Monday, June 15, 2015

Blog Hop Time!

Welcome to the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop!!!

2015 New Quilt Bloggers Group

I am participating in the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Hop! This is Week 1 of the Blog Hop and I am happy to be one of the first 20 participants! We have been grouped into four hives each being headed by each of the hosts: Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl; Stephanie at Late Night Quilter;Terri Ann at Childlike Fascination; and Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs.

My group, New Bees, is being headed up by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs. One of our members, Sarah, designed this fabulous button for us! Isn't it fabulous?!

New Bees Hive Page

A little about me! 

I live a small town in northern Louisiana, with my husband of five years and my two sweet kitties. My sister and her three kids live in town also; I spend a bunch of time with them. If you follow me on Instagram, then you will see lots of photos of the kids as well as my quilting. I work full time at a local university as an administrator in graduate studies. I also teach one course in the fall and spring term for a community college. In my free time I spend it sewing and blogging!



Fun fact! My husband and I met in a math class (differential equations, to be exact) at the university I now work. Our teacher thought it might like me so he assigned us to be partners in a project. We met to work on the project and ended up having our first kiss! When we got married we sent that teacher an invite! Plus I can show the exact spot where we sat in that class! I walk past that classroom sometimes when I'm teaching.

(c) Crafty Ashley B
I LOVE this picture that my niece took of me!
Snapped it on my iPhone one day at the park and it's awesome!

Why did I start quilting? 

I've loved doing hand crafts for as long as I can remember. I enjoy crocheting, loom knitting, embroidery and cross stitching as well as quilting. My first introduction to quilting came by way of my paternal grandmother who gave all of her daughters and daughters-in-law quilt tops one year. My mom decided to hand quilt her and then spent the next few years doing that. I did help a bit with it (I was around 10-13 at the time.) You can definitely tell looking at the quilt the spots where my mom quilted compared to me!

About three years ago I discovered a sewing machine in storage that had been gifted to me. I began sewing again. I became passionate about quilting and creating again!

I started creating a hexagon quilt at the end of 2014 while looking for a good hand project. You know, something to keep my hands busy while watching a movie with my husband that didn't completely take my attention. That was my main problem with embroidery and cross stitch.

My mom and home ec class shaped my foundation as a quilter. I've learned most of what I know now through books, magazines, blogs, and videos. I have taken a couple of quilting classes at a nearby town (an hour away).

Blogging? Why? 

I started a blog like most after hearing that one comment. "You should share this!" I finally decided to do that with this blog. I do not have children (at home anyway!) but still struggle to find a regular posting schedule that works for me. Of course the fact that my main project currently is a slowly hand pieced hexagon quilt doesn't help either!

Quilting Style: 

I like both modern and traditional styles. I like to mix traditional blocks with modern fabrics. Some of my favorite pieces I've made in the last year are below:

(c) Crafty Ashley B
Paper Pieced Mariner's Star.
Pattern links here and finished pieces here
(c) Crafty Ashley B
Paper pieced Trick or Treat Sue. Post found here
(c) Crafty Ashley B
Fun plane quilt. Post found here

I do my own quilting either on my Brother machine or by hand. My quilting is very straight lined. One of my goals this year to start and practice free motion quilting.
Question: Any one have a suggestion on where to start? Good books, online classes, etc.?

Lately I've been working on a large hexagon English Paper Piecing project. I've posted a few times (most recently here). I'm quite pleased with its progress and will be posting regular updates here on the blog and on Instagram. See my most recent piece here! Below is the first hexagon that I completed.
(c) Crafty Ashley B
Hexagon piece #1. 

Quilting Tip

Painter's tape is your friend!!! 
You can use it do so many things: mark a sewing line on your fabric; mark a line on your machine; mark a spot on your ruler! Always keep a roll near your machine!
Second tip: you can get painter's tape at the Dollar Tree! Yes, it isn't the best quality and it doesn't keep its stick for long. I'm not trying to keep paint from bleeding; just keep a straight line!

Favorite Things!! 

Quilting: I enjoy the entire process of creating a quilt though I must admit to getting a bit frustrated with a great deal of cutting!

Movie: Too many to pick! Though I do enjoy a good Disney animated film!

Music: country (especially Carrie Underwood), pop (think Taylor Swift) and modern Christian (Francesca Battistelli is one of my favorites!)

Food: Italian (love a good pizza with a good marinara) and Mexican (got to have salty chips and not too spicy salsa!)

Color: Blue and Green

Time of Day: That first sip of hot coffee from the pot

Thanks for visiting and I hope you keep coming back! 
You can follow me on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook!

Please "buzz" over to the other New Bees to check out their great blogs! 

Sarah at 123 Quilt
Hayley at MooBird Stitches


(c) Crafty Ashley B

35 comments:

  1. yep, there is little that beats that first sip of coffee in the morning! And the mariner's star is one of my favourite blocks. I love the colours you used and it is so nice and crisply sewn! Good to know you!

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  2. Thanks for a great introduction post Ashley! I also do mostly straight line quilting but attended my first fmq class earlier in the year. Now I just need to practise, practise, practise!! There are many free motion tutorials online that you could check out (sorry I can't name any particular one but just ask google!)

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  3. Hi Ashley!! I love that you and your husband met over differential equations (I have a math degree!) I first caught my husband's attention when he walked past as I was quoting Top Gun to a colleague.

    I'll be interested to see tips about starting FMQ - I'm keen to start too.

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  4. Thanks for sharing how you and your husband met. What a great story! I I think one of the best tips for FMQ, is to just let go of fear and start doing it. As much as I hated to admit it doodling helps with muscle memory. Start out with small projects that are easy to handle on your machine. There are several great Craftsy classes out there and the best thing is you can go at your own pace. I look forward to following your blog.

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  5. What a great post! I love the striped hexagons on the orange round.

    Strange that you talk about FMQ - one of my aims is to quilt something entirely with straight lines! We all get caught in a rut at times over something. FMQ isn't scary, just remember that it won't be perfect at the beginning - but what is!

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  6. Love the fresh spring-like look of your blog Ashley!! The story of you and your husband meeting in Math class--awww! Nice pp Mariner's star and the Halloween Sue is adorable.

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  7. Your blog is looking very good, I like the clean and uncluttered look. Thanks for sharing more about yourself, I look forward to getting to know you more in the future and quilting along with you on the mystery quilt :)

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  8. It is so nice to get to know more about you. Your story of how you met your husband is so sweet. It sounds so cozy to have family so nearby, too. I would highly recommend Crafsty classes for some introductory FMQing, and if you ever can sign up to take a class in person that has been what really made it click for me!

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  9. Hello and nice to meet you. I'm with you on the coffee! I could do with one now...

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  10. I love Christina Camelli's class on Craftsy - well worth it and tons of fun!

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  11. I agree with Ruth above. Her classes, her books, too. I think Pinterest is a great source for designs. Once you have the basics, you need something visual to help get you going.

    Glad to meet another New Blogger sister.

    Julie

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  12. Great post, Ashley! So nice to get to know more about you! I have no advice on the FMQ front, as practicing was one of my new year's resolutions, but I'm loving all of the tips that you are getting in the comments! Great job, so happy to be a part of the blog hop with you!

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  13. What a sweet story of how you and your husband met, Ashley, and you get to walk by and reminisce frequently. I really enjoyed reading more about you and seeing some of your beautiful work. I'm glad I've gotten to know more about you through our New Blogger Hop!

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  14. You are so lucky to live close to your sister! Mine moved here to be close to me in the 1990s and then moved away seven years ago. First TX, then TN and now NC. The best thing about having her in NC is that she drives thru my town to visit her Son, DIL and grand babies. She usually stops and we have a couple of days of fun that almost always includes sewing! It's great getting a personal glimpse of another New Bee!

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  15. I love FMQing!! Practice is the best thing you can do and the more the better. Here is one resource she has a lot of great motifs. http://theinboxjaunt.com/

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  16. Great post, you see you had nothing to worry about! I have a FMQ goal as well, I'd love to do it but am too apprehensive at the moment!! :0) xx

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  17. It's been lovely to get to know you a little better Ashley. Your comments about helping your mother quilt brought back so many memories for me. We always had our own hand sewing projects when I was a child, but when I was seven or eight, my nanny, Sue, was working on this gorgeous needlepoint, which if I remember correctly was a copy of a painting from the middle ages. We all wanted to help out, but between my sister, myself, and our friend Meg, who shared Sue with us, our stitches were alternately too loose, too tight, and not in the right places (well, Meg is two and a half years younger). Poor Sue kept heading home and unpicking what we'd done, then re-stitching those areas the same night so that we wouldn't notice.

    I'd say, definitely just take the plunge on the quilting. I never really got the quilting on the domestic, although I have friends who are wonderful at it. I found a longarm rental, and that really clicked with me. Of course, it takes a long time to build skill, regardless of which machine you use, but it's so much fun!

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  18. Great post and thanks for sharing about you.I haven´t try FMQ, I handquilting!

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  19. Hi Ashley, fellow New Bee here. What an awesome picture of you! One of the first quilts I made was a Sunbonnet Sue for one of my nieces. It was one our grandmother started before she passed. I love the Halloween Sue you made, she would have fit in with nicely with the Sue's I appliqu├ęd.

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  20. Hi there! Great intro post. I found you via the blog hop. As for FMQ, I think it would be great to try to fine one class through your guild or one of your LQS's. Then practice practice and practice some more. I love Christina Camelli's website, A Few Scraps for help. Also, Lori Kennedy's site, The Inbox Jaunt, is wonderful. Hope that helps.

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  21. It's great to get to know you a bit better Ashley. I like the resources Bernie mentioned above but I also like Angela Walters books. I also did a fmq quilt along with Jess of the Elvin Garden Blog last year...she has a series of videos on utube which went along with it.

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  22. Love how you met your husband! How sweet. I find a lot of tutorials on line for FMQ and Crafty would be a great place to take a class and Lear"

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  23. Your mariners compass is awesome! I took a FMQ class at my LQS and found it a good starting point. I still have lots to learn and need more much practice.

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  24. Hi Ashley, it's Mary with quiltingisinmyblood.com. I set up this Blogger account to able to comment on your blogs and other people in our New Quilt Bloggers Facebook group who are on Blogger. I really like your friendly, approachable tone in your blog and the connection you have with your mom through quilting. I wish I could have a real cup of coffee with you because I also love my morning coffee :) Thanks for being one of our Blog Hop pioneers!

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  25. Thanks for sharing. It's nice to meet you through the hive. Definitely dive into free motion quilting. I can't recommend Leah Day and her Free Motion Quilting Project enough. She has over 400 free motion designs with excellent video tutorials of each. You can check out her site, or I think she has a couple Craftsy classes as well. I love the colors you used on your Mariner's Star. Very striking. :-)

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  26. FMQ is on my list too! I tend to quilt with my walking foot and I use design boards for my long arm. I love the story about how you met your husband!

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  27. I am also interested in learning free-motion quilting, but first I want to get a lot better with my walking foot. I can finally put it on without a bunch of swearing! I've been looking at the QuiltCon 2016 schedule and I think I'm going to take Jacquie Gering's Creative Walking Foot workshop and Carolyn Friedlander's Home Machine Quilting workshop.

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  28. Hi Ashley, hope you're enjoying the blog hop so far. I was a participant last year and it was invaluable. Love the story on how you and your husband met. I like your tip about the painter's tape. I keep some down in our kitchen but should pick up a roll to keep in my sewing studio. As for free-motion quilting, it's mainly just getting the nerve up to just do it. I suggest using 2 fat quarters (maybe ones you're not fond of or that are cheap fabric) with some batting in between and just playing around with your machine. I've used my practice sandwiches to make cushions to put in my cats' sleeping baskets. They love them. When I truly wanted to learn some technique, I took Wendy Butler Berns' craftsy class "Machine Quilting: Free Motion and More. I really learned a lot from that one. Just wait until it's on sale for super cheap.

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  29. Wow, it's so great that you were exposed to quilting at such an early age. I am sure those things get engraved in your head, even if you don't go back to it many years later. I am not a pro in FMQ, but I love Angela Walter's designs from her books. They are easy to follow through her detailed instructions. I, on the other hand, want to learn to hand quilt. :D

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  30. That's a cute first meeting story! I've been using painter's tape lately to do some straight line quilting, it's working very well.

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  31. There are so many things in this post that sound just like me! I also like to hand quilt and really only straight line quilt. I keep a roll of painters tape by my sewing machine and your favorites list is like you are in my head! I'm so glad to meet you and follow along with your quilting journey.

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  32. Thanks for the shout out about the button! Lol. I loved your post and it's been great to get to "know" you a little better. I think we probably have a lot in common. My best advice for FMQ is to watch a lot of youtube videos and to check out Leah Day (like Sarah G. said in an earlier comment). I also recommend keeping a sketchbook nearby and doodling FMQ designs. I've heard that it's harder to sketch, so if your sketches look halfway decent then you FMQ should be good. I don't know if there's any truth to that.... :)

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  33. So nice to learn more about you Ashley! I'm trying to improve me FMQ skills too. I keep a quilt "sandwich" on-hand to practice whenever the mood strikes and I hope to take a class at my LQS. There are a lot of tools out there to help with FMQ, so the class will allow me test out the products and get some good tips. I can't wait to read about your FMQ!

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  34. Your hexagon quilt is looking beautiful! I'm a big fan of Francesca Battistelli too...also Casting Crowns, Third Day and Christy Knockels.

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  35. Ha! Ashley I can NOT wait to see that finished hexy quilt! Loving all the others too, but just saying! That quilt is going to be amazing lady! You sure are busy and I admire your passion for still getting it all done! I have always wanted to go to Louisiana... not sure why but I have. Hm. I love your witch block, it's really cute! I look forward to being able to see that hexy quilt finished... and lots of updates on Instagram! Whoop whoop!

    *Stopping by from the 2015 New Blogger Blog Hop - New Bee's

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Thanks for commenting! I look forward to hearing your thoughts!