Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Welcome to the New Blogger's Blog Hop - 2014

It's very exciting to participate in the New Blogger's Blog Hop this year. I started this blog almost a year ago to date. On June 6th, it will be my first blogaversary, and I have learned so much about quilting and blogging during this time.

The most amazing part of this journey has been the kindness and support of complete strangers who are quilters and bloggers from all over the country, and internationally. I can't wait to meet some of my new friends in person at The Chicago Quilt Festival or at Fall Quilt Market in Houston.

I began quilting on October 8, 1994. Why do I know this exact date?  Because later that day I met my wonderful husband!! 

I began taking quilting classes at a local quilt shop. My first project was a hand quilted pillow. Then I learned how to machine piece, machine and hand applique and machine quilt. I still love to hand quilt some pieces, because I find it so relaxing. Others are definitely meant to machine quilt. I am now beginning to design my own quilts, and hope to publish a book someday.

My favorite tips I learned when I first began quilting, and still are;

1. There are no quilting police.

2. A mistake is not a mistake. It is an opportunity to learn something new and elevate your skills and creativity level.

My favorite example;

I was almost finished with a beautiful little quilt. I accidentally made a hole in it with my scissors.  I was so upset. But I remembered number 2.  And I appliqued a little butterfly over the hole which looked great. It gave the quilt an original twist. Everyone commented more on how cute and unexpected the butterfly was than the quilt.

These are a few of the quilts I've made over the years;

Honoring The Seasons




 Honoring The Seasons - A close up of a block




Show Off Pattern - Dedicated to our Cat Biscuit




 Double Nine Patch - Dedicated to My Husband  (Emma's Tail Peeking Out)





 Attic Windows Pattern - Dedicated to Our Cat Emma






My favorite blogging tips are;

1. This is a very image oriented blogging genre, much like food and travel blogs. Images support your content, more so than the other way around.
 

2. Taking a risk in quilt blogging is a lot easier than with more serious blogs that discuss politics or health care reform.  We are lucky!!  Take advantage of the fact.

A Little Bit About Me




I live with my husband and two adorable cats; Biscuit and Emma who regularly appear in blog posts. I have three great step-children and two grandchildren.

Biscuit and Emma




















My Favorite color - Yellow.

Favorite vacation spot so far - Maui, Hawaii.

Favorite Movies - "Cinema Paradiso," "The Sound of Music," "The Notebook" and "The Run-a-Way Bride."


Favorite Books - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Ann Barrows.


Favorite Musicians - The Beatles, Billy Joel, Phil Collins and Miles Davis.


One thing most people don't know about me - I climbed to the top of 

El Capitan at Yosemite National Park.

There are many other fascinating and talented new quilt bloggers participating in this blog hop. Please stop by and visit their blogs for more information, inspiration and fun.

http://smilestooloudly.wordpress.com/ 
Sarah @ Smiles Too Loudly


http://negligentstylee.blogspot.com/
Vera @ Negligent Style

http://www.michellebartholomew.com/ 
Michelle @ Michelle Bartholomew

Katie @ Good Golly Ginger

http://meadowmistdesigns.blogspot.com/
Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs

http://janainamachado.blogspot.com/ 
Jana @ Jana Machado 

http://www.leighlaurelstudios.com/ 
Karin @ Leigh Laurel Studios


http://tiesthatbindquilting.wordpress.com/ 
Kim @ Ties That Bind Quilting

http://quiltingjetgirl.com/

Yvonne @ Quilting Jet Girl

I would really like to hear from you - Please leave a comment in my comment box telling me;

1. What draws you to keep reading a blog or subscribe to it?

2. When you see a quilt, what makes you say, "Wow?"

Thanks for your thoughts and comments.

Creating and making a quilt is a very gratifying experience. Blogging is challenging and creates the opportunity to learn and meet other incredible people in the quilting community. I love being on this journey.

Happy Quilting and enjoy the journey!!

68 comments:

  1. Hi Anne! I love to read blogs that share their journey doing what they are passionate about. If the blog becomes too commercial, I usually stop following. I love to look at colorful quilts so if you want a wow out of me, make it bright!

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Looking forward to reading your blog and seeing your quilts.

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  2. Hi Anne. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a fantastic book! I also really like getting to see photos of quilts and cats, as I struggle to get cat-free photographs of my quilts most of the time. Hmm, I would say that an easy to read blog with nice pictures is what first attracts me to a blog. Lots of different things can make me think "Wow!" about a quilt: use of color (some combinations I love, some look so great together, some are just unexpected...), impressive technique (aka hexagons - I cannot fathom a hexagon quilt and impressed with anyone who makes one!), unique quilting... I think the list could go on. I think I might be a quilting person. :/

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts and comments, Yvonne. My husband and grown step-sons read that book too and loved it. If you want to get started on a hexagon quilt with not a lot of them see this book; Block Party: The Modern Quilting Bee - The Journey of 12 Women, 1 Blog, & 12 Improvisational Projects." Not only would I love to start a bee or be in a bee like this one, but I believe that Jackie Gering made a quilt that might work for you. I just ordered it again from my library. When I get it, I'll let you know for sure. And our cats too, love to get into quilting; they are quilting cats :)

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    2. I read a lot of books. I used to read and review children's books for "School Library Journal."
      I am on GoodReads. If you are on it, I would like to share, and can "friend" you. Let me know. It's a great social media tool to keep track of what you've read and share with friends.

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  3. I am most likely to say, "wow" if it is something I can't do. Like feather quilting or tiny pieces.

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    1. I have done feather quilting by hand, and hope to be able to do that by machine by the fall.
      Thanks.

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  4. Hi Annne! I really enjoyed reading your post! It's so interesting you met your husband the same day your started quilting! I also agree with you that we learn a lot from mistakes (another coincidence, I just talked about that on my post too!). I used to have a lot of incidents while making bags, some of them by order and with rare fabrics. I always had to come up with something like an embroidery or appliqué. There is always a solution! Your quilts are gorgeous, specially Honoring the Seasons!

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    1. Where did you find rare fabrics? How cool is that. I can't wait to hop on over to your blog and take a look at those bags. Very cool.

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  5. Seem like quilting brought a good thing to you :-)
    I love your green bed cover, the mixing of log cabin & piecing flowers. For me, I easily follow a blog if there are many pictures showing interesting projects. I prefer looking at pics to reading texts. The quilt that makes me "Wow" must have a good combination of pattern, colors, and quilting outline; and I say many wows while reading through your blog.

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    1. Thank you so much! That's a good answer - a combination of pattern, colors and quilting.
      Glad you like Honoring the Seasons..I worked on it off and on for over 10 years.

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  6. I started following those that have something in common or I liked their sense of humor. Color order projects attracts me the most, lol. You have nice cats and your quilts are pretty too. Nice to meet you Anne. BTW do you know you have the word verification on?

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    1. Thanks for your response, and I'm glad you like my quilts and Biscuit and Emma. Not sure what word verification is? Please let me know. Thanks.

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  7. your quilts are beautiful Anne. Honoring the Seasons is so detailed and looks like it must have taken a long time to make.

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    1. It is detailed. It combines log cabins, hand applique and paper piecing. The original size was for a futon. My husband loved it and suggested I double the size to make it a quilt and bed spread for our bed. It made the process more complicated, and it took ten years, working off and on, to finally complete it.

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  8. I think for me to say wow it has to be something I haven't seen before, or exquisitely done. Or really, really cheerful (my favorite color is yellow too!). To keep reading/subscribe I need to feel engaged with the reader - like they're sitting next to me. Though, there are some I follow and don't read at all - just scroll through the pictures. :D

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    1. I feel pretty much the same way. Thanks for sharing. The reason I like yellow so much is because it's such a happy, cheerful color? How about you?

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  9. That's fantastic that you met your husband the same day you started quilting! I like blogs where the pictures are great and a bit of the blogger personality shines through. Quilts that make me go "wow" are striking ones, much like your green quilt!

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    1. Thanks. That green quilt was the most complex and time consuming quilt I've ever made.
      I love it too!!

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  10. I'm heading to Yosemite in a week (never climbed El Captian, however). Cats and quilts are the perfect combination :) I look forward to following you!
    www.sewcraftychick.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Diana. Cats and quilts do go together. Let me know how your trip to Yosemite is.
      I look forward to following your blog too.

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  11. The color interaction and the intricacy of the piecing are two things that will make me say wow. . . but seeing dense exquisite quilting will always mesmerize me no matter what the top looks like :)

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    1. I am learning about dense quilting - using the negative space in much of the ways you refer to. It seems to be most commonly found in modern quilts.

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    2. Thanks for your thoughts and responding to my questions.

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  12. Wow for me is primarily colour. It could be the way colours play together or a dominant colour but that's what my eye is drawn to first. Then design and quilting!

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    1. That combination seems to be the common denominator in what attracts most people to a quilt or photo of one. Thanks for your answer.

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  13. Wow happens a few different ways, sometimes it's a striking color combination, often it's something that gets me to look at a pattern or a technique in a new way. Love the story of your butterfly!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the story about the butterfly. Colors and they way they are used draws me in first. I also love learning new techniques. Thanks.

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  14. Beautiful quilts, especially your 'Honoring the seasons'. For me, there are so many great quilting blogs out there, it's just not practical to follow them all. I'm either drawn to ones that I feel have a similar ethos to me - which is very much working with recycled fabrics, improvising, creating pictures within quilts, or to ones that are very individual in some way and stand out from the usual beautiful quilt blogs out there. I also like feeling like I'm getting to know a blogger through their posts. As for the 'wow' factor, it's normally a quilt that's a bit different in some way, an unusual colour combination that really works or something like using recycled fabric imaginatively. Designer fabrics are gorgeous and they make gorgeous quilts but I like something a bit different from my viewing if possible. And I think your questions were really good ones to ask!

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    1. Thank you so much for those nice compliments. I have seen some great use of wonky patchwork and use of recycled fabrics in my guild. I enjoy my modern quilt guild because they are challenging me to try new patterns, techniques and use recycled fabrics.

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  15. Nice to meet you and see some of your quilts (and your cats!). Your hand quilting looks very pretty. You have more patience than I, though. I'd rather zoom along by machine! The "wow" factor for me could be amazing quilting, gorgeous colours, or extreme beauty or difficulty. Lots of things impress me! If someone's work inspires me, or they share interesting tidbits about their life along with their quilting & I like them, or if their sense of humour comes through in their writing, I'll subscribe!

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    1. That's a great response. Thanks for your thoughts!!

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  16. wonderful quilts, and awesome fur babies!!! I love your tips both quilting and blogging.

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  17. Great tips! I think that the thing that draws me most to blogs are the pictures. You said it when you mentioned that this genre is really image-centric. So, well composed images and quilt designs really draw me in.

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    1. Before I began blogging, I read over 200 quilt blogs. That was the number one theme I picked up as I studied them. Thanks for your response.

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  18. That is so great about how you know the exact date you started quilting! And I love your tips.

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    1. Thanks, Beth. My husband took a big step in his life on day I learned to quilt too. He shaved off his mustache off after 15 years. New changes happened for us that day which led to a big one that evening. It was a lucky and happy day :)

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  19. Anne - congrats on a great year of blogging! Your quilts are gorgeous! :)

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    1. Thanks so much for your support and give-a-way. Looking forward to Friday.

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  20. I love pictures, you're right about photos supporting the work! Also a good sense of humor keeps me coming back and not just taking a blog in strictly for it's pics.

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  21. I agree. The content has to reflect the blogger's personality, be professional, but have some fun too. Thanks for your response.

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  22. I enjoyed reading your blog and getting to know you more. Funny how pet owners always have photos of our pets hiding under our quilts.

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    1. I have noticed too that many quilters have cats or dogs, or both. I can't imagine our home without a pet, especially from a rescue agency. Another little fact about me/us - we support the SPCA of Briarcliff, and often foster kittens and cats if needed. They are a no-kill shelter. Thanks for responding.

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  23. Hi, nice to meet you! You've got some amazing quilts there. I'm drawn to a modern aesthetic, good photos, progress posts, a bit of wit. I have to say that one thing that stops me following a blog is if the blogger never replies to my comments by email. i don't have time to revisit every blog I've commented on to look for a reply so I don't. If I never get an emailed reply to one of my comments (not all of them of course!), I stop following. Blogging is about building community and friendship and it feels very one sided if you just leave comments and get nothing back.

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    1. Check your e-mail box. I sent you something.

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  24. Nice to meet you, Anne.
    The colour mix draws me to a blog and that depends on good photography showing the colours to perfection. I keep reading if the story is good, and in quilting I like to read about the process. I always try to comment, because I always learn something from other people's projects. I think it's great when bloggers ask a question, because it seems like being in a real conversation and encourages a sense of community. I always try to comment.
    What puts me off blogs is when people make a great show of their religious persuasion at the top of their blog.

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    1. Hi Marly, Thanks for your response. I agree with everything you've touched on....I hope you'll become a frequent visitor.

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  25. Hmm... I think what makes me come back, Anne, is the combination of liking the style of the person's work, as well as feeling like I'm part of their world. I don't need to know what they ate for breakfast, but a conversational writing style and some friendly insight into what makes them tick makes it feel like a friend and not a random face somewhere out there.

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  26. I fell that way too. I enjoy feeling like I am a little part of their world because I have chosen to comment on their work/content/post. And the blogger is inviting us to be part of their world by asking or suggesting that we comment. Thanks for sharing your very relevant comments!! enjoy your weekend.

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  27. I love the colors in the quilt for your cat!

    Your seasons quilt is unbelievably gorgeous.

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    1. You made my day. Thank you. Have a great weekend, and if you can stop by my next post, because there is a great give-a-way to celebrate my first blogaversary!!

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  28. I love seeing quilts with intricate quilting because I am not there yet and bright pretty colors! :-) I love that you know your quilt start date and that you meet your hubby on the same day! What an awesome day!

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    1. It was an awesome day, and my husband is an awesome guy!! Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again soon.

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  29. I love your butterfly story! I picked up the Guernsey book at a used book store last summer and loved it. I'm drawn to blogs where the writer shares some of her life, not just her quilts, and where she's willing to point out and laugh at some of her mistakes rather than only showing everything that worked out perfectly. Congratulations on you blogging anniversary.

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    1. Glad you liked the butterfly story. Excellent point about laughing at your mistakes. And it's about how the quilter, "saves the day" when she or he makes a mistake. Thanks for your good wishes about the blogaversary!!

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  30. You met your husband and started quilting on the same day? Goodness!
    I struggle to sensibly answer your two questions. I don't think I can give a clear answer to either, other than 'the vibe of the thing'! I find it fascinating how my friends love one quilt/fabric/pattern when I am drawn to another.

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    1. Yes. That was a great day I'd say. I agree with you. I am in a quilting clinic on Friday mornings with a group of nice women and excellent quilters. There are about 6 of us which have been coming for a long time. As much as I admire everyone's work, there are only 2 of which seem to have similar taste. It's all so subjective. In all these years, I have never bought polka dot fabric or worn anything with them since I was a child. I bought a dress for a bridal shower I am going to next weekend. And you guessed it....I fell in love with a polka dot dress! Go figure.

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  31. That Honouring the Seasons quilt is fantastic! I usually am drawn to colour, so if the colours are bright and pleasing to me, I'll take a second look or linger.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts. I'm glad you like the Honoring The Seasons - that one was a big job. I love how it came out too.

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  32. Biscuit and Emma are beautiful cats. If you find a way to not have a cat in your indoor quilt photos, please let me know! LOL! Great job tackling El Capitan. I've just finished a book on the San Andreas fault and it's reminded me of how beautiful the California geography is. Nice to meet you!

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    1. Nice to meet you too. Thank you for your lovely response. Biscuit and Emma are also the sweetest cats. I get a lot done when they are sleeping, especially in another room. Sometimes have to lay out my squares on the floor and number them before I put the quilt together. I have a flannel layout that I can hang on the wall, and cats don't seem to care about that. So look into buying one, because it's worth it. Mine is too small for the quilt I am working on now. Hope to see you on the blog more often.

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  33. I think color is what often makes me say wow when I first see a quilt. Then I really start to dive in an look at everything else. I'm also a sucker for really cute applique. I love that you started quilting and met your husband on the same day. What a life change!

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  34. It was one of my best days ever!! My wedding day is kind of a tie. I love cute applique too. I am really getting into machine applique. I've done a lot of hand applique. Thanks for stopping by.

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  35. Happy belated blogging anniversary! I love how you remember the date of when you started quilting. That is such a cute story. Quilts that make me say "wow" are typically when there is an unexpected element or a unique color palette. So nice getting to know you a little better. I especially like your honoring the seasons quilt. It is gorgeous!

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  36. Thanks, Michelle. It's always great to hear from you. It's nice getting to know you better too. That is a great quilt. It took a long, long, long time to make it. Thanks for your responses.

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  37. Hi Anne, stopping by from the first week of the tour (I'm still trying to catch up!). Great intro post and some beautiful quilts. I love your attitude about turning mistakes into learning moments. I need to remember that at times. I, too, have a cat named Emma. She's a beautiful long haired gray cat (her mother was a Russian Blue so sometimes she looks silver). What keeps me reading a blog is ultimately content. If it's interesting to me, I keep reading. Nice photos of quilt projects (and the occasional cat) also help.

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  38. I must have missed you in all of links back in early June. I had never considered before how much freer we are to take risks as quilt bloggers, but it seems very true. What kind of risks do you think we should take?

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