New Quilters Blog Hop | Week 1

New Quilters Blog 2018Well, 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

This is me, sitting amongst my quilts, in my natural habitat.

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.

That’s us! Isn’t she just the cutest!?

My Style

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?!

Whimsy

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?!).

Forest Children's quilt

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!

mint green baby quilt

Why Quilts?

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.

comissioned quilt for wedding

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!

karly-santiago-319853

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.

Baby Doll Quilt

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!

Make a wreath pillow for the Christmas

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

tips for parentsI’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

Get those unfinished projects finished and win big!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

quilt blogging tipsGet 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:

Gail  |  Tracie | Wendy | Jan | Michelle  | Terry  | April 

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!

Enjoy reading this post? To make sure you don’t miss a thing, follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram and sign up for an email subscription to my blog:

 

72 Comments

  1. Hi Rachel, It was great reading your post and learning more about you. And your daughter is the CUTEST!!!! I had to giggle when I read your tip about finishing UFOs! I’m determined to lower my UFOs for my PHD in 2018 this year!
    Happy Quilting 🙂

  2. What a great post Rachel! I absolutely LOVE the picture of you with your quilts! It looks so homey and relaxed:). I have been using tailwind for a little while now and love it too! I’m so glad to have met you. Have a wonderful day❤️❤️

    • Thank you Tracy! I thought it was a bit long, but I just have so much to say! And my sister is an amazing photographer- I have to give her all the credit for that photo (and for it looking good!). I’m glad to have met you too! Any tips on Tailwind? I’ve messed around with it a bit, but I’m sure there’s more to it than what I’ve mastered so far!

      • A very helpful part of tailwind is the tribes feature. I like it because other bloggers see your pictures and posts and they in turn schedule them. I also like how you can add more or less scheduling. Pinterest is the best as far as referring back to my blog, so I try to spend a bit of time focusing on tailwind. Seriously, your blog and shop features are amazing. I could definitely take lessons from you!❤️😊

  3. Nice to meet you, Rachel! I like your description of your style, modern meets traditional. Great intro post. Your daughter is precious!

  4. Nice to meet you! I enjoyed reading your new bloggers intro.

  5. Fantastic blog post! Very informative and love the look of your blog.

  6. Great post – I enjoyed reading about your journey! Beautiful work and family!

  7. Hello fellow hive member….Great introduction. I really like to see the younger folks so excited about my passion. With your help, quilting will continue for many more years. I like the “clean, uncluttered” look of your blog. I might be asking for some help.

  8. Hi Rachel,
    It is so nice to meet you and read about how you got started in this whole quilting business. I am so sorry to hear that you lost your mom. {{Hugs}} I can only imagine how inheriting her UFOs has made an impact on you and that you want to keep yours to a minimum. I looks forward to poking around on your blog, and getting to know you better. ~smile~ Roseanne

    • Thanks, Roseanne. I’ve always been one to take on way too many projects, my mom was actually pretty good at finishing things, but even she had quite a pile when we pulled it all out 🙂
      I hope you enjoy the blog! I like to be as helpful as I can for all types of creative people and quilters!

  9. It was a delight to read this blog post. My dream is continue to play with colour and texture and fabric and thread in some way every day of my life. I love the process of play, the ability to be curious.

  10. I found your blog because of the Blog Hop. Wow, what eye candy you have and love your design esthetic. I’ll be back!

  11. Very informative post Rachel! How wonderful to come from such a long line of quilters. Love the photo of the three of you; your daughter is precious. I totally agree about building relationships with our passion for quilting. 🙂

    • Hi Sandra,
      I’m certainly blessed to have quilting in common with so many ladies! I think we are losing so many ways of communicating and interacting with people, and quilting is such a neat way to really get to know people. Joining the Modern Quilt Guild was the biggest way that I got into the community of things. One of my guild friends and I joke that we are more emotionally stable if we’ve gone to guid that month! haha!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  12. Hi Rachel, I’m so happy to read about you, it’s fascinating! I too have very young children and quilting is my creative and emotional outlet, even though I’m not building a business like you are. I dream about it sometimes, but I don’t think I have the same bravado that you do! I really admire that, and I wish you best of luck on that. I’ll be following along to see where you go!

    • Hi Liz,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and comment! I’m finding that sewing and quilting is evolving as my life changes. At first even “business sewing” was just fun! Now once in a while I need to take a break from the business side of things and just sew for fun. It’s funny how the same exact thing can change depending on whether its for business or fun!

      Thanks so much for following along with me—I’m curious to see where this all goes too 🙂

  13. Hi Rache,
    I’m please to meet you and get to know a little of your life. You seem very passionate in your endeavors. You have a beautiful family and make wonderful quilts.

  14. Rachel, it’s great to get to know you a little bit better. I always find it interesting to find out the journeys that brought others to quilting. I think it makes us each unique and adds to our styles. Love all the pictures of your beautiful quilts and designs.

  15. Enjoyed your quilt history and your advise to finish what you start. I am trying to do that by not over thinking projects and what to do.

    • Thanks for reading, Rosalind. The over thinking can really get to me too. I recently took a class on curves and was stuck on fabric layout when the instructor suggested I just make a pile of the blocks and start sewing…it hurt my brain a little bit to leave things up to chance, but I loved how it turned out! 🙂 I’d encourage you to push yourself just a little more every time you quilt to not over think it (I’m preaching to myself here too!)

      Happy quilting!

  16. Great post! I have several UFOs but certainly not in the hundreds. My goal is to start reducing the number which will greatly help the pocketbook since I already have most of what I need for each one. In some cases all I will need to buy is the batting. I have a graduation gift for one of our grandchildren to make (she graduates from Murray State University next spring, but I want to get it done now), and then I will start on my UFOs.

    • Thank goodness I’m not in the hundreds yet! When ladies tell me that, my heart just sinks! And yes, finishing those projects is so helpful for the budget! I used up some scraps today for a project and realized that I had just saved at least $25!

      And pre-congratulations on your granddaughter’s graduation! I’m sure she’ll love her quilt!
      Thanks for commenting 🙂

  17. Welcome! I hadn’t seen your blog before today.

    • I’m glad you stumbled upon it then! I hope you’ll take a look around—I try to be as helpful as I can and show you the things I’m learning along the way 🙂 Happy reading!

  18. Loved reading about you Rachel and your journey as a quilter. I am a 1st generation quilter but learned to sew at an early age by my grandmother (she didn’t quilt). I would say I am more of a “fabricaholic” but am working on finishing up several quilts before starting any new ones.

    • Thanks for reading, Bambi. Isn’t it so neat that something as small as learning to sew from you grandmother gave you all these directions to go!? Seamstress, quilter, fabricaholic….you could be anything! 😉 I’m also a fabriholic—maybe once I get through all these UFOs, I’ll have to work on some stash busting projects!

  19. Good luck with your business! It is fantastic that you can stay home with your cutie and do some sewing along with it! I am trying to keep my WIPs to a minimum (I do have a few, though).

    • Thanks Danette! It’s not always easy to be a stay-at-work-at-home mom, but I love that I can be with my girl 🙂
      And believe me, I have so many UFOs! That’s why I’m on the war path!

      Have a lovely day & thanks for commenting! 🙂

  20. I’ve loved reading your journey so far and just know you have a great future ahead

  21. I guess my big dream would be to do what you are doing and working from home! I travel so much and carry a machine with me from hotel to hotel to camper and back home again.

  22. love your quilts and your baby is darling

  23. Best wishes on building your business. My dream is to finish up some of these UFO’s and use up some of this stash!

  24. Enjoyed “meeting” you and learning about your life. I wish you luck in all you do, and know that you will do well!!

  25. Great post. So nice to see someone at your age bitten by the quilt bug…glad to see there’s a new generation of quilters to keep it going (and fresh!). Best wishes for growing your business as well!

  26. WOW! Your quilts are so pretty, your daughter is just too cute! I wish I was as sure as you about quilting! I am just beginning & have enjoyed the whole process of making a quilt top – after having done just staight line quilting, not sure if I am a dedicated quilter! One day I hope to try FMQ, but for now I am happy where I am! Thank you, Susan

  27. Nice to meet you, Rachel! Your quilts are lovely! I especially like Whimsey.

  28. Love your style and your blog. I did this last year and it was a blast! I believe in getting rid of UFOs and am doing a pretty good job. Other things get on the list, but I try to do 12 a year, haven’t quite made it but I amon my third year and it is really great seeing these done!

  29. And I forgot to mention I grew up in Berks County and know what fun it was seeing all the Amish quilts. I was always attracted to them. Shiplap is a knockout quilt!

  30. Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for sharing your story! Your quilts are lovely, and I have enjoyed “meeting” you today. :o)

    My big dream? Well, perhaps I’m living it! Or working toward it? If someone had told me, even 10 years ago, that I’d be designing quilt patterns and running an online business, I would have said “You’re crazy!” So you never know. . .

    Happy quilting,
    Sharon

    Ms P Designs USA

  31. Good Luck in your new venture. I loved staying at home with my boys until they went off to school.

  32. Rachel
    What an interesting story about how you got into quilting. I must say I’m a bit envious that your Mom had a quilt shop – but I also thing we’d be hard pressed to find another person on this blog hop who wouldn’t be envious of THAT!

    Thank you for sharing – I’ll enjoy reading about your UFOs. I’m in a PHD challenge that my cousin, Gail @ quiltinggail, started this year. I will have to look into the UFO challenge you mentioned.
    Cheers
    Terry

  33. I was glad to find your patterns when I was in Lancaster. I bought 2 of them and have promised myself to finish up some UFOs and then I can start on your patterns,

  34. What a fun post to read, Rachel. Interesting to hear your story of growing up sewing, and how fun that you still get to share that love with your mom and grandma. Your daughter is adorable! Had to chuckle when you brought up Joanna Gaines and then had a quilt named Shiplap. Haha! Clever!

  35. It’s so good to meet you. You are actually only a year older than my older son and so good to know that the younger generation is thinking of quilting as a viable option to run a business. Good Luck!

  36. Hi Rachel! You have beautiful photos on your blog. I recently read The Magnolia Story also and was very inspired by it. I’m living my dream–longarm quilting, working at a quilt shop and making the quilts I want to make. Thanks for sharing your story!

  37. WOW it was a lot to take in and you are really doing a lot of wonderful things. I’m going to try and not start that next project I’m thinking about. Maybe LOL.

  38. I’m pretty old so my dream now is to see my grandsons graduate from college. Maybe live to be 100 and still be quilting.

  39. Wow!!! you have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Congratulations.

  40. I dream of one day selling patterns of what I’ve made. I’m like you and have been sewing most of my life.

  41. Rachel, it was so good to meet you today. I truly enjoyed your post and will be coming back for more. For being young, you do have a great bit of wisdom. Sorry for the loss of your mom, but you have a wealth of memories that so many people lack.

  42. I love that quilting is something that became special to you because of the generational connection. I love quilting for many reasons, but in part because my mom taught me and continues to teach me new things!

  43. It was great to meet you through this blog post and I wish you great success in your business. Your patterns are beautiful and you are such a good writer. My heart was so touched when I read about your mother and I am glad that you have taken on her ufos.

  44. I enjoyed reading your Blog and you have a beautiful little girl. It’s nice that you are able to stay home and work. I love coming to Lancaster for fabric shopping and just to see the Amish. We go at least once a year. My dream is to finish up my UFO’s and then work on one quilt at a time. I get behind from taking classes and sometimes boredom. The quilting is what slows me down as I do it on my dsm and am not very good.

  45. It was awesome meeting you through your blog! I am so thankful your parents allowed you to be you and let your creativity lead you to this point in your life. You have a lovely family too. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to hearing more from you!

  46. I really need to work on those UFO’s. Thanks for the inspiration!

  47. Excellent intro, Rachel! I’m so glad you found the hop while you’re still eligible. Your design aesthetic is so fresh and clean; I admire your work.

    Your paragraph about the bonds created through quilting really resonates with me. It’s something my mother and I have together, and now she’s taught my children, too. Then there’s the circle of friends who quilt…and the online community is incredible!

  48. Beautiful family! I’m impressed at what an entrepreneur you were at such a young age!

  49. I enjoy the way your quilts give the new interpretation of old blocks

  50. You might be young, but your advice to parents is good and comes from genuine experience. I hope I can give my kids some of that experience too. I dream of being able to contribute financially to my family through my quilting as well. Lovely post and enjoy these precious years with your girl.

  51. Enjoyed your writing and shared info. I’ve started to join your FB UFO. Good luck with your endeavors!!!

  52. Wow great job so much eye candy. ..This us just how I get my ideas ty for joining this blog hop….. happyness04431@yahoo.com

  53. Nice to meet you. Great intro post. My dream is to finish all the quilts I have circulating in my head. But I really wanted to open a quilt shop about 20 years ago. I just never got around to it.

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