I became part of the online quilting community about 3 years ago. My best friends' grandmother showed me a couple of quilting blogs, a concept I never knew existed, and I've been stuck ever since. The only problem I found was that I wanted to follow lots of blogs but I kept having to visit each site each day to see if there was a new post and it was taking a lot of time. I found out about an RSS reader called Google Reader, and it made it unbelieveably easy to condense all the blogs I followed into one spot, it was fabulous.
Unfortunately Google Reader no longer exists, but if you are interesting in learning more about quilting, fabrics, techniques, and meeting new people, there are several websites that do a very similar job of compiling all your blogs and also helping you find new ones. My favorite two are:
This is the website that I use to compile all the blogs I follow. You can search by subject, by blog, import friends, and easily follow/unfollow blogs. It makes it super simple to start compiling a whole list of great resources. Bloglovin also has iPhone/iPad/Android apps so that you can read your blogs on the go too. ;) Here is a link to my page and it shows the blogs I follow, mostly quilt-related, to get you started if you don't already have a good list.
Another good site to use is Feedly. This site work very similar to Bloglovin, has iPhone/iPad/Android apps as well, but has a different layout and a couple of different features. It's all personal preference so try both out and see which one works best for you.
I also use the site Flickr to join online groups. There are groups that do quilt-a-longs, swaps, bees, hand piecing, etc. Here is a list of a couple of my favorites:
I am personally a fan of quilting bees, they are a great way to get to know a smaller group of people, and with a small block a month commitment you get a personal quilting community and a quilt out of the deal! If you are interested in learning more about or joining an online quilting bee, this flickr group is a great place to start.
If you've done something three years in a row does it count as a tradition? I think so. So I have a tradition of going to Boston for the Head of the Charles Regatta. I rowed for the University of Texas at Austin in college and I love the sport of rowing. Unfortunately I do not have time to do it myself anymore, but I still have friends that do and friends that make the Head of the Charles an excuse to all come to Boston and see each other. This is the third year I have gone back, when not competing, just to see the event, see friends, and experience Boston. And I doubt it will be the last.
Here is a picture of my alma mater 4+ boat. Yay! Texas Fight!!
I volunteered with the Computer Timing Committee this year which was fun. Met some new people, learned how they get that precise timing, and froze me booty off for a couple of hours. But I got an awesome jacket out of it... ;)Probably will do that again. Worth it, because I got this view!
Alex also came into town for the event and we were able to make it up to his family's cabin on Bear Camp Pond in New Hampshire. We went on a hike and saw this great waterfall! I should have taken more pictures, but I didn't this is all I've got..
And that was the gist of my fall travels before the hard winter rolled in. Very pleasant and great and wonderful tradition.
I love bees because everyone has such great ideas that I can steal and then make my own quilt to replicate their brilliant idea. I mean.... I love the inspiration they give me. :)
Harmony. do. Good. Stitches
This is one of those blocks that I just want to eat up. It will make a gorgeous quilt and I want it so badly!!!
I also love super fast blocks that are a breeze to get through.
And I don't like bees that have angry evil people in them. (I will rant for the rest of this part, so if you don't want to read it, skip to after the picture.)
The lady that asked for this block was not nice. In fact, I'll say it, she was a b****. She opted to send her own fabric out, which is fine, but not the norm for bees. She then proceeded to accuse the rest of us of stealing from her because we had her make our blocks from her own fabric, basically getting a free quilt.
"I am also really tired of being asked to Stash Bust Yippee! I took the time to send out my own fabric, while most everyone else is getting a free quilt top. You are also not supposed to specify what colors you want if you. If you are cheap enough to make us send our stash, you'll get whatever I want to send you."
Hello lady, that's what a bee is. Don't tell me I'm taking your money because I am following the rules. She then kept on being a b**** and was snarky even when letting me know she had sent my block.
"I sent mine about a week and a half ago. You should definitely have it by now."
Oh girlfriend. I have your address and I am definitely thinking about sending you coal for Christmas. You are an angry evil piece of human to be such a b**** in a community that is super nice and supportive and great. I guess I'm lucky but this is the first time I have ever come across this behavior and I could not believe how rude and disrespectful she was. I hope no one ever has to experience something like this is a bee because it is not normal. I have loved my bees and while yes they have ups and downs, people are nice and well mannered. Keep it together woman, don't take your hatred out on innocent others.
Ahhh.... we can move on now.
Anyways, I got to go to my quuilt retreat this weekend and it was a total blast. I will do a whole post on it so I'm not going to share too much here.
So there's someone special in my life right now and he thinks my quilting habit is awesome. Which is nice when a man recognizes your passion as something of value rather than that you're a weirdo. So since he has stuck around awhile I decided to make him a quilt. The only thing is that every time I make something for someone "special" it has always turned super bad from the time I am almost finished and I never even give them that item, so it's a running joke that my quilts are bad relationship omens. So I'm crossing my fingers on this one.
Alex is very outdoorsy, simple, and low maintenance. I wanted to do something that would be unique but at the same time reflected his personality. I decided that I would make him a quilt entirely of scraps that I already had. I started with these big color scrap sections. I didn't know how big they would be or how I was going to arrange them, but they looked cool so I just kept going.
Finally I got four of them and it was a good height for a quilt, so I stopped.
Even the grey's were all scraps and I knew I still had tons that I could use so I decided to start surrounding these color blocks with scrappy grey sections.
Here is the quilt top finished, it is between a twin and a full size. I did it all with scraps!!!
I also had a lot of solids in the colors I used that were scraps so I figured I would carry on the scrap theme with the back. I love how it turned out. There was really no plan, I just sewed sections that fit together to each other and kept going. Not a new piece of fabric cut. Boo yah.
I am going to be going to the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild retreat this weekend and will be quilting it there. I am very exited to see how it turns out and finishes up. :) I'll share photos when I get back! I am planning on giving it to him for Christmas.
For about the last six months I was thinking about getting a cat. I grew up with 5 cats and 2 dogs in the house and I know that there are awesome cats are not so awesome cats. I wanted to make sure that if I were going to make this commitment that I would be getting an awesome cat. And I did. I looked for months for a cat with the right personality for my home. It was just my lab/greyhound mix and myself and she is super laid back and I like snuggling. I found the perfect cat at Project Pet Rescue here in Minneapolis. I saw his big ears and tabby face and once I met him realized that he is just as relaxed as our house and that he would be a great fit. :)
So I brought him home and he got comfortable very quickly.
He even got on the good side of the dog fairly quickly.
He also made himself at home by being a curious little kitten and breaking things...
And helping me work from home.
And also has learned to help me quilt.
But he's my little buddy, and the new man in the house.
May I introduce to you Marlow.
So be prepared to see him in the future. :) Because he's not going anywhere.
For August I wanted to put together a quilt made from simple blocks so that the ladies in my bee could have a break with the summer ending, everyone going back to school, etc. I have always had a special place in my heart for churn dash blocks. They are probably my favorite classic traditional block. I had seen a couple of wonky churn dash blocks and decided that it would be really cute to have an entire quilt of those so that's what I did. :)
Here is the top pieced together. Unfortunately it is missing two blocks, but I didn't find those until I had finished the entire quilt, somehow they got stuck underneath another set of blocks and left out. :(
I decided to bind this bright quilt in a black and white polka dot. I love the contrast it has! Have I mentioned that I LOVE doing binding by hand? I would NEVER machine bind a quilt, that's the best part!!
Here's another look at the binding.
And finally a finished quilt. I need to take this one outside and take a better picture of it, but it's so cold.. One day.