Hello, and welcome to my stop on the 2016 New Bloggers Blog Hop! It’s been a fun few weeks learning about all the fabulous folks in our group, and now it is my turn!
Thanks so much to Cheryl (Meadow Mist Designs) for hosting my group of new bloggers – Miss Bee-hivin’!
Also thanks to Yvonne (Quilting Jet Girl) and Stephanie (Late Night Quilter) for hosting the other two groups. I so appreciate the time and wisdom shared by everyone in the group, and it has been a great learning experience!
Along with me, these are the other folks on the hop-stop today:
A little about me:
I grew up in Iowa, went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and after my Junior year took the only summer co-op offer I had that was not in the Midwest – down in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I figured a change would be good, and it was only one summer, right? Somehow it is 26 (yikes!) years later, and I still love New Mexico! I am an Electrical Engineer and am in the process of changing jobs. I was fortunate to be able to take almost 3 months off between jobs, which has been great for doing lots of quilting and getting my blog going.
Growing up, my grandmother and aunt taught me to knit and to do needlework, but I didn’t find quilting until after college. I always liked making things, but didn’t really like the finished product of what I made – there are only so many cross-stitch pieces a person needs! So I bought a cheap machine from Montgomery Ward’s, a copy of Fons and Porter’s Quilter’s Complete Guide (more good Iowa women!), and started quilting. After I got my Master’s Degree I gifted myself a new Bernina and have been quilting in earnest ever since.
My blog is named after our dog, Leo. He is such a handsome guy and has awesome brown paws that complement his black and white spotted body.
We have 5 furry kids – 2 cats and 3 dogs – and they would tell you they are very helpful with the creative process. They do contribute lots of fur!
Our corgi, Maggie, has Facebook and Instagram pages, and it was through her pages that I discovered how much fun the online community can be. I would take pictures of her with my quilts, and people would complement the quilts, so I decided to dive into the quilting online community as well.
I started the blog to have a place to document my work and to be able to connect with others in the quilting community. It has been fun so far, and I have learned a lot about a wide range of things, including quilting, writing, blog technical stuff, and photography.
My Quilting Path:
As I mentioned, I started quilting nearly 20 years ago by teaching myself from Fons and Porter’s book. This is my first quilt – pretty simple, but I love it and still use it!
I made a lot of quilts for friends – weddings and baby quilts – which kept me pretty busy. At some point I got very into hand dying fabric, so for a time I only bought muslin and made quilts from my hand dyes. This is Koa Tree, a Hawaiian quilt made from my hand dyes. It was hand appliquéd and hand quilted.
I call this Dyed Cabin – a king-sized log cabin quilt made of more of my hand dyes. I machine quilted it on my domestic Bernina, which was quite a wrestling match.
A quick assortment of a few more:
I had a few very busy years at work where I didn’t have a lot of spare time, but recently I’ve been diving back in. This year I joined my local Modern Quilt Guild and am participating in a few online quilt-a-longs (listed at the end of this post). Normally I’m not that into making things directly from patterns, but I’ve really enjoyed the QALs for a bunch of reasons:
1. I found my style was probably pretty outdated, so this has freshened me up.
2. I also found a lot of my skills were pretty rusty. I am very goal oriented, so I tend to get frustrated pretty easily if I don’t think I’m making fast enough progress. Making 6” blocks with the Splendid Sampler has forced me to slow down and be more accurate – after all, I’m not in a race, don’t have a deadline, and no one will be harmed if I don’t get a block done ‘on time’!
3. I’ve tried out new techniques I wouldn’t have done otherwise (improve piecing and hexagons), and rediscovered things I really like but hadn’t done in a long time (embroidery).
What I’m into now:
As ever, I have too many projects line up for the time I have, especially given I’m starting a new job next Monday!
1. Work on my machine quilting – learn more motifs and gain confidence.
2. Design and piece a few quilts that are more modern leaning. I’m thinking some plusses and/or a modern drunkard’s path from my Blueberry Park pre-cuts, and something with my Me+You batiks. I recently took a workshop with Victoria Findlay Wolfe – I’ll talk about that quilt top later this week.
3. Keep up with my 3 remaining QALs
4. Learning to use EQ7
5. Make sure I keep creating and don’t let work take over my life
Some BrownPaws Quick Hits:
1. Favorite Blogging Tip: I am still so new to blogging, that the best tip I have is to just start. Just do something. I read so many articles about what to do/not do that I became overwhelmed with the learning curve I had to climb. I finally made list of things I needed to get done to publish SOMETHING, and then I keep list of ongoing things that I want to add and improve.
2. Favorite Quilting Tip: Find ways to try new things. I have been so energized (and sometimes intimidated!) by following people on Facebook/Instagram, joining QALs, and reading blogs. My second tip is BASTING SPRAY! I love this stuff. I HATE to baste quilts – it kills my back – but the basting spray has really helped speed up the process!
3. Other quick hits:
– I love football, the Wisconsin Badgers, and am a Green Bay Packer owner (1 share of stock!)
– I’m a big fan of Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad/Saul (I do live in Albuquerque!), and all things Star Wars.
– We spend a lot of time in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. It’s a great place.
– I’m working on reading City of Mirrors, the last book in The Passage Triology. Great books.
– I spend a lot of my sewing time listening to music (have you heard of HoneyHoney? Check them out…), or listening to audiobooks.
Please let me know what you are currently working on, what cool new thing you have seen recently in the quilting world, and if you too have furry kids that help you create things!
Enjoy the blog hop! Thanks for stopping by.
1. Christa Watson’s Facets QAL
2. The Splendid Sampler
3. Amy Gibson’s Sugar Block Club 3.0 (with the Albuquerque MQG)
4. The Moda Bake Shop Bee-utiful Quilt-a-Long (lots of cool embroidery!)