Sunday, January 25, 2015

Grow Your Blog

Hurrah! Thanks for moseying over to my blog!

Nothing like a cute doggie to
make you feel welcome!

I started blogging in 2010 with no idea of what blogging even meant or entailed. The only people who read my blogs were my family and a couple of friends. It’s been quite the journey.

My first post was a review of a movie: Secondhand Lions, written a day before Thanksgiving break. I averaged about 5 readers a day until nine months later when I discovered some ways of spreading word of my blog.

So today, January 25, 2014, I have 31 followers. I know that also others follow me by email, which doesn’t show up in my stats. I’m just thrilled to be out “there” writing about my passion and having someone read it.

It's hard to get a good picture of our family!
This is only 2/3 of the family. My son & his wife aren't here.
Neither am I!

 I am a wife to Mr. Wonderful. Really. We have 3 adult children and 4 grandchildren. I’ve given every family member a “blog name.” I want them ensured of their privacy. You can check out those names and who they refer to (and why) in the tabs.

A rare picture of me, I'm always behind the camera.
Even more rare, this is actually taken when
I was teaching!
By day, my cover persona is a teacher to blind and visually impaired students. When the school bell rings, in the evenings and on the weekends I assume my Real Life. Wife, mother, and QUILTER!!! I don’t get much time to quilt during the school year and so I live for vacations! Summer is so delicious it practically tastes like pizza! Okay, I love pizza. And, shocker, I say it here for the first time: I don’t like chocolate!

Before you click the little x and find another blog, please be tolerant of the vast minority on the earth who don’t like chocolate! Do you know how disheartening it is, year after year, to go to church parties, school parties, get foodie gifts, etc. and it’s always chocolate. Good grief people! Have you ever heard of lemon, cinnamon, or molasses flavored ANYthing?

But I digress… This just brings me to the next item about my blog. I love to write, and my posts generally have stories. Most posts are about quilts, but every now and then I just sprout a completely unrelated quilt post.

I love my blog! There have been several times where I have seriously considered stopping. That was mostly due to the inability to carry it on during the school year. I couldn’t stand it though. I love writing. I love sharing. I love all the different parts of my blog. I now realize I have to pare it down during the school year to one post a week, maybe two. When summer and breaks come…yee-haw! Giddy-up! I’m riding at full tilt!

Oh, and by the way, if you’re beginning to think I’m some sort of cowhand or farmer or western something-or-other. I’m not. I sometimes break out into cowboy vernacular cause I get so excited. I even know what a farrier is! That shows my level of cowboy-ness. My mom was raised on cowboy songs, which are now called country music. She learned so many of them and sang them to my sister and I as we grew up. The family saying is My Mom Never Knew A Happy Song. The cowboys always died in the end!

I thought I would share with you my favorite post and one of the most wonderful happenings in my life. I wrote it this last Thanksgiving about my oldest daughter. You can find it here.

One of the things I like about my blog is it gives me an outlet for my love of writing. I wanted to be an author (and a postman) when I was in the second grade. I’ve never lost the writer’s bug. I have written anecdotal histories of my children’s escapades and another anecdotal history of myself. When I retire in two years I want to Quilt, Volunteer and Write.

Oops! Not that kind
of a ghost!
My goal for Quilting is to make more so I can give to others. My Volunteer goal is to Do It. My Writing goal is to ghostwrite a biography of someone who is in their 80s or 90s. They have such a rich history and stories. I also want to try my hand at writing children’s stories.

Chris the Fireman
Onto quilting! I started quilting in 2002. My daughter asked me to make a quilt for my grandson’s second Christmas. You can read the provenance (a record of ownership or how something developed) of Chris the Fireman quilt here.

I am a traditional quilter, brought up on quilts made by my Aunt Marie. She was from the “old days of quilting.” Every quilt she made was cut by hand, sewn together by hand and quilted by hand. You can click here to see posts about her quilts.
These are a few of my favorite quilts:

Click on the names below to go to blog post about the quilt.
Top Left: 42 Stars
Top Right: Purple Hugs
Bottom Left: String Obsession: I've been looking for a half-hour and can't find the post. However, if you go to the tab at the top "My Quilt Provenances," number 9 is String Obsession.
Bottom Right: The 70s Are Calling: They Want Their Fabric Back

Because of my love of writing, I have developed some of my own features here at QN blog. And while I love my “features” to death, they only appear during the summer and some vacations.
First is “Mish Mosh Monday: Musings on Life and Other Activities.” This my chance to let my mind go and write about anything not quilt-related. I’ve written about my love of bread, cowboy movies, etc.

Second are two features that alternate Saturdays: “Quilts from My Sewing Machine” and “Marvelous Marie.” These are the stories about quilts my Aunt Marie and I have made.

Another feature is “Pass the Peanuts Please” On Wednesday, these are stories about the statues of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Lucy that were displayed in our town. I live in Santa Rosa, California, home of Charles Schulz. He was the creator of the Peanuts comic strip.

I guess what sums up my blog is what I wrote as the subtitle for the blog back in November of 2010:

“Thanks for visiting my site. I’m glad you found it! My blog is about my love of quilting, books, movie and various stories about my crazy family.”

It was true then and just as true now.

I’m pleased you actually read through to the end of my post. And, like really good things, I have a lovely parting gift:

A Giveaway!

I love doing pieced quilts. I love whimsical quilts. I don’t do applique very much. I love applique quilts though. Two of my favorite designers of appliqued quilts are Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins, known together as Piece O’ Cake Designs.

I am giving away this lovely collection of appliques. There are 20 bird and flower blocks, all adorable and cheery.

To enter, leave a comment and tell me your passion! Is it quilting, embroidery, DIY, crafting, love of all things vintage or??? If you so desire, I’d love to hear what you are currently working on.
The winner will be drawn at random by Raptocopter and announced on February 15. Please be sure that I have your email address if you do not have a blog.

***Now for another treat: There are more Grow Your Blog posts today! It's a great way to meet bloggers and hear about what they love about blogging. You'll also learn about what is the passion that drives their blog. Lovely! Use the Grow Your Blog badge at the top of the left sidebar.

And now, a word about blog provider:

I did some changes on my blog a few weeks ago, which it turned out I didn't like. In the changing back, Google+ commandeered my comment box. My TGS (Talented Geek Son) is trying to fix it. It's very frustrating because readers aren't commenting because they don't have Goggle+ or because they don't want their comment posted on Google+.

If you want to make a comment, but do not want to use the Google+ comment box below, please email me! I want to hear your comments and you want to be entered in the giveaway!

My email:

Saturday, January 24, 2015

RSC15: January and Giveaway

With the end of January nearing, I got my block done this week. I have been looking forward to doing this quilt for almost a year!

Last year, I saw this block someone else was making for RSC14. Immediately I knew that this is what I wanted for RSC15.

This is a 14" block!

 At first glance, I thought it was a Courthouse Square block. Looking at it more closely, I realized there was a difference. Fortunately I was able to track down the block. It is called “Soul Searching.”

After doing some “Google Searching” for the pattern, I found it was designed by Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession. Maybe Kathy’s name or reputation is familiar to you, but it drew a blank from me.

Kathy makes quilts that are very modern. Anyone who reads my blog knows I’m a traditional quilter, which is probably why I never heard of her. The quilt is in her book, Making Quilts. There are 21 colorful and imaginative quilts. I have to confess I viewed them and transformed them in my mind to more “traditional” colors and fabrics!

Oh snap! Kaiju is trying to help with the photo shoot!

This is the book with my quilt block

I don’t have many black on whites, so I did have to go shopping. Oh darn! The good part is that after I cut the strips what is left is scraps! I guess I’m doing the reverse process of a scrap quilt!

Pay attention to this ----> Quilting Nonnie GIVEAWAY

I'm going to give away a copy of Making Quilts to one lucky reader! It's not quite new. Some quilter somewhere used some pages to learn how to make a soul searching block. 

All you have to do is tell me what "type" quilter you think you are and what you love about it. Results will be announced January 31st.

I’m hooking up with Angela at So Scrappy. Mosey on over and look at what others are doing with blue blocks! The badge is in the right sidebar.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Granddaughter Has Made Her Entrance to the World!

It’s true!! Noel Heart, oldest daughter, and Chief, her husband, had their baby daughter on the 20th!

I got to go to the hospital for the better part of a day and cuddle that sweet little bundle. It’s been four years since I had a grandbaby to hold. There is nothing better in the whole world!

Her blog name is Darlin' Girl. It's one of my terms of endearments I use with children. And it fits here beautifully.

I’m thankful that Chief and Noel Heart live nearby so I can get my fill of baby holding. It’s between 3-4 hours away. Much better than Massachusetts!

I feel like a grandma pulling out her brag book!

Monday, January 19, 2015

First Finish of the Year

I have a crazy beginning to my Quilting New Year. I’ve already finished my first quilt.

In November, I read in one of the blogs I follow, about a QAL that was just for the month of November. I was feeling pretty good with Nancy Drew’s tree skirt finished. I hardly ever do a QAL, except for Rainbow Scrap Challenge this year. I have countless, because I refuse to count them!, UFOs that need to be a priority.

But I did go and take a peek. The blog I had read said wonderful things about Lori and her fantastic QALs. Once I went over to Humble Quilts, I was hooked. The quilt used 1-1/2 inch squares and I had plenty of those.

Lori had seen a vintage doll quilt and immediately wanted to make one herself. Once she drafted a pattern, she invited anyone to join in.

My box of 1.5" scraps & sewing into strips

Working on Seminole Border

The new skill I learned in making this quilt was Seminole Piecing. It was a bit difficult and took me a couple of quilting sessions to figure out how it worked!

Here is the finished quilt as a wall hanging.

And now, the charming Farley showing the quilt off as a doll blanket.

I’m looking forward to the next Lori QAL at Humble Quilts. I enjoyed this one so much.

I’m hooking up with the blogs that are listed on the right sidebar. Mosey on over and see lots of beautiful quilts.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Very Merry Christmas!

To all my dear friends and especially those who read my blog, 

Merry Christmas!

 May the Spirit of Christ dwell with all of us.

I will be back after the New Year. Have a lovely week, my friends.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Carol Countdown 2014: 1 Day to Go

Here I am on Christmas morning just as I see my presents!
My sister is hovering in the background.

Christmas Eve dawns and sleepy little children wake with excited anticipation. One More Day. They stare at the chimney thinking of Santa coming down it that very night. They examine the wrapped presents under the tree. This day will be one of the longest in their year.

I remember when I was 6 or 7, I found a bit of black rubber on the bricks by the fireplace. I was entranced! Santa had lost a bit of his boot on our fireplace! I danced around as I showed everyone my amazing treasure.

Here is Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians singing “Christmas Was Meant for Children.” We had this album (when there were albums!) that we played on our Hi-Fi. It was one of the three Christmas albums we owned. It played through every year of my youth.

Christmas is for all of us. Here are two videos about the beauty and worth of Christmas.

The first is one made by artists who are very popular on YouTube. The most important part was to share the joy of Christmas.  

The other goal was to set the record for the largest nativity ever made. It has 1039 people in the video. In the video notes it said: “All angels in the final nativity formation are real, NOT computer generated. No angels were added or subtracted.” 

The second video is a “follow-up,” if you may, of the video.

May the Spirit of Christmas bless your house this day and tomorrow.

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