September 16, 2015

Following the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew-along Blogs

Guest Post by Patti  :)  

A few weeks ago, Angie posted introductions of the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew-along bloggers on her Gnome Angel blog. Every week, beginning Sept. 28, a different blogger will write about the method(s) she used to make 2 of the blocks in the book The Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird. There are 30 bloggers taking turns from week to week... Angie will be posting weekly tutorials and a Sunday "link party" for sharing photos... Fat Quarter Shop's blog will feature a monthly overview...  and every week, we'll be posting links here on Marti's blog for you to download PDF template conversion charts, so you can make your block using Perfect Patchwork Templates. And if you're late getting to the party, it's okay, the PDFs will still be here. 

That's 3 blogs to follow each week, promising lots of fun and helpful tips, encouragement and sharing, plus a 4th that will change from week to week. You'll want to follow them all so you can read at your convenience. If you're not used to "following," there are a few different ways you can do it. I'm not an expert! I'll give you some options and tell you how I do it. :)

It's not hard! We'll use Marti's blog as an example. The photos below don't do anything; they're just screenshots.  (If you want more info about the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew-along, details are here on Angie's blog. And if you want to meet the bloggers, that info is on Angie's blog here -

You could bookmark Marti's blog and the others. Use the "manage bookmarks" tool in your browser's menu bar to make a "Farmer's Wife" folder to keep all the links in one place. You could even move the folder to your toolbar so it's a visible reminder to go to the blogs to see what's new. If you decide to follow this way, make sure you're on the front page of the blog before you bookmark it, so your link won't take you to the same article each time you click the link. (The easiest way to get to the front page of a blog is to click on the artwork at the top of that page. You'll notice the address in your browser bar will get shorter, too.)

Most blogs have options to "follow by email" or "subscribe" to receive updates. If you choose to follow Marti by email, each time we post a new article, you will automatically receive an email version of it.  And if you make a new mailbox and create a filter, you can have all Marti's blog emails show up in a  specified mailbox. You could organize all the Farmer's Wife blogs you follow this way in one mailbox. If you follow by email, you don't have to subscribe.


NOTE:  If you've never used a blog reader, print this page so you can refer to the following info as you set up your blog reader and learn how to subscribe.

If you subscribe, you don't have to follow by email. (Which to choose is a personal preference; I like to subscribe to keep my email lean.) Blog readers or news feeds are special web pages that notify subscribers when something new has been posted -- The new post automatically goes into your blog reader so you can read a preview of what's new the next time you log in. So you can get an idea of everything that's new in all the blogs you follow in one handy place -- unlike bookmarks, which you have to remember to check and, depending on how you set the bookmark up, you may not see some previous articles.

Blog readers are free, although you can pay for additional services (that you don't need if, like me, you're not a power user). Using a blog reader is like bookmarking but is more efficient; it corrals all your favorite blogs in your own personal online "reading room," with options for organizing them into "collections" or folders. That way you can keep all your favorite quilting, decorating, etc. blogs in one place. Depending on your preferences, a bit of artwork and a teaser will show up for unread blog posts; that may be a title or the first sentence or the first paragraph. This page of teasers is like looking at a table of contents and picking an article to read first. When an image or title catches your attention, you can click on it and go to the blog to read the entire article.

If you haven't used a blog reader and you want to follow this way, first you need to pick a blog reader and set up an account. Do a little online research, and ask friends what blog readers they use. A lot of people like Bloglovin. I started using Feedly after Bloglines went defunct, so the example below is about Feedly, but they all work about the same way. I use it on my computer and it may be a bit different on mobile devices.

Go to the site of your chosen blog reader and make an account there. Once you have your account set up, then you're ready to subscribe to your favorite blogs.

To subscribe to Marti's blog, log into your chosen blog reader (it just saves time to already have it open). Then, back on Marti's blog page, look on this page at the right near the top, where it says "Subscribe". Click that and choose "Posts".
In Feedly, doing that offers 3 choices -- Netvibes, My Yahoo and Atom. They are all news feeders. On some blogs, you will see "RSS"; it depends on what browser you use.

If you're in Feedly, select Atom and then on the next page, "subscribe to this feed using (select feedly)" and "subscribe now."

It should work similarly in other blog readers. Now it will go to your Feedly and you'll see the name of Marti's blog with a green "+feedly" button after it.

Click on that button and a vertical bar will roll out on the left side of the page. It will roll in and out as you roll over it -- to make it static, click on "Pin". (Some of my folders are shown below "All".)

Scroll down to the bottom and click "Add." You are now following Marti's blog! It will show up in "Uncategorized" at the bottom of your feed column.

See "+Add Content" in the image above? You can paste a url there, too, and add blogs that way, too. You'll see a neat little box that has an "Add" button where the image below says "Added." Click "Add" and select a checkbox to add it to one of your folders.

To make a folder, go down to the bottom of the column and click "Organize."  The last thing you should see on the new page is "New Collection."  You can rename it FW Bloggers and drag Marti's blog name from "Uncategorized" to your new FW Bloggers folder.

When you click out of "Organize" your FW Bloggers folder will show Marti's blog along with any others you've added.

When you have folders set up for your link collections, you can use "Add Content" and select the check-box for the folder you want to put my blog in and then go down to the bottom and click "Add" to save a step. (Since all the Farmer's Wife bloggers are already in my reader, I found another blog and added it to my general "Quilting" folder so I could take a screenshot.)

While you're on a roll, visit a few more of the blogs Angie listed and add them --

I added them all to my Feedly at the same time. It took about 10 minutes to copy, click on "add content", paste, and click "Add."  Once they're in there, all you have to do is to remember to open your blog reader each week!

To log out, go all the way to the bottom of the vertical rollout bar and look for "logout" in tiny type.
I hope I didn't miss a step. Marti's blog was already in my Feedly, so I unsubscribed and re-subscribed to get screenshots, but it may have remembered and taken a shortcut! I think Feedly is pretty well covered, though. :)

It's a big worldwide web and there are probably other news feeders and new ways to keep up with all the cool stuff that bloggers write about. If you have any questions, ask your friends! Seriously, they may have a quicker, better answer for you, but I'd be happy to help you if I can. :) Also, there are loads of videos on how different blogs work and an online search should come back with a good answer if you get stuck.  I had to Google "how do I log out of Feedly" the first time I used it!

Feel free to comment below about how you follow your favorite blogs!  


  1. Patti ... What a great tutorial on Organizing blogs that you want to follow!
    I am not very computer savvy but I know that there are ways and means out
    there to make things easier. I just have never known how to navigate it all...
    I read every word and concentrated very heavily :) ... I learned but I will need
    to read it all over a couple of times to dare to try it ... lol ... I feel like I'm the only one that doesn't know this stuff! thank you!!! very much... you don't waste words, you made it very understandable ... xoxo

    1. You're not the only one who doesn't know how all this stuff works -- I'm only a few steps ahead of the pack myself, LOL! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I'm relieved -- It looks like a lot, so it's nice to know it's not horrible to read! It's not hard to use a blog reader, it's just a new thing to play with. The cool thing is, it's basically "plug and play" -- so much good stuff is already out there and it works great, all we have to do is figure out what to click and where to type. And if it doesn't work, we can shut down the computer and have a cup of tea! -- Patti :)