Wednesday, April 8, 2015

It's a celebration!

Hi all {waving wildly}! Today is a very happy day here at The Academic Quilter. Yesterday was my 112th post and my one-year blogging anniversary! Plus, spring is popping up all over. Flowers are on the way! On top of that, we had Opening Day for the Milwaukee Brewers. Looking forward to going to the stadium soon. Add in some leftover Easter chocolate and we can really call this a party!

Mary's Linens

So much has happened in the last year, almost all of it good. I have learned so much and done a lot of things I never thought I would. Most importantly, I have made some good friends, and wouldn't you know--they all like talking about fabric, thread, color, and quilting!

Vin du Jour

Happy things from this year:

** The incredible creative people I've met and learned from.

** My sewing in general has become more organized and more focused. Planning for blog posts tends to focus the brain on what needs to be finished!

** Discovering new blogs from all over the world through link-ups and seeing projects from many different perspectives.

** The comments I've gotten, most of them very positive and encouraging. Thanks everyone!

** New pattern designs I would never have heard of without blogs.

** Same with fabric! Plus, I've found out about many great new places to shop for this fabulous fabric.

**Trying new things, like crumb blocks and walking-foot quilting.

**Inspiration and motivation from the quilting community every day.

**The quilts! (All photos in this post are quilts from the past year.)

Afternoon on the Porch

And some challenges:

** Photos. This has been the biggest challenge for me in writing this blog. A new camera might help (mine is from 2004), but in reality I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to photos.  Happy to take any advice!

**Spam commenters. Go away!

** The whole 'no-reply' thing and other computer issues. I thought I was pretty computer savvy, but some things have truly stumped me.

** Hmmm, I can't really think of anything else that's negative!

Fiesta Pinwheels

So, let me say thank you to everyone for stopping by to read this little blog, leaving comments, and making me feel like cutting up fabric, playing with color, sewing every day, and having strange threads on all my clothes is totally normal and even something to be encouraged. I can't even tell you what that's meant to me. You've made my day!

As a more tangible thank you, how about a fun giveaway?  I have these to give away to TWO lucky winners:

Sorry, this giveaway is now closed! Congratulations to Barb and Viridian!

Aren't these gorgeous? This is two different sets of 6 fat quarters of Paradiso by Kate Spain for Moda, so TWO winners! (Let's keep the sets just as shown, one on top and one on the bottom.)  I am willing to send these pretty much anywhere in the world. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post (and only this post) with your best blog tip or photo tip.  If you don't have a tip, how about a suggestion for something to do in the next year of this blog? No need to be a follower or anything--everyone is welcome to enter.  I will use the random number gadget thingy (that's its technical name) to draw TWO names on Sunday, April 12, around noonish Central time. Remember to leave an email if you are no-reply so I can notify you.

Again, thanks to everyone for this past year. I've been both humbled and gratified since I first pressed that "publish" button a year ago, and I certainly plan on continuing for a while. (And we'll remain a 'non-profit,' too! No ads!)

Happy sewing everyone!

Linking with Let's Bee Social and WIP Wednesday.


  1. Congratulations on your anniversary! I love your blog ~ Not even sure how I found you :) I don't have any tips for you since I am not very computer savy, but I'd love a chance to win those beautiful fabrics. Keep doing what you're doing!!

    Barb Tazelaar
    Sioux Center, IA

  2. Congratulations on your blogaversary. I tried to do the blog thing, but had a hard time getting into the habit. I think I may try again soon, as it is a great way to document your endeavors. I found your blog on Let's be social, and those fat quarters grabbed my eye.
    A tip I use for pictures is - if you are using digital camera just keep clicking and taking pictures then you have a lot to choose from.
    Keep up the great work, I love your quilts.
    Vicki (

  3. Congrats Mari! My tip is just to keep on blogging and have fun with it! If you get tired or bored, take a break! And don't be afraid to start lots and lots of new projects! Pugs and kisses, Nancy

  4. Congratulations on the blogiversary! I feel the same way that you do about all of the things I've learned and quilters I've been inspired by since starting my blog.

    My photo tip has to do with choosing fabric colors. When looking at the contrast in fabrics, take a picture and change it to black and white. You can really see the contrasts between lights, mediums, and darks.

  5. Congratulations on your blogiversary! Wish the Brewers had celebrated with a win!! Badgers did their best though! K have been enjoying you blog for most of the past year. I've tried blogging, and hope to try again, but life gets in the way! Maybe when my kids are older. For now, I am happy to find time to sew every week!
    I think you should consider doing a Linky party in the next year. Pick a topic or area of quilting you enjoy and host a link up. Does any body do a row quilt link up?
    Thanks for the opportunity to win the lovely fabric. Hey! If I do win, we can meet to deliver/pick up. I'm in the Milwaukee area too!

  6. Congratulations on a terrific blog. Your pictures are just fine,and when I see your quilts I want to go sew. I have no blog tips, but I am interested in your sewing space and how you go about selecting your fabrics. What is your thought process as you go about planning the pattern and fabrics?
    Good luck!

  7. Congratulations and well done. I would never have guessed you've only been blogging for a year! I found you through soscrappy--my sister also links for the RSC. I've never blogged, so no tips--except keep up the good work. Thanks for your generous give-away...and especially for sharing your work and life for us to learn from and appreciate.

  8. Congrats! It is a good reason to Party! I too found this crazy quilty, blogging world about a year ago and it's a wonderful place to be! Here are to many more quilts and blog posts! The only tip, I can think of is go onto Pinterest and search camera tips, there are some really good ones, even for us that don't have a fancy, smancy camera. P.S. that's for the giveaway.

  9. Congrats on the anniversary. I wish I had a tip to share, but i don't have a blog. I just enjoy finding all the wonderful quilts those of you who blog share with us all. It is great inspiration.

  10. Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary blogging! I love the bright, happy colors you use in your quilts.

    My biggest tip when photographing is to take lots and lots and then edit until you get the one you want. Take outdoor photos in the morning if you can as the afternoon sun can be really bright. I use the free online version of Picmonkey for my editing.

    Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.

  11. Congratulations on one year of blogging! I love Kate Spain fabric! My suggestion would just be to keep up the good work in your second year. marilynrobin at

  12. Congratulations!! Yours was one of the first blogs I read after coming to Blogland, and I still enjoy every post. Photo tips? You probably won't get any serious ones from me. Maybe tell the wind to JUST. STOP. BLOWING. I do find that the days I think will be wonderful for photographing turn out to be not that great. Sun can be harsh, with lots of unwanted shadows that you don't notice until you look at the photos. So try for a bright but overcast day. And make sure to get some closeups and some pictures from an angle. Whole quilt pictures are great, but it's also fun to see the details and the quilting.

  13. Congrats on 1 year! I wish I had some tips to give you but I don't have a blog. At 36 I'm supposed to be all over the social media thing but I'm still pretty shy and haven't taken the plunge. But I'm so glad you did!

  14. I'm visiting from WIP Wednesday, how nice to join your party! Best blogging tip? Share the failure as well as the success. Congratulations on your 1st year of blogging.

  15. Yay for bloggiversary! Loving that purple quilt. Blogging tip-buy your own domain, even if you still plan on using blogger. You can redirect your blogger to that domain but it helps identify your "home" on the internet!

  16. I enjoy reading your blog. My only tip is not to make a post toooo long. If there is a lot of content o a few posts and schedule them ahead of time especially if you ar going to be busy or away. Your blog will still be active.

  17. Happy anniversary! My two tips: try and blog semi-regularly (I'm not always end so good at this one) and respond to your commenters (easier maybe if you don't have a large audience)!

  18. Congratulations! You've already liked/not liked so much, it took me a lot longer to understand half of that! Photos are so important and something I'm (very slowly) trying to improve. My tip is natural light and trying to find a location that suits the work you want to photograph.

  19. Happy blogo-versary! Isn't it amazing how quickly a year can fly by in blogland? As for a tip, I like to stack posts. When I have time, I write as many posts as I can. I often write parts of my posts for finished projects as I work on them and add the photos when it's actually finished.

  20. What's that saying,,, time flies when your having fun. Congratulations on your anniversary. This forum is a wonderful medium for our passions and finding kinships with like minded souls sharing sparks of inspiration and creativity along the way.

  21. No add'l tips, just share when you can and continue making this world a better place just by being you.

  22. Grats on your 112th post and 1 year of blogging. I am also challenged by taking photos of my quilts and quilts-in-progress. I am thinking of taking Wordpress's Blogging University free photography course. Maybe you would find it helpful?

  23. Happy Anniversary! I would borrow a suggestion from Bonnie Hunter to use Leaders and Enders when you sew as then you're saving thread and accomplishing more during each sewing session. Thanks for the drawing opportunity.

  24. Congratulations! I've only been getting your posts for a short time, but look forward to each one. My tip for getting good photos: find someone who's good at it and give them the job! (I can see that I will be in trouble in a few years when my daughter moves out, but for now it works!) I love your "Afternoon on the Porch" quilt.

  25. Congratulations! I am only a new blogger, but routinely look up your blog to check out your latest quilting fun. My photo related hint would be to move somewhere rural, with wagon wheels, corn fields, old tractors etc to use as props. Failing this, since its hard to get tenure at the drop of a hat, avoid taking photos with an ipad. They just don't work.

  26. Congrats, and yes spring is coming, for sure. viridian

  27. Hi Mari - I only just met you on my blog today (Thanks for your wonderful comment there!) So don't enter me in the giveaway. I just wanted to wish you a happy blog anniversary! And kudos to you for those lovely quilts and 112 posts! That is all something to be very proud of!

  28. I absolutely love "Mary's Linen". Purple is my color and the corner blocks are intiguing.
    Can't help with tips since I don't blog and haven't the faintest idea of how to post a picture. I just love reading blogs and being inspired.

  29. Congrats Mari! I love your blog and your wit. You make me smile with every post. Your have a nice sense of color- always happy and bright. Can you swap out lenses on your camera? I recently bought a 50mm lens and love it. Nice for close up shots which is fun when showing piecework or stitching. Just a thought.

  30. Many congratulations on your Anniversary. No tips as such, just keep showing the photos of your quilts and the fabric to keep us inspired!

  31. I love your blog. Found it through CrazyMom's Friday Finishes. I just love the way quilters and bloggers follow each other and post on each other's blogs. Like bees cross pollinating the flowers. Everything blooms!

  32. Looks great! Tips? Hmmmm.... I like to usemyIphone to take pictures, put them up on my blog, and then use the computer for the actual post. Makes it a bit easier that way. Thanks for the chance to win- love the fabrics!

  33. Congratulations!!! Perseverance is the key to most things.


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