Sunday, September 9, 2012

Blog Hop 17: Advice from Fresh Lemon Quilts and Fabric Giveaway

Plum and June

Blogs to visit this week!
Sep 11
        Anne from SpringLeaf Studios
         Kristy from Cotton Addiction
 Sep 13
         Julie from That's Sew Julie
         Chelsea from Pins and Bobbins




Today's Advice for New Bloggers comes from the very talented Faith from Fresh Lemon Quilts.  Here is what she had to say:


Image from Fresh Lemon Quilts
What do you think is the most important thing for new bloggers to know?

Have fun!  A blog should be an outlet for your creativity.  Share what you learn, the successes and the failures.  Reach out to make friends with other bloggers on Flickr, Twitter or Instagram.  Go meet other bloggers in real life at your local quilt guild or blogging/quilting conference (such as The Sewing Summit or Quilt Con).  I love blogging, but even more than that I love the friends I've made through my blog.  When you start blogging, you become part of an amazing and supportive online community.

How did you find your blogging voice?
I basically have just tried to be myself on my blog.  I do like to keep my website a very positive and professional place.  I want my readers to come and feel inspired when they are visiting, not weighed down by drama or negative posts.  I strive to encourage new quilters to try new techniques, through tutorials or quilt alongs with LOTS of pictures, which I think helps build confidence when starting something new.


Image from Fresh Lemon Quilts
Any technical advice for us new bloggers - how to organize posts, how many topics per post, how to respond to comments, photography, etc. . .
I try to keep my posts to one topic at a time.  For example, I typically don't write one post with several projects from the week in it.  This obviously isn't a hard and fast rule, but it helps me organize my thoughts better.   I attempt to reply to comments/questions within the blog post comments so others can see the answers as well (as opposed to directly emailing the commenter back).  For photography, I like to take my pictures outside in the shade.  Natural light is so wonderful!  A lot of my block photos are taken flat on my wooden deck which provides a consistent background.  I also edit my photos and create my blog graphics using Photoshop, but any photo editing software would work.

How did you find your place in the vast quilting blogosphere?
Initially I just wanted to blog about my quilting/sewing journey.  I wasn't sure if it was something I would stick with but I wanted to document the quilts I was making.  Eventually I decided I wanted to "give back" to the blogosphere.  I had learned so much from other bloggers when I was starting to quilt, I strongly felt the need to share techniques/patterns with other people starting out.  I started posting free patterns and tutorials, then co-hosting quilt alongs...it all really snowballed after that!  

Image from Fresh Lemon Quilts
What is your advice as to what NOT to do as a new blogger?
Don't stress out over your blog.  At times it can feel like you HAVE to post x number of times a week.  You HAVE to finish a project to share each week.  If it stops being fun, change what you are doing.  

What do you wish you knew when you started your blog?
How much time blogging takes!  :)  Between sewing projects, writing patterns and tutorials, participating in blogosphere events like blog hops, answering reader emails...it's almost like a full time job!  I'm not complaining - I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it and I do love it.  But I'm shocked at how many hours a day it can absorb.  Sometimes I have to step back and remind myself that I'm a mom and wife first and a blogger second.  And that's how it should be for me.

Image from Fresh Lemon Quilts

Looking back at your early posts, what do you think has been the most significant change in your blogging style/life?
I'm scared to look back at my early posts.  LOL  I would say I'm more comfortable in my skin now.  More comfortable being "me" on my blog and less technical and impersonal with my writing.  I hope so anyway!

Thanks Faith for such thoughtful and informative advice!  Be sure to visit Fresh Lemon Quilts to see all of Faith's beautiful quilts as well as her patterns and tutorials including the Summer Sampler Series and the Solstice Stars Blocks.  Faith also has a FAQ section on her blog where she answers questions on everything from how long she has been quilting to what type of supplies she uses - what a great idea!  













Today's giveaway is from Amanda from Material Girl Quilts.  Amanda has a  wonderful blog where she shares her beautiful projects and is part of the Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop (her date is September 25th.)   She also has an etsy shop where she stocks a fun selection of fabrics including Riley Blake's Chevrons and Moda's Simply Color.  For today's giveaway, Amanda is offering one lucky winner the chance to win Moda's Happy H "owl" ween Layer Cake.

You have 5 possible entries:
1.  Leave a comment (any comment) - if you want a topic, how about some suggestions for what to put it in a kid's lunchbox and/or your reactions to today's advice.

2.  My followers - old and new - get a second entry.  Leave an additional comment saying "following"

3.  Visit Material Girl Quilts and come back and leave a comment about your favorite thing in her shop.

4.  Amanda's followers - old and new - get an additional entry.  Leave a comment saying "following Amanda."

5.  Share this giveaway via your favorite social media and leave a comment about it for a final entry.

This giveaway will remain open until Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 8pm EDT and a winner will be chosen at random and announced in next week's blog hop news.  And please, unless you are sure that you are NOT a no-reply blogger, leave your email in your comment.

The winner of last week's giveaway from Christa Quilts is MelissaSeptember 3, 2012 8:12 PM who said:
"I'm still in love with Seaside by October Afternoon and Vintage Modern. There is a new spot in my heart for Bella though."  Congrats Melissa!  I'll send you an email soon.
    

Plum and June

Same as always:  Link up anything sewing or quilting related, visit each other (and say hello in a comment), add the button or a text link to this post, and when the link tool asks for your name, what about your favorite afternoon snack.





304 comments:

  1. My children always liked some carrot sticks in their lunchboxes!

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  2. I love Riley Blake's 'Small Rainbow' chevrons!

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  3. I like to put homemade granola bars in my daughter's lunchbox. She also likes carrots and hummus or peanut butter, different kinds of sandwiches, and fruit. :)

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  4. I'm a follower. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  5. What a great shop! I really like the chevron stripe FQ bundle!

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  6. I think a few chocolate covered raisins! It's a sneaky treat. :)

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  7. Hmm - carrot sticks in a lunchbox - that was one of my fav's as a kid!!

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  8. Yay I am a follower - thanks for the giveaway Beth and Amanda!

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  9. I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite from the Riley Blake Verona and the Indian Summer FQ bundles.

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  10. I like the Moda bella solids in Warm - yum! they are just my kind of colours!!!

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  11. I tweeted! https://twitter.com/giddy99/status/244893088856821762

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  12. I really enjoy all the blogging advice from veteran bloggers. So helpful for us newbies!

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  13. No kids yet, but cookies work well in my lunchbox. (I usually take those out and eat them first)

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  14. It's been years since I've packed a kid's lunchbox. But String Cheese was always good.

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  15. I checked out the Material Girl shop which was new to me. Cute things! My favorite is the Simply Color FQ bundle. Love it!

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  16. Just popped over to Material Girl Quilts and I like Ty Pennington and chevrons. But I think I could really use one of those Riley Blake FQ bundles like Fiona's Fancy

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  17. My son won't drink milk, so I send in a bottle of OJ for him that is just short of frozen. By lunchtime, it is perfect and it helps keep everything else cold.

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  18. I am a happy follower of your blog.

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  19. Tweeted the giveaway, too.
    http://MaterialGirlQuilts.wordpress.com

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  20. My favorite item in the shop is the Mama Said Sew layer cake - oooohhh - the possibilities!

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  21. I have started putting little packages of frozen edamame in the girls lunches. They thaw out by lunch and are about as healthy as you can get! They also come with characters on the package, which is a bonus since my 4 year old will eat almost anything with Dora on it!

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  22. I literally JUST made this recipe for homemade "Lara" bars - they are really good! (http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/2011/08/30/homemade-larabars/) Just almonds, dates, chocolate chips and a little bit of peanut butter.

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  23. In Material Girl Quilts shop, I could go for a Vintage Modern layer cake!

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  24. I always like carrot sticks in my lunch or those yogurt tubes frozen in my lunches.

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  25. I like the Riley Blake Verona Fat Quarter Bundle.

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  26. My kids like pudding! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  27. How about a little note with a cheesy joke or positive words...I didn't do it daily, but my kids always mentioned the jokes when I added those. Thanks for a chance at your giveaway.

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  28. I like the Hopscotch quilt pattern.

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  29. thanks for the give away, looks like a fun fabric

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  30. As a part time blogger-very part time-I appreciate any advice I can get.

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  31. I tweeted.
    https://twitter.com/nalaxu/status/244989334560854017

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  32. CARROT MUFFINS AND STRING CHEESE.

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  33. I like the bungle jungle charm packs

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  34. Well I don't have any kids of my own, nor do I pack lunches for anyone, so that's a tough question to answer! When I pack my own lunch, though, I try to go for healthy but tasty. I'm a big fan of salads with grilled chicken. :)

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  35. I am also following Amanda's blog! :)

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  36. Tweeted! https://twitter.com/MugglePuggle/status/244996860476006400

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  37. I really like the Riley Blake Indian Summer collection. There's a FQ bundle that I would love to have :) http://www.etsy.com/listing/92097608/riley-blake-indian-summer-fat-quarter

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  38. My son always has to have PBJ sandwich in his lunch.

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  39. I love Riley Blake's chevron prints in her store.

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  40. I love the batik anthology box. My favorite fabrics are batiks- I love their movement and variations in color

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  41. Every lunch box should have a note from mom saying something that makes your kid smile.. A love note is just the best..
    THanks for participating in the blog hop- You have lots of good advice for both old and new bloggers.
    Regards,
    Anna

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  42. I am a new follower of your blog #300. Wow that is a nice round number.
    Thanks for participating in the blog giveaway.
    Regards,
    Anna

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  43. I am following Amanda by email- You have a fun blog.
    Regards from Western Canada,
    Anna

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  44. Great interview with Faith - awfully good words of wisdom there!

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  45. Tweeted about it as MtnQuiltworks. See it at: https://twitter.com/MtnQuiltworks/status/245013818063876097

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  46. Love the Anthology Batiks from Material Girl's shop.

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  47. Thank you for the post and advice. For lunches we do some sort of bean salad or green salad with quinoa, or sometimes both!

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  48. Such great advice! Thanks so much for providing us with these wonderful posts!

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  49. Just saw Juggling Summer, great colors.

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  50. Great blogging advice! I like her honesty with her answers. As for lunch snacks, I always have to add something yummy like cookies or a little bag of chips...but my kid is in high school :)

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  51. I loved reading Faith's advice. Very down-to-earth :) I have no clue what to put in a kids lunch box. I remember being very jealous of kids who had lunchables though. Now I can't quite see the appeal! lol

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  52. Thank you so much Faith! So true that we often need reminders that we are Mothers and Wives first and then bloggers, it's crazy how busy I can get and distracted!

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  53. I like the Simply Color line Amanda has in her shop.

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  54. Chocolate in my lunch box please! I don't have kids yet so no need to worry about nutrition! Thanks for the give away

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  55. Just visited the shop, loved the Moda California girl collection!

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  56. tweeted about the give away @natilittlething

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  57. Lunch box favourite - love how often leftovers from dinner can be turned into tasty wraps for lunch the next day. Mine were thrilled to get leftover potato and cauliflower dry fried curry in a wrap last week. Who am I to argue with that?!

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  58. My kids are huge fruit eaters so grapes and clementines are a daily favorite for the lunch boxes.

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  59. Faith, thanks so much for the wonderful advice! Your blog is by far one of my favorites to follow and just admire, it is always beautiful :)
    Amanda

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  60. I bring a lunch every day to work and my staples are granola bars, cheez-its, carrot sticks and whatever pie flavored yogurt is on sale that week. :)

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  61. I also really love the Papillon Jelly Roll over at MaterialGirls. :)

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  62. Goldfish are always a lunch box fav!

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  63. Homemade granola or lara bars along with a box of vanilla soy milk. I know it sounds very 'granola', but those two really satisfy and stay with a hungry tummy

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  64. Great blogging advice. Love reading these posts!

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  65. I'm really liking the All Patched Up quilt pattern

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  66. I love the mini quilts on the clothes line!! So pretty, like a rainbow!! Thanks for the chance to win the fabric. Halloween is my favorite and I don't have ANY halloween fabric.

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  67. I love the Anthology Fabric - Batik Story Strips 20 (jelly roll).

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  68. I tweeted it here: https://twitter.com/IamLilyMunster/status/245182803338215425

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  69. I don't have kids in school yet but I made cookies last week and delivered them to my nieces so they could take them in their lunches.

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  70. Mama Said Sew Layer Cake by Sweetwater... so yummy!

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  71. Yep - blogging does take a lot of time - I've noticed that I blog less and less depending on how much work I need to do on what I blog about :)

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  72. As a retired teacher, fruit instead of sugar.

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  73. I like the tiny tree pattern on Material Girls Etsy site.

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  74. Just signed up to follow Material Girl

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  75. A joke or a handwritten note is nice to find in a lunchbox! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  76. I like Moda Tidepool Batiks Jelly Roll (2 1/2" Strips).

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  77. I think nice notes are a great thing to put in your child's lunch box.

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  78. Love the Simply Color Fat quarter bundle! It looks gorgeous!

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  79. Faith's blog is SO full of inspiration!

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  80. I like the "Pieces of Hope" layer cake.

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  81. I don't have kids so have no idea what to put in one of their lunches. I just know that when I was in school I hated sandwiches so anything thats not a sandwich would be good!

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  82. HAPPY TO FOLLOW YOU VIA BLOG LOVIN' AND GFC!

    msstitcher1948@yahoo.com

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  83. LIKE THE "PIECES OF HOPE"!
    THANKS FOR SHARING!

    msstitcher1948@yahoo.com

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  84. HI! FAITH'S BLOG IS VERY INSPIRATIONAL!
    THANK YOU!

    msstitcher1948@yahoo.com

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  85. HAPPY TO FOLLOW AMANDA TOO!

    msstitcher1948@yahoo.com

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  86. HI! MANY MOMS ARE NOW PUTTING CEREAL,YOGURT,FRUIT IN THEIR LUNCH BOXES. IF THEY NEED THE CALORIES, MEAT AND CHEESES STICKS ARE ALWAYS A WINNER!
    THANKS FOR SHARING!


    msstitcher1948@yahoo.com

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  87. My son is 22 and out of state in seminary now but when he was in elementary school I would cut his sandwiches with a cookie cutter in a different shape every day. I know I wasted bread but it was so worth it. Enjoy your day and thanks for the chance to win!

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  88. I am a happy (old) follower of yours!

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  89. Been following you for a while! Faith's quilts are amazing :)

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  90. I have no new post to link up..but my favorite afternoon snack is either a chocolate ice cream cone or Fig Newmans

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  91. Fab giveaway
    At the moment,I am making sandwiches cut out with fancy biscuit cutters and hummous with veg to dip.

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  92. My favourite item in the shop is the Mama Said Sew layer cake. I am so desperate for some of that gorgeous text fabric in that line.

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  93. I love your advice about not stressing out! Where were you when I first started. lol. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  94. Kid's lunchbox - I'm not one of those cool bento lunch making mommas, so our lunches are straightforward. Sandwhich or a little thing of pasta salad, and a lot of cut up fruit. My 4 year old is a huge fan of all fruits!

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  95. Love your giveaway. One can never have too many Halloween prints! I am a new follower.

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  96. I love the monster bash charm packs at Material Girl!

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  97. long time since I made lunches but I have pre schoolers drop in often. They aren't very versatile, they go for mac & cheese or PB&J. Thanks.

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  98. Thanks to Faith for keeping it real! I've been a follower of her for a long time and I need the reminder that if I can't post for a week, it isn't a big deal.
    My son always wants a quesadilla in his lunch.

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  99. I love that Riley Blake chevron stripe fat quarter bundle.

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  100. I am following Amanda on Google reader!

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  101. my kids lunchbox-- always pasta or rice with some veggies :)

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  102. i really like Anthology Fabric - Batik Story Strips 8 Tropical Fruits (jelly roll) !

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  103. Moda Tidepool Batiks Jellyroll is my favorite in the Material Girl Quilts shop. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  104. I'm not a blogger but I read a lot of blogs. Interesting to read the background of blogging. Thanks.

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  105. I'm one of your followers. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  106. For lunchboxes, I recommend hummus and something to dip into it. A great source of protein, and dipping is fun.

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  107. In Amanda's shop she has one of my favorite fabrics, Daisy Cottage in gray, at a great price. So that's my favorite thing there. :)

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  108. My daughter lately has been into Nutella and Banana sandwiches cut into fun shapes like hearts and flowers.

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  109. I dont have kids at home but my grandbabies like to find goodies in the good drawer...lol

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  110. I love Anthropolgy any thing and she has a cool fat qtr box full

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  111. Favorite thing in Amanda's shop - Riley Blake Designs Chevron Stripe Fat Quarter Bundle...want to play with them so badly

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  112. Self taught, first generation quilter here, and just recently was alerted to the fact that I am a modern/contemporary quilter (thank goodness for that wonderful soul at our local quilters show)...its amazing what a little piece of information like that will do for your self confidence and general outlook. I have stopped trying to make my quilts look traditional, (the closest quilt guild is VERY traditional) and I am having a lovely time letting my colors show.

    spgalfriday@gmail.com

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  113. Thanks so much for these posts, Beth. I am learning so much from the more seasoned bloggers like Faith. It is encouraging to know that there was a time when she was a new blogger, learning her way just like I am now.

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  114. If I could choose anything from Amanda's shop, it would be the fat quarter bundle of Rendezvous from Anthology. Love it!!

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  115. love your attitude towards blogging! it's so easy to get caught up in it and feel like it has to happen. it's all supposed to be fun!

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  116. love the pezzy layer cake! and the vintage modern layer cake..... so many good things!

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  117. i'm loving the recent Fall type weather - so perfect.

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  118. My kids always liked a note from me in their lunches.

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  119. One thing that I always liked to leave in my kid's lunches was a short, sweet "I Love You" note-- wishing them a great day, and telling them how much I loved them-- as well as some little specific thing about them that makes them so special! :-) My girls are all grown up now, and I surely do miss those "lunch packing" days! :-)

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  120. Favorite thing... hard to choose, but I surely do love the Riley Blake Indian Summer Fat Quarter bundle by Zoe Pearn!!! Pretty! :-)

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  121. I love Amanda's Mama Said Sew layer cake. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  122. I shared your giveaway on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/GwenWindham/status/245356292451999746 Thanks again!! :-)

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  123. I love the Moda - Bella Solids Warm Pastels Jelly Roll (2 1/2" Strips) T%anks for the giveaway!

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  124. As always I learn new thing from the advice tips given in this blog hop series...thanks!

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  125. I am a follower of Plum and June blog via google mail.

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  126. One of best things I ever got in my lunch box as a middle school kid were notes from my mom. My friends made fun of me, but now that I look back, those notes were really special and always helped me get through the rest of the day.

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