KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, BUT IT DOESN'T MAKE MY BLOW DRYER RUN!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Quilts, Quilts, Quilts!


Our Penn Oaks Quilt Guild had their quilt show last week. We did not have "regular" judging but went with the viewers at the show deciding on the quilts they liked best. The categories were Best of Show, Best Workmanship, Best Use of Color and Makes Me Smile. I was so honored to receive 2 awards! I do love this quilt and many other people did too. Congratulations also to Robin and Marti for winning as well.


A few members made the ribbons which add another personalized touch. I feel like guilds are doing this more and more.


I am going on a retreat in a week and we decided to have an optional pouch swap. I went to my Lola Pouch standby and it never disappoints!


I don't know who I will swap with, so I went with a more neutral palette so anyone would like it. I had the "Handmade" in my box of stuff and think this works perfectly. You can also see my stitching which I used a #4 on my Bernina to do the quilting. I feel like the longer stitch length works better with the canvas fabric.


If you are afraid of zippers, she has the best method and it works EVERY time as long as you follow the directions. If you look closely at the zipper above, that is not skill, it is good directions. I also added one of my labels that I am almost out of! I think the lining fabric inside is also cute.


I made these mini stars the other day and decided to make them into a pincushion to add to the bag. Some chocolate may find it's way in there too!


I had a sewing session with some friends to make this bag. It was hard and I think I really would have had difficulty if they weren't there to help.


It is very versatile and you can fit a small (Featherweight size) sewing machine in it.


There are lots of pockets to contain your things and I added the acrylic bottom so it doesn't sag. I highly recommend it.


There is even a front pocket that you can slide a phone in for easy access. I am looking forward to using it at the retreat.


If you are following me on Instagram you know I have been doing the Trinket Sew Along by Alison Glass. This has been a fun and easy project. All the blocks are paper pieced and they went fast.
I especially love the colors.


These 4 are my favorite blocks. I gave myself a blue ribbon for finishing them all. I plan on getting this quilted soon, easy straight line quilting.


So the quilt shows have been abundant! Here is some of what I bought.......

I love those bees and birds!


Fabrics that are color staples for me.


The hexagon and bee fabric was a must have. Text fabric is always a must.


Imagine what you can do with these words.......


These have a graffiti feel and will be perfect for something, I just know it!


Some very cool fabric that will be amazing in a yet to be determined quilt. Do you see a pattern on how I buy?



This is going to be for a very special quilt. We are expecting grandchild number nine in August! The parents are not finding out, I love that surprise! So I usually make a before baby is born quilt and an after baby is born quilt that is a bit more personal.
Our family is really expanding. There will be 5 babies born in 10 months! Lots of quilts to make, and I am happy to do it!


Our Calico Cutters Quilt Guild has an annual Tea and Auction. I volunteered to help organize a sewing room or any room of your choosing. My friend Terry had the highest bid and she is all worried about "cleaning" it before I get there......I just thought I would keep it real for her and myself, and you have not seen the other side of the room!
Life has been busy and getting a little out of control. I have been off my normal schedule and need to get back to it!
To all the people who commented and did not receive a response from me, it is because when you do comment I only get your name and no email address. I know that is frustrating and I wish I could respond. Please know I read every response and take everything you all say to heart. It makes me happy that you read my blog and I inspire you to try things. This is a really fun hobby that gives me endless hours of enjoyment and I appreciate you all following along. You can add your email address to the end of your comment if you think this might be you. I will be sure to respond.
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. My children are my biggest cheerleaders and I love being their mom (-:

Kelly

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Wow, You Have Spoken!

First of all I know you all love pictures, I still think you might like to read what some people have said about blogging. If not just look at the pretty pictures!

I got about 44 comments about blog comments. I answered every email I got except for the no reply comments. Unfortunately I have no way of answering you. If you read through some of the comments I put in here, you will see there are lots of reasons for why it is/isn't working.
I don't know what the answers are to trying to improve this. From now on I will put my email at the end of each post so you can contact me if you want.


I am totally hooked on doing pot holders. I loved these as a kid! The loops they have now are gorgeous and cotton.
So here are some of the comments.......


"I still read and enjoy blogs but I am often guilty of not taking the time to comment. There are no blogger issues that I know of that are affecting me, I sometimes just read in a hurry and move on. I know that shortchanges the blogger who put lots of time into the post. I will try to remember that! I have never done facebook, nor do I intend to. Our son told my husband and me years ago that parents and grandparents have ruined facebook. We took it as our sign we should not sign up! Actually, he's not all that into it either, but I know lots of people are. I don't do Instagram either, although I may, someday." From LM


I have been making them when I watch TV at night.

"I have a couple of thoughts here, about blogging. I think a lot of people read blogs and then 'pin' an idea without making a comment. Sad, but if you look up your Pinterest page, you'll see what I mean. From that I occasionally get an email from someone who would like the pattern of a quilt I've made and they saw on Pinterest! Blogger has changed in recent days. It's at the top of your 'Posts' page in the yellow box. It mentions Google+ comments etc. I had a long time follower tell me she had trouble leaving a comment so I think that has something to do with it. Another reason could be that some blogs which have advertising all over them turned me off following them. Finally there are still well known bloggers out there who write wonderful blog posts but don't bother to answer comments!! Why would I waste my time on them? Not that you are in that realm Kelly! I love, love, love your temperature quilt! The colour palette you chose is gorgeous! Oh, and IG is quicker too!"  From SS


They also come in a bigger size too. This loom is a 10" size which makes wonderful trivets.

"I love visiting blogs and seeing lovely quilts but I do not always take the time to comment since I visit a lot of blogs. If i would comment on every blog I read i would not have time to do anything else. I do not visit instagram and am not fond of facebook. That trinket project looks very interesting. And the temperature quilt is lovely." This if from a no-reply commentor (KV) I cannot respond to her because I don't have her email! 
And this one too!....... "I just want to say that I don't leave comments too often simply because I lack time, not because I'm bored. I always enjoy the blogs." from M.


I am loving the Trinket Sew Along. It's easy enough to keep up with, at least for now!

This is from a local friend...."Hey Kelly I just left a comment on your blog and I see the comment published. It’s really short because the longer comment I made first didn’t appear when I hit publish. It said “publishing” but never showed up. Also, I get your blog in my email but to comment, I have to hit the link on the bottom to get to the blog on the web. An extra step. And I read all the comments too! So a little aggravating. 
I have had a heck of a bad time with my Wordpress blog. Just spent $150 trying to fix it. And it’s not fixed totally! I won’t go into the details because we have different platforms. But I noticed that something was screwy because I stopped getting comments." T


The blocks are pretty colorful! These were the ones for the first 2 weeks.

"It's hard for some people to leave comments. For instance I get email notices of your post and read it there. You can't comment from there, to comment I have to come over to the actual blog. Nothing wrong with blogging, it's so much better than just getting a picture out of the blue, to me. It holds content in one location. You can do in depth tutorials or write stories. I find it much better than instagram. I will not do FB, never have and won't. I am the same as you with views/comments. Every so often I get an email from someone who says she's been reading for years but never comments! I lost a lot of views when G+ went away as people followed thru that. There are changes happening but this is still the best format for me to write in, and read. We're not alone.
We also do not need 5000 likes a day, or followers to be connecting with people, that's a product of social media that to say more is better. Actually it's better to share something real with a few people who really get you, and enjoy you. It's a real connection, right?" LA 



These are for the upcoming weeks. I am 3 weeks ahead. Just in case.... Don't you love that little strawberry?

"I saw your post from Friday and wrote a very long comment in reply, only to have it disappear when I pressed "submit".  Twice.  Now, it may be that it's gone into a moderation queue, but if that's the case then you haven't checked your blog for new comments in two days.  From a reader's point of view the comment is gone and the twenty minutes I took to write it were completely wasted.  That only has to happen a couple of times and people don't bother any more. I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm just telling you what happened to me" From D


My sewing table is in organized chaos mode. A few projects at the same time!

"I still love reading blogs! Sometimes I think no one could possibly be interested in my comment, sometimes I can’t think of anything original to say, and sometimes I am just plain lazy. See? It’s not about you. It’s all about me! I do unsubscribe from the blogs that no longer interest me. I do think Instagram has spoiled us. We just want to clock a little heart and move on to the next pic. Thank you for taking the time to blog!" From M


My hand applique project is moving right along. I have missed applique, my first love in hand work.

"Instagram hasn't killed blogging but it has revealed a separation of the quilting world based on time availability and personality types.  For people who are impatient or time-poor, Instagram is good because it's easy to load a picture and a very brief description, and even easier to browse hundreds of pictures in a few minutes.  For people who want to read and describe things in more detail, though, the blog remains the best format.  Most blogging sites host images now, and once you've worked out each site's little wrinkles it doesn't take much more effort to post something on a blog.  There's also more flexibility with tagging and searching (at least on WordPress, my site -- I use "categories" for general terms that would be common to many blogs, and "tags" for individual project titles -- this gives me searchability both from outside and within the blog).  I also like the way that each site allows you to curate a reading list (from all platforms) so that I'm not overloaded with email notifications and I can skip a day or two if I'm just not feeling quilty (rare, but it does happen). 

Commenting is definitely sparse now, possibly because of cross-platform issues and spam-control measures -- if you aren't logged into that specific site it may be difficult to gain access to the comment function (Captcha etc).  For those who only read blog posts by email it may be even harder to respond.  And obviously those who are particularly impatient or time poor prefer the two seconds it takes to press a "like" button to the several minutes it takes to make a comment.

I think that blogging quality (as opposed to quantity) is now deteriorating in one respect and improving in another.  I see a lot of repetition (ad nauseam) from some professional and semi-professional bloggers who believe that they absolutely have to post every day even when they are just repeating 95% of what was blogged yesterday and the day before and the day before that (do they really have to show the latest four out of a hundred log cabin blocks?).  Even blog hops are things I scroll past now because 80% of the content will be promoting the blog hop itself (banners and date/host lists) and only 20% the blogger's actual contribution.  In contrast, some bloggers post less frequently but their posts are longer, more informative and less repetitious, and they are the ones I like to read.  I also think that this second group of bloggers will remain and maybe even expand in proportion as time goes by." By D

This is a favorite fabric!

So what do you think? I will still blog but as you can see I don't do it as often as I have in the past. I use this platform as my own quilt diary and to share and inspire with all of you. I do try to speak with my own voice and show you things I think you will like (potholders!!!) that aren't always quilt related.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to tell me what you thought. I don't necessarily need the comments but it is nice to know you are out there!

Kelly
kellymx@aol.com

Friday, March 15, 2019

What's Up With Blogging?


Today is a gorgeous warm spring day in Pennsylvania! So what better time to show you my temperature quilt?
I started this last year in 2018 on January first. You make a block a day. There are all kinds of variations on Instagram but I decided to do something easy because you know the initial enthusiasm can fade before you know it.  Quilting is by Carolyn Davis and Jamie Loncaric.


So my colors reflect the temperature of the day. The triangle in the middle, called the goose, was the warmest temp of the day. The outer triangles or the sky was the coolest. If you see a white one that means it snowed that day. I changed colors every four degrees to get a good color range.


On the months where we don't have 31 days I just extended the block. If you are thinking of doing this make a chart of your fabric swatches to make it easy. I really enjoyed this year long project and it is a surprise when you are finished!


This week at my guild, we had Helen Ernst talk to us about Renewing Vintage Linens. It was a wonderful lecture and fun workshop. You can follow Helen on Instagram @tilwequiltagain  This is a vintage hankie used to make a wall hanging.


I had to bring a little spring in the house. I love have forsythia branches that can be forced into pops of color to get rid of the winter doldrums.


Ranunculus is easier to write than to say for me. I love how delicate they are and pretty in pink! I am going to be picking some more of these up at the grocery store the next time I am there.


I have been sewing but not as much as I would like. I know spring is around the corner and that means lots of outside work and little to no sewing. Don't you love those bees? I decided to have some hand work handy to be more productive in the evenings when I don't want to be at the machine.


I am doing a Trinket Sew Along with a couple of friends and a bunch of people on Instagram. They are paper pieced and I am using bright happy colors.


The blocks are very simple and it is interesting to see what people are using and the color combinations/fabric choices.


I am also working on a long term project that will be revealed at a later date.... FYI these blocks are rejects.



My sewing room is a mess but I don't care, it means I am sewing! I still need to get back to my Bonnie Hunter quilt. That went by the way side....see what I mean about the initial enthusiasm waning? Not really I just needed a break from it and will get back on it now that I saw guild member, Betty's finished Good Fortune quilt! It was spectacular!


I am still painting too. These are very small (3" x 3") and gifts for some friends. I am finding I like smalls and might need to do some more. It is so unlike quilting....quick, fast, you can cover up mistakes with paint and if you hate it you didn't spend days/weeks/month/years! doing it!

Okay so let's talk about the blogging world. What is going on out there? Has Instagram taken over? I do feel guilty because Instagram is simple and easy with little time commitment and I post there a lot.

It also seems like people are not leaving comments as much on blogs any more either. I usually get 300-500 views a day but very few comments. I will also have a day (a couple of weeks ago) where I will get over 1,000 views but again not many comments. So are people looking but not taking the time to comment or is the content too boring after you take a look? Just wondering...I also know Blogger has changed things up and maybe that is contributing?

I am not on Facebook and will never be on it again! I have heard lots of people are deleting their pages. What do you think about Facebook? I heard a funny comment about FB recently......"Remember when parents started wearing bell bottoms, that's when the teenagers stopped!" It made me laugh out loud!

Kelly

Friday, March 1, 2019

Yikes!


I just realized I have not posted in a long time! Truth be told, January and February seemed to fly by this year. While some might say that is a good thing, I am trying very hard to live in the moment. I want to enjoy the quiet and slower pace of winter inside my cozy home. Once the spring and summer hit, there is never a dull moment! We are on the go, non-stop.
I love flowers and buy them for myself all the time. If you have not bought yourself some flowers for no reason, you should try it. Every time I walk into the kitchen it gives me a little surprise and a pop of color that is unexpected. It just feels good.



Speaking of flowers I have been painting all winter long! It is so much fun and very forgiving. If you don't like something, paint over it! I painted this for my brother in law, David who turned 50 this year.


This one is no longer in my house because someone wanted to buy it! I did love it too because I feel like I got the vase and water pretty accurate. Sorry for the not so good picture.


I've got some more in the wings for when the mood strikes.


The Lancaster Modern Quilt Guild is having a display of more modern log cabins this spring. Here is my contribution. Think it looks modern enough? I had no idea what I was going to do with that Tula Pink fabric......
Speaking of the MQG, I went to Nashville last week for Quiltcon! It was so much fun and such a different vibe than traditional quilt shows....... AND the vendors!!!! Many you have never seen at any other shows, they were fabulous!
My quilting companions, Stephanie,Terry and Mary also made it a fun trip, we talked non-stop (we drove) all the way there and all the way back. Road trips are always fun and a great way to get to know each other. Next year it is in Austin and the following year it is in Atlanta. They go back and forth each year, west coast and east coast.



I have been slacking with the sewing but am ready to get back on that horse. This is for a workshop in April. If you remember my "The Cow", it is the same technique, fabric collage.


Lots of reading going on too, a perfect winter past time. Actually for me any time is a good time to read! One I don't have in this picture is Where The Crawdads Sing. So far it is my favorite this year.


I have a workshop coming up and needed to make a new sample. Making a Christmas project right after Christmas was not exactly fun but I think it is turning out cute. I will probably be happy when Christmas rolls around that this is done and dusted!

Kelly