QBIR - Part Two

Last week, I wrote about the Quilt Bloggers International Retreat. It was an awesome way for me to get to know several quilt blogging friends better, and to share some tricks of the trade. Julie, our host, lives in Ohio Amish country so it didn’t take much to convince us to spend a day out shopping. <grin>

First up was Somewhere Sewing. I was focused on looking for solids to use in my Berry Cross quilt and this shop had plenty! Somehow though I just couldn’t get happy with my selections. I switched my focus to batiks and although it’s hard to find anything wrong with batiks, again I found it hard to locate the happy. Then I stumbled on a shelf full of Moda Grundge, and a light came on! I’m so happy with my choice and can't wait to see my Berry Cross quilt finished!

Next up was an Amish shop called Zinck’s. The fabric selection is small compared to the large space and you won’t find the latest releases here but the quality is good and so is the price! I found several batiks, white tone on tones, and solids here. Zinck’s also has a huge selection of apparel and home dec fabrics, tools, and notions. I picked up a huge roll of batting for just $10! It looks and feels like good quality and I am pretty excited to try it out.

We ate lunch at Boyd and Wurthmann, an Amish restaurant that’s famous around there. Lunch was sooooogoood!

Our final stop was Miller’s Dry Goods. Miller’s had beautiful displays, a fresh fabric selection, and lots of patterns and notions. I was running out of steam (and cash) at this point but even so I enjoyed shopping there.

As we drove from shop to shop, we were treated to the incredible countryside. What a wonderful day getting to know each other better! There’s more to tell, but I’ll save that for one last post.

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QBIR – Part One

In the first part of October, I attended the first (hopefully annual) Quilt Bloggers International Retreat. A tongue-in-cheek name for a weekend with a serious mission: to get quilt bloggers together to discuss quilt blogging, build friendships and business partnerships, and to exchange ideas and inspire each other. For me at least, the weekend was a great success.

Hosted by my friend Julie at Pink Doxies, the retreat included Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts, Sandra @ mmm! quilts, Tish @ Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland, Dave @ Dave the Quilt Engineer, and Terry @ Terry Ann Hartzell - Insights. At the last minute Cindy Pieters @ Stitchin’ at Home couldn’t come but we made a quilt for her to show her she was sorely missed.

We had a rather loose agenda. Mostly we quilted and chatted and got to know each other. Julie has a fantastic studio with plenty of space and lots of lovely light, so quilting there was a wonderful experience!

Julie even let us try out her longarm if we wanted to—I didn’t want to take the time away from several need-to-finish projects but Terry gave it a whirl! It was amazing to see how quickly someone can get used to a longarm when they have expert guidance.

Julie also let everyone play with her dyes and several of us gave that a try with excellent results.

We spent all day Saturday shopping the nearby quilt shops and enjoying the countryside. There are so many lovely photos I want to share from that day that I’ll save them for next time. What a wonderful weekend!

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I've Got One Lovely Blog!

I shared with you recently that I’m in a slump both creatively and physically. I’ve been feeling tired, sad and stifled lately and haven’t blogged much as a result. Things are looking up though (or more honestly, I’m making them look up through sheer will) and so with a happier heart, I’ve been out on the Internet getting caught up on my favorite blogs and finding inspiration and lots of quilty loveliness.

Imagine my embarrassment when I found out I’d been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Abigail of Cut and Alter several weeks ago and didn’t know it. After picking my chin off the ground, I decided that this was how it was supposed to be. I might have avoided a bit of my creative slump had I discovered this honor earlier, but then I wouldn’t have experienced the satisfaction of learning how to pick myself up and get over things on my own.

I don’t mind admitting though that getting this award has been awesome and has definitely helped me! So now it’s my turn. First, here are the rules for the award:

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you, and give a link to his/her blog. Thanks again Abigail! Please visit her blog because it’s truly awesome and she is a dear-heart.
  • List the rules.
  • Display the image of the award on your post.
  • List seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate (up to) 15 bloggers for this award, and notify them to let them know you have nominated them.

Let’s see. Seven things. Geez this is tough.

1. I’m six of ten. Yep, my family was the Waltons. <grin> I’m a middle child, but the eldest child of the bottom half (The gap in years between my older sister and me is the largest gap between any of us children, so it was almost like Mom started another family with me because she took a whole 2-1/2 years off <grin>.) I’m also the last girl. So I think of myself as the eldest, the middle child, and the youngest. Here's a photo of the few of us Dad managed to corral for a photo one day in 1962.

2. My favorite color is red and every variation thereof, especially purple and fuchsia.

3. I love mysteries. I used to read a lot of mysteries, but mostly now I watch them on television. I’m hooked on PBS Mysteries (right now, it’s all about Inspector Lewis).

4. I love science fiction and fantasy. My favorite authors are the classics—Asimov, Heinlein, Bradbury, JK Rowling, and JRR Tolkien. I especially love The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R Donaldson and have read them--along with Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings--any times. On TV, I’m all about Stranger Things right now.

5. I didn’t have plans to have a large family, but I always figured I’d have three or four. God decided though that I could only have one. I feel blessed that I got the best and I love her dearly.

6. I prefer cats to dogs. Nothing against dogs; we had plenty of them growing up and I loved them all. I love to snuggle them and play with them and oooh and aww at their doggy cuteness. But there’s something about cats and how they love you quietly that I just adore.

7. I love Jane Austin and will watch anything based on her works—often more than once. I think I own copies of every version of Pride and Prejudice ever made and I enjoy them all. <grin>

That was hard, but coming up with a nomination list is even harder because so many good blogs have already been nominated but here goes.

Sandra from mmm! Quilts

Christine from Stitch All the Things

Julie from Pink Doxies

Pamela from Sewing Up My Fabric

Heulwen at The Itirnerant Chemist

I hope you will take the time to visit all these lovely blogs because these ladies are awesome!

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2016 Mid-Year Review

Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl had a great thought the other day—a mid-year review of her goals for 2016 and how much she’s achieved so far. It got me to thinking…what have I done this year?

Back at the beginning of the year, I did a review and then set some rather general goals for this year.

Grow my blog by adding more exciting features such as my first quilt along

Here I’ve done okay I think, but there’s room to improve. I hosted my first quilt along for Stepping Stones and it was a great success! In fact, we just had a Super Show and Tell at a local guild meeting of some of the finished quilts.

Stepping Stones Quilt Along

But I’d also like to do other fun things like host a linky party and maybe even a blog hop. I’d also like to connect to some sponsors and have a few giveaways because I think they are fun. I’d also like to host another quilt along because they are wonderfully fun!

Grow my shop with new patterns

Here, I’ve done pretty well! I now have five quilt patterns up in my shop, in both PDF downloadable and print versions. I even have a block pattern for sale too, and my book of course.

I’ve also added to my free patterns which always makes me feel good. I enjoy giving back and want to add more free patterns to my blog, and more tutorials.

I also want to design more block patterns and more quilt patterns because my head is just filled with ideas! I’d also like to expand my shop onto Craftsy and Etsy to make them accessible to a wider audience, but I haven’t done that yet, mostly because of the cost involved.

Continue to find and connect to the quilt blogging community

Here, I think I’m doing pretty well. Through the New Quilt Bloggers Hop (which continues this week) and my hive (the Mis-Bee Hivin's), I’ve found people who inspire, support, and encourage me. And they make me laugh. Can’t get any better than that!

Please visit my fellow hive mates who are participating in the hop this week.

I've also participated in several other blog hops, coordinating with my fellow quilt bloggers to promote our blogs while having fun. The 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop continues this week and my day is Wednesday so be sure to come back! In September, I'll be part of the Cloud9 Block blog hop in which my fellow designers will present a new block tutorial every day. Isn't that fun? In October, the Art with Fabric blog hop returns with quilty art and amazing inspiration.

What I can do better I think is connecting to quilters through social media. I’ve had moderate success here but I want to do more, especially on Facebook and Instagram.

Not too bad a Mid-Year Review, if I do say so myself. I've got plenty of things I can work on, and six months to do it in! How is your year going? I hope it’s going well! Yvonne is hosting a linky party if you want to link up your mid-year review.

2016 Mid Year Review

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I share my blog posts with these awesome linky parties!

Tell me…how is your year going? What goals have you met? What goals do you have yet to meet?

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