Sunday, August 19, 2012

Blog Hop News/Link Up 14 plus Giveaway and Advice

Plum and June

The blogs to visit this week:

Aug 21
        Marta from From Marta with Love
        Marion from My Quilt Diet

Aug 23
       Ginny from Fish Creek Studio
       May from Confessions of a Fabraholic


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This week's Advice for New Blogger's post comes from the fun and talented Rachael from Imagine Gnats.  Last month, I asked you all what questions you have for our guest bloggers and thanks to those who replied, I had a brand new set of questions for Rachael. 

1.  What part about blogging most surprised you?  Is there anything you wish you would have done differently starting out?

The people I've met, for sure! When I started out, I'm not really sure what I thought would happen, as I didn't really expect that just people I already knew would read my blog. I guess I thought that people just read blogs and then moved on. I wasn't a big blog reader, so I didn't know much about the relationships that could develop with readers and other bloggers. Starting out, I had about zero idea what I was doing. Oddly, I think that I worried more about what I shared than I do now and I think it was much less interesting! But I definitely had to start somewhere and I'm glad that I just started, even if some of those early blog posts are pretty embarrassing.

2.  Do you ever experience blog envy? If yes, how do you deal with it?

There are about a zillion blogs that I wish mine was as cool as! I'm not sure I really have blog envy, though. When I find an awesome blog, I tend to think more along the lines of, "wow, that person must be super cool. I wonder how I can get them to think they want to be friends with me?" Also, I have a ridiculously skewed sense of celebrity which makes me super excited when I actually get to talk to crafty cool bloggers :)

              image from Imagine Gnats

3.  How do you handle negative comments or feedback (if you have ever received any?)

Um, yeah. I have, although they've usually been more back-handed compliments, like coming across a pin of a tutorial I wrote that says something like, "decent how-to, but I could so do better." Eek, that was a rough one. Usually I whine to a friend (or two) until they're sick of me, and then whine a little bit more to my husband, and then let it go. I mean, there's really no point in anything else. I do try to stay positive in my blog and in my blogging relationships because I really view the crafting blog community as a place where we all get to be supportive of and supported by each other. We all have a bad day now and then, and I'm certainly a fan of sharing our difficulties and challenges and helping each other through them... but I don't think there is a place in my blog for spending time on being negative. It's just not what I'm there for.

4.  What inspires your blog posts?

My blog posts are usually inspired by what I'm making, which is most always something. When I'm not making, I do love to share links of what other things are being made, what events are happening, and just things I'd want to know about in general. Sometimes I write about family; mostly my girls, sometimes the pets, and I try to keep up on my husband's garden (though I'm way behind on that at the moment).

5.  Do you ever lose your blog mojo?  If yes, how do you get that back?

That's one of those things I hear about and I think, "huh"? I guess maybe I don't have blogging mojo to begin with? ;) Well, I hope not, but I do think that my approach to blogging is pretty laid back. If I have lots of stuff to post about (and time to do it), I'll post two things in one day. If i'm busy or I don't have things to post about, I won't and I don't worry too much about it. I've never been a huge fan of the "I have to take a break from blogging for a week" posts because I feel like if I want to take a few days off, I just will. Inevitably, as my blog has grown, I have taken on certain obligations for some posts, but as far as my "what's going on" posts, I try not to worry too much about a rigid schedule or saying certain things. I do currently have a list of about a dozen things I need to post about that I'd like to find the time to write up. So I suppose what I'd like back is time. because I'm not quite sure where that went!

                                     Image from Imagine Gnats

6.  With so many blogs in blogland, what makes a blog stand out to you?

There are SO many great blogs out there! I find that I mostly read blogs where there is a personal connection to the subject matter or the person writing it, which can be kind of hard to define. It's kind of the same feeling that lets you know whether that person you stand next to in the lunch line is going to be your friend that school year or when you feel like a blind date will lead to a second... there's a chemistry and you want to know what's going to happen. I need that to really be into a blog. With my blog reader currently over 400 subscriptions, I think I might need to reassess, but for now that's my answer ;)

Thanks Rachael!


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This week's giveaway is from the lovely SkyeReve Fabrics.    Natasha has lots of fun new fabrics in her shop including Sarah Jane's Out to Sea and Lecien's Antique Flower.  For today's giveaway, SkyeReve is offering one lucky person the chance to win a half-yard bundle of Apple of My Eye by Riley Blake.


You have four chances to win:

1.  Leave a comment on this post (any comment but since I always love suggesting a topic - how about letting us know what surprised YOU most about blogging.)

2.  My followers -old and new- get a second entry.  Leave a comment that says "following."

3.  For a third entry, click over to Skye Reve and then write a comment about which of their fabric lines is your favorite.

4.  And for a fourth entry, promote this giveaway on your blog, twitter, or whatever social media you like and leave a comment that says "Promoted  . . ."

The giveaway will remain open until Friday, August 24, 2012 at 8pm EDT and a winner will be chosen at random and announced in next week's blog hop news on August 27, 2012.  And, please, unless you are sure that you are NOT a no-reply blogger, leave your email address in the comment.


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Plum and June

This week's complicated rules:
1.  Anyone who is participating or following along with the hop can add a link that is quilting or sewing-related.
2. Link up any sewing/quilting post you want from your blog.  When the link tool asks for your name, type in your favorite pizza topping.
3. If you have any current blog events, link them here as well - just put the name of the event when the link tool asks for your name.
4.  Please consider linking to this page from your blog (either a text link or the button) so others can join in as well.
5.  Please visit (at least) the person who links up before you and leave a comment to say hello!







301 comments:

  1. I guess I was surprised about how easy it was to get sucked into the quilt blogging world. And the fact that most of my friends don't know about the awesomeness of quilt blogs, so I have to be careful what I say - lest they think I am a crazy person for being so obsessed...

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  2. Everything about blogging surprised me. FIrst of all, I started a blog because it was required of a gieaway I found while surfing the web. I didn't know at all what was involved but pretty soon I started running into others in Blogland making friends, learning new techniques and so on. Now I just LOVE it! Thanks for the opportunity to win your giveaway.

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  3. I'm a follower. Thanks for the opportunity to win your giveaway.

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  4. At this point I'm only a blog reader, not a blog writer. But what amazes me is the generosity of those that write blogs. I have found SO much inspiration. Thanks so much to the generous folks who make it possible!

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  5. I checked out Skye Reve. The collection called Everything Nice is very cute. The print with the spoons and spatulas cracks me up!

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  6. Although I don't have a blog I follow many! and I'm constantly amaked by everyone's kindness and generosity!

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  7. I love the medium and small chevrons!

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  8. The thing that surprised me most about blogging was that I'd make real connections with people all over the country! I have several bloggy friends and one is even a snail mail pen pal. It's been a lot of fun! :) Thanks for the chance to win!

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  9. I was surprised how addicting it was to join Blogland, and I love the friendships formed.

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  10. And I like the "Everything Nice" fabrics

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  11. Skye Reve has such an amazing selection of fabrics! It was hard to choose just one favorite, but I'm really loving Out to Sea by Sarah Jane right now. :)

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  12. Blogging opened up a whole new world to me. I started out just searching for pattern ideas and then after a few months of needing my blog fix (which involved reading over 40 blogs) every morning, I started my own. I've met some wonderful people and made some amazing friends, and most of all, my confidence and feeling of self-worth have returned!

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  13. I'm a new follower! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  14. I don't write a blog, but I do follow a ton and I am always surprised at how genuinely interested I am in what the bloggers have to say. Sometimes it might seem that you are writing to a void, but there are people out in that void who are listening! (I do try to leave comments often to make myself known).

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  15. I was surprised at how much of a community there was out there to help and participate!

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  16. ooh fantastic Cake Mix fabric!

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  17. I'm surprised that I haven't run out of things to say about quilting and sewing! I wondered if I might get bored or slow down after a short while, but that doesn't seem to be happening.

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  18. I really like Cameo and Apple of My Eye from Skye Reve Fabrics.

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  19. I think my favourite collection(s) at Skye Reve are the Riley Blake Chevrons. I love tonals, blenders, and single-hued fabrics.

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  20. I was surprised by by how this is such a 'tight' community. It seems everyone knows somebody, in a virtual sense.You see the same people over and over, but still find great new blogs all the time. I am still new to blogging, not having met my 1 year mark. It's quite exciting having a few online friends. My quilting and sewing has catapulted in the last 11 months thanks to blogging. I have learned more than I ever could from books...and it's all free advise! I love it:)

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  21. I am a new follower of your blog through GFC.

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  22. I love the Songbird collection by Carina Gardner by Riley Blake.

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  23. Tweeted the giveaway, too.
    https://twitter.com/AlphaBecky/status/237215117308198912

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  24. I'm still always a bit surprised that anyone would read my blog - but very glad to have "met" some really nice people through blogging.

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  25. Love Lark from Amy Butler at Skye Reve fabrics!

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  26. I like "Out to sea" for my children!

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  27. My fav is a walk in the woods.

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  28. I enjoy the community feeling with blogging. I have learned so much from my fellow bloggers...

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  29. When I started blogging, I didn't realize it was such a community and I definitely hadn't found my voice yet. If you look at my first blog posts, they are very generic and not at all me. It feels so much better to blog now that I simply do it for the love of sharing my work and seeing other people's.
    And I enjoyed your interview, Rachael! We feel the same way on many topics!

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  30. I want my sewing mojo back... I think I need to just finish some projects that have been looming over me and maybe even just finish some little things so I feel like I am accomplishing something.

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  31. How can I pick just one fabric line? I have been eyeing Nancy Mims "Pick a Bunch" for a long time! I adore it.

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  32. I shared the giveaway on my blog's FB page!

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  33. I was most surprised by how many bloggers are out there. I thought it was a smaller world but it isn't and I'm thrilled!

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  34. Pocket Full of Posies because the colors are so very vivid!

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  35. I was surprised that people actually read my blog! That sounds funny, I know, but I'm just little ol' me posting about my little ol' stuff. I think it's pretty wonderful that there's such a supportive community out there who are so kind.

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  36. I can't share what surprised me most about blogging because I don't blog - but I do etsy. I was most surprised when my first 2 etsy sales were from a sweet lady in a tropical climate that bought 2 of my quilts!! What a boost that was for me!

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  37. The "Ruby" fabric line is my favorite. I've made 2 quilts from this line by Bonnie & Camille and still can't get enough of it.

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  38. I was really surprised people started commenting on my posts !

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  39. I am just amazed on how many blogs there are!!

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  40. I actually have Apple of my Eye on my list to get so I would say this is my favorite -- and would love to win !!

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  41. I am surprised anyone else is interested in what I have to say!

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  42. Apple of my eye is my favourite range; coincidence?!

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  43. And I promoted on fb :) Thanks for the chance x

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  44. I was surprised how long it takes to write one post. With taking the pictures, to editing them, to adding them, to writing the text, waiting for the internet to come back on, etc - writing one post can sometimes take hours! Time I could have been sewing ;)

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  45. Cameo Reds bundle is lovely :) So much yummy colour to drool over!!! Super giveaway Beth and SkyeReve - thanks for the chance. amycav at hotmail dot com

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  46. I was surprised at the time commitment! But I was also (pleasantly) surprised at what good accountability it provides. I don't feel pressured to create things at a RPQ-like pace (I don't have the time or money to do so), but sharing what I do manage to get done is fun and very effective for keeping me working on things!

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  47. I have been constantly surprised by the vitality of the online community and the importance of the online community to modern quilting!

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  48. I was most surprised by how friendly the quilting blog community is. I can honestly say that I feel I have made real friends through my blog and I have experienced kindness that has restored my faith in mankind!

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  49. Great fabric there but my fave is Ahoy There.
    But so many great lines to choose from.

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  50. I'm surprised how much it pushes me to work on projects!

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  51. I am a happy follower! Miss Imagine Gnats, I am sorry people leave you (or anyone) negative comments. I always think that reading blogs is a choice and if the reader doesn't appreciate the topic for any reason, then don't read it! I thank all of the bloggers in blogland for their blogs. I read them while I eat my lunch and it makes my morning whiz by in anticipation and my afternoon just a bit more cheery. So thanks to all of you. Even the ones who love solids -- which I am highly allergic to! And no, that wasn't a back-handed comment (grin) -- just a hope that I'll overcome my allergy some day soon.

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  52. I didn't think that I would connect with so many people from all over the globe!

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  53. I think the amount of posting you actually do was supprising to me. I want to post about everything! And I do. But I have a habit of not posting for a while so when I do I have an averasge of 3 posts with different subjects.

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  54. I love Appleville and Confections. But there are so many others I love too.

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  55. What a great advice post. I really do love reading these...it's great to get inside the mind of other bloggers. I think what surprised me most about blogging is how much work it is. I love doing it, but it's a lot to keep up with when you have as little sewing time as I often get. You have to be sewing in order to have something to blog about, and I never know which weeks are going to be productive and which aren't. I've also been surprised by how wonderful the people in this online community are -- quilters and sewers are some of the most generous people on the planet. I love being a part of it all!

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  56. Right now I'm loving Out to Sea. :)

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  57. Getting sucked into reading so many blogs. I didn't think there were so many people out there blogging. It's a huge community.

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  58. I'm still very much in love with Seaside by October Afternoon.

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  59. I am surpised at what work and time commitment it is to blog.

    Thanks for the giveaway :)

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  60. The collection that I like is the Tammis Keefe tribute

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  61. Hi! I love finding new blogs all the time! It's also proven to be addictive and helps to keep me accountable when I'm starting new projects. It's definitely exciting to see how other people use the same and also different fabrics and materials to be creative!

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  62. I'm a follower on google and facebook. :)

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  63. I love the strip it up in bright print!

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  64. Finding people care about what is going on in my life. The response I got when I finally shared about my RA and why I wasn't keeping as much as I would have liked and the response I got about my husband being deployed as overwhelming in a good way. It is amazing to me that so many people who I have never met cared that much about me. It was really uplifting and has helped me through some of the darker days of this disease and this deployment.

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  65. Tweeted: https://twitter.com/CraftyMamaD/status/237332930379259904

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  66. I haven't started blogging yet but think about it.

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  67. Love cameo bundles in any any color.

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  68. I started personal blogging a few years back, but have only just started quilt blogging seriously. I just love the community we have! So much support and comment love; inspiration and tips.

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  69. I was surprised by all the positivity - even when you have a messy project, everyone's always so supportive!

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  70. I'm surprised when reading blogs how some people can get soooo much done.

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  71. And of course I'm following! :)

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  72. I'm loving Ahoy There! It would make such a great kids' bedroom set - quilt, pillowcase, cushion.

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  73. I guess I was surprised about how easy it was

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  74. I'm surprised at how difficult it is to post regularly, when I know no one is reading what I'm writing. I would have thought the anonymity of it would be freeing,,,it isn't.

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  75. A Pirate's Life .. I need this on and the maps... oooo llaaaa laa..

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  76. following....new..with bloglovin'

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  77. tweeted the giveaway https://twitter.com/nonna_mahoo/status/237368045004263424

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  78. I think I was surprised by how friendly and generous with advice/suggestions/help other bloggers are! Especially ones you think of as "celebrity bloggers". It's one of my fave things about the blogging world!

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  79. I think I was most surprised that I blogged for about five years (that seemed like a long time). And consider that I stopped blogging in 2009... :)

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  80. I'm still in love with Lark. :)

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  81. Promoted! via Twitter: https://twitter.com/giddy99/status/237373081386106880

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  82. blogging? I don't start one because I'm afraid it will be too time consuming..thanks for your giveaway! My email address is jenjeb@juno.com

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  83. i'm a new follower! My email address is jenjeb@juno.com

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  84. Love apple of my eye! My email address is jenjeb@juno.com

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  85. There is so much going on in this post! I think I was most surprised by the awesome community.

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  86. I think I have been surprised by how many good things have come out of blogging for me. Friendships, opportunities to work with great people on fun projects, and a bottomless well of inspiration and encouragement are just a few of the perks. It's a great community to be a part of. :)

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  87. I'm suprised how hard it is to get followers and how much work it really is to blog.

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  88. Like most peeps, I find that what surprised me the most is the friendliness of other quilt bloggers. :)

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  89. I am surprised how much time it takes to complete a post!

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  90. I love being able to interct with quilters from all over.

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  91. I love the way you are helping so many bloggers figure stuff out from the technical point, to the fun point and everything in between!!!! I love "hopping" to all the different blogs! Thank you so much for doing this! Thanks for the chance to win too!!!!

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  92. I don't have a blog of my own, so nothing about blogging really surprises me, I guess. I can only imagine how difficult it is to come up with new posts and topics all the time, though!

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  93. I'm really liking the Chelsea collection of fabrics. And of course, I've jumped on the Chevron bandwagon as well! Love a chevron print!

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  94. I was surprised at how many friends I have met through blogging.

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  95. Loved the Gnome's Christmas. Too cute!

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  96. What surprised me most about blogging was blogger burn out . . . I didn't think it would happen to me. But it did. I've taken some time off from blogging and am now refreshed and ready to get back into it.

    Deborah
    homemakerhoney @gmail .com

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  97. following

    Deborah
    homemakerhoney @gmail .com

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  98. My favorite:

    http://www.skyerevefabrics.com/new-arrivals/everything-nice/cake-mix-in-spring#

    Deborah
    homemakerhoney @gmail .com

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  99. Promoted

    Deborah
    homemakerhoney @gmail .com

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  100. My biggest blogging surprise was that anyone would read my blog at all, let alone leave comments!

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  101. My favourite line on SkyReve is Secret Garden Midnight ... yummy!

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  102. I think the thing that surprised me most is how wonderfully sweet the quilt blog community is, extremely supportive.

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  103. I really like Ahoy There collection at SkyeReve Fabrics

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  104. I blogged about the giveaway on the post I linked-up.

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  105. I dont blog yet so i dont know what to expect. But the backhanded compliment Rachel got was surprising....since it is quite...rude
    andri_chama(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  106. Following:)
    andri_chama(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  107. I am most surprised when someone follows me. I always wonder what they saw/read that they liked. Thanks for the chance to win. I LOVE Apple of My Eye. I am using this line for my FW blocks. I need more so it would be great to win this.

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  108. Cameo:)
    andri_chama(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  109. I got so excited to add my link I forgot I was supposed to put my favorite pizza topping!! Sorry! It banana peppers ;)

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  110. I think what surprised me the most about blogging is the real friendship that come out of it. I met two bloggers in real life and we got on like a house of fire - both times! Cannot wait to meet others!

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  111. I love the shore thing line! It is so hot here, I just want to be near the sea - and some seaside fabric would just be the ticket!

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  112. Similar to a few other people, I was surprised by how long it takes to write each post, especially once I stopped using rubbish phone photos!

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  113. And I really like Ahoy There, it's so cute!

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  114. When I first started my blog, I was amazed each and every time that I noticed that I had a new blog follower! Then I was amazed how easily they became close and trusted friends.

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  115. I love Sarah Jane's "Ahoy there" collection over at Skye Reve

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  116. I do not have a blog of my own, but love reading others blogs and have learned so much from them

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  117. I'm a blog reader and just started quilting 2 months ago. In fact I started sewing two months ago too. I have been able to learn so many tricks and skills through the blog world. I am able to figure out my own persona style through all the inspiring posts. I am surprised at how many talented people are out there!

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  118. Following through my google reader.

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  119. I love the shore thing line, so cute

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  120. Out to Sea is such a cute line! I would love to make my little 16 month old a quilt from it. I think the map would be a darling center block.

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  121. I'm surprised how many new friends I've made.

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  122. What pretty fabric. I follow Imagine Gnats and love her blog.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

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  123. I love all their fabrics. But the ones I go to first are the animals and the boys fabrics.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

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  124. i only have a blog for my family and friends. but what surprised me most is how hard it is to take good pictures!!! they always look so pretty on everyone else's blog. i have photo envy.

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  125. i follow. thanks for the giveaway.

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  126. i love the tea party collection!

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  127. While I am not a blogger; I am surprised at how willing those who blog are to answering questions from those who come and check out their blogs.

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  128. The thing that surprised me most about blogging was how many people blog, WOW! there's a lot. eatkin85@yahoo.com

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  129. I'm a follower of your blog. eatkin85@yahoo.com

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  130. What surpised me most was just how friendly other bloggers are. There are so many wonderful people out there that are ready answer questions or give kuddos about things.

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Thanks for visiting!