2017 New Quilt Bloggers

Welcome to the second week of the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. It was great fun seeing the first week of bloggers and their stories. Everyone’s starts are so different, but still there are many similarities. Let’s kick off week number two.

I am Jan, living the retired life in West Michigan.  I am part of Beth’s Hive, she is over at Cooking Up Quilts.  Be sure to visit Yvonne  @Quilting Jet Girl and Leanne @She Can Quilt.  There are giveaways at the host sites, so be sure to stop by and visit their Hive mates too.


Be sure to visit each of my hive mates.  They are introducing themselves and have been working on updating theirs sites in our process.  I have found this is how quilters do it.  Help each other, have fun and enjoy the process, so hop over to each and check them out.

Sarah @9658 Textiles
Yanika @Finding Myself As An Artist
Vanda @Quilt In Piece
Abbie @Sparkle On


I started quilting in mid 2015 and turned to the internet for lessons, ideas and everything in between for quilting. I started out quick making several basic/easy quilts in that first year.

In 2016 I found the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. It was so full of information and inspiration. I was the school girl envious of the cool quilting girls. Then 2017 rolls around and posts show up for applications for the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. I applied and waited. I was just like that school girl, being accepted into the cool girls quilting group, excited for what was ahead. But nervous I wasn’t up for the challenge.

I knew I had to make a lot of changes for my blog to be presentable.  I also knew that I wanted to move from blogger to a self hosted site.  Wow, were there a lot of pieces to make that happen.  I have to admit my secret, I didn’t do it all myself.  I found a template and a company, https://www.pipdig.co/.  Phil at PipDig did most of the work.  Moving my blog from Blogger to WordPress, adding a new template and working with my host company.  It was great.  There were still pieces for me to do, but it made it so much easier to know that the majority of it would not only be done, but done right.

I originally started a blog when we built our house to keep friends and family near and far up to date, as well as a record for me for future needs of what was where under those walls. If you are just dying to see our house build it is HERE.

Once I started quilting I wanted to do the same. Keep track of what I was doing, plans and progress, but I knew I needed to have a better name. I had a constant companion who was always there for me, whether it was sewing, building, walking, anything she was there. Her name became our name, Cocoa Quilts.  We lost her after 14 years this past January, but here she is:

Here are a few of my favorite quilts.  You can see I haven’t strayed too far from basic/simple. I love precuts and bundles, that way I don’t have to be creative with fabric selection. which is not my strong suit. Here are a few of my favorites




This is my first quilt ever.  I can’t believe I picked out the fabrics and used Colorblock by Bijou Lovely for the pattern.  This was before I knew about precuts and collections.  I was so naive.  You can see this quilt HERE.









I made this quilt from a kit for my Aunt’s 90th Birthday and surprised her with a special delivery in Charleston, SC.  The details for this quilt are HERE.  Don’t think I did this quilting, no I sent it out to a longarmer.







I started this quilt with no pattern and a layer cake of Zen Chic Flow.  You can see the details on this quilt HERE.







Questions – I have a few questions for you.

  • What one piece of advise can you give to me as a new quilter?
  • Do you enjoy link up parties?  How many do you think is too many to share on one post?

My Journey

Over the next year I hope to do all, OK maybe most of the following:

  • Improve my photos
  • Learn and Practice FMQ
  • Do more than edge to edge quilting
  • Continue making charity quilts (you can read my odd story of how I started doing charity quilts)

I hope you’ll follow along on my journey.

  • I am adding to my stash, which is very small.
  • I plan to build up my scraps so I can make some scrappy quilts.
  • I will continue in a Quilt Bee, doing charity quilts and swaps.

So follow along on your favorite platform bloglovin, pinterst, facebook, instagram and see what is happening this year.

Don’t forget to visit Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl and Leanne Hands 2 Help for those giveaways.




  1. April 17, 2017 / 2:40 pm

    Jan, I enjoyed your site. I still really love your Olie and Evie fabrics. Keep trying to remember to check them out. Like the simplicity of your quilts. I best advice is to just keep quilting what you love. I tend not to be really involved in linked groups because I have my own schedule, but I do follow and often enjoy their patterns.

  2. April 17, 2017 / 2:54 pm

    Hi Jan! Your blog is beautiful. I love the 3 quilts you shared. My advice–join a quilt guild. Or better yet, surround yourself with quilt buddies and start your own small group. Or do both! Best quilted wishes!

  3. April 17, 2017 / 3:41 pm

    Jan, it’s so nice to meet you! I can’t believe your a newbie blogger AND quilter! Great job on both! My advice is to be sure to document your quilts as your go along and be sure to add a label. If it’s a finish, I link up to everyone!

  4. April 17, 2017 / 4:12 pm

    Hi Jan … I love the simplicity and elegance of your quilts … wonderful!!! You are doing an awesome job. My advice is to keep quilting! And try new things and don’t be afraid to play! As for Linky parties … I have joined a few … one keeps me honest about how much fabric I’m actually buying or using … I have STABLE (STAsh Beyond Life Expectancy). The others help me keep track of what I’m working on and what goals I accomplish. I do the linky parties for me. And they do increase my blog traffic!

  5. April 17, 2017 / 6:17 pm

    Hi Jan! It is so great to have you in the hop this year. 🙂 The best tip I have for quilting is to do what you enjoy and learn what works best for you and your ,aching to achieve a consistent 1/4″ seam allowance and a scant 1/4″ seam allowance. All that comes over the me, though, so enjoy the jouney!

  6. Tami Von Zalez
    April 17, 2017 / 6:28 pm

    Visiting on the hop from the Blooming Quilters hive. I have yet to post – my debut is May 1.
    My advice – don’t be afraid to combine fabrics you normally wouldn’t think would go together. I am working on a piece where I thought, “does this work?” and it does!
    I absolutely love blog hops, quilting themed or otherwise. In the quilting realm, you do see a certain number of hoppers that link up to more than one event. But like any specialty theme, you are bound to see the same people circling around each other.
    Where you really gain an audience is when you bust out of the same hops and say join a writing challenge or the like.

  7. April 17, 2017 / 6:56 pm

    My advice for a new quilter is to learn the “rules”, then break all of them. When I started I was told there were things that I couldn’t do by some very short sighted quilters. Luckily I’m contrary, or I would have quit quilting right there. Have fun, make yourself happy, and don’t bother comparing yourself to other quilters.

  8. April 17, 2017 / 8:14 pm

    My advice is to learn one new thing with each quilt – I have been quilting for 20 years and still like to learn something news.

  9. April 17, 2017 / 8:16 pm

    Hi Jan. My debut was this week too. I am in the Blooming Quilters hive. So glad to meet you! Love reading your post and lovely quilts!

    OOKAY…this may be long but I will try to keep it short! HA

    1. FABRIC STASH: Keep it SMALL! LOL Don’t buy because “its so pretty” OR “I have to HAVE it!” you can read about it on my blog “Quilting Tip”

    2. LEARNING: I totally agree with Jennifer, learn all the “rules”, then break them. LOL
    Learning techniques is great. Later on you will start doing your “own” way.

    3. LINKING UP PARTIES: I limit myself to 2 -3. It can get overwhelming at times.

    *whew* I kept it short. LOL

    Enjoy your journey. Keep in mind, no quilt is ever PERFECT!

  10. Linda W
    April 17, 2017 / 9:44 pm

    Hi Jan. I love finding new quilt bloggers especially if they’re somewhat new to quilting so I can learn right along with them. My tip is love what you create and take lots of pictures along the way

  11. April 17, 2017 / 9:47 pm

    Hello Problem Sister, Love your post and learning your blog is named after your beloved dog. How sweet! Love your quilts and even thought my fabric stash is bigger because I’ve been quilting longer than you, I still love the simple quilts because I want to feature the fabric and not my sewing and cutting abilities. As for Quilt Alongs (QAL) it depends on what I have going on during the year but definitely not more than three since I always have projects I want to do. QALs are a great way to meet other quilters. BTW, I could really get you in trouble with die-cutters if and when you even want to know more about them. Hint, they really help when the stash gets ginormous and right now you’re safe. I know your loving the blog hop as much as me.

  12. April 18, 2017 / 12:35 am

    Jan, it was really fun to meet you through your post. I didn’t realize that you are also a new quilter. My piece of advice would be to try new things and enjoy the process. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work just perfect (no quilts ever are). Gather a helpful community of quilters around you (you’re doing that). I do 2-3 linky parties, depending on how organized I am each week. Like you, one of my goals is to get better at free motion quilting. I’m not good at practicing!

  13. April 18, 2017 / 1:55 am

    Hi! Great to read more about you and your journey. My advice is to try new things and new techniques. Not everything works for everyone. Also quilting should be fun, so if something isn’t fun you can totally stop! One of my goals is also Free Motion Quilting! It’s definitely something that needs time for practicing. Also definitely keep your stash small… mine very quickly got out of hand!

  14. April 18, 2017 / 2:18 am

    Morning Jan! Lovely to get to know you better in this post. The blog is looking great!! Tip for someone new to quilting – do what you love, that way you will do more! Hmmm link up parties – generally I only link to one party on a post, although this sometimes changes when you have a FAL link up or something similar. I have to say I don’t like to see a whole string of link up on one post. Looking forward to following your journey and see how you proress with your plans.

  15. April 18, 2017 / 5:24 am

    Hi Jan so lovely to pop over here, loved reading about your journey so far and oh Cocoa looks like she was such a loved girl. Your quilts are looking fabulous and my tip would be to have a play with your own colour choices, maybe just start adding into a bundle and have fun, that is the most important part. Cheers Fi

  16. April 18, 2017 / 9:11 am

    Hi Jan, Nice to “meet” you! The quilt you made for your aunt is very striking. Love it! I too am a new quilter fairly new to FMQ and my tip to you is that practicing doodling the motif’s you want to try really DOES make a difference. It also helps once you have done your doodle to just keep it near you so you can look at it and remember which direction to go next.

  17. April 18, 2017 / 9:15 am

    Jan, it’s very nice to meet you. I’ve enjoyed getting to read and learn more about you. My advice to new quilters is do not be afraid to challenge yourself and try new things. We will make many mistakes along the way and may have to try several times before we get it correct, but ultimately it is just fabric, chances are we have more laying around 🙂

  18. April 18, 2017 / 9:57 am

    Hi Jan, it’s so great to read your story! How nice that your blog name honors a great friend. I love your quilts, fabric is modern and simple is great. That Zen Chic quilt is my favorite! I do enjoy link parties, so for my Friday finishes I try to join 2-3 link parties. Good luck on your next quilty goals!

  19. April 18, 2017 / 10:33 am

    Hi Jan, Great post! I love seeing how different people are! I love that you share your voice and your stories through this blogging quilting community. It has been great getting to know you. keep it coming. I will answer your second question about linky parties; I usually try to keep it to one post per linky or two. I am not sure if I am always successful with that though.

  20. Cate
    April 18, 2017 / 11:17 am

    You don’t look like you need any advice at all, Jan! Keep doing what you do so well. Holy cow, but you’re productive. I love your work, and it looks like you’re having fun. That’s the most important thing.

  21. April 18, 2017 / 11:39 am

    Great to meet you, Jan! You are off to such a fabulous start in quilting AND blogging! I recommend keeping track of all your quilt finishes. I suggest a quilt journal/scrapbook if that’s your thing. For me, not my thing! But I DID just have my blog printed into a hardback book to keep as a quilt journal! I wrote about it on my blog in January. Keep up the great work!

  22. April 18, 2017 / 12:47 pm

    Hello, I’m visiting from “Blooming Quilters” hive. In all honesty, I cannot keep track of all of the link ups. For a while, I wrote them down – what day they were. But I am just too busy to do it all. Enjoyed your quilts and Cocoa!

  23. April 18, 2017 / 1:14 pm

    Hi Jan, Congratulations on an awesome post and blog! I really enjoyed reading your about you. Like you said we have similar ones about joking the hop! I love your quilts, I find it hard to believe you are a new quilter! It is special knowing your blog is in memory of your beautiful Cocoa. Keep on going you are doing fabulous ????

    • April 18, 2017 / 1:17 pm

      So much for autocorrect…I meant joining the hop! Oops 🙂

  24. April 18, 2017 / 8:29 pm

    Nice to meet you, and I’m glad you decided to join the blog hop. Your quilts are wonderful! Even though I have been quilting for 30+ years, my stash is small, so don’t sweat it! Buy what you like….and make what you like! I noticed you want to do more FMQ…want to tell you that the classes on Craftsy with Angela Walters and Amy Johnson are great. Or just go to YouTube and check out their videos.

  25. usairdoll
    April 18, 2017 / 10:18 pm

    My hats off to you for doing a blog. I know it’s tons of work, yours is looking awesome! Your quilts are beautiful! My advise to a new quilter is do what you love, don’t sweat the small stuff as there are no quilt police and watch those fabric purchases! I’m better now but it is easy to buy the fabric for those “one day I’ll get to it” projects;-D

    I’m a new follower and looking forward to checking out your blog.

    usairdoll (at) gmail (dot) com

  26. April 19, 2017 / 8:29 am

    It’s nice to see you sat so many good goals for yourself. And congratulations on moving to a self hosted site. That is something away in the future for me, so I feel excited for you that you have jumped in with both feet. Your quilts are beautiful and your site is very appealing. Enjoy the rest of the Blog hop!!!

  27. Vanda Chittenden
    April 19, 2017 / 8:44 am

    What a lovely story. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I love your doggie and your quilts are beautiful.

  28. April 19, 2017 / 8:12 pm

    I think the blog redesign looks great, Jan! I agree with much of the advice above–don’t be afraid to try new things. Also, just as important, don’t be afraid to do it your way. That might mean following the pattern exactly and it might not. It might mean “breaking the rules” and it might not. Figure out what works for you and don’t apologize for it.

    I like linky parties and have a few that I do regularly. For me, I have to limit the number just because I don’t have the time to keep up with a lot of them, and to truly participate I like to visit at least a few other participants in each linky.

  29. April 21, 2017 / 9:49 am

    Hi Jan, loved your post. I am also a new quilter although not a new sewer! But this special craft is all about doing what you love. You’ve made a great start and making great progress 🙂

  30. April 21, 2017 / 10:45 am

    Love the quilts that you have made. It is always fun to learne what is out there.
    #1 NEver take yourself to seriously, be open to learning a new way , even if the way you are doing it has been successful – you never know what you may want to take away from the new method.

    #2 I enjoy the linkies cuz i see new blogs 😉

  31. April 21, 2017 / 12:03 pm

    I love that you named your blog after your furry friend. I’m sorry for your loss. On a happier note, your blog looks great and your quilts look fantastic. I think the advice I’d give to a new quilter is to try a sampler quilt. It will expose you to new techniques and blocks, and if the blocks are small or have a lot of components then it will also help you with your accuracy.

  32. April 24, 2017 / 10:11 pm

    Jan, I really like your blog. In fact I was already a follower on Bloglovin’ before this blog hop. I can’t believe you have accomplished so much in such a short time. I still sometimes feel like a newbie, and I’ve only been quilting since Oct 2014. My main advice to you would be to not too much pressure on yourself to do everything related to quilting all at once. There is so much out there: sew-alongs, mystery quilts, block of the months, quilt conferences and workshops, Craftsy, etc! Looking forward to seeing more of your quilting journey. Take care, Mary.

  33. April 27, 2017 / 4:13 pm

    Hi Jan, I’m a belated visitor from the 2017 New Blogger hop! I love the fresh style of your quilts and it’s great to read your story . I’m looking forward to seeing what you create as your quilting journey progresses. My advice to any new quilter is not to be critical of your work, no handmade quilt is ‘perfect’ and that’s what gives them their charm and their uniqueness. Love what you make and love the process!

  34. May 1, 2017 / 2:51 am

    A late ‘Hello’ and lovely to meet you Jan. You have made a great start, but don’t worry about building up a stash, I didn’t for years, I just bought for the new project and believe me there will always be a ‘must have’ fabric on the horizon. On the other hand if you build up a stash you can never quite find the right fabrics to compliment the pieces you want to use, then you turn around and find half of your stash is dated and you don’t know why you bought it in the first place. So just build up one or two basics, the low volumes and solids if you like them. For scrappy quilts just get an extra few inches or centimetres of fabric when you buy for your current project, they will build up soon enough. Enjoy your journey.

  35. May 1, 2017 / 7:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing your quilty journey! I have a stash from the first part of my quilty journey, before I took a few years off because: babies :/ and it doesn’t interest me in the least now. So in this new phase I’ve vowed “no stash building” (ha. ha. ha. …but I can try, right?!)

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