that one time I met Rae • Quilt Con 2015 • and thoughts on blogging….

I am not a quilter.
I know I will get into it one day….when kids are grown up….and I have more spare time….and…yada yada…..okay, that sounds like probably never.
I still remember the first time I opened a Denyse Schmidt quilting book and felt this inner sigh of happiness, and realized—there are people out there making really cool quilts!  MODERN quilts!  The kind with negative space, simple colors, solid colors, and asymmetrical lines.
Even though I’d never sewn a quilt at that point, I felt like someone understood me.

(Modern X quilt by Christa Quilts)

And if modern quilting speaks to you too….did you know there’s a whole conference dedicated to Modern Quilting!  It’s called Quilt Con.  And this year I decided to check it out!
Because it’s held annually in Austin!
Can life get any better??
It can…(keep reading)….

So.  As I seem to do with every conference I attend, I frantically whipped up a new business card a few days before the event.  And printed enough copies to be used as drink coasters in every Chilis across America.

But my publisher had asked if I’d do a book signing of Fabrics A to Z at the conference along with other sewing authors.  Yay!  And since I love meeting people and chatting nerdy sewing stuff together, the whole day just fell into place.

So I grabbed my new cards and a roll of oilcloth.
Cause you never know when you’ll need cabana stripes.

Then I decorated with Dove chocolates.
Cause you always know you’ll need chocolate.

And then….the moment I’ve been waiting for, for years…
Guess who walked up??

Yes friends!
Rae and I finally met in real life!!

I know that probably seems crazy.
Or maybe it doesn’t.
But Rae and I have been online friends for about 6 years now.  We’ve hosted multiple Celebrate the BOY series together.  And we’ve even talked on the phone a few times.
But we’d never chatted face to face, until this weekend!
And she was just as adorable and down-to-earth, and fun, and all that jazz, as she always been.

Oh what a joy to finally meet someone I consider a very good friend!  It’s like this weird virtual-reality B-list movie come to life.

You know, blogging has been quite the adventure.

Sometimes I can’t believe I’ve been sharing on this little space for 7 years….because it seems like I just started….like I just posted about that stinkin Shirt Dress, and watched the lightbulb turn on in my husband’s head as he started charting blog traffic and growth potential (he’s a statistician; he can’t help it).

And then other times it feels like I’ve been blogging forever.
And I wonder if I’ll still be blogging in 5 more years?

My brother once asked if I’m going to run out of ideas to blog about.
And like most of you….it’s not an ideas issue….it’s a scarcity of time problem!

There’s never enough time to really make, share, and do all the things we want to in life.  And to do them well….which is why I really hope there’s a course on furniture building and wood working in the next life.
Totally signing up for that.
(and probably quilting).

But if I had to pinpoint the single most amazing thing I’ve gained from blogging, it would have to be a network of friends and peers, and other moms who have similar interests….all around the world.

(above quilts:  Optical Illusion by Christa Quilts and Piecing by Emily Cier)

It’s so amazing!
…like all these pretty quilts.
I mean, right?  Gorgeous stuff.  You need to come to Quilt Con.
Things will just jump out at you….

Over the years I’ve met inspiring women….

Like Nathalie who wrote this amazing post about learning to quilt (and happens to have the most adorable baby girl.  Ah!  So happy I got to see you Nathalie!)

….and like the talented Melody from Cotton + Steel who’s changing the face of modern fabric.

Women who motivate me to dream big and reach the unreachable….and who also remind me to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life.

Because success is not measured by how many followers or books or business ventures or whatever we’ve attained.  What matters is how you treat the people around you….and if your kids like being with you and want to share their stories and troubles with you.  It’s about being present in the moment, and saying no to a blog post so you can go out to lunch with friends.  Life is about those blasted cake pops….and your husband feeling appreciated.

And it’s also about this moment at Quilt Con when Rae and I then met up with Deborah from Whipstitch! Oh Deborah!  I love this lady!…and I’ve known her just about as long as I’ve know Rae.  She’s such a fun, smart, clever writer and can talk about as fast as I do (which is probably why we’re compatible) And she wrote this fantastic post about blogging and why people don’t comment like they used to, and why that might be?–such an interesting read.

These ladies are like the first blogging friends I ever had.

And to sit and have lunch with them for 2 hours and exchange ideas was like a dream come
true….and social media overload, as Deborah took a pic of me, taking a pic of Rae, taking a pic of our sushi.
And totally fun.

You made it to the end!
That was one long rambling post, which was going to say “Here’s a cool quilt.  It’s gray and white”.

But instead I got all mushy.

So let me close by saying thanks for being you.

We’re all just yarn-ties in the grand scheme of life.
But when you put us together, it looks like the sky is raining polka dots.
And that sounds fantastic to me.

Have a great weekend!

  1. 1) HokieKate

    Great post!

  2. 2) Nancy

    Great post and so awesome that you and Rae finally met. I’ve been following along w your blogs for a very long time and recall you both commenting about how it would be great to meet. Glad it happened for you both! Too cute 🙂

  3. Great thoughts. And you know I’m right there with you! The people that enrich our lives are the reason, always.

  4. Aww~ so glad you had a great time at the conference! Loved what you wrote. You were one of my first blogging loves~ even before I even had a sewing machine. Can’t believe how many years it’s been since I’ve been reading along!

  5. 5) Katy Roberson

    Such a fabulous post and such a fun conference! I’m not much of a quilter either, but I can appreciate their beauty. Thanks for sharing with us!

  6. 6) Jes

    Lovely post for many reasons 🙂

  7. awe! best post in the world! seriously so happy that you all met up and I know you and I will be taking that furniture building class in our next life, together. 🙂

  8. Isn’t meeting old time bloggy friends the best?! (In random information…”bloggy” keeps autocorrecting to “bloody.” Oh my!) I’m so enjoying reading about people’s experiences at QuiltCon this year. It sounds like it was great fun. And I’m so glad more people are being exposed to your book. It helps me so much when I’m attempting new projects. 🙂

  9. Oh, Dana!! I just think you’re DREAMY. And I remember a zillion years ago when we very first met online, and traded emails back and forth, and I felt this epiphany and realized that there are friends out there, bosom friends like in Anne of Green Gables, just waiting to be met. I’m so thankful to call you one of them! Here’s to lots more years of sharing ideas and laughs and seeing each other in person, blogs or not. xoxo

    • 10) Dana

      oh my gosh this is the sweetest comment. Ever.
      Love you 🙂
      Bosom buddy.

  10. I’m a little embarrassed to say your post got me all teary eyed!

    I just started blogging last summer. I was 17 and hoped I could use it to capture all my creativity in one place and “journal” my life. (You were the one who inspired me to get back to sewing as a freshman, and then to consider blogging). Sometimes it gets hard and I forget that this is a new thing for me…and ladies like you have been doing this for years! I love what you said about it not being about followers and business but about the people around you. I guess I need a little re-focus 🙂

    Anyways, thanks for the lovely post! It’s so great to see that you met Rae!

  11. 12) Mark Suman

    What an awesome post. Like others have said, it was moving.

  12. Oh Dana! I love your posts like this! Mike saw me looking through some #quiltcon photos and he asked if I wished I was there, and YES I totally wish! There is something special about surrounding yourself with like-minded women who support each other and are friends before even meeting IRL. Even he can see that! You are such a great friend!

    (Also- I reference your book a lot, it is really incredible!)

  13. 14) Windie D

    so i am craft blog stalker – i love all various types of crafts, but do not have my own blog as i barely have time to make crafts, let alone write about them.

    There are a few blogs that i go to every day (this one included!) and its just so funny that you posted this today because last night i had a dream that i got together with the lovely ladies of the blogs follow!

    It would be so fun to meet people you feel like you know just from a few minutes of daily reading. And i guess my subconscious thinks so too!

    Thanks for sharing all that you do!

  14. Loved this. I hope you never quit and do it on your deathbed. Live long and prosper.

  15. 16) Michelle Lubbers

    Great post! I can’t say enough good things about you, your style, your taste, how simple (uncomplicated) you are. I introduced you, and your blog, and your videos, to my mom recently, so now we can all be friends and talk about
    you like you are someone we have met in real life even though we just know you from the interwebs. I cannot wait to see what your quilting life brings you (and us, your friends 😉 )

  16. AWWW!! this is so great. FINALLY meeting you was the high point of QuiltCon for me, fo sho! Even though we’ve only actually spent a couple real face-to-face hours together, we’re really old friends now (I love that!). It’s crazy how time flies, and I’m thankful to have such awesome friends like you and Deborah to share this fun blogging stuff with!!

  17. Thanks for sharing my quilt, Modern X (the black white and green in your first picture above) with your readers. When you get a chance, can you credit me as the quiltmaker? Christa Watson from Christa Quilts. Also, another of my quilts is in your roundup – optical illusion (the black and white one with the optical illusion about the 9th picture down). I’m glad you have such good taste!

    • 19) Dana

      Just added your links in there! Thanks for letting me know Christa! I wish I had written down all the creators names and websites but I was in and out of there so quickly. Your work is magnificent!

  18. I enjoyed the update! {I refer so many people to you, because I find your tutorials so easy to follow for just average sewers like me. I’m so glad I took your class at SNAP last year. You’ve really inspired me to make so many things for my kids since then. Keep being awesome!}

  19. 21) Maja

    So nice you girls finally met eachother!

  20. 22) Emily C.

    I think it’s hilarious that you and Rae only just met. I started following both your blogs around the same time several years ago. The two of you really inspired me to sew more for my kids! I have learned so much from both of you.

  21. 23) Charitie McArthur

    I just wanted to say thank you for all you do on your blog. I think you are amazing, and while I LOVE to do things crafty, ideas have always been my downfall. You inspire and allow us beginners to try something without the fear of failure. I have purchased your patterns and I know I will continue with more in the future. Thanks for everything, you ROCK!

  22. 24) Meagan Briggs

    those quilts!!! My mom is a quilter (all done by hand after machine piecing together). My family have over 10 quilts she has made us for various holidays and birthdays. I want so badly to quilt! Quilts are the most amazing gifts to receive and I hope I can give that to someone someday when I find the TIME to actually teach myself or pick my mothers brain about how she does it.

  23. I read the blog post you referenced about people not commenting anymore, and realized I am just as guilty. I’ve been reading your blog for years, but rarely comment. I have, for the most part, quit reading people’s blogs that I don’t know, but I continue to read yours and one other one. I love blogs! They are SOOO MUCH more personal than IG or FB. Thanks for taking the time to write and share your talents with the world. However, it did make me feel better about myself when my comments dropped dramatically a few years ago, to see people with thousands of followers with only a handful of comments as well. 🙂 I vow to make a better effort to comment (which I think is just like saying you support someone) on the blogs I do read.

  24. 26) sorahart

    When I first started reading your blog your son was tiny! I guess this is how I measure time–how bloggers’ kids have grown. :). Truly I have enjoyed everything you have to offer. As long as you keep blogging, I will keep reading!

  25. Dana, I love your blog and your insights. I am a newbie to blogging, so it’s so fun to see where it has brought you. Thanks for being so inspiring! It’s so fun to see other moms who love to sew and create 🙂

  26. 28) Angie Backman


  27. 29) Christy Wallkaker

    Oh my gosh. Modern quilting! How I wish I had known about this 5 years ago. I’ve had so many conversations with my mom and aunt (who is an avid traditional quilter) about wanting a quilt with only solid colors and clean lines. They would both look at my like I had one eye and then say I was taking the creativity out of the quilting. I can’t wait to show them this blog post and say, “see! I’m not crazy and quilts don’t have to rely on the same traditional patterns to be creative and beautiful!”

  28. 30) Rachel

    This is crazy. I have no idea where I got this idea but for the several years I have been following both you and Rae, I have been under the impression you were sisters. Now I seriously wonder where the heck that notion came from and my mind is blown that you, in fact, had never even met in real life until recently. Whoops!

  29. 31) Penny

    You continue to rock, Dana!!! At first I misread that you wrote, “I am not a quitter” and I thought, oh no, please do not blog that you are quitting your blog!! Then I realized it was ‘quilter’ – hello! I love your blog – I love your enthusiasm for life, family, creating and sharing. Plus, if not for you – I would’ve never tried asparagus and now I have it almost daily! (love your recipes, too!) Have a great weekend and THANK YOU for writing your great blog. I only wish the best for you and your family.

  30. Quilt Con….seems like as good a reason as any to make a second trip to SA to see my sister. 🙂

  31. 33) Mikea

    These quilts!!! Beautiful! Glad you got to meet Rae! Ive had a friend for 4 years ive never met. One day… Im jealous of the kid break. Hahaha

  32. Dana and Rae and Deborah in the same place at the same time. I think my head would explode. But I’ll never be admitted to one of these sewing or quilting extravaganzas, so there is no need to worry about my brain matter all over the fabric. I’m working on my first quilt – I have my squares done, next step is laying them out to see where I want them to go in the quilt top as a whole.

  33. 35) Sue

    Great post! That’s all x

  34. just wwwwooooooowww!!! Love from this side of the earth!

  35. I am so happy you three were able to hang out in “real life!” What a treat! these connections are the best ting, and the most lasting thing, about blogging. And I’m happy to know QuiltCon is an annual Austin thing–the excuse I need to visit your town!

  36. 38) Natalie

    I loved this post!

  37. Thank goodness for this online community of blogging sewists! It’s how I’ve learned to sew. I just enter “d” in my browser address box and your site pops right up. I also don’t think I am a quilter but have a goal of making one quilt by the end of May. A modern quilt is what I’m after. So sad to miss the conference! And I missed meeting all my sewing teachers in person! It says the conference next year is in Pasadena, CA and the one after in Georgia, both so far away!
    Will they have one in Austin too?

  38. 40) Ashley

    Awesome! I was supposed to go but couldn’t at the last minute. I will go someday. Did you see Vanessa C also? My sister bought me her new quilting book for my birthday…so excited.

  39. I can’t believe I’ve been reading your blog since that precise shirt post! You do such lovely stuff and those pomegranate cookies…to die for. Thank you for taking the time to write your blog, I for one really enjoy reading it.

  40. love it! I saw you both at QuiltCon and had to say hi! My son is sleeping on a crib sheet made from your tutorial right now and my daughter is wearing one of Rae’s geranium dresses!
    BTW the blue, pink, red and white striped quilt in the upper right is mine! It’s called Wakefield and (shameless plug) the pattern is for sale on my website!

  41. 43) Bailee

    Isn’t it crazy how the times change so fast? FB isn’t my favorite, and I’m not sure what instagram even is. I don’t have the time for all of these. I have noticed that you are slowing down on blogging, and I really miss all of your awesome posts and tutorials! I like your new videos on you tube, but I love your blog posts even more. After reading your post, I wanted to comment and let you know how thankful I am for all of the things I have learned from you. I had been taking lessons from a lady in my ward on how to sew quilts when I happened upon your blog. I learned to sew clothes for my children from you and can’t believe how much I’ve improved. I have even designed and written a few 18″ doll patterns in the last few years and have sold a lot of them on Etsy. I love all of your patterns, and the shorts pattern is my favorite. I can’t tell you how many pairs of shorts I’ve made. It makes me happy to see my kids wearing something that I made. Thanks again!

  42. Hi Dana! I wish I’d of gone to Quilt Con now…I mean it’s just up the road. Had I known you’d be there, I’d of gone for sure. Oh well, next year? But I made great use of the weekend time doing my favorite thing instead…sewing! I didn’t take up quilting until my first grandchild was on the way, and you have eons until that time rolls around. Have you “met” Amy Gibson of ? She’s a young mom quilter up in Utah and you guys would make fast friends. You both have so much in common starting with your sunny dispositions, love of sewing, strong faith, and your youngest are about the same age (but she has twin boys!). Yes, blogging changed my world too – not so much the posting (I’m just getting back to that), but reading the blogs has opened up new parts of my brain to do things I’d never done before. Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilt Co taught me how to quilt with her online tutorials I stop by her Daily Deal every day and have loaded my fabric stash from that.
    Love your blog! I stop by every day!

  43. 45) Cammie

    Dana, I’ve never been tempted to attend a convention, until now. And, in Austin! I’ve always dreamed of packing up my family and moving to Austin.
    Can you tell me who made the plum and hot pink quilt in your first image? I love everything about that pattern and I’d love to see the whole quilt.

  44. i still can’t believe this is the first time you and rae had met! and i looooove that photo of you two with the giant smiles, so fun. the most shocking thing to me about meeting people i’ve previously known online first is how easily we settle into conversation, as if we are old friends. i love that. i need to get to more of these convention thingies, the time i went to quilt market was life changing!

  45. 47) kelly DeWyse

    Hi Dana, you inspired me to post a comment which I have never done! I have been reading your blog posts for 2 years and have made many of your tutorials with great success. Thank you for what you do, you have helped me tap into my creative nature which has helped balance my very busy life. I really appreciate you!

  46. Oh my goodness how fun is that??? I cannot believe you and Rae had not met before this, I had no idea! And Deborah is so much fun… I remember meeting both of you in Atlanta and drinking Shirley Temples on the veranda of the hotel (that sounds so fancy, lol). So glad that you had a great time! Those quilts are amazing!

  47. Oh wow I thought you guys would have met up tonnes of times!! That’s so crazy! How exciting omg, I’m surprised the world didn’t implode from the sheer awesomenes of Dana & Rae in the same space together ^_^

    You’ve always been an inspiration for me Dana, right from the beginning. I love you! I love seeing everything you accomplish!!

  48. QuiltCon sounds like it was a great time! I discovered modern quilting about three years ago. I was making bags and starting some clothes (like your dolman top!) and my mom suggested join their quilting group to learn some proper techniques (like how I should actually press seams and use a rotary cutter…ha). I resisted at first, thinking quilting was for “old people”. I joined, made my first quilt and still wasn’t convinced. Then I saw a modern baby quilt on Etsy and saw Lotta Jansdotter’s Echo line and started calculating how to make it fit my bed….and I was hooked from there! It did take a while to develop a bit of patience – most quilts don’t whip up as fast as some bags do! ANd now I’ve started designing my own patterns and blogging a bit too 🙂

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