Saturday, 24 January 2015

Grow Your Blog - Good Intentions

2 Bags Full

Welcome to anyone visiting via GYB 2015. I hope you enjoy your visit.
I had the date for the party post on my diary and as I was having a full week at my daughter's house before the date I had plenty of time to write an interesting post once I had taken the children to school. Well, dear readers, it wasn't to be!

I arrived here in Wiltshire to find my son-in-law burning up with a fever in bed so I made him drinks and gave him Paracetamol to get his temperature down. He looked ghastly but was determined not to miss the flight to Jamaica. The next morning my grandson had a temperature of 39° so he had to stay home from school for three days until his temperature dropped. On Thursday I started with the same thing and felt awful. My husband Mike took over the school run and I am writing this in bed on Saturday morning at the last minute.

2014 was an exciting year for me. It was my first year of blogging about my new hobby of quilting and as I took so many classes and courses there was plenty to write about. In the run up to Christmas I have concentrated more on my knitting and crochet. I've learnt new skills and made many new friends both in the real world and on the net. I also include posts on family life, the occasional book review and recipe.

So, maybe I should tell you a little about myself: I am a 61 year old wife to Mike, mother to 2 daughters and a step-daughter who between them have 6 children. I don't feel like an old-fashioned granny though. I like to keep active and interested in life. I love crafting, reading, family history, foreign travel, listening to music, cooking and gardening as well as spending time with friends and family. I was a nurse, midwife and pharmaceutical rep in my working life. I married a doctor and all three daughters are doctors and one is also married to a doctor so we have most bases covered medically! Mike and I live in the Vale of Glamorgan near the coast in South Wales in the UK. Our house is a converted stone barn on a farm that was in existence 500 years ago. We don't farm the fields but Mike keeps bees and we grow plenty of soft fruit as well as damsons, pears and apples for our own use.
The view down the garden from the house
Last weekend I attended a day course on Bargello with the marvellous Judi Mendellsohn, past editor of British Patchwork and Quilting magazine. The class were asked to bring a jelly roll with a good variation on light and dark tones. I used about 22 strips from the roll and discarded the colors I did not think would work. The jelly roll is Atelier by 3 Sisters for Moda.


The finished top is 40x29.5" so I may add a narrow fillet of red then the brown fabric as a border to make a lap quilt. While I like the finished pattern I am not too sure I will do any more Bargello work. All that straight line stitching was fairly boring- although it did come together very quickly. That is the beauty of one day classes. They provide a taster of new techniques without a huge amount of outlay. Over the past year I've discovered that I'm a piecer; I love EPP and appliqué. I'm trying to improve my quilting skills but I am struggling with my Brother machine and would love to upgrade. I am ADDICTED to fabric and yarn.

A few of my highlights from 2014:



I try to blog weekly or at least fortnightly but I will not write a post unless something interesting has happened. I do not sell stuff or make to order. I quilt, sew, knit and crochet for the love of it and give to my friends and family. I'm not interested in getting sponsorship for my blog and do not see it as a business enterprise but as a record for me and a chance to meet new friends.

I would like to offer a giveaway to say thank you for reading through my blog.
The prize is this cute quilted wall hanging kit. The wallhanging would be a super gift for a new baby or small child.



 The giveaway will close on Sunday February 15th  to give you all lots of time and is open to anyone. I will post anywhere in the world so no excuses not to enter. All I ask is that you leave a comment below telling me what attracts you to a blog (is it photos, content, variety etc?) Please check you are not a "no reply" blogger or leave an email address in your reply if you prefer.
******* Sunday 7am. The giveaway is now closed*******************

I really appreciate your comments and the fact that you have read through until the end. If you have the time please take a look through some of my older posts to get more of a flavour of my blog. I hope that some of you might become good blogging friends too!

I would like to thank Vicki of 2 Bags Full for running the Grow Your Blog 2015 party. I'm sure it will be just as successful as last year.

Catherine

71 comments:

  1. I've been involved in blogging to a greater or lesser degree since 2001. In the early days, it was very much about personal blogs - no particular theme, just a form of online chatting. I made friends with people back then who are still my friends today, even though those blogs have long gone. These days it's more about themed blogs (for me anyway). I've used a feed reader for years (although they have come and gone too, I'm currently on my 3rd). I tend to categorise my blogs so I have categories for crafts, rugby (my Welsh mother brought me up right!), book reviews.author blogs, World of Warcraft and a miscellaneous section.

    Even with a category, the content can vary enormously. For example, in the craft blogs, some focus exclusively on the craft in question, others are more personal and include all sorts of things; sometimes the craft aspect is almost incidental. I find I tend to skim the ones that are very focused. If a post has something in it I'm particularly interested in, then I'll read it in more detail. With the other blogs, it's harder to quantify. I find things like photos can make a difference - I love to look at them, but pages and pages of them tend to irritate me. I suppose I'm more interested in what people have to say. It's hard to quantify. Just like meeting people IRL, some you just click with and it would be hard to define why. It's more than just having a hobby in common, it's a kind of online chemistry, I think a lot of photos can irritate me because I'm very much a words person :) The words don't have to be on anything deep and profound, some people just have a way of writing that keeps me reading.

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  2. Oh Catherine that view is divine so must more envirgorating than suburban streets to look out on!
    I already follow you and like you had a set back for the GYB post lol my laptop is in with my works techies trying to get my printer driver to download.
    Then my car died on me so I couldn't go pick the laptop up lol
    I got the bright idea to go buy an IPad but my pics to post are on the laptop
    My blog has a Please pop back midweek plea on it lol
    I love to see pictures on blog posts must admit but humorous and informative posts win my interest too.
    Enjoy t he blog hopping :)
    Lyn

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  3. Hello Catherine! Lovely to meet you through the Grow Your Blog party! What a beautiful part of the country you live in! Your quilts are beautiful! I am a quilter too and it is lovely to meet new bloggers! :) x

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  4. Hi Catherine. Beautiful quilts! I am visiting from Vicki's party. Thanks for a chance to win.

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  5. On behalf of Vicki at Two Bags Full and myself, welcome to the Grow Your Blog blog hop! You have a great post today! Your quilts are just wonderful, quilting is one of my many hobbies as well. Keep blogging, and I hope you have a lot of traffic today!

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  6. Hi Catherine. What a beautiful place you live in. I like the Bargello quilt you put together in your workshop. Bargello is a technique I have yet to try and I am also trying to use pre-cuts more often so a jellyroll Bargello quilt appeals to me.
    I'm attracted to blogs that have pictures, stories (I'm a bit of a storyteller myself), and with writers who are similar to me in some way (eg I have not been quilting long and would love to see what your experiences of learning to quilt are to compare with mine).
    Thanks for the opportunity to win your prize and good luck growing your blog.
    Cheers, Tracy

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  7. I love your bargello piece. You chose lovely colours. Ive wanted to give quilt making a go for a while but the size and cost is quite daunting. It sounds like you live in a really nice spot, I used to live just on the English side of the border but ive only visited the northern part of Wales. Thanks for the chance to win your giveaway.

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  8. Dear Catherine,
    Welcome to Grow Your Blog party. I love that knitting bunny.. really looks cute.
    Hope you'll made some new friends and have new followers in the weeks to come. Big Hugs from Singapore

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  9. Catherine,
    Your Bargello WIP is lovely. I just discovered the style through my MIL's needlework actually. I like your anecdotes of life sprinkled through your blog. I want to know the story behind the maker as well as what it is that they've produced. Your scenery is just beautiful there. So different from here in Ohio in the US. I'm glad to be a new follower of yours. Keep it coming!

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  10. Hi Catherine. I'm visiting from GYB. I love the view of your garden and it brought back nice memories of the last time I was in Wales many many years ago on our honeymoon. The quilt you're making looks amazing. I too love to quilt although I don't get to do it as often as I'd like to, most of my time is taken up making bags. I'm hoping this year will be a quilty year. Nice getting to know you and thanks for the chance to win your lovely giveaway.

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  11. Glad to meet you! I am having a lot of fun seeing all the great inspiration, so many new ideas! L

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  12. I love lots of pictures. I like to see what other people are making and sometimes use them for inspiration.

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  13. lovely work, I love straight line stitching, because I'm a simple quilter at heart. Thanks for the chance

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  14. I have plans like that, however life happens and plans are gone. Hope everyone is well now. You live in such a beautiful place!! I don't think I would get much done with that kind of view available. So nice to get to know you. I have a giveaway, also. Stop by and see. Glad you are participating in this year's GYB.

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  15. already a follower, came over from Vicki's

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  16. that view from your garden is amazing!
    and i really like how your project turned out from that class you took. those quilts have fascinated me, and are totally on my "someday to do" list.

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  17. Visiting through Grow your Blog. Love your garden and quilts. Following from now on.

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  18. Visitng from GYB. Hope everyone is well again soon. Your quilts are lovely!

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  19. The jellyroll quilt looks just like a graph and the maths fan in me loves it! I'm following you on Bloglovin :)

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  20. I love the bargello quilt you did! I have done 2 of them...it is kind of one of t hose things...once done, I swear I will NEVER do another one, but then time goes by.. and I do another one! That time is coming again soon! What I like to see in a blog is pictures and how-to's...mainly, although friendly "chatter" is quite nice to. I enjoy my "cyber" friends alot and am thankful for the inspiration they offer!
    Cheri
    fabricandmemories(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  21. What attracts me to a blog? It's someone whose personality comes thru their writing, and is a little quirky perhaps. I like a sense of humor. I've been following you since our beginnings!

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  22. Hello from Canada! What a lovely view, and I envy you the climate for growing fruit trees!!! Was it faster to use jelly rolls for the bargello than it would have been to cut yardage?

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  23. I like reading about quilts, the creating process, how you decide things during the process, and about life! I like getting to know the people whose blogs I read. sarah@forrussia.org

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  24. Oh dear Catherine. Sounds like you all had a torrid week. Hope you are feeling better.
    Visiting you from a very wet NSW coast, on Australia Day. I loved seeing the photos of your little part of the world, and also of some of your creations.
    Enjoy the GYB party.

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  25. Would like to try bargello sometime. yours looks great.

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  26. Hello Catherine, so pleased to meet you via the GYB hop and discover your beautiful work. Makes me nostalgic looking at lovely Wiltshire, where I always spent my holidays (Bradford on Avon) and where my best friend from school days lives (Salisbury) very homesick. always have been :-((

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  27. Hello Catherine,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog and seeing your lovely pictures. As a fellow EPP lover I totally understand where the straight line sewing can get very boring. Following from now on via Bloglovin.
    Lisa

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  28. Hi Catherine I found your blog a few weeks ago and love the things you do - you sound a lot like me! So I hope to drop by regularly and keep up with you and your family

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  29. My goodness you have been through it all, and my what a trooper....You have lovely things and I'll be joining you in them, I can't wait to see more.

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  30. I'm visiting via GYB from St. John's, NL Canada. Your photos and work is lovely. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  31. Wow! It sounds like you have had quite a busy time here lately. I loved reading your post. Your work is simply beautiful! What most attracts me to blogs.....I am really a picture person, I love seeing others creations. But I think what really attracts me to blogs is the fact that bloggers (especially quilters) are so friendly. They are always willing to share information, tips or just stop by to send a happy hello. :) Thank you for the opportunity to win, I look forward to following your blog throughout 2015 and the years to come.
    -Brittany @ Pickles Quilting

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  32. I have been quilting for 2 years, I am 38 a mom wife gramma and was a nurse. I have recently been dx with RSD a horribly painful nerve disorder. I had to quilt working , have a walker now and quilt whenever my body will let me. I love it and love the quilt kit. I love owls!!!!!! sonjasmith76@yahoo.com

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  33. So pleased to meet you in the GYB hop!!! That wall hanging is adorable and perfect as a baby gift... it just so happens that I have 3 friends expecting too!

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  34. I think pictures are what attracts me to a blog. Also the hops that start out at one of my favorite sites. The owl is adorable. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  35. Catherine, nice to meet you!! You and I have lots of the same interests and I'm looking forward to reading more of our posts!! I'm also retired and have rediscovered my creative side with quilting, crochet, cooking, gardening and even tablescaping. I do all of these for fun and blog to challenge myself, when I have something to share. My goal has been to post about once a week and that's what I've been able to do but sometimes other things come up (people to see and places to go!!).

    Your quilts and other creations are amazing and I'm excited to follow along to see more of your great projects! thanks for stopping by. Zenda

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  36. I love the pictures and hearing about blogger's families and where they are from. I love good tutorials and giveaways are a bonus.
    kdavis1@centurytel.net

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  37. I usually follow blogs if they have helpful tutorials with clear directions/pictures. I'm a beginner with no one to help me learn so I really am grateful for and rely on the blogging community.

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  38. Nice to meet you! I enjoy blogs with lots of photos and tutorials. I am a beginner so I enjoy learning from others as I try to become more skilled at quiting/sewing!

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  39. Hello. Thank you for the chance to win that wonderful kit! I think two things attract me to a blog. One is the relevant content and the other is a good way of explaining what you're doing so I can understand.

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  40. I am new to blogging and all tips are appreciated

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  41. You have a lovely view! I enjoyed seeing all your creations (especially the cute bunny!). Thank you so much for inviting us to visit with you. Enjoy the tour!

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  42. Hi Catherine. So glad you left a comment on my blog. Love your blog. I will be visiting again...added you to my blog list so I get updates. :)
    kathleen, fourmilesnorthofnowhereATgmailDOTcom

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  43. As soon as I saw the knitted bunny I thought... I've been here before. And sure enough when I scrolled back through your blog I had been! Your garden is beautiful. I've never tried Bargello before, yours is lovely. And your giveaway is so adorable... thanks for the chance to win that owl quilt kit.

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  44. Hello from Washington State. I have to say that I'm in love with your knit bunny. (in spite of the fact that I hate to knit! This looks like a project that would be small enough to keep my interest.

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  45. Your quilts are beautiful being a crazy quilter myself. I appreciate the amount of effort you have put in. You certainly live in a gorgeous place and we too like you enjoy the benefits of our fruit trees here as well as our beehives which have only recently been shifted.
    Enjoy the party!
    Suzy

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  46. You have a beautiful view so that has to be inspiring. Does it change how you quilt? I love the owl. Owls are my favorite. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  47. I love that wall hanging! I love to see photos, giveaways, tutorials. It's also helpful if long paragraphs are broken up so they are just a few lines long each -- I tend to skim read blogs and let the photos guide me through.

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  48. Great work. Please put me in for the giveaways. Thanks.

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  49. Hi Catherine, love your part of the world and also your projects, particularly the Bargello. I have the same jelly roll and have been looking for something to make, but I think it's a bit beyond me, congratulations on at least doing one, it's fabulous. Visiting through GYB all the way from Australia.

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  50. Greetings from the Pacific Northwest! I like blogs with clear photos and tutorials. I am learning how to quilt and have found good information on blogs!

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  51. Lovely to meet you Catherine - I'm in Gloucestershire.
    I like your bargello quilt - I've never tried the technique

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  52. The owl kit is adorable. Your bargello quilt is stunning, it makes me want to start making one right now

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  53. Hi from Texas, Catherine! I found you through the GYB. I had to go out of town and missed posting and the whole party. However, I have been able to visit some really nice blogs from the list. I really like the things you make. Awesome work!

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  54. I end up coming back to blogs with nice pictures. I like ones that have funny/kind writers, and tutorials are always cool to see. I also just like seeing what other people are creating all over the world!

    roseharries_06@hotmail.com

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  55. Hi Catherine, I have been following you for a while now (year or so) I like blogs that are chatty and have nice pictures. By chatty I mean it is like being in room talking to the person. Your blog is just like that.

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  56. I'm so happy to have found your blog via the party. Your sweaters are beautiful and your quilts too. I am going to follow but want to opt out of the giveaway. Thank you.

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  57. I love the giveaway kit! It's adorable! On a blog, pictures are something that draws my attention (such as the beautiful quilts and crafts you have displayed) and funny or tutorial posts are things I look for. Thanks!

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  58. I'm so behind in blog reading, I hope you are all better now :) I enjoyed reading your post and seeing your lovely photos :)

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  59. Hi, I have just come to your blog via ravelry. I noticed your lovely knitted rabbit on the stitched together podcast forum so popped over to have a look, the view from your garden is amazing! X

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  60. I love all the pretty pictures! Mostly I like blogs for inspiration and lovely images!

    alexis @ cobcottagecraft.com

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  61. Hello Catherine, lovely to see you participating in the GYB party too :) - I'm so glad you left a message on my blog earlier so that I could hop right on over. I have followed you and put you onto my sidebar so that I never miss a post in the future! Love your blog :)

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  62. Your quilting and knitting projects are great! I think I am added as a follower.

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  63. Hi, I am visiting via GYB - I love all your projects - your interests are similar to mine! Hope you have recovered from the accident I read on your previous post x

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  64. Hi, usually what attracts me to a blog are nice photos and witty/funny commentary. :) My email is afistfuloflemons @ gmail. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

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  65. Visiting from GYB -- we are still mired down with snow here in NE Ohio, USA -- looks like your piece of the world is beginning to bloom!

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  66. I enjoy your blog. I love seeing photos of where you live. Thanks for sharing.

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  67. I tend to find blogs that include a lot of tutorials and guest posts for variety. I love love love the owl kit and have themed by girls room with owls and woodland creatures. I so hope I win!!! In any case thanks for sharing your projects and good luck with the continued blog posts!

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  68. Your quilts are lovely and the view of your property is just gorgeous! The blogs I tend to follow are craftsy. I enjoy following the progress and seeing the finishes of quilts, crazy quilts (my true passion), cross-stitch, embroidery and I have recently felt drawn toward photos of zentangles. I look forward to following your progress through Bloglovin' this year!

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  69. Love your quilts, the bargello is beautiful.

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  70. I love your Bargello quilt - colours are great. I hope to win this owl kit to make for my granddaughter who adores owls.
    Pauline
    perry94022 at hotmail dot com

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Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I read every one I get and try to get back to you as soon as I can.