Welcome my stop on the New Bloggers Blog Hop

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’!

2016 Advice and Tech Helpfor New Quilt BloggersAmista B Miss-Bee-Hivin1

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:

Blog Hop Week 3 – July 11th
Jen @ Patterns By Jen
Heide @ Heide’s Quilty Hugs
Lorinda @ Laurel, Poppy and Pine

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.

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

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.

LeoWe 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.

maggie and saffy
Maggie and one of our cats, Saffy
me and bucky
Me and our third dog, Bucky

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!

first quilt
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.

Koa Tree
Koa Tree

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.

Dyed Cabin
Dyed Cabin

A quick assortment of a few more:

cat in the hat butterfliesflipped jellyroll











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).

This is my most recent finish, my Facets QAL. It was fun to make – see the 2 posts (one and two) I wrote about it..

finished 2

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.


Maggie Pagosa





–  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.

Current QALs:
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!)


50 thoughts on “Welcome my stop on the New Bloggers Blog Hop”
  1. Great to visit your blog on the 2016 New Quilters Blog Hop! It is interesting how many engineers like quilting! And you’re all really good at it too! Thanks for letting us get to know you a little better and I’m in awe of all the talents you’ve acquired! Koa Tree is amazing!

    1. Thanks Janice! Koa was fun to make. I think we engineers are really good at the construction part – really figuring out how to make things fit together. And I think, at least for me, quilting has always been a fun way to play with colors and be more creative than I’m really able to be at my day job. Thanks for stopping by today.

  2. Lovely post Ann and I like that you’ve featured so many shots of your very photogenic fur children. Love that Koa tree quilt! It’s breathtaking! I currently share a cat with my neighbours and I know he would be very upset if I got one of my own since my backyard is his territory. At the moment I’m actually mending some things but my next project is a bunch of cushions for round the house and I’m also toying with taking on too many QALs. It’s so tempting….

    1. Thanks! I think they are photogenic too :). QALs can get to be a bit much – I am currently really far behind in all of mine – but I have really enjoyed them this year. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. I loved reading your intro post and getting to know you better. So interesting to see your progress from your early quilts to present day too. I agree with Janice on the Koa Tree quilt, this I think is where your talents truly lie, by using your own hand dyed fabrics you have created something unique an beautiful, a true one off. My current ‘big’ project is a circles quilt which I am designing as I go along, it is becoming clearer now though and I’m interested to see how it turns out, be it a beautiful unique creation or a dogs dinner. I have two working type English Springer Spaniels, Ella and Indi, Indi is undergoing treatment for meningitis just now but responding well.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Kate, and for your thoughts on they dyed quilts. I have gotten away from the hand dyes over the past few years just due to time constraints, but I did really love to dye the fabric. For a time I think I liked dying more than quilting, so I built up quite a stash! It’s cool you are building that quilt as you go. I recently did a quilt like that and I’m so happy with it, and I loved the process. A bit outside my comfort zone – I am a planner! – but I was so happy with it. Best of thoughts to your Indi for better health.

  4. Your work is amazing! it’s just so much fun getting to meet other talented Quilters around the world, this opportunity has been awesome. I randomly came upon a video on YouTube of this lady teaching “fussy gluing” as against fussy cutting to create beautiful English paper pieced blocks. I found it really cool and I loved the example I made with it. I am currently working on a Queen size quilt. It’s also my turn on the blog hop today, would be nice if you could stop by 🙂

  5. Hello. We must have a common ancestor somewhere because our interests are so compatible. BTW I loved your intro blog post. My two standard poodles, Tigg and Odie like to keep me company in my sewing room and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve found my cats, Ed and Phinny curled up in my scrap basket. My cats shared a blog for several years– Fat Eddy– where they told stories of their adventures and fought a,Ing themselves. That’s where my blog love started. Your first quilt is ahhhmazing, and looks like it would hold its own with any new modern quilt. I really loved “do the math” and may borrow the concept to complete a mini quilt challenge underway in my PEIMQG. Enjoy your day.

    1. Thanks Velda. I swear, after reading your post today I’ve decided you are my hero! What a fun and funny post – I agree, we are very comparable. My mom is actually going to PEI in August with her girlfriends, and it looks really lovely. I look forward to seeing your mini quilt challenge outcome!

  6. Ann, Great getting to know you on this blog hop. Your quilts are amazing, love the Koa tree and you latest, Facets…Beautiful! your fur babies look like great helpers. Spray basting is a back and knee saver…love the stuff! Have a super week. Hugs, Heide

  7. Ann, I love the prominent role your dog plays in your blog! Facets turned out to be a beautiful quilt…the unexpected color band really adds pop to the finished quilt.

  8. Your Facets QAL quilt turned out beautifully! I really like your color selection and the way the black and white frame and allow the blue facets to truly shine. My husband is from Albuquerque, and we have a large grouping of friends who have moved there… only to end up calling it home full time. We joke that it’s not the land of enchantment… it’s the land of entrapment! 🙂

    1. Thanks Yvonne, and thanks to you for co-hosting the group. It has been very educational and a lot of fun. I thought you might have a NM tie somewhere, judging from some of your posts. Indeed people tend to come here and stay forever. I’m not complaining though – we love it here!

  9. I love your quilts! That Koa Tree quilt is so gorgeous! I used to live in Rio Rancho and I was a project manager on several construction projects in ABQ and Santa Fe. It’s a small world! 🙂

  10. What a great post to get to know you. I live in Denver but I also love New Mexico and try to get down there at least once a year, we were just in Santa Fe in May. Your dyed log cabin is lovely. I have a little Pomeranian who is always around when I’m sewing; she tries to steal fabric whenever it hits the floor and thinks everything I’m making is for her. I have so many projects going on I can’t even think of what to tell you I am currently working on.

    1. Thanks Stephanie, I appreciate you stopping by and your kind words. New Mexico is very beautiful, but right now a bit hot! My corgi steals fabric, thread, scissors…basically anything she can get a hold of. Not very helpful!

  11. It’s nice to get to know a little bit more about you, Ann! I love your Koa Tree quilt- it’s stunning! I’m currently working on some secret sewing and a baby quilt for my great-nephew who should be arriving any day now! I do have a couple of furry ‘helpers’. Seems like I’m always battling the dog hair.

  12. Hi Ann! It’s been great getting to know you. I’ve only been to New Mexico once–Santa Fe–for my birthday! It was a wonderful trip and I’d love to go back someday, especially to see the balloons! Your quilts are wonderful, especially Koa. I have a furry critter too–a cat named Lucy. She’s very shy though and hard to get photos of, but that is a goal of mine–to photograph her with my quilts more often. I love your collection of furry friends! No wonder your visitors have fallen in love with them. They are so cute.

    1. Thanks Jennifer! You do need to come back for the balloons. Fall is really the best time of year in NM. Luckily I have enough furry kids to be able to get photos of one if another is feeling antisocial!

  13. Nice to meet you.Fantastic projects and your quilting caught my eye.
    I`m working on several projects though my goal is the 365 sampler challenge.

  14. Wow – Hawaiian block work is beautiful. I like the way you modified the Facets design too – makes the unique fabric stand out. Good reminder that we need to update and enhance our skills – and not just keep doing what feels comfortable all the time. Best wishes, June

    1. Thanks June. I really like to do handwork, so the Hawaiian quilts are a lot of fun for me. I really don’t love to hand quilt though, so I’m going to have to figure out how best to mix the hand appliqué with some machine quilting. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!

    1. Thanks for noticing that one…I made that pattern myself. I have a friend who I offered to make a quilt for her son, and she said he really liked pirates. She was doing his room with pirate stuff and wanted a treasure map quilt for the wall. I looked for photos online to get an idea of what I wanted to do, and I think I eventually bought a pirate coloring book to help with some of the pieces (I really, really can’t draw! 🙂 ) I drew the whole thing out on a big piece of paper, and made smaller appliqué drawings for the details. It was a lot of fun to do!

  15. I enjoy quilt alongs as well although sometimes I find them hard to keep up. I am in a stash bee and I enjoy it for working with different techniques and colour combinations that the bee mates pick.

    1. I am currently behind on all of the QALs that are still in progress. I think you just have to get to be ok with that and do what you can. I expect to fall further behind as I start working again next week. I’ve seen these bee groups and they look interesting. I might have to seek one of those out for next year. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  16. I am currently working on about 10 projects…… GULP! I didn’t think I would be one of those quilters that have heaps of WIPs… but somehow it happened! I saw a video on the stripology ruler and I am very tempted! Think it might need to go on the Xmas list 🙂

    1. I think it happens to all of us! I just saw something about the stripology ruler on someone’s blog hop post today. I had never heard of it before…I’ll have to go check it out!

  17. Great post! I really enjoyed reading it and seeing your quilts. I discovered that we have something else in common…I love to dye fabrics, too. Your Koa quilt is stunning and I loved the log cabin one. However, I can’t imagine wrestling a king size quilt on a domestic machine. Your blogging tip is a good one and I think it applies to most pursuits. Just start! In fact, I have a button that says “start” to remind me. I appreciate the support of this group!

    1. Thanks Marla! Yeah the king- sized quilt was a bit of a battle. I’ve enjoyed this group a lot too and I have learned so much. I really need to get back and dye some fabrics!

  18. Ann, what a full, full life you have led. Amazing. My current project is getting another pattern ready for the testers. Last one for the year, and then I get to play. I’m ready for a little break. Good tip about blogging. You do just have to do something. Just one little thing will get you started and going. It’s been great getting to know you.

  19. Wonderful post Ann! I love your Facets quilt, very striking. Your other works are equally wonderful. I’ve been jumping around from project to project and am getting a bit overwhelmed. So, I shall start more projects until that feeling goes away. Makes sense, right? Cheers!

  20. I am in love with your Koa tree. Dying fabrics is something I have been avoiding for years. I fear that once I go down that rabbit hole I will never return. Also, it looks messy, and I’m a slob.
    I just joined my first QAL. I have been watching Facets on Christa’s blog, but I didn’t join. Every version is better than the last, yours included. I might have to give it a shot.

    1. Thanks Jennifer. Yeah, dying is a bit of an addictive hobby, but it is a lot of fun. Which QAL did you join? I don’t need another one, but they are fun.

  21. Great post! I always love meeting other quilter engineers! I enjoyed learning more about you and seeing some of your beautiful finishes.

  22. Hi Ann what a lovely stop on the blog hop. Great to learn more about you, your quilts and your furry family! I love the Koa Tree – hand dying has been on my lists for years but I don’t have the time to devote to it ….. yet! Like you I don’t really like following patterns but signed up for my first QAL last year and actually liked being told what to do for a change!

    1. Thanks Abigail. Dying is fun, and you can find ways to try it out without making a huge commitment to it. I tried a small project where I dyed a color wheel of fat quarters in zipper baggies and I was hooked. I’ve told myself now that I am not allowed to sign up for more QAL or BOMs until I finish the ones I’m already in, but we will see how that goes!

  23. Ann it is so nice to learn more about you and your quilting/blogging experience. Your hand dyed fabrics are beautiful as are the quilts you made with them. I only have one furbaby now and that is Lola who will be 10 in September. Her bed is under the table I quilt at and is always there for moral support.

  24. Nice to meet you! I have several projects, I am working on: postage stamp, plus quilt, double-knit quilt nightmare project with my mom, and I just started another quilt. Seems like I have to have several projects going or I am at a loss of what to do. No furry friends here.

  25. Hi, Ann,

    I thought I’d made the rounds during week 3, but don’t seem to have successfully left comments, so here I am again!

    I’m so with you on the need to develop skills. I like to be learning all the time, so I’m working on the Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Quilt along – heavy on the paper-piecing, which was not in my skill basket before now, as well as a quilt bee via a local shop. My modern quilt group has helped me stretch, as well. I think some sociability helps keep my own skills fresh.

    1. Thanks for visiting Holly – both times! I’m with you on the sociability thing – I’ve found it to be really helpful with refreshing skills (during the very limited time I’ve been social with my quilting! 🙂 )

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