Hello Quilty Friends!
Happy Thursday to you!
I hope you all had a special Valentine’s Day this week. Flowers……candy…..dinner out……chocolate…….and maybe fabric………you deserve the best!
When I was thinking about some possible blog topics the other day, the idea popped into my head that you might be interested in reading about how I organized the Blog Hop. Maybe you’re a blogger and you’re thinking about setting up a Hop or maybe you’re just curious. So I thought, why not tell you how the Blog Hop developed.
I also wanted to take a moment to let everyone know that prizes are being shipped out as I write this, so if you were a Hop winner, you should be receiving your prize soon. I thank you for your patience, the logistics of shipping out so many prizes has been kind of overwhelming. The biggest issue, has been figuring out how to do the shipping as I am located in Pennsylvania (I have the Sponsor Prizes) and Villa Rosa Designs is located in California (they have the quilts and the Rose Card Sets). I just wanted to point out that depending on which prize you won, the return address on your package may not be from Villa Rosa Designs in California. Crazy, crazy, crazy…….
Grand Prize Winners
I know you’ve all been waiting for the Grand Prize Winners but only 1 winner has responded to the email I sent, so sadly we will have to wait until next week to announce the 2 Grand Prize winners.
I got the idea to have a VRD Blog Hop last year when I was brainstorming new ideas for Villa Rosa. I talked to Pat, our Rose Queen, and she thought the idea sounded interesting and gave me the green light to go ahead with the project.
The first thing I did was look at the calendar. I chose 2 possible weeks — one in November 2022 and the other in January 2023. I really considered the November dates, but was afraid there wouldn’t be enough time to get everything done so I finally decided to go with the January dates as it gave me more time to put things together and it would be something quilters could look forward too as January can be a month when we’re stuck inside with the winter blahs.
Before I’d totally decided on January 2023 for the Blog Hop, I started contacting some bloggers who had participated in a Blog Hop I did on my personal blog, Quilt With A View, when my I Love Precut Quilts book launched in 2016.
I knew I also wanted to invite some quilting companies to join our Hop because we ( VRD) partner with a lot of different companies, but I was disappointed that there weren’t as many companies out there with active blogs as I had thought would be. But, that was okay, I did reach out to some of my contacts and found some willing companies to join the Hop.
At Quilt Market in October 2022, we took a little time to select 5 Rose Card patterns to feature for the Hop. There were 3 of us and it really didn’t take too long. I had already decided I wanted to use patterns that used different precuts and were of different sizes, too, because it was my intention that the participating bloggers would select one of the 5 patterns, make at least the quilt top, and share it on their post for the Hop.
So, we selected a table runner which used 2 1/2″ strips, a small quilt using 5″ Charm squares, a throw quilt that used 10″ squares, a fat quarter quilt, and a panel quilt. I also wanted to make sure that at least one of the projects would be big enough to meet the minimum size requirements for a Quilts of Valor Quilt. QOV quilts can be a minimum of 55″ x 65″ up to a maximum of 72″ x 90″ with an average size of 60″ x 80″. (For more information about the Quilts of Valor Foundation, go HERE.) You might wonder why this was so important to me — I had a couple of reasons, actually:
- The Quilts of Valor Foundation was participating in the Blog Hop
- QOV is an organization that is close to my heart.
Here are the patterns we chose for the Blog Hop Collection, you can go HERE if you haven’t ordered your set yet.
Meanwhile, Bernie of Needle and Foot, who was one of my original bloggers from my 2016 Book Launch Hop, helped me connect to more blogger friends of hers. So did my friend, Joy of Am I Shouting Yet?. And as more bloggers jumped into the Hop, they in turn suggested even more bloggers who might be interested in joining in the fun. Yay!
I had decided already that I wanted the Blog Hop to last for 7 days, so I knew I was going to need a lot of bloggers to participate. I planned that the VRD blog, Villa Rosa Quilts, would start the Hop on a Thursday and would close the Hop a week later on a Thursday. So that really only gave me 5 days to fill, but I wasn’t sure if anyone would want to blog on a Sunday…….
After years of inactivity, I decided last year to get my person blog, Quilt With a View, up and running again because I really wanted to participate as an individual blogger in the Hop, too. So I decided that I would post on Sunday. I asked the bloggers if anyone wanted a specific day of the week, and I worked hard to create a Blog Hop schedule to accommodate my participating bloggers. Bloggers who didn’t have any preference were placed around those who wanted specific days.
Somehow, it all seemed to come together and suddenly I had a tentative Blog Hop schedule. By this time, I had chosen January19-26 for the Hop because this gave the bloggers enough time to make their projects.
Now that the Hop was shaping up, it was time for me to reach deep into my pocket and pull out my quilt industry contacts so that I could ask for sponsors and prizes. I even talked to some folks at Quilt Market and later reconnected with them about the Hop.
At first, asking for Sponsors and prizes was difficult for me because it didn’t come naturally, but I think it got a little easier by the end. Some of the companies I contacted never even responded to my request That was okay, really, because the awesome companies who did respond made our Blog Hop something amazing!
I know all of you really enjoyed the amount of prizes for the Blog Hop and I was really excited that I was able to gather them all up from our generous sponsors for you! But I think I overdid it a little bit. My studio has been overflowing with piles of prizes for weeks now, although the piles are finally dwindling as I am getting the shipping figured out and packages in the mail. As I mentioned above, there have been some logistical issues for shipping that I hadn’t counted on and we’ve had to get a little creative in our shipping solutions.
Going forward, if we do another Blog Hop, I would like to connect with some International quilting company sponsors who might be willing to ship those prizes internationally. This was suggested by one of our Blog Hop participants and after I thought about it, I can see how this would make the Blog Hop even more fun for everyone.
My Takeaway on the Blog Hop
I personally learned A LOT during this Blog Hop. And I’m not just talking about figuring out shipping and such.
I learned a lot about the kindness and generosity of the international quilting community. And yes, it is a community. The comments were kind. The stories made me smile and even laugh. Folks weren’t just trying to win prizes — they genuinely took the time to read the blog posts and to interact not just with the bloggers but with each other.
Quilters really are the most amazing people!
It is my opinion that if the world was run by quilters, the world would be a happier and more colorful place!
Thank you for being part of our very first Villa Rosa Designs Fast & Fun Blog Hop.
Will we do it again?
Probably, but you’ll have to stay tuned down the road to find out when.
Right now, I just need to reclaim my favorite comfy chair in my studio which is still stacked with packages waiting to be shipped.
Well, that’s it for me for this week.
Take care and I’ll see you all next Thursday!
Until then —
Sew. Laugh. Make the World a Better Place. Repeat.
Tricia @ VRD