New Bloggers Blog Hop: Welcome!

Plum and June

I’m thrilled to be part of Plum and June‘s annual (I think) Let’s Get Acquainted New Blogger Blog Hop. I discovered quilt blogs around the same time I discovered quilting–about a year and a half ago, when I was on maternity leave after the birth of my daughter. I remember seeing this blog hop during its 2012 incarnation, and I’m excited to be on this year’s roster!

I’m Nanette. I work full-time as a department manager at a public library, and I live in a college town in central Illinois with my husband, my 18-month-old daughter, Lenora, and our four lady cats. I am teetering perilously close to the 40-year-old mark, which I find difficult to believe.

Here’s Lenora, as a baby, with one of the first quilt blocks I ever made.


(I still haven’t finished that quilt. I’ve cut all the fabric, but haven’t managed to get back to it. It’s been on the to-do list for…a year? More than a year?)

I started my blog a little over a year ago. The first post was on my husband’s birthday, and it had nothing to do with quilting or sewing–it was a recipe for a cake. Then I wrote a little bit about knitting, and shared some of the things I was sewing, and I’ve pretty much settled into blogging about quilting–when I get around to blogging.

I know that my writing here has been intermittent at best. That’s what a full-time job and an active baby-turned-toddler will do for you. I’m trying to be better about it and to update more frequently, which is why I’m part of this blog hop. Part of me wonders if I’d update more often if people were actually reading. I admire those bloggers who throw themselves wholeheartedly into taking beautiful photos of their projects, teaching others new techniques, and sharing pieces of themselves. They really foster a sense of community, and I think that’s part of what drew me into modern quilting when I first started out. (That, and the pretty fabric.) I’d love to be one of those bloggers someday.

The other day, my husband was tinkering with a mini-computer, and I was sewing together a quilt block. I told him how amazed I was that, eighteen months ago, I couldn’t thread my sewing machine or load the bobbin without freaking out and/or calling my mom for help. Now it’s just habit. It’s routine. It’s so deeply ingrained that I just do it without really thinking about it.

I need to find a way–somehow–to make writing about creating part of my habit. It needs to be something that I just do, the same way that I just load that bobbin or thread that needle or sew that quarter-inch seam. It needs to be part of the process.

Now, for the pretties. These are some bee blocks that I recently finished–they’ll be headed to their new homes this weekend, hopefully to be part of a quilt that actually gets finished (as opposed to my giant mountain of unfinished projects of various stripes). Anyone have any tips on getting over my start-itis? I love starting new projects, but I never seem to finish anything, ever.

First up, the Dresden plate from my last post. The hexie center was inspired by the Dresden plate tutorial at V & Co. I thought it was more fun than a plain center. I used my trusty Hex ‘n More ruler to cut the hexagon. One of these days, I need to devote an entire post to how much I love my Hex ‘n More ruler. It’s really an ingenious little invention.


(I just noticed the loose white threads on the black background. Whoops! I’ll be sure to pick those off before I mail my block.)


Next, these two Quatrefoil blocks. These were a blast to make. The recipient wanted one in aqua and yellow, and one in aqua and red.

IMG_1512 IMG_1511

Finally, a Spring Showers block. The recipient wanted a gray center with spring-y greens and blues on the outside. I think this one turned out really well, too! It does need to be trimmed down a little. I tend to oversize my HSTs so I can trim them down, and it looks like a couple of them may have been a little bit off. The corners and edges line up nicely, though, and that’s what really matters with this kind of block.


If you’ve enjoyed this post, leave a comment, or follow using your favorite feed reader! I also encourage you to take a look at the other blogs that are part of this week’s stop on the New Bloggers Blog Hop. They are…

Check out my fellow new bloggers–you’ll find lots of inspiration there!

Every week while the blog hop continues, I plan to post a list of that week’s new bloggers, along with a tutorial. Coming up with a tutorial topic was difficult for me. I’m still pretty new to quilting, so I don’t feel that I have any fresh ideas for, say, how to make perfect half-square triangles or how to quickly and painlessly bind a quilt. What I do have to offer is my ability to locate information, so this tutorial series will cover places quilters–especially new quilters–can go to learn more about various quilting-related subjects. I’ll cover a variety of resources, from traditional and modern quilt guilds to video tutorials to online classes and workshops, as well as books, magazines, online communities, and whatever else comes to mind over the next eight weeks. I hope that my contribution will be helpful to my fellow newbies, and I’d love to hear any suggestions you may have.

Thanks for stopping by!

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85 comments on “New Bloggers Blog Hop: Welcome!

  1. I hear you on having a bunch of starts and not a lot of finishes, which is why I joined Fiber of All Sorts, 2013 A Year of finishes. You should check that out. It may be what you need. Plus you can even win “prizes” when you post your goal and you post your finish that month. What an incentive to finish something! I must say you have come along way for just starting having quilted. I think you are doing a great job!

    • Thanks, Melissa! I should probably get back into the Lovely Year of Finishes posts. I did a few at the beginning of the year. My problem (well, one of my problems) is that I’m good at setting goals, but not so good at following through.

  2. Hi Nanette – I’m a new visitor and I really enjoy reading your posts! I may have stumbled across your other blog and you have a fantastic “blog voice”! I’m looking forward to your tutorial series – sounds great.

  3. Oh, I so wish I had thought to take a pic of my little one when she was that tiny (she is 20 months now) next to a quilt block – that’s awesome. Though my other daughters did take many pics of her next to AG dolls for comparison! I enjoyed reading your post and getting to know about you and your quilting journey. Thanks for joining in.

    • I took the picture for my grandmother. She’s an amazing quilter, and she was so happy when I started quilting that I wanted to share a picture with her. My daughter is named after her, so that makes it even more special!

      (Also, the quilt that baby and block are posing on was hand-appliqued by my grandmother. Like I said, she’s amazing.)

  4. Ooh, I love the idea of a quilting “bibliography!” I confess to often feeling kind of overwhelmed by the amount of great content out there, and it will be nice to have access to a sorted list. Also, add me to the list of people impressed that you only started quilting a year ago–I’m not sure if I’ll ever master patchwork blocks like the ones you show :)

    • Yeah, organization of information is definitely a skill of mine!

      Also, the blocks look more complex than they really are, although I admit that the Spring Showers block had a lot of pieces. It came together easily, though. And I can’t believe I was freaked out about having to make a Dresden plate. It was shockingly easy!

  5. Nice to meet you Nanette! I was the same way when I started. I can’t believe I can easily load a bobbin a now! My husband taught me how to use my Necchi. Crazy huh? Lovely work!

    • I didn’t even mention how I didn’t understand the difference between “pressing” and “ironing” when I first started. I think that might have been even funnier than my bobbin-related freakouts. The first quilt top I ever made is pretty much unusable because it’s so distorted from being ironed instead of pressed. I won’t make that mistake again!

  6. Nanette! I know exactly what you mean about freaking out about loading the bobbin, etc. I still freak out when I change my needles, but I feel more confident than I did in the very beginning! I love your work and your swoon block is awesome. I want to make a wall hanging with that pattern! I can’t wait to see the tutorials you share this summer!

  7. Love the quatrefoil blocks! Great colors. I think that first one was a swoon? That one is on my to do list too:)

  8. Thanks for sharing today! I love the dresden plate with a hexie in the middle. Please do a post about the Hex N’ More ruler because I have been wanting to see it in action and get a review on it before buying one myself.

    • I will definitely post about the Hex N More–I love it! And I want to keep that Dresden for myself, but alas, it’s leaving tomorrow. I’m starting to think that I need to make a rainbow Dresden quilt (with hexie centers).

  9. I know what you mean–I remember trying to quilt when my oldest was little. He’s now almost 12 now (geesh!) I love all your blocks. I usually only see what you post to our Bee Sew Modern group so I’m glad to finally visit your blog :)

    • They grow SO fast. I can’t believe Lenora is almost 18 months old! Part of me is looking forward to her being a little more independent so I can “get more done,” but part of me wants her to stay little forever!

  10. Great to get you know you. I love the hexagon in the middle of the dresden – I’ve never seen that before – neat!

    • Thanks, Julie! When I saw the hexie center on Vanessa Christenson’s blog, I knew I had to try it. Now I just want to make more of them!

  11. Cute swoon block, but even cuter baby on top. I’m glad to meet you through this blog hop – I am also working on a swoon, full size – I’ve got 4 of 9 done, whew!!

    • I’m stuck at two Swoon blocks, but I have the fabric cut for most of the rest of the blocks. I’ve learned so much since I made those first two blocks–I totally remember freaking out about the flying geese and the half-square triangles. That stuff is second nature to me now!

  12. Good to meet you via the blog hop. I too am a beginner quilter and do realize how difficult it is at the beginning
    but definitely get easier.

  13. So happy to meet you and I love the blocks. I have never been in a “bee” so I will have to investigate those possibilities. Thanks for sharing your story and blog.

    • I love virtual bees–they are loads of fun. If you join the Quilting Bee Blocks group on Flickr, you can find openings in bees. I know that one of the bees I am currently in (We Bee Learning) is looking for new members to start in July. They have two groups–one for easy blocks (no paper piecing) and one for intermediate/advanced blocks. It’s a really nice group of women, and worth checking out!

  14. I loved reading your post and taking a “stroll” around your blog! I absolutely adore your Swoon block!

    -Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  15. Hi! Your dresden block is amazing! The community formed from the quilt blogs drew me in too. I love the idea of having friends online to show, share and chat with about projects. Keep up the great work and Lenora is adorable!

    • Thanks, Shayla! I am inordinately proud of that Dresden and wish it was staying with me. I guess I’ll just have to make more!

    • Haha! She is much bigger than the Swoon block now…she could probably hold it up and play peek-a-boo with it!

  16. Gosh what an absolutely impressive first quilt block that was and a picture of it with a beautiful new born no less! No doubt it will make a beautiful quilt when it’s complete. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Thanks, Kelsey! To be fair, that wasn’t quite my first quilt block…my first was an entire quilt top that I ironed instead of pressed, so it’s very distorted. I need to pull it out and take a picture so everyone can giggle at it.

  17. Hi Nanette, nice to meet you – I’ve come from the blog hop. I like your blocks, especially the green one.

  18. I know what you mean about finishing. I have a Halloween & Christmas quilt top and Craftsy BOM 2012 blocks still sitting where I left them in January! WIP Wednesday posts help and for me I think I need to start a new project sometimes just to get the hands moving and then I feel motivated to finish some of the UFO’s or at least get them a little closer to the finish line!

    • Ruth, I really need to get back into posting for WIP Wednesday. I’ve done it a few times, but have somehow gotten out of the habit. I need to try and make time for these things!!

  19. Good luck with posting more often. It is hard. I can even feel a bit self conscious posting. Nice blocks.

  20. I am SO with you on 1) disorganized blog beginnings (I started out thinking I was a mommyblogger, I think? And then I thought I was a quilt blogger, and now the knitting and the dress sewing are creeeeping in) and 2) toddlers eating into your blog time! I have a 2-year-old girl, and buddy, I know.

  21. Meeting you via the blog hop! Your tutorials sounds like such a great idea!! Also, that pic of your daughter with the swoon block is absolutely adorable :)

  22. Those are some cute bee blocks! I hear you on the multitude of starts and not so many finishes! What is working for me is committing to WIP Wednesday posts. And only working on existing projects (most of the time LOL).

  23. Nice to visit here. Always nice to find new blogs and quilty friends! I do hope you will find time to finish those stars..they look lovely so far!

  24. I can totally relate to the comment on not being able to thread the sewing machine without getting help! I could never get the hang of it when my mum was teaching me to sew, now I can do it in a few seconds.

    Lovely projects you’re working on!

  25. Nice post! And nice projects. I think I recognize a Swoon block in there. I am just about finished my own Swoon quilt; I have the binding about 1/4 sewn down by hand, still puttering away (but it took me forever to get there!). I am looking forward to your posts. Talk to you later – I’m off to check out that cake recipe you mentioned!

  26. What a pretty Swoon block, and still in the WIP pile, well i think it’s fair to say we all have those, with lots of projects over a year old- but i am determined to get through a few of mine, one day! :o)

  27. Lovely blocks – I think we all have WIPs languishing in a corner somewhere (I’m too scared to count all mine up!)

  28. I can relate to the start-itis. I thought having a blog would help me finish more, but since I’m also starting more I think it’s a wash! Would love to read your thoughts on the Hex ‘n More.

  29. It’s nice to “meet” you Nanette! That photo of your daughter on the Swoon block is adorable and I love you blog name!

  30. Beautiful blocks! I find being in a couple of bees does cut into my time for other projects, and I’m not surprised you feel busy with a little one and working full time, but isn’t quilting gret time out!

  31. Hi Nanette, first things first…four cats…you must be a great person..ha ha!! I’ve only just started sewing and know exactly what you mean about the sewing machine stuff, in fact it’s one of the things that put me off in the past. Luckily I’m over that now and it’s second nature, funny isn’t it. I love your blocks and the cross stitch. The swoon is on my long list, your daughter looks so cute next to it!

  32. Your Spring Showers block is just beautiful! Great job! I’ve yet to tackle the Swoon, but your block is lovely. And your daughter is a cutie!!

  33. Hi Nanette, great post. I’ve loads of WIP’s too, great blocks. The tutorial series you have planned is a great idea.

  34. Nanette, nice post. I loved seeing your work. I recognized that Swoon block as I have been wanting to make one myself. Great to meet you on the blog hop.

  35. Wow, great blocks! Both the quatrefoil and spring showers. I’m still working on my Swoon quilt, too; my first Swoon block was one of the first couple of blocks I’ve ever made ♥

  36. First off, I just want to say that I adore your daughter’s name! Your post was moving for me. I started out wondering if you needed a boost, but as you neared the end, I realized your boost has come from within yourself! I am certainly looking forward to your tutorials and am sew glad to be a part of this year’s hop with you. PS. 70 comments should be proof enough that ‘someone’ is reading your blog… Ha, ha!

  37. I can totally relate to the time issue (as in, where does all the time go in a day?!), but so glad you find some time to create ;) Looking forward to seeing more of your work!

  38. Yay Librarians represent :) It seems like we’re pretty much in the same boat (minus the toddler). Full time jobs make finishing quilts/blogging way harder ;) I love your B&W Dresden block, very nice!

  39. Lovely blocks and great blog hop post to start the big event! I find the best way to get over start-itus is to only make things which are gifts on an extremely tight and unachievable deadline! You definitely zoom towards the finish usually about five minutes before the party or last post.

  40. Oooh, I really love your tutorial series ideas. I love how you are using what you are good at – locating info – and sharing it. What about some info on the history of quilting?! I like to know more about that. Will pop back for your tutorials!

  41. Love your blog name! And super cute picture of your daughter and the big block! I am so impressed that you get any sewing done with a full time job, baby, etc.! Enjoy each and every finish!

  42. I think your idea is brilliant so many resources that one day you find it the next it is gone! So I will be back for more!

    Http:// is where I call home in blogland!

  43. Nice to meet you! I think your quatrefoil blocks are brilliant for a Munki Munki bee I’m in. Thanks for the inspiration! And you are so dedicated to post all those tutorials :)

  44. Really lovely work. I also discovered blogging and modern quilting on my maternity leave. I recently quit my job to devote my time to my daughter and also making pretty things. Great job on all the starts (I have the same lack of follow through, myself). Thank you for sharing this part of your life.

  45. I’m visiting from the Lets get acquainted blog hop. So good to hear how you love quilting.

  46. Hope you are finally feeling better Nanette. I am slowly making the rounds of the previous blog hoppers because of having some issues of my own. Whew! Anyway, I love Swoon and I have a dresden that I might have to pull out for next month on AYoLF. That really keeps me going. Very nice to meet you.

  47. This first week of hop stops happened as we were packing to move from Virginia to Missouri, so I missed them. Now we are into the last week and I’m back to catch up and say hi.

    So, college town in central Illinois … you’re going to make me guess? Urbana-Champaign? Blooming-Normal? Macomb? Jacksonville? Springfield? Am I getting close? I grew up in Illinois (Galena).

    Love the projects you shared. I really like that monochromatic dresden. Reminds me of the ongoing English paper piecing project I have been working on.

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