Saturday, September 19, 2015

Happy Second Anniversary mmm quilts! Giveaway!

Flash back to September 18, 2013.  I'd already had a dummy blog set up since the Spring of that year.  It took me six months to get up the nerve to publish that first post.  Funny, the subject of that post, Seaside Rose, took 8 years from start to finish, and just this past Tuesday at our guild meeting, as a member of the new executive, it was my quilt for "My Favourite Quilt" we had to show.
The first heavily quilted quilt I did on Avril, my longarm
I started this blog for a few reasons, one, a way of recording and writing about the quilts and projects I make, and two, a way of keeping in touch with friends and family in Alberta, and three, a place for me to muse, write about my thoughts and also my experiences on the new phase of my life that began in August 2012 when my husband and I, youngsters in our early 50s, quit our jobs in Alberta and moved 2000 miles east to Canada's southernmost town.

Flash forward one year from that first post.  In my September 20, 2014 post (I didn't even recognize mmm quilts' first birthday, gasp!) I had 3 comments: my darling sister, Linda, my dear friend (who is also a blogger and an incredible painter), Janette, and one blogger comment.  However, that one blogger, Judy of Quilt Paradigm, has become SUCH a dear friend.  Since she participated in the New Bloggers' Blog Hop in 2014, she educated me no small amount in many aspects of QBL, Quilting Blogland, a term my friend Helen, of Midget Gem Quilts, and I have coined.

So, what have I learned about QBL since mmm quilts' inception?  Here are 10 highlights. By the way, this is post #287. ;-)  Yesterday I mentioned there may be a giveaway today....and there is.  By the first few comments, I see some people read more closely than others...LOL!

1.  First and foremost, what I said in my very first post is still something I love about blogging: "the sense of community, the sharing, the friendships and connections..."  I am truly ahhh-mazed by the genuine overall loveliness of the women I've come to consider my friends, whether or not I've met them in person.  It makes me all bubbly on the inside and all "grinny" on the outside when I think of you!!  I consider QBL my guild; in fact, if I'm totally honest, I enjoy it more than my real-life one.  I love the connection this blog maintains with my family and friends.  I love getting emails from family and friends who are not comfortable or too shy to comment (or unwittingly assume some other person's gmail identity, no names mentioned my friend Linda W!!).  For these reasons, I refuse to adhere to an unwritten code of having my posts go live at 12:01 EST. They go live when I'm ready to publish.  It's morning somewhere, right?! ;-) Some people only read the blogs they follow after work anyhow!  I'm tickled that my friends who read this blog are now not just the Alberta friends; there's New York State, Florida, and Minnesota friends who read my posts.

2.  Slowly but surely, my readership has increased over this past year.  That was when I learned about the importance of leaving comments on blogs (this would usually lead the blogger upon whose blog I commented to come and visit me), to join into Linky parties, and again, comment on a few of the posts near my own place in the link-up. Having the behind-the-scenes conversations with other bloggers has led to several friendships I treasure.

3.  I took the plunge and did a couple giveaways this past year, one in celebration of my 200th post last winter and another as part of Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway day.  This connected me more personally to the winners.  :-) I also pattern-tested for two very talented bloggers who I now consider friends, Joanne of Canuck Quilter's Star Steps pattern,

Watercolour Steps
and Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs Grande Scrappy Tiles.
Summer Scents Mosaic
Cheryl then sponsored my Sew Mama Sew giveaway, another first for me, of having a sponsor.

4.  I realized a goal, of getting a pattern published on Moda Bakeshop.

5.  I joined in to this year's New Bloggers Hop, and although it was pretty busy, it was such a worthwhile experience, and I learned more useful things:  how to make a button, how to polish up my blog, how to number my comments, how to make a photo collage to name a few.  I've also added to my treasured friends list. :-)

6.  The fun continued after the hop with the New Quilt Block Challenge, sponsored by Fabri-Quilt.  I loved the challenge, and plan to sew up a quilt using my new block.
Pinwheel Parade
7.  When I saw that Cindy of Stitchin at Home had made the PDF of her block available on her Craftsy store, I thought, hey! I can do that!  And so I did, and I now have my own pattern store on Craftsy with a whopping 44 sales in 16 days!  It's a freebie, by the way, so I have made $0 but I'm still excited.  You can download the PDF for my block here.

8. My dreams of actually meeting up with some of my dear blogging friends actually came to fruition this past summer when Julie of Pink Doxies and I spent a wonderful day and a half (not nearly long enough) in and around (think close to Amish Country!!) her home in Ohio.  We both still keep percolating thoughts of possibly having a get-together of bloggers within a couple hours' radius...4 of us in the New Bloggers Hop are within 2 hours or less of each other right here in southern Ontario, and I know there are a couple more if you go 3 hours and across the lake into the US...

9.  One other dream happened just this year when I actually got to meet and talk with and take a class with Angela Walters!!!!  Leah Day first captured my interest and my heart when I purchased my longarm off eBay (make that, MacGyver purchased); Angela was a close second, and I'll be honest, has surpassed Leah, as far as holding my heart and my interest and my devotion...ya I sound like a groupie and I do not care.  Like I said to my friend Linda, who has read this blog from the get-go, (not to be confused with my sister, Linda) when she recently met and talked with Clara Hughes, one of her heroes, and said how genuine she is, it is impressive when someone you admire meets up to your expectations... and then some, as far as Angela is concerned for me. :-)


10.  One thing I do find, now entering my third year of blogging, is that it is cutting into my sewing time.  For the past six or so months, I have been struggling with this.  I want writing my blog posts to be fun for me, something I look forward to, and about those main topics I mentioned at the beginning of this post.  I suspect I take longer than most to write, partly because I write a fair amount, but then also because I proofread and reread, and revamp several times before I hit publish.  I do respond to every comment, unless the person is a no-reply, and I've decided I am no longer trying to find no-reply bloggers; I've included a great link in the comments section where this issue can be fixed.  If I were to visit every blogger who comments on my blog (which I do now and have been doing religiously for over a year) and read through the 125+ blogs on my bloglovin' feed, as well as the few I subscribe to by email, not to mention reading and watching videos on quilt-related stuff such as how-tos online, I would be spending easily 6 hours, probably more, on the laptop.  That is insane.  So I will continue to figure out ways to pare down the online time...heck I still have 3, wait make that 4 or maybe more... Craftsy classes I haven't even started to watch, and another to finish!!

Sidenote:  (MY giveaway is below this paragraph, so keep on reading)  Did you know Craftsy is having a pretty awesome giveaway on their blog right now?  It runs until September 30, and is open to US and Canada residents only.  It's a mystery box full of supplies that are related to the craft of your choice, AND a class of your choice!  If you enter through this link, as I am an affiliate, I will get credit for your entry.  And one other thing before the giveaway on my blog, Craftsy is also offering some pretty sweet deals on classes (that's when I've bought all my classes) as well as supplies.  For Big Quilts stuff (quilting these babies, and supplies to make several) click here or on the image and I will get a small commission if you decide to take advantage of this offer.  I have to say I own both Angela's Machine Quilting Negative Space (love it) and Cindy Needham's Machine Quilting Wholecloth Quilts (one I haven't started yet but desperately want to!). Both classes are among those on sale. Sweet!
Big Quilting! Classes and Supplies Deals!

Giveaway!  Phew!! You're still here.  Thank you.  There are two prizes.  This is open to everyone, everywhere!

The first is a $20 US gift card for you to spend on whatever you like at Millers' Dry Goods.  I loved this shop, Julie's LQS, and how I wish I was closer than 3 hours to it, although that could be dangerous.  They have a fabulous sale basement.  Basement.  You read that right.  $6-7 per yard.  I'm getting jittery just thinking of it.  They also have an online store.
Courtesy of Julie.  I want to scream, I want to cry, I want to GO BACK THERE!
The second is one of my pyramid pouches.  My pattern requires one charm square pack and 1/3 yard of lining fabric.  This yields two bags.  One I made for the tutorial, and the other I have nearly finished for this giveaway. It is very similar to the one you see above, except for the triangles are in different placement and I've quilted this one with a Coats and Clark red variegated thread, which looks fabulous.
I found a sweet plastic snowflake to use as the zipper pull!

How do you enter?  You've read this far so I'll make it easy: For one entry tell me where Pelee Island is (saying "in Ontario" or "in Canada" won't cut it) and for a second entry for my followers, just leave me a comment telling me how you follow me.   I'll draw on Monday afternoon, so this will be open for 2 full days!

Thanks SO MUCH all of you; here's to the next 2 years. :-)  I'll have a glass of this in celebration:



59 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your 2 year anniversary! I have been thinking a lot about blogging vs quilting balance myself, lately. I had a blast with the blog hops this summer, but I am thankful that is all complete and maybe I can re-focus a bit. We'll see. :)

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  2. Happy Two Year Anniversary! I don't remember when I first found your blog, probably when I was reading through the link ups on another blog last year sometime, but when I saw that you are a retired teacher, I knew we would have lots in common! Then I started following you on Bloglovin, so I never miss a post! I love your beautiful quilts, and your thoughtful writing about them and all kinds of other things. Cheers! 🍷🍷🍷

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    1. Well, those question marks were supposed to be glasses of wine. Oh well! I guess blogger doesn't recognize the special symbols I can use on my ipad!

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    2. P.S. Pelee Island is in Lake Erie! I probably won't see it on my trip to New York next week, but we are flying into Buffalo, so I will probably see some part of Lake Erie!

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  3. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, 2 YEARS! Pelee Island - Pelee Island, Ontario, Canada, an island in the western half of Lake Erie.
    I follow you on bloglovin
    patsystitch@gvtc.com

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  4. Hi - Congrats on two years of bloging! Pelee is an island in Lake Erie, Ontario, Canada!

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  5. I do follow you with Bloglovn!

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  6. The Township of Pelee is made up of nine islands in Lake Erie and is the most southern point in Canada. Pelee Island is the largest of the islands and is situated at the Canada/USA boundary between Sandusky, Ohio and Windsor/Essex County, Ontario.

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  7. Oops ... Forgot to tell you I follow you via Feedly.

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  8. Congratulations!!! I'm glad I found you through the new quilt bloggers blog hop earlier this year. I follow on Bloglovin. No clue were Pelee Island is, but assuming near Great Lakes since you mentioned southern Ontario. All the best for many more years in blogland.

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  9. I follow on Bloglovin. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  10. Wonderful post! I am so glad we found each other and have become quilting friends. I always love your posts and how you combine different colors and patterns together. For the giveaway, I googled Pelee island and google said that it "is an island in the western half of Lake Erie. Pelee Island is connected to the Canadian and United States mainland by ferry service."

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  11. I follow your wonderful blog via bloglovin

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  12. Cheers to your second anniversary!! I am also Canadian and know that Pelee Isalnd is the most southerly point in Canada. I've heard that the bird watching is awesome but live too far away to enjoy as I live north of Lakre Superior. I am following you via Bloglovin and looking forward to your future posts for more inspiration!!

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  13. Pelee Island is in Lake Erie, and is part of Ontario Canada. Congratulations on your second blogiversary - you've come a long way in two years! I particularly love your yoga posts, which got me started doing it myself. I feel so much better now! Thanks for the chance at the awesome giveaway!

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  14. We have so many blogging things in common! I, too, became a Moda Bake Shop chef this year, I just celebrated my 1st blog anniversary, participated in the New Quilt Bloggers group and Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop, and there are just not enough hours in the day to do all the blogging things that seem to be encouraged - just to name a few. I'd love to know how to number the comments - I must have missed that tip. Totally jealous that you got to spend time with a quilting friend that you met through blogging. Congratulations on your anniversary! I'm going to totally cheat here, but I read all the comments and learned that Pelee Island is in the western half of Lake Erie and is the most southern point in Canada.

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  15. And I follow you on Bloglovin', which is something else I learned about through the New Quilt Bloggers group.

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  16. Mmmwah! Right back atcha sister ;) It truly is amazing how blogging opens up a whole new world. . . distracting world, but so fun! :) If you figure out how to achieve that balance, let me know! I could use a pointer or two LOL

    Pelee Island is located in the western half of Lake Erie and is the the most southern point of Canada. I remember that from one of your blog posts :)

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  17. I'm following you to the ends of the earth through Bloglovin' :D

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  18. Hi Sandra. I've been following you for quite some time ever since you found me on Finish it Up Friday....more actively now on bloglovin since we did the blog hops together.

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  19. Now I have been to Pelee Island on more than one occasion so you would think I could remember where exactly it is but obviously my geography is somewhat lacking as I was thinking it was in Lake Ontario and only remembered Lake Erie when I read it in other people's comments. What I do remember is that it is a nice flat place to ride bikes and that the campground is a little marshy and has lots of mosquitos. There is also that unique bog area that has a whole bunch of rare and unique plants.

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  20. I didn't know before, but I know now, that Pelee Island is the southernmost populated community in Canada and is located in western Lake Erie! It certainly looks like the kind of place my husband and I would love to visit. Thank you Wikipedia!

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  21. My second answer is how I follow your charming blog. I am notified by email when you have a new post. I enjoy reading about your great life and beautiful quilts while I'm drinking my morning coffee. I sit at either my desktop or read them on my iPad. I am totally inspired by your work and it helps keep my mind on quilting. It's easy for me to lose focus when I have so many other distractions. As you know, I love to paint and those two obsessions fight each other for attention!

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  22. Oh Pelee Island is not that far from me, maybe I'll do that drive next year, it would be fun and maybe we can exchange a South Coast wine from my area of Lake Erie for a Pelee Island wine. It is in an island in Lake Erie. Wouldn't it be fun to meet up with bloggers from our little part of the world.

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  23. I follow via my Blogger Dashboard list.
    Contrats, not only on your Blogaversary, but really becoming a part of the Blog Community. I'm a reatively new reader here and from your list of highlights, I know that you have gotten the same wonderful experience from blogging that I do. Those behind the scenes conversations have given me some really great Blog Friends. AND, thank you for not jumping ship to FB. Congrats on all of your wonderful accomplishments these past two years. Good Luck on finding your Happy Medium of computer/stitch time.

    I love your blog and have been happy to add it to my read list.
    xx, Carol

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  24. As you know I am a follower and enjoy reading what you post it is always entertaining.

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  25. I am so glad I found your blog, which I think was through a linky party! Following on Bloglovin. I too know that blogging eats into my sewing/crafting time. But I love the connections/friends I have made through it, like you I love them perhaps more than my real life guild too! I think that is because it is a daily event, you can always find a new post or 2 or 3 or... each day!

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  26. Pelee island is in Lake Erie, western half.

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  27. Pelee Island is in the western half of Lake Erie. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  28. Congratulations and thanks! I follow you via E-Mail.

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  29. Wow! Two mentions in one blog. I feel so special! The Halloween snuggle you made for Brady was adorable. The glow in the dark thread was super cool! What a treasure from his Nana. Can't believe you are at 200 posts already. I know it's become an important part of your life and a great way to share your knowledge, as well as some yummy recipes, some great family moments and stories of your fur babies. You are an amazing woman! So blessed to call you friend.

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  30. Have no idea but maybe where you live

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  31. Congratulations to you. Pelee island is the most southerly community of Canada, in the western half of Lake Erie. Your pyramid pouch is so cute.

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  32. Congratulations! I have been to Millers and YES they have a great selection of fabric. My BFF lives in Ohio and she takes me there whenever I go to visit her. Pelee Island is an island in the western half of Lake Erie in Ontario Canada.The Island is connected to the Canadian and US mainland by ferry. It's the largest island in Lake Erie.

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  33. Pelee is the southern most community in Canada, and I'm a follower by email. Yours and McGyver's visit was the highlight of my summer, and the quilt store basement will never feel the same again without you. I agree we should get ourselves in gear, and make a plan for a Creative Retreat. Happy, Happy Anniversary, friend!

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  34. Congratulations on your second anniversary blogging. I am very glad to have found your blog and to call you my friend. I missed my first anniversary as well, which happened during all our house fixing back in August. Pelee Island is in Lake Erie and the most southern community in Canada.

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  35. Congratulations again, my dear sister, on your two year blogiversary!!

    Great post, as always!

    Unsure if I should enter, being your sister, but hey, if I can I will. I'll also click that link, so you get credit!

    Pelee Island is of course in Lake Erie!! And I follow you by stalking you LOL. Well, also by email hehehe.

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  36. Congratulatins on your anniversary! I follow by email which is my preference. I like hearing from bloggers weekly but not more often so do what works for y and allow y time to sew and quilt. Thanks for your posts!

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  37. I had to go read the post featuring your grandson as I recalled you mentioned that island. Lake Erie is my choice.

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  38. Congratulations! I googled Pelee Island and found it is in the western part of Lake Erie. Interesting.
    I've been following your blog for about a year, drawn in by the catchy title! -- love it! I, too, am a 'retired' teacher (2nd grade, not high school), and am currently living in Washington DC. Thank you for taking the time to write -- I really enjoy your posts!

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  39. Two wonderful, bloggy years! That is quite an accomplishment Sandra and represents a lot of commitment, time and care! This second year I have seen MMM Quilts grow by leaps and bounds. The friendships part is the best and I treasure that I met you through Pets on Quilts last year! A lot of what you wrote about sure rings bells with me!
    I follow you every which way but loose, LOL.

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  40. You wrote about Pelee Island in a blog post and so I am educated now... LOL. It is the an island in Lake Erie and the southernmost point in Canada.

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  41. You have so many comments to read that I doubt you will have time to find this one. But here goes.. I found you a few months ago, followed you and love your blog. It still amazes me that I can 'talk' to someone across the world. I get quite lonely here in Uk and blogs such as yours help me tremendously. So a huge thank you, you make my day.

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  42. I follow you on Bloglovin and in my blogger feeds.

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  43. I had to do a bit of research, but it says that the township is made up of 9 islands with Pelee being the biggest and that it is "situated at the Canada/USA boundary between Sandusky, Ohio and Windsor/Essex County, Ontario."

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  44. I will go with the flow (trusting others) and say that it is in Lake Eerie. :) I loved reading this post and seeing some of your quilts again. Balance between blogging/quilting/life is always tricky. And I wish you the very best as you try to achieve it.

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  45. And I follow your quilting adventure with Bloglovin.

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  46. Congrats on your second anniversary. I love looking at all the fun things you create. Peeled Island is in the western part of Lake Erie.

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  47. Curse that spell checker. That should have been Pelee Island!

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  48. Congrats on the blogaversary!! I can't believe all you have accomplished in what seems like a short period of time! Amazing. :-)

    I follow on Bloglovin.

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  49. And according to everyone else, Pelee is an island on Lake Erie but I had never heard of it before today!!!

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  50. I've never heard of Peelee Island. So I went ot google it yesterday and forgot what I was googling (symptom of age) so I just googled it now and found out that it is "one of Canada's best kept secrets!" It's an island in Lake Erie. Karen

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  51. I know I am late for the giveaway but I still wanted to wish you a Happy Blogiversary. You can see I am sadly WAY behind on my blog reading.

    Keep on sharing!

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I wholeheartedly appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment, as they make my day! I answer every one. :-) Unless... you are a "no-reply" blogger, which can occur for a few reasons. Here is an awesome place you can fix this:
http://www.sewathomemummy.com/2013/01/are-you-no-reply-blogger.html