2014 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

I am taking part in my first blog hop, organised by Beth of Plum and June. I have already had lots of fun getting to know the other bloggers behind the scenes, including joining up with Possum Magic.

As part of the hop, I have been asked to tell you a little about myself and share any blogging or quilting tips I can think of.

Let me introduce myself

My name is Carla and I have a quilting, sewing and knitting addiction. I am happily married, and my family includes an easy-going stepdaughter who has the best character traits of her father (and I liked his traits enough to marry him).

As explained in my about page, I named this blog after my seamstress great-grandmother, Granny Maud. Mum thinks I am a chip off the old block.

(You can click the images below to find out more about each project.)

'It's a nice day for a pink wedding', a double wedding ring quilt made by Carla Morris and published in Australian Patchwork & Quilting volume 20, number 9.

I like to make quilts,

Triangle scrap patchwork quilt

especially bed-sized quilts,

A cushion made using Piece by Number’s circle of geese pattern.

and cushions,

Cosy2

and I like to knit.

Pouch from Patchwork, Please! by Ayumi Takahashi

I like to make useful things

Hippos made by Granny Maud's Girl using pattern by Jodie Carleton of Ric Rac

and frivolous things.

Kumiko Fujita’s Patchwork Patterns 318

I often sew small, complex,

Dear Jane patchwork quilt B6 Wild Goose Chase

detailed and fiddly things.

Random facts about me:

  • Until 6 years ago I was a cat person, baffled by dog owners’ affection for their drooling, simpering beasts. A small dog named Lucy changed that and converted me to the dark side. I love her to bits. I still also love my grumpy curmudgeon cat, Max.
  • My favourite holidays involve history, art, culture and great food. I get bored, hot and fidgety sitting on a beach.
  • I cannot watch an episode of Call the Midwife without crying or an episode of The Big Bang Theory without laughing.
  • I love reading as much as I love sewing. I cannot remember a time in my life when I could not do either.
  • I like studying languages. I can order sushi in Japanese, wine in French and tapas in Spanish.
  • I do not like sport.
  • My husband bought me Star Wars Lego for my birthday last year. I was thrilled.
  • I was an extra in a Bollywood film, but I ended up on the cutting-room floor.
  • I drink lots of cups of tea.
  • My favourite colour is red.
  • I sing along with the radio in the car.

Recently a friend posted this quote by Sweatpants and Coffee on Facebook: ‘Don’t ever be ashamed of loving the strange things that make your weird little heart happy.’ I liked its message and started thinking about the odd things that add colour to my life, which include the Eurovision Song Contest, cardigans (in every colour), Bollywood movies, old movie musicals (but, strangely, not stage musicals so much), Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer and chocolate.

Granny Maud's Girl and her sewing desk

Welcome to my world!

I am not going to pretend that I did not tidy my sewing corner before taking this photo. I did. I found dust-bunnies the size of Wallace and Gromit were-rabbits. Perhaps I should have dressed up a bit.

Blogging tips

I only have a point-and-shoot camera, and I used to take lots and lots of photos and keep the least blurry ones. Then, I got a tripod. Hallelujah! If I were not so busy sewing, I would think about photography classes.

Including hyperlinks is really helpful for readers, but sometimes the links die. Every six months or so, I run a link checker like this one over my blog to see which links I need to update, delete or replace.

Quilting tips

My mum always says, ‘There is no such word as can’t’. I apply this to sewing. If someone else has managed to make it, I can too. It might take time, perseverance, an instruction book or lessons, but if I want to, I can. So can you.

Sewing is a sedentary pastime and chairs are not good for us. If possible, take a few minutes each day to get some fresh air. For me, taking my dog on a long walk each morning is great thinking, planning and clearing-my-head time.

Here is a suggestion that I am trying to start doing more conscientiously. If you make something using a pattern and you can identify the person who designed the pattern, think about sending the pattern designer a photo of your work. I have had two quilt patterns published in a magazine and it makes my day when people send me a photo of their version. I love seeing how they completely reinterpret the colour and the design to make their own creation. I think other people who design patterns – professionals as well as complete amateurs like me – might feel the same way.

Help!

While I have people’s attention, I need some advice. I bought a mini charm pack (Scrumptious by Bonnie and Camille) and I did not know what to do with it. I decided to make hexagons and sew them on a bag or some such small project, hoping a plan would form when I could see all the basted hexagons laid out. A plan has not formed. What would you do?

  • Add the hexagons to a background fabric? Maybe linen?
  • Dip into my Bonnie and Camille fat-quarter bundle to make a few more hexagons first?
  • Bag? Pouch? Cushion? Something else entirely?

All suggestions appreciated!

Bonnie and Camille Scrumptious mini charm park made into hexagons

What should I make with these?

Meet the other bloggers

Now you have read my nonsense, I would love it if you would check out some of the other participants in the blog hop. They are from as far-flung places as Newfoundland and Thailand!

Elli @ Lovelli Quilts
Cynthia @ Cynthia’s Creating Ark
Sally @ Wonky Patchwork
Bee @ Pink Almond Quilt
Leanne @ Devoted Quilter
Karen @ Capitola Quilter
Debbie @ Quilting Makes My Heart Sing
Sharon @ Motherdragon’s Musings 

Plum and June

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88 thoughts on “2014 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

    • Good idea, Raelene, but you will not be surprised when I say that’s not happening! I am clutching my Bonnie and Camille stash to my bosom and hanging on to it, even if I haven’t a clue what to do with it! 🙂

  1. Ha, I’m more of a cat person than a dog one but I do still like dogs (and maybe want one, one day). I like some dogs more than others though. I don’t like big, drooly ones (I am still annoyed at these people when i was at the vets where they let their big drooly dog walk around and shake his face so the drool flew everywhere, including in the “cat section” yuck yuck yuck yuck. It’s so warm and gooey and gross). I’d love something like a Papillon or a Beagle or a Labrador or a Dalmatian. As a kid I was fascinated by Afghans and Huskies are lovely too but sheesh, so much hair. One thing I’ve often thought of is fostering the puppies they use for guide dogs in training. All the thrills of a puppy and no huge dog, ha! But I suppose you’d get attached to all the puppies. I used to foster cats and wanted to keep every single one of them.

    I love your scrappy triangle quilt! I just read your post on it; there was a wadding shortage?! How funny! Maybe ‘they’ should invest in more than one wadding making machine!

    I don’t find beaches all that exciting either. My mum lives across the road from a beach, and when I lived there I never went to the beach (wasn’t a very good beach, anyway) but sand just gets everywhere! It might be fun for a day or two here or there but I want to do other things too!

    The hexagons could become a complimentary matching cushion for the probable-eventual Bonnie and Camille fat quarter quilt!

    • You might notice, Jo, that I am breaking myself into dog ownership gently by getting a cat-sized dog. The local dog-park crowd includes some lovely, large, good-natured dogs, even some that do not drool, but I like how mine can let herself in and out of the cat flap / dog door and sun herself in the garden whenever she pleases. You would get attached to the guide dog puppies! If I go to the vet when they have kittens for adoption I end up looking pleadingly at my husband until he firmly says, ‘No!’ Tough to resist.
      Yes, there was a shortage just of white wadding! Weird, eh!
      I like the idea of a cushion, but I cannot decide whether to make it entirely of hexagons or arrange them artfully on a background or …

      • I go to Pet Barn to buy cat food and they’re working with Cat Haven so have adoptable cats in the store. I haven’t seen one yet that I didn’t want to bring home but my husband won’t let me have any of them either 😦 they put little write ups about the cat’s history and some of them are so sad. I feel like a cruel, heartless monster walking away from their pleading eyes… they just want love and pats. I can provide that!! Too bad I already have mouths to feed. I keep telling my two they need to be more grateful! (Cats never listen though).

  2. Oh Carla! What a delightful post . So nice to put a face to the name. Can’t believe you were cut from the film : )
    Enjoy reading your blog. Have a great week

    • At one stage during filming, one of the assistant directors said I had a close-up! I was excited, but I don’t mind being cut (except if you pause the film and peer into one corner of the screen at precisely the right second, I am almost recognisable). It was just a bucket-list fun thing to do to see behind the scenes of a film. Gotta try silly things!

  3. Good on you Carla. What a great introduction! I’ve really enjoyed reading it and learning more about Granny Maud’s Girl! I love those Bonnie and Camille fabrics….. I reckon I’d be making a bed quilt for sure with them. Thanks for sharing! Jen

  4. I’m both a cat and dog person, my dog passed away a few years ago and I haven’t had the heart to “replace” her yet … just can’t do it. I’d love to see those hexies adorning matching pillowcases for your (sure to be) soon to be matching quilt 🙂 PS I drinks LOTS of tea too!

  5. Haha, you are to cool for school Carla! I love the picture f you in your sewing room! Can you watch “Call the midwife here? I started watching it in the UK and loved it (especially as I was living on the area Shoreditch and I beleive this is where the story is based).
    If you know how to order wine in French, you can easily survive in France 🙂 But I know you know more than that! I’m so impressed.

    • I don’t know when they broadcast the show in NZ, Alice. I cannot imagine they wouldn’t. I bought the first two series on DVD so I can watch them later while sewing, even though it is hard to see your stitches with tears in your eyes.
      I have survived France, but I need to keep practising so I can go back!

  6. Make the hexies the central medallion of a quilt that uses the rest of the fat quarters. I have a jelly roll of Scrumptious. We could negotiate…. Love the post – you really are a very, very tidy person, aren’t you? Your work space is enviably neat. I’m glad I don’t have a Lucy under the desk; the poor thing would suffer from being showered with the pins I drop with monotonous regularity and a distinct lack of walkies while I wrestled for “just one more minute” with whatever quilty problem was besetting me.

    • Lucy has mastered the art of nagging until I take her to the park in the afternoons. She lets me skip the park if it is raining or if I have a pressing work deadline.
      It is not a big space. If I make a mess, I bury my cutting mat!

  7. I’m imagining how relaxed you are when sewing in that corner. I could stay whole day & night If I were you. Mine is so untidy 😛
    I still don’t have the final idea for my hexies yet. I’d like to make a bag, but still not sure about the size & design, so I switch to another project in the meanwhile. Your charm pack is so lovely. I wish you make more hexies, and a shoulder bag may be a choice!

    • So we both have hexies and are unsure of what to do next. Yours are at least sewn together!
      I am leaning towards making some more hexies so I have at least enough for one side of a cushion or both sides of a bag.

  8. Thanks for that blogging tip – I never would have thought of doing that and it IS so frustrating when links don’t work! I didn’t know there was such a thing as a link checker upper (new term). I also agree with your quilting tip. I started with a king size quilt, no pattern and a very small sewing machine. . . sometimes being naive and willing to search for answers is a good thing 🙂

    • Naivety also allows you to tackle big projects without being frightened off. My first knit was an Aran jumper. I was unaware it might be tricky, so I just did it! I bet your first quilt is a gem.

  9. Hi Carla, All those hexies are saying a bag to me. Thanks for the tip on the hyperlinks I don’t know this and now that may explain what has happened when I returned to another blog for a link and it wasn’t there any more.

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  11. Hi Carla. 🙂 I really like the photograph of you in your sewing area. So wonderful to put faces to the people behind the blogs on this blog hop! I have no idea how to help you with the hexies; they scare me! I am definitely a cat person, but my husband is a dog person. Thus we have a cat named Puppy!

  12. Thank you so much for your kind comment on my blog. You have made such beautiful quilts! I like your idea of putting the hexies on linen, then maybe a nice tote, or maybe framing them. Good luck!!

  13. Hi, fellow blog hop host! So many things that you said in your post spoke to me that I’m having trouble picking one to comment about! 🙂 The link checker is a great idea – I try to include lots of links in my posts too! As for a suggestion on your hexies, I’ve been loving making them into pillows (and runners) lately. It’s not too big a project and you can admire all those lovely little bits while crying your way through Call the Midwife on the couch. 🙂 Love Call the Midwife!

  14. I have never heard of a link checker. That is a great idea. I would make a cushion/pillow with your mini charms. Then make a quilt to match with your stash.

    • Thanks for the suggestion! The bath mat idea is brilliant, but I would probably machine piece something easy for that – like the lovely example you spotted. Our bath mats have to withstand frequent laundering, and the cat likes to sleep on them in summer (fluffy, but with cooling tiles underneath). I am not sure I am keen on hand sewing hexies for a cat bed!

    • Nice quilt! A friend asked for random hexies on a white background for her friendship blocks. She showed us the finished quilt this week and it looks brilliant, and a little like the style of your link.

  15. I love your “I can do that” attitude! There’s nothing scary about quilting, just lots of fun stuff we haven’t learned yet! I’d use those hexies to make a wall hanging of some sort, maybe joining some together and leaving others separate and then attaching them to a background with a lot of contrast so they really stand out. Have fun.

  16. Nice to read about you! I loved the random facts, and am also new to dog ownership. He’s ok. I don’t think the cats approve though! Good luck with the hexies…I’m not sure what you could do with them. I’d maybe sew them together and make a zipper pouch or tote bag.

    • It is lovely. Do you think the hexies were appliquéd or simply quilted in place? I will probably stick with the traditional EPP method as it will be something portable I can take travelling.

      • I asked Nicole at Modern Handcraft and this was her response: “I glue the hexies down with a permanent fabric glue – the how to is searchable on my blog if you look for hexagons. Much faster and easier than stitching them down to secure. Enjoy the tutorial”.

  17. Love your picture, especially the stuff and more stuff notations. I think in my sewing room it would need to include a few more mores! Isn’t it so much fun how world wide our hop is? Good luck with the hexie project, the most I ever made with mine was a pouch.

    • Much more chaos lurks behind the camera, in the cupboard where the fabric lives.
      My first quilt was hand-pieced hexagons. I was traumatised 🙂 for many years, but I feel ready to tackle them again – but this time starting small.

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  19. Hi Carla! I love your tea cozy, like you, I drink a lot of tea. I also like the Big Bang Theory. I recently started a hexagon project–The box of 300 hexagons is a little intimidating, now I have to make something. If you’re looking for inspiration, you might want to check out Hexa-go-go by Tacha Bruecher. I saw it at the local library last weekend (after I already made a couple hundred hexagons), and she had some great ideas for different hexagon projects and it has given me a lot of ideas. There are a lot of projects involving applique, or combining hexagons and EPP with machine piecing. Most projects involved making fewer than 1,000 hexagons, which was nice. Good luck!

    • I am hoping to stick to fewer than 100 hexies this time – just something small to take on a marathon plane journey to Canada.
      I took your advice and looked at the book. It did start some wheels turning in my head.

  20. Hi Carla! Great post about yourself. I’m definitely a cat person and after a weekend of dog sitting, it’s official – I’m still just a crazy cat lady, and I’m okay with that! Thank you so much for the URL checker website! I never knew those existed and it found 3 links that were broken on my blog.

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  22. Old movie musicals like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, or more like Meet Me in St.Louis? Both are favourites around here. We are also regular watchers of the Big Bang Theory. I can’t watch Call the Midwife or I will cry. But we share a like of Bollywood films and Wallace and Grommit. Too bad you we’re cut out.

    Your picture of your sewing room is great and way too organized! Mine is only like that for brief moments of time.

    And maybe a mini quilt with the hexes? Or just do what I do and stash them in a corner until inspiration strikes.

    • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a favourite. What’s not to love about seven cute red-headed men singing?! Especially the axe-chopping in the snow scene.
      I haven’t watched as many Bollywood films lately as I cannot sew or knit and read the subtitles at the same time.

  23. Great post! We are very alike :).
    I would stitch your hexies on to something like linen, don’t break up the fq bundle for it just yet! Loved seeing your sewing room :).

  24. Visiting from Plum and June’s Blog Hop. Nice to meet you! Big Bang Theory makes me laugh every time, no matter how many times I’ve seen the episode! I enjoy small projects too. Carole @ From My Carolina Home

  25. Love your post. I too can’t watch Big Bang Theory without laughing and I don’t think I’ve ever been in a car with the radio on that I wasn’t singing along….LOL Sorry not much help with the hexies, but I will stay tuned to see what you do with them.

  26. great introduction 🙂 And great advice about getting up and moving around while sewing – I have found morning walks really help. How about a mini quilt with the hexies?

    • I am not very good with mini quilts as I always have to give them a purpose, like a table runner, a cushion cover, a side of a bag, a placemat or a humidicrib quilt, and I don’t have any quilts on my walls. I would love to know what other people do with their tiny quilts.

  27. Love your sewing space. We have one of the drooly dogs, a Basset Hound. This latest one is more drooly than the first. we still love him though I wander around the house with dettol wipes contstantly!

  28. I’m wondering where all your fabric is. lol. Mine is all over my sewing room, so I can’t imagine where you have hidden yours. I am not a hexi person, so I have no help there.

  29. I am so happy to finally visit your blog, after you visited mine back in June. You wrote some many wonderful things.

    We have so much in common, not just having a grandparent named Maud who were the sewers in our families.

    I love your blog. It’s beautifully designed and so easy to navigate. Your “Colouring Book Quilt,” is stunning. WOW!!

    With the Bonnie and Camille pattern you’ve made -How about a pillow or small quilt for the dog or cat, and then make something entirely different for the other. Don’t forget to put a dedication on it for them. I lost my amazing cat Josie six years ago. I made a single size bed quilt and dedicated it to her. When she came home from a tough vet visit, I would build a little nest with it around her. She loved that. We also slept under that quilt, but it is a wonderful memory I still have of her. I finished a quilt a few years ago for our cat, Biscuit, and am almost done with Emma’s.

    I too, cannot get enough of “Call The Midwives.” It is driven by character and plot equally, and well done. Not an easy thing to accomplish on film or through literature.
    I am a part-time librarian, and belong to Goodreads to keep track of what I’ve read. If you join, please friend me, so we can swap tiitles. I don’t read anything with violence in it or anything that will creep me out. I’m what they call, “the faint of heart.” But I love to read goods books with interesting charachters.

    I love singing along with the radio in the car too. Who are your favorites?
    So glad we met through the hop.
    All The Best
    anne@hudsonvalleyquilts

    • According to my Goodreads account, I have been reading the same book for more than a year. I know that is not true. I think I need to delete that inactive account!
      I also need to take proper photos of the colouring book quilt … when it stops raining!

  30. Nice intro Carla! I like your random facts and I can rely to some as well. Zippered pouch from linen with some hexagons on it would work for me or maybe fabric basket? How about a cushion? haha

  31. Lovely post and lovely quilts. Thanks for the tip on the dead links. Found a couple that I’ll need to attend to.

    As for the hexies, I have sworn to never do hand-sewn hexies so I’m withholding my opinion. Those things give me hives ;).

    • My first quilt was hand-sewn hexies. By the time I finished (in my 30s), I hated the fabrics 15-year-old me had chosen. Hexies gave me the jitters for a long time after that, but I am feeling ready to give it another go.

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  34. Late visit from the blog hop, just getting round to catching up! Beautiful quilts and I love old movie musicals, but not so much the stage ones, and Jane Austen/Georgette Heyer too! I saw I’m a bit late to be any help on the hexie front, but there’s just been a 12 hexie or less blog hop over at Crafty Pod if you’re still interested at all. Seemed like a great idea for a hop to me, since I think hexies are gorgeous, but on a small scale!

    • It is too late for the 12 or fewer hexies ideas as I made another 42 and now have 84. I have a cushion front in mind, and a long plane journey to the northern hemisphere to start on it. The big decision now is that I need another 8 hexies: do I repeat fabrics or try to find another 8 that coordinate?

  35. That link checker tip is a great one, Carla! I wasn’t aware of it. I’ll have to try it out. I also hate beach vacations – I grew up on Cape Cod but dislike the beach – would much rather be exploring a museum or hiking a mountain : ) I especially love your “frivolous things!”

  36. Hi Carla! What a fun window into your world! Thanks for sharing such a great variety of your projects, too. I’d never thought to run a link checker but I do worry that links ‘poop out’ occasionally and short of going through it all myself… I”l have to check that out. Thank you!!

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