Saturday, April 10, 2021

Outstanding Blogger Award

I am honoured to write this post, which is, ahem, three weeks overdue, but a certain quilt along has been a priority of late! Roseanne, of Home Sewn by Us, whose blog I thoroughly enjoy, and whose personality just brims over with good will, first nominated me for this award. I was honoured, and touched that she chose me as one of her favourite bloggers. And then a week later, Helen, of Word Weaver Art, nominated me as well. My heart just swelled up a little more! So it is high time, well, it's past high time, that I write this post.

The Outstanding Blogger Award is given one blogger to another. It's a way of supporting and acknowledging one another. (I'm all about community: supporting, sharing, caring for, and cheering one another on are big reasons why I continue to blog when the tendency is to move to Instagram.)

As an award recipient, I get to answer some questions from Roseanne and Helen.

I'll start with Roseanne's.
1. Have you had any major quilting/sewing successes that you'd like to share with us? Please toot your own horn!
Well, yes, a few! I've had several quilt designs published; if you click the Publications tab you'll see them all and where to find the patterns. Most recently my quilt 'Heading North' was published in Make Modern. It nearly made the cover: they asked their readers to vote, and it lost by a squeak. (Lara's terminology!) Just prior to this quilt getting published was Follow Your Own Path, which did make the cover of Modern by the Yard, and is this year's QAL that I'm hosting. I guess even more recently, I was totally shocked when Tish showed me that this quilt was used in a full-page ad by Benartex for their line 'Color Theory', and that the ad was the first page inside Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting!

Another big one that I still feel the 'pinch me it can't be really real' feeling is that no less than four of my quilts were used as examples in Bernina's The Big Book of Machine Quilting, available now at Bernina dealers. Here's one of the 30-second videos I made about that honour. (I'm thinking I need a TikTok channel now! Get with the times!)

2. Are/were you influenced by family members to get into quilting, and have you passed on that love to the next generation?
I don't have any quilters in my family, though my Grandma (paternal) did make one wool quilt of big squares that was tied, and sat on the back of her couch. She was a crocheter and won first prize at a local fair for a petticoat she made. She gave that petticoat to me, and I treasure it. My Nana (maternal), was an incredible seamstress and knitter, doing both to bring in money. As for passing on the love, my eldest daughter Brianne, does not like quilts, though of late she has requested a few quilt-type items but they can't look too quilty. In other words, she likes modern quilts (but don't tell her). Dayna, my youngest, loves quilts, and wants them all, though she has no desire to learn or to even sew! Now Brady, my grandson, loves quilts, and continually asks me for quilt or sewing items. He does have an interest in sewing, and we have made a few projects together when he comes to visit. He's a natural; I can't get over how easily he picked up on learning how to sew, both on my old Elna and my Featherweight.

3. Do you have anything on your bucket list that is quilting-related?
One day I hope to go to Paducah, Kentucky, for the big quilt show.

4. Do you have any short- or long-term goals that you are working toward that you can share with us?
I do need to get more of my published patterns in my Etsy shop as the rights to them all, outside of the most recent in Make Modern, have come back to me. I'm going to be mum about a couple of other goals for now.

5. Have you done any pattern-testing for other bloggers or would you like to? If so, do you enjoy it?
Yes. The first pattern I ever tested was in 2014, Star Steps by Joanne of Canuck Quilter Designs. I named my version Watercolour Steps.

I also tested one for Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs in 2015, her Grande Scrappy Tiles. Yes, I thoroughly enjoy testing patterns. I always learn new things. I am really pleased to be in the 'asking for pattern testers' group these days!

Here are Helen's.
1. Silence, music, podcast or something else when you create/work?
Music. Always always music, usually classical, but sometimes rock, both new and older, blues, World, New Age. This past year I've listened to several audio books though, and a few podcasts.

2. What's your favourite part of the process as you create/write?
Selecting fabric, hands down. I love playing with colour and pattern, putting combinations together that make me swoon with excitement and joy.

3. Where do you do your craft, and what's that space like?
In my new studio. We did a major renovation on our little house, which began in 2019. Although my studio is lacking the final components to its IKEA cabinetry, the mishmash of stuff I do have works just fine. Once the pandemic is under control, and stock is back up, we will be making those final cabinet purchases and eventually I can do a 'for realz' studio tour! Here is a favourite shot of my design wall one sunny morning in January. I have a ton of natural light.

4. How do you choose who to follow?
If I come across them through others' posts on Instagram, and they interest me, I follow them there. If I'm drawn in to their work from Instagram and they have a blog, then I'll investigate that blog. As for bloggers I follow, those that I really like, I sign up for email notification of their posts so I never miss a post. Often these are bloggers with whom I've developed a friendship through comments. They've commented on my post, and I always respond by a personal email, and the conversation has grown from there.

5. Why do you write and post on your blog?
I've always loved to write; I used to want to be an author. I've kept a journal most of my life. When I retired early, we left my home province of Alberta and moved back to southwestern Ontario, where my husband is from, and where we'd spent five years, the last half of the 80s. Both of our daughters were born here, and the main reason we left and moved back to Alberta was because I wanted them to grow up with their grandparents close by. So when we came full circle and moved back here in retirement, I knew I wanted to start a blog as a way to keep in touch with friends and family, a way to explore and write about this new stage in my life, along with my musings on life after 50 and life in general, and, of course, as a way to document my quilts, since I now had time to pursue that passion. I continue to write for all of those reasons, but more so towards the quilt end of the reason!

The second part of receiving this award is to nominate a few other bloggers and give them five questions of my own to answer. I get several blogs in my Inbox, so it is hard to just pick a few and if a few is three, well I've done double that, ha.
If you haven't checked out Home Sewn By Us and Word Weaver Art, please take a moment to do so; I promise you that you will not be disappointed.

In alphabetical order, here are my nominations.

Anja Quilts - Anja amazes and inspires me with her use of Kona cottons and her sense of colour. She is a prolific quilter, though she's stalled a bit now due to a basement flood, but with her efficiency, she'll be sewing and blogging probably this week! She has participated in all five of my QALs,  not letting a wee basement flood stop her this year, and she tested my Waltzing With Bears pattern.

Clever Chameleon - Dione and I 'met' when I found her fantastic Vanuatu quilt through a linkup. Vanuatu is a place I've wanted to go since I had my grade 9 French students doing their travel projects on countries where French was an official language. I am worried about her as she hasn't posted since early February... She has recently finished a year-long quilt-along, Lunarcy, free on her blog. She is a most talented designer of appliqué patterns, and her skills at executing her designs will definitely make you gaze at her work for a while!

Inspiration Collaboration - This is the baby of Helen of Word Weaver Art and Sara of Sara Harley. They post a painting by Helen and a photo by Sara at the beginning of each month. If you are ever in a funk, have lost your sew-jo or create-jo, then hop over to this blog for some wonderful inspiration. All art mediums welcome! Inspiration Collaboration isn't really a blog, but a springboard and showcase of others' art, and both Helen and Sara have already received the award, but I wanted to highlight this as it has certainly given me inspiration, as well as pause. Sara's photos and Helen's paintings are arresting.

Quilts from the Little House - Janine has been a quilter for longer than some bloggers have been on the earth! She quilts on a treadle, which reminds me on every post that I MUST get my grandma's up and running and learn how to use it. She lives not too far from me, and she shows you photos of her surroundings from bike rides she and her husband do around her beautiful state of Michigan (my favourite state just saying').

Stitchin at Home - Cindy lives only a couple hours' drive  along the shore of Lake Erie northeast of me. We have gotten together twice over the past few years, and plan to this spring, once we are allowed to move around again, as our province has gone into a stay-at-home order, (which I won't get into, but it's not a strict enough one). She has had a few of her designs published; her paper-piecing designs are beautiful.
Stitching Farm Girl - Raewyn lives in New Zealand, and often posts photos from her farm. I love blogs that show their area as it often gets me googling things, mapping things and learning! She does beautiful quilting, hand work, sewing and farm work (her calves--!)

Storied Quilts - I met Vasudha when I first saw her spiral Lone Star quilt; I think it was through visiting her blog after she commented on mine. She designs incredible quilts! Her sense of colour and 'twisting' a traditional block or pattern is at another level. And to equal this talent is her quilting prowess. Lots of eye candy here, and stories too, another aspect of why I like her blog so much.

Here are my questions for these lovely ladies, if they choose to participate, and there is absolutely no requirement that they do. (I'm giving Anja and Dione a big pass anyhow with life stuff. I wanted to acknowledge these contributions to our community though.)

1. Have you made any quilts of your own design? If so, please share!
2. Have you entered any quilt shows, and if so, which ones? If not, do you have plans to?
3. Do you have a mentor, or someone to whom you look up to, or have learned a great deal from in your craft? Explain how this person or these people have influenced you.
4. Do you find that where you live influences your choices of colour and design? Can you give examples?
5. What do you do with your makes? (keep, decorate, use, give away, etc)

Again, thank you to Roseanne and to Helen for the nomination, and thank you for reading!


  1. It's always fun to get a glimpse into the thoughts of a creative friend.

  2. Sandra, this is such a fun way to get to know bloggers a bit better! I've always enjoyed your blog and projects and even the in-betweens as the process goes. If it weren't for blogs, I wouldn't be quilting. Thank you for sharing so much of what you know. Also, thanks for introducing a few new-to-me bloggers!

  3. Thanks for a lovely read. Have a great day!

  4. So fun to read your post, and learn more about you, Sandra! I love those quilts that you were a pattern tester for, and also that you're teaching Brady to sew. That's so great!

  5. Hi again, and thank you for taking the time for some thoughtful responses to both Helen and my questions. I can so see you as an author . . . just sayin'. {{Hugs}} a bunch! I loved seeing into the slice of life you've shared with us. ~smile~ Roseanne

  6. I didn't get this via email, just saying. I love finding new blogs to go and read and finding out more about quilters; just so nosey :-)

  7. So glad to hear of your double nomination - well deserved. Congrats on all your recent successes - you are a star.

  8. They were well-deserved nominations. Thank you for all the inspiration you share on this blog. I enjoyed reading your answers to Helen and Roseanne's questions.

  9. I saw the Benartex add when my new issue came. Congrats on that and on the Bernina book inclusions. Thank you for sharing your designs, it's always fun and inspiring to see what you've got going on.


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