2015 New Quilt Blogger’s Blog Hop

This is my ‘Initial Blog’ for the 2015 New Quilt Blogger’s Blog Hop.  As there are around 70 of us participating in this Hop we have been divided into four groups (I belong to the ‘Quantum Quilters’ hive which is watched over by Yvonne Fuchs aka Quilting Jet Girl, one of the four hosts of the 2015 Hop). Last week the Hop began in earnest and a few participants were tasked with giving an introduction to themselves by publishing their ‘initial blog’.  This week I’m one of the of ‘initial blog’ bloggers, so here goes…

I’ve always been making things, from clothes and furniture for my dolls, knitted jumpers for my husband (way back when love was young!), decorations for events at home and at church, cards, cross stitch pictures…

It must have been around 1980 that I used the instructions from the St Michael Book of Handicrafts to make some English paper pieced hexagons.  I raided my Mum’s scrap basket to make a rather lumpy cushion, stuffed with old tights!  Looking at that cushion now, I see it does exactly what a traditional quilt would do; it brings back memories.  Three of the fabrics were from dresses my Mum wore in the 1960’s before they found their way into my dressing-up box!  The others are from a bright floral sheet (very 1970’s!) and fabrics Mum used to make our dresses and blouses.

My first attempt at patchwork (no quilting!).
My first attempt at patchwork (no quilting!).

That cushion was my first little go at patchwork and quilting.  I didn’t pick up the craft again for another 30 years. Then a colourful shop window display by North Hampshire Quilters caught my attention; lots of beautiful little quilts destined for babies being cared for in our local hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit.  Before long I was attending NHQ meetings, adding quilting equipment to my birthday wish list and learning fast at Chris and Flip’s Beginners Quilt Class.  Patchwork and quilting have quickly taken over my home and much of the time I can give to hobbies – infinite possibilities with colour and patterns; creative obsession!

The sampler quilt I made at the beginners classes.
One of my first sampler sampler quilts.

As well as learning a lot from the generous guidance of NHQ members, I’ve been using the internet to search for how-to’s and inspiration.  That’s when I discovered blogs.   Not only a great source of information but also a way to connect with quilters around the world, reading about their thoughts on things quilty and beyond. Strangely this modern way of communicating took me back to the 1970’s and 1980’s when I and my friends spent quite a lot of time writing letters to each other – in those days post was much, much cheaper than phone calls! In October 2014 I took the plunge and, with the much needed technical support of Sophie, launched my own blog.  And this is where I am, keen to get more proficient at the technical side of blogging (note, for instance, that I haven’t yet managed to include a Quantum Quilters logo on my page!), curious to find out how a blog can develop, very interested to engage with other bloggers and hopefully, in some small way, contribute to the quilt blogging community myself.

A recent finish.  A traditional log cabin with a modern twist - my second attempt at quilting a continuous spiral using a walking foot.
A recent finish. A traditional log cabin with a modern twist – my second attempt at quilting a continuous spiral using a walking foot.

My blogging tip:  Read your post aloud before hitting the publish button – it’s an opportunity to make changes that will help the words flow for your readers.

My quilting tip: Clean out the lint from your machine’s bobbin race at least once during each project – could save a lot of skipped stitches and frustration!

My question: Do you have quilting fabrics that bring back memories when you see them?

Finally links to the hosts of the 2015 New Quilt Blogger’s Blog Hop:

Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs, Stephanie @Late Night Quilter, Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination, and Yvonne @Quilting Jet Girl

And to the other members of the Quantum Quilters hive publishing their initial blog posts today. Please do drop by and find out about them and take note of their handy tips and links!

Liz @LizzyClips Design

Helen @Midget Gem Quilts

Sharla @Thistle Thicket Studio


47 thoughts on “2015 New Quilt Blogger’s Blog Hop

  1. The 4th quilt I made is currently on my bed, and many of the fabrics in it are from clothing I wore when I was a little girl. 🙂 I am so glad you are participating in the blog hop, and it was lovely getting to know you better. I’m going to send you an email with information on how to add the Quantum Quilters button to your sidebar.

  2. Hi Allison, I enjoyed reading your blog post this morning. I had a bit of a scramble, my “scheduling” didn’t work so had to publish when I got up. I love your hexies, I have been making hexie rosettes for a while and they are building up nicely.

  3. What a lovely post! Your cushion, lumpy though it may be, is beautiful. I know exactly which quilts I have used each fabrics for, so they mostly make me remember past quilts! I dearly wish I had some childhood clothing I could use but alas no!

  4. Great post!! I love to take a trip down memory lane when I’m going through my scrap bins… It really amazes me to remember just how many quilts I have made and gifted over the years!!

  5. I think every quilt becomes a memory of some sort…either good or bad and I think that is true even of scraps. Recently one of my high school friends contacted me. Her grandmother (an amazing quilter) had passed away and they wanted to give me all of her scrap of fabrics since I like to make smaller quilts. I’ve been sorting through them for a while now and wonder what she made with the original pieces. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  6. With some of my fabric, I can remember when I bought it, who I was with, why I bought it, etc. But then, sometimes, I can go in another room and forget why I went there! lol Go figure!

  7. I really like the layout of your log cabin quilt – I LOVE log cabins and this is such a clever way of arranging the light and dark fabrics. I make a lot of quilts as gifts and so I find that I have a lot of scraps that remind me of the people whose quilts I’d originally used the fabrics for – I try to use those special scraps in projects I intend to keep for me so I always have a cozy reminder of the people I love.

    • Thanks for your message. The log cabin blocks are set in a ‘whirligig’ pattern – I found it in Eleanor Burns’ ‘Make a quilt in a day log cabin pattern book’. I like your way of using scraps to remind you of the people you’ve given quilts to. 🙂

  8. I really wish I had lovely old fabric to play with. My grandma made us a lot of cotton dresses, and it would be great to use some of that fabric in a quilt. My parents were part of a hand-me-down ring with a lot of their friends, so everything got passed on when we grew out of it, then again, and again, until it fell apart. Until five years ago one of my primary school uniforms was still in action. I think it got passed out of our circle the year that the uniform was changed. It was just how things worked in my part of the world.

    I think this will become more of a sentimental journey for me as time goes on. When in ten years I can clean out my scraps and find something I’d already used. I hope it does.

    • How great to have been able to reuse clothes through a hand-me-down ring (my youngest son used to get really excited when my husband went up in the loft to get the box of next size clothes down for him!). Like you I don’t have stash of old fabrics but over time we will!

      • That’s very sweet. I didn’t find the hand me down cycle very exciting at all. Mostly I just wanted to choose my own things. Occasionally something I’d had my eye on would be passed down, which was fun, but that was about it.

  9. Allison, your first hex patchwork cushion is super adorable and I have a thing for log cabins, so I love that one too. 🙂 Thanks for the tips, I always try to clean my machine after a project or during a needle change. I think it’s easier to clean when we do it often. I actually like cleaning it, it’s kind of relaxing.. 😀

  10. Your cushion is lovely! I look at my scrap quilts and I remember where I purchased each bit or what was going on in my life at the time I made it. There is something about working with cloth that is so tied to the emotions. I am enjoying your blog and you are doing a great job with it! I believe as I read your blog that you are your self and give others permission to be themselves as well and that is a beautiful thing.

    • Thank you Katy, that’s very kind and encouraging! I’m finding the blog and connecting with people like yourself a real blessing. It’s good to reflect, writing gives me that ‘space’ and it’s good to communicate, I’m finding blogs provide a better platform than other, more shorthand, types of social media. God bless you, Allison

  11. Allison, I so enjoyed seeing your traditional log cabin quilt with a modern twist. I have recently been making log cabin blocks for a #logcabinparty swap through Instagram, and I love how you have arranged the blocks for your quilt. I need to start using your quilting tip pronto! And your blogging tip makes a lot of sense too.

  12. For my first “liberated” quilt I took scraps from previous traditional quilts and projects and made a quilt titled, “Sentimental Soup.” I have it on the cedar chest in my bedroom. It reminds that those traditional projects were the foundation for my current modern obsession.

  13. Hey Allison, Good post and tips – your hexagon cushion turned out really well. I have one fabric in my stash given to me by my mother and I used most of it in a quilt I made and gave to her !

  14. I love that little pillow! Lots of memories there! There are lots of fabrics that bring back a little snippet of days gone by! It was wonderful meeting and getting to know you!

  15. Hi Allison: I’m a bit late to the party here. I’m glad to meet you. My I.T. consultants have both left home so it’s a bit of a struggle here at times. Although I do have some I.T. support with the younger set at my work. I don’t have sentimental fabrics but I do have favourites and I love it when my kid’s decide they want the quilt with my favourite in them…so I can still see it occasionally.

    • We are making the most of having a resident teenager and learning all the IT we can before he disappears to university! I think I should make him a quilt to take with him – I’ve got just over a year to get my act together!

  16. Allison, I enjoyed reading about your entrance into the quilting world and blogging. I agree, the internet has been a great blessing and how I have also learned and grown as a quilter. I am so thankful for all the quilters who share their knowledge and expertise so freely. I love, love your log cabin quilt! I have only made and gifted it to my sister. I hope to make another. Samplers are a great introduction to quilting. I joined Sophie’s Block Lotto for that reason. I finished all the blocks from the 2014 sampler. Anyway! welcome to 2015 Quilt New Bloggers. 🙂 Dena

  17. Hi Allison, it is lovely to get to know you and your blog. I hear you on the technical stuff. It makes my brain hurt. Just tonight I was on the phone with a patient brother-in-law trying to figure out how to make a photo gallery on my blog. And it’s just NOT working. (Sigh). By the by, I love the name of your blog. One of my favorite scriptures. Have you ever read the book by Sandra Dallas called New Mercies? It’s a novel set in the 30s in the deep south and deals with change and finding new mercies in our lives. Not overtly religious but a lovely book. Regards, Ida

  18. I love your cushion. Your memories are so sweet. My son’s first quilt used some scraps from a pair of pants I made for my daughter, so I think as the years pass and the pants are long gone it will continue to be fun to be reminded of them.

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