Sunday, June 14, 2015

2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop!



Hello and welcome to the first week of the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop!

2015 New Quilt Bloggers Group


If you’re new to my blog, let me introduce myself. My name is Sarah and I’m an easy-going, glass is half full, whatever floats your boat kind of person; and I find it incredibly difficult to write these types of “intro” posts. They always make me feel self-serving or like I’m at an addict meeting. To be fair though, I probably SHOULD be at a Quilt and Fabric Addicts Anonymous meeting. (Shouldn’t we all???) (I want ALL the fabric!) So here are the bare bones, nitty-gritty facts: I’m in my early thirties, I live with an amazing man (no kids…yet), and I’m a stay-at-homer currently from North Carolina, USA.


I think I learned to sew when I was 6, 7, or 8ish years old. I can distinctly remember my mom teaching me how to thread her old JC Penny sewing machine, which is odd because that’s the only time I ever remember her using it. So I learned that much at least from my mother. I made up the rest as I went along. As a kid I was constantly crafting: sewing doll clothes, weaving loop potholders on that plastic loom thingamajig, pretty-punch (does anyone even remember that?!), cross-stitching, crocheting, latch hook (anyone?), etc. You get the point.

The Old Workhorse

It wasn’t until my teenage years that attempted my first quilt. I do not come from a crafty family so this attempt was met with a few sideways glances but I went to the store, got some fabric, and began a love affair.

My First Quilt

Since then, I quilted on and off until about 2010 when I started getting really serious about it. I had two new nephews on the way and naturally they needed baby blankets. I really think that baby quilts need to come with a warning: “This is a gateway quilt into a life full of fabric and sewing addiction!” Ha! I didn’t document many of the things I made pre-blog but here is a small sampling of some pics I rustled up.

Pre-blog Work

Those were all things quilted for other people. Right now I’m really focused on quilting for myself and I think my more recent projects show my quilting style a little better.

Like this mini I recently made. LOVE IT! Blogged about here and here.

Simple Celestial Mini
Simple Celestial Mini

Here is my most recent top in all its bright and cheery glory. I can’t wait to start some FMQ on this one! Blogged here.

Reverse Irish Chain

My Xbox and Botox quilt is also waiting for some FMQ love. It’s on the never-ending to-do list. Blogged here and here.

Xbox and Botox

In the spirit of the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop I thought I share a few tips with you!

BLOGGING TIP

Have you ever wondered how to add those great html grab code boxes under one of your buttons? Oh, you have? Me too! Check out my blog button on the sidebar to see an example of a grab code box. I tried a few different ways and found an easy way to do it. If you’re familiar with adding a button to your side bar you should have no problem adding a grab code box. All we are going to do is add some <textarea> code. This will add the box and then whatever you want in the box is placed between the <textarea> elements. Trust me, you can do this.

Step 1: Add the html for your button like you normally would.

Step 2: Then add this. <textarea rows=”3” cols=”20”><YOUR BUTTON HTML CODE></textarea>

Step 3: IMPORTANT!!! You have to change the < and the > in YOUR BUTTON CODE to its alphanumeric equivalent or this won’t work. What that means is every < in YOUR BUTTON CODE ONLY needs to be changed to &lt; and every > to &gt; for example:

<textarea rows=”3” cols=”20”>&lt;YOUR BUTTON HTML CODE&gt;</textarea>

NOTE: most button links have four < or > to change.

Also, you can change the width of the grab code box by changing the cols=”XX” number. Have fun and play around!

I really hope that made sense, if not just send me a message and I’ll help you through it!

QUILTING TIP

This is a much easier tip, I promise. If you are like me and don’t have space for a permanent design wall, you can use a temporary one. Here is a picture of mine.

Reverse Irish Chain up on the design wall

I hang up some batting with pant hangers hung over the door frame. That’s, um, that’s the door to my bathroom… my only bathroom. So my design walls have to be really temporary; as in they can’t stay up for more than an afternoon! I need a way to keep individual block components together after I figure out where they go on the wall. My solution, and my quilting tip, is to (carefully and in a very organized fashion) transfer each block and it’s components to blank pages. Each block gets its own page and all the pages stay in a particular order. This method helped tremendously on my last quilt.

Each block with its own sheet

I have to admit that while I enjoy all the parts of the quilting process, except basting (who likes basting?! Seriously?) my favorite part of the process is the initial design phase. I’m a nerd and I love the math. There, I said it. If you ever catch me staring off into space, odds are I’m doing some calculations in my head. I always keep a notebook and graph paper handy so I can write down my designs as I’m inspired. Guilty confession: I have over 150 quilts/quilt ideas on my quilty bucket list. (I hope they have donuts at the Quilt and Fabric Addict meetings).

So I have two questions for you! What is your favorite part of the process and how many projects are on your bucket list?

A FEW RANDOM FAVORITES

Favorite Movie: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (because I like History, lol)
Favorite TV Show: Jeopardy
Favorite Food: Birthday Cake
Favorite Animal: Elephant
Favorite Book: … IDK, I read them all! Currently re-reading the Stephanie Plum books.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today! Please hop over to some of the other blogs in the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. I’m in the New Bees Hive and here are the links to some of the New Bees who have posted today!

Ashley @ Crafty Ashley B
Gayle @ PedalSewLightly
Hayley @ MooBirdStitches

New Bees Hive Page

46 comments:

  1. Your reverse irish chain might be making its way onto my quilty bucket list! Thanks for the inspiration. My favourite part of the process is the last 1/3 of the assembly - the moments when you finally feel like it's coming together and the home straight is near, and you KNOW you love this quilt! My least favourite is hand sewing the binding down. I have quilts on beds in my house where the binding only gets hand sewn down when it's time to wash the quilt.... shhhhhh!

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  2. Hi Sara, I love your makes and I love that you are focused on sewing for yourself. I joined too many swaps at the start of the year and really want to just sew for me for a while. My Quilty bucket list is long (and shamefully a lot of them have fabric already purchased for them...) and my favourite part of the process is either piecing or binding

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  3. Hey there! I buzzed over from Cheryl's blog. I love your temporary design wall concept. Now I have pants hangers on my shopping list, because I am definitely the design bed type, but with four cats, that can get very chancy.

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    1. Chancy indeed! Lol. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Love your aesthetic and your blog voice! Hope you can give the design window a try so you don't have to hold it! I have a large plastic tub with fabric for my bucket-list quilts. Some of that fabric I've had for over a year since I keep getting new ideas (and obviously letting them jump the queue), and I've recently figured out as I'm completing a top with fabric I bought about two years ago that I need to go through those and finish the projects before I don't like the fabric or idea anymore. It's nice to have quilty friends that still appreciate the fabrics and design; that can keep you going! PS - Kudos to you for ignoring the sideways glances and just creating!

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  5. HI, I'm Ashley and I'm a Fabric and Quilt Addict! LOL! I don't even want to count the number of quilts on my bucket list! Between Pinterest, Bloglovin, magazines, books, print outs... yikes!!!
    Love the pieces you posted! LOVE your blog tip! Going to have to play with it and make a button or two. :)

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  6. Great post and great tips! I love your clean aesthetic of your blog and how your personality comes out in your writing. My bucket list is too long and it is growing even longer as I visit all of my hive members' blogs :)

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  7. Great tips, and I have another one for you: could you gently roll up the batting from your temporary design wall to keep things in order? It might work, but I could see the blocks being fussy to unroll (trying to stick to the wrong side of the batting). My favorite part of the quilting process varies for each quilt, but I do especially love designing my own patterns and whip-stitching down binding. As for bucket list? Hmmm... I guess I don't tend to look at quilting quite that way, but I definitely am not worried about running out of passion or ideas!

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  8. Lovely getting to know you a bit more, Sarah, and wanna ride together to the next addicts meeting?! Your quilts are lovely too, reverse Irish chain, love it, and OMG I made one out of that very Zen Chic fabric, and I grouped them so they were in colour families too! Fons&Porter have a gridded inexpensive (especially with a coupon) portable design wall available at JoAnn's. Basically a picnic table cloth, works fabulous...I've heard you can use an actual picnic tablecloth too, available at dollar stores! Fabulous pic of your mini, the mini is too, but I just love how you've arranged it.

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  9. Hello and nice to meet you. Your Xbox and Botox quilt is gorgeous and as for that mini... I love it! I'm not sure what my favourite part of the process is, I enjoy the picking fabrics and design part, I enjoy the sewing and I'm starting to enjoy the quilting too. I loathe binding, never going to enjoy that!

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  10. Hi, my name is Tish and I too am a quilt and fabric addict. Although, I'm not sure I want to be on the road to recovery, I just want some doughnuts :) Love you mini quilt, so bright and fun. Can't wait to see how you finish quilting the Xbox and Botox quilt! I will be tuning in.

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  11. I really like reverse Irish chain quilts and your is gorgeous! I love the design aspect and seeing the first block/section finished and looking like I hoped it would gives me a real satisfaction kick!

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  12. Hi Sarah, great post! I especially love love love your mini! The quilting on all of the white makes the colors pop out from the rest of the quilt and give it a great 3-D effect! So happy that you are part of the blog hop! You are so talented and your HTML tips are awesome!

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  13. Very nice to meet you! I too carry a notebook for sketching ideas out. My list is probably very long, I've never actually tried to count it!

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  14. The mini caught my eye and nice to meet you.Hard to choose a favorite part but could say the less fav is prepare the quilt for quilting.

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  15. So nice getting to know you a little better Sarah. I love your work! It's just fun to look at.

    I wish I could help you with the basting, but I don't quilt on my domestic. Have you tried board basting? There are tutorials for that everywhere, and it looks pretty straight forward. Otherwise, I've heard a lot of good things about lightly (very lightly) applied basting sprays.

    I love your idea for the temporary design wall. I've been harassing my husband to put one up for months. We have the space, but after that, I'm not sure what's going on. The hangers would be a good fix for the time being.

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    1. Thanks! I'm pretty happy with my basting technique; I just have some lower back problems right now so it'll be a while before I'm able to baste again. :/

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  16. Hi Sarah! Thank you for making our awesome New Bee button! I love your mini. I have a large stash of mini patterns, but have yet to make one. Guess I should get on that! I also like the way your Xbob and Botox quilt has visual movement.

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    1. Thank you, Patty! I had a lot of fun making that button. I guess it's just another way for me to be creative. :)

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  17. Hi Sarah: I enjoyed getting to know more about you. Beautiful quilts. My absolute favourite part of the quilting process is when I start to sew the blocks into rows....that's when the quilt really starts to reveal itself. I also love picking fabrics. There are many things on my bucket list but for now I'll pick designing my own quilt....I might have to start by tweaking someone else's pattern first and then move on.

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  18. Such beautiful quilts! The reverse Irish chain is so pretty...thank you for the inspiration!

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  19. I'll see you at the Quilt and Fabric Addict meetings. LOL Piecing is my favourite part, quilting the least. I'm working on being able to design. I love the Stephanie Plum books!

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  20. Woohoo! Another elephant lover! I noticde your elephants in mini photo immediately. Your projects are lovely. Thanks for the blogging tip on setting up a grab a code box! I hope to use it soon. And yes, I have a ton of projects I am itching to start and some to finish. Thanks so much for sharing you quilting life with us. :-)

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  21. I hope they serve watermelon at those meetings cuz that's my favorite food. I gave up donuts for life. You can't tell but I did. I was a crafty in a non-crafty household too so I can relate. Thanks for making our great hive button. I don't have a need for your html code box at the moment but if I ever create my own linky party or quilt along I will so I'm saving those instructions. Thanks!

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  22. It's lovely to know a bit more about you Sarah! Thanks for all your tips (and for creating our "New Bees button). Your Reverse Irish Chain Quilt really appeals to me as I've always had a "crush" on Utopia fabric! When I first started quilting, I had to be convinced to hand stitch the binding rather than do it by machine. Now finishing the binding by hand is probably my favourite part of the quilting process!

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    1. I might need convincing too! I bind everything by machine. I'm glad we're in the same hive!

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  23. You do beautiful work. I'm impressed with your design wall solution. I need to figure something out here. Currently my best space to use would be where I hang my minis from swaps and such, so I am considering rigging up a roll up design wall. So many things are higher on the to do list though. :-) I love your Xbox and Botox quilt top... great colors and such a funny name (I had to go find the story -- cute!). One of my favorite named quilts came from my husband. It's named Frieda.

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  24. Love that mini!

    Well, that Reverse Irish Chain is definitely on my bucket list now! The rest... I'd love to work my way round a few of the classics - Log Cabin, Double Wedding Ring, Lone Star.

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  25. Hi Adrian from the Sew Fabulous Hive! Love you colour placement and selection on your mini and xbox botox. It is a fresh take on those patterns! My quilt bucket list grows every day but one day for sure a EPP hexie diamond quilt! And my favorite part of the process is the FMQ. I love it! It is why I started quilting!

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    1. Thanks, Adrian! I'm impressed at anyone who will attempt EPP. I don't think I have for the patience for that even though I think it makes for an amazing quilt. Thanks for stopping by!

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  26. Sarah, your work is great and I love to see the evolution of your style. Beautiful! I love how you play with color. Thanks for the tips, I'll try that html grab code sometime on my blog.

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  27. Hi Sarah, hope you're enjoying the blog hop. I was a participant last year and it was awesome. I am in love with that mini you made! So pretty. Gotta admit that I'm still intimidated by HTML but I liked your tip of transferring your blocks onto blank pieces of paper. I usually just take a photo before I remove blocks from my design wall or lay them all out on our guest bed (hoping that no one is coming to visit anytime soon). I've also used post it notes that I've pinned to each block and listed the row and number on it. Looking forward to seeing what you do in the future!

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  28. Hi again Sarah! I like how your recent top turned out. And I still think that temporary design wall is a great idea. I've stacked blocks in rows and pinned the row numbers to the top one to organize my layouts before.
    I'm with you! My favourite part of the process is designing and I love to figure out all the math. I think we'd really get along :) I have many, many ideas on my list, though not as many as you.

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  29. I have definitely made some loom pot holders and latch hook projects in my time. When I was younger my mother was into knitting, crocheting, and cross stitch. I wanted to learn to do all of it but she thought it was too much to teach me so she got me latch hook kits and the pot holder things. I ended up teaching myself to crochet, knit, embroider, and quilt within the last few years.

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  30. Thanks for the New Bees button! Love the "Xbox" and "Botox" names and the quilts themselves! Nice to "meet" you :)

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    1. Thanks, Cristy! Nice to "meet" you too, lol. :)

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  31. I'm right there with you at the Quilter's Anonymous meetings, Sarah! Your quilts are beautiful, and your blogging tip is genius! My fave parts of the quilting process are the beginning: design concept, fabric selection etc, and the very end: making binding and hand sewing it down.

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  32. I'm late to the New Quilt Bloggers blog hop but wanted to tell you how much I loved reading about your Simple Celestial Mini. I read both your blogs about it (and that's saying a lot because right now I'm in a "Got to get my 2015 New Quilt Bloggers blog hop homework done mode"!). I really appreciate both your quilting and blogging technical expertise. I saved your blogging tip to try some time. My favorite part of quilting right now is the piecing especially after I purchased a 1/4" quilting foot with a guide. I have SO many projects I want to do. There's a meme I saw on Facebook recent (when did cartoon become meme???) that said something to the effect of "I'm sorry, I wasn't really paying attention to you. I was thinking about my next quilt project." I can totally relate!

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  33. Yeah! I followed your blog tip and now have a "Grab My Button" code on my sidebar. Thanks Sarah! Love all the sharing you techy bloggers are sharing with everyone.

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  34. I love your Reverse Irish Chain quilt! Your temporary design wall is pretty smart too. As a kitchen table quilter I don't have a design wall, so I'll have to remember this idea.

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  35. Oh your quilts are amazing, even the pre-blog days! I can see the difference in your design pallette wit useing more WHITE for the background. That is something I still have yet to venture. I am like you, married but no kids; however I wish I was a stay-at-homemaker and able to focus on my quilting. Don't be surprised if you find a guest in your basement... permanently! haha. I am a sucker for color and I love the vast amount of colors you use! I can't wait to continue getting to know you more throughout this blog hop! P.S. Great job on the gradient design on the blue and whites quilt!

    *Stopping by from the 2015 New Blogger Blog Hop - New Bee's

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  36. I love your reverse Irish chain, very refreshing change. And I remember having one of those plastic loom things, I also had a plastic flower maker. I made flowers for everywhere, jeans pockets, all over a waistcoat, everywhere

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  37. I love your reverse Irish chain, very refreshing change. And I remember having one of those plastic loom things, I also had a plastic flower maker. I made flowers for everywhere, jeans pockets, all over a waistcoat, everywhere

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  38. Thank you so much for these awesome tips- especially the tech tip. The technical side of things is always a bit of a challenge for me. You have a really terrific aesthetic in your work. I particularly love the sense of movement you have created in your XBox and Botox quilt. I don't think I could even count the number of projects on my quilty bucket list because I seem to design faster than I can sew!

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  39. Love your aesthetic and your blog voice! Hope you can give the design window a try so you don't have to hold it!
    ---------
    مع شركة بسمة الرياض سوف تحصل على واجهة راقية تليق بك فنحن أفضل شركة تنظيف واجهات زجاج بالرياض لأننا نمتلك كل المعدات والمنظفات اللازمة للقيام بعملية تنظيف واجهة بجودة عالية. على الرغم من اعطاء الواجهات الزجاجية مظهرآ رائع الا انها تمتلك احد العيوب الا وهو حدوث تجمع للأتربة عليها بشكل مستمر لذلك نحن نمتلك فريق عمل وفرنا له رافعات حديثة حيث يستطيعوا التعامل مع جميع ارتفاعات المباني المختلفة بالاضافة لاستخدام منظفات خاصة لا تحدث خدش بالزجاج وتجعله نظيف ولامع فمعنا سوف تجعل واجهتك جديدة باستمرار.
    نحن جميعآ نعلم أن الواجهة الزجاجية من أصعب الواجهات فى التنظيف لكنها فى نفس الوقت اذا كنت صاحب فندق علي سبيل المثال تعطي للنزلاء انطباعآ جماليآ لا ينسى لمكان سحر وفى حالة أن كنت تريد الحصول على واجهة شركة تليق بسمعة علامتك التجارية فنحن سوف نوفر لك ما تود الحصول عليه بالاضافة طبعآ لخدمات تنظيف الواجهات لعملاءنا الاعزاء اصحاب المنازل والفلل.
    شركة تنظيف واجهات حجر بالرياض تبحث عن الجديد دائمآ لارضاء عملاءها وجعلهم يرتقون بأعمالهم ومنازلهم.

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