Welcome to the final week of the 2018 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. Over the past two months, we’ve been working making our blogs better and talking quilty things. Please visit our awesome hosts to see who else is introducing themselves this week and to enter to win some great prizes (giveaway details are at the end of this post). Our hosts are Sandra from mmm! quilts (and my hive leader), Beth from Cooking Up Quilts, Jennifer from Dizzy Quilter, and Tish from Tish n Wonderland.

2018 new quilt bloggers blog hop button with host web site information

My Quilting Journey

I started quilting over 20 years ago the old fashioned way. You either had to know someone who quilted or just figure it out on your own. I did a little of both, but not until after I shredded a cardboard cutting mat. The story is hilarious and worth the click. Long story short, though, a quilting friend took pity on me and helped me through finishing my very ugly first quilt. She also helped me through my second quilt, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

close up of yellow and blue quilt

Like a cheap pair of sunglasses from the 7 Eleven, this quilt is still hanging in there. I often joke about just setting it on fire, but it’s great for picnics.

Some Quilty Advice

I think it’s an overused phrase, but “you do you.” I spend a lot of time in beginner groups online answering questions and providing support where I can. So many new quilters wonder if they are “allowed” to do something a certain way and are worried that the quilt police will come get them if they do it “wrong.”

Quilting today is an art, and I truly believe there’s no wrong way to do art. What’s created might not suit every taste, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s not done right. I quilt to feed my creative soul, and I really don’t care if you like what I’ve created or not. I made it for me. Take that to heart when you’re creating. If it feels right, it is right.

[bctt tweet=”Quilting today is an art, and there’s no wrong way to do art. If it feels right, it is right.” username=”loveofthread”]

Also, get new friends. You don’t need that kind of negativity!

My Family

I live in Alexandria, Virginia, with my cat, Mitchell. He’s just the best, and he enjoys sitting in my lap when I sew. Despite the language barrier, we have lengthy conversations about color placement and technique all day long.

You didn’t need these pieces, Mom. I need them for my snoozle.

I tell Mitchell all the time he’s my favorite child because he will never leave me to go to college in California.

That brings me to my beautiful human daughter, Emily. Even though she’s going to college in California – and I miss her terribly – she’s the best thing I ever did. She’s loving, loyal, and would do anything for anyone. I don’t know how I got so lucky to be her mom! While I was never able to turn her into a quilter, she is amazing at making custom clothing. Half her closet is stuff she either made or altered to make it her own.

She just finished her junior year at California State University East Bay. In two more years, she’ll graduate as a physical therapist and wants to work with military veterans or children with cancer. Letting her go was hard, but it’s been amazing watching her grow into a wonderful human who’s going to make a difference in the world.

Mother-daughter date on a recent visit. I’m so lucky to have her!

My Work

I work at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as what the government likes to call a Public Affairs Specialist. I’m in charge of internal communications and branding for my office. Finding new and creative ways to tell our story also feeds my creative soul.

After a disaster, my office sends doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals into affected communities, and then I serve as their press officer. I track down local and national reporters and producers and get them to tour our sites and interview our teams so we can show the community and the public in general what it is we’re doing to help.

During the crazy hurricane season last year, I spent nearly 40 days total on the road responding to Hurricanes Harvey in Texas, Irma in Florida, and Maria in Puerto Rico. It was long, exhausting work, but it was humbling to see what a difference we made. I will tell stories about the people we helped, our teams who helped them, and the things I got to see and do for a very long time to come.

For instance, I was able to meet Harry Connick, Jr. when he came to visit the shelter our medical teams were in!

I truly don’t remember anything I talked about this day. I was completely fan-girling with the nurses on our team!

Blog Goals

My biggest goal for my blog is for it to be a place where you can learn and love quilting. Since I’m still new at this, I’m working on finding a balance between teaching a technique or project, showing you my finished quilts, and just commenting on quilting in general. The good news is that I’m like a radio station from the 90s! I take requests. If there’s something you want to know more about, feel free to send me an email asking for a specific post.

I’m also happy to use this space to make new quilting friends. Just hit any of the buttons in my sidebar if you want to connect. The internet and social media make it so no one has to go on their quilting journey alone. I hope you’ll join me on mine and share yours with me.

The Giveaway

If you hung in with me this far, you definitely deserve a chance to win some prizes. So here’s the deal: leave me a comment on this post and then head over to any one of our hosts’ sites and fill out the Rafflecopter form. Seriously… that’s it. Here are this year’s sponsors:

Here’s a pic from my hive leader’s site showing you all our amazing sponsors. Who’s feeling lucky?

My hive is “In Stitches” to be participating in this year’s blog hop. Check out our button by Carrie from Carrie Bee Creates!