A Quick Break, BRB!

I’m going to pull back on my 3-4 posts per week cadence that I’ve kept up with lately to let my life breath for a couple of weeks. I’ve been under a tremendous amount of self-imposed stress lately and it’s taking a toll on me and the blog is the things that has to give for a wee bit.

I am part of a line dance team sponsored by my favorite local saloon and we are performing at a big festival: the Great American Celebration, over the weekend of the 4th of July in Spencer MA. I’ve got one dance on the list that I’m still shaky on and I need to spend some time practicing and doing some endurance work to make sure I can keep up with some of the younger girls. If you’re a local reader please do get in touch if you’re interested in going, I’d love to meet you in person!!!

Great American Celebration - Spencer MA 2015

In addition one of the coordinators of the event (a good friend) asked if I would be able to help whip up some pillows and cushions for a palette bench in the VIP area at the festival. I foolishly agreed before getting solid details. It’s 30 pillows and probably 12 cushions and with only 2 weeks to order the fabric, get it delivered and making the pillows I’ll be a bit stressed out as it gets down to the wire!

The 2015 New Quilt Bloggers blog hop is going so wonderfully and I’m so lucky to be involved as one of the co-hosts with three other ladies that have quickly become very dear friends but these types of online events take coördination, dedication and effort. I am so thankful we have a 2 week break already scheduled into these next weeks because I sure need it to come back refreshed for weeks 3 and 4 of the hop.

In offline life I’m also helping coördinate a group weekend trip for about 30 people at the end of July and trying to make sure I spend an adequate amount of time with my boyfriend, family and friends while juggling all these things while things are shaking up over at my full-time job.

Sailboat Wall Hanging Plans

On top of that I have a quilt I need to get finished, a family commissioned wall quilt (fabric came yesterday!), a quilt to make for a contest, a product I’m planning a Kickstarter for, a quilt along I’m planning for the fall and countless other projects that have had to be pushed to the side while I screw my head back on straight since it’s been spinning like a top since the beginning of June.

Here’s hoping you get a chance to enjoy some summer festivities these next few weeks (or winter activities for all my Australian friends) and I’ll catch up with y’all just as soon as I can!

Cottage Wall Hanging in Planning

At the end of May my mother texted me about commissioning a wall hanging for the cottage my mother and aunt inherited when my grandmother passed away last fall. It’s the cottage I recently posted about on the coast of Connecticut. It’s right on the water on the coast of Connecticut but it’s not a fancy place; running water is from rain barrels on the roof, no shower and until this year no Internet.

Conversation about the Wall Quilt

After our quick conversation I had a little panic moment where I feared I’d never be able to come up with something perfect for the space it needed to go in. I thought about it for a few weeks and came up with nothing. Finally I decided it would be easier to brainstorm with my mother and aunt on what to do.

Where the Wall Hanging Will Go

While I was there this past weekend I snapped a photo of the wall for reference at home. Yes, the photo is straight; the cottage is a bit crooked (I’m telling you it’s a quaint spot) and we are in the midst of repainting the place so don’t mind the multi-colored ceiling!

While together, the three of us brainstormed on topics. I was trolling Pinterest and listening to the requirements:

  • Nautical but not too nautical
  • No anchors (aunt does not care for them)
  • Fish, maybe no fish, but these are cute
  • Blue and red to tie in the pillows we already have
  • Oh and we need new curtains but we can do that later
  • Sailboats are neat

Once we hit on sailboats I had a gut feeling that was a winner. I looked at some paper pieced sailboats but didn’t love them but when I found inspiration from the Patchwork Thread t-shirt Sailboat, I knew I had a winner!

Sailboat T from Patchwork Threads

I measured the spot on the wall again (deciding on at least 48×38″) and opened EQ7 to whip up a design and after a couple of iterations I had the block shape and proportions just the way I wanted them. We had talked about what fabric to use and I steered them towards Bonnie and Camille’s line Daysail for Moda. The colors were just right and I knew I could tone down the use of green to let the blues and reds be the focus.

Sailboat Wall Hanging Plans

I’m an over thinker so once I had the layout together and we were all in agreement I quickly ordered the fabric so I wouldn’t waste time second guessing the decisions. I picked up the charm packs and yardage I needed from the Fat Quarter Shop who has been so wonderful in sponsoring the giveaways for the 2015 New Quilt Blogger Blog hops (week 1 and week 2.) I’ve got some MASSIVE projects coming up this summer but I’m so excited for this one to get started!

Daysail by Bonnie & Camille

 

Do you use EQ7 at all when designing your quilts? I jump back and forth using EQ7 or pen and paper but want to start using EQ7 more since it really helps me visualize placement ahead of time.

iPhone mockup template from Make it Digital

Blog Hop Week 2 & Giveaway!

This week is the second week of the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. I am looking forward to getting to know more of the Sewcial Swarm Hive this week, and I hope you are having fun following along with me!

Sewcial Swarm - 2015 New Quilt Bloggers

Today I am introducing:

Wanda of wandadotson.com (IG: wandaslifesampler)
Tish of tishnwonderland.blogspot.com (IG: tishnwonderland)
Brianna of theironandneedle.blogspot.ca (IG: theironandneedle)
Sandra of thebiasedge.wordpress.com

We have 4 hosts, Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs, Stephanie of Late Night Quilter, Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl, and me, each posting about several new bloggers for you to check out every Monday over the course of 4 weeks. So after you have had some time to get to know more about the Quantum Quilters, please visit the other hosts to learn more about other new quilt bloggers! It’s a big blog hop, so that also means big giveaways. Scroll down to the bottom to check out this week’s awesome sponsors and big prizes.

Also, check out these great new advice posts from seasoned veterans:

Jess of Quilty Habit: Top 10 Tips: Using Your Stash
Stephanie of Late Night Quilter: How to Embed Videos in Blog Posts
Terri Ann of Childlike Fascination (me): Let’s Talk About Your About Page

Do you have a great advice post that we can link to? Send me an email or leave a comment and we will add you to our resource list!

New Quilt Bloggers Week 2 Giveaway!
We are so thankful to our generous sponsors of the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. This week you can enter to win one of five fabulous prizes:

(1) Sis Boom Aurifil Thread Collection from Aurifil
(1) Parrot Fat Quarter Bundle (Solids) from Pile O’Fabric
(1) $50 Gift Certificate from The Fat Quarter Shop
(2) Patterns of your choice from Meadow Mist Designs
(2) Patterns of your choice from Quilting Jetgirl

Blog Hop Week 2

You can earn up to 6 entries to this giveaway:

Just use the Rafflecopter widget to enter (click on image below to go to the Rafflecopter entry page)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will run from June 22nd through June 27th 11:59 pm EST and is open to entrants 18 years or older. Winners will be announced Sunday, June 28th!

A Little Weekend Away

I was lucky enough to sneak away for the weekend for a bit of R&R at my family’s cottage on the coast of Connecticut. It was unfortunately a bit of a gloomy weekend but once the rain broke Sunday morning I grabbed my camera for a little “get outside” adventure before I headed home.

Tigerlily Flower

This Tigerlily flower was soaked from the rain but the plants needed all that water so who is to complain?

American Oystercatchers on the coast of Connecticut

I’ve never seen these birds here before but we looked them up in the bird book; they’re American Oysterpickers. My mother, aunt and I agreed that despite spending so much time here over the years (they grew up spending summers at this cottage) we’ve never seen these birds here before!

Collage of Ocean Photos

Some other sights while wandering the little beaches and roads, it started to brighten up but there was still a haze over the marsh by the mailboxes.

The shack and the marsh on the coast of Connecticut

I ended my adventure by sitting on the point at Rocky Beach sitting quietly, listing to the waves and the birds just watching, breathing and being. When I climb out on the point I have to leave my flip-flops at the start of the rocks, I spent so many summers running around this island barefoot that I’m so much more agile without shoes when walking on the rocks.

Photos from Rocky Beach on the Coast of Connecticut

While it wasn’t an ideal sunny beach weekend it was just what I needed.  I’ve also been commissioned by the family to make a wall hanging for the cottage but there will be more on that in another post.

Before I forget the winners for the Week 1 giveaway during the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop have been announced, go check out Yvonne’s post on her blog Quilting Jetgirl for details!

Let’s Talk About Your About Page – Blog Tips

One thing I love is how personal my favorite quilt blogs are. They’re not just posts on the Internet, they’re posts by real people. I jumped on the bandwagon and added a little about me bio right at the top of my sidebar, now no matter what page a visitor lands on they’ll see that I’m Terri Ann, I’m a real life person who loves sharing about my favorite projects, techniques and so much more.

Screenshot of my about section in my blog's sidebar

It took a couple revisions to get that little elevator speech right (by my standards) and after completing that I knew I needed to spruce up my about page. So I started doing research and collecting information on what other people have or what I think they are missing, on their about pages, I thought I would share a list. If you’re gonna spruce up your about page you don’t need all of these things but they’re great jumping points to customize the about page to fit your style.

1. Who are you?

It bums me out when I can’t put a name to a site or address a blogger by name when leaving a comment on their blog. If you started your blog to keep in touch with friends and family remember that as your readership grows you can’t assume that your visitors already know who you are when they stop by to visit.

2. What makes you, you?

I like to know a little about the bloggers whose sites I read. Are you a parent? Do you have a full-time job and craft for fun? Do you like dogs or cats? Give me a taste of who you are as a person so I can feel like we would click offline the way I connect with your identity as a blogger. I don’t need the entire life story but what are the things you’d tell me about yourself at a cocktail party?

3. Let’s put a face to this blog!

I know photos are a tricky spot but I finally took the plunge when Tsoniki from the Me Being Crafty podcast needed a photo of me to go along with my interview post. Before then I had a little illustration that looked like me but I handed my boyfriend my camera, grabbed some quilts and let him snap away. Now you can see that I’m a real person and if we ever chance to meet offline you’ll know who you are looking for!

4. Where can I learn more about you in the blog?

If my about page had every piece of information about me in it the page would be a novel! Some of the about pages that I looked at took this idea to the next level by linking to posts that went more in-depth to something on their about page. This way if I’m interested in that person’s background I can dive in and learn more but it’s not in the way of the rest of the general info on the about page.

5. Why are you blogging?

This is a question I ask myself all the time and it’s a question whose answer changes depending on my mood but it’s fun to put a little information about how a blog got started and where you think it’s going to let your readers know.

6. Details, details!

I saw about pages that covered many other topics like the following:

  • What sewing machine(s) you use
  • What magazines you’ve been published in
  • What blogs have you guest posted on
  • Where can I see all your finished quilts

Let your about page shine about you and your blog, let it paint the story. It is REALLY awkward to write at first but write something, then come back and edit it in a month, then again in two months and soon you’ll find that it’s easier to write that you’d thought.

Take the about page challenge. Go and update your blog's about page to let your audience know more about you!

Well I’m off to go make some updates to my about page, how about you?  Any other subjects I’m missing that you like to see in about pages? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Triangle Baby Quilt

I remember the night I started this quilt very clearly. I was home by myself, in my old apartment on a Saturday night. It was getting down to the wire before moving and I had a list of things a mile long to do. Mostly cleaning, purging and packing. Do you know what I did instead? I purged a bottle of wine from the fridge and cut up a pile of fat quarters into triangles, cause we’re quilters and that’s what we do.

Trendy Triangle Baby Quilt

I’d never made a triangle quilt before and suddenly when I looked at this cute gender neutral baby prints bundle I realized it needed to be my first triangle masterpiece. I’d picked up a bundle at Quilter’s Way at some point in my travels and without any baby in mind I thought it would be good to have some neutral baby prints around since I am in that age where suddenly everyone’s married and pregnant.

Triangle Baby Quilt made with the Super Sidekick Ruler

I used my Super Sidekick ruler to cut the pieces up and then quickly arranged the triangles and pieced them together. Before Sunday was over I had completed the top and hadn’t packed a thing. I put the quilt away to finish after the move.

Trendy Triangle Baby Quilt

Recently I got around to finishing the quilt. It was kind-of a disastrous finish. First I didn’t have enough of the flannel backing fabric (not a lot of flannel around to piece a back together with) then after I quilted with a fresh new Minky backing I botched the binding not once but twice.

Love the way the triangles for a 6 pointed star on this Triangle Baby Quilt

All in all I’m happy that I ended up with this new binding cause I like the way the orange and white scallops plays at the edge of the quilt. I used the glue binding technique I learned from the class taught by Christy Fincher of Purple Daisies Quilting at the Original Sewing Expo back in April. It was challenging cause of the minky, but I finally got it done.

I was excited last week to get the birth announcement from a former co-worker that they had their first baby girl, Maya. A bunch of us from that job all got together this week and I gave her this gift to bring to keep Maya warm in the Minnesota winters since they’re moving back to her home state shortly.

Triangle Baby Quilt All Folded Up

So happy this guy has a home now; a baby quilt with no home is a crying shame!

Quilt all folded up to gift away

A Thought on Packaging Gift Quilts

Maybe it’s just me but I prefer to fold up the quilt so the back is showing then wrap it in tissue paper and put it in a gift bag; that way the recipient can’t get a preview of the top until EVERYONE there gets to see it once it’s removed from the bag and unfolded. (It also makes for a great photo op that way!)

How to you package up your gift quilts? Share your method in the comments!

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