Sunday, January 6, 2019

2019 Quilts and Beyond: Bluprint

Do you like the new header? I keep looking at it like a new haircut in the mirror, but I do. I like the freshness. I spent a lot of time with a talented gal working out all kinds of graphics this fall, and was waiting for just the right time to change it. This is it. 2019 is going to be a year full of tweaks. Tweak meaning fine adjustments along with some sharp pulls. Tweak as in no sweeping changes in view. Just some little ones. And, while we were working on the new logo, I was was trying to define an image that represented what this blog, Pink Doxies, was now. That turned out to be very enlightening.

This was the last header I designed several years ago. And though the message is still the same--I do love color + creativity, and pushing the limits, the pot has been stirred over and over with new ingredients. I wanted something new to reflect the diversity.

Then & Now

Style: When I first began my quilting journey, I would not have batted an eye at a traditional quilt. How that has changed! My stash of Civil War prints has become substantial. I love vintage fabrics and quilts, and have been actively collecting these past years. I still choose bright fabrics for most of my quilts, but I never did go down the road toward ultra-modern, all solids, or minimalism. 

Quilting: My quilting style emerged when I found the lure of a longarm machine. Within longarming, there is a whole new design world for me to explore. My ruler work is developing as well as freehand design, and I am even developing some pantograph patterns of my own. There are a few quilts that just ask for a steady repeat in the background. (I can't believe I'm saying that, but I believe it's true.)

Publishing: Pattern writing admittedly is the hardest challenge I have faced. I get hung up on digitalizing images, formatting, etc. Craftsy's removal of so many independent pattern designers (Indie patterns) has affected me as well. I will deal with it in the coming months, and hope to offer you the same patterns here along with many free ones, too. Patterns should be well-written, accurate, easy to preview, easy to download, be made available in print form, and a reasonable price. 

The Passion Project

Gnadenhutten Quilt Project: I am committed to making quilts to give away. It may be for the next many months or years. I have no idea. In one short month I have tossed all ideas of what a charity quilt should be out the window, and realized this will be the most creative thing I have ever been involved with. You may not see it that way, but I have found limiting materials, size, etc. pushes each of us to come up with more possibilities than we find when the sky is the limit. 

The Lifespan of a Blog

This blog is about 4.5 years old. In blogland, it is ancient. The majority of blogs peter out within months of their beginnings. 

There is additional research to show there is a limited amount of content, loss of interest, change of career path, family status, etc. Hopefully someone would just say, "We evolve." I have experienced these same growing pains, and heard the same from other bloggers of similar time spans. (It's so nice to know you're normal, isn't it?) We are in limbo on whether we are all in, all out, or just need a break. You might have even heard me mention thoughts on a blogging sabbatical in the recent past. I'm not alone.

So if things are getting a little monotonous with blogging, how can I kick it up a notch? (Thanks, Emeril.) Trust me. I'm not ready to leave yet.

Scanning my regular emails a few days ago, I saw one sent to Craftsy affiliates. Craftsy would be changing their name to Bluprint on January 8, 2019. All saved classes from Craftsy would carry over, but the branding was changing. Also, all previous Craftsy members would get a sneak peek at the new Bluprint platform, and could try it for almost a week. I was on vacation, my husband had a cold, and so I streamed classes while I kept him company. Unlike the rest of the times when I just stuck to quilting, I looked at everything else.

I was blown away! Not a little, but the kind where I called my kids and friends, and said, "Have you seen this stuff?! It's fabulous!" Most said, "Get out. Take a bike ride." Etc. But it had really lit a fire in me, and I was all in. You see, before my life was consumed by quilts, I was a flower and vegetable gardener, a full time cook for 7, sewed clothes, draperies, slipcovers, painted, drew, took classes in clay, had horses, played several musical instruments, and read widely. Over the past few years, my plants withered, my art supplies collected dust, and all these other fires dimmed to a flicker or went out. 

Just lately a friend had turned me on to terrarium gardening, and I felt like I was reconnecting with a long, lost friend. The first class I tuned to on Bluprint was Stunning Succulent Arrangements.

Did you know you can do a color wheel arrangement with succulents just like fabric? I was combining my new ideas of the subtle color of succulents to the pile of batiks I was afraid to use. The colors were nearly identical.

Then I watched through this one. I could not wait to get home, and dig through the supplies in the garage. We were having a mild winter, and I might be able to get a jump on the season by starting now. I had the supplies bought for row covers right before the quilting bug bit. I could do this!

My current love is this one on baking. I have been gluten free for 6-7 years, but had yet to understand the secrets of baking gluten free. I learned more in the first 20 minutes than by reading any book in the past 5 years. 

Yes, I've been binging, but it's feeding a part of me that needed new input. I needed some tweaking of my life--the other part aside from quilting, and this is really good stuff. My plan for the year? I'm sure you can tell already, but I'm going to feed my brain on good things other than tv drama. I'm going to learn new things, and spark some old interests. And I'm going to tell you about it as I go so those of you who are curious might also give it a try. 

If you are curious right now, Bluprint has a 30 day money back guarantee. Read the fine print, but I think it's a real deal. And if you do, would you click through a link here? I get a small amount to help support this blog and content, and it cost you nothing. Thank you so much, and I hope you find your happy spot there as much as I have.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.


QuiltShopGal said...

I loved your old header, but I also love your new header. Light, colorful, inviting. What font did you use?

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

That's a great new header. Here's to 2019! I didn't have a chance to take a look at Bluprint.

Linda Swanekamp said...

Because of blogging, I have met such great people and have learned more than I ever thought I could. Back and forth discussions, advice, critique, and encouragement from readers has left me very grateful. I found that a lot of bloggers that have ceased were trying to do it in conjunction with a business which took too much time and the business closed or they went on to other pursuits. I am thankful for those who continue to communicate through blogs.
I personally cannot commit to a monthly bill for Bluprint. I am grateful to be able to keep the classes I bought, but sad for pattern designers who were dumped without much notice.

KaHolly said...

Oh, Julie, such a great post today. I love reading about your thought process and your feelings about life. I’ve never been able to put mine into words, and you always give me food for thought. Love your new logo and hope these new beginnings are as successful as they are enjoyable. I never rec'd an email from Craftsy about their changes, so couldn’t take advantage of their free preview. I think I would have enjoyed that to fill in some down time that I took for myself. Oh, well. I’m glad you are planning to continue blogging. It is still my preferred method of social media. FB and IG just don’t do it for me. I hate that so many are making the choice to quit. Such is life.

piecefulwendy said...

I enjoyed your post, Julie, and I'm glad to hear that you will continue to blog, but at the same time explore some things you used to enjoy. Those blog facts are interesting; I thought my blog was kind of a young one, but realize now that my blog is fast coming up to the same category. I haven't looked very thoroughly at Bluprint, but I might have to.

Stitchin At Home said...

I like your new header. It has a fresh look to it. Didn't have time for Bluprint watching.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I like you new Header. Well, this is certainly a different perception on the changes at Craftsy/Blueprint. I admit that I have become one of those elder people that don't adjust to change too well. I miss my blog friends that have left the platform and admit that I have not followed them to IG, thought I remain friends with a few on FB, but I spend very little time there and miss a lot. I'm glad you are finding a new love for old loves on Blueprint. Who says you can never go back!
xx, Carol

Val's Quilting Studio said...

Yes your new header is soft and feminine....and I also love your attitude of exploration and growth for the year!!! I love it and am inspired by it. :)

Danice G said...

The new header is very fresh and modern. Your outlook on blogging is very realistic. So many blogs that I once followed are now long-ago abandoned or closed. Sad. While I do use Facebook, blogging seems more of a defined niche. Plus, blogging allows us to choose what comments are posted and no one except author(s) can post to a blog (unlike on FB, where their posts appear in our feeds). Looking forward to seeing your future blog posts.

audrey said...

So glad to hear you are sticking with the blogging platform! I love reading each new post and often come away feeling inspired. Your new header suits your growth as a quilter.:) It was very interesting to read about the average lifespan of a blog. Wowsers! Some of us are ancient!

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

I do like your new header/ Glad you had a chance to check out blueprint! sounds fun - I too am gluten free

Kate said...

A very interesting post. Good luck with your renewal plans. Hope you find lots to get excited about in 2019.

Angie in SoCal said...

I like the new header - so fresh and simple and open. I was shocked at the length of the life of a blog. Come February mine will be ten years old. And I have seen the changes - some blogs I followed are gone, some viewers are gone or have found other venues they like better. Often I hear they're going on to Facebook or Instagram.

Your plans for 2019 are good. It is always good to feed one's brain. You have chosen an exciting path. For me, I've emerged from 2018 wanting more reflection, meditation and minimizing what I do to have the time to center. We all go through different changes at different times. As always I look forward to sharing with you on the blog. Blessings,