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.



It is December and the end of 2016.  I have been wanting to do several Roman Shades for the house, but haven’t done them.  I’ve only done one shade before in about the late 1990’s.  Of course I had great directions and can’t find them anywhere.

So I decided that it would be a great project for Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal Party.

Picked up this cute fabric from the local fabric store, Fields, as a remnant for $6.  Picked up the lining at Hobby Lobby with a 40% coupon.

So I started putting the fabric together before we headed out for vacation.  Just got home this weekend and decided it was getting to close to the end of the year to not have this finished.

So I put it together and here is the shade.  Yikes!!  It doesn’t hang right.  It doesn’t appear to have the dowels evenly spaced.

It really doesn’t lay right when it is raised, either.

So at this point, I am calling it hung, but after the first of the year, I’ll be pulling it down and reworking it.  

Linking up with the Elm Street Quilts OMG December Finish Party.


This is my One Monthly Goal hosted by Elm Street Quilts.

I’ve been wanting to make a Roman Shade for my mudroom for awhile.  We’ve built this house 5 years ago, so I’ve been wanting for awhile.  I really want to make 4 other shades, but I’ll start with one.  See how it goes.

Now is the time for the first shade.  Picked up this cute fabric from Fields for $6.  Got the lining and some tube tape at Hobby Lobby.

This month I will make this shade.  We’ll be on vacation for 1 week, visiting family for 1 weekend, Yikes, I better get started.

Linked up with

MCM #52

Elm Street Quilts


I started my third Sew Together Bag last week.

I purchased this fabric from Hawthorne Threads  

Before I started to piece the bag together, I reviewed the step by step instructions from Amber over at Studioarblog.  She has so many great pictures and breaks the bag down into 5 days, so nothing feels overwhelming.

For those of you that aren’t trying this bag because of the zippers, take it from a beginner.  The zippers weren’t bad.  Amber’s step by step instructions make the a breeze.

Here are the links from my first bags, First Bag and Second Bag.

Putting the bag together wasn’t a problem.  The zippers went in with no problems too.

I ran into problems with the binding.  It was a pain.  I had skipped stitches all over the place.  I know that it is a lot of fabric to go through, but it was more than frustrating.

Good thing this was my third bag.  If it had been my first, it may also have been my last.

I tried new needle, re-threading, new thread, refill the bobbin, walking foot, no walking foot.  I think I tried it all.  Finally, I got it done.  A few minor skipped stitches, but it is done.

So don’t look too close, but here it is.

I think I’ll be putting this pattern away for awhile, but don’t fear the zippers.

Linking Up with:

Elm Street Quilts:Bag It


Last month I started following Red Letter Quilts and saw her OMG, One Monthly Goal. I saw this as a way to write down one goal and then complete it. Kind of hold me accountable to getting things done. It worked. Here was my September bag.

So for October, with the holidays coming, my OMG for October is 2 (I know it is One Monthly Goal, but I want to get 2 done).

Here are my fabrics for these two bags.

So I am off, kinda of.  I must confess I already finished the first bag OMG Bag for October.  

Ready to get to my second bag for October.

Linking up to:

Red Letter Quilts OMG