Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Happy 400th post and Free Motion Mavericks

This last month had many special events - the 300th linking party of Free Motion Mavericks, my first presentation about blogging and learning, and my 400th post at Quilting & Learning: What a Combo! I hope you don't mind if I use this Free Motion Mavericks post to reflect on my blogging journey.😊

Blogging and online learning presentation

Last month, I made a 15 minute presentation for the Out of the Box Textile Artists group. The theme was doing things online related to our textile fibre art. One presenter has been trying to exhibit and sell her work online to replace the exhibits that she was supposed to be in. She had mixed results. The other presenter has been making and selling on Etsy for a while. It was interesting to hear about her experience.

I was the last presenter and I had a slideshow about blogging and online learning. I really enjoyed the process of writing the presentation since it was a great time to reflect and see what I've done, and how my blog and my art has evolved over time.

I thought that I would share some of the things that struck me as I reflected on these last eight years. Here are some of the relevant slides. You should be able to click on the slides to see them larger.

Those last few reasons for blogging evolved over time

I then went on to explain what various blogging terms mean since many of the pieces that I've exhibited with this group have come from these types of events, and many participants are not familiar with them. I mentioned:
Quilt-Alongs help me create beautiful UFOs!
  • linking parties, 
  • quilt-alongs, 
  • finish-alongs and 
  • blog hops 
This is what I realised learned:
  • Although I enjoy quilt-alongs, they have resulted in more UFOs than finished pieces.
  • Grandmother's Choice block
    My success rate is not very good with the various finish-alongs, except for the One Monthly Goal (OMG). I'm sure that it's because we only choose one goal - and it doesn't have to be a finished quilt, just a completed step in the project.
  • My favourites are the blog hops, in all of their permutations. I try not to participate in too many of them. They usually have fairly broad themes so that I can make something that catches my fancy. I also love to see what other bloggers have made - there is usually so much diversity.
  • The biggest drawback to blog hops is everyone's great comments. I love to read them but I've yet to answer even a small percentage of them.

Becoming more involved

My blog took on a bigger presence on the web when I hosted two blogging events in 2017.

Celebrating - Fêtons 150
What I realised was that Celebrating - Fêtons 150 was the perfect event to host because it allowed me to do all kinds of fun research on the Internet and then post great patterns and events that were happening around Canada's 150th. I did make a few projects but it wasn't as intensive as the Learning Quilt-Along.   

I couldn't talk about being involved without mentioning Free Motion Mavericks! I'm glad that I am co-hosting with Muv because it brings me back to my first love, FMQ! It also ensures that I blog at least every fortnight - because sometimes it's hard to do more than that.

As I reviewed my blog, for the first time I had a look at my original visitation numbers for that first year. In that first post I wrote that I didn't know if anyone would be reading this. Well, it turns out that in 2012, I wrote 8 posts and had 18 views and one comment. Thank goodness for friends and family.😊

In 2013, I got tired of posting on Facebook (I'm not a fan), so I added a "Follow by email" from Google's feedburner to my blog.  I almost never check the numbers but when I did last month, I was intrigued by the results. The subscribers took a serious upward turn in 2017, the summer and fall that I hosted the two blogging events. It seems that even if very few quilters were participating in the Learning Quilt-Along, many were watching from the side lines. 

Stats from my "Follow by email" link

Learning Online

The second part of my presentation was about learning online. I've been learning online since I first started quilting - from reading fellow bloggers' posts and tutorials, to the odd YouTube presentation. I started buying Craftsy courses at that time and I own a ridiculous amount of them! 

This year, however, saw a huge growth in online learning opportunities. I love online courses since they are usually relatively inexpensive and I don't have to leave my studio (did I ever mention that I'm a home body?) Of course these are also responsible for a number of UFOs but as I start using some of the skills and ideas that I've developed in earlier workshops, I think that it's all worth it.  

Gratitude Journal
made last week

Well, my learning journey is far from finished as you may have seen in my last post! In a year and 11 months, I hope to go back to hosting at least one blog hop a year. I'm still learning so much from my fellow bloggers. Quilters are a very generous group and I'm very grateful to be part of this little corner of the virtual world. 

Thank you so much for your presence in my life. I am grateful to all of you for sharing my journey.

Linking parties

Free Motion Mavericks

Wow! What a great turn out last time. Thank you soooo much! I was hoping to start on the Pinwheels and Stars quilt but as I mentioned, it's not something that I can or want to fudge right before the post 😊. For everyone who left an encouraging comment, THANK YOU! As I was re-reading your blog links, leaving comments (finally) and thinking about the "out of this world" quilt centre (thanks Alycia), I prepared a clear plastic piece to draw on, over the quilt top and am getting a plan for starting. So thank you everyone!

There were such amazing and different quilts linked up last time and as always, impossible to choose what to highlight, so I'm going very close to home to show you Sandra's The Final Season quilt about the plight of trees, in Canada and everywhere.

The Final Season by Sandra at mmm quilts

It's now your turn - and I'm going to publish early to get the full enjoyment of my 400th post!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. Joyeux anniversaires, et bravo pour ce superbe parcours !

  2. Congratulations on 400 posts! That's an accomplishment!

    1. Thank you so much Mari. It certainly is :-)
      Take care.

  3. COngrats on the success of your blog - I think that is so cool to reflect back on what you started , what you have learned and where you are going!

  4. This is a very engaging post which I actually read all the way to the end, something I rarely do with very long posts. I've never heard of a learning blog hop but I certainly look forward to joining a regular or learning hop when you do host.From one home body to the another, stay warm and keep making.

    1. Thanks so much Denise. Take care of yourself. We are having a cold spell without much snow. Stay warm too!

  5. Congratulations on reaching 400 posts. A very big commitment of time and a huge sharing of yourself. I love reading your blog and am sure that many others get much pleasure from it too.

    1. Thanks so much Dione. I love writing it and I appreciate your support :-).


Hi! I would love to hear from you and I will try to answer you. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a message. :-)