2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

Welcome to week 2 of the New Quilt Bloggers 2017.

I first read about the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop last year and thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone’s posts. So when the sign ups started for this year, 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop, I jumped at the chance and signed up. Thankfully the hosts accepted me into their group. And what an awesome group of people they are.

All of the participating bloggers is invited into a sharing platform called Slack. Where everyone is divided up into our own blogging platform groups. And divided further into smaller critique groups.

My Hive is called, the Better Bloggers Hive. Beth from Cooking Up Quilts is our Host for this blog hop.

This is our Hive Blog Button.

I designed this button. Whoop! Designing a logo is one of the things we learned how to do. Just love it. I designed this logo in Inkscape. The program is a free download.

There are another 2 hives.

The Blooming Quilters – hosted by Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl.






The Let’s bee Quilt’n hive hosted by Leanne at She Can Quilt.





For the past couple of months we all learned some new things about blogging. And there were a bit I learned. We all took part in a blog critique where the other member of your critique group look at your blog and give advice on areas that might need “changing”. And to be honest, when I started my blog 2 years ago, I new nothing about setting up a blog, about branding, logos or even how to express myself.

Of all the suggestions I received, I took all of them seriously and implemented all the suggestions. The only thing I am still working on is a branded logo, it is nearly finished. And I might even be able to add it to my blog before this post goes live. Then I will need to trademark my brand.

My blog looks completely different from before and with a couple more minor tweaks I will be very happy with it.

I have made some changes to the look of the blog, my menu is more streamlined. There will be some more changes happening soon, and still very much a work in progress. I would love to hear from you if you like he changes I have made.

OK! Let’s start the bit about me…

Hi, my name is Vanda Chittenden and I live in Amanzimtoti, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. I live within minutes of the beach. And it is warm all year round. In summer we die of the heat and during winter it is just bearable enough to swim in the sea.

I am 42, my birthday was last week Tuesday. I am a single mom with 1 grown up son age 18.  I work full-time as a website administrator, thus making sewing time a very precious and valuable time. My biggest wish, to be able to sew all day long. But that is not practical at this time. Quilting is a passion and a therapy. It is the thing that keeps me sane at the end of a work day and something I look forward to for the weekend.

I started with quilting very late in life. My aunt tried to teach me how to quilt many times while I was younger. When I was 21 or so, I started a quilt which was calico blocks and candlewick mixed with embroidery. It didn’t hold my interest long. I never threw those blocks away, they are in my UFO pile ready to be finished up.

Decades passed by. Age 38, we heard my aunt was terminally ill and I drove 8 hours up to the farm with my mom to go and visit with my aunt. It was an awesome visit. And I was blown away by her quilts. In the year before she passed away, she taught everything she could.

In the year that followed, I tried to figure out where I stand in the quilting environment. What is my style? What do I like? What don’t I like? What technique do I like best? Which is the worst? Do I continue with just Free Geeky patterns or do a branch out into something else? What would that be? What will sell? Do I sell? Where do I sell?

A million and one questions!

My first foray into serious quilting was with the Project of Doom Quilt, A Harry Potter Inspired Quilt Along that started in January 2015. It was a weird how I discovered this quilt. I finally decided to try making a quilt based on Star Trek. And in searching the internet, I happened upon Fandom In Stitches. Be warned! You will get lost in all the awesome free patterns on this blog. If you don’t find the fandom or geeky or nerdy thing you are looking for here, you can ask for a pattern or series of patterns. There is a slew of designers designing new patterns daily. Anyway! So I was looking around the site for Star Trek patterns when I saw a notification about the Harry Potter quilt, and it looked awesome. I watched and read all the Harry Potter movies and books with my son while he was growing up. I had to make it, just had to. And I signed up. It was my first time paper piecing and I was terrified.

4 Months into the quilt along, I was thinking about the Star Trek quilt I wanted to make. On the site there wasn’t much Star Trek stuff, and not much elsewhere on the internet. So I thought (dangerous thing this) why don’t I design my own. After much trial and error, I found a free software that I could play around on to design some patterns. And let me tell you, it was not easy in the beginning. I felt like a fraud. But as you will see on my blog in the Star Trek Pattern download page at the top, I have made many, many patterns. My quilt top is finished, just needs to get quilted now.

Since the Star Trek patterns, I have realized I love designing patterns as much as I like making them.

My Fandom patterns will always be free, just so you know.

I also had my own, very first Quilt Along last year October to December, The Fantastic Beasts Quilt Along. The Pattern download page is above under the gallery tab. I was completely terrified and scared I would mess up somewhere. And yes, there was some glitches, but now that I have learned from this first one, I know how to do it right for future ones (and there will be many).

And here I am today, I have a lot of things going through my mind about the future.

  • Charity Quilts – I have decided to donate to Bobbi Bear. An organization that helps abused children.  I test a lot of my own patterns, which may or may not go into quilts for myself or my family. My finished blocks will be worked into quilts for these children, to give them some comfort.
  • Which quilting direction do I feel is best for my quilting style? Still a lot to think about.
  • Do I stick with e-patterns or branch out into paper patterns?
  • Classes, I have been approached to give lessons in quilting. But it is far away? Viable??
  • Join a Quilt Guild. My local quilt guild is not interested my paper pieced quilts. But the district Quilt Guild is, but is also far away…?? What to do? Do even join a quilt guild?
  • Quilts on show. I want to, but have to be part of a guild. Back to previous question.

Ok! Now for the fun part. Some photos. Yay!

  1. My First Quilt (Unfinished) The 20-year-old candlewick and embroidery quilt I talked about. Sorry for the bad photo.
  2. My First Finished Quilt – Many, many mistakes, with puckers. A simple log cabin in lots of pink.
  3. My First Paper Pieced Quilt & a Quilt For Me. The Project Of Doom, A Harry Potter Quilt. All these patterns are free to download and use at Fandom In Stitches
  4. My Second Applique, bunny rabbit ears. You can find that pattern here. The first one is below.
  5. My First QAL Quilt that I designed. The Fantastic Beasts Quilt patterns are here for free. This is not my quilt. I borrowed the photos from one of my followers. I am sill working on the finishes on mine.
  6. My First Blog Hop Quilt – A Creepy Halloween Quilt. You can find it here. My first applique quilt.
  7. My Favorite Quilt as a Present & wish it was mine. The Smartphone Quilt was made for my mom and dad for when they go camping. You can find the free patterns here.
  8. My Aunts Unfinished quilt she gave me to finish. Hanging above my mom’s chair in the TV room.

Blogging Tip:

Just blog. Even if you don’t have a finished quilt, show your progress. Your readers want to know what you are up to. Make them excited. This is my biggest flaw. I enjoy the sewing process so much, that I can go weeks between writing a post. Busy working up a schedule for myself where will set aside a few hours every week to write and schedule some posts for every week.

Quilting Tip:

Measure twice, cut once.  Need I say more, this mistake happens a lot with me.

Second quilting tip, make sure your thumb is not in the way of your rotary cutter. Hands up, who has cut their finger more than once with their rotary cutter? Yeah! I see you!

My question to you!

What is your favorite sewing technique? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to know and it will help me decide where I go in the future.

  1. Applique
  2. Traditional Piecing
  3. Paper Piecing
  4. EPP
  5. Other, is there an other technique I don’t know about?


Your Dream Vacation Spot – The mountains next to a stream.

Favorite book/s – Oh no, do I have to choose? It was Harry Potter, I have the entire book collection in my book rack. But have discovered Cathy Reich, who rights Bones. Which is also a series. I have watched every single episode all the way to the end

Favorite movie – No not again. #1 is Any and all Star Trek series and movies. I have all the series and movies, but not the books. Harry Potter, Beauty and the Beast, OK wait, just add any animated movie on this list.

Favorite tv show – Big Bang Theory

Random fact about me – I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, this is an auto immune disorder. And Fibromalgia.

Future plans.

There is a lot of Quilt Alongs and Block of the months planned for the near future. Working on them at the moment. Plus a bunch of new patterns.

On the free pattern side of things, I have a giant project planned for the Star Trek pattern archives. This will be worked on over time. And will keep on growing. So my awesome Star Trek followers, you will be getting spoiled.

Remember there are fantastic prizes being given away each week.  To enter the giveaway go visit the 3 hosts

Leanne @she can quilt

Beth @Cooking Up Quilts

Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl

Clicking through to the hosts will also show you all the other hive bloggers for today.


The other bloggers for today from my hive are:

Jan of Cocoa Quilts

Sarah of 9658 Textiles

Yanicka of Finding Myself as an Artist

Abbie of Sparkle On

I hope you enjoyed learning more about me.


Have an awesome crafty week.










  • Beth T.

    Vanda, you are an adventurous quilter and I really admire you! My favorite technique is basic machine piecing, but I’m always open to every other kind of piecing there is, and am amazed at how much I still can learn.

  • Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts

    You are fearless Vanda! You’ve explored so much in your quilting and I’m so impressed. Those first blocks you made are so gorgeous – they will make a beautiful quilt. Put those together, quick! 🙂 This was a wonderful post to read. Thanks for sharing so much of your story with us!

  • mjalto

    Vanda I love your creepy Halloween quilt. My favorite technique, if you can call it a technique, is straight line quilting. I am just starting to try paper piecing.

  • Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl

    I love getting to know about each individual quilter’s journey, Vanda. I am amazed that you just jumped right into designing complex paper pieced patterns; that is so awesome! I am a precision traditional piecer at heart but paper piecing is growing on me. 🙂 Thank you so much for being a part of the hop this year. We are glad to have you.

  • inquiringquilter

    Hi Vonda! I’m a big geek and totally a fan of HP and Star Trek and Fandom in Stitches! Love your patterns and I thought about quilting along but no time. Ugh! I’m going to be back for sure. So glad you’re a part of the New Quilters Blog Hop too!

  • Liz

    Hi Vanda! Wow, I really enjoyed your post. First of all, congratulations on making such a fabulous hive button! I’m a total Harry Potterhead, and I’ve seen the paper pieced bookshelf quilt before, but I was far too intimidated to make it. It’s awesome that you decided to design your own paper pieced quilts to contribute to the fandoms you belong to, too. That takes a lot of determination! But they look fabulous. I’ve tried all the different piecing techniques, but I think I still prefer traditional piecing above the others!

  • Cocoa Quilts

    Vanda, I love that you just went for it, designing patterns. I am thinking about FMQ after a couple of years of straight line and that is a stretch for me. Looking forward to seeing where you go next.

  • Quilting With Vivian

    Vanda, wonderful to see what you are doing and how your story progresses. Your candlewicking was really great. Finish it one day. I’m doing repairs on one I did and will drastically change it. Your creatures quilt is really fun. Keep up the work.

  • Tami Von Zalez

    What fun you have taken a different tack than most with your Fandom themed fabric art.
    My first finished quilt was a log cabin block but blue, blue and more blue. I couldn’t quite get the hang of how the strips went from light to dark for the effect I wanted.
    I am in the world of traditional piecing and just ventured into HSTs.
    I have yet to cut myself with a rotary cutter (and hope I never do) but severely injured myself impaling my index finger with the sewing machine needle and the machine locked up so I had to pull my finger out (yep, did some nerve damage on that one). Now, I take lots of breaks, esp. when FMQing.
    I am an original Star Trek fan (live long and prosper).
    Visiting from the Blooming Quilters hive – my debut post is May 1.
    Pop by for a visit some time

  • Lisa

    I enjoyed reading about your quilting adventures which I quite different than most of the blogs I have come across. It’s nice to see something new. I guess my favourite is basic machine piecing…..and I love to work improvisationally but I don’t do it enough.

  • sewmanyfabricsLiz

    Hi Vanda, I am hopping from Blooming Quilters hive. So glad to meet you! This is my week too.

    I love the fact how you just jumped into quilting. I did the same thing and love it ever since. Your quilts are so cute! Congrats!

    My favorite technique is appliquéing and paper piecing. Good luck with your pattern design and quilting journey!

  • somethingrosemade14

    Vanda, you are definitely a Wowzer in my book. You impressed me from the beginning when the group first started and I am floored that your button design was a first timer for you. Your talent in designing and your computer smarts is awesome and you have been generous in helping and sharing with others. You definitely have the gift of details and patience which shows in your work. I love the paper piecing patterns you have designed and have seen them on other blogs. I have to check them out more because there are a few I would like to make. I’m glad to have met you on the Blog Hop and you know you’re going to hear from me when I get stumped on the computer again. Thanks for being a great Hive Mate!

  • piecefulwendy

    Hi Vanda, it was fun to read your post! I’m reading through everyone’s posts and taking mental notes of things to remember to write about when my turn comes around! Your candlewick quilt project is very pretty, and I also like the icon quilt — what a fun idea! I happen to enjoy paper piecing, and I just bought some supplies to start my first EPP. We’ll see if I like it.

  • Abigail @cut&alter

    Morning Vanda what a great post!!! Lovely to get to know you better. I just love the quilts you make – so diverse. I have already on your Fantastic Beasts pattern wow and I love the Project of Doom quilt. Favourite technique – well I like learning new things and so am up for anything really. Each time I do paper piecing I swear I won’t do it again but I do keep coming back to it. But for the most relaxing sewing just easy shapes which are easy to piece – now I wonder why I don’t do more of this!!!

  • Laura Piland

    Oh, I love those fuzzy bunny ears!! My favorite technique is just traditional piecing – it provides quick results! But I love trying new things and am always seeking out new techniques! I like to try everything at least once!

  • 9658 Textiles

    1.21 Gigawatts!!!! I love that you are a fangirl and are not ashamed to create with it! so many awesome pieces in your collection! keep on keepin on girl! I love following along and plus, I think you have a fantastic attitude 😀

  • Sparkle On with Abbie

    Hi Vanda! I so enjoyed reading your post and learning about you. Your blog is looking awesome. Your quilting is wonderful; with fun and charm! I’d love to come visit you in South Africa, ahhh a beach, such a different place than here in Pennsylvania USA. Also your tips are great, I will be taking your advice. Sincerely ~Abbie

  • quiltersstash

    Hi, Vanda!
    It was so fun to look through and get a sense of your style and individual quilting interests! Running a bee and developing a pattern to share with the world for free are two skills that I think are admirable! For a relatively new , you sure have come along way with your community building and undertakings! I’m glad to have you in my hive and proud of the button you designed! I sure look forward to reading more on your blog!

  • Diane Lomax

    Hi Vanda loved your post. It shows you aren’t afraid to try anything looking for your ‘style’. I particularly love your candlewick and embroidery ufo its really pretty and would love to see it finished. Well done too on having the winning design for our button!

  • Kat

    Vanda, loved reading your post and enjoyed your journey. My favorite is traditional piecing, EPP, Applique, I have had the most difficult time learning paper piecing but will continue my learning lessons this year. Again, thank you for sharing

  • Sarah@123quilt

    Holy wow! Your quilts are awesome. Just awesome. I absolutely love your candlewick quilt blocks. I also love all your fandom stuff. I think you should keep going in the direction you are going. My favorite technique is traditional piecing followed closely by paper piecing. Quick question: I’ve never seen a single episode or movie of Star Trek but I’ve been wanting to give it a try. Where do you suggest I start?

  • thedarlingdogwood

    Nice to meet you,Vanda! I really wish I had discovered the Quilt of Doom while it was going on! I learned about it later. Can’t wait to see what Star Trek stuff you cook up.

  • Carole @ From My Carolina Home

    What fun quilts, you are very talented! I like all the aspects of quilting and usually have three going at once – one in the piecing stage, one on the longarm and one getting the binding hand whipped to the back. Live Long and Prosper!!

  • Sandra Healy

    Hi Vanda! I am a belated visitor from the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers hop! I just adore your quilts, I have seen them and loved them on pinterest so it’s great to finally meet you and hear your story! My favourite technique is machine applique. I do like paper piecing also. And machine piecing and most quilting techniques really!

  • smilesfromkate

    It sounds like you have discovered your niche in quilting early, your paper piecing is lovely. I have fallen in love with so many aspect of quilting, needle turn appliqué lasted the longest, but agin I moved on. Now my problem is I want to do everything, all at the same time, but for now I am concentrating on finishing two quilts and starting one. Good luck on your quilting journey, you have had a great start.

  • LanceR

    Such a fun array of quilts – thanks for sharing! I’m a fan of paper piecing and improv piecing, I guess it depends on the day I’ve had and the mood I’m in 🙂

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