It’s my blogging anniversary! Five years ago I decided to begin writing my own blog, and I am still here, with more to say, LOL!! From the beginning, I wanted my blog to be a bit different. I wanted to do posts on all the things I am interested in, not just a single subject, after all, we are multi-faceted beings with lots of interests. Everyone knows that quilters are often great cooks, stampers like to garden, readers like to sew, and many do other crafts as well. I also wanted it to be more than just a diary of what I was working on. My first posts were updated articles I had written for sewing newsletters, and those ideas still hold up today. I’ve come a long way since then, with pictures and my writing, I think. For some fun ways to use up your scraps of all kinds of fabrics, see my first post, The Scrap Basket.
Later came an article on Sewing Machine history, another one based on a previous article done for another newsletter, but expanded for my blog. I used my collection of antique machines as illustrations. I was the kid in school that used to get excited when a research paper was assigned, LOL, while everyone else was groaning.
Over the years, I have done more charity work, as I transitioned from a working life to one of being retired. It is difficult to say no to anyone that needs help. Beginning with Project Linus, Cancer Care and Elizabeth House, adding Quilts of Valor, and then I moved to doing more short term projects like the quilts for the California Fire victims. I adopted the local domestic violence shelter two years ago for ongoing support with the Safelight Project. That gives me an outlet for little gifts and handmade cards through the year, along with the larger bag project I do with a huge amount of reader help each summer. I plan to do this again soon, as they ran out of bags and I’ll be delivering 15 more from the last of the funds available next week.
The Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project is by far the most challenging project I have ever taken on. Getting drop sites, runners, other organizations involved and national publicity has taken a huge amount of time and effort. But, the outpouring of support has been amazing, and more quilts arrive every week in Wilmington. I am still looking for more longarm volunteers if you are able to help. If you are a longarm quilter willing to quilt, bind and ship to Wilmington 0r dr0p off at an NC drop point, (and I desperately need more!!) please fill out the Longarm Volunteer Form. The project will go through summer 2019, so you have time to make a quilt and send one.
Gardening is a big part of my outdoor fun, I love the full and lush look of the veranda when all the pots are green and flowering.
Early on, I wanted this blog to be full tutorials, showing the steps to doing the projects. I’ve often been asked how I do all these things I blog about. The answer is I take days to do a project, and I take pictures of the process the whole way. I’ll have five or six blog posts going at once, like working on a quilt while paint dries on a craft project and a new meal is in the slow cooker. Ideally, I like to have a quilt on the longarm, one in the piecing stage, and one in the hand binding finishing stage all at once, so I can move from one project to another in the same day. When a project is finished, I begin writing and then schedule the post to publish at the next available day. I publish mostly four posts a week, as I don’t think anyone wants to hear from me every day and it gives me a balance between blogging and creating. I enjoy doing all kinds of crafty and sewing things. I like to paint, stamp, embroider, and play with my glue gun. I still have paper-making on the list of things to try, and didn’t get to it while it was warm outside.
I have made some wonderful friends through blogging, some in other states that I will likely never meet in person. I have been lucky to meet a couple, one I plan to meet in the fall, and another I am hoping to get here for a speaker program. But, I have been surprised at the number of bloggers that stop writing after a few years. Some really interesting bloggers that I followed from some years ago are no longer writing at all. I get that, sometimes I hit a wall too, but usually a short break gets me back in the swing. I truly believe that not confining my blog to just one subject has helped a lot. When I cannot get excited about any sewing project, I can go stamp or plant a new pot or create a new tablescape, and I have something to talk about. It is rejuvenating to change up what I am doing.
And because of that, I think I may have a new Scrap Dance mystery design!! I have some work to do on it first, I need to get the math worked out and finish the test blocks. I am shooting for a start of the second Friday in February, so stay tuned. Here’s a sneak peek at what has inspired this one –
In the meantime, Scrap Dance Tango and the original Scrap Dance are both still available on Craftsy. The rest of the Scrap Dance series is on Etsy for now, click on Quickstep, Waltz, Swing Bag, Two-Step and Square Dance for those patterns. The fees on Etsy are pretty high, so I do not know if I’ll stick with that long term or not. It is also expensive to have a shop on the blog, so I really don’t know what I’ll ultimately decide. But for now, these are available. Those sales do help with the costs of the blog.
Thank you also for using my links when you can. Costs to blog keep going up, as now I have Flickr to pay too. I have over 16,000 photos there, and they just went to a paid service or they will remove all but 1000 photos. It is easier just to pay them then to try to move all those photos. Believe it or not, I am closing in on post number 1000 too, but luckily the revenue from the affiliate links is enough to cover the charges. I am an affiliate for Amazon, Fat Quarter Shop and Blueprint. I promise you that there will never be popup ads or animated ads, no flashing or moving things as that annoys me to no end. Bluprint Classes On DVD Just $15 Today! 1/27 only
So there will be more recipes to come, more quilts to make, more tablescapes to enjoy, more holidays to celebrate, more crafts to do, more cards to stamp, more wreaths to make, more projects to sew, more plants to grow, more books to review, more travel to see, more car club events to drive, and more of all the things that make me smile. Tell your friends, come along for the next five years! Thank you so much for reading my blog, and all your lovely comments!!