Sunday, July 17, 2016

2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

Hello, my name is Janice and it is my pleasure to welcome you to the final week of the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop.   Thank you to our hostesses Cheryl at Meadowmist Designs, Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl, and Stephanie at Late Night Quilter for sponsoring this learning experience for us new bloggers!  Be sure to visit their blogs for a chance at some great prizes!!

So I'll start off with a bit about me.  I am married with three children, only one of whom is left at home right now.  Currently, we are living with my husband's parents while we are remodeling an old farm house.  The original farmhouse is TINY, a shack, really.  Only about 800 square feet and built in the early 1900's.  Here it is . . .

We tore everything out and down to the studs.  Redid everything so it's basically going to be like a brand new house.

Next comes wall raising for extra rooms . . .

My middle son, my daughter, my nephew all push the wall up while my husband nails it into place.  And before you get all impressed that we are doing this all on our own, without any professionals,  you should probably know that my husband is a builder by trade!

So here is how it looks after all the new square footage is added so it is now a 3 bedroom, two bath house with a sun room!  One of the bedrooms used to be a root cellar under the house and is now a really nice sized bedroom which will probably be my sewing room until we move into our permanent home.  This will be a temporary house while we wait for our final home to be built.

And here is what it looks like now!

At the moment, the place we live is up in the mountains and the wifi is horrible up there so I drove down the mountain to the nearest town in a car with no AC.  I'm hot and windblown.  But I have to have wifi to get this post done!  Sorry, no pretty dressed up pictures of me this time.   This is me in all my messed up glory!  :D

OK, now lets get onto the quilting part of the story!  

I have been piecing quilt tops off and on (mostly off) for the last 15 years. It all started with a pack of 100 5-inch squares that I bought from ebay.  This would have been before they started calling them charm packs, I guess.

Much to my son's chagrin (it's his) it took me five years to finish just the piecing part and then paying what seemed like a small fortune for someone to quilt it for me meant that I kind of lost interest in quilting for a while . . . we're talking years.

Then just this past April 2016, my BFF (best quilty friend) taught me how to quilt on my Bernina (I did a post showing her wonderful talents here) and I just started gobbling up all the information I could find on FMQ and started practicing.  I LOVE FMQing!!!   That is Free Motion Quilting for those of you who don't quilt.  This is my first attempt.

Needs work, but I am hooked!

 I have been reading all the wonderful quilting blogs out there, (which is how I found this blog hop) and buying Craftsy classes, and watching everybody making the most gorgeous things!

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of quilts to show you because I've only made three . . .   all baby quilts.
Quilt #1

Quilt #2  Same quilt, only in in pink.

Quilt #3 was made for my neice's baby who was SUPPOSED to be a girl but he came out a boy!

And last but not least is a work in progress (WIP in quilt lingo!) and I really need some advice on this.  I've never quilted a big quilt and I'm very nervous about this.  It is a chevron pattern and usually, I think you're supposed to start quilting from the middle and work your way out, correct?  But since this is a chevron and I'm going to be attempting feathers in the white parts, wouldn't I start from the edge and work my way to the other side?  Any advice for me before I start this would be MOST appreciated! Also, this picture doesn't show it but I sewed an additional 2" strip between the bottom of every chevron and the top of the heart rows as the pattern called for.  It made it look a little more balanced but leaves kind of some odd spaces between each heart because that row is not a true chevron.  Not sure what to put there.

 Another snag I ran into is the amount of fabric the pattern said to purchase for the back was just BARELY enough to match the quilt top.  I have heard horror stories about people quilting a quilt and finding that the quilting caused the backing to be too small.  Yikes!  So to make sure I didn't run into that problem, I added this on the back using scraps from trimming the hearts.  So that presents a problem in that whatever I quilt on the front is not going to match this at all unless I do an allover pattern.  Should I care about that?  Or should I go ahead with my plan to do feathers in the chevrons?  I plan on using thread to match whatever color I'm quilting over so I'm not sure what is going to end up on this part of the back.  This is getting complicated!!  I didn't really know there were so many things to consider!

Our blog mentors asked that we share a blogging tip so here is my tip.  Make your pictures big!  I see these beautiful pictures but sometimes I can't see the detail very well.  Unfortunately, I can only advise those who use the Blogger platform.  When you insert your picture, click on your picture and then choose XLarge.  This will make your picture as large as it can be without flowing outside your post area.  If you click Original Size some of your picture won't show.

A quilting tip?  Make friends with people who know what they are doing!! Ha! Ha!  That is EXACTLY why I started this blog because I am hoping I can count on more experienced blogger/quilters out there to guide me in my journey.  I have SO MANY questions all the time!

Earlier in my blogging career (a month ago, hee! hee!)  I took an informal survey of other quilters who I had been talking with and asked them if they were a one-at-a-time project quilter or multiple.  My motivation for asking this question was to justify to myself having too many different projects going all at once.  You all came through with flying colors!  I only met ONE person who prefers to work on one project at a time.  The rest of you have anywhere from 5 to 10 projects in the works at all times.  And since I've read some of your goals since then I'm pretty sure there are bunches of out there with waaaaaay more than even that.  Some of you up in the 20's!   

So how many projects do you have going right now?  Let's see who has the most!

Last but not least is a random fact about me.  Before I got so interested in quilting, I collected antique perfume bottles and even created a website in 1997 called Passion for Perfume.  It still exists but unfortunately, that poor baby has been sadly neglected in favor of sewing. In fact, I probably could make my blog a little prettier and more professional than it is, but I prefer to spend my time sewing!   Trying to decide whether I want to keep the perfume site or not.  Here is an example of the kind I collect, er, used to collect:

Well, I have been having a WONDERFUL time with learning how to quilt and making new friends!  I love comments and suggestions and will always try to respond to every single one.  

There are three hives to visit and I belong to Miss Bee- Hivin' with the cutest logo made by the talented Amista from Hilltop Custom Designs

Please be sure to visit the other ladies in my hive and give them some comment love!!

Blog Hop Week 4 - July 18th
Janice @ Color, Creating, and Quilting! (you're already here)  

Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you'll come again!

Linking to: 
Monday Making at Love, Laugh,  Quilt
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework


  1. Hi Janice, so nice to get to know you better! Even though your husband is a builder I'm still super impressed that your family is building this house together! It looks like a huge project. I'm a one project at a time girl so I'm not likely to be the winner of your poll. Good to see your putting some sweat into posting your blog 😊

  2. A wonderful introduction post Janice, it's as if you are here talking to me, your lovely personality shines through. Your temporary house looks lovely to me, you have worked so hard transforming it. Great pics by the way, and I love your pic in the car, I see the real you, not a posed made up version. Perhaps we should all show our everyday selves. You may have a limited amount of experience, but you have great instincts and have a go at anything and everything without fear, never trying to hide your mistakes or limitations. Your FMQ skills are astounding for such a new quilter and I think you have great potential, so keep doing what you are doing, you are definitely one to watch. I have been following you for a while now and your posts are so entertaining and a joy to read. To answer your question if I count everything I have about 10 projects, counting all the mug rugs and coasters as one and the five cushion tops as one that is :) I am working to reduce that though and personally feel that three or four keeps it more manageable and stops the WIPs becoming UFOs.

  3. Wow wow wow! What a beautiful blog you have! I love all the quilts you have made, and your FMQ looks fabulous.
    I'm embarrassed to tell you how many UFOs I have. Every once in a while, I make a moratorium on starting anything new, and I whittle away at the UFO pile. One day they will all be finished!
    As for your questions, I think that business about starting quilting in the center and working out is more relevant to hand-quilters. I never start machine quilting in the center anymore, and everything works out fine. Just make sure that everything is basted really well, and you shouldn't have a problem. I think the fear about starting in the middle was that things could shift. So baste, baste, baste!
    And I wouldn't worry about the quilting on that back piece. It's going to come out really cool, no matter what you do in the front.
    Wishing you success, in your quilting and your blogging!

  4. OMG girl, your plate is full. I am totally amazed at your FMQ style. If you are brand-y new at it, you are gonna rule in a year or so. I really enjoyed getting to know you and plan on coming back regularly to see what you take on next.

  5. Janice, great getting to know you in your post. I can not believe that you built a temporary house before you move(build) into your permanent home...WOW! Your baby quilts are adorable. Great job on the free motion quilting, this is something I want to learn, I started one day and my machine started to act up, so I put it aside for another day. Thanks for sharing, have a super week. Hugs, Heide

  6. Where do I start Janice? This post is full of so much good info! Your house looks so good, and I'm super impressed. My hubby and I gutted and remodeled our kitchen and dining room a few years ago. We are both remodeling newbies but pulled it off with the help of Google and advice from my brother - we had a lot of fun. It sounds as if you had fun too!

    I love the picture of you. That's someone I would love to hang out with! Smiling, down-to-earth, fun! :)

    You are doing so well on your FMQ. I find it very addictive., and it sounds as if you have too. I would go ahead with the feathers, they will look so good in those chevron areas. As for those little spaces between the hearts, how about adding the feathers in the 'top' of the chevron and dense matchstick quilting in the little spaces between the tops of the hearts? Does that make sense? I agree with Susan about starting in the middle. Baste it well and you'll be good to go. And don't worry about the back, it will look good no matter what.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I loved your post! Thanks so much for linking to MCM!

  7. Hi Janice, great to get to know more about you...I enjoyed watching the transformation of your "temporary home" it's amazing. You have made very beautiful quilts and I love the chevron quilt a lot. As for your tips,spot on...I am busy making friends with people who know what they are doing hahahaha and thanks to this forum that's going just great. I probably have too many things going on and when I get frustrated with a work in progress the next thing is to start a new project! I wish I could help you with suggestion on how to quilt your chevron quilt but all I can say is...if you get past basting (stresses me the hell out) then you'll be just fine judging by that picture of your first attempt at FMQ and the fact that your backing is nicely busy! what ever shows up on the pieced part of the backing shouldn't be bad either so just have fun with it :)

  8. Your quilts, and your new home are amazing! I am starting on FMQ with some stippling-boy do I need a LOT of practice-hope my FMQ will look as good as yours one day!

  9. How nice to meet you Janice! I also remember finding precut square packs before they were called charm packs...they were how I began piecing by machine! That was in the 90s, lol! I have yet to do ANY you are way ahead of me! I tend to focus on one project at a time, but budget limitations usually cause me to have more than one ufo at a time :) welcome to the wonderful world of quilty blogging :)

  10. Oh! And I would not worry about the quilting not matching your pieced back...Just my 2 cents :)

  11. Love your house. My husband is also a builder by trade and has built most of our furniture. Love your blog and signed up to follow on bloglovin. I have yet to try my hand at FMQ and have stayed with straight line on my home machine, one day I'll just jump in and give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Wow, you've got a lot going on! Fun house building! I like your first attempts at FMQ. They look great. I haven't tried those designs yet. Looking forward to seeing what you do next!

  13. Great blog! I love the fabric on the sides of the text area, it fits you and your style so well. The house looks nothing like the original, thanks for showing the before, during, and after pics!

  14. It sounds like your entire family has a creative side; building a house together is no small feat. And the one you are building is only temporary? Are you building another longer term home as well? I hope you have a wonderful week on the blog hop, and it is definitely comforting to know that we all have a bunch of WIPs at once. :)

    1. Yes, we originally bought 18 acres and then split that into 4 parcels and the original farm house is on one of them. We are saving the largest of the 4 parcels to build our final home but living in this one in the meantime. We'll sell that one and the other two parcels in the hopes of building our house debt free!

  15. You are an FMQ Goddess - my first attempt looked nothing like that. In fact, I kept it just so I could convince myself I am making progress.
    I have been quilting for over a year and have made quite a few quilts from start to finish.

  16. I truly think I am the winner of the UFO or WIP contest. I have 23 just in one shelving unit and I have several places with more projects stashed! Your FMQ looks fantastic, you have the knack! Great to meet you.

  17. Great blog and stunning projects.Your quilting caught my eye,so fantastic!!Nice to meet you.

  18. Since you asked I have 49 projects on my UFO list. I've been very dedicated about finishing off projects from the list -- 6 have been completed this year. I wouldn't worry about whether the back line of blocks matches with the front when you quilt it. You might be able to align it but consider what you are doing with the quilt. Will the person not even realize that you've matched up? Is this more of a practice piece? It might be worth trying but don't over think it. The top is very nice no matter what you decide.

  19. Your home is beautiful and so are your quilts! I loved those progress pics on the house - so neat!! I actually only have 2 projects right now. Not sure how thats possible lol but its true! I have a quilt i've got cut but i've only pieced 2 blocks. I just don't have the motivation to finish it quickly for some reason. Plus its busy in summer time here with 3 small kids!

    I have enjoyed your blog, so glad you participated in the blog hop!!

  20. Janice, I truly enjoyed your post. Like you, my husband and I lived in an 800 sqft home for years...and then rebuilt it, just like you did. He is a builder, too - we married such handy men! Love your home - and quilts.

  21. WOW, Janice; just W.O.W!!! The "temporary" barn-turned-into-a-house is amazing. Your first three quilts are amazing. And your first attempts at FMQ blow me away! If THAT'S what your beginner FMQ looks like, you will be a quilting rock star in no time at all if you keep at it!

    Okay, for your chevron quilt. I think it's going to be important that you stabilize this quilt first, and THEN go ahead and quilt your feathers across in linear fashion. To stabilize, I would ditch quilt the center vertical seam from top to bottom, then each of the seams to the right of center working your way out to the edge. Then turn the quilt and do the same thing to the other side until all vertical seams have been quilted. Then do a quarter turn so you can ditch quilt the center horizontal seam line and work your way out to the sides with them as well. If you don't want to have those quilting lines in your finished quilt, you can use YLI water soluble basting thread in the needle and bobbin, and those stitches will dissolve and disappear in the fist wash leaving only your chevron feathers and whatever else you quilt with "real" thread behind. I know it's a pain in the butt, but the biggest difference between quilting a small quilt and a larger quilt on a domestic sewing machine is that the bigger the quilt you're shoving around under the needle and smashing and squishing out of your way, the greater the likelihood that layers will shift on you and create ugly pleats and puckers on the backside. That's why they say to quilt from the center out. But once you have stabilized the quilt layers by ditch quilting between all the seams, you should be smooth sailing for successful quilting, pleat and pucker free.

    Good luck with your quilt!

  22. Wow very busy lady .....The house looks great....And I love baby quilts there fast and the thought of a little life snuggling in my blanket just brings a smile to me heart...

  23. Soooo not admitting how many projects I have going. The UFO police might come arrest me.

    I also might hate you a little that THAT is your first attempt at FMQ. ;-)

  24. I'm with Holly on the comment about your first attempt at are very good! I don't know how many works in progress I have as I don't keep track....but there are lots and lots. I enjoyed reading this post very much.

  25. Great post! Your first (?) FMQ is just amazing. You really do seem to have a knack for it! For your chevron, quilt, I think:
    1. I also FMQ on a domestic machine. As long as you go from one side to the other (and not back and forth) you can smooth it all out in the same direction as you go. So start them all from the left and go right (or vice versa) and you should be fine.
    2. The back is awesome and will be a nice contrast to the front
    3. I have been having trouble getting my tension right, so if I use colors that really contract on the top/back I'm having problems with pull throughs (so if I'm quilting black on the top and light cream on the back, the cream is pulling through and making little dots on the front). One way to deal with this is to quilt with the same, or similar thread colors on the top/bottom so you can't see those.
    I also found a free Angela Walters class on craftsy that was useful for design.

    I also have a ton of projects in progress! It's a quilters trait!
    Thanks again for sharing your house project and your quilting progress!

  26. Your temp home is amazing and I'm super impressed that it's a family WIP. I enjoyed your blog very much. I have too many quilty projects ongoing to count. I get projects completed, eventually.

  27. Your temp home is amazing and I'm super impressed that it's a family WIP. I enjoyed your blog very much. I have too many quilty projects ongoing to count. I get projects completed, eventually.

  28. I have been piecing for 25 years, but only quilt baby quilts, the rest I send out. I think I have 3 projects started, and 4 ready to bind, lol

  29. I've only one project in motion right now but if you count ufo's well there's 26 quilt tops to be quilted and 14 unfinished tops. I hope I don't win this poll. Thanks for linking up at Podunk Pickin's.

  30. I can't believe you would build that gorgeous home with such a cool story and move on. It must come with having a builder for a husband.
    I think you should do the feathers you wan tin your chevron rows. Start at one end for the first, then turn the quilt and go back, so you aren't always quilting in one direction. I wouldn't worry about the back quilting matching up. I know some quilters do, but they do some kind of precision magic. I don't do feathers yet, but I want to learn.
    I have no idea how many quilts I have in progress. I can see at least six from where I am sitting right now, and I'm not in my studio. Having a large pile in progress just means when I feel like I need to finish something, there is something I have a head start with.

  31. Hello Janice. your house is going to be amazing. I love what you all have done so far. And your quilting is absolutely wonderful. You are doing great. I love your quilts and the story of your quilting journey.

  32. Janice, your FMQs look like you have a natural ability to do it, so just keep going and it will be excellent. The back is patterned anyway, so the quilting will not be as evident. Using more toned down threads for both sides seems to help them blend better. Baby quilts are the way to go. They don't take forever, are easy to machine quilt and lots of grou like Project Linus give them to sick kids in hospitals, etc. You know they will be much loved. Your tutorial was great, will help me. Smiles from Kate is the place for it. She has already done some fine blogger tutorials which have helped me already. She has become a real friend in the past months. I keep a list of projects online and reward myself at each step with little emoticons. Silly, but I do keep track. Best of luck to you.

  33. Janice - I have finally been able to stop by your hop post. Great to learn more about you. I am convinced we were meant to be friends. Believe it or not, I used to have a perfume bottle collection. Old Avon bottles to be exact. :) Had to get rid of most of them when I moved from my house to apartment.
    You did a great job your first time FMQ-ing! You are very talented.

  34. Lovely intro post Janice! I feel like I know you so much better now. Your quilting is lovely, no wonder you like doing it! As for the chevron quilt, I don't see any reason why you can't just quilt the feathers. If you're worried about shifting, you could stitch in the ditch the chevrons then feather them. You've done so well though with your other quilts you don't need any advice! Just do it. You're great.

  35. Hi Janice,
    As so many people have already said, your beginning FMQ is amazing! I've quilted many sizes of quilts on my domestic machine and I think the secret, at least for me, is focusing on just the area I'm quilting (rather than worrying about the whole thing) and making sure the quilt is not only carefully basted but also stabilized. When working on chevrons, I've stabilized by using my walking foot (or FMQ if you're comfortable doing straight lines) right inside the seams (I don't like stitching in the ditch AND I like the look of those lines right inside the seams). I almost always work from one side to the other and I've never had an issue. Good luck and have fun!
    And never feel bad about how many projects you have going! At least that's what I tell myself. I have over 40 basted quilts awaiting my attention and many many started projects and I just started cutting for another yesterday...and, you know what, eventually things get finished and there's always something to do.

  36. I enjoyed your post and learning a bit more about you. We remodeled a 1904 farmhouse that was 850 sq and we lived there for over 20 years. Your free motion quilting looks great! You must be a natural, because I know how difficult it can be. Hope your week has gone well on the hop!

  37. I enjoyed learning more about you! You're FMQ is great- I couldn't believe it was a first attempt! I went through my studio and counted, and I currently have 11 active projects.

  38. Janice, thanks for sharing your farm house and new addition. It's beautiful! It's great to get to know you a little better! I still can't believe you are new to FMQ, it comes so natural to you!

  39. Hi Janice I am just cathcing up with the blog hop after a couple of weeks away from blogland! What a great post and so lovely to get to know you better. Your new home is amazing .... love the colours. I really love weatherboard homes and miss our ones fro New Zealand - so much easier to work on than brick aswell! Love your FMQ - you really have a natural talent. How many projects have I got going? I would not like to count up everything but I do have 25 on my quarter 3 FAL list!!

  40. Wow - Janice - wow. Your house is so pretty in our wonderful Idaho setting! When we talked about it on the Nashville trip last year I had no idea of the scope of your project. But it's beautiful and so are your quilts. I've done just a very few in my time and realize just how many hours they take. In addition, to working here at NNU full-time and driving back & forth, you are one busy, busy lady. But God is good and gives us strength for the day! Keep it up. We need to get together again and talk quilts!!


I LOVE meeting new quilting friends and always respond to comments so I'd love to hear from you!