2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

Howdy y’all, and welcome to the week 2 roundup of the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop! Last week’s line-up of The Sewcial Network participants was fabulous — definitely tough acts to follow.

My story of quilting is one rooted in stubbornness. When I was in junior high I made two throw pillows (featuring Looney Tunes characters; Tweety and Taz to be specific) and one pair of boxer shorts (plaid, obviously, it was 1993) on my mother’s boss Swiss Elna sewing machine. Then nothing. For decades.

Sewing was my mother’s gig — as in, she not only sewed for us when we were kids, but owned and operated a small business making interior decorating stuff for clients. She sewed all the time. I felt the pull, especially when she gifted me with a nice starter machine for Christmas a year or two after I got married. But sewing was my mother’s territory, so I stubbornly abstained.

Until. A good friend of mine was going to have a baby and I was about a week out from throwing her a shower. She made an offhand comment (that was not mean in context), but basically amounted to saying that I am incapable of planning and completing projects in a timely manner.

Oh yeah? Guess who broke out that sewing machine, googled “baby quilt tutorial,” and whipped up not one, but two quilts in that week, even though her apartment got flooded and she had to move into a hotel for half those days? Yeah, this stubborn woman did. (We were such a sight at the hotel. Drenched in sweat and stinky flood waters, we pulled up to a fancy-ass place in the heart of Cambridge, MA. Valet parking only. My husband and I stank. We had two dogs and a cat in tow. And 75% of the luggage cart was taken up by a sewing machine, cutting board, and piles of fabric and batting. We got looks. But when I am determined, I am determined.) Here is that first quilt, in the amazing Strip and Flip baby quilt pattern by Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew, flaws and all:

Progress has been a bit slower since. I am constantly under the forces of inertia, whether that means slow starts or sewing 24/7 until something is done. Here are a couple favorites I have made in the years since:

I love making quilts, and my hope (even though it’s been a rockier process than anticipated so far) is that this blog will help keep me accountable to making, and document my progress along the way. I still know almost nothing about the craft of quilting. I still struggle with consistent seams and matching points. I will never be one of the great artisans of quilting. But what I really love is thinking about quilts — their history, their politics, their meaning on both micro and macro levels. Sometimes a quilt means comfort, and that is enough. Sometimes it means much more, and I get goosebumps, and all I can do is obsess over quilt ideas for hours and days and months.

I feel like this post has gone on long enough, but I also want to offer a few items of miscellany:

Blogging tip: Guidelines of blogging are great, but don’t get too caught up in the rules, or it’s easy to lose your own voice and have your progress stifled. Stay creative; stay in love with what you do; be honest.

Quilting tip: See above; replace “blogging” with “quilting.”

Dream Vacation: A tour of Mexico (mainly interior cities) with my husband.

Favorite Book: Oh, there is no such thing as a favorite. If I had to choose one all-time favorite I’d go with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. But I really desperately love at least 1,000 books, from young adult to science fiction to mystery to Pulitzer-prize winning fiction to classics to fantasy to poetry and beyond.

Favorite Movie: Also a tough call, but sentimentally I have to go with Lost in Yonkers. I don’t even know anyone else who knows this movie, much less loves it like I do.

Favorite TV Show: At the moment? Game of Thrones. WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.

Random Personal Fact: I assisted in open-heart surgery when I was 17. Medicine is fun, but social work is my professional passion.

Question: If you’ve made it this far, you earn a gold star! Answer a question in the comments and I’ll be sure to both answer AND drop by your blog this week in return (I always mean to do both these things, but I’ll be extra good this week, promise). Two question choices:

  1. What three words would you choose to describe yourself as a quilter? I’ve demonstrated here that mine would be stubborn, imperfect, and pensive. Not the sexiest descriptors, but I’m making the most of them, I think.
  2. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan: What character do you identify with the most and see yourself as? My answer in the comments.

 

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54 thoughts on “2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

  1. Abigail says:

    What a gorgeous first quilt and such a great story behind it – the image of you arriving at the hotel had me smiling at the screen!! The quilts you’ve made since are lovely. I am totally with you on the books front – anything and everything. As a quilter … hmmm all or nothing, in as much I can make a quilt in a week or it can take 6 years, happy, because I love, love, love sewing, and learning, always up to learn more about techniques, quilting, history etc. Never watched GofT so can’t answer!!

    Like

    • plaidandpaisley says:

      All or nothing — that’s me too! You may be smart to stay away from GoT. I constantly wonder if George R R Martin is just stringing us all along, with no satisfying conclusion in sight…

      Like

  2. Susan says:

    Three words that describe me as a quilter are: Still a Beginner.

    I enjoyed the story behind your first quilt. There is nothing like being told you can’t do something to push one to do it to prove the other person wrong.

    Like

    • plaidandpaisley says:

      I wonder if I’ll always feel like a beginner, especially compared to many of the amazing artisans online. Then I look at the binding on that first quilt… whoo-eee! I’ve made some progress.

      Like

  3. Lisa says:

    I’m with you on the inertia. I suffer from it in many areas of life including quilting but mostly housework. I also love all kinds of books and lots of them. I love the colours you use in your quilts. Three words to describe myself as a quilter….giving…I contribute to, make, coordinate making oodles of quilts for my guilds outreach program….brave….this is one area of my life where I am willing to try new things and work outside of my comfort zone…..evolving…..

    Like

  4. artisticsharon says:

    I’m really enjoying this New Bloggers blog hop. The story about making those baby quilts is just fantastic! LOL And I love the Strip & Flip pattern; I keep saying I’m going to make one…ah, one day!

    Three words to describe me as a quilter: obsessed, procrastinator, stubborn. I’m totally obsessed with quilting, I procrastinate as I get close to finishing the top and then I’m so stubborn about not having unfinished items that I plow through to the finish 😉

    I don’t watch Game of Thrones but I know many that do…and love it.

    Like

    • plaidandpaisley says:

      Strip and Flip is the bomb dot com.

      I love that you plow through to the finish out of stubborness. I’m a bit like that too. So far I rarely work on more than one project at a time, unless they’re totally different types of things (one project for sewing at the machine, one to do away from the machine). I have approximately 8 bazillion ideas in my head though. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ruth says:

    ooh tough question. I’m going with my gut and what pops into my head and saying curious, happy and patient! Oh and I’d go with Jon Snow – no idea why but his is the personality I could see myself sitting down to dinner with!

    Like

  6. plaidandpaisley says:

    GoT confession: Pretty sure I am Brienne of Tarth, and not just because I tower over my peers. I am stubborn to a fault, but also loyal and brave and non-conforming. Who are you on GoT?

    If you don’t watch/read GoT, what’s your favorite fandom, and who are you there?

    Like

  7. Heide says:

    It has been great getting to know each blogger in this group. Your baby quilt is one of my favorites and on my list to do….but no babies as of yet…kids are still too young ( I want them to finish college and get a good job first). You dog quilt model is adorable, she…due to the flower??? is so sweet!
    BIG GOT fan!! DID you watch last night? Oh my goodness!!!! I could not sit still…I cheer for the Starks, not that there are many left. Arya is my favorite character. She is so strong and independent. I was never a big fan of Sansa until last night….good for her!

    One word instead of three is learning.
    Have a great week. Hugs, Heide

    Like

    • plaidandpaisley says:

      Learning is probably the best focus we can have. It is known. 😉

      I’m behind on GoT! I’m postponing until Friday night so we can watch with friends. I can’t waaaaaaaait!!!!

      Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

      Like

  8. Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl says:

    I really enjoy hearing the stories about what got each of us quilting. How amazing to self-teach yourself in a week and create 2 quilts! Wow! If I had to use 3 words to describe myself as a quilter…. wow. Intense (as in I can have laser focus when I get started / set my mind to doing something), loving (I definitely try to pour good vibes and love into everything I make), and prolific (but I do quilt full time as my job)! I am so glad to know more about you and thanks for the thought provoking question this morning.

    Like

    • plaidandpaisley says:

      Thank YOU for putting this hop together for us!

      I love the intense focus that quilting can be. My husband is a night owl and usually up much later than I am. I am notorious for becoming practically comatose around 9:00pm. Unless I’m quilting. Then he checks in with me regularly, always expecting me to be energy-crashing. “How are you?” he asks at 2:00am. “GREAT LOOK AT WHAT I’M MAKING.” 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. jennyfur66 says:

    I love your first quilt with all the beautiful colors and fabrics. Your blog post is great and brought many smiles to my face.

    Three things that describe me would be determined, adventuresome, always learning.

    Like

  10. laurelsstitchery says:

    Three words that describe me as a quilter:
    1. Colorful – pretty obvious if you’ve seen my quilts 🙂
    2. Quick – I love quilts that come together quickly 🙂
    3. Fun – I love quilts that make me happy and that make other people happy 🙂

    Like

  11. Laura says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I don’t have a blog. Three words that describe me as a quilter are:
    experimental (love to try new techniques, new color combos etc etc)
    thoughtful (want to think ahead about what I’m going to do – but not too far ahead)
    colorific (not really a word but I love to put colors together and make them sing)

    Like

  12. Jennifer @ Inquiring Quilter says:

    Hi Beth! Love the story of your first quilt. Determined is an understatement. What a go-getter! I totally understand the accountability thing–I find that my blog does that for me as well. Three words. Hmmm. I’m not a limited word kinda-gal, so this is tough. Brave, at least that’s what I’m currently trying to be! Fabriholic, because I’ve never met a fabric type or a color I don’t like–I love them all! Designer, or at least that’s what I’m striving for–designing quilts and creating quilt patterns.

    Like

  13. Karen says:

    GOT–I’d love to be Dany, Mother of Dragons–she is so tough! But then again, there’s Jon Snow! Have you read the books? I haven’t, but think it would be fun to “see” the show in a new way–maybe between Sundays 🙂

    Like

  14. carol n says:

    I am not up to date on GOT, but did read the books many years ago, I always liked Jon Snow. I am also stubborn, my mother and her sisters were called those stubborn Clark women, guess it rubbed off! I like to think I am creative, quilter for 25 years, so not a quitter. Yeah, a quilter, not a quitter!!

    Like

  15. allisonreidnem says:

    Great post! I did the hop last year with Yvonne as mentor. I hope you get inspired to grow both in your blogging and quilting. My three words re. me as a quilter are: learning, sharing and obsessive ☺

    Like

  16. Carole @ From My Carolina Home says:

    I think I’d be Daenerys, but I am not a blonde, LOL!! I do tend to be elected to chair committees and be on the board of the guilds, so I guess I am good at organizing. I have read the first 5 books and seen the TV show, love them. Funny that there isn’t a healer in the books, or that would be me. I have also been in the OR during heart surgery, and lots of others too. Your sewing space is wonderful.

    Like

  17. Kathy Finan says:

    I’ve been quilting for about 7 years now, I still consider myself a beginner. I always will, there is just so much to learn & do. I want it all
    KathyF

    Like

  18. davemelvanolan says:

    I would have to describe myself as thoughtful, ecclectic and A.D.D. Thoughtful because I have great purpose and reason for the pattern, fabrics and name of the quilt-every one is very personal. Ecclectic because I enjoy traditional and modern quilts. ADD (attention deficit disorder) because I enjoy the great variety of quilts and projects and it keeps me from being bored. You can stop by and see my blog at melvalovesscraps.blogspot.com

    Like

  19. Brenda Ackerman says:

    Such an interesting way to begin quilting, but how fabulous that it has worked so greatly for you and kept you going. Three words to describe myself in quilting would be first inquisitive, seeing the variety of ways that individuals do techniques in quilting is fascinating and I love to read and try various methods off and on all of the time. Informative, I do share as much as I can with whoever I can the techniques that I discover while browsing blogs, books and magazines. Sharing that information and discussing views and desires brings so much to a conversation it is amazing. Awkward….although I have been creating quilts for over 10 years I still feel like such a beginner with very little knowledge a good deal of the time. I do believe that is one of the reasons I am having a hard time blogging regularly right now, plus some other reasons. I enjoyed finding out more about you and look forward to seeing more of your posts. Have a fantastic creative day!

    Like

  20. Wendy says:

    Hello, nice to meet you! That is a difficult questio you’ve asked! Slow, inexperienced, enthusiastic! I’ve never seen Game of Thrones, yes i am aware i’m the only person on the planet who hasn’t…

    Like

  21. SHARON Parcel says:

    So fun getting to know you…thanks for sharing your first quilt adventure! It’s a great story and a wonderful quilt! Love Game of Thrones, and I have read the first book just to get the characters and families straight! I identify with Ary or Dany. So…as a quilter I have ADD, I am excellent at starting, and have to have a deadline to finish!

    Like

  22. Paige says:

    Beth, what a great first quilt! You are determined! When making a quilt, I want it right, not afraid to use the seam ripper and I’m slow, but ok with it all.

    Like

  23. Kate Heads says:

    Great and interesting post, I enjoyed reading your story. After more than 10 years I am still Enthusiastic about quilting, I am Open to trying new things and experiences, and I Persevere to master techniques I find difficult.

    Like

  24. Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts says:

    Ha! I can just visualize the looks when you went rolling into that hotel with your sewing machine and cutting mat! Good for you!! Such a great story! Not only did you make a baby quilt, but you used MINKY on the back of your first quilt! That makes it perfect. 🙂 Good luck with your blogging and quilting – I look forward to reading much more about your quilting adventures!

    Like

  25. Seven Victor says:

    Howdy! Loved the energy in your writing, it was really fun. I really appreciate your tip to be honest. The world needs as much honesty as it can get.

    To answer your question: I would describe myself as deliberate, political, imperfect, new, experimental and willing to stretch the rules. ;P

    Like

  26. Jen R says:

    Great story!
    Hard question too. 3 words to describe me as a quilter? Dreamer (as I am frequently dreaming up designs and making them happen), Listener (I will listen to what a quilt wants to be before I follow any rules, and Scrap-Hoarder (that is one word right?).

    Like

  27. Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats says:

    HI, So nice to meet you! Three words to describe me (because I have no idea what Game of Thrones is) planner (so far needing to use patterns but that might eventually change), procrastinator (wait to the last minute and then zip, zip, zip get ‘er done), and perfectionistic (seams that don’t meet or blocks not square drive me nuts!!

    Like

  28. Mary Furber says:

    Three words to describe me as a quilter is tough, but here goes: perfectionist, procrastinator, planner. I have so many ideas in my head, and I have to push myself to try one, then I am not always happy with the outcome. But I learn something every time, and do try again. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  29. Sarah@123quilt says:

    Hmmm. The three words that would describe me as a quilter would have to be: meticulous, adventurous, and colorful. As for GoT… WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN?!?! Lol. Yes, that’s my sentiment too. I’ve read the books (re-reading them now in fact) but the show is going so far away from where the books are. So, yeah, I’m on the edge of my seat. I think I’m more like Jon Snow than any of the other characters.

    Like

  30. Gypsy Moon Quilt Co. says:

    I’m finding more and more book lovers in our NQB group! So great! I seriously love your blogging voice. And your quilts. And your blogging/ quilting tips! When it comes to quilting, I pretty much have no idea what I’m doing… and it almost always works out in the end! I’m sure I break rules that I don’t even know about! The three words that describe me as a quilter are: Resourceful, unpredictable and always way too hasty. 😉 Quilting on the edge!

    Like

  31. Jennifer Strauser says:

    Your first quilt is great. Good for you for sticking with it and becoming a quilter.

    As a quilter, I would describe myself as colorful, slow, and inconsistent. I can crank out a quilt with perfect corners and points one week, and struggle with a four patch the next. It just depends on my level of compulsion that day.

    I read the first GoT book, didn’t care for it. My son and husband watch the show while I am in the room, and I just cannot get into it. All of those guys look the same – how many pasty white dudes with beards could there possibly be? Always just one more. I guess I would identify myself as one of the dragons. I fly in once in a while, get everyone stirred up, then disappear.

    Like

  32. Jen Shaffer says:

    I love a blogger who can get right to it, has a strong personality that comes through in their writing and can make me laugh or gasp or react. Great quilts! I look forward to reading more.

    Like

  33. sally anoyrkatis says:

    I really enjoyed reading your post and clearly you walk the walk with your tips – your voice is strong! I hope, as much as your blog helping to keep you accountable to making, you won’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t happen at times. I have appreciated that side of my blog for quite a while but have really struggled hugely with time this year and keep having to forgive myself! I don’t watch much tv so I’m not a Game of Thrones viewer (my husband is and frequently has to vent his shock/horror/disbelief on me so I have a slight feel for what it’s all about!) but 3 words to describe me as a quilter, that’s tough, especially as I kind of decided when I wrote my post for the new quilters blog hop a couple of years ago that I wasn’t actually really a quilter, and I think I’d probably still stand by that. Perhaps I’m a patchworker, in which case I’d like to think my words could be – creative, repurposer (sorry,not really even a word probably), and individual.

    Like

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