2017 New Bloggers Blog Hop

Welcome to the 2017 New Bloggers Blog Hop!better_bloggers_hive_2_720

Once again I have joined in with a great group of new bloggers to refine my blogging skills and make new friends.  If you are a new blogger, I definitely suggest joining in next year if you have the opportunity.  This year’s hop is hosted by Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts, Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl and Leanne @ She Can Quilt.

Because there are so many bloggers participating, we were broken up into smaller groups.  I’m part of the Better Bloggers Hive, which is hosted by Beth.  Check out their blogs, too.

Sue of Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Tara of Quiltersstash
Paige of Quilted Blooms

Quilting History

I come from a family of traditional crafters.  My grandmothers knitted, crocheted, embroidered, and sewed clothing.  My mom sewed a lot of different things – clothes, quilts, drapes.  I learned a bit from all of them.  I’ve knitted scarves and hats, felted tote bags, crocheted clothes for my Barbie dolls, and embroidered.  I spent many hours playing with my mother’s sewing machine, mostly putting the bobbin in backwards and jamming it up.  At some point in my teens I made a scrap quilt top.  I never finished it into a quilt because it is so poorly constructed.  I didn’t know what I was doing, and I’m fairly certain I didn’t ask for help.

I gradually embraced counted cross stitch, which is a craft designed by and for anal retentive people.  I am definitely that.  My husband (then boyfriend) laughingly called me granny when I would pull out my sewing box when we watched TV together.  The joke’s on him now.  I’m sure he wishes I was still doing counted cross stitch.

The quilting bug bit when my first son was 3, back in 2000.  We had gone on a Caribbean cruise, and I was struck by the view of the market stalls with sarongs hanging everywhere.  I loved the vibrant colors.  An episode of Simply Quilts came on PBS, probably after a marathon of Caillou, and I loved it.  (Probably because Caillou is such an annoying whiner.)  I decided to make my son a quilt to remember our vacations.  Soon after I found a quilt shop and batik fabric.  I was so overwhelmed with the beauty of the batiks – I began a serious case of fabric hoarding.

Sleepin with the fishies 6_2000
Sleeping with the Fishies

This is the quilt I made for my son.  I used foundation printed fabric and my own layout.  I did a crazy pieced binding – rejecting all of the rules I heard about bias binding.  I still like scrappy bindings, but I like to use longer pieces now.

The first time I sat down at my sewing machine and started piecing my quilt, I knew I had found my “thing”.  I’ve been a quilter ever since.  I took some time off from quilting during an ill-advised social experiment called “PTA President” and it was a mistake. Quilting always helps keep me sane during the most challenging times in my life.

Now that I’ve discovered other quilters on Facebook and Instagram, I enjoy participating in sew alongs.  These are blocks from 52 Weeks with the Quilter’s Planner, and Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell.

I’ve also tested some patterns recently for Jo of Unicorn Harts.  Her patterns are so much fun, and very well designed.  I love how intense the wolf turned out.  He’s going to be finished off as a mini.  I do believe there may be a rainbow bear quilt in my future.  It was too fun and easy to make just one.

Recently I’ve started a new chapter in my quilting adventure.  I purchased a Gammill Classic Plus Longarm quilting machine.  No more crawling around on the floor pin basting for me.  So far I’ve learned to do pantographs, which are a long quilting pattern that you trace with a frickin’ laser beam, and I have a SPIROGRAPH that I can do patterns with.  Life is amazing.  I try to practice every day.  I’ve heard that drawing is an important part of practice, so I try.  I can see improvement every day.

IMG_3202I’ve been playing with old panels that I’ve been accumulating, and I’ve finished off some long term projects.  I have also done this top for a charity project with my quilt guild, the Jersey Shore Modern Quilt Guild.  I’ll be picking up a top for Quilts of Valor next week.

Quilting tip –

Take risks and try new things.  The only thing you have to lose is time.

Blogging tip –

Make sure links that take readers away from your post open in a new tab.  Don’t send your hard won readers off to someone else’s blog without leaving a window open to yours!  They might go down the rabbit hole and forget to come back.

Question –

What is your favorite part of quilting?  For me it is definitely piecing.  The entire process brings me joy, but I really love watching the pieces come together.

Be sure to check out my fellow new bloggers.

Sue of Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Tara of Quiltersstash
Paige of Quilted Blooms

And visit the hosts to enter an awesome giveaway!

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts
Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
Leanne @ She Can Quilt.

25 thoughts on “2017 New Bloggers Blog Hop

  1. I have enjoyed reading your post about you and your quilting journey. You’ve certainly come a long way since your first quilt, I long to get to the long arm quilting stage but am not quite there…..yet! I love that you sound like you’re having fun along the way. I must admit I love everything about quilting and am open to trying anything. I’m still waiting to find my ‘thing’ but I seem to find it in everything I try! Sorry this post is a little late, I’m catching up slowly but surely


  2. Love your tip to try new things! I’m always trying something new! I love to experiment and find new ways of doing things! Thanks for sharing your work! Your recent LTG and QP blocks are gorgeous!


  3. Hi! it’s great to meet you 🙂 I love that we are all very crafty women. I love piecing as well, but that might be because I am not confident in my quilting skills yet. I’m so excited for you for your longarm, that’s so cool!!! Can’t wait to see what you quilt in the future!


  4. HI Jen, it was fun to read your post and the stories behind your quilts. The wolf is intense, he or she turned out great. Have fun with your new long arm 🙂 Thank you for the blogging tip and the FMQ advice
    ~Abbie from the Hive


  5. Hi Jen, I really enjoyed reading your post, you’re really funny! That scrappy binding must have taken forever, wow. Now that you have a longarm, your husband probably really wishes you stuck with cross stitch, eh? 😉 I too started crafting by cross stitching! Thanks for your tip about opening links in a new window, I will definitely have to fix mine to do that.


  6. I enjoy the piecing, too. Although, I do start to get burnt out before the whole quilt top is completed (if it’s a large quilt top, or demanding piecing.). Also, I enjoy hand-sewing binding.


  7. It was great to have participated in the hop with you again, Jen. Good luck learning your new skills in the long arm machine caper. Since I joined bees this year I have discovered piecing is my favourite part, especially when you only have to make one block. It gets a bit tedious when it’s 20, 30, 84…


  8. I’m glad I found your blog! It looks like we started quilting at about the same time (though my son was only 1 at the time), and both started out with a foundation pieced quilt with scrappy borders. I skipped the PTA president stress though 🙂 Enjoy your longarm! It looks like you are off to a great start. My favourite part of quilting is also the piecing. I love to see the pieces and colors start playing together.


  9. Hi Jen, it was great meeting you on the Blog Hop and being your fellow hive mate. I can see that Quilting is a wonderful part of both of our lives and love seeing your quilts and blocks. My favorite part of quilting is picking out the fabrics and like they say I buy fabric faster than I can sew. My least favorite part is basting–thank goodness for my big basting table which is 48″x76″, I would not survive if I had to kneel to baste. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to reading your future posts. And good luck with becoming one with your Gammill!


    1. I’m always surprised when I hear people say that hand sewing the binding is their favorite part, although I might be coming around. It always does look so much better, but it is so slow for me.


  10. Hi Jen, how fun to meet you through your post! Congrats on the Gammill, sounds like you’re off to a great start with it. Your “ill advised social experiment” still has me chuckling.


  11. Hi Jen, great to meet you! I enjoyed reading your post and seeing all your lovely quilts. How exciting to have a longarm quilting machine, I’m sure it’s such fun!


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