Sunday, October 9, 2011

Deploy That Fabric | Book Review + Giveaway


I was so excited when I first heard about the book Deploy Your Fabric by Jen Eskridge, known by many as the talented sewist behind the ReannaLily Designs blog, and even more excited when Jen and the team at Stash Books asked me to take part in the blog tour to spread the good word about the book.


So why was I so excited? First, I was just so happy to hear that Jen had written a book! I've been admiring Jen's work via her Flickr stream for quite a while, and it's always good to see someone with a unique perspective get a chance to express themselves via a book.

More importantly -- and I don't think I've ever brought this up on the blog before -- but the military has a major presence in my family's lives. My father-in-law was a career military man, and I currently have two brothers-in-law and a sister-in-law all on active duty. So for me, as someone who has admired all of the crafty projects that incorporate military uniforms for years, it's great to finally be able to get my hands on a book that breaks down how to make such projects and provides plenty of visual inspiration to plan some holiday gifts for my family!


Before diving in to the book, let me tell you a little bit about Jen. A long-time sewist and quilter, Jen is a military spouse who also happens to have a degree in apparel design. She began her company (and her blog), ReannaLily Designs, to share her love of sewing (and sometimes with military uniforms) via her original quilt and purse patterns.

OK, so now a little about the book. "What matches a uniform? Everything." I love that Jen immediately eases the reader's concerns about how to select fabrics that can nicely complement a military uniform. Her advice? "Treat it as a neutral, and choose bright, bold fabrics to contrast with the subdued uniform colors."

I was also happy to see that the book starts out with some quick directions on how to break down a military uniform to usable pieces of fabric. Having recently requested unused uniforms from some of my family members to use for Christmas gifts, I simply didn't know where to begin. Jen's directions are perfect for getting me started.

The projects in the book are broken down into four sections:
  1. Purses & totes -- 9 great patterns, ranging from a coin purse to the "Military Monster Tote", a giant bag that can double as a diaper bag!
  2. Home for the Holidays -- 4 project that include a tree skirt and stocking.
  3. Quilts & Baby Items -- my favorite part! There are 4 patterns in this area, and while the quilt patterns themselves may seem pretty familiar to most quilters, it's great to see how Jen mixes modern fabrics and prints with the camouflage.
  4. Accessories -- a potpourri of additional projects, containing 6 patterns including a checkbook cover, note cards, and an accent pillow.


Don't know anyone in the military? At a loss for how to get your hands on some camouflage uniforms? Don't fret! Check out these super cool Urban Camo fabrics by Urban Chiks for Moda. Now anyone can make the projects from this book!

Want to win a copy of the Deploy That Fabric book? How about the fun eco-friendly messenger bag seen above? Both are being donated to a lucky Quilt Dad reader, courtesy of Stash Books. Simply leave a comment on this post and let me know why you'd like to win this book. Do you have any ties to the military? Have a friend or loved one who would love to receive something made from a pattern in the book?

Be sure to check out all of the other stops on the blog tour for even more chances to win!

116 comments:

  1. My brother in law is active duty air force right now, and i'd love to make something for their family that would represent this part of their lives...in a fun way!

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  2. We have and had many in the military and I would love to use this book for some gifts! thanks for the review and giveaway.

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  3. This book looks awesome! We live in New Bern, NC and the military is all around us. I am also a Dept of Defense contractor and have 2 BIL's in the military. Huge part of our lives. Great giveaway!!

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  4. I know just the person for this book....me. I love to reuse things and while I may not have any military uniforms to reuse, I am sure I can find plenty of other things. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. My hubby is deployed right now and we are Army:) He has been in for about 10 years now.

    Thank you for doing this giveaway. It is GREATLY appreciated!

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  6. I'd love to win because two of my best friends from high school are still in the military. Both of them are in active service right now. Thanks to facebook we keep in touch often, but I'd love to send them something special for the holidays. Thanks for the chance.

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  7. I'd love to win a copy of this book. I'm an Army brat daughter of a WWII & Korean War veteran (still going strong at 91); wife of a Vietnam War veteran; and my nephew is currently deployed in the Middle East. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  8. I'm a veteran; I would love this book to inspire aand guide me for future military gifts; my baby boy is planning on joining the marines (he isn't such a baby but still)

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  9. I would love to win this book! So much of my family is or was in the military (father & father-in-law, grandfather, cousins, uncles). We also live in Dover, Delaware and have lots of friends who are military. I've already had people asking if I could make items for their family/friends with uniforms, so some guidance/inspiration would be great!

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  10. We have several family members that are either in the military or have served in the past including my Daughter. I have all her uniforms and I would love to make some things for her.

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  11. One of my good friends among others is in the military and I'm in the process of making him a quilt!

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  12. After spending a few years in the Navy myself I met my husband there. Then I was the Navy wife for many years before my husband retired. Now, I am the Navy MOM as my son is in the Navy! We are very proud parents! :)

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  13. my Dad was in the Navy as a young man and living close to Washington DC we have lots of military families all around us. I'm alway so thankful for their selfless service to country. Thanks for a chance to win - laurie

    llsbaskets@comcast.net

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  14. my new friend, Cindy's, son comes home from Afghanistan in two weeks. I would give this book and messenger to her.

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  15. I would love to win this book! A good friend has 3 kids in active military service right now and I know it would make them all happy to see quilts or items made with uniforms!
    Thanks for the incredible chance!

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  16. What a creative idea! I would love to win a copy! I have friends in the national guard, and my dad is retired airforce.

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  17. I'd love to win this book! I have a giant bag full of my old BDU's and DCU's that I've been saving to reuse in sewing projects. And I'm about to start adding some ABU's to the pile. My Dad is retired AF, my brother is Active Duty, my SIL on my husbands side is retired AF, my SIL on my brothers side is active duty Navy, my husband served in the Army and my FIL is retired Army.
    I will never run out of uniforms, or people to gift with things made from said uniforms. I think they would all be surprised and delighted to receive any of the things in the book. Great giveaway, thanks for the chance to win!

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  18. It's quicker to list who hasn't served in my family. Husband, siblings, nephews and friends have served in Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines & National Guard.

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  19. I'd love to win a copy of this book. I would definitely make some Christmas gifts for my brother and his family. He has been in the military for three years now. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  20. the book sounds great and that bag is awesome, my best friends' husband is about to leave on his third deployment, i'd love to share the bag with her .

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  21. I just love the idea of this book, and the bag is amazing! I am wife to an Army Reservist (who was also active duty for a while) and we have many military ties. I would really enjoy this book!

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  22. This book sounds like it has some great ideas! My dad is 70, is a career military man in the Navy, had 3 tours of duty, and is now retired. He'd love something I made that was related to the military!

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  23. The ties to the military in my family seem to be never-ending! I myself was briefly in the Air Force. My mom's father, army. One of her sisters, army national guard. Her uncle, career Marine officer - two of his sons were Marine officers and the other two were navy officers. My father's father was a Marine. My aunt, coast guard. My husband's grandfather was career air force. My best friends from high school? One's a navy officer, the other army, currently going through ROTC at Penn State!

    Thanks for the chance to win!

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  24. This looks a great book! and although I don't have anyone in the forces now several were involved in WW2

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  25. I would love to win a copy of this book. We have navy, marines and army in our family and it would be great to make something out of their old uniforms. I love the look of the quilts I have seen so far.

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  26. Hey John...I love the idea of this book! I have 2 nephews in the military...one in the Air Force and one in the Army. I would love to be able to make some of these projects. I've been an admirer of Jen's for a long time...and a faithful reader of your blog since I started quilting a few years ago. Keep up the awe-inspiring work! And, thank you for the opportunity.

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  27. My hubby is USN, his dad is retired navy, and his brother is also navy! I would love to have this book!

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  28. Thanks for the love on Twitter! Sent you a little shout out on my latest post.
    Patrick

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  29. My brother is in the air force and both my mom and his little ones would love something made from his old uniforms. Love the color combinations in this book.

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  30. My brother in law is in the military, and I just think this book looks so awesome!! Hope I win! Love your blog!

    Kploquilts.blogspot.com

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  31. I'm an Air Force brat....dad was in for 24 years, brother for four. I went to 10 different schools but I also had the chance to travel all over the place!
    I would love to make my parents and brother something from this book...we do have an abundance of leftover camo stuff!;)

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  32. Would like to deploy my stash! Whittle it down. There are piles here.

    Not currently affiliated with anyone in the military but my dad, husband, son in law all served. Different times and places to be sure!

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  33. I'd love to win this book as I was in the Navy and so was my other half. Between the 2 of us we have 51 years service….. and lots of old uniforms. I have used some in bags and passport covers…. they are fire retardant too!!!!

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  34. Looks like a great book. Don't know anyone personally in the forces, but have a friend with a son in Afghanistan.

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  35. My husband has been serving in the Coast Guard for the last 15 years and we have been married for 11. His uniforms are navy blue and would go with everything but I'd love to learn how to deconstruct them into useable pieces!

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  36. Let me see if I can stack the deck here. I am a disabled, Vietnam era Army veteran. I was married to veterans (yes, more than one, sorry). I have a son currently serving in a reserve Army unit.

    BUT ... to me, the biggest reason I should be considered: I am the Women Veterans Employment Specialist for a large non-profit in Portland, Oregon. I would like to be able to give the messenger bag to one of my clients.

    Best Wishes!
    Cindy B.

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  37. My brother and sister in law are both in the service and my father in law is stationed over in Iraq right now! What a great idea for making them gifts! We do get together with the boy scouts to send items over there and I would love to donate other things! Maybe this will kick start me!!

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  38. All of the projects I've seen coming from this book are amazing. My niece's husband is on his way home from Afghanistan, and has done 2 tours in Iraq. My son Can't wait to be a Marine!

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  39. My son is in the military and I would love to make him something from this book. I also make stuff to send in care packages to the troops. Would love some new ideas.

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  40. My brother-in-law is in the army and I think some of these would make super cute gifts for my niece. Something to have that reminds her of dad!

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  41. I was in the Army way beck when andI think I have some old uniforms lurking about! Great for a tote.

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  42. NEAT BOOK!
    I'D USE THIS FOR MAKING GIFTS FOR OUR ARMED FORCES THROUGH OUR CHURCH GROUP FOR SERVICEMEN+WOMEN. THANKS SO FOR SHARING!

    jldouglas@wispwest.net

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  43. I'd love to win this book, the projects are so interesting. My "baby" brother is career Air Force, and I'd enjoy making him something special. LOVE that stocking, btw...

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  44. Several members of my family served. There must be some great gift ideas for them in the book.

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  45. I'm was many years ago a military brat....grin. Dad was in the Bataan Death March, two brothers in the Navy. One a pilot that went to Vietnam.

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  46. I met my husband 20 years ago when we were in the Army Reserves together and my father and grandfather both served in the army so I am also another military brat:)

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  47. My Dad served as commander of a German Prisoner of War Camp in France. He made lifelong friends of some of the guards and became fluent in several languages. The Americans ran a much more humane POW camp than the Germans or Japanese. He then went into the Reserves and we spent our summer vacations around whatever base Dad was training. Great experiences.

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  48. My grandfather would tell me stories of his military service in the Spanish American War and WWI. Both grandfathers, lots of uncles, and cousins have all served and are serving. I think a good surprise would be a throw similar to the photo for my uncle, retired career service Navy.

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  49. fantastic...my nephew is in Afganistan now, and his wife and 4 children are living in Montana, where they moved just days before he left. She's doing a great job, just moving into a home of their own after a year there, and I know there are things in the home decor section that would be great getting them settled in :)

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  50. My boyfriend's brother is in the air force. Thanks for a chance to win the book!

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  51. I'd love this! My hubby is a marine and has stacks of old unusable cammies that we'd love to make into a great quilt. Thanks for the giveaway!

    theredkiwi (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  52. AF brat here, reporting for duty to win your fabulous giveaway! What a great concept, I'll have to see about "enlisting" a copy of this book, even if I don't win it. Thanks, John!

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  53. While my Dad and Grandpas have all served in wars, I also just appreciate the military. And, I dig the military look. I've always wanted an authentic pair of Navy pants. I was wearing camo pants when I met my husband. :)

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  54. I recently read about this book and would love to win it. Our daughters and son in law all served in the Army and we've always wanted to do some things with their uniforms, and this book would definitely provide us with great projects! Thank you for the give away!

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  55. I'd love to win this book! My dad was in the Navy in WWII and my brother was in the Army in the 1970's. I recently made a donation quilt out of cut up camo pants and some of my blue and green batiks for a family support group at a local military base near where I live.

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  56. I think this book looks great. I am a proud army wife. We have served this great nation for 16 years. I enjoy making things with my husbands old uniforms. I have made a quilt and numerous bags. I desire this book so I could glean more great ideas.

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  57. This book looks fabulous. I don't have any ties to the military but living close to to bases means that many of my friends live on base. It would be lovely if I could make them something from old uniforms for Christmas.

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  58. My brother in law is in the navy, so I bet my sister would like something made from this book. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  59. I have many ties to the military. I was in the Navy, my DD was in the Army, my LB (little Brother) was in the Army, BB(big vrother) was in the Marines, and two uncles were in the AirForce. Soooo, needless to say, I would have good use for the book. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  60. neato! My dad was army, my grandparents airforce and my husband was navy, so we've covered all the bases :)

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  61. My husband's old uniforms are sitting in a pile waiting to be turned into something creative and I've got no ideas! This book looks great!

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  62. National Guard participation is strong in my area, so there are many opportunities to contribute military/patriotic-related items. Looks as if the book is a prime source for ideas.

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  63. My brother-in-law is over in the Middle East right now for a year (I think he's almost halfway done now, though), and I'd love to make a quilt for his two little girls to snuggle under.

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  64. I would love this book. I have had four uncle's serve.

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  65. My boyfriend went to military school and just happens to be on the hunt for a new messenger bag. This would be perfect!

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  66. I'm always looking for clever and creative projects to sew, and this book sounds perfect! Thanx for the chance to win.

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  67. Almost all the men in my family have served in some capacity. Dad and brother-in-law .. Navy, hubby and father-in-law ..Army, nephew...Air Force. Even have Civil War veterans on both sides of the family. I would love to make something from this book to honor them.

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  68. This is brilliant! My family is all military & law enforcement. I love the idea of honoring our service men & women with quilting.

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  69. My dad is a retired Naval officer. He spent 24 years of his life serving. I think he would love something that reminds him of "the good old days."

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  70. Thanks for the great giveaway! I would love to win this book. Not only do I have many friends and family members that are former/current military, but my boyfriend has plenty of old military uniforms that could be put to good use. He's also been very interested in my sewing recently and talked (in hushed tones of course ;) about trying sewing for himself. This book may give him that little extra push to just try it out. Make something for himself and see how he likes it! I think he'd be fabulous. :)

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  71. My son is a staff Sargent in thaw Air Force. He is currently stationed in Great Falls, MT, but will soon be stationed at Vandenberg AFB in California. I would like to make him a new quilt using one of his old uniforms. This would be a great help.

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  72. hubby is Retired USAF, my Dad and Brother all served in the Army, and we have daughters and son in laws currently serving all over the world.

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  73. what an awesome book. My father in law was in world war II and we have his uniform. would love to do something with it. thanks.

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  74. I would love to win the book. My father was in WWII. Thanks

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  75. My buddy was in Afghanistan for two years, and I was thinking about making his family something.

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  76. My son was in the Navy for 8 years. He served on a Trident submarine and spent over 4 years total underwater, never seeing the light of day or land for months on end.

    I would love to make him something from the book.

    Thanks!

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  77. I have ties to the military as my Dad was in the Air Force for over 20yrs. Also, my son is currently serving in the Marine Corps. (Deploying to Afghanistan next year) I'm so PROUD of both of them. I would love to have the book. My Dad has since passed away and I'd love to make something with a uniform I have for my Mom as well as my sister and myself. Of course I'd love to have something made from my son's uniform.

    Thank you and Stash Books for a great giveaway and a chance to win. Great book and blog tour as well.

    usairdoll(at)gmail(dot)com

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  78. Don't have anyone in the military or any connections. I think the patterns in the book could prob be used without making them military looking.

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  79. Whilst I haven't got military connections, I reckon I could make something good out of my partners work shirts!

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  80. My lovely husband is in the army and I would have loved to have had this book last year while he was in Iraq. Our young boys had "daddy dolls" made from his uniform but for the next deployment, a quilt to cuddle with, hug, and be comforted by might just be perfect.

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  81. My son-in-law is a retired Marine and currently provides Papa Daycare and home schooling to his three grandchildren - six year old twin girls and three year old boy. Talk about a career change. Thanks for this wonderful giveaway. Judy C

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  82. I have great respect for all that serve and would love to win this book. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  83. My neighbor enlisted right out of high school and I would love to make him something from this book. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  84. My brother in law is currently in Afghanistan and is in the National Guard! I would love to make his family all kinds of special gifts!

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  85. Count me in Quilt Dad! My brother just got home from Afghanistan. Plus my hubby grew up in MO, and seems to constantly wear (and wear out) camo pants.

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  86. WOW!!! What a fantastic book. My Brother in Law is active duty Navy and my brother is active duty Army. Between them they have 5 tours of duty in Afghanistan, Iraq and Gitmo. They are my tried and true War Heroes. Would love to make them each something out of their old uniforms:)
    -Raesha
    raeshadrz at yahoo dot com

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  87. My Husband was in the Army and my Father and cousin were in the Coast Guard. This book inspires me to commemorate their service to our country.

    Thank you for hosting this blog hop giveaway.
    cgreenleaf2(at)gmail(dot)com

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  88. I have a dear friend in Iraq right now. It'd be wonderful to have this book to make his wife something lovely to have while he's away.

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  89. I am from a miltary family. My son(9-11) and newphews(Iraq, Afganhanstan and Korea) have all serviced. My dad (WWII),my husband and brothers (Vietnam)and many uncles and aunts have serviced. My cousin in France also have serviced .My family history Civil War and Revolution. I would love to make some lap quilt for the battered women shelter in my area, Thanks for the chance Corinne demoncori@aol.com

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  90. Hi from Australia. All my older relatives have served in various wars. My son is a cadet in the Army Reserve. It would be an honour to win this.

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  91. This book looks wonderful! I have a friend who would be so blessed to receive something like this!

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  92. Awesome idea for a book! My DH is an Army veteran and spent time in both Afghanistan and Iraq...he even missed the birth of our first child b/c he was deployed. My BIL is also an Army vet (who now works as a helicopter pilot for the Army as a civilian) and I made a bag for his daughter a couple of years ago - Lila Tueller fabric on the outside...and BDUs on the inside! (and PS...I love that you used brothers-in-law correctly...one of those grammar things that drives me a little bit nuts!)

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  93. I've only ever known military life--proud USAF brat and USAF spouse. I've always wondered what to do with hubby's old uniforms--brilliant ideas! Thanks for a chance to win!

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  94. Big military family here... My hubs was in the Navy for 16+ yrs, BIL& SIL are both army... (she is the smallest soldier you've ever seen- seriously!), not to mention parents, grandparents, etc...
    Dying to get a copy of this book!

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  95. I have a friend whose husband is serving right now overseas, a friend whose son is returning and my sister's boyfriend served. Honestly, we all know someone who is or was overseas serving our country and making something tangible that connects us to them is so important. This is a promising book.

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  96. My nephew is in the Army and in January he will be leaving for his 3rd tour (1st was Iraq and this will be his 2nd to Afghanistan) He is a Sergeant with EOD and EOD will probably be one the last to leave Afghanistan. I think it would be great to use some of his old fatigues to make items for his wife, mother and sister so that they have a piece of him until he returns. I would love to win this book.

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  97. My brother just re-enlisted with the Marine Corps. My Granddaddy was in the Air Force for over 20 years. He has since passed and I would love to make something for my BaBa (Grandma)as well as something for my Mom. Only problem is Mom has the uniforms, but I'd find a way. Thanks for the giveaway.

    missmoozie(at)gmail(dot)com

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  98. your site is amazing! thank you!
    imisswaylon@hotmail.com

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  99. Ds shares his mom's (that's me) mending skills with all his unit. I'd love to have this book to bless them with items made from their old camo.

    Lucy~

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  100. Mom and I would love to make things for my brother out of his camo! Thanks for the chance.

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  101. I love new and unique projects! I have 4 boys that would love stuff made out of camo :) Thanks for the give-aways!

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  102. I would love this book. My husband is in the navy and will be retiring in 20 months. I think this would be great to make him a quilt with his uniforms ( especially his cammies) for his retirement party.

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  103. I would absolutely loooooove to have this book. I want to buy as much military uniforms as I can and make one for everyone I know.

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  104. My brother-in-law is in the marine corps, one of my best buddies is a navy spouse, another girlfriend is currently in the nave reserves and her husband is retired navy. Phew. I'm completely at a loss about what I would do with a military uniform in my sewing, but I'm always interested in some new inspiration! (also, it's my birthday, and a crafty book would be a great present!)

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  105. I'd love a copy of this book, I really need to reduce the stash size, gaining an extra neutral fabric this way is a really clever idea.

    I have my fingers crossed.

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  106. Just getting a start in quilting so I would love to win anything quilting related!!!

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  107. I would LOVE to have this book. I have 4 brothers active duty! My father in law and mom in law are also retired marines, but mom still in reserves and father in Iraq working as a civilian. One of my brothers just got back and the other just left! They would all LOVE something made from this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  108. I think it is a very cool way to honour something that means alot (the uniforms) for a number of reasons, but eventually ceases to be needed on a daily basis

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  109. This looks right up my alley! So many great ways to repurpose my fabric and lots of great ideas for boys....boys boys boys!

    smyleelis at hotmail

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  110. I love that bag!!1 I love uniforms too! When I was younger and in my heyday, I loved to were old uniform jackets that I found at thrift store. I have kept a few so would love to win to find out great stuff I could make with them!

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  111. I'd love the idea of reusing, and repurposing materials. I have bins full of my dad's shirts to make quilts for my brothers and me. The bag is super cute too!

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  112. My Dad is RT Military, currently working with NATO in Afghanistan. When he is home he lives in Alberta, and my hubby and I live in Saskatchewan - I would love to send him back overseas with an inspired gift. Thanks!

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  113. What a clever idea for a book! Even smarter to include a 'how to' on cutting up the uniforms! I make patriotic pillowcases to share with Honor Flight participants (WWII vets), wound soldiers recovering at American hospital in Germany, and veterans in our state VA hospital. So the projects in this book would give me some different ideas for future projects!

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  114. I don't have anyone in the family in the military at the moment but during the Vietnam era both my close cousin and my brother were over there. They got to meet on Christmas when my cousin flew his helicopter in to where my brother was stationed. What a great present that was!

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  115. My oldest son is a Marine. His girlfriend, my someday-to-be daughter-in-law, has decorated her apartment in camo colors! How fun to make some things for their (someday) home together that match plus add a little brightness! I'd love to win. :o)

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