On the blog hop, and my “identity” as a blogger.

First things first: I’ve missed a couple of weeks of blog hop links. We had a battle with a stomach bug, and I’m sad to say that the stomach bug won, if only for a few days. Here are the latest stops on the New Bloggers Blog Hop. Please visit them and say hello–there are a lot of wonderful blogs on this list, and they’re probably new to you too!

If you’re visiting from the hop, my introduction post is here.

There has been a lot of interesting talk on the blog hop e-mail list about what makes people come back to a blog. It seems like the overwhelming answer is “great photography.”

And that’s where I run into a problem: I’m a writer, not a photographer. I have pretty much zero interest in photography. I have a nice consumer-level digital camera that is mostly used by my husband, because I rarely take pictures of anything. I don’t like editing photos and making tweaks to them until they’re perfect. I may take a few photos until I get one that I like, but I’m not one to spend time retouching, reframing, and adding watermarks. (Who would want to steal my photos anyhow?)

I received some very kind and well-intentioned constructive criticism from another blogger, and it centered pretty much exclusively on the photographs that I include in my posts. The things she said were similar to the things mentioned on the blog hop e-mail list–take your photos in natural light! Use a photo editor to clean things up! Do this-that-and-the-other with your photos to make them beautiful and artsy! Make your photos bigger! (This sounds easy, but making my photos larger messes with my template. In addition to not being a photographer, I am also not a graphic designer, so messing with the template is outside my skill set.)

“Yikes,” I thought. “I have a difficult enough time sitting down to sew and to write about the things that I’m sewing. How am I supposed to find an extra hour to take the perfect picture and then edit it to within an inch of its life so it looks like it could appear in a catalog or magazine?”

The short answer: I won’t. I can’t. And if that drives people away, I’m sorry. My photos will continue to be semi-haphazard unedited snapshots of the things I make, because that’s what I have time to do. I’m not trying to attract sponsors or make a living from my blog or create a “brand” for myself. I just want to share what I make with the time I have to share it. Something’s got to give, and sorry photo buffs, it’s the photos.

This is part of the reason why I haven’t posted in the last week. I’ve been waiting for that hypothetical “perfect day,” where I’ll have lovely natural light to take artsy photos of some quilt blocks that I made. Oh, and time to take the photos while the lovely natural light is available. It hasn’t happened yet. I’ve come home from work late or had to wrangle a surly toddler or it’s been raining pretty much every night for the last week. But here are some snapshots, taken on my vintage dining room table at twilight. Flash was used! And the light from the chandelier! I know, it’s as unnatural as a box of Twinkies, but I’ve got to work with what I have.

First up: this paper-pieced X block, for the Dream circle of Do Good Stitches. Jeannette asked for red, white, and blue. I got to use my favorite navy blue fabric, which made me happy. It’s weird–I’m not a navy blue fan, but I love this fabric. (It’s Dear Stella’s Tiny Diamonds, from their Town & Country line. I have it in a bunch of colors, but this navy blue is my favorite.)

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Next is this rainbow sun for Sara. It’s a paper-pieced block from the Sugar Block Club, which features modern blocks with a traditional feel. I made a slight error in my piecing so the colors are not exactly in rainbow order, but it’s still pretty so I am not going to sweat it.

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Then there’s this gear block, which was a royal pain to make (tons of small pieces! very fidgety!) and I am still not happy with the center. It resembled a really unnatural padded bra cup until I pressed it, and now it resembles a squooshed padded bra cup. I picked out the stitches and re-sewed it twice and it is still icky (to use a technical term). It also seems to be a weird shape–not square, but not circular either. There does come a point where it’s time to just stop fussing with a block that isn’t entirely working, otherwise you’ll completely destroy it. The last thing I wanted to do was start this one over from the beginning because I ripped a hole in it or something, so I had to just let it go.

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These woven ribbons blocks will be part of a baby quilt! Too cute!

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Another iteration of the ever-popular wonky star, this one in yellow and blue. Though the wonky star is not my personal style, I feel like I am getting better at this kind of block.

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My favorite block this month was this sunburst that I made for Sabrina. I can see this in a bunch of different colors. It was so quick and easy to make!

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I have a couple of x and + blocks in progress that I should be finishing tonight, which means that I have met all my bee obligations for June, and they’ll be shipped off on time. My goal for July is to get my bee blocks finished and mailed during the first two weeks of the month, so I can have the rest of the month to do my own things. I have a Christmas quilt that I’m planning to make as a gift, and I really wanted to be done with that by the end of September.

Conveniently, it’s Wednesday, so I’m linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced! Plenty of eye candy over there, so take a look!

Posted on by nanette
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7 comments on “On the blog hop, and my “identity” as a blogger.

  1. Natural light, ehh. Your pictures look great to me. Sorry my gear block has been giving you so much trouble! Send it to me as is and I’ll see if I can figure it out :)
    I’m thinking the pieces might have been switched around a little?

  2. I think your pictures are just fine, and I also believe that blogging is a very personal way to share your world and work with the world. Do what is right for you and followers will follow, trying to force your way into something just never work :) I really like your X block!

  3. I really appreciate your comments about the pressure to have your blog pics look good! I haven’t done much with my blog yet, though I’d like to… Hopefully in the fall. But definitely one of my concerns is taking good enough pictures. Like you, I’m not naturally interested in photography and I’d rather be sewing! We only have so much time… I’m thinking about getting some professional pictures taken for the template and for finishes. I have a photographer friend who wants a quilt for baby photo shoots and I’m hoping she’ll do a trade for services! For every day WIP pics my iPhone will have to be good enough.

    As a reader, though, I’ll tell you that nice pictures is not the only thing I look for. I look for inspiring fabrics and designs and thoughtfulness. I started following you because I saw that. :)

    No quilt police, and no blog police either!!

  4. I don’t want to spend that much time on photos, either. I’m a writer and not a photographer, too. However, I do know that there is a large population of people who won’t want to follow my blog because of photos, but I can’t worry about that. I will read your blog – so there!

  5. I hear you – our apartment has terrible lighting inside, so I always feel like I’m either going to get a decent photo outside or I’ll be using Picasa to edit it within an inch of its life. It can be frustrating and I try not to sweat it too much. You’ve got the right attitude! I love, love that cog block and the rainbow star against the black background. Very pretty!

  6. Boy, if I went by the ‘constructive’ critiques I got, I’d have stopped blogging! There were to many nasty comments for my liking. I think your blog is wonderful. Your work is wonderful, and don’t worry about editing your pix. I am NOT tech savvy, so I don’t even know how to use most of the stuff everyone was talking about. I’m with you, if it is not to their liking……..

  7. It takes FOREVER to take nice photos, then forever again to pull them off the camera, and then to Photoshop? And write a post? I hear you. I have you in my Bloglovin feed, and to be honest, I would much rather see posts with iPhone photos (or your photos above, which really I think are just fine) than no posts at all, you know? It’s most important to me to see the work that other modern quilters are doing.

    I like your rainbow Sugar block! I’m following another quilter who’s doing the Sugar blocks in solids, and both ways look fabulous. Last summer I did the Anna Maria Spinning Stars quilt and made a whole bunch of blocks with bra cup centers, lol. When people say “it will quilt out”, probably really, it will quilt out.

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