Thread Journey: My Quilting Heart and Soul & Behind the Scenes!

You might empathize with this sentiment…. sometimes you just sink your entire heart and soul into a project, not necessarily quilting.  My Thread Journey is my most recent heart-and-soul (quilty) project!  It was made as a companion piece for my Subtle Strings Thread collectionYou may remember it hanging at Aurifil‘s booth at Fall Houston Market last year.  You have seen pictures of the quilt quite often on this blog post-Market…

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Thread Journey is my heart-and-soul project because I sought to encompass all that I have learned about quilting (particularly domestic machine quilting) since I took up quilting in 2005, from not ever touching a sewing machine to the present.  It is a quilt of my own original design, and I stayed up many a night just thinking about the design, and colors!  The quilt also has little details from my previous quilts to tie in the “journey” part.

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Thread Journey is being shown in Alex Veronelli’s (of Aurifil) lectures this year.  A great honor.  I actually have a “behind the scene” story to share about Thread Journey.  I would like the story to be more dramatic, but it isn’t really.

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September through November last year were probably the most stressful months I remember experiencing the entire year last year.  I had three trips to make within the span of 3 1/2 weeks that included Market, teaching at Annie’s Craft Festival, and filming three new online classes back to back.  And of course, with each trip, I had to carve out a large chunk of time to make sure things are in order at home (i.e., laying out Miss Baby’s clothes, getting her schedule written out etc) before I could leave in good conscience.  And then, there’s packing props and things which always make me feel uncertain because I was scared to death I would forget something!!!

And of course, a huge (not size, but of importance) prop that I was bringing with me to Fall Market last year was my Thread Journey quilt… because it was going to hang at Aurifil‘s booth!  I took it with me in my carry-on, for fear of losing it if packed in my checked baggage.

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I had fallen sick right up till Market… so, that hampered the progress of my work quite a bit.  I managed to finish quilting the quilt the night before I was to catch my flight to Houston.  I remembered having lunch with Miss Baby on the day I left because I knew I won’t be picking her up as I usually do.  Then off to the airport I went, sharing a van ride with a couple of very cool veterans, one of whom is now an accomplished artist!  As much as I enjoyed the navy officer-turned-artist story, I was thinking about… how unfinished my Thread Journey was:  the binding was not done, the yoyo’s weren’t made, the hand embroidery not yet completed…

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Now, you are SO un-impressed by the way I roll…. yeah, I can understand why!  Last year was an exceptionally busy year for me!   Long story short, I slept little night after I checked into the hotel, and managed to finish up the quilt exactly at 9:45am the following morning when I was supposed to bring by the finished quilt, my heart-and-soul quilt!  That sense of relief — it is unexplainable!!!!  Hearing quilters’ kind words on the quilt at Market meant the world to me.

I was able to have Thread Journey back with me for a few days last month.  For the first time after I completed the quilt, I relived the moments of making the quilting up to the finishing point…. I realized it truly has been a journey!!! I took quite a few more pictures before I sent it on its way again… the following is one of them:

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AND – the journey is continuing, so to speak.  I am re-making this quilt, and will be offering this design as a free pattern in the near future so that we can share a quilting journey/adventure together.  Check back on this blog, and stay tuned for details!

p.s.  If you are new to this blog, Thread Journey’s Fall Market adventure is documented here.

Giveaway: Annie’s Machine Quilting Level 2 Online Class

Hello Friends, I did mention to you there would be an imminent giveaway, and well, the giveaway is HERE, TODAY! :)  Annie’s is sponsoring the giveaway of a copy of my Machine Quilting Level 2 online class.

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This free-motion quilting class covers slightly more involved quilting motifs (compared to the ones in my Learn to Machine Quilt class) by working on this class project, and quilted using a domestic sewing machine.  I will be stitching along with you ALL the motifs you see in the pictures of the class project below.  Due to time constraint, sometimes I would just let you finish out a section and move on to the next motifs.  BUT, I will get you started.

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The class is yours to keep once you win it – you may access the class anytime you wish!  You will also get a chance to interact with me should you have any questions.

After completing in the class project, you will have a chance to make 3 additional projects (instructions included in the class) that will give you a chance to quilt the motifs you learn from the class project on the additional projects.

Additional Project #1: Quilting a pieced quilt with Star Bright:

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Additional Project #2: Quilting an applique quilt with Carolina Tulips:

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Additional Project #3: WOW Project with Fanciful

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Here are a few comments from the official class page on Annie’s:

“I was not confident to do quilting. But listening and following your classes has made everything simple for me to follow. I have started quilting now. Nice and well explained.”

“I have been following Wendy on Ivory Spring for several years and love her feather work… I have tried to make your feathers for some time and your demonstration “fix me real good.”

“Wendy does a great job of breaking designs down so they are easier to quilt. She is a wonderful teacher and is very pleasant to listen to. I love everything she does and would definitely sign up for a feather class if it is ever offered.”

Awwwww – THANKS… I am made the happiest of quilters with the feedback!

In order to enter to win the prize:  Just leave a comment or about what you look for in an online quilting class between now and next Thursday (January 14, 2016).  Winner will be announced and contact on the following Monday!  Open to international quilters!

And that’s if from me for today.  I am running late this week, and desperate need to get something solid accomplish before the weekend.  School started this week, and we had a slightly rocky start.  First, Miss Baby had so much fun during her Christmas break she was most un-enthusiastic to go back to school.  So, I made her favorite cinnamon raisin break on the first day of school as a “pick me up”, only to realize an hour before she woke I had forgotten to add the yeast!!!  Then, we found out she forgot her lunch box after we got to school that first day.  So, Mom had to make a second trip back to school to deliver the lunch box.  And then, I have been doing house-keeping stuff for work to move and hopefully “propel” me to productivity.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs to you all!

Creative New Quilts & Projects Project Highlight #2: Birds Of A Feather Runner

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Hello Friends, I hope you are well!  Some of you had written to tell me you like my Birds Of A Feather runner quilt in my book Creative Quilts & Projects from Precuts or Stash.

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I thought I would share with you snippets of the autumn version of the same runner, made with Spice Pumpkin fabrics by dear friend Lynette Anderson for RJR Fabrics.

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Once the folds are fanned out, you see the same bird applique as shown in the bright summery version.

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Here are a couple pictures taken at various angles.

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Quilting was done with Aurifil Mako 50 cotton over Hobbs Tuscany silk batting.  I hope you are able to notice from the pictures that I used the applique swirls as “feather spines” as I quilt feather lobes off of the swirls.  And then, I filled in the non-feathered area with a background sand dunes motif that I have shared about here.

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And of course, I used a thread that gives just enough of a contrast. I used a slight gold thread.

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And here is a peek on the back.

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I hope you have enjoyed this autumn version of Birds Of A Feather runner.  It is my prayer that you all have a most blessed and lovely Thanksgiving!

Creative New Quilts & Projects Project Highlight #1: Counting My Blessings

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Hello Friends, we are in Thanksgiving mode at my end.  We have a certain little girl who is super-excited about Thanksgiving!  And I thought it would be apt for me to share with you my banner quilt project Counting My Blessings.

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Counting My Blessings is a precuts/stash friendly project in that the pieced background of the banner is made of 2 1/2″ precut batiks strips.  So, you have any of the leftover jellyroll strips laying around…. just sayin’!  The applique(machine fusible) of the pagoda birdhouse is done with charm squares, and so are the yoyo’s.

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The yoyos were first made, and then blind-stitched onto the banner after the quilt was quilted.

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This entire banner is constructed and quilted with Aurifil Mako 50 Cotton threads.  The quilting is done with subtle contrasting effect by using threads that give just a smidgen-y hint of contrast to compliment the background fabrics.  I used light pink, light blue, lavender threads to quilt the different portions of the banner.

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And of course, my idea of subtle contrasting quilting effect has recently been packaged in Subtle Strings thread box by Aurifil.

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I used a combination of silk and wool batting from Hobbs Tuscany collection — you can see that my feathers really have the “poof” factor going on from that batting combination!

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Complete pattern instructions including full sized templates are found in my book Creative New Quilts & Projects from Precuts or Stash.  This banner project also comes with an autumn version.  Leaf template is also in the book.

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I hope you have a great Thanksgiving week, Dear Friends!  Please know that when I count my blessings, you are definitely one of them!!!  I shall catch up with you later!

Creative New Quilts & Projects: Project Pictures

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Hello Friends, I hope you have had a good week!  I am excited to share with you images of the projects included in my new book Creative New Quilts & Projects from Precuts or Stash!  The projects in this book are all designed with using precuts and scraps in mind, with fun design elements added to the precuts projects.

A couple of the following projects have optional colorways, and are marked with *.

 

Birds of a Feather Place Mats 

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*Birds of a Feather Runner

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Care for a Cuppa? Wallhanging

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Childhood Memories Crib Quilt – boy and girl versions

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*Counting My Blessings Banner Quilt

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Crossings Lap Quilt

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Flight of Colors Pillows, made with leftovers from Crossings Quilt

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Gwendolyn’s Dream Garden Bed Quilt

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Stars Over Columbia Lap Quilt

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Winter Blues Lap Quilt

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Details for each project are forthcoming.  The projects are on their way back to me, and I have scheduled a massive photo shoot of my projects (book and magazine) after my trip next week.  I just counted – I have close to 20 quilts I need to photograph, and share with you!!!

Meanwhile, you may purchase a copy of the book from me (signed copies), Landauer, or Amazon.

QuiltShopGal did a review on the book, and is currently hosting a giveway for a copy of the book here.

Now, I am curious which of these projects would be your favorite.  Would you please tell me?

p.s.  A big thank you to the Landauer Team for making my book happen, and looking so very good!  You know what I am talking about if you have had a chance to thumb through the book.

The Little House On The Hill: Preview

Hello Friends,  I have been plagued by delayed flights in my recent trips.  I arrived home from Indiana after midnight on Monday. After catching a couple of hours of zzz’s, I went straight to work on a quilt that simply has to catch its flight to Australia. I stayed up most of last night working to make the quilt happen… and here is a very sneaky preview of another collaborative project with Lynette Anderson.

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I have NEVER made yoyo’s this small (without using those nifty Clover yoyo makers) until this project.  It was not as scary as I had feared.  I found that starch-pressing the fabric first helped the process tremendously.

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So tell me – do you like yoyo’s, and do you use them on your quilts?  I will be back tomorrow with a final post on Fall Quilt Market this year to round off our week.  Thank you for stopping by – I hope to catch up with your blogs and emails this weekend.

Post Houston Fall Market #4

Hello Friends, I am going to share with you sightings of the extension of yours truly (aka quilts made from my designs) at Market this year.   Seeing the quilts at Market made me forget all the all nighters I have pulled this year!

One of the highlights for me this year has been the opportunity to design with a reproduction line by Mary Koval for Windham, Postage Stamp.  I met the Mary Koval, and felt gratified knowing that Mrs. Koval approved of the designs I did using her fabric line (click here to find out more)!  This Sundials Quilt is one of four designs I did using Postage Stamp, and was displayed at Windham’s booth.

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Also at another end of Windham’s booth, this Tulip Quilt using Flower Pedals (click here for more details) was also displayed.  There is also a look book here.

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Additionally, two of my Christmas designs using Windham’s Storybook Christmas (click here for more details) were displayed at Windham’s Christmas room.  Congrats to Windham for winning 1st Place Single Booth with their Christmas booth.

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Then, I saw a fun lap quilt I design for Island Batik, at their booth, using their Desert Rose line (click here for more details) bunched up and hung — the one in the foreground.

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Hoffman Fabrics displayed a quilt I designed using their Wish You Were Here line (click here for more details).  The blocks were meant to look like postage stamps.

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I also had designs at Quilting Treasures‘ booth featuring their upcoming lines Royal Princess, Woodland Wonder, Charleston.

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The cover quilt of my book Creative New Quilts and Projects at Landauer’s booth.

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My All That Glitters quilt that is featured in the latest issue of American Patchwork & Quilting also made an appearance at their booth.  More about the quilt is forthcoming.

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And just for the sake of completion, my Thread Journey quilt was displayed at Aurifil’s booth.  More pictures are found here. This quilt will be on tour with Alex Veronelli next year as he lectures at quilt shops on Aurifil threads.  Be sure to find out if there’s a lecture near you.  Alex’s lectures are fun, entertaining, VERY educational and definitely worth your time! I had been to one.

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The sight of these quilts rounded off my year nicely, not because I am great in any way (I am well aware I am NOT!), but rather I am humbled by the thought that someone else saw something in my designs, enough to share them with others.  I feel immensely blessed.  And through it all, may my God and Creator be glorified.

November Desktop Wallpaper: Care for a Cuppa?

Hello Friends, November is just right around the corner.  My publisher, Landauer Publishing, is featuring my Coffee Cup wallhanging, Care for a Cuppa?, in the desktop wallpaper they are offering for November.

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Click here to find out more!

Complete pattern instructions to make this “kitchen and breakfast nook friendly” wallhanging are in my book Creative New Quilts & Projects.  

Have a great weekend, Dear Friends!  And…. please tell me the # of cups of coffee/tea you drink to keep you functioning each day!

Post Houston Fall Market #1

I have decided this is going to be my new hair color, now that I have been to Market and back…

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Well, no, not really…. this is one of the skeins of threads from Aurifil’s thread “waterfall” display at their booth this year.  It was AMAZING!  Many of you have probably seen pictures of the display on various sites.

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And here is a picture of my Birds, Stars & Swirls quilt (officially called Thread Journey) displayed at Aurifil’s booth this year.  Having a quilt displayed at Aurifil’s booth is definitely one of my Market highlights this year.

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My quilt draped on one of Aurifil’s crates during set-up day.

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This entire quilt is constructed with threads from Aurifil‘s Subtle Strings collection — consisting of my favorite colors to use for subtle contrasting quilting.  I included in the thread box my go-to color 2310, which I had used for piecing this quilt.  I used the other colors to quilt at various spots on the quilt.

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You can see better in this following picture what I mean about the different colors being used to quilt the quilt.

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I had shared a couple of pre-yoyo sneak peeks last week:

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The following picture is post-yoyo.

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Sometimes, subtlety goes a long way.  You can see the subtle contrast better on the back of the quilt.  Thank you to Windham Fabrics for providing the fabric for my backing fabric.  I used a slate-ish gray from their Palette collection (37098-3).

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I showed this very quilt at one of my Schoolhouse sessions.  THANK YOU to all of those who took the time later to tell me you liked my quilt.  It meant heaps to me!  [For those who are new — I free-motion quilted the quilt with my Bernina home machine.]

I wasn’t able to take very many good pictures of this quilt.  For the record, the last yoyo was officially attached onto the quilt at 9:30am on the day of Schoolhouse.  After that, I was rushing to get ready to get on with my day.  The quilt is supposed to come back to me for a short little while for me to take better pictures before it heads of to an exciting adventure!  More about that later.

I will have more snippets to share this and next week, in addition to catching up with other posts that have been scheduled.  For now, I have to unpack, and re-pack myself again for my next trip to Annie’s Craft Festival this Thursday.  Later, Dear Friends!

Constellation of Colors & Virtual Trunk Show #19: Sawtooth Star, Part 2

Happy Monday, Friends, I hope you have had a good weekend!  My quilting angels did it again… they were able to make yet another quilt happen for me.  I spent Friday night binding the quilt, and was able to ship off the following day Constellation of Colors!

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You know I have a Sawtooth Star Block fanatic!  Click here to see my other Sawtooth Star quilts.  Today I am sharing with you the second installment on my Virtual Trunk Show of my Sawtooth Star Quilts! Click on the quilt names for more information on individual quilts.

1.  FRESH OFF THE PRESS – All That Glitters (American Patchwork & Quilting, December 2015)

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“Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.”

2.  Get Happy (American Patchwork & Quilting Calendar 2015 for the month of March)

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3.  Rising Stars (The Quilter, August/September 2015, Cover Quilt)

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4.  Tutu Cute Twin Quilt and Floor Pillow, a free to use pattern for Quilting Treasures

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5.  Star Struck, a free to use design for Benartex, Fan Favorite 2015

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6.  Shimmery Constellations, a free to use pattern for Benartex

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Thank you for stopping by.  I have exactly 10 days before I leave for Market.  It’s crunch time again… so, I shall run for now!

A simple Math equation…

Creative New Quilts & Projects is official – copies of the book hope to be on their way to you!

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I was unpacking copies of my new book Creative New Quilts & Projects, and saw the very scientific Math equation on the back cover , haha!  I got quite a chuckle out of it.  I am touched that my publisher stands by the accuracy and validity of the equation!

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And here is Spring Basket, one of the book projects.

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I will post more up-close pictures once I get all my projects return to me after Market.  Meanwhile, these are what I have on hand.

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You may purchase the book from:

  1. Landauer by click here.
  2. Me directly for $21.95 + $5.75 (USPS Priority Envelope).  I am happy to sign the book for you.  Please email me directly, and tell me if you want me to send you a paypal invoice, or if you want to send your payment with a check.  And we will go from there.
  3. Amazon here.
  4. Crafter’s Choice here.
  5. Your local quilt shop!

How do you like Spring Basket?  I can see it done with fall colors, as well as Christmas!

I will post more about the book in the near future.  So far, the following are the projects I have shared about, and there are definitely MORE to come!

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Thank you for stopping by!  I will catch up with you later!  And… definitely more to come about the book! Meanwhile, would you spread the word?

Care for a Cuppa? It’s…

… National Coffee Day!!! You have see the following picture numerous times…

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Now you see the coffee cup in my Care for a Cuppa? quilt!

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Care for a Cuppa? is a fun project featured in my upcoming book Creative New Quilts & Projects.  Miss Baby calls coffee “Mom’s Stay Awake Juice” because Mom here indeed relies on coffee for her day-to-day survival. :)

So, have yourself a stupendous day… and I hope you have a great cuppa while you are at it!  I shall catch up with you later! I have to get a quilt bound for shipping today before I pick my little one from school!