As you can see, we've got something a little bit different going on here today! I am honored to be part of the 2018 Online Quilters Meet & Greet hosted by Benita of Victoriana Quilt Designs, which starts today and runs through the whole month of September. It's a great opportunity to meet some new quilt bloggers and maybe even learn a little something you didn't know about some of your regular blog stops! Today's post will be directed more to new visitors rather than familiar friends, but I hope you'll stick around to the end of the post, where there will be information about a fabulous giveaway associated with this event! So let's get started!
I guess I should start by telling you a little bit about myself. The first thing might be that I hate having my picture taken, so I'm often behind my grandkids in selfies. That's me in the back, with my granddaughters Emmy (on the left) and Lilliana (on the right). I also have a grandson, Nathanael, who was adopted from China three years ago. Emmy and Nathanael are both deaf and both six - quite a combination! Lilliana is ten going on twenty, and loves to sew when she comes over.
I started Confessions of a Fabric Addict in January of 2010, before I was a quilter. My goal was to put my need to use up a ridiculous fabric stash out in public so that I was accountable to someone about it. I quickly discovered quilting (more about that in a minute) and it's just grown from there! Unfortunately, so has the stash... I guess my original plan didn't work so well!
Also in early 2010, we started a quilt ministry at my church, making quilts for people going through serious illness. Over the eight years since then, we've given away about 2000 quilts, to people with medical and emotional issues; to people going through grief over the loss of a loved one; to children in orphanages on the mission field; to foster kids; and to people who have lost everything through natural disasters. We've celebrated new babies and high school graduations. It's been a tremendous outreach tool for our church members, who have requested quilts to minister to their friends and acquaintances. We've sent them all over the world! And we've been able to do it because of the generous hearts of the quilt blogging community, which has been extravagant with their unwanted stash, orphan blocks, quilt tops and quilts to help us help others. I love our community!!
So now you know about how my blog started, and how it became a quilting blog. Since I started quilting, I've never looked back! After all, there are so many quilts, and so little time...
Over the years, I've found that regular themed posts have worked well for me. Some have been short-term, others have stuck around for the long haul. Currently, you'll find Make-A-List Mondays, (my personal to-do list for the week), I May Have a Scrap Problem Wednesdays, (working on using up those ever-growing piles of scraps), and Can I Get A Whoop Whoop Fridays. Whoop Whoop Friday is a linky party, where you can share what you're whooping about that week, and visit other linkers to cheer them on. And best of all, it doesn't have to be a finish, or even quilty! So come link up on Friday and join in the fun!
There are also several events during the year on this blog. In late January, I post a series of simple quilt tutorials with a theme, which leads into the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge that runs from mid-March to late May or early June. I usually choose two or three small lesser-known charities and feature them as our charities for that year's Challenge, although some people choose to donate locally, either for economic reasons (like shipping quilts overseas) or because they have a need in their own community. I'm fine with that - the whole point is making quilts to donate to people in need, after all! We have great sponsors who help support the people who participate in the Challenge, and more than 1400 quilts have been donated as a result of it over the years!
And then in July, it's the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop. Twelve days of great quilt bloggers sharing some fabulous gift ideas, decorating tips, and quilt designs, all to get us in the Christmas crafting mood! Even if you're not ready to start making yet, there's some wonderful ideas that will make you wish for cooler weather and Christmas cookies.....
OK, I think that's given you a good overview of my blog. Benita also asked us to share our favorite quilt, and tell a little bit about it. I've made so many quilts over the past eight years, but this one has to be one of my favorites. (It will be a much bigger favorite if I ever get it quilted!) The pattern is by Jen Kingwell, and is called Long Time Gone.
I loved making this quilt because it is such a mosaic of great quilt blocks, and the pattern makes it very easy to achieve. She has it set up so you make each different type of block in a step, and I chose to do one step each week. Once all the blocks are made, you turn them into one cohesive unit with checkerboard strips and a great background fabric. I chose to use a natural Essex linen for my background, and its texture adds so much to the bright scrappy look of the quilt! I only have one caveat to this pattern - Jen saved the most time-consuming block (pineapples) for the very last one in the book, and the quilt takes sixteen of them. If I had known that, I would probably have made one or two a week along the way!
I'm now working on another Jen Kingwell pattern, Gypsy Wife, using Kate Spain batiks. I really want to start putting it all together, but unfortunately with the holidays coming up, it's been put on the back burner as I do some commission work (lots of memory and t-shirt quilts this year!) and make the annual quilts that I give to each of my grandchildren at Christmas.
Yes, I said that - I make each of my three grandchildren a quilt for Christmas that reflects what they did and liked during the previous year. And as they get older, I let them have some input into what they want their quilt to be like. The quilt above is Lilliana's quilt from last year - she only specified blue and dolphins! The kids love getting a quilt, my daughter is a little more hesitant - as she pointed out, they will have 54 quilts in the house by the time all the kids are 18! So this year we're giving each of them a chest to store their quilts in - hopefully that will ease up the congestion a little bit....
OK! You've hung in 'til the end - I do hope you'll explore the blog a bit and find things that interest you. There are lots of free quilt tutorials and loads of inspiration scattered throughout! I'm so glad you've stopped by and I hope you'll leave a comment so I can get to know you better. After all, the quilt blogging community is at its best when we talk to each other! To facilitate that, do leave your email address, since Blogger has decided to make so many commenters "no-reply" these days! If you're a regular commenter, you don't need to do that unless I've never responded to your comments (that's a sure sign you're a no-reply commenter too!)
And now for the carrot at the end of the stick - Benita has a fabulous giveaway going on, and all you have to do is visit the blogs participating in the Meet and Greet! To enter from my blog, click the picture above this paragraph (for you early-birds, the link goes live at 7 am Atlantic time, so you may have to come back a little later!) and follow the instructions there. You can enter from each blog participating in the Meet and Greet, so try to visit as many as you can during September! Head over to Benita's blog for the full list of participating blogs, and make new friends today!