. I have been a fan of Tina's for a long time! Would love to win a copy of her book.

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  70. It's so nice that such a creative person decided to share with the rest of us! :-)

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  71. Sounds fantastic. I would love to win a copy of the book. So creative.

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  72. I sew for my 2 grand daughters, one 3 and one 6 months. Your book would be a treasure. Thanks for the giveaway, Mary Ann

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  73. Tina is an absolute genius in the sewing world. I want to thank you for hosting this fabulous giveaway, and whoever wins will certainly be ecstatic with the wonderful prizes. I, of course would love Tina's new book and all the goodies that come with it :)

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  74. I love Tina's fabrics! and her advice to relax about how you sew is brilliant. I tried to make everything perfect and I didn't have fun with my projects at all. When you !play! sewing it goes better.

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  75. wifeymcvey@yahoo.comOctober 1, 2010 at 7:04 AM

    Gotta LOVE the DUDE tunic!!! This book looks absolutely amazing - a cut above the rest! Can't wait to get my hands on one!!!

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  76. Thanks for a great interview!
    I love Tina's fabric and I'm sure her book will be great too!!
    Gill

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  77. Loved the interview; a lot of encourgement in such a few words. Will be looking for the book.

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  78. Wow! a dedicated sewing room and now a studio! Sounds like a great book!

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  79. I am still trying to win your book Tina! Thank you for being so generous in offering this chance :)

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  80. I would love to win this book.I was so tired of spending a lot of money on my children's clothes.So I have recently started sewing and this book would be like a god send!
    thanks for the awesome giveaway

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  81. I love the Canopy and the Dude Tunic!

    wendy
    happyvalleyhome at yahoo dot com

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  82. WOW! Fantastic Giveaway! Thank you!

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  83. the pictures are just beautiful! fairy tiptoes is one of my favorite lines of fabric. how happy i would be to win!
    phillandlesley(at)msn(dot)com

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  84. This is a person I am completely in awe of. How creative she is! I love Opal Owl and Fairy Tiptoes. There is such spunk and imagination in Tina's fabrics. My husband hates the word, but I love the whimsy!
    Leslie S. in MN
    esclante[at]comcast[dot]net

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  85. I'd love a chance to enter - Thanks!
    kimberlybreid at hotmail dot com

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  86. Thanks for all the inspiration. Sewing for my kids just makes me smile, especially when we've worked together-Mom sewing, kids picking out fabric and patterns!

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  87. What a nice interview. Our family seems to be having a baby explosion so I could certainly use the inspiration in Tina's new book.

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  88. Thank you for this lovely interview post. Within a few months, there will be two sweet grandnieces born into our family. This book would get me make some nice baby gifts. mlwright29 (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  89. My three little girls will want Mommy to sew everything in the book. I am up for it.

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  90. Great interview, I love all her fabric lines.

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  91. Awesome, just awesome.
    Thanks for the wonderful interview!

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  92. My daughter is expecting twins, I would love to create some cute new ideas for them...book looks adorable!

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  93. Beautiful book! I aspire to be such a talented sewer!

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  94. What a generous giveaway! Thanks for the chance. :)

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  95. Thank you for the inspirations! What fun it sounds like you have from ping pong tables to a custom hutch - I especially appreciate the advice to beginners to go with it and to include mistakes as part of the final success!

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  96. Wow i can do so much with this book for christmas...what a great giveaway
    hooksnneedle@gmail.com

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  97. What a nice package!! I love the fabric shown!

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  98. Good interview - I'm always interested in how people first began sewing - and thanks for the chance to win the giveaway!

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  99. Thanks for the interview - the book looks wonderful. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  100. She is so good and her patterns are just gorgeous...and the fabric is just wow.
    Seema
    sskcraftshop@gmail.com

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  101. Such a lovely giveaway. Enjoyed the interview with Tina.

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  102. Great interview! Thanks for the chance to win the book and fabric. Can't wait!

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  103. Great giveaway, please include me.

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  104. There are several projects in the book I would love to make. Hope I win!

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  105. How wonderful! Thanks for the chance!

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