Monday, August 19, 2019

Color Inspiration

Good morning friends!  How are you? We're in the middle of cool spell here, low 80s, and I'm enjoying every minute of it.  The windows are open and the breeze is blowing thru my house. We're still in the midst of the work being done around here, so it's chaotic, and I've not done much in the way of sewing.  My sewing and cutting spaces are more our of control than normal, and my brain can't take it.  Remember those old fashioned tile games?  I feel like this is what's going on in my house.  I have one open square and I'm moving everything in and out of it constantly. 

tile game

It won't be long now, maybe 2 or 3 weeks? At least I hope that's all.  Cross your fingers for me. 
wateringcan
 
In the meantime, I had cut out a watering can block before it all started so one day I sat and stitched that up. It's fun choosing the watering can fabrics but I need to be careful to not fall into same trap as when I sew on those random sew alongs.  I  make a bunch of cute blocks but they look like a hot mess together.  The only thing that I find to be a mildly annoying is that the cutting instructions for the background is for a single block, and the pattern shows all blocks are using the same background.  I thought about using all different backgrounds but I'm just not organized enough right now for that. In the future though I am going to do something with a bunch of different backgrounds (low volume) because I have a wonderful collection that I ordered from Sharon.

rainbow1
 
I also ordered the BOO! Ghost pattern from The Pattern Basket. Margot has such  clever blocks. Same as with the watering cans, the cutting instructions are for 1 block, and I'm using all one background fabric as shown in the pattern, so I need to calculate cutting for all blocks at once.  I find that to be more efficient when one using one background.  Anyway I'll get over  it and JUST DO IT but I guess I want to gripe a little bit.  I would never let this stop me from buying these patterns and her quilt instructions are well written so please don't think this is a big deal or that I'm on  a rant. Margot puts a lot of work into her patterns and I appreciate her great designs.  I'm just lazy.
 
But back on track, I'm making the ghosts out of the prints above and some I will add when I can find the fabric in my stash. Frankie has wanted a ghost quilt forever, but she's a pastel Halloween girl so I'm really making a leap here, but I have some color inspiration people I'm going to link to so you see what I'm talking about. 
 
First off there's Jessica.  When I was making my big foot quilt I wish I'd seen this version Jessica made.  I  made all my trees green and it's ok, but I love hers with the colorful trees.  She makes a lot of really great things, so check her out. Her quilt encourages me to step outside the box.
 
Next up is Erica, I'm sure you already know her, but if not check out her Instagram feed.  I love her rainbow colors, her garden, her sweet Creamie and how she lives her color palette.  I find everything there so charming. 
 
My ghost quilt is inspired by the colors in this photo, this photo and this one. Those cups in the last photo are the same type as the cups we had in our old camping trailer.  We had matching bowls, I think they were give aways from somewhere.  I see them and they always give me a good feeling, why I don't buy one or two, who knows.  They do make me happy.  And while we're talking about vintage camping, check out this feed. I love all her photos of her little trailer, which looks like the one we had in the late 50s early 60s.  Ours was pastel blue and white, but the inside looks very much like hers.  I love her colors and her joyful ways, and her cute dog Johnny.
 
ANYWAY YAKKITY YAK. That's what's up with me.  What's up with you? Is it still summer or has fall crept in?  I am seeing a lot of fall decorating already on IG but there's a lot of summer left around these parts. Hope things are good with you. xop

Monday, August 12, 2019

Happy 40th Anniversary Olfa!

Good morning friends!  Today is my day in the Olfa  Quilt Along.  I am so excited to be included in this event with so many great quilters.   I can still remember the day in 1987, when I first saw the Olfa Cutter.  I was on maternity leave pacing my house and watching  PBS.  I have always loved sewing and quilting seemed like it would be so much fun, but the thought of cutting all those pieces with scissors was way out side my patience level.  Kaye Wood came on tv and she was cutting out pieces for a quilt using a rotary cutter and it was like the voices of a thousand angels singing. Before I knew it was gripping  a yellow Olfa cutter in my  hand and I never looked back. 

olfa40
 
Do you own a Ruby cutter or any of the wonderful Splash cutters?  I love my Ruby Red cutter, you know I love red.  That Ruby Red cutter on the new Navy True Blue mat would be sensational.  But I digress.

olfa1
 
The assignment was to create a block using the Splash colors to include in a sampler quilt.  I got out my Splash cutters (yes, I have them all!) and went to my stash and pulled some fabric, and waited for some inspiration to hit. 
 
Olfablk
 
This is my block, Judges Favorite.  I think the Olfa Rotary Cutters, rulers and self healing mats are my favorite and most important tools for quilting and basically any sewing or crafting I do. They'll always win a prize ribbon from me!  Couple them with the circle cutter, the utility knife, little touch knives, scissors... well they are indispensable tools.

olfaquilt

Here's the whole quilt and isn't it great! You can head over to this post to get started on the quilt if you haven't already checked it out! You can find the gallery of blocks here. I can't live without my Olfa Rotary Cutter and I bet you can't either!  Thanks Olfa, for including me in your Quilt Along Project!!  I'm so happy to be a part of the celebration!
 
 

 

Friday, August 02, 2019

Patchwork Picnic

Morning friends! How are you?  Today we're on a happy sew along with Gracey Larson and her new book Patchwork Picnic. I've been following Gracey on Instagram for quite a while and I enjoy her whimsical patterns, you might recall the popcorn pillow I made for Bret some time ago.  Her patterns are so detailed and believe it or not they're all traditionally pieced!
 
Patchwork Picnic
 
The book is so cute, it has 30 picnic themed blocks and instructions to put them together into a sampler quilt, as well as some other fun projects, including a table runner, potholder and packing pouches. 

Patchwork Picnic
 
The blocks come in two sizes, six and twelve inches. In typical Martingale fashion, the instructions and illustrations are great.  These blocks are cute and you can use them in Gracey's projects, or add them to  your own project designs. 

Patchwork Picnic

Today I'm showing off my  little bluebird block.  Cute right?  In her introduction, Gracey talks about fabric and using bits and pieces of your collection.  So in that theme I went shopping in my fabric and pulled out some pieces that I love to make this little potholder, a pattern project in the book. 
 
Patchwork Picnic
 
This potholder has a handy little pocket to slide your hand into on the back.  It's bound like a quilt and I like that a lot.  I never hang my potholders so I left off the little loop.  Its a fun addition to my potholder collection and a sweet reminder of friendships made on Instagram. 
 
This book is very cute and would make a charming addition to your sewing library.
 
Thanks to Gracey for inviting me to sew along with her new book, thanks to Martingale for sending me an e-copy of the book.  Book photos are courtesy of Martingale, taken by the great Brent Cane. 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Keeping cool.

Hi there!  Hope you're keeping cool in all this hot hot weather.  We're on a week of 90 degree days, but it's not too bad overall.  We replaced the furnace and a/c units at the end of the season last year, so this year we're enjoying the benefits of more efficient a/c. 

Right now we're at the beginning of some work around the house, so things are in a bit of a chaotic state.  No sewing for me right now, but hopefully again soon.  I did bring a bunch of quilts home from the quilter so I'm on quilt 2 working on binding.  It's not so fun in the hot weather, so it's sloooow going.  I still have several quilts out for quilting, and can't wait to get them back. 


banner

Since Frankie started hanging banners in her front window and decorating for holidays and seasons, I've been wanting to do that in my kitchen window.  Do you follow Michele of Mumlicreates on IG? She makes the cutest banners and I've been in love with the tea time banner for ages.  All the details are so cute, that cup with the flowers is KILLING ME.   I ordered the Beach Daze banner for Frankie.  Perfect for Santa Cruz. 

PatSloan

On the sewing front, my friend Pat Sloan has a pretty new line of fabric with Benartex out and she sent me a selection of  fat quarters to play with.  Bonnie Lane is the name of this line, and it's due out later this year, September I believe.  This pile of beauties has a fall feel doesn't it?  Do you follow Pat?  She's always got a lot going on, sew alongs, books, online Fireside chats! You should check it all out.   Thanks to Pat for treating me to some of her fabric!  

One of the nice things about having this work done is that I can get into some daytime reading!  No work around the house to be done and my sewing room is full of overflow stuff, nothing to do but read!  Hope you're keeping cool and staying out of trouble!  xop

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Book Report

Hi friends!  Hope you are well and enjoying all that summer has to offer.  We've had a nice few cool days here, lots of swing time out back for me, enjoying the cooler weather.  The summer has been nice so far and my plants are all still looking fresh and green. 
 
Recently Deidre from C&T contacted me and asked if I'd like an e-copy of Alex's All Things Quilting book for review. It was one of the books I hadn't added to my library and I jumped at the chance. 


AllThingsQuilting
 
Honestly, it's so good I had to go out and get a hold-in-your-hands copy. It's the reference book that I've always wanted!  For instance, what's the calculation for setting triangles? I always like to check just in case. Well page 92 has a tell all on setting triangles, including a bit of a discussion on grainline.  Did you know that a lot of people don't know the difference between quarter square and half square triangles and why to use one or the other? 
 
But that's just one thing in the book.  Something that's important to me. There are a lot of other reasons to get this book. No matter how long I've been sewing or quilting, there are lots of techniques I don't know.  I remember when I was adding prairie points to the edge of a quilt, I didn't know how to do it. The internet at that time didn't really know either come to find out, and I was left to muddle through because my book and pattern library didn't have anything past a sentence or so to tell me how to do it. All Things Quilting has a bunch of step outs showing exactly how to do it.  Great photography that really illustrates the technique. That's just one of the many finishing techniques shown in the book. 
 
All Things Quilting is filled with things like that, great step out photographs of techniques of all kinds, you know, from start to finish of your project.  It has information that is missing today in lots of books or online sources, the reasoning behind doing something a particular way.  That back up info that informs your decision making process.  The information that can make the difference in the success of your projects.   For me it's all the information you might pick up if you took a lot of quilt classes.  It's all in this book waiting for you to pick it up when you need it. 
 
This book really is All Things Quilting.  It's a start to finish guide for making a quilt. A book filled with information you don't know you need till you do. It's your quilt class experience without leaving home. It's there, from a trusted source, so you know you can count on it.  I love it.  I feel inspired by it. And while this isn't a fancy review, because lets face it, I'm not that fancy, it's an honest assessment of this book. 
 
Thanks Deidre, for sending me an e-copy! What a great book!   People if you ever just wanted to know stuff I think you will love it. 
 
Ok, that's the news here in PamKittyVille.  xop
 
 

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

GardenTime

Hi there friends!  How are you?  We're in July already, I can hardly believe it.  The weather is cooler than normal right now, so Chris, no complaints for me!  I'm enjoying every breezy open window moment as soon enough it will be scorching.  That's just how it is. 

So what's been going on since I came here last?  Seems like tons.  We took a quick Father's Day trip to Disneyland to catch the new Disneyland Galaxy's Edge.  Bret is a Star Wars fan, and we knew he wanted to go.  Frankie and I were watching the crowd tracker and weather and both were in our favor so we went in the middle of the week before Father's day.  It was great fun.  Perfect weather, not too crowded. 
 
Things around here are busy.  We're having some work done around the house and wow, it's not like we're hoarders but holy cow.  Finding places to move stuff around is quite a challenge. 
 
Watering Can
 
I have been a sewing a bit, and when I saw Margot's Watering Can Quilt I knew I had to make it.  I mean, come on, SCALLOPS! It's adorable, I've just cut out and made one so far, but I'll make more. 
 
A couple of years ago I bought some canvas to make a new canopy for my swing. Of course I promptly put it off making due with the old ripped up one.  I pulled the fabric out finally a couple of weeks ago and made another.  It was filled with frustrations, my fabric wasn't wide enough, I kept sewing wrong sides to right sides.  But it finally was done.    I have sat outside in the shade of the canopy since then.  My sweet neighbor Alice Jane passed away a couple of weeks ago.  She was so wonderful to me, friend and mentor, a confidant. Someone who really changed my life.  We always underestimate how much we will miss people. 

Alice-Jane
 
Me, mom, Frankie and Alice-Jane
Allied Arts Menlo Park
July, maybe 1990
 
Do you have 4th of July plans? Not much going on here.  More moving stuff around for us.  Seems like no matter how much we clean up and move out there's always a bunch more.  Well we've lived here about 36 years I think, I guess it shouldn't be a surprise. 
 
I hope you are well friends.  Be safe over the holiday.  xop

Friday, June 14, 2019

Wave Your Flag

Time to pop in... sorry it's been so long!  The last time I was here it was for a sew along as well, I like these Fat Quarter Shop sew-alongs and I'm always happy to be asked to participate!
 
It's certainly summer here in PamKittyVille, already in the 100s! We have the perfect summer time project today, the Wave Your Flag Table Runner and it's super cute.  I chose this Orchard fabric from April Rosenthall for Moda, I've been waiting for it to be available, those fruits are killing me!

flag2
 
The pattern calls for only one navy fabric, but I wanted to use the scalloped fruits in the flag to look like stars, well sort of anyway.  The pieced stars need the more solid tonal fabric as the pieces are small. Just a chance to use more fabric, right?

flag
 
It's very fast to piece together.  I wanted to quilt a wave, so many wonderful flag quilts are out there with wave quilting.  I didn't have a wave stencil or any quilting paper so I made my first wave using my orange peel template and some strips from copy paper.  It worked out pretty well! After the first row I used the guide on my walking foot to work my way across the runner.  It was speedy.
 
runner4
 
I love love LOVE how it turned out.  It's already on my table ready for the season. The Orchard fabric is perfect, I used the aqua fruit for backing.  I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. 
 
You can hop on over to the Jolly Jabber and see all the  other table runners! I can't wait to see what everyone else made.  The free pattern can be found here. And check out the #waveyourflagrunner hashtag to see more on Instagram!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Picnic Time Pillow Remix

Good morning friends!  Today is Picnic Time Pillow Remix day here.  Fat Quarter Shop is revisiting some of their really great projects that maybe you missed or maybe you just need a reminder of!  Of course I'm always up for a pillow project, especially one like this!  It's fast and simple and a great project for an afternoon!
 
I just had to use the cute Bluebirds on Roses fabric by Elea Lutz.  It's the cheeriest aqua blue and that background fabric with the birds, I can't get enough of it.  I chose a coordinating pink from the collection for the binding .

fqs2

I'm thrilled how it turned out. The pattern is a fast make, and there is a even a quilt to go along with it.  That would be very fun for those few cooler mornings on the patio with my coffee.

fqs3
 
Be sure and head over to The Jolly Jabber for their blog post and see all the other pillows. You can find the pattern here and the accompanying video here.  Check out the #picnictimepillow hashtag for more pillows and the #fqsremix hastag for other remix projects!
 
Thanks for following along friends! xop

Monday, April 22, 2019

Stitched So Sweet

Good morning my sunshiney friends!  How are you? I'm excited to talk about my friend Tracy and her new book Stitched So Sweet today! I first saw Tracy's cute designs at a shop called Horsefeathers and they were so fresh and different.  I loved them.  It's been a lot of years since then, don't make me count! But her designs are still so charming  and  unique.  It's so great when you see friends have continued well deserved success.
 
StitchedSoSweet

These photos from the book are courtesy of Martingale, all photography by Brent Kane.  Like all the photos in the book, each little vignette is perfect.

StitchedSoSweet1

I love the combination of  patchwork, applique and stitching.  It's soft and vintage looking, which of course is a look I love. This piece is stitched on a wool ground with a wool heart, and little cotton prairie points, the mix is precious, soft and cozy.

StitchedSoSweet3

This is my favorite project in the book, The Thread and Whimsy Wall Quilt. It's a seasonal project with patchwork, applique and embroidery.  Like the project above, it celebrates the four seasons in it's embroidered designs.

StitchedSoSweet2
 
I love the soft colors, but I think it would be so cute in vibrant PKM colors as well. The modern machine applique style with the vintage style designs is so charming.  Of course scallops.. I love scallops.
 
Tracy's book is adorable.  I guess I've used all the superlatives but really, so sew cute! I'm so happy for her.  What more can you want for your friends than happiness and success? I hope you enjoyed this peek into Tracy's new book Stitched So Sweet. Thanks to Martingale for sending me the e-copy to read and enjoy. 
 
Ok friends! I'm off on an adventure tomorrow!  Hope you have a great week. xop

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Panic Button

Hi there friends!  This morning, after some coffee and Instagram browsing and general lollygagging around, I walked by  and saw this log cabin in  a pile of stuff in my sewing room. All the log cabins on line had me thinking about it, and I vaguely remember talking about it on the blog, but for the life of me I can't find the post or even a photo of it. I think I remember commenting with Darlene, BUT WHO KNOWS ANYMORE.
 
Anyway for some reason I picked it up and unfolded it.  OMG IT DOESN'T HAVE 3 OF THE CORNER TRIANGLES. 

logcabin1
 
A well organized person would say "Oh Pam, isn't that yellow solid that is YEARS OLD  just folded up with it?" But then of course they'd laugh maniacally because OF COURSE IT ISN'T. 
 
Normal people wouldn't even panic at this point because you know, it would be somewhere in their stash just waiting.  But you know what, I've been purging my stash and OMG DO I STILL HAVE IT? Thankfully a trip through a couple of fabric boxes yielded the yellow chunk there and several possibilities.  Doesn't really look like a match in the photo but when you unfold it, I think it is.  Or close enough.  (but I did go thru more boxes to see if there was a better match. Who knew I had so many yellow solids. This one, I remember, was called butter. By who? Who knows.)
 
Along the way I found several finished or almost finished projects.  And when looking at photos I saw lots of things that have me wondering where they are. Maybe I'll cut those triangles today and then pile it back up.  I made another quilt like this one in a class at Going to Pieces many years ago taught by the wonderful Gloria Smith.  I love the thirties and this is no different.  I remember taking this to the shop to have her help me with the corners so why I never bothered to finish this, or any  of the things I found along the way in those boxes, who knows.
 
All I know it, don't be like me and pack up your unfinished projects with what you need to finish.  This is not only a scary story but a cautionary tale for you.
 
Hope you're having a great weekend!! 

P. S.  I am curious about old projects. If you have old quilt tops  that you're never going to quilt, what do you do with them? I know I have things stashed away that will never get the finishing treatment. What do you do? I'd love to know.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

The Sunshine Life

Hi there friends!  It's a sunshiney day here in PamKittyVille and I feel like a new person. This year it seems to make so much more difference to me, maybe it's because the weather has been gloomy for so much longer. It feels like a record year for rain, and I LOVE IT.  But I also love the sunshine.  Springtime sun is the best sun to me.  It's not too warm yet, my flowers still look pretty and everything is green and lush.  And it's mid-70s! The most perfect weather off all! 

Other things making me happy.... TINY BLOCKS.  I used to make quilts with tiny blocks all the time but somehow I moved away from it.  Don't even know why.  But these little 9 patches are dear to my heart. I have a lot of tiny 9 patch quilts and these were so fun to make.  Are you sewing along with the Temecula Quilt Company


quirkyblocks


Shh don't tell anyone, I even have the upcoming weeks blocks done!  Just maybe 4 more blocks left,  for me, and I want to make them pretty scrappy so I've put it off for now.  I need to lay them out and see what will help keep them from being too uneven colorwise.  But I like how they look all together. I will get a photo with the rest of them later.

quirkyblocks1

Here's my completed pile of baskets for the Flower Basket Table Runner.  I LOVE HOW CUTE THEY ARE.  I used a lot of Heidi's new fabric Shortcake and then some fabrics from my stash.  Not all the handles are perfect, but ohmygosh so fun to do.  

basketblocks

I did all my invisible machine applique with some very fine Madiera monofiliment thread.  I've had this spool forever.  But I'm sure there is a lot of nice monofiliment out there.  This is soft and doesn't show much.  This was the style of doing things when I began to quilt, and now there are so many different ways that people are doing things.  This pattern just reminds me of all the fun scrappy quilts I used to make and I feel excited about sewing again. 

Hope you are doing well friends. Oh, on the last post Martha asked me what sewing machine I used. I also have an older machine, it's a Bernina 1260.  I LOVE IT and hope it outlives me. 

Ok friends that's it for me! Hope there's some sunshine and happiness where you are!  xop

Monday, April 01, 2019

Baskets


Hi there!  The past few days we've had a lot of sunshine and it really perks me up.  I'm feeling excited and energized by the springy weather!  We're back to a cloudy week though  so that dose of sunshine will have to last a while!   But  we always need the rain here so I'm happy about that too.

I've started a new project, you might have seen a little about this over on Instagram.  I'm working on the Flower Basket Table Runner by Rhana Summerlin. The little baskets have appliqued handles, you can use the method of choice, and  I wanted to do invisible machine applique, which to me means a hand applique look done by machine.  
bias bars
 
I love my sewing machine and didn't have any problem with the stitch and settings, but my bias handle prep technique left something to be desired.  Luckily I remembered making a basket quilt with  appliqued handles from the My Red Sofa  book by Terry Atkinson.  I pulled it out and reviewed her method.  SUCCESS. 

biasbars
 
It's a great book, and that basket pattern is adorable.  I made two of the quilts, I loved the technique and the quilt.  In fact I just recently pulled this one out to be quilted.  I have an embarrassing number of quilt tops waiting. You can see the other quilt that needs quilting in this post from back in 2007! Thanks again Terry for showing me how to prepare these handles!

MyRedSofa

I only have made 3 of the baskets since then. I'm making my runner a little shorter, so I worked on my pink blocks first, next up the white ones.  I have pulled a  mix of Heidi's cute Shortcake line of fabric, some of Elea's  Bluebirds on Roses and of course I'm filling in with PKM. 

basketblocks
 
Fun times friends!  I'm so happy with these cute little blocks, can't wait to make some more.   What are you sewing on?  Or working on? Thanks for hanging in here with me! xop

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Sewing

Hello Hello!!  How are you friends?  I'm on a bit of a sewing spree. Not sewing fast and accomplishing, but just having fun with this and that, trying new things, remembering how to do old things.  
 
You might remember back in September I wrote a little bit about Quirky Little Quilts by Temecula Quilt Company.  It's really a fun book.  The other day I saw that they were starting a sew along for the cover quilt.  I was totally drawn in by this Instagram photo... you should click over, I'll wait.  It's worth it.

QuirkyLittleQuilts
 
Anyway I made 4 blocks right away.  I loved it.  I used to always make tiny blocks and it's been a while.  I took my time and I think they turned out so nicely, right on the money when it comes to size.   Lets face it though, the real proof of how good they are will be when I go to sew them together, we'll see how those points do then.  But right now on their own they look great. (My triangle not-so-secret is the Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmers by New Leaf Stitches. ) I may or may not have sewn ahead to next weeks blocks, don't tell anyone.

QuirkyBlocks

This week I was lucky enough to get a pair of the new Tim Holtz  Haberdashery Scissors by Tonic Studios.  I received a pair of the 6inch and the 5inch. Of course it's Tim Holtz so the packaging is  wonderful.  They come packed in little tin boxes lined with foam, which makes a perfect storage case for them.  The handles are cushioned  and have generous size finger holes.  And sharp... oh my ! 

TimHoltzScissors



TimHoltzScissors2
 
Look how cute that box is.  I love nice scissors and these will be perfect, I'm putting the smaller pair in my travel sewing kit, the box will keep them protected from accidents, like spilling out on to the ground.  Ugh, not good for the tips of scissors.  Thanks to Paula from Tim Holtz for sending them to me to try!  I LOVE THEM.  


spring2


spring1
 
I'm closing with these pictures of my beautiful crabapple tree.  Everytime I look out my kitchen window and see it in it's pink and white glory I'm filled with the joy of spring.  It's really my favorite season.  Today it's on and off again rain  but the bits of sunshine make life so much better. Grateful for rain and sunshine. Also grateful for our friendship!!! Hope all is well with you friends! xop

Monday, March 25, 2019

Sewing for fun

I know it's crazy, so many posts in so few days, but I couldn't wait to show off this cute lunch bag I made for Nanette.  I had scored the cute Milky Peko Chan fabric for her, we're both fans of the hilarious urban legend about this  little girl character that is the mascot for the Fujiya candy company.  I wanted to make something fun but couldn't decide and just gave her the fabric.   She decided she wanted one of Ayumi's cute lunch bags so she sent me home with fabric from her stash and I've put off working on it since then.

lunchbag
 
It was so easy! Why did I wait so long?  It's adorable and holds a lot!  I love the covered opening, it makes this a perfect bag for anything, you know, including lunch. If you need a cute gift for someone I highly recommend it!
 
Have a great week friends! We're due for some rain! Our surrounding hills and fields are so green and lush, its a sight to behold!


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