Well, hello there! I bet you’re looking at the title of this post and wondering why I’m calling myself a new quilt blogger. Well, we’ll get to that story a little later, but first, let me tell you about the awesome blog hop that I’m honored to be a part of, the fabulous prizes you could win, and the amazing quilters you’re going to meet:
Note: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. This means that if you choose to click on and purchase through links in this post, I will be given a small commission, this doesn’t add to your cost at all. It’s how I’m able to provide you with great free content every week. Thanks for your support!
What is the New Quilters Blog Hop?
I’ve heard rumors about the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop for a few years now, so when I had the chance to join this year, I thought I would jump on it! This hop is for quilt bloggers that have been around for 3 or fewer years (I came in right under 3, so this was my last shot). We’re just beginning and it’s already been a great way to meet other quilty people that have a lot to offer, so if you do nothing else, make sure that you scroll to the bottom of this post, check out their blogs, and enter to win some pretty sweet prizes!
If you’re just starting out in quilt-blog-land, make sure you get involved, visit the other quilters that I’ve linked to and sign up for next year’s hop! It will make an incredible difference for you!
A Little About Me
To start off this hop right, I’d like to take some time to introduce myself, I think this will be pretty interesting for those of you who have been following me for a while now since I haven’t done an intro post since back when I was blogging about interior design!
My name is Rachel, I live in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (if you’re into the history of quilts, I’d kindly ask you to wipe that drool off your lip) with my husband and sweet daughter. My husband tirelessly works a job and a half so that I can build my quilting business. He’s not just the breadwinner, he’s also the website designer, spreadsheet guru, and big dreamer. There is no way that I could be doing what I’m doing without him. He fans the flame when I’m getting burnt out and believes in me and my business.
That little cutie that I’m holding in the picture below? Well, she’s not super helpful when it comes to writing blog posts or folding patterns (yet!) but she’s the reason that my business started when it did. I didn’t want to be away from her for these fleeting and precious years, so I started growing my business in an effort to become a work-from-home/stay-at-home mama.
You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you sure can get to know a quilter’s style by what she’s made! When it comes to my style, I think I’d like to officially classify myself as a “transitional” quilter. In interior design, this is a term that’s regularly used (not so much in quilting). Transitional style is when it’s not quite modern, but certainly not traditional. I’m right in that grey area that I think a lot of us are in in our fashion and interior styles. To put it simply, if Joanna Gaines was a quilter, I think we’d be in the same category.
Here’s some great examples of my favorite quilts:
Old Traditions in New Ways
I can’t claim this gorgeous Swoon pattern as my own (unfortunately), but it is probably one of my all-time favorite patterns. I have to credit the amazing work of Camille Roskelley for Thimble Blossoms for this one. I adore large blocks and crisp points…I mean, what could be better?!
This quilt top was actually made by my friend, Becca over at Sunflower Seams, during pattern testing for my Through the Woods quilt. I love the fabrics that I used for the original, but these delicious blues and yellows really show off the pattern well. This whole pattern was inspired by the Little Red collection from Dear Stella and if you’re going to Spring Quilt Market, you’ll see it there (can you tell that I’m slightly thrilled?!).
Focus on the Fabrics
I love quilts, I really do. But when it gets down to it, what I *really love* is FABRIC! I have piles of fabric in my studio that might never get cut because it’s JUST. SO. BEAUTIFUL.
So, if you give me a quilt that can show off those delicious fabrics, I might just cut them. My Merry Mixer quilt pattern is a great example of that, it’s a fun layout that comes together quickly but really showcases those beautiful prints. It even works for large prints, which I’m a real sucker for.
Keep It Simple
Now, I’m the first to jump headlong into a paper pieced, curved ruler, insane amount of blocks project. But I really do love projects that are simple to make and simple to look at. Something I can get done is always a winner in my book.
Patterns like Shiplap are my kind of patterns because the are just interesting enough, but not overly-complicated. I’ve got a few more designs up my sleeve that use this concept because I love it so much!
Oh boy, I have so many favorites, it’s so hard to pick just a few! Long story, short: I love modern, I love traditional and while I go on and on about my “transitional” style, I’ve got to mention that I have a deep appreciation for 30’s reproductions (the real thing if I can find it) and even Civil War prints. I believe that what we label as “modern” today is really just new interpretations of these classic prints!
You’re probably wondering why a 26 year old like myself would be into quilting, and go as far as making it my career. That is a great point, and like most things in my life, it’s a long story. But it’s one that I love to share!
I have been sewing since I was 3. Most people don’t believe me when I say this, but I promise, it’s what my Mom always told me! I begged her to let me use her sewing machine and she (wisely) got me started on something a bit less fast and sharp: hand sewing with a blunt needle. I would venture to guess that teaching a 3 year old to sew isn’t super easy or retained, and to this day, I hand sew backwards! I get some looks sometimes, but it’s burned into my brain now.
Fast forward through hand sewn skirts from scraps, pillows for kitties and teachers, and my first sewing projects. They were all inspired, funded, and taught to me by my mother.
Then in 4th grade my grandmother helped me make my first quilt block, a batik log cabin that we turned into a quilted pillow.
Then when I was in middle school, my mom opened a quilt store. And if I wasn’t already destined for the quilty life, I certainly was now!
My mom continued to support me in every way throughout all my creative phases, she even helped me set up my own stand at my school’s craft show every year! I sold crocheted scarves, hand-made jewelry, purses, and you guessed it—sewing patterns!
Business was always built into me, watching my mom open her own store inspired me and made me believe that I could do the same! After a few different businesses, I’ve landed here in quilt-world, and I think I’m here to stay.
If you’re curious about my various business, here’s the abbreviated version:
The Bead Box: My jewelry design “business” throughout middle and high school
Passion Flower Designs: My pattern design business in my later high school years
Rachel Rossi Interior Design: My interior design business during and a few years after college
Rachel Rossi Design: This is me now!
Why did quilting stick? I think there’s a few special things that made quilting stick with me: For one, I was an active participant in this beautiful work of art with my mom and my grandmother. That’s something that 3 very different ladies from 3 very different generations had in common—not too many hobbies or activities can claim that. Quilting is a powerful tool for creating this cross-generational community. Don’t get me wrong, I love design and fabrics just as much as the next quilter, but there is something special about how it brings people together, and that’s worth pursuing. You see, some day my quilts may get worn out but the relationships that I created while making that quilt or with the person who received that quilt will last for ages! What a gift!
It’s a gift that I want to make available to the next generation. And that’s what I’m most passionate about.
Something for Everyone
I know that people from all walks of life read my blog, which is SO NEAT, and I try to make my blog super helpful for everyone. So, to wrap things up, I’d like to give you a few tips, no matter who you are!
A Tip for Moms & Dads
I’m 26, and that’s fairly young to be in business for yourself and probably too young to be giving advice to parents. But I know that I wouldn’t have ever dreamed of doing all this if my parents hadn’t believed in me and let me explore my passions. They let me try out fashion design, jewelry making, I even had free reign over my bedroom and bathroom which got me into Interior Design (my college major)…believe me, it took a lot of primer to cover up my kelly green walls and textured techniques, but I learned a lot with every mistake they let me make. My confidence grew with each experience, and I believed that I was capable of anything. I didn’t learn that I was exceptionally smart or talented, but that my parents were rooting for me and whatever I set my mind to, could be done. So parents, don’t just believe in your kids, show them that you believe in them.
A Tip for Dreamers
That was quite a little speech I gave about big dreams, eh? I imagine that you’re either rolling your eyes or sketching out your next big business plan. I guess what I want to say is; don’t be afraid to dream! It might take some waiting around for those dreams to have the right timing, but don’t give up on whatever has been planted in your heart! I recently read the Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines. Not only was it the first book that I’ve finished in years, but it was a really good and healthy way for me to reflect on my own business and what God has planted in my heart. I’d definitely suggest you give it a read! (And yes, that is shoutout number 3 to JoJo for those who were counting!).
A Tip for Quilters
Quilters, quilters, quilters! We are all so different, but part of us is the same; we love to start projects and never finish them! After losing my mom last year and inheriting her UFO pile, I’m going to say one thing. FINISH WHAT YOU START! I’ve met quilters that keep count of how many projects or kits that they have sitting in their sewing room and those numbers are in the hundreds! I’ve drawn a line in the sand and vowed to get four UFO projects finished this year. I’ve finished one (check it out on the blog) and have my second started. I’ve even created a group of quilters on Facebook to keep each other accountable, it’s not too late for you to join us! Just join my Facebook group, hop on over to the UFO Challenge event, and get all the details! It doesn’t cost you a penny AND you can win a fabulous prize at the end of the year!
A Tip for Bloggers
Get Tailwind. Just do it! This awesome app does it all and I’ve seen first hand how it can grow your audience in a way that you just can’t do on your own. It’s a great way to schedule Pinterest and Instagram posts and find other bloggers and influencers with similar interests. It’s so important that we all help each other out and add efficiency and cohesion to our social media routine. You can try a free 30 day trial to see what I’m talking about, but I promise, you’re going to love it! (and yes, this is an affiliate link…I know you understand!)
Now It’s Your Turn!
Thank you for reading ALL THE WAY to the bottom of this post…you’re a saint, really! Now I want to hear from you; what is your big dream? What’s the story behind it? Let’s encourage and inspire each other!
Now onto the Good Stuff!
Check out all that the 2018 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop has to offer!
Win Great Prizes
Head on over to MMM Quilts! and enter for your chance to win some amazing prizes! Don’t forget to check back every week this month for a new (and awesome) prize! Seriously, look at all these awesome sponsors!!
Find Awesome New Quilters
There are a bunch of people that I want to make sure you meet! The other talented quilters on deck with me this week are:
Make sure to check out their awesome blogs and leave a comment, you’ll get extra entries for the prize this week if you do!
You can enter to win these great prizes on any of the co-host’s blogs, check them out here:
Thank you so much for reading this post, if you enjoyed it, make sure to sign up for weekly updates about new blog posts, sales, patterns, and more!