Saturday, February 7, 2015

Thinking About the Importance of Quilty Blogging and Some Eagle Quilt Progress

Do you ever wonder why it is that you still bother to blog? It takes up time that could well be spent quilting. Maybe. But would you or I really 'quilt' with that time? Especially if there wasn't the motivation to post progress? I share a lot with you here. I'm a big believer in showing HOW I get from point A to point B. For instance, want to see my latest progress on the Eagle QAL quilt? The dark and lighter blue square border doesn't exactly look exciting so I was, well... reluctant to post.
Eagle Quilt
You know all most of my pain/agony/frustration {or delight} in getting through the process shared here on this blog. Still, there are times when even I hesitate to post. But then I get annoyed at myself. This blog is MY journalling of the quilty process. It is one of the very small, but important ways I connect to all my quilty creations! In trying to explain things to you here, it often clarifies things in my own mind and makes me see more clearly the way forward. Again, for me. Although the way you might go forward is often extremely interesting. Sometimes even thought provoking. Very thought provoking. We are all so very different! I think it's good to be made aware of that difference occasionally, especially if it's done in a positive manner.

Which brings me to the next thing I have pondered. Do I write for positive comments or do I write for my own benefit? And that is the part that can get a little blurred after a long time of consistent blogging. Because, well, lets just face up to it. Positive feedback feels wonderful. And negative feedback feels like garbage. Not that I get much of that that, thank goodness! Quilty people are generally very nice people.

So..., I have had a few conversations lately {and a few happenings} that have made me question why I go to the trouble of actually blogging--writing about the process, sharing my work, my successes and yes, even my failures. Doesn't Instagram seem the way of the future? It's definitely less time consuming!

But then you I wouldn't understand why I ended up sewing and keeping my dark blue/light blue border when it's clearly not a fabulous design element. I really, really wanted {and maybe even needed} the transition between that weird goldy color and the red hst border that was supposed to be next. The red didn't look 'right' nestled up against the gold fabric and everything I auditioned made me want to go throw up. Well, that or go to sleep. So I played and played and played with every color in the fabric totes until I came up with what eventually made it into this quilt.

Because it was important to me that I have this red border! And I like that I figured something out. You get that, all of you who come to this blog and actually read through to the end of a post. I didn't plan on the dark blue squares lining up exactly with the longest straight edge of the red hst's, but it'll do. I'm satisfied enough to keep it and try to move forward.
And another border....
Do you even care? I don't know. Some probably do, some decidedly not! That's the beauty of blogging. The answers are often there embedded in the post. You can click out if you just came to see the pretty pictures or choose to stay awhile and read if you feel more curious {which I often do when it comes to other blogs}.

The deciding factor on whether or not I needed wanted to keep on blogging was an encounter from someone who saw me appliqueing my scalloped borders and thought I was making curtains. I think they were disappointed that the 'fabric thing' I was making wasn't actually curtains, and then the conversation just sort of disgruntled me from there on out. I love quilting! And I love to talk about quilting with people who also love talking about quilting. For the record, I do have friends who quilt, but mostly they only quilt a little bit these days. Not with the degree of um, well... interest that I seem to have at the moment.

So..., I went back and read my beginning blog post from over four years ago. Yep! It still holds true. I personally, need to talk about quilting and not just show the pretty pictures. I'm confident people will click out of any particular post that blathers on for too long. Honestly, I'll never have to know the difference. It's all good! A big thank you to all who share this quilty journey with me. I do so enjoy following yours as well.....

48 comments:

  1. Interesting post. I feel similarly about my own blog, kind of an unlocked diary, if anyone cares to read it, if not that's ok too. Blogging has disciplined me into photographing and recording the quilts I've worked on. Now if it could just inspire me to actually put labels on the back of the older ones! Seriously, I like blogs like yours because they are more than just the photographs, they explain the thought process of the creator which is extremely helpful to those of us who might be somewhat creatively challenged. You're not just churning out a finished product every day or two or following the crowd that are all making the same quilt. It's all good, and thanks for sharing a bit of your quilting world with us.

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  2. I enjoy the whole thing!! The talk, I mean, the feelings about what we do, and the discussion. I like the blue border too!! So, yes, I do read all the way to the end! I want my kiddo to have a record of my quilts, so my blog is important to me for that reason, and to just generally chronicle my progress.

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  3. I think it is quite natural to question blogging and motivations, because as you say it takes time and not a little bit of effort. Feedback is the real humdinger in my book.....I mean do we want a snappy fast like, and oh that is beautiful or do we want to connect and invest in ideas and conversations. I think at the end you have to keep doing the thing that makes you happy. I have stopped trying so hard, stopped trying to fit in and make friends all over. It's like a huge party, you know we come here to blog land and smile sweetly, some will smile back, others will turn back to their groups and carry on talking amongst themselves. Some will take you under their wing and welcome you and some will criticise your choice of party dress.....we are still all human here. If it helps I love your blog and feel welcomed and included. I try to comment as a fellow quilter, I am also interested in your process as it teaches me to try new things and not just lump for the nearest solution. As I said I have settled into my blog, i have found my natural pace, it's very slow and I don't talk much......but when I do, when someone else starts a conversation.....well look at me I cannot stop! Dear Audrey, there will be so many that drop in and leave no footprints, and there will others you feel more connections with, but you must be happy. I am glad you are here.
    Susan

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  4. I'm entirely guilty of just looking whether on blogs or Facebook... But absolutely enjoy the writings of those willing timeshare the creative process.... I spent much of yesterday at my local quilt show enjoying talking with friends new and old.... Can't wait to get back today for more of the same.... Then take the show down and get ready for the next one... Thanks again for sharing. Fae

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  5. I blog to connect to other quilters and to enjoy and learn from their creative process as well as share mine, and possibly get input. Your posts about the decisions you make are fascinating to me, and help me look at my own decisions about my quilts. I certainly am grateful you have continued to blog!

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  6. When I read blogs that I follow, I want to know the inspiration behind the photos of blocks, borders, finished quilts. I want to be inspired, too! To do the same, to do something different, to do something! I want to know how and how long and why and why not...those all matter to us quilters. (By the way, preferring curtains to quilts! Yikes!) I blog because I want to journal my quilts. My grandmother quilted, too, but that was in the Stone Age (heh), so all we have left are finished quilts - scraps of fabric from her dresses and neighbors dresses that were cut up and re-sewn into a pattern of her design. I don't have her to talk to anymore, and I never asked when she was around, but I would like to know her whys and hows very much. History is fascinating to me, and I think we have very little first-hand accounts of everyday lives. One of the few out there is Anne Frank's "The Diary of a Young Girl," and it is fantastic (though it's been a while since I've read it). We may have all thought about keeping such a diary at some point, but these blogs will (hopefully) be accessible as part of a living history of the craft. Not everyone will be Anne Frank, but we will all have a voice.

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  7. I personally think you have a gift for writing and expressing yourself that a lot of us don’t.
    I do so enjoy reading your blog and following your creative thought process. I mainly started blogging to keep a record of my quilting and in doing so I have somehow made connections with so many wonderful people all over the world like you. Not everyone is able to connect with other quilters in person and reading blogs gives them inspiration.
    I love your Eagle quilt and who needs curtains anyway?

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  8. I do care. And I happen to love your blathering and your quilts in all their stages of progress! So glad you are willing to share!

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  9. I like the blue border as you have blue in the center. It isn't a shout out "I'm here" border but the red pulls it together in my eyes.
    Instagram only gives me a hint of what is going on. I want more info than a picture and a few words.

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  10. Yup, I love to talk quilting too!! AND I like to hang with people who love to talk quilting and actually quilt! That's why I love your blog!! I had a non quilting friend come over and when she saw my quilts stated that I had enough quilts and what hobby was I going to pursue next... HUH? haha

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  11. My blog is a daily journal blog about quilting and life. I have no friends nor family that quilt so the blogging world of quilters are my friends. I love to be able to talk about quilting but have no one local to share it with! Blogging is not work to me I usually sit at the end of the day and go through the photos I have taken and just sit down and write it is not taking time away from my quilting - i doubt I would be quilting at that time. I love seeing what others are working on and how they do there work - sometimes you see what one is doing and they describe it and a light bulb goes off and you have another idea! If anything takes time away from my quilting it is the reading of all the quilting blogs that I have saved on my reader - quilters are a chatty bunch aren't we!

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  12. Well said! I tend to be pulled in by pretty pictures to blogs but yours is one I always READ I'm a kind of quilter and have learned a lot from you and your post. They are pushing me to take the step to become a quilter. So thank you for posting and sharing your design process the good and bad it gives the whole story and shows that all your beautiful quilts were not perfection coming straight out of the gate. So please keep taking the time for you but for us to blog about your love of quilting, it's a good read and has wonderful pictures!

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  13. I don't blog, but I sure enjoy yours! I am inspired by your quilts and your process and I thank you for taking time to blog! Happy Quilting! Although, I sometimes think, if I didn't read so many blogs, I might get more quilting done! LOL! :)

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  14. I'm not planning on leaving anytime soon. I use instagram but the interaction doesn't compare with blogging.
    Great border, btw!

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  15. I think painters would call the way the two borders line up a "happy accident." You have inadvertently created something new, and it looks amazing! I think it will give a lot of interest and energy to the final quilt.

    I think we all have to run our own race. I often ask my family what they think about something, and WHY, not because I plan to follow their advice, but just to help clarify my own thoughts on the subject. The answer to "why" is often the most interesting part.

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  16. Having quilting buddies is definitely fun and an important aspect in anyone's quilting journey. If you're fortunate enough to have a group of people who motivate you face to face that's wonderful. But it is also equally as wonderful to have a group of blogging quilting buddies who do the same thing. Motivation can come from wonderful photos or detailed insight into someone's creative process, goof ups or successes. There's so much that encompasses the "world of quilting" these days. It's nice to have the opportunity to enjoy and learn what others are doing even if we never get to meet face to face.

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  17. You must have been reading my mind this week. I can't tell you how many times lately I have wanted to walk away from my blog. But then I think okay, just a while longer, and write up another post. I have no friends or family that enjoy what I do, so there's no one to play with except through blogland. The connection to other quilters is very important, not just for my own validation, but for inspiration, resources, and general "belonging" to a group of like minded people.
    I really enjoy reading your blog and was very happy to find it. I also found other bloggers through your blog (always fun when that happens). It makes me wonder, if I quit posting, would I still take the time to read other blogs, or just fade into the sunset?
    I don't think I could stay away. Too much good stuff out there. Like your eagle quilt :)

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  18. I am so glad you continue to blog! I am sad that a lot of my favorite bloggers are jumping to Instagram because I know I can't have an account on there and it is just not the same as a blog post. I enjoy your thought process because it helps me think about things too. I don't blog but I sure enjoy reading blogs! I really like what you decided, the red helps the blue. Sometimes it is a process we have to go through to get to the real point. So keep blogging, please! We need you! K-

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  19. I enjoy your blog very much. Reading about your design process helps me to think through my own. I think the blue and red borders work fantastic with your eagle center.
    I have quilting friends, some even that quilt a lot but they don't like to hand applique and none of them like to hand quilt or share the same taste in fabric. I love the connections I make with other like minded quilters online :0)

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  20. This is such a great post. Tomorrow is my five-year blog anniversary and I have had many moments over the past year or two where I question whether to continue blogging. But then I come back to the fact that I appreciate having five years in words and visuals to look back on and remember, which I honestly would forget did I not document things here. Lately, it's been nice to get some emails from people who never comment but read and enjoy, and that's nice to know that there are people who are out there reading and appreciating what we do, but are just not regular commenters for their own reasons. I don't think IG will replace blogging, at least for me. I like to write too much (obviously, from the length of this comment, lol).

    Re your blue border, it looks wonderful. And then the red HSTs! Perfection!

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  21. Wow, after reading all the comments I'm not sure I have anything original to say! Ditto all of the above, lol!

    I will add this, about "negative" feedback: when we share our quilts and our process via blogging - or any other way, for that matter - at the heart of it we are looking for approval. However not everyone is going to love what you create, because we all have different taste and see with a different "eye" hence we don't always get enthusiastic comments.

    Personally, I would rather get a critical comment than no comment at all. I sometimes have a hard time seeing when something is "off" in one of my quilts maybe because I'm too wrapped up in it. Posting a picture gives it wider exposure and i find any critical comments helpful. People here are kind, and so far I've not had my feelings hurt. Stunned a bit, maybe.. lol! Seriously, I hope you haven't been offended by any of my own comments.

    Keep blogging Audrey, I always look forward to your posts!

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  22. I love your interesting post. I think you and I exchanged a couple of comments/emails about this. Yes, it is something I think all quilt bloggers wrestle with from time to time. Sometimes we wonder if it is worth the time it takes.. and it does take time. Sometimes we wonder if anyone is even listening. But when we look at the wonderful people we have met (you!) and the inspiration and kindred spirits we find - then I come to the conclusion that it is definitely worth it. Add to that the value of documenting our work. Audrey, I love seeing your process.. not just what you happen to be working on. I hope my readers get similar value from my posts. I enjoy the diverse community of show and tell that evolves over time. I can't imagine going back to a more isolated creative process. So I will continue to blog and also enjoy your and other's posts!

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  23. You are a talented writer. It is fun to see what you are up to, in your studio. My day is more wonderful after visiting my "quilt loving friends" on blogs. I learn something every time I read through the blog posts. I love your attitude towards your progress. I hope you keep blogging, especially since you are like most of the real quilters in the world & we can relate.

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  24. I like going to blogs that are not necessarily my design esthetic. I tend to go to blight clear colours but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy greyed or browned toned quilts. From traveling around to different blogs you develop and grow out of your box.

    As a Canadian I enjoy Americana but it isn't in my wheelhouse so I enjoy coming and seeing what you are doing with your Eagle QAL, especially when there is a link up to see what others are doing with the same basic pattern.

    I think feedback is important because sometimes what is perceived to be a negative comment can move you in a different direction that is exciting, but sometimes not.

    Question, what does the lower right corner look like? I love how the upper left red triangle frames the corner. A happy accident or a choice?

    Please continue blogging, not everyone does Instagram.

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  25. I don't do facebook, pinterest, instagram but I do blog and read other quilty blogs.
    I blog so I have a journal for me. My family and friends don't even have a clue I have a blog. I like anonymity in internet land. Blogging helps me keep up with documenting my quilts. For some reason blogging works for me better than an off-line journal...maybe because I like goals and like to meet deadlines I set for myself with blogging and pic taking. I've left a document in my desk in case I die telling my family about my blog and how to export it in case they are interested. I have always wished I had a diary or journal of some of my ancestors. So, basically I blog for myself but a few comments now and then whether naughty or nice are good reading and sometimes cause for pause or serve as encouragement.

    I like to read other's blogs when I get the chance for inspiration or as a learning experience. Sometimes there's an aha moment...why didn't I think of that!! And sometimes...what the heck were they thinking. Sometimes when I read blogs it's like I'm reading an old fashioned snail mail letter from a long distance friend. Thank you, friend, for your blog.

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  26. I enjoy reading about the process! ;-) It's a huge part of quilting... even if it is an existing pattern... it's always interesting to read about the fabric choices. I remember my first (pieced) BOM doing just that. I would open the package of fabrics and think "yuck!" on some of the fabrics... but, after it was all cut and pieced.... the fabrics ALL played well together! Yep... always fun to learn what others are thinking and why they do it! Sure... Instagram and FB are quick... but, i think in the long run, quick damages people's ability to think! Know what a mean? :-)

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  27. I enjoy the "show and tell" aspect of quilting blogs and it's always interesting to learn about another quilter's creative process. (For example - very interesting about your blue border - maybe a little ho hum at first but then exactly the thing once the red border is on!). Quilting blogs are like cook books and magazines to me in that sometimes I skim them, sometimes I pour over them carefully. I might not actually cook or bake anything from many of them, but they are inspiring to read. And then there's the "pen pal" aspect of quilting blogs - thrilling to feel a connection to quilters around the world and glimpse into their lives.

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  28. I don't blog, but I am one of the people that read the entire post. I like to know the why's and why not's. I like to know when someone doesn't like what they did, when I personally LOVE it, and the fact it came out perfect with alignment. That would never happen to me, even if the pattern called for it! LOL cdahlgren at live dot com

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  29. Audrey, I read your posts because you "blather on," as you put it, about the process. ;) That is the most interesting part of it all for me. :) sarah@forrussia.org

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  30. It's more interesting to read about the process quilters use especially when they like different styles, colors and methods. It's wonderful to connect with other quilters. Reading these thoughtful blogs is like a small group. My blog is mainly a personal diary but marshalling my thoughts is helpful.

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  31. I love to talk about quilting with kindred spirits too. My close friends who quilt live very far away, so I really enjoy reading quilting blogs. It gives me the much needed connection to "my people"! I read all of your words & enjoy it very much. I would not have thought to do the borders the way you did & it is striking. Just love your blue addition. I don't do facebook, instagram, tweet...so please keep blogging.

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  32. i do question it from time to time, but then I remember, oh yea....i do for myself as an on line creative journal.
    I'm not on instagram (yet) should I be? Is it fun? It seems that less and less people are communicating through their blogs :(

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  33. This is the reason I'm so glad I found your blog. You really are a breath of fresh air and I for one love to see your process. Sometimes I struggle with why I blog, but I really do it to document my journey. If others come along fine. Keep blogging. I hope our paths cross some day.

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  34. I am not an instagram person, but I thoroughly enjoy some blogs and would miss them if they stopped. Please keep up the good work.

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  35. Well said! I like the process of thinking, reviewing and writing, so blogging is a good fit for me. I enjoy it just as much as when I started. So glad you do too :)

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  36. Lovely post. I know I often don't even turn on my computer after being on it so much at work but I do love your blog and gain much inspiration. And I do love those blue checkers before the red border - another good choice. Thanks for taking the time to put your ideas out for others.

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  37. Great post! Very though provoking. I don't have anyone close that quilts so my quilty friends are from all over and it is fun to e-mail and chat with them daily or through the week. I love having the log of my work and interests over time and love to look back at my kids as babies as they have grown up on my blog. I love hearing how others come up with their process for creating quilt or designs as it give me great ideas and that 'kick' me to try something new. Thanks for a great blog post. The blue round really does a great job transitioning to the red. Great choice.

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  38. Lovely photos are nice, but discussing process is icing on the cake. Blog on!

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  39. I thoroughly enjoy reading your thought process on creating a quilt...your ability to raid your stash to find just the right piece of fabric is amazing, sometimes I do think does that piece work? What is Audrey thinking? But when you post again, when the quilt top has advanced further, I think, wow, it does work and you inspire me to be more creative with what I have on hand. I love your passion for quilt making!

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  40. While I certainly enjoy photos of quilts, I want more than a bunch of pretty pictures, too. I can do a Google image search if that's all I want. ;-) I love reading about the creative process ... it inspires and encourages me.

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  41. I blog for the same reason you do It is a way for me to talk about my quilting my process my journey. I also hoped that it would inspire someone to take up the craft. I agree it is nice to get positive feed back but for me, I love those comments that say I have inspired someone. Some of the quilts I have made as of late have taken a long time and I wondered if I could do another blog post on that quilt. But, then I get comments that a follower really enjoyed seeing my progress. While I don't blog as frequently as I used to do still enjoy it and remember why I started to blog. it's a record of my journey.

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  42. Audrey I am so glad you keep blogging! I am so inspired by your posts and your quilts and love seeing a glimpse of your everyday life mixed in there too. I only have two quilting friends so I don’t get much “quilt talk” either and my whole quilting life has been on-line. I have learned everything so far by tutorials, quilt-a-longs and YouTube. Blogs are what got me into quilting and my old faithfuls have pretty much disappeared. Everyone started writing books and publicizing others or showing fabrics from sponsors . Blogland seems pretty commercial nowdays and yours is the one of the few “real life” ones left. Please don’t stop!

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  43. Audrey, I am thrilled with this post. I too have wondered why I blog. I am such a late comer to having my own blog. I read other quilting blogs for years before I took the plunge. I just feel that along with my occasional rants, that I get inspiration from other quilty people. It's nice to know that I am not the only OCD quilter. I can't keep up with changing technology and keeping a blog just seems to be the pace I can handle. Keep up the good work. You are in my thoughts and on my sidebar! Happy quilting.

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  44. I enjoyed reading your post because I share many of the same thoughts. I also love to talk about quilting even if I'm only talking to myself. You mention negative comments. Interestingly, I don't think I've ever gotten a negative comment on my blog but see some really snarky stuff on Facebook. So far, Instagram has been nicer. I'm a little sad to see some of my favorite bloggers move over to Instagram and rarely blog anymore. It does take time to write a blog post. I should know since I only managed to bang out six for all of last year. My quilting production goes down with my blogging production since I also like to talk about my progress as I work. This year I am taking time to read and comment on a couple of blogs each day and to seek out a new blog at least once a week. Today, I'm happy to say, I found your blog as one of my new ones.

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  45. Such a great post Audrey. I love particpating in the blogging world - both posting my own stuff and reading/commenting on others. I do most blog-related stuff first thing in the morning, so not a time when I would be sewing. I see that people love instagram, but I find it sad when blogs I have enjoyed pretty much stagnate. Pretty pictures, and instant feedback are good, I get that, but I want conversation, connection, process and the thinking behind it and am still not convinced instagram would give me that. Also, I can't be on my phone all the time, and am already out of sync with many quilters (in UK, not US), so I have a sense that conversations are started, concluded and people have moved on so quickly that I would never keep up! Keep on blogging, please!!!

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  46. I love that you post about your process, that's one of the main reasons I keep coming back. I'm not that great at commenting so I always give people a pass on that. But I definitely seek out people who talk about their thought process and their sewing process. It helps me learn, and look at things from new unknown angles.

    You've already opened my eyes to so many new ways of looking at how I quilt, I can only grow from it. I understand the struggle to post the pictures of the stages you're not sure of or annoyed with. I always feel that I should present only when I have the answer figured out. But my favourite blogs are the ones that show me their journey, so something for me to think about there!

    Thanks for writing all this :)

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    Replies
    1. I love to read your posts....I feel absolutely the same, I don't know if anyone ever reads my posts, but I keep blogging, and sometimes not even about quilting !!! Keep up the Great Beautiful Work you do and your words, Hugs, Mary

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