Friday, September 2, 2011

Ocean Bubbles & little thoughts

On my table today is August's quilt #4.  What?  It's September you say?  Yes, I am well aware, say I.  There were so many things I had to get done by yesterday....  Even I couldn't keep track.  And I do love lists.  Next time I plan an event, I'll make a more detailed list.  I promise.  But remind me that I have to include things besides the event planning on my clever little list.  It was the other things that got away from me.  And, now here goes this post too.  Oops!

So, on my table is the stubbornly named quilt #4, which occasionally goes by the title "Love in Bubbles".  The faithful little stitcher that I am, I finished quilt #3 last Saturday with plenty of time to spare before the Big Day.  But, alas the fabric!  One does need the fabric.  Lookie what arrived yesterday...

Kona Cyan, Turquoise, Aqua

from left, that's Kona Cyan, Turquoise and Aqua.  All likely candidates for this quilt's sashing.  But, what quilt you say?  Ok, ok, it's the one I planned here for the Love circle of do. Good Stitches, from "Block Party: The Modern Quilting Bee" by Alissa Haight Carlton and Kristen Lejnieks.  They're big, bubbly blocks made in ocean-inspired shades to be sashed with 2" wide strips in a 4 x 3 setting.

Clear as mud?

Love in Bubbles layout

Pictures then. 

Our circle has 10 members, so we'll need 2 more blocks for this setting.  To get a feel for things, I chose two Kona's from my stash as placeholders and set the blocks out over Kona aqua.  Which I loved!  Poor cyan and turquoise never had a chance.

with Kona Aqua sashing

I'm particularly intrigued with how this aqua block will blend into the sashing. 

new Bubble blocks

So today I'm working on the extra blocks, one in Kona avocado and one in Kona marine.  I used my go Baby! again to cut the circles and I've backed them with Steam a Seam Lite II.  Next I'll press them to fuse the circles to the background and then zigzag stitch around the edges for a nice finish. 

Seriously, these blocks are so easy, it's ridiculous.  This is definitely one of those times when having the "fancy" tools really makes a difference.

little thoughts

* The winner of our in the Cloth giveaway  for Heirloom from Fabric Shoppe is JenB, who said, "Love, love, love this new line!! I would love to use these fat quarters to make a whole suite of pillows for my den...perfect pillows for reading and relaxing."  Jen, I can NOT contact you because you are a no-reply commenter.  To claim your prize contact me through that big green "Contact" button in my sidebar towards the bottom. Or, comment on this post with your address. 

*On the subject of giveaways, how do you all feel about the increased frequency with which free fabric has been flying around this blog.  As my readership grows, I've been acquiring new sponsors who would love to catch your eye and earn a visit to their shops by hosting a giveaway.  I enjoyed reading this post and all the comments to get a feel for how the online sewing community is feeling about promotions.  I do realize that content is king and giveaways should be like icing on the cake.  That said, how much icing do you like?  Tell me, is a 3 times a month a few times too many?

*Oh, and what about giveaways vs. contests, like we're doing with Celebrate Color?  I guess I like a mix of both.

*And while we're thinking deep, deep thoughts completely estranged from bubbly blocks...  Do you love to make handmade gifts for the season that is sneaking up on us?  Have you ever been disappointed by a less than thrilled response to your heartfelt creation?  I appreciated thinking over the discussion on this issue at Patchwork Notes.  At this time of year, as I make my "to make" lists it's nice to be reminded that I'd like to make for those who appreciate handmade.  And for those that don't, here's to hoping that I can find another gesture that fits.

That's all for now!  See you soon with September prize announcements!


  1. I love the circles. I'm a relatively new quilter so still trying to perfect my squares, but I love seeing all the possibilities!

    As for the giveaways, I'm hosting my first one on my blog right now and I also found that article interesting because I'm trying to make sure I conduct it properly. Good for you for attracting sponsors - I enjoy your icing regardless! :)

  2. Oh, what a lovely quilt that will be. I have that one on my list since I got my copy of the book. And I think Kona aqua is one of my all time favorite colors.

  3. Love the bubbly blocks. I guess I am going to have to get the circle die for my Go Baby.

  4. Love the bubble blocks! I'm off to read the post in the link...

  5. I love the colors of your new fabrics, some of my favorites! Love that quilt with the circles, something I need to try, guess a new book is in my future!
    Love give-aways!

  6. I love your quilt. I don't really care for give aways or contests. I would rather see quilts. I do make some homemade gifts and they are always liked. I am picky to who I give handmade stuff to.

  7. The new quilt is going to be great. I love give aways and contests, they're a way to boost my fabric stash, painlessly. I don't like having to jump thru hoops, in order to win. I did love the Celebrate Color contest, and I like give aways that ask a question like, What do you like best about...., or Tell me a memory about....

  8. You're going to have another fantastic do. Good Stitches quilt on your hands! I don't mind giveaways, they're fun, but don't tend to enter them but I'll enter contests if they're inspiring.

    I always make something for people who like handmade but try to work inside of their esthetic as opposed to mine. I just don't see the point of giving someone any sort of gift that they don't want so if they'd rather a gift card that's what they get :)

  9. On giveaways, I think I would say as long as there are lots of content posts in between giveaway posts, then there isn't really a limit per month. KWIM? I don't want to go to a blog where EVERY post is a sponsor/giveaway post.... I want to know what you're up to, what you're making.

    All that said, I'd LOVE to do more giveaways on my blog (because I like to give stuff to people -- and I have an extra copy of Simplicity 3835 :) ), but the number of readers I have is pathetic. In the SMS post I had really hoped that the rafflecopter thing was a way of advertising your giveaway... ah well.

  10. I think giveaways are great ... it showcases a product/fabric line/book that might of slipped by otherwise. I read your blog for your great posts, but a giveaway is a nice perk.

    Keep up the great work.


  11. Love those Kona blues! and your bubbles! I love giveaways! I don't like having to jump through hoops, follow, or like on FB, tho. If I'm interested, I'll follow and/or comment whether there's a giveaway or not.

  12. This is my first time with Kona aqua. Agreed - it's a new favorite! Thanks for your giveaway feedback folks.

  13. Love the colors and the design, can't wait to see it finished.

    I love giveaways that are content-friendly, meaning they coincide with what you normally blog about and are easy to enter. I hate to have to follow a blog, like them on facebook, tweet about it, etc just to get something. For someone with a dialup connection, that's too many hoops. In other words, if I don't like a blog anyway, I won't follow it just to win something. I think you've got the right mix of giveaways and content. I mean, who doesn't love to win something every now and then??

  14. I hate it when you have to jump through a bunch of hoops in the chance you might win something. I also hate it when blogs become all about the sponsors and the giveaways. So the post for giveaways are like giant infomercials dressed up as interviews or something.

    And of course I'd like giveaways all the more if I won something great! :-)

  15. I love those circles! I think the aqua block is going to look lovely with the sashing.

    I love a good giveaway. I agree with some of the people who said they don't like to jump through hoops to enter. I think everyone loves free fabric, tools and the like. I don't have an issue with it. I think you have great content.

  16. I love the blues you've pulled together in your quilt... I've had it in mind lately to do something with circles myself... as for your questions, I like diversity... giveaways are fine, and I like that they usually expose me to other blogs, which I then peruse and make a decision about whether or not to follow... I've really liked that aspect... I agree with other commenters that I don't care for the hoops you sometimes have to jump through... you can give me options about how to get one entry, but I prefer everyone to have one shot... most of all, I like to see a focus on creativity, information, technique, accomplishments, and the sense of 'community' between blogger and followers...

  17. I just love reading your blog ;-)
    answers to your questions - yes, we love giveaways (I never win ;-(), but then I don't enter really expecting to win, and much prefer the ones where you don't have to jump through hoops, too. I love the idea of visiting new blogs/sites and deciding if they are right for me - I have come across some great blogs that way - yours included ;-)

  18. I really love the way this quilt is coming together -- it's going to be great!

    I am glad you are asking this question about Giveaways! In my opinion Giveaways are great, I actually look for them -- who doesn't love free fabric! I try to have at least one a month now and anyone can enter, with my followers getting an extra comment because without them would our blogs be the same -- no, of course not! When offering Sponsored Giveaways I am feeling like it really is nice to try to send folks their way somehow? I am trying to figure out how to do this without all the hoops? And I would never make anyone do those things to enter, just as extra entries. I am looking forward to reading the feddback here!!!

  19. Love the bubbles and the way the aqua block will merge into the sashing.

    I like giveaways, but will only enter if the prize is something I'll really use - and, like others, not too many hoops. Thanks!

  20. Bubbles just make me happy. I spent the afternoon with my 15 month old daughter playing with bubbles and water. That quilt is fun and yet sophisticated at the same time.

    I have yet to win a give-away, but I follow several blogs where they have won a ton of stuff. It seems like they are showing off stuff that came in the mail from so-and-so's give-away every month.

    I tend to only enter when I really would buy the product for myself anyway (but money/time is prohibiting me). I also don't enter when I have to do a lot of things (however I don't mind when the site asks me to visit the sponsors site and return with my 'wish list' or 'favorite item' because it is fair for me to look at the sponsor's site as a potential customer)

    For the Celebrate Color- I probably will not be participating, but I love to see what other people create and I am happy for them when they win a prize-it is like a game show!

    The content on your blog is wonderful and I am a happy follower!

  21. Contest frequency is more in relation to content-posts rather than how often by the calendar. If you post content once a month and have 3 giveaways, that's a bad proportion. If you post content most days and have 3, that's just fine.

  22. wowza! i have learned a lot in reading your responses thus far. i have not yet had a giveaway on my blog, and am considering one... it's good to hear the feedback!
    on another note... GORGEOUS quilt! i am a newbie sewer... very very newbie.. cause i love my knitting so much, sometimes it's hard to switch. haha nah, i am loving sewing too.. but back to your quilt... i LOOOOOOVE it.. i really really do. it's lovely. yes. yes it is.

  23. I love what you have done with the dots, it just gives the feeling of fun

  24. Love those blocks - that book just dropped through my door 2 days ago, and I haven't had a chance to even open it yet, hoping to get to it this weekend :o)

    Whilst I'm loving all the giveaways going round, I'm feeling rather guilty that I'm entering without having anything to give away. I'm not sponsored, and haven't had time to make anything of late that wasn't a commission. Maybe now that life has calmed down again I can get to it.

    As far as promotions go, I don't mind visiting the promoter, having a hunt round to find something I like, and maybe signing up for a newsletter or Facebook page, but I'm not so fond of having to jump through another 5 hoops afterwards culminating in something like 'tweet this while standing on your head'

    I think both giveaways and contests have their place. I've been flat out for the past couple of months, barely able to keep up with reading blogs, never mind creating things for contests, so giveaways were great for me then. I now have time for creating for contests, so those are great for me now. I think most people go through phases of both, and having both provides a more equal opportunity to win.

    I always make handmade gifts for Christmas and birthdays for my family. I started when I was at uni because I couldn't really afford craft stuff for myself and pressies, so it was a great compromise. Alas they all expect handmade now, and that actually makes it more pressured trying to top the previous gift, or come up with something original!

    Wow, that was an essay, sorry!

  25. Love the fun and bubbly quilt! What a great way to feature the really fun fabric that is out there right now. This is really fun and bright! Congratulations to the winner! Enjoy! And giveaways are fun and a great way to spread the joy of sewing and quilting and 3 or 4 giveaways a month sounds super duper.

    Have a super great sewing and stitching day.

  26. Ok, you asked :D. My 0.02$

    I like contest but I get easyly bored. As you said before, 3 month of pillows was a little too much :).

    I would love a contest where you actually go and make something. As in right now, or after the kids go to sleep, ok, maybe tommorow. One week. But not after a month. Or two, or three.

    I like giveaways. But I don't like giveaways where you have to tweet, FB, blog, add a button and so on. However, I like it when I'm invited to visit the store and asked to pick something. If you just tell me to go visit the store and come back and have a chance to win a 25$ prize already chosen... not so funny anymore :)

    I would love a not so common prize. Ok, everybody makes giveaways and contest for an x$ prize. How about a contest where the winner gets to see its whatever somewhere? ( :)))) very clear :))) )

    Like the best pillow in the modern category will make it to magazine x. Or the best bag in applique will gets 10 e-mails with designer y :D. Or an on-line photography course. I don't know, something different, to get you to really do something challanging.

    [please note that english is not my first language :D]

  27. Diana - That is excellent, excellent feedback! Thank-you for being so honest and sharing some great ideas. I do like the idea of a "quick" contest - like 2 weeks. That could be super fun. I think I'd have a hard time arranging those clever prizes you suggested, but if I could - they would be awesome!

    Thanks so much for adding your thoughts, everyone!

  28. ohh, i have been waiting for your bubble blocks to come home!, i love them. greeny blues are my faves!. i guess that go baby thing is very handy for such a project.Not to worry, i am still working on basic, straight stitching!.lol. I love your blog, with or without a giveaway and check everyday for updates. it's very inspiring. thank you!

  29. looks like a fun way to use scraps.

  30. I like a good giveaway, but definitly not too many times a month!
    And I completely agree with handmade gifts - I try to give small gifts to people who I know won't really appreaciate them, and make more effort for others! That said, most people still love recieving handmade things....I hope!

  31. Neat looking blocks, looks like you are really enjoying your Accuquilt GO circle die! I always enjoy giveaways!

  32. Hey,
    on the giveaway thing: I used to love a certain blog (not yours ;) ) that turned into a total giveaway blog. I loved the projects, the fabric used, the color combinations, the blogging style.... And then the blog turned into 90% meaningless giveaway posts or boring short posts like a fabric picture and one sentence. Apart from that about 1000 people enter each giveaway so there is no reason to take part in it. I don't even read the giveaway posts anymore.
    I am still hoping, that that blog will return one day to the blog I used to love, but I doubt it will. So for me its not important how often a giveaway is posted in a month but how often there are other posts as well. Say, you post 3 giveaways in a month and 3 nice posts. That makes six posts a month - thats more than some bloggers post. But because 3 out of 6 blogs are rather meaningless to me, because there are 500 people who enter the giveaway, I only find 3 "nice" posts and I am actually disappointed. So lets say there are 15 posts a month and 3 out of 15 are giveaway posts then it is a completely different story for me.
    Sorry for my rambling on - as one of the commenters said before: english is not my first language, so it takes me some time to get to my point.
    I like your posts, I do like projects where other artists are featured. I actually found your blog through that pillow contest.
    Take care an keep on blogging "content" (at least as a main part of your blog posts!!!)

  33. First, LOVE the bubbles quilt! The colors are perfect - you always have such an eye for color coordination. I never would have thought of that darker green, but it's perfect!
    Second...I love the icing! I guess my thought is: you have attracted the readership because your content is so good. That's why the sponsors come. I don't see your content going down just because you have some giveaways. And I appreciate the opportunity, so thanks!

  34. I love the varying hues, and I especially love the avocado block. I think the aqua is a great sashing choice. Beautiful, Rachel!


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