Saturday, September 6, 2014

Around the World Blog Tour

Note to Readers: This is a very long blog post, but don't worry, I have scheduled an intermission. Also, this blog post is early, it's not supposed to be published until Monday.

My dear friend Daphne, who blogs over at Ivy, Phyllis and Me, "tagged" me last week to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop. What is a Blog Hop you might ask? Well, basically, it's like a giant chain letter for bloggers without the bad luck. Daphne's friend CeLynne tagged her, then Daphne tagged three other bloggers, I will tag three other bloggers, until we have tagged every blogger in the entire universe! And you don't have to dump any ice water over your head!

The questions I will answer for you today include:
  1. What am I working on?  
  2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?  
  3. Why do I write/create what I do?  
  4. How does my writing/creating process work?
So before I get started, let me give a great big thank you to my friend Daphne for nominating me. You can read more about Daphne, in her lovely Blog Tour post here. Daphne writes the most beautiful cooking blog, including a musical sound track to cook by, which is a visual treat for the eyes. I have been known to send a recipe to Mike in hopes that he will make it. One day I hope to go to England and hang out in the kitchen with Daphne while she makes me every thing in this chocolate fest post. Or Daphne can come here to the U.S. and cook with Mike. I'll take her husband George to the hardware store. And everyone can get some pug love.
Have sewing machine, will travel! Sewing with Marion this summer at the beach!
1. What am I working on? 
A lot. At all times. I have more UFOs then you can imagine. I try to keep one project in the car for my weekly Thursday Night quilt excursions and have another quilt project going in the Studio. But I am also burdened by quilt obligations that sneak in like my Brown Bagger (monthly Sunday quilting group) Birthday Blocks and Row by Row Exchange. Thankfully, I am three blocks away from finishing this year's Birthday Blocks and our Row by Row Exchange is tomorrow! I think that I am taking a break from Birthday Blocks next year. I cut out three new quilt projects in the past few weeks, blogged here and here, and I got a new quilt kit in the mail. Plus, my Scrappy Bargello has only two panels left to finish.

Scrappy Bargello in progress! Happy colors!
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? I like to think of myself as without genre.
Got genre, Baby?
My quilt projects are driven more by the fabric and the colors than by pattern or originality. I love color, as long as it's not brown or beige, and like to use it liberally in my quilts. And I love fabric! Also, the fabric is often dictated by the recipient. For example, last year I told my friend MaryKate that I would make her a quilt and she chose a pre-printed panel. Lately my quilts have been exceedingly simple, but the fabrics are singing. And surprisingly, so far this year, all the quilts that I've finished or are close to finishing have been made out of my Stash. But don't worry, I'm frequently replenishing the Stash.
Adding to the Stash! Must support the economy!
BLOG INTERMISSION. Take a break and come back.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I've always enjoyed writing and making things. My Grandma Tilly taught me to crochet and knit when I was young. I liked making sewing cards. Anyone else remember those? I've done lots of other crafts such as woodworking, stained glass, and counted cross stitch, but I always come back to sewing. My Mom taught me to use her Kenmore sewing machine when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade and I began by making doll clothes. In 4th grade, there was an after school sewing program and I made a halter top and shorts (it was the '70s). I enjoyed making clothes; however once I discovered quilting, that became my primary focus. The beauty of quilting, for me, is that you only need to sew a straight stitch, and if your quilt is too small, it can become a place mat or a mug rug, and if your table runner is too big, it can be a bed quilt.

I have also enjoyed creative writing since I was young. I had a monthly humor column in my high school newspaper and a weekly humor column in my college newspaper at Boston University's Daily Free Press (anyone ever read Trivial Pursuits by NB Cohen?). For the past four years, I've been writing a semi-monthly humor blog that is published on our corporate Intranet (I work for a large insurance/investment company). I plan to set up a separate blog so I can publish these posts for everyone to enjoy. I love blogging because it combines all of my passions: writing, photography, and quilting into one! Writing my blog at work inspired me to start my quilting blog.

4. How does my writing/creative process work?
I talk to myself in my head all day long, kind of like an ongoing sitcom narration. I talk or sing (making up my own songs, of course) to the pugs when I take them for a walk. It's hard to shut my brain off, which may account for the very colorful dreams I usually have every night. When I write a blog post, I usually have a lot of the ideas already thought out in my head and they just flow out of my hands onto the keys and into the computer. I do take a lot of time with my writing. I check my sources and links thoroughly, I proofread and I run spell check. Spelling errors make me crazy! Note: I am a "professional communicator", so many of these things are just second nature to me. It's probably taken me about four hours to write this post and I've been thinking about it for a week. I try to post on this blog at least twice a week. So far, my only "regular" feature is Quilt of the Month, which I instituted this year in an attempt to show you some of my older quilts from my pre-blogging days. There are still a few more to go! I think I may also start a Top 10 monthly list, because I had a great time writing my 10 Quilty Little Secrets.

My quilting aka creative process varies from my writing process in that it is much more impulsive. I love fabric like a magpie loves shiny things (although I like shiny things too!) and I jump from one project to another. You should also know that I am the slowest sewer in the world. Quilts can go unfinished for years, although most of my UFOs are things for myself; I tend to finish quilts that are intended for others. I have to meet a lot of deadlines for my real job, so I try not to give myself too many deadlines for quilting. It's my hobby! It's supposed to be fun. I do admit to making a monthly quilting "to-do" list, but I give myself permission not to look at it...

Tag! You're it!

Meet my friend Kat, who blogs at Made with Love and Ladybug Hugs. I dare you not to fall in love with my friend Kat, especially after you read this entry on the meaning of ladybugs. Kat does a variety of quilting projects, from bags, to t-shirt quilts to charity quilts. And she also made darling costumes when her family took a Disney cruise. In addition to being a Mom and a quilter, she works full time, and runs marathons! I hope to meet her this winter when I go to Florida to visit my parents.

Meet my friend Tanya, who blogs at Tanya Quilts in CO. Tanya's quilts are wonderful. I openly covet her orange peel quilt that she recently finished. She also does gorgeous needlework, like this cross stitch sampler. Tanya is a teacher and a Mom, and she has two dogs. I recently found out that she is a football fan. You can find my blog on Tanya's blog roll!

My friend LeeAnna was too busy to join the blog hop, but make sure to read her blog at Not Afraid of Color. And my friend Lara at BuzzinBumble, who is too busy because she is publishing a quilt book! And I could list at least 20 other blog friends, but you can find them on my blog roll. They're a fun bunch!

And since the nut doesn't fall far from the tree, if you need a good laugh, check out my brother Gary's blog at Cohencide. Warning: he's not a quilter, he's extremely sarcastic, and you may see a naked Barbie doll. Or read my Mom's column in the monthly newsletter at Majestic Isles (she's the editor and a monthly columnist, but not a quilter). If you read the summer issue 2014, Mom's article is on page 12.
Mike and I are headed to the beach! See you in a week.
If you've made it all the way through this blog entry, thanks for visiting! Don't forget to go visit all the other great blogs that I've mentioned!

Pugs and kisses,


  1. Have a great week at the beach. That sounds like tons of fun! I need a vacation away.

  2. So fun to get to know ya a little better. You intermission made me smile. Happy time at the beach!!

  3. wonderful!! I loved every moment of it, and ate a small bowl of ice cream which I shared with Cole, during intermission. I had no idea of all your writing experiences!
    So impressive.
    Hope your vacation is sunny and fun and you tell us all about it later. LeeAnna

  4. Oh, I can't wait to see your scrappy Bargello! Your strips look amazing. Love your sense of humor and checked out your brother's blog - it runs in the family LOL

    Have a wonderful vacation!

  5. Your posts always make me smile. Thanks for the nomination and kind words, looking forward to my hop stop!

  6. Good Afternoon Nancy, What a wonderful post.... I loved reading all about you. I knew you were a talented lady, but I had no idea that you had such writing talent.
    I loved your intermission....but I have to tell you, I did not need a break, as I was enjoying what you had so say.
    Thank you so much for taking part in the Around the World Blog Tour.... I just knew you would be fabulous.
    Have a wonderful, relaxing, holiday.
    Best Wishes to you.

  7. I will have to follow your humor blog as well, that is one of my favorite things of your blog, the humor you put into the writing. Along with many, many other parts. Fabric, pugs, quilts... Enjoy your vacation!

  8. Nancy, you did such a wonderful job answering all the blog hop questions and i loved learning more about you as a person and as a quilter! Well I am not at all surprised to learn that you are a humor columnist because you are so good at making people laugh! I like that your quilting is without genre - and tailored to your recipients and mood. Your love of bright and happy colors matches your personality!

  9. What an awesome blog hop, without it I don't think I would have found your blog. You do excellent work. I too host a linky party every 2 weeks on my quilting blog and would love for you to share with my readers as well. It's called KISMIF "Keep It Simple and Make It Fun" on Hope to see you soon!--Shannon