Wednesday, August 4, 2021

7 Year Blogiversary & 700th Post

A Quiet Celebration

If this past year has taught me something, it's that we should celebrate milestones, and keep with traditions in our lives. So you and I will celebrate this together. (Cue the horns!) Seven years is nothing to sneeze at. It's ancient in the world of blogging! I know I'm here, though, because of you all, and because I'm still fully in love with life! And the things that make me most happy are quilting, surely you knew that, my garden, and sharing my enthusiasm for both. Helping people learn is important, too, but encouraging people to just try something is the big one. 

I hope we all continue to be friends. You are important to me, and the many back channeled conversations that go on among us makes my--and I hope your life rich. Thank you so very much for sharing this wonderful journey!

Now business as usual. Do you like the hoop above? I love it! It's a Grace Frame I bought used, and probably 30" or so across. It's just like a massive embroidery hoop, and adjustable to come into my lap as I sit in a chair. I can listen to the tv or watch occasionally as I stitch. 

I keep a quilting ruler beside the chair with a blue fabric marker, and mark lines as I go. My stitches are large, yeah, and some are small, but I really am more about getting it done than making it perfect. This is about function, and the act of just stitching. A utility quilt for me! 

I promised you'd love the backing. It's perfect for this quilt, though the 'bees' really remind me more of hornets, but who in their right mind would put hornets on fabric?? So they must be bees. I'm happy with that.

Before I was a longarm quilter, I was a machine quilter, and a hand quilter before that. And I still love having something to sit and stitch when I wake up and have coffee, or to help me unwind the day in my thoughts before bed. To make the job easier, I first put the layers on my longarm, and stitched 1/2"-1" basting stitches loosely all over. I left 4"-5" between loops up and down, and basted the sides. This saves a huge chunk of time and worry while hand quilting, and I will never go back to pinning or spray basting (horrible for your lungs or the air!) Ask your longarm quilter to do this for you. It's only a minimal charge, and is a nasty job on the floor to get things right.

Some of my favorite flowers just popped up over night. These are the naked ladies. The foliage comes in the spring looking like a typical lily then dies back completely without flowering. Months later, the stalks rise overnight with large flower heads.

In the next morning, maybe two, they are in full bloom! I've seen them in yards all over town, and I wonder of they were in those old flower beds when the residents moved in. They are not something you'd dig out to start a new bed since the growth is so different from other plants. Bulbs are sneaky! Mine came in when I transplanted other plants, but have since spread to other parts of the garden.

But these flowers continue to bloom, continue to celebrate without much ado. They are like living candles that light up without being asked. On cue from nature, and a reminder that repetition is important to anchor us to this world full of uncertainty. Have a cupcake and a coffee today, and celebrate with me. Cheers to us who keep on doing what we do!

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



Rebecca Grace said...

Happy Blogiversary, Julie! This is your "Seven-Year Itch" post -- remember that Marilyn Monroe movie? Hah! I have a square Grace lap hoop for hand quilting that I love, too, although it's been ages since I hand quilted anything. Absolutely, basting on the long arm first is a brilliant idea for hand quilters. I'm definitely doing that if/when I ever decide to hand quilt something again. For now, my hand stitching time is consumed by needleturn appliqué UFOs. :-)

Gene Black said...

Happy blogiversary! If you are ancient in the blogging world, I am archaic or perhaps antediluvian! I started blogging in 2006 - so 15 years later I am still blogging. Perhaps I don't blog as often. But I am still here too.

It makes me happy to see others sticking with blogging. So many have fallen to "quick pic posts" on IG or Twitter. I like the storytelling that bloggers do when they blog. I hope you are here for a long time!

Tu-Na Quilts said...

Happy 7 years! I’ve been a longtime follower and enjoy reading your posts about quilting and gardening and life. You have a beautiful writing style and I’ve learned much from you. I also enjoyed meeting you in person several years ago when you opened your sewing room and your heart to some of us bloggers. I remember well the tour through the country side wondering if you really knew where you were driving or were you lost. Here’s my wish for you: May your pen always be filled with ink. May your thoughts flow freely and may your blog continue for as long as it gives you joy.

Barb N said...

Congratulations - a milestone for certain! I would not be the quilter I am today without the help of bloggers across the country and Australia! Everything I learned about quilting came from these knowledgeable, trusty souls. My blogging days were limited, mostly because I was a writer/reporter in my early days and blogging felt just like writing a news story. Didn't set well with my brain, lol! Can't believe how time flies. Those lilies, or naked ladies, are extraordinary!
Here's to another 7+ years!

Sarah Craig said...

Congratulations on seven years, Julie! I appreciate your commitment to the art of blogging - it's not for everyone, but you do it with style! Love seeing your "naked ladies" too - I miss those in our new yard, so I may need to find some to plant in a few hidden spots for that little burst of color in August.

Here's to the next seven years!

Angie in SoCal said...

Congrats on your Blog Anniversary. This coming Feb, 2022, it will be 13 years for me. There have been years when I've almost closed down and vice versa. I've posted as of today 1,692 times. I need to go back and pull photos of quilts I've finished but don't have another copy anywhere else but on the blog. How lucky you are that your naked ladies are blooming. Mine bloom in the fall, probably because of the drought. Love your hand quilting utility quilt - so colorful. Blessings,

sandi s said...

Happy Blog Anniversary!! I have followed you for quite a few years and I always enjoy reading your blog. I love this quilt you are quilting right now, the backing fabric is wonderful. I love hand quilting also. Hugs,

audrey said...

7 Years! Congrats to you!:) And so many blog posts too. A lot of people have totally quit blogging these days so it's refreshing to find people who still want to communicate this way! I love that you're a quilting cheerleader too. Wonderful to have that encouragement and not just a nonstop post of the latest finish.

Quilting Tangent said...

Happy Blog anniversary! I love visiting blogs, learning from other quilters and seeing what everybody is working on.