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November 10, 2017
Head and Shoulders, Knees and…Elbows? from Nita Dances

Dear Vi,

I hate to be a complainer, but I just have to tell you:

Too much hand quilting, knitting, typing, and gripping heavy weights at the gym have given me tennis elbow in both arms and caused the arthritis in my hands to flare up.

It’s my own fault. I let it go too far. I let it get away from me. I let it get to the point where it hurts to even pick up a cup of tea.

And that’s not all. Poor ergonomics in my sewing and writing life are affecting my shoulders, neck ...

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November 1, 2017
Lists and Guides Post 16 :: Write 31 Days from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

For the final post of our Write 31 Days series, I thought we'd take a look at posts that are popular but relatively easy to write, lists or guides. You can approach this type of post in a number of ways and you can provide almost any type of information. My favorite is to keep an ongoing list of resources that I can share with my quilting readers. 

Very often while I am reading or blogging, I run across sites that I've not seen before. After reading or perusing the site, if I'm impressed with it ...

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October 31, 2017
Curate Your Interests Post 15 :: Write 31 Days from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

Curate used as a verb can mean "to pull together, sift through, and select for presentation," as defined by This is the definition I intend when using it in this post.

Note that this definition implies three separate actions: gather, sift, and select (not necessarily in that order). Let's say you decide to curate photographs of European castles for your blog. Generally there's a point or connection to your collection--a reason for pulling together these particular photographs. Be specific in explaining the reason so that readers aren't left wondering, "What is your point?"

Every ...

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October 30, 2017
Hobby Timeline Post 14 :: Write 31 Days from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

Many people like to read about the important dates that occurred in the history of their hobby, interests, country, etc. Let's say you are interested in muscle cars, specifically the Ford Mustang. Wouldn't it be interesting to know that Ford debuted the Mustang in April of 1964 at the World's Fair or that the car was name for a fighter plane, the P51 Mustang and not the Mustang horse depicted in its logo? Don't you now want to know why or how that was changed?

Those little tidbits of information are the kinds of material you ...

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October 27, 2017
Personal Library / Readers' Circle Post 13 :: Write 31 Days from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

Writing about your personal library may seem difficult, but there's are reasons for the books you've chosen to bring into your life. That's how I think of my library--as part of my life. Very likely that's because I read daily. Yes, daily. Even if I'm busy. Or there are things going that overwhelm me. There's going to be some reading in the chaos.

Now when I say library, I mean literally (in my case) a library of books--mostly hard back. I don't do the e-book thing yet. I don't need to since ...

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October 26, 2017
Personal Belongings Post 12 :: Write 31 Days from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

This idea of sharing your personal things may seem strange at first but can make for an interesting post. Followers, and people in general, are curious and most of us like human contact. I may not be able to visit you personally, but as I get to know you via internet, I am more and more likely to want to more. Sharing your personal things is a way of sharing your life.

Keeping in mind that TMI (too much information) is real, let's consider what you might share and why.
  • vehicles--For some people the vehicle you drive and ...

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October 25, 2017
Travel Experiences Post 11 :: Write 31 Days from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

Continuing our discussion of blog writing ideas, I've come to the idea of sharing your travel experiences. This is especially interesting if you take good photos and are able to describe the scenery in them. Again, you are telling a story; this one just happens to be about your experiences in foreign lands, natural settings, or large cities. 

Years ago I spent a weekend in Chicago. While there I saw my first Andrew Lloyd Webber show, "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" with Donny Osmond as Joseph. We window shopped along the "Magnificent Mile," where I bought a small ...

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October 24, 2017
Product Testimonial Post 10 :: Write 31 Days from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

Have you ever purchased a product and discovered that you love it? Did that experience encourage you to return to the brand when possible? I discovered that I love a particular brand of scissors when my husband gave me a pair along with other quilt-related items. Made of titanium the scissors stay sharp (almost dangerous) and never rust or get old looking. I've had them for several years and they still shine, cut like a razor, and have not needed any adjustments. Of course no one touches my scissors. No one. Not even to cut fabric. These scissors haven ...

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October 23, 2017
Setting Goals Post 9 :: Write 31 Days from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

By delving deeply into ideas from different lists, we've been talking about the different ways to add indepth content to your blog articles. The topics and links that we've already discussed are at the bottom of this article so you can easily go back and read anything you've missed or that you'd like to review. 

Today l
et's talk about goal setting and ways to write about this topic on your blog. Many people write some sort of goal setting post in late December or early January. That's a good idea since many people ...

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October 21, 2017
All the miscellaneous bits and pieces from Nita Dances

Dear Vi,

Today I sent out another query letter for Holding Space. That makes nine. Out of the nine, I’ve received two rejections and one request for a Full. That means the agent liked the query enough to want to read the full manuscript. That’s pretty exciting. Even if she decides it isn’t for her, it’s a huge boost to my writerly self esteem.

And I’ve got a short story out on submission, but I won’t hear for awhile yet.

Meanwhile, I’m working on two new manuscripts. This is a bit discombobulating –  I ...

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Your Journal Post 8 :: Write 31 Days from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

If you are a blogger or writer who keeps a journal, you have a goldmine of articles. There are a variety of ways that you can keep and publish your journal, and we'll get to those in a bit. 

First let's chat about what a journal is and why someone, anyone, would be interested in your journal. For some people a journal is a diary of sorts, a place to write or forge in some way a meaning of the day's events. It can be as simple as recording the people and occurences that one has experienced ...

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October 18, 2017
Bloggers You Follow Post 7 :: Write 31 Days from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

Most bloggers have followers that they can write about. That's what we discussed in Post 4 (here). Yet, bloggers are also followers ...and we all have favorite blogs that we return to again and again. There are a couple of good posts right there on your sidebar. 

The reasoning behind the idea is pretty straight-forward: as a long-time reader, you have had the opportunity to get to know the blogger, having interacted with her blog, emailing her on occasion, and maybe even meeting her in person. Conventions and shows provide a wonderful opportunity to match a person to the ...

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October 17, 2017
Holidays and Special Events Post 6 :: Write 31 Days from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

Holidays are difficult for some folks. There are as many reasons for that as there are people, it seems. Others find celebrating holidays and special occasions both rewarding and fulfilling. Everyone has to find his/her own way. Finding or choosing that way takes courage and finesse and, for some, lots of stumbling around. 

The question for bloggers becomes what to do with this opportunity. Pull out all the stops and celebrate as though everyone were on the same happy train? Or to respect those who cannot find joy in the event and let it slip quietly away? 

There is ...

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October 16, 2017
Write about Your Blog Post 5 :: Write 31 Days from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

Continuing the Write 31 Days challenge, I thought about how it's sometimes difficult to write about what we do as bloggers. I most often feel that celebrating milestones or sharing good news is too much like shouting, "look at me!" But that is the kind of thinking that has kept my blog from finding more followers, having more views, or connecting with readers. 

None of those things matter to me, except that I like to write and I want my work to be read. Teaching probably influenced my thinking. I'm a firm believer that the students do the ...

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October 13, 2017
Write about Followers Post 4 :: Write 31 Days from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

Let's continue the Write 31 Days challenge by talking about a great resource to tap for writing ideas: readers, followers, friends. Before you get on that "I can't take advantage of other people" kick, let's take a look at this option with open minds. 

As I often do, I'll ask that you put yourself on the other side of the pen. Consider this: if a blogger friend emailed and asked you for an interview to post on her blog, how would you respond? Would you tell your friend no? Most likely you'd be positive about ...

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October 11, 2017
Behind the Scenes Post 3 :: Write 31 Days from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

In "behind-the-scene" posts, bloggers have a unique opportunity to show where their art is created. It should be a relaxing, fun post that shows a bit of the truth of your life. Sure, sweep and clean up before taking those pictures, but the truth is that no one creates in a pristine world. Be honest with yourself and your readers. Make a video, take pictures, draw floorplans, and remember to go outside, too. How do you get there? What are the pros and cons? 

I walk just a few steps from my back door to my studio door. But the ...

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October 10, 2017
Inspirational Post 2 :: Write 31 Days from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

Photo credit: Mike Tinnon @m15ky

On Saturday I wrote about inspirational posts and quickly decided that there are two different, but similar, types of inspirations. One type is a common inspiration, Biblical quotes. Saturday's post dealt with that particular kind. {click on Write 31 Days on the tabs} The other type of inspirational quote is what I called human inspirations. 

Human inspirations are perhaps a little more difficult and maybe a little more varied. Let's define it by saying that anything not inspired by God (see Saturday's post) must be inspired by human beings. Whether that human ...

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October 8, 2017
Inspirational Post 1 :: Write 31 Days from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

Photo credit: Mike Tinnon @m15ky

I promised myself and you that I would participate in the #write31days challenge. I made the decision to dig deeply into some of the suggested ideas from the many lists on the internet. I hope to give you insight into the meaning of the idea, explain how to go about writing the post, tell you why the idea is popular and, when possible, provide an example of the idea. 

If that seems like a big goal, I'll agree. But the thing is once you outline a plan, writing is simple: go with the plan ...

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October 7, 2017
Writing about Writing Intro :: Write 31 Days from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

Photo credit Aaron Burden @aaronburden
Last night I came across the Write 31 Days Challenge  (#write31days). It's not that I enjoy challenges so much as it is that I love to write. I guess that in my mind writing is another way of talking, but with some thought put into it. 

The way Write 31 Days works is that the blogger chooses one topic and writes about that topic for, you guessed it, @31days. I've had a whole 12 hours to think about my topic. I've spent nine of those hours sleeping and some hours reading blogs ...

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September 8, 2017
Personalizing Quilts with Handwriting from The Inbox jaunt

Good Morning, Quilters! Looking for a great way to personalize your quilts?  Use your handwriting!  There are a variety of ways you can use handwriting in quilting. First, mark your quilts with evenly spaced lines (Chalk is my favorite marker) … Continue reading

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