Wednesday, October 23, 2013

post 200 celebration and giveaway

where i stand currently
it's arrived - my 200th post!

this is going to be a long post with some reminiscing, current blogosphere happenings, a blogging tip, and the celebration giveaway. stay for a while for the whole or just pick what you want - your choice. along with all the words, i'll intersperse some of my favorite sewing photos to highlight my sewing journey.


binding my first quilt
it's taken me 2 1/2 years to get here from my first post. this blog began late one night when i realized my sewing was taking over my private personal blog, which i was keeping as a family journal. sewing needed it's own space on the internet as well as in my home. also, i wanted a place to connect with other sewers. with the decision to have a sewing blog made, i fell asleep dreaming up names. then the next day, my youngest child fell seriously ill with some respiratory issues and i kept awake through the around-the-clock ordeal by working on this blog. it was a life-saver and therapeutic distraction during that experience.

my very first sewing project as an adult - headbands at girls weekend 2010
i managed to bribe a few friends to follow me, but none of them were sewers and they were just doing it to be kind. i did make one or two sewing friends through those non-sewing friends, becky being the one person who regularly talked to me about sewing. then i got pregnant and lost all interest in sewing for several months. the blog limped along. by the time i was put on bedrest (standard for me since i don't carry full term), i was interested in sewing again, but couldn't get to the machine. oh how i wish i'd known about epp at the time!

finishing touches going into "out on a limb", my first self-designed quilt
baby came and dominated life as babies will. i posted occasionally as i slowly got back into sewing. but no one was reading at all. i accepted the fact that my sewing just wasn't frequent enough or interesting enough for anyone to seriously follow. this became my sewing journal and that was okay. i did still crave interaction and dialogue because aside from jill, my friend who comes over friday mornings, no one i know sews or quilts! i got one-sided "interaction" by reading the big time blogs i admired. but there were several times when i thought about just shutting the whole thing down.

once baby was old enough and my sewing picked up, i blogged more regularly. i like photographing my sewing and talking about it, too, even if i'm only talking to myself. (anyone else read their old posts sometimes just for fun?) despite the fact that this was just for me, i decided to clean up the look of the blog a bit because i was sick of it. more than anything, i wanted a personalized banner. i came across an online class {blog (design) love}  that helped me learn how to use my photoshop elements (an unused christmas gift) and even do some html work - scary. so i went from the basic red & blue look i had to what you see now. i did have some other plans for more changes, but posting takes enough time already. i'm sure i'm not the only sewing blogger that feels they've spent time blogging about sewing they should have spent actually sewing. they are 2 interconnected yet separate hobbies.

where it began to change - linking up "plus a diamond" as a wip
in may of this year i was again on the brink of giving up blogging when some craziness possessed me and i linked up to a wip wednesday at freshly pieced. low and behold, someone, more than one actually, visited me and commented! i had found the key to connectivity. i happily remain a small blog, but a small blog that now gets me the dialogue and interaction i was seeking. and i have friends literally around the globe, posted about here.

i have found i like the intimacy of small blogs much better than the big ones. i don't fault the big blogs - they serve their purpose and are quite inspiring. however, "little" people will talk to you because they have the time. it's much more personal.

as for me, i really do like being a small fish in a small pond. it takes a lot of pressure off and allows me to continue blogging for fun. not that i have sponsors beating down my door or anyone begging me to go professional - not at all. i'm just saying i'm happy where i am in this community and with this space. quilting and blogging are a small part of my life so the blog needs to remain small. i absolutely appreciate everyone who visits and comments here but i don't have time to make a life out of sewing and blogging. i've already got one of those focused elsewhere right now. so i happily stay small.

what's current in the blogosphere

the sewing and quilting blog world, however, is huge! there is so much going on out there, even in the small circles. earlier this week i was woken up at 2am by a sick baby. she went back to sleep after some care, but i was unable to. after an hour of tossing and turning, i gave in and got on the computer. that allowed me several uninterrupted hours of browsing, a rare occurrence. there is all kinds of fun going on out there. here's a bit of what i decided to get involved in:

splish splash stash
for starters, i have my own link party going. it's a monthly link to highlight english paper piecing (epp) projects. there is already a large handful of great epp links joined up. check them out!

Penny Patch Quilt-Along
rachel at stitched in color asked a few days ago if anyone was interested in a quilt-along for her beautiful vintage tangerine quilt. i said, "absolutely" because i love that quilt, would like to learn the dogwood quilt pattern, and have a stack of fabrics that i think would be perfect for it. only problem here is she has set the qa up immediately with a schedule to be done by christmas! i wasn't expecting it that soon. and i have a load of projects i need done by christmas.

which makes the next party exciting . . .

it's a blog hop and link up to help move along our holiday makes, prize included. i've got my ambitious, crazy-idea list made and it will be posted next. thanks to rebbeca lynne and janine for the motivation and inspiration.

that rebecca lynne is one busy gal because she's also hostessing another great link:

Low Volume Swap
i've joined in the favorite fabric swap just in case there is some more meadow dot out there. the party is working for some people because i know i was able to help one person find some of her fabric request on-line at cia's palette.

i think that's all the parties and buttons i found this week so far. as if that isn't enough! but one other post greatly touched me and is worth mentioning: laura's post at little and lots about being a small blog. she's gained some real wisdom about the blogging experience. i've got a "healthy blogging" post in mind myself, but it'll have to wait for another day.

a technical blogging how-to

blogging can be daunting for those not tech savvy. there is so much to learn. do you even know what html means? i kinda do. now.  i've come a long way from my tottering baby steps into the blogging world, but i've had plenty of bumps and bruises along the way. i've really appreciated other bloggers out there who not only share their skills and knowledge with a needle, but those who help bloggers out with technical advice and photography tips. beth at plum and june is especially generous this way. she really helps baby bloggers get started.

so in honor of my 200th post, i'll share a tip i learned lately about blog formatting. i realize many people know how to do this because i've seen the widgets in your posts, but i'm betting there is at least one other person out there who this might benefit. for a while i had no idea how to insert widget buttons into my post text. i could get them on my sidebar, but i couldn't get them in my text. it's an html thing, which explains why i didn't know how to do it before. i only wish i knew how to take screen shots so i could show rather than just explain how to do it. (anyone have advice?) well, dang it, i decided to google the screenshot thing so you get a bonus tip now. go here to learn how to take a screenshot. this page will help you get it on your clipboard. i then pasted it into my photoshop to make it an image i could resize and use. pasting directly into the post didn't work.

did you ever wonder how to utilize the link button info you might see that looks like this:

splish splash stash

well, i know how to do it in blogger.
1. you select and copy everything in that grey box under the button image above.

2. go to the composition screen of the post where you want to insert the button and select the html button in the upper left corner under the orange blogger button, next to the "compose" button. when you push "html" your composition screen will change from the text you normally see to technical code/computer language.

both those screens are the same post seen in compose mode and also in  html code mode. you do have to be a little careful with html because you can permanently alter stuff and be stuck if you don't know html very well. i only mess with it with instructions. most of it is gibberish to me, but after you look at it a while you can start to make out where certain parts of your post are.

3. find where you want to insert the button image. to make this easy on myself, i insert the button immediately when and where i want it in the post without going any further. this way i know it will show up at the end of the text i already have. also, i hit the return key twice to give myself some space to work in and to make recognizing the spot easier.

every time you hit the return key for a line space, it looks like this in html code:   <br />

see down there in the bottom left corner, just above the windows button, where i've highlighted it in blue? that's where i'm going to input my copied html code.

i put my cursor behind the first <br />, click with my mouse, and then hit return to open up a new line.
once i've created a space between the 2 breaks, i paste my code i copied from the button window in there.

switch back to "compose" and you should see the button image. voila!

celebration giveaway

one of the best parts of blogging has been the generosity out there. the sharing of ideas, compliments, and actual stuff. giveaways are a big part of the sewing and quilting blogosphere. i enjoy sharing just for the fun of it. it's seems to be part of the nature of people who are attracted to quilting. so in honor of this 200th post, i'm going to offer 2 different giveaways that celebrate blogging and the crafting community out there.

i realize not everyone will want or be able to use both prizes, so i'll put them in two separate posts to allow you to enter for only the prize you are interested in. you are welcome to enter for both, if you'd like.

first up, a book because i love books about quilting and crafting just as much as i love quilting and crafting. modern quilts from the blogging universe is full of modern quilts from a variety of quilt bloggers. i think it's appropriate for a 200th post celebrating blogging and quilting. i like that it not only has the patterns but also has a bio on each blogger.

second, the e-course, blog (design) love,  for anyone who's interested in jazzing up their own blog or simply starting a new one. i found this course super helpful. don't judge the course based on my blog's design alone, either. i only used it a bit. there is tons of information here for taking your blog to a whole new level. eventually, i'd really like to get a tablet so i can use my own handwriting in this space as they demonstrate. maybe a christmas present? anywho, the course covers all 3 major blog platforms: blogger, typepad, and

links to the giveaways:
to enter for the book, go here.
to enter for the e-course, go here.

you are not entering the giveaways by leaving a comment on this post.
but you are welcome to leave me comments on the content of this post. =)

thanks, everyone, who has been a part of this quilting and blogging adventure of mine. i look forward to the next 200 (or whatever) posts.
happy sewing, y'all!

linking up to wip wednesday at freshly pieced, thursday threads at 627handworks,  and needle and thread thursday at my quilt infatuation.


  1. Wowser - what an epic post, even for you! I'm so excited you reached 200 posts - congratulations :-) and I agree the little blogs are best and make for the best friends :-)

  2. Congratulations on 200 posts!
    For me as well small blogs are the best because you can get to really 'know' the person! - although I follow several big blogs too they never have time to respond to you and I rarely comment on them!!
    I can't get your link to work but I'd love to enter the book giveaway!

  3. I love the 'story' of your blog written here and like you, I really prefer smaller blogs. I have only found your blog recently, but am now happily following!

  4. Congratulations, I will be linking up for the EPP post next time for sure, I have an 8 hour flight tomorrow so I'll have plenty of time!

  5. Congratulations, I will be linking up for the EPP post next time for sure, I have an 8 hour flight tomorrow so I'll have plenty of time!

  6. I loved this post! I feel like I know you a lot better from it. It's sort of funny when you start following someone "in the middle" it takes a while to even know how old they are, if they have kids, etc.

    I'm glad to know you and your cute blog!

  7. What a lovely quilting adventure. Great work.

  8. Congratulations on 200 posts. What a milestone! I only found you recently, but I'm glad I did.

  9. Congratulation on your 200th post!
    I love your blog! I have a similar view about small blogs. My blog is "my happy space" and I want it not to turn into work.
    I also reread my own blogtexts from time to time as I consider the blog a diary of sorts. :-) thanks for letting me know I am not the only one who does that!
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com
    ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com

  10. Congrats on 200 posts. It is a great achievement.

  11. oh congratulations Hydee. I am so happy you decided to write a blog - it has been so wonderful having your friendship from afar. I look forward to seeing all the beautiful creations you make in the years to come xx

  12. Congrats on reaching 200 posts! And thanks for sharing your blog history, I am always interested in learning the hows and the whys behind the blogs! It is amazing what we can do by learning as we go along and I am sure you feel quite accomplished as you look back through the last 2 1/2 years of blog posts.

  13. First and most exciting and important - congratulaiotns on 200 posts!!
    Second, I really enjoyed the story of your blog. One of the benefits of us little blogs is that they can ebb and flow around our lives, which the big blogs with thousands of followers can't do.
    Like you, I have a blog so that I have a space to talk about all the sewing goodness, and even if nobody but me is listening, it's a wonderful place to visit (and like you, I also revist old posts juts to see what I was doing way back when). I have loved joining the quilting community, and while it's hard not to have blog-envy of the blogs that are growing faster or are prettier or appear to have more time to sew and blog then I do, I love my little corner of the internet, and it suits me. And it makes me happy. And finding other small blogs like mine (although you're bigger than I am, so...) makes me happy too :-)
    E xx

  14. It was great to read how this blog came about and grew. I, for one am so glad I stumbled across your blog when I first got started. I really enjoy reading your posts and your quilting style is so similar to mine. I feel lucky to count you as a quilty friend!

    Thank you so much for linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  15. Congrats Hydeeann! Love your blog and talking with you is always a pleasure. So glad you stuck with it and share your quilting journey with us! Thanks for the giveaways, fingers crossed:)

  16. Such a great post. It was so fun to read about how you started your blog and how it has evolved. Congrats on your 200th post!

  17. Thanks for introducing yourself via the Inchy Hexagon blog. Glad to meet you. I'll begin following you, because you look like you have a lot to say!!


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