|The first heavily quilted quilt I did on Avril, my longarm|
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,
|Summer Scents Mosaic|
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.
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!|
|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: