2014 New Quilt Blogger Hop

Welcome to my stop on the 2014 New Quilt Blogger Hop!

This is a big, big hop, so I’ll make this short enough for 1/2 a cup of coffee. Then, you can be off to the other stops.

Wanna see some of my favorite quilts?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThis bookshelf quilt is one that I made for my grandma when she was facing chemotherapy. We both share a love of books. I’m happy to report that she’s done with chemotherapy, and the last time I was accused of being just like my grandma, it was because I had lugged huge kitchen cabinets down two flights of stairs without help, and she had mulched her yard without help. What can I say? Neither one of us likes to let grass grow under our feet.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA I also love my geometry squared quilt that was the result of diving into a quilt along. I most like the quilting. I did not know how to FMQ then and don’t have a long arm, so there was much machine wrangling to get this quilted.

racing stripes quilt front closer viewAnd, here is my Rainbow Race quilt. Why do I love this one? I designed the pattern for it; other than the pieced back for the geometry squared quilt, this is the first time that I designed a quilt and saw it come to life.

headlamp victory pose

Here’s me, working hard. Just to be clear, I don’t wear a headlamp when I’m working on quilts though I do quilt often at night. This picture is of me after fixing my dishwasher. I keep this blog mostly about quilting, but you’ll find other DIY adventures here too on occasion, especially since I’m in the process of selling one house and moving into another. There will be fresh walls to paint ahead.

Plum and June

And, finally, since this is a hop, Beth over at Plum and June gave us a few common topics to post about. Here goes!

1. Blogging Tip (yes, follow the hop and you’re going to get many tips!)
Know what featured images are and how they behave in different blogging templates. In my previous theme, a featured image automatically became the first picture of a post. So, if I made a picture the featured image and then added the image to my post as well, it showed up twice. I just switched themes, and now featured images aren’t the default first picture. This means some old posts really don’t make sense because the featured image (often the most important) has disappeared. Also, you might notice some wonky or missing photos on my home page because I didn’t know I would be switching to a theme that requires landscape formatted featured images if everything is going to look clean. I like the theme enough that I’ll put up with these growing pains, but I’m throwing this tip out there because new bloggers often want to play with themes as they acclimate to the blogging world. Transitions might be necessary to find  what you like, but realize transitions between themes can get messy (and time consuming).

2. Quilting Tip
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Try your best to learn new skills and do your best work, but at the end of the day, no quilt is perfect. Laugh off your mistakes, or better yet, embrace them. Want to see when I accidentally changed stitches while I was in the middle of quilting?

quilt signature in racing stripes Yep, right in the middle of wrestling with this quilt, I changed to a zig-zag stitch. I could have grabbed the seam ripper, but fortunately a zig zag stitch looks an awful lot like a “W,” my last name initial. Hey, I didn’t make a mistake! I signed the quilt. See how much nicer the quilting world is if you can just embrace a mistake here and there?

3. My quilting/blogging question
For quilting, I need some batting suggestions. I’m on the front end of piecing a beach quilt for my sister.

Jillian's quilt layout

It’s going to be a large 72×72, so I’m looking for suggestions about batting that will do two things — keep the quilt fairly thin to fold to a reasonable size and shrink minimally. I don’t think my sister loves the homemade crinkle that so many of us love, so toss me out some suggestions for some battings that don’t shrink too much.

4. Something interesting about me…
In December, I got to go on a dream bucket list vacation with my sister. We flew to Las Vegas to go to the National Finals Rodeo, something I’ve dreamed of doing since I was in high school.



I don’t just own one pair of cowboy boots.



Yeah, I own two. If you like country music, you’re my friend.

Ok, enough about me. I hope you return; you can find a bloglovin’ button over in the sidebar. I also just got on instagram…like I only have one picture on there, so help me drool over cool quilty stuff by following me there with your cool quilty stuff. I’m @oneenglishteacher. For now though, get out of here and go check out the other awesome bloggers in the hop. I’ve enjoyed getting to know some of them in the weeks leading up to the hop, and I hope you enjoy getting to know them as well.

Sarah @ Smiles Too Loudly

Vera @ Negligent Style

Michelle @ Michelle Bartholomew

Katie @ Good Golly Ginger

Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs

Jana @ Jana Machado

Karin @ Leigh Laurel Studios

Kim @ Ties That Bind Quilting

Yvonne @ Quilting Jet Girl


53 thoughts on “2014 New Quilt Blogger Hop

  1. To add to your blogging tip – featured images don’t work if you host your images elsewhere 🙁 I really like some of the themes with featured images but because I host my photos on flickr to save WP space, I can never have them show up (unless of course I specifically upload the featured one to WP).

    Wearing a headlamp actually sounds like a good idea when quilting lol! Sometimes not even the machine bulb seems bright enough to see what I’m doing.

  2. There are some battings that you can prewash (gently of course) like Hobbs 80/20 and get all the shrinkage out before quilting. Just read the labels and they will suggest prewashing or not.

    Haven’t been to the NFR for quite a few years. In a former life I used to manage rodeo cowboys. Good time…lots of stories!

  3. I loved getting to see your featured quilts, and your quilting tip is wonderful! Good luck with your housing transition; getting to paint fresh walls is one of my favorite things to do to make a new home feel like home. I’m going to second Cynthia’s comment, I’d start looking for batting that can be gently prewashed.

  4. I LOVE COUNTRY … all country from very old to brand new. Please post pictures of your rodeo adventure, that would be a blast. I started following after reading one of your “keep it real” posts and have been a fan since, plus you rock. So that helps 🙂 Great post!

  5. lovely to read your blog, some useful hints there. I am a new blogger too but was too late to join the blog hop. I once made a miniature of your book quilt, but embroidered some book titles on the book spines, It was for a 21st birthday present for a book lover. I’m off to Nashville for my holidays so will hear plenty of country music there!

  6. If I had one, I’d TOTALLY wear a head lamp when hand stitching bindings…especially black binding with black thread on a black backing! In fact, I’d TOTALLY wear a head lamp around the house at night, just for fun! Wouldn’t it would make a great reading lamp? Great quilts, great quilting tip, and great boots, too!

  7. Country fan here as well 🙂 I ditto prewashing the batting to keep it from shrinking. Except don’t actually let it go through the wash cycle. Just let it sit in the water for a bit and then machine dry it.

  8. You had me at the Pearl Bracelets quilt, but country music and cowboy boots too? Big loves of mine!! Lovely to meet you!!

  9. Would polar fleece work as batting? I used it for summer baby quilt for my girl. Cheap Ikea kind. Fun pic I was thinking about headlamp too 🙂 Nice to meet you Jess.

  10. Really like you rainbow race quilt, gorgeous colours! Sorry can’t help on the batting. I deliberately go for one that shrinks quite a bit!

  11. Your Geometry Squared quilt is fab! And I am going to go dig out my headlamp!! I’m thinking it will come in very handy for cutting as well, I find those pesky shadows thrown by my current lighting annoying, this might just be the trick!! 🙂 Thanks!

  12. Oh, you’ve reminded me – I keep meaning to get my husband a headlamp! I’ve never prewashed a batting, but I did loosely quilt once (ran out of time), and it hardly crinkled at all. But if this is going to see hard use, I’m not sure that’s the best idea. And I would love to see DIY adventures!!! I grew up doing stuff around the house with my grandfather (laying brick, installing irrigation systems, hanging ceiling fans, etc) and miss it now that I live in an apartment (though I did just fix the leaky faucet). I really love how personal your bookshelf quilt is. Such a great idea for a book lover!

  13. I especially love the colorful quilt you designed, and what a great idea to take it to a playground! Both my kids have headlamps; we don’t know what we did without them. They love to run around the house at night and spook each other. 🙂

  14. Have you ever tried Quilter’s Dream batting? I use their cotton batting all the time. The shrinkage is minimal, if it occurs at all (I’ve never noticed any) and either the request or select weights should be perfect for a lightweight finish

  15. Really love your rainbow quilt, it looks great. My favourite batting, in fact the only batting I ever use, is an old wool blanket. Find them in thrift shops, they are often slightly thinning, worn ones that are really no good for anything else. Wash them hot then use them in your quilt sandwich. Cheap, environmentally great, and easy to use!

  16. hello, nice to meet you! I love your quilts. The geometric one is gorgeous and I love that you designed Rainbow Race yourself

  17. Try Quilter’s Dream poly batting in request weight. It is their thinnest batting, and won’t shrink. I’ve used the cotton quilter’s dream for years and really love it.

  18. Love the rainbow race quilt! And your story about the ‘w’ in your quilting! I also don’t know how to FMQ and attempt to do things on my home machine (lots of wrangling!) I like to call my decidedly wobbly lines ‘organic’, makes me feel like they are a little more purposeful!

  19. As a pure Texas girl I have to say I love your boots!!! I also love the head lamp look, it screams “look at me, I’m super cool”

  20. I love my headlamp for reading in bed at night, but it would probably solve my problem of not having good lights in the living room when I’m trying to knit/hand sew at night.

    I love your “w”. I call those “Late in the process design choices”!

  21. i LOVE country music, so i guess we are friends 😉 i’m also an avid reader, so i would love to make a bookshelf quilt like yours and then stitch the names of books i like as i complete them…but that will probably never happen, lol. ps, i’m a teacher too…what age do you teach? hope you will stop by on the 11th!

  22. Sorry I am not a fan of country music, but my husband just started a country music band- I thankfully was sick for his first gig- lucky me?

  23. Yay, I love this blog hop, it’s such a fun way to get to know bloggers a bit better, and it’s fun to read about people you’ve been following for a while. 🙂 Vera had a good call with using the polar fleece, or you can use flannel as well. Pre-wash it and it won’t crinkle as much. It also keeps it quite thin. Otherwise look for a low loft batting, that will be the thinnest option. 🙂

  24. Your quilts are so pretty! I really love the Rainbow Race one. An your grandmother sounds like one fantastic lady. Sure hope I can be like her when I’m a grandma!

  25. I loved your post. It was so fun revisiting your past projects again. I never realized your geometric quilt wasn’t FMQ. I’m guessing that was a lot of wrangling! And I think you should start a quilting with a headlamp trend 🙂 I’m not into country music, but I do think your boots are super cute. Can we still be friends? 🙂

  26. I’m glad I’m not the only one out there who has switched stitches or stitch length in the middle of quilting 🙂 I like your post and photos, nice to meet you!

  27. Your library quilt is so cool! What applique method did you use?

    I love the colors in your beach quilt and your geometric quilt. (I love polka dots and your fabric looks like polka dots to me!)

  28. I love your geometry squared quilt! Beautiful! I do not know how to FMQ but I am learning fun ways of using a walking foot for quilting until I do! Happy Quilting!

  29. Such fun finishes! I like thin Quilter’s Dream cotton batting. It does shrink – but you can prewash it by hand or by putting it in a large pillowcase, tying the pillow case shut and machine washing it on a hand or gentle cycle 🙂

  30. I have also wanted to make a bookcase quilt one day.
    I like your idea of ‘signing’ your free-motion quilting with your initials! I have a curvy initial and an angular one that I can attribute to any slight misdirection!

  31. I love your sea quilt! I’ve done the switched stitch thing, but it is usually because my son has been messing with my machine buttons.

  32. Your quilts look great! I love that you are a fearless FMQer! Your cowboy boots would fit right in up here in Calgary, it’s almost Stampede time. Happy quilting!

  33. So great getting to know you! Hey, I even learned something new….I don’t own boots, but I do love country music:) Some great tips here!

  34. I’ve switched themes because the software minions were deciding which image would automatically be shared on my facebook page instead of letting me choose. It was ok until it showed a ‘before’ image instead of an ‘after’ image. It took me several hours to figure out why, then several days to fix it. Sometimes the learning curve is really steep.

  35. Love your quilt with the books and cats – am a lover of both.
    Lucky you two pairs of cowboy boots, I have been searching for a pair to fit my old feet, still to find a pair.

  36. Great intro post! I love your bookshelf quilt, especially the silhouette of the cat. The first home I purchased was a 1920’s colonial home and I did a lot of the renovations myself. Wish I had that headlamp for a few of mine, it would have come in handy!

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