Tuesday, September 16, 2014

oh the Blogs I read!

I'm not on Facebook very often.  I don't really use Twitter or Instagram.  I am a blogger.  I write; I read; I pin to share or to store.  I love the blogosphere for its many words, many pictures and rambling threads.  I love the blogosphere for not being instant, constant and unending.  Because I don't need an ever-present distraction from the life I should be living in the now.

Since the demise of Google Reader, I follow along with many blogs via Bloglovin.  It works for me.  I sit down to read blogs a couple times a week, whenever I feel like taking in inspiration rather than being "productive" or just catching up with the doings of my friends.  My blogfeed is limited because my time is limited.  I can't nearly keep up with every worthy read out there, so I adjust the volume of my feed to fit my actual life, my actual time.  Generally I do keep up with it and comment whenever and as often as I would like.

But not lately.  Somehow in the last two weeks I went AWOL with my blog reading.  I started catching up on my reading yesterday, but as of this morning still had 86 posts awaiting my attention.  86 good posts!  In fact, their very goodness inspires me to share.  So, without further ado, here is a short list of blogs that add color and inspiration to my week.

Sail Boat

::Ants to Sugar::  I got to know Daisy during Penny Sampler camp last fall.  She chronicles her quilty doings with exquisite photography and simple, conversational words.  It's been perfectly delightful to watch her paper piecing skills explode from her first efforts during Penny Sampler to the release of her first pattern (that sailboat!) this week.



::Tickle and Hide::  Jodi and I share a common love for all things Anna Maria Horner.  She blogs out of Australia, sharing her adventures in shopkeeping vs. sewing for fun.   Lately she's been doing more quilting, yay!  I love that Jodi's not afraid to ask the big questions and share her real self in her posts.   Her scrappy quilt above inspired my current work-in-progress.


my little loves

::Stitched Together::  On Rachel's beautiful blog you will find real life, incredible workmanship and endless doses of apparel sewing inspiration.  As a quilter-by-default kind of sewist, she's helping me branch out.  Knits...someday soon!  Prepare yourself to be floored by her gorgeous children and exquisite photography. 



::S.O.T.A.K. handmade::  This blog is my stop for scrappy and small-project inspiration.  Svetlana is probably about waist deep in pillows by now, and has also churned out a fair number of great pouches, purses and whatnots.  Her Scrap Eater quilt above is one of my recent favorites.



::Blue Elephant Stitches::  This is one of the first blogs I began to read, actually.  I think I found Jolene through one of her Etsy baby quilt listings way back when I was just getting started.  She has a light, bright sense of color that stretches my own.  And boy can she churn out quilts!



::SelfSewn::  On the other end of the spectrum, Clare pieces and quilts mainly by hand.  Her works unfold slowly, intertwined with charming thoughts, strolls and riddles.  If you like English paper piecing, you have to follow SelfSewn.

In the way of non-stitching reads, I also follow...

Simple Homeschool - my only dedicated homeschool read

Seth Godin - because he's a genius and often encourages me to live big, see Without a Keyboard for a recent case in point

Rachel Held Evans - a Christian spirituality blogger whose writings stretch my soul

Of course, this is not all I read. Not by far!  But sometimes short lists are best.  I hope this list has provided a few good leads for anyone looking for new sources of stitchy inspiration!

p.s.  Have any thoughts on your social media diet?  Or perhaps a favorite blog to share?  Do tell!  I'm all ears.

xo,

Rachel


39 comments:

  1. For a beautiful slice of life in the Pacific Northwest I read Posy Gets Cozy. She shares her knitting, sewing, and life with wonderful photos.

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    1. I love that blog, too. In addition to the crafty ideas and amazing pictures, the writing is top notch. Alicia has a way with words and stories. : )

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  2. I have felt more and more in recent weeks that I should ween myself off of Facebook. It's not that I post a lot, it's more that it presents so many opinionated people. It's ok to be opinionated, but there's a weird dichotomy of "you will listen to my opinion" coupled with "I don't want to hear your opinion." It seems like a more toxic environment lately, and I find myself just wanting out! I do use it for posting on behalf of my Etsy shop, though, so for now I am just paring back what makes it into my feed.

    As for blogs, I really only have time to read yours! Sometimes I find other blogs for a special topic, but it's rare that a blog catches my long-term attention. I could probably find other blogs that are as...comfortable? as yours if I looked a little harder. I'm not sure comfortable is the right word. I guess your blog feels like a sewing night with a good friend - warm, inviting, and good for the soul.

    I've considered writing my own blog, but I feel that I probably don't have the time, and that I'm not sure I have anything worthwhile to say. Maybe someday :)

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  3. I enjoyed having a peek into your reading list... You should consider doing it again from time to time! I happen to follow some of the same quilty blogs as you, and now have added one or two more tony list. :)

    As to other media... I'm not on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I prefer blogs. I treat them like I would my newspaper, reading them in the mornings and evenings to catch up on what's going on in the (quilty) world. I would be sad if they all suddenly went away in favor of the alternatives.

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  4. Oh thank you lovely friend for your feature! I use Facebook and instagram to post my progress because it's so easy from my phone and my lap top died from a malignant cup of tea. I get a good response there and enjoy the conversation, but I don't browse much unless I'm searching for something. I'm not really into the cat and food photos! I use screen shot to save quilts that inspire me onto my phone and I find it so much more user friendly than Flickr. I've also found IG great for getting to know the care circle girls well.

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    1. Oh, and I really only read yours and amh. In big long chunks, every fortnight or so. And Red Pepper Quilts. But I love blogs when I'm browsing the Web for ideas or tutorials. :) I think I would enjoy my blog list more if I did a serious cull! Maybe you've inspired me to do so!

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    2. For me, keeping the size of my bloglist manageable is a huge deal in keeping it enjoyable. At the same time, I totally get the appeal of reading a blog in big chunks from time to time. That's like sitting down with a book, sort of =)

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on how the other social medias work for you. I don't mean to imply that other medias are bad or useless, only that I have found my happy place here.

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  5. I'm very much in agreement with needle and nest. I don't do FB, IG, or Twitter and I would be very sad if blogs went away. For non-quilty/sewing I enjoy ReadingMyTeaLeaves.com especially when she writes the "My Week In Objects" post. I also really like AndSewItGoes.com - she is in Spain right now and it is very interesting reading. She is an art quilter and does lovely work. For quilting, two of my favorites are FilmInTheFridge and SewKatieDid. And I always enjoy http://www.conniekresin.com/ Those are the ones, plus yours, that I always make it a point to check out even when I might be short on time. Now I will have to investigate your favorites. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. I am a blog reader - started when my daughter started writing a blog when she discovered she was expecting triplets - now that she is wrangling her 3 y/o mini mafia she only posts about three times a year. I discovered quilting blogs via google reader and also went to bloglovin when they disbanded. I am a recent widow, and reading the daily blogs is part of my routine now. I do not do pinterest, Ig, or twitter and I try to keep my FB for family. I have learned so much from blogland. I know that there were be a void in my day without following along with the adventures and accomplishments of a very large group of talented people, yourself included. Keep up the great work -

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    1. What a nice note, Lynda! I am amazed and blessed by the way blogs bring the world together. Other medias do that too, of course, but this is my home and my meeting place.

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  7. OMG the boat is amazing. Thanks for making me discover it !

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  8. I'm with you Rachel, I read blogs but that is all the social media I do. I like to sit down and read a good blog post, whether it has inspiring quilts/crafts, beautiful pictures, words that speak to me or something funny. It's my favorite way of keeping up with those I enjoy out on the web.

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  9. I've been a devout reader of crafy blogs for over six years now, but my experiences and knowledge has grown most by starting to blog myself (frombolttobeauty.blogspot.com). I love the quilting community I've found online, and some of the friendships started there have turned into real-life, face-to-face friendships (so cool!)

    I don't have time for Twitter or FB. I resisted IG for a long time but find that it has a place in my creative process. I try to blog only when I have something worthwhile to say, so IG is a great way to throw an idea or a WIP out there and get quick cheers/feedback/direction from other creative types.

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  10. My very first blog post was September 8, 2006. Wow! I don't have any followers or the amount of posts as others (only 477 in 8 years), but I'm still a blogger. I'm not on Instagram or Twitter, for I have enough distraction with everyday life. I do have a FB account, but I'm not on there much anymore. My blog feed is longer than it should be, but I'm still selective on what I read. I only allow myself so much time on the computer and want to use it wisely.

    One non-quilty blog that I really enjoy is "Confessions of a Pioneer Woman". Ree Drumond, of Pioneer Woman fame via The Food Network, is the author. She lives on a ranch in Oklahoma, home schools her 4 kids, talks about real life, and is very funny!

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  11. I have my favorite blogs on my bookmarks page. The really good ones I get on various blog feeds or email but more often I just scroll through my bookmarks and see what's there. I like blogs that post on a regular basis (mostly M-F at least) where the information is relevant (quilting, sewing) and where there is not too much "selling." If a blog becomes unreliable in its frequency, I drop it.
    Sew Katie Did is a good site but the frequency issue has her on probation right now!
    AMH is really only monthly, so I keep that in mind. If I find a new blog that inspires I will take a week to read the whole blog in bits and pieces and then pick it up daily. I enjoy blogs that switch the sewing around--I do not want to see endless strip quilts. I used to read Jay Bird but only read her occasionally now because of the constant selling. I also dropped Oh Fransson--she took a break for several months and I never went back--sorry Angela.
    I read some lifestyle blogs--I am in my 60s and contrary to some stereotypes--I enjoy fashion and style. I'm not into cooking and don't read anything to do with food.
    I enjoy Soulemama--which is totally out of my own life--but some interesting stuff there. She doesn't do much sewing--but when she does, it is lovely. Some of her recipes are also interesting.
    She has 5 kids (Yikes) and homesteads, and does non-school homeschooling--as I said--WAAAY out of my life, but I like it.
    I go on FB less frequently to catch up on a few friends but rarely for quilting/sewing--not enough content. No to IG and rarely Pinterest.
    The only change I would like in Stitched in Color would be to see new postings in the early morning instead of waiting until 2.30.

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    1. I've enjoyed Soulemama too, but lost track with her. Maybe I'll try again! Thanks for your thoughts.

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  12. I really enjoy the IG community for seeing WIP's ... but blogland has my heart for big finishes :)

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  13. I have also limited my "media diet"..to a few (okay maybe close to 20) blogs...no IG or Pinterest...I think i would just get lost in cyberland if I did it all, lol! I never followed blogs on reader or bloglovin...I just go to my blog dashboard. I do like the heads ups(?) I get through FB of different fabric-y things...I would love my FB if all I ever had on my newsfeed were fabric shop and fabric related updates...well that and babies...I love when my friends have babies :)

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  14. I have a limited list too but I recently went tech free on a camping holiday with my family and friends. It was so nice to enjoy the company of people who were with me and forget about the world outside. However it did leave me with 278 blog posts to read by the time I got back to reality. I have it down to 200 and I'm just reading the new ones each few days and catching up on one or 2 when I have a chance. Maybe I'll be caught up by Christmas.
    I really only wanted to get back to angled so the rest of the inspiration will have to wait.

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  15. I have never recovered from Google Reader's disappearance. I still read blogs, but not as often and not as many. I feel like there are so many things gong on that sometimes I forget. I really need to pare my list down even more so that it is more manageable.

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  16. Such a great post for someone like me who still very much loves to read blogs and to blog. I, too, have cut down on the number of blogs I read, but I find they are still so much more than the more "instant" forms of social media! Thanks for introducing me to a couple of new blogs!

    PS I love feedly...I almost think I love it more than Google Reader!

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  17. Rosemary B here:
    I read your blog, Happy Quilting, Treadlemusic (she is fun and cool) and inbox jaunt.

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    1. My iPad is so annoying. Sometimes it refuses to type.
      So those are the blogs I read regularly. There are others but I glance over them, then quickly move on. I have no time these days for sitting and reading, I know that sounds harsh, but really, taking care of my oldsters is great and wonderful, but when I get home I want to get some sewing done. I get kinda bummed when I read all of these amazing blogs and I just want to make everything.
      I like "in color order" too. Jeni is wonderful
      Thank you for sharing these blogs. Of corse I will sub to them :-)

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    2. Wow, inbox jaunt has a lots of FMQ tutorials. Neat!

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  18. I don't know how many blogs I follow on BL; I'm too scared to count. But I do have a lot of posts to read! I kind of want to make everyone stop posting for a week, so we can have a catch up week :) Currently I have 94 unread posts, and that's after getting down to about 62 yesterday. I find everytime I try and catch up, I can read 30 posts but 30 new posts spring up. I've tried filtering my BL feeds so the blogs who are very selly and/or blogs I'm not likely to comment on are in their own group, so I can concentrate on other blogs -- like favourites, and friends, and go back to the other ones as time permits. I probably should remove some blogs from my feed, but then I kind of feel bad about it!

    I like IG and use it a lot. I prefer blog posts as they have more substance but on IG I can share quick WIP shots as I'm actually working. To make a blog post about that, I have to keep stopping while I'm working to take a photo with my camera and then I tend to lose momentum (or am tempted to get up and write that WIP post!)

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  19. I love reading april two eighty. she doesn't post on any specific schedule so they are sporadic. but i always click through. her projects are always interesting and daring!

    i love blogs more than other social media as well. i feel like it has meat on it's bones...

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  20. I'm so glad to know you will still be blogging. I miss so many of the blogs I used to read because they have gone to IG. I enjoy Jolene's blog too. Such a breath of fresh air ; )
    Enjoy your week

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  21. I don't Facebook. I'm glad there are still bloggers out there.

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  22. I like blogging because it allows me to tell the story of my make. I follow over a hundred blogs, either in WordPress reader or in feedly, but I usually get behind by about a month then I'll sit down on the weekend and do a huge catch up. An interesting non-sewing blog is The Kitchens Garden, a writer who is farming organically and sustainably in the Midwest. She has fantastic pictures and posts almost every morning really early, so her readers can catch up over coffee :)

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  23. Wow, Rachel, I'm so honored that you would include my blog on such a short list! Thank you!

    I resonate with your thoughts on social media for sure - and am glad to know I'm not alone! I don't do FB at all. I quit a couple of years ago and for me, it was such a good decision. I also quit Instagram a couple of years ago, too. I was nursing a lot - having a high need baby and then toddler, so I did have the time to read on my phone at night or nap times while nursing. But both of those sources of social media seemed to leave me feeling drained for some reason. I ended up buying two Bible apps for my phone - the NLT which I enjoy reading in and the ESV Study Bible which I like to study in and I decided to read the Bible in a year instead. The impetus for that decision was that I was at a crossroads with my faith and I didn't know what I believed anymore. My first time reading the Bible cover to cover was really hard actually. It probably made things harder from a faith perspective, not easier - at least until I got to the New Testament. The second time through I did a pretty intense study of what felt inconsistent or didn't make sense to me. I learned so much that year, namely that so much of the way we (mis)interpret the Bible is due to reading it through the lens of our culture. And this year, it's been great and more relaxed because I feel I got most of those /big questions/ out of the way and now the words just speak to me. The kids and I right now are working on memorizing Hebrews 11-12:3.

    I used to read RHE, too, but I felt I needed a break for awhile from sort of angsty Christianity, maybe because I can lean in that direction myself. Although I followed her for years and loved both of her books so much! Do you read The Art of Simple? I don't follow many blogs but that is one I enjoy. And I love your blog so much, even though I have absolutely no desire to quilt right now. You're just that special. <3 :)

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    1. I just added The Art of Simple to my feed. I think that's something I could benefit from. Thanks!

      I have just recently found a new spark for reading the Bible, probably due to the fact that I look at it really differently now and I'm kind of at a turning point in my faith. RHE certainly is angsty Christianity, but that seems to be exactly where I am right now. I'm going to follow these threads while I have the mental energy... which may certainly be not much longer!

      Thanks for your thoughts!

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  24. Well, obviously I read yours :) I really appreciate the incredible raw honest glimpses of your life and emotions. And you have great quilty sewing things as well, bonus. One blog I read no matter how frequent the posts are is Completely Cauchy. There are little glimpses into life, great explanation of creative thought processes. And the things she makes just come from a different wonderful point of view.

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    1. Yes, I read her too, Jeifner. She is so much her own person, which is incredible and refreshing.

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  25. I enjoyed reading your post and reading everyone's comments. I only read blogs about quilting and I don't do any other kind of social media. I have a hard time calming my mind sometimes and too many things to check makes me antsy. Also I feel guilty when I am looking at my phone in my kids' presence. A few months ago I stopped my Facebook account for the same reasons. I read somewhere about the difference between an artist and designer and an artist looks inward for inspiration whereas a designer looks outward at trends. Since stopping all the social media I do feel as though my ideas are better and I have more clarity to my vision for what I want to make. And I feel much happier and fulfilled and connected to life the less I'm looking at a screen. I only check a handful of blogs regularly, svetlana's is at the top of that list. Tickle and hide, blue elephant stitches, crazy mom quilts, cluck cluck sew, sunshine through the rain, Maureen cracknell and yours round out the list! I feel very connected to the people who write these blogs and can remember exactly what photo got me hooked reading their blog. For Svetlana, it was her sherbet pips girl on a swing mug rug, Alison Harris's zig zag table runner, and your half a trip around the world.

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  26. For me blogs fall into three categories: those I skim for inspiration, those I read because I like the person, and those I read because they are some of my closest dearest friends. And all of these I have grouped into different categories in Feedly, so when I have hundreds to catch up on, I can zoom in to the ones I really want to read. A lot of the ones in the skim category are sales heavy, but I just don't read those ones. :D You have some of my favorites already listed, but I would add for options (other than my own of course ;P) Erica at Kitchen Table Quilting is always inspiring, Ashley at Wasn't Quilt in a Day is just hilarious and has a very honest style which I appreciate, Mel at Melintheattic I feel has a very refreshing feel to her quilts and her personality, and Karin at Leigh Laurel Studios who has gorgeous projects and is truly a nice person outside of bloggyland too. Yours is in there too, but I figure you already read yours. :D

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  27. I do facebook, mainly for family and friends that I actually know. I was really happy to read your love for blogs over twitter and instagram. I don't do either. I have way too many blogs in my feed at bloglovin', but I am slowly culling the ones that don't really do anything for me. I love great photos, bright colors and lots of quilts. I find that some of the first blogs I began to follow back in 2010 no longer post much. They have gone on to write books and design fabric and have left their readers in the dust in favor of instagram. I am culling them too. I love coming here to see what you have to say about everything. Love your classes. I took color intensive. Just keep doing what you're doing.

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  28. Hi Rachel. Your was one of the very first blogs I ever followed. My first ever quilt along was your Bottled Rainbows! I don't do FB, or Instagram or Twitter. I only blog when I get a chance or really have something to say, maybe six or seven times a month. One of my very favorite blogs is Posie Gets Cozy. Alicia has the most lovely photos. She makes beautiful patterns for felt animal toys and all their clothes and accessories. I really enjoy your style and the colorful quilts you make.

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  29. I agree with you. None of that Facebook or Instagram or Twitter stuff. Just blogs. When Google Reader went away I started to use InoReader. It's almost exactly like Google Reader, and I love it. One of my favorite blogs is Mary Fons' blog. She writes about her life in the most amazing way.

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  30. I missed this! Thanks for your love, it gives me a boost and makes me want to blog properly again! I love how you say my quilts slowly unfold, how lovely xx

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