Sunday, January 25, 2015

Grow Your Blog

Welcome to the 3rd Annual Grow Your Blog Party!

Special thanks to Vicki at 2 Bags Full for throwing this wonderful blogging bash.
Over 400 blogs are participating today. WOW!
Thank you for all of the work you do behind the scenes, Vicki!

Thank you for visiting! (You may click on any photo for a larger image.)

About Me

My name is Renee. I am 43-years-old and live relatively close to Portland, Oregon.
My best friend is my wonderful hubby of 20+ years.  I am so blessed to have him in my life.
Our lives revolve around our 2 boys.
My nearly 18-year-old is nicknamed Monkey.  (I am still coming to terms with the knowledge he will be graduating and off to college this year.)
My 15-year-old is nicknamed Mutt, but only on this blog.  (It was his choice of a nickname, but it never really took.)

My Hobbies and Favorite Things

Crazy quilting is my passion.
Quilting that includes embroidery and expects wonky corners?! That fits me perfectly!
I really enjoy cross-stitching and embroidery in general.  
And, I am striving to improve my sewing skills (check back on January 30th to see...)
I love hearts, flowers, butterflies, birds, trees, landscapes and embroidered spiders.
My favorite color varies daily. I love pinks, blues, yellows, greens, browns, jewel tones...

New Things I Tried in 2014

This is the purse I have been using for almost a year now.  It is one of a couple of crazy quilted purses I made from my own designs last year.
There are areas I would improve in the future, but it was a great learning experience
and I think each purse turned out cute!

I made my first county fair entries and was pleasantly surprised
to learn they both won blue ribbons!
I hope to make these entries an annual tradition.

I finally gathered my courage and attempted using a sew-in purse frame.
(I love making these now!)

I also made my first crazy quilted postcard, my first pin cushions and my first mug rugs.
Pictures and links to the posts are on my 2014 Finishes page.

I even joined my first Linky Party for a Halloween Ornament Exchange
organized by Kim at Wisdom with Needle and Thread.
If she hosts another this year, I will be joining the fun again!

New Things I Plan to Do in 2015

Reminder: You may click any photo for a larger image.

This year, I will participate in my first quilting blog hop.  
When Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt announced the We Support You Blog Hop to support our sisters battling breast cancer, I simply had to sign up.  The hop begins on January 29th and I will reveal my project on January 30th.  It has been in the works since the day after Thanksgiving and I am very pleased with how the project is turning out. I fear I may be hooked. I signed up for 2 more blog hops at Sew We Quilt!

This year, I plan to make enough items to stock my Etsy store. I opened Hand Stitched Treasure last year with one little item that expired in December.  This year, I plan to make the shop a bigger priority.  This under-the-sea themed embroidery piece is part of the project I am currently creating.

Although I finished NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) once, I was not happy with what I wrote.  This year, I would like my hubby's Christmas gifts to include a rough draft of my first novel.

In 2013, I participated in a Winter/Christmas Do Your Block Round Robin through Crazy Quilting International.
Last year, I began making a wall quilt with the blocks
and I plan to finish it this year.
The ladies that embellished these blocks for me did such
a lovely job! (I stitched their names in beneath
the blocks they embellished.)

If time allows, I will also begin putting my
Heart Do Your Block Round Robin blocks together.
First, I need to embellish the E.
More beautiful work by more amazing ladies.
I feel quite blessed.

Over the past couple of years, I swapped crazy quilted "snowballs" with members of Crazy Quilting International.  This year, I plan to make a wall quilt with my fabulous winter/snowman collection.
I plan to swap more snowballs to begin a Halloween collection.

Thanks to other bloggers that participated in the 2014 Grow Your Blog Party, I discovered Heaven and Earth Designs. I fell in love with
the freebie chart of Santa and the Mouse.
I plan to finish this little ornament this year so I can start on another fabulous chart I purchased from HAED.

I also need to finish up the 8 remaining blocks from the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2013 (CQJP 2013).  And, I have 5 more blocks to make to complete my CQJP 2014 projects.

I plan to add more finishes to the "My Crazy Quilt/Embroidery Projects" board I created on Pinterest.

In addition to all of that, I want to train to walk a half marathon this year.
And, I need to compile a cookbook to make family get-togethers a bit easier.
(I am a bit of a nightmare as a dinner guest. Not being able to eat gluten, corn, rice, eggs, yeast, dairy, shellfish, some nuts, pineapple, mushrooms and a slew of other foods makes meal planning a bit tricky for some reason...)

Most importantly, I look forward to making more wonderful friends
here in the world of blogging!

Thank you so much for visiting. Your comments brighten my day!

UPDATED: I would like to thank Susan for letting me know some of you are having problems with the comment section of my blog. Please feel free to contact me directly HERE.
Thank you!


Elizabeth Braun said...

Great post, Renee! Hope you have a very successful event! =)

Dawn said...

Hi Renee, nice to meet you, I'm popping to as many Grow Your Block sites as I can to check them out. It's so nice to meet bloggers especially ones interested in Crazy Quilting. I did my first Crazy Quilt block last year with Shawkl and loved it.

Christine Barnsley said...

Hello Renee! I am here from the Brow Your Blog party and it is lovely to meet you! I was really interested to read all about your crazy quilt projects. I am just in the process of taking the Kathy Shaw BCQC class and I am loving it! I also joined her CQJP Challenge and I am having fun with that too! Hope you have lots more visitors! :) x

Christine Barnsley said...

* Grow Your Blog!

KimM said...

Wonderful post, Renee! I hope the blog hop is a success for you.
Kind regards,

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

VERY NICE post. I'm not sure when I started reading your blog and I am sure glad I did. Your stitching is beautiful. And you are so busy. Have a great hop.
xx, Carol


Oh my Renee, you do such lovely work! I would love to "brave" a crazy quilt, but your blog is sure to inspire me so I'll be following. Cindy from

Kwilt Krazy said...

Stupendous work! I am glad to be following your posts. said...

Great post! Oh my I did not realize that you were so close to my home growing up! When I was a kid I used to enter the Clackamas County Fair. Most of my family still live outside of Portland outside Gresham, and in Sandy.

Sheryl S. said...

Hi Renee. I found your blog via GYB hop. So pleased as you do the sort of work I like. I am your newest follower

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

Hi Renee! I am a greeter with GYB 2015 and I'd like to welcome you back on behalf of Vicki and the volunteer crew :)

I just LOVE the way you described CQ as "Quilting that includes embroidery and expects wonky corners". Your projects look awesome and I know I'll be back for more of your CQ adventures (and to help myself I'm now following you via both GFC and Bloglovin) :) Have a great day!

PS. Congrats on actually opening an ETSY store... that is a step I have thus far lacked the courage to take :( Best of luck in your future business growth!

A Nudge said...

What an interesting post, Renee. Your work is gorgeous! Much success on your Etsy shop. I have a friend who was allergic to most of the items you mentioned. Turned out after about 11 years a doctor correctly diagnosed his problem. Antibiotics and other stuff had wiped out his normal flora of his intestinal track. Once that was restored, he could eat anything. Just saying. Glad you participated in GYB. Susan N sent me over. In honor of GYB, I'm having a giveaway of a book. You're invited to come over. Stay warm

Queeniepatch said...

You make such beautiful things!

Skootchover said...

Stopping by from Grow Your Blog. Love your work and look forward to seeing more. Just started following via Bloglovin'.

Jennifer Pearson Vanier said...

Greetings From Canada! So nice to meet you. I have enjoyed getting to know you and your work. Lovely pieces! Thank you for visiting my blog and for your kind words!

Anonymous said...

And now it's working like a charm! =) Good luck with the marathon. I think that's a wonderful thing to do, and so healthy!

DJH said...

New follower here. Very informative post and may I say, you have a lot of goals for 2015!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

You've had a wonderful year of 'firsts' - and I'm so glad that I found you and that we've become friends online. Here's to a great year to come!

Sue Kosec said...

You throw a great party. Thank you for inviting me!

So that you know, I've become a Follower and when time permits, I'll be back to see what other beautiful things were made by your hands!

What this party is all about is to GROW your blog and I'm hoping to do the same. When you get to Section One, check out A Country Chic Retreat and SuZeQ Creations, my personal blog, in Section Fifteen I'd love for you to follow and subscribe to.

Happy crafting!

Lorraine said...

Hi Renee!
love your blog, you write a great post. Like you I love Crazy Patchwork - the chance to use embroidery is too good to miss!! I also knit and quilt Will be following you from now on.
Lorraine over at Monkey Business and Quilts

Cheri, the Quilting Nanny said...

visiting from GYB....I am going to learn to make crazy quilts this I want to follow you to learn how! Your work looks fabulous!
Cheri, the quilting nanny

Shirlee Fassell said...

Hi Renee good to meet you. I love your CQ. I joined the 2015CQJP project this year. Hope you have a good time at the party!!

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Hello Renee

It’s lovely to meet you at Vicki’s GYB party – it’s so much fun meeting new people!
Your prize winning blue quilted bag is beautiful – congratulations on your win!
I made a pretty bag for my granddaughter last year – they are fun to make!
And now I’m making my daughter a hexi quilted bag for her birthday in June.

It’s wonderful to see you are involved in so many blog related challenges and swaps, it’s a great outlet for our creativity. We all need goals to grow.
I adore swaps, creating a piece and then adding all the little extras that make a parcel very special!

I’ve become your newest follower as I want to keep up with all the exciting things you are up to.
Please come over and meet me too!


Cozy Expressions said...

Blog hopping with “Grow Your Blog”. Its so great to meet you. Wishing you the best!! BTW Your work is beautiful!!~

~ Dixie said...

Hi Renee,
Thanks for visiting my blog.
Your stitching is beautiful!
I've signed up and will be back to admire your work.

Sara said...

Hi Renee. Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog. I wish you the best and good luck for the boys, especially the one off to college. Happy blogging!

Anonymous said...

Hello Renee, nice to meet you via GYB-party. Your crazy quilting is wonderful - I'm crazy about wool but at the moment I love sewing/quilting. But until now I didn't try crazy quilting. Kind regards from Germany! Annett

CatieAn said...

Hi Renee I hail from spokane wa
and it is so nice to meet you. You area so talented with your beautiful quilting and cross stitching. All of your projects are so lovely.

Kaisievic said...

Wonderful post, Renee, you are certainly one busy lady! Your work is so lovely. I am glad that I have found your blog through GYB party. Feel free to hop over to visit me at

Jennifer LaVite said...

I love your crazy quilt work! It is so pretty. I love to do crazy quilting as well. It was nice to meet you in the GYB hop.