Friday, August 31, 2012

The Blues

No, I don't have the blues.  Blue is my favorite color.  I prefer a pthalo blue which is a bit toward the aqua/turquoise side of blue.   When I was younger it was more true blue.  At one point in my life folks started calling me "Blue Gene" - I finally asked "Why do you call me Blue Gene?"  They told me something I didn't realize about myself.  "Everything you wear is blue!"  Sure enough, when I looked in my closet - everything was blue.  

Ha ha..I have gotten sidetracked from the point of this post.  Tonight, August 31, 2012 is the occurrence of a "Blue Moon."  I remember as a child hearing my grandmother say, that only happens once in a blue moon.  I assumed that meant almost never.  After all, I had never seen a blue moon.  The moon was always white, yellowish, or sometimes -on a special night orange.  But, I thought, if it can turn orange, why can't it turn blue?  Ha ha, gotta love the childish logic and belief in "magic."
(I still believe in magic. when my quilt points line up - it is magic. when I hear a song that takes me outside of myself - Magic again! Reading a good story - magic!)
So what is a blue moon?  A blue moon is when there are two full moons in one month.  Since typically there is one full moon a month, it is truly a rare occasion.  
Songs have been written about it.  This one is by one of my favorite singer/songwriters.  It has been recorded by at least two other artists, but I like the songwriter's take on it best.  If you know it, sing along - I always do.


This weekend I will be back to sewing (yaay!) and I will hopefully have some pictures to show you. Meanwhile, be sure you go out and see the blue moon tonight (if it isn't too cloudy - and that looks like a possibility here.) Just don't expect the moon to be the color blue.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

An oldie

No I don't mean me.  Ha ha.  But I guess I qualify also. Having been sick for the last few days I really haven't made or sewn anything else.  I am headed back to work today.  I hope I make it through the day.
Meanwhile, here is a picture of a quilt I made for a special friend. It is very scrappy.  I used up some string blocks I had made and some orphan blocks. Then I did some "free pieced" blocks  - what I call making fabric from scraps.
Have you ever made a quilt that used up such a variety of  your scraps?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Block 12 BQA & More

I had enough energy yesterday to make the second version of the Beginner's Quilt Along block 12, but that was all I managed to get sewn.  (I am so annoyed by this cold! I have things to do.)
My first one had perfect points - but I guess I was too sure of myself after that one...do you see the not perfect point on this one?

It isn't too bad but I certainly see it. Actually, now I see that there are two of them. Guess what?  It is going in the quilt just like that!  Only another quilter will notice or care.  The Cherokee in me believes in leaving a minor mistake as we are not perfect. The Cherokee believe that only God is perfect so sometimes they add an intentional mistake to the work so as not to bring "bad luck" by trying to become on a level with God.  I am good with that theory. (Plus, I just hate ripping out seams.)

Quilting Gallery is hosting a Back to School blog hop party -with lots of giveaways. So you may want to check out The Back To School Party.  It is a great way to learn about bloggers you have never "met" in your internet travels.  Just don't enter for prizes you don't really want.  That is totally unproductive.  So go on and look around at the party and have some fun. Meet some new people and enter to win a few prizes.
OH Wait!  You do want to leave me a comment before you go, don't you???


Saturday, August 25, 2012

One block - check those points

 Although I am still not up to par, I did want to get at least one of the Beginner's Quilt Along blocks made.  I managed to finish this one.
If I have learned anything in this quilt along, it is how to get a more precise finish - Check those points! They match up as good as anything I have ever done (maybe better!)  I also learned that close is not good enough if you want the points to come out right.  One of my four patches was slightly less than the right size. I picked it out and re-did it.
Another thing I learned to do is swirl the seams to make the block lay flatter.

Uh...ignore those loose threads I haven't picked off yet... But when you swirl the seams on a four patch. you get a mini-four patch on the back.  Notice that all the seams are pressed counter-clockwise.  Then you just finesse that center a bit to get the  mini-four patch and press.

Please note that there is a lot of hacking going on in yahoo email accounts.  If you have a Yahoo email account you may want to go in and make your password stronger.  Here is a decent article on how to create a strong password.

On yes, Richard has a giveaway going on over at his blog!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I am - yes I am

I am - yes I am sick!  I have a nasty old summer head cold.  I can barely see to type this my eyes are so blurry. (it is just from the cold, they are much better from the surgery)
I will survive this, but I may not blog for a couple of days.  I just didn't want to worry any of my best internet buddies.   I wouldn't be able to rest for answering emails. - that said, I will leave comments open on this post.  I will read them but probably won't respond unless I am having a "perky" moment.
Now I am going to bed!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Men and Quilting

While some think of quilting as something "old women do"  we know better. First of all there are plenty of young bright women quilters. Also  quilting is as varied as the people that quilt.  From functional bed quilts to bright happy lap quilts to extreme modern art quilts, there is a vast variety.

However,  Men Quilt Too! And if  you are reading my blog you are aware of that.  Are there any men reading my blog???  Looking through my followers I found ten of the 367 that I am sure are men.  I am pretty sure some of the men that read my blog are not followers.  I happen to know that three of the men that are followers are not quilters.  (yes I try to keep up with my followers and if you are one - you are appreciated! )

Now,  I want to tell you about a great Quilt Show that I was a part of last year.  I didn't win anything, but I had a GREAT time with it anyway.   The show is  Men Quilt Too hosted by Pigtales and Quilts.
I am trying to drum up some competition for this show.  So I am asking you if you are a man who quilts to consider entering the show.  If you are a woman who knows a man that quilts, ask him to enter.  I don't mind not winning.  I will mind greatly if this show goes away.
If you blog, maybe you could link to this post OR to the Men Quilt Too post.

In other news I am starting a new art piece that I can have as a carry with me handwork project.  I LOVE making these.  Here is a picture of the beginning, I haven't even finished the machine stitching.  But I have some fibers couched onto the stabilized fabric and some of the machine stitching started.
The fabric is some that I dyed when I was experimenting with hand dying fabric.

The photo helps me to see what might need done to the piece next.  It seems obvious to me that I need to add some lighter, brighter lines.  Well back to work!

P.S.  There is a cool giveaway over at Eat, Sleep, Quilt.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Two More

Two more quilt along blocks finished and photographed.


And there are only two more block designs to be made. Yipee!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Quilt Along -So Far

The Beginner's Quilt Along on the Quilting Gallery site (button on the left sidebar!) is already through block ten and I think block eleven posts tomorrow.  Soon I will have to decide on sashing fabrics and bindings.
For now, I have did a quick layout with each group of blocks I made.  I didn't do very good layouts.  I noticed that when I looked at the pictures.  Did you know that taking a picture of your layout really helps you spot things you could make better?  Well if you didn't "ya heard it here!"

Pictures!!!


On the second set (brown, gold, green and red) there are four blocks with embroidered applique and two blocks with fussy cut centers. The three blocks with solid centers are just begging to be blinged up with some  embroidered applique.  So I just have to decide "what" and do it.  I will say that it is easier to add it BEFORE making the block and then just cutting out the square to put in the center.  Oh well, I didn't decide until it was too late for that.  It sounds like a good time to use the sticky backed stabilizer.

There will be twelve blocks total...and one extra for an on point setting.  I will use ONE extra block on the backing.  I am thinking the rail fence type block will be the one for that.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Winner and a Block

Thanks to everyone who entered and promoted the MyMemories giveaway that I held.
I went to the Random Number Generator and got a winner.
Yes it is lucky number 13!  Who happens to be Teresa who said:
Teresa did three of the entries and it paid off for her.  Please give her your heartfelt congratulations. 

Although I am still a little blurry, I can see pretty well and managed to make one Quilt Block - Block 10 Ride the Roller Coaster (the bright version this time.   I decided to go wild and add an embroidered applique to the center.

That heart is NOT patterned fabric. It is a solid and the embroidery added the gold design. Then I added a light turquoise heart in the center of that to pull in the color from the tiny dots.
One of my corners isn't perfect, but as I said, I was still seeing some blur in my vision. I am quite happy with the block anyway.

Embroidery is one method of Quilty Embellishment.  So I am linking this post for Quilty Embellishment Day

As for an eye update: Today is better, the vision is clearing.  Also the bruises are lessening.  One of my friends didn't like seeing me all beat up looking so I am NOT posting that update today. You will just have to take my word for it that it is looking better.  When I am all healed I will show you the "new" me.   I have to laugh about the Adsense Ads that I have to make a few cents from my blog. Today they seem to be about facelifts and eyelifts with just an occasional quilt related ad.   It seems big brother is watching my posts.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Reminder and Update

I am going to remind you that my Giveaway is still open. There have not been many entries, so I am asking you to please go and enter.  Photographs and Memories Giveaway
I had another brilliant idea for using the software.  You could make photo pages with pretty embellishments to use in a photo memory QUILT.
For a really cool idea that would work with this, watch the video on Text Wrapping.

  I am going to have to buy a new printer that uses pigment inks just so I can make one of those. (The pigment inks are the ones that last for printing on fabric.)  Anyway, I think that type of photo memory quilt would be awesome - you would have a quilt that is a scrapbook.  Just imagine your child or grandchild sleeping under something that special.  It would surely become a family heirloom.

Okay, it is "Update" time - also known as scary picture of the day.  I will say the my eyes feel less swollen today.  the bruising doesn't look quite as bad (in person) but the picture doesn't show the changes as well.  I did include most of my face so you can see I am smiling and  that the dimples didn't suffer. (yes Sarah, that is JUST for YOU. LOL)
I am still easily tired but that is getting better daily.  I will return to work on Wednesday. I did warn them that I may look scary.   Now don't you be scared - just click back and enter my giveaway Today is the last day unless i decide to extend it a couple of days.

Publish Post

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Have you seen the raccoon?

Apparently there is a raccoon in my house.  I saw it in the mirror.
]
the bruises aren't dark, they are a medium  red that leans toward a warm pink.  
I am finding this process interesting although annoying.  I tried to smile but I can't smile too strongly as it pulls at my eyes. 

I have disabled comments since I really don't need to be reading and replying.  I am "trying" to rest.
I feel like I need to be doing, not sitting. Ha ha.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Post Surgery

Warning...I can barely see... vision blurry.  This will improve I am told.  It is "normal" for post surgery. Glad I know how to touch type.
Here is a picture this morning totally unretouched. I think it looks a bit scary. However, going thru an ugly stage is part of the process.

Sorry I can't read to comment on your blogs right now because I can't read them.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Ride the Roller Coaster and more

The latest block from the Beginner's Quilt Along is being called "Ride the Roller Coaster"
I did my warm version in brown, gold and green.  I already had the center piece with the  machine embroidered applique star ready to go. So all I had to do was make eight half-square triangles and put it together.

I broke into my Aurifil thread stash and sewed this.  WOW  I love the way that thread disappears into the seams. And when I filled the bobbin I had a thought; "As much thinner as this thread is, the bobbin will last a lot longer!"  I love a bobbin  that lasts and lasts.  Don't they always seem to run out in the middle of  a seam every time?

Okay, I have a "confession" to make.   I will be going to have a small surgery tomorrow. You see, heredity and the years have not been kind. My eyelids are drooping terribly.  It has affected both my peripheral vision AND  the amount of light that comes into the eye.  If you promise that you won't run away screaming in terror I will show you a close up. This is me at my worst. (I apologize in advance)

As  you can see, the upper lid actually rests on my eyelash.  On a bad day my eyelashes are almost completely hidden.  

you can see that the right lid is worse. 
Here you can see how saggy those eyelids are. 
It wasn't always this way.  Some -several years ago, I had some black and white pictures made. 

I was young and a bit silly. I call this the cover of my Inspirational Album.  But it does show how the marked difference. Look at those eyelids. 

So tomorrow I will be having an upper blepharoplasty or as it is more commonly called an eyelid lift.  I am both happy and a bit anxious.  I will be out of commission a bit.  There is a possibility of blurry vision for a few days - and that means no sewing. It may also mean no computer.  So if I am MIA for a few days, you will know what happened to me. 
Should I share the pictures I am going to get a friend to make of me with "black eyes" after the surgery?  Would you like to see the stages as it heals?  Let me know.  I am not too vain to show them. 

Please Vote (Minnie wants/needs your vote)

Voting has started at LilyPad Quilting for the Pets on Quilts Show.  Minnie and her Puppies is #2 (just to save looking again.) 
I would think that Minnie and her Puppies fits in the dog themed quilt category and in the  Other pet on quilt category.

Minnie told me to tell you that she wants your vote.  Really she said "demands" but I changed it since she can't read (thank goodness!)

Here are a  few of pictures to remind you of Minnie and the quilt.





Please go to LilyPad Quilting and vote.  If you like Minnie and her puppies, Minnie and I would love to have your vote.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Bobbin Work - How to

Back a couple of weeks ago, I posted this picture:
And mentioned that I bypassed the bobbin tension on the machine I was using. (Previous post here.)    A couple of people asked what I meant by that.  An idea for a video was born!
In the video, I show how to wind the thread on the bobbin (if your machine works this way.)  And how to bypass the tension.  I will say that this does NOT work on every machine.  My particular Babylock has a different way of handling the bobbin thread and it doesn't work on it.
Here is the video:
Bypassing the Bobbin Tension


Bobbin work is a great quilty embellishment -Check out Quilty Embellishment day. 

I have finished the original piece that I used this technique on (the one shown above.)  Here is a picture.  It still needs a binding.


Saturday, August 04, 2012

Photographs and Memories (Giveaway too!)

I have tons of digital pictures.  I post them to  this blog.  I post them to Facebook.  I post some to Flickr.  Some of them just sit there - waiting, neglected, sad.  Do you have pictures like that too?  One of my co-workers prints out her pictures and makes scrapbooks. She has them stacked in her house. They are fun to look at, but I don't have room for that.   Besides, this is the digital age: we blog; we do other online things.  We have computers, smartphones etc.
Created in MyMemories Software

Why not have digital scrapbooks?   Imagine sending a scrapbook to you cousin across the country -or for that matter in a different country.   Now you are getting the vision!


I got a very cool software package called MyMemories Suite.   It is a very cool digital scrapbooking package.  It comes with lots of "stuff" to make scrapbook pages.
BUT you can also make other cool stuff with it. Did you notice my new blog header?  I made that with the MyMemories Suite. I did crop and re-size the image in my photo editor.

Let me tell you about this software and then I will tell you how you can possibly WIN a copy.
Created in MyMemories Software
How did I make that blog header?  I simply made a one page album.  Then I exported that one page as an image (a jpg file.)
The coolest part in my opinion is the Word Art feature.  See how the letters in my banner look carved out?  Notice the shadow?  All of this gives a great 3D effect that I love.
Word Art has several subsections: Fill, Stroke, Shadow, Shape, Bevel and 3D. I think I used them all except Stroke. Each of them has a little "enable" checkbox in the sidebar menu.
I added a green arrow to show you where  the checkbox is located

Fill is how you color the letters. I chose solid color then clicked the color "block" to choose my color.
Stroke adds an outline (but I didn't use it.)
  • Shadow adds a shadow to you word making it seem to float.  There are adjustments for position of the shadow. 
  • Shape allows you to curve or angle the words.
  • Bevel lets you add that carved effect.  I like the "pillow bevel" but  I played with all of them.  I am not sure which I used on my banner. 
  • 3D adds an outline that is adjustable. 

I had lots of creative fun playing with the Word Art. My only complaint is that when I add Word Art it starts in "Gradient Color"  and I prefer "Solid Color."  However it is only one click to change it.


There is also the ability to make a movie out of your album.  This would be a great way to share photos at a family reunion or perhaps a milestone birthday.   I have made a simple album using some of my quilting/sewing just so you can see. I did the album and made it into a movie in less than twenty minutes.  Choosing which pictures to use took the most time.
If  you expand this to full screen it is blurry - that is because I chose a low quality when I did the output. I have done one on DVD played on a large screen TV and was NOT blurry. 

I sincerely hope the movie works in Blogger.  It plays perfectly on my home computer.  I also put it on a DVD just to see how it worked. It is great.

If you would love a chance to win this amazing software, here is what you need to do:
1. Go to www.MyMemories.com  choose your favorite digital paper pack or layout, then comment  telling me  which is your favorite.  (However, you never have to buy anything once you have the software. It comes with a huge number of digital papers, backgrounds and embellishments.)

2. Follow my blog and leave a comment telling me you follow AND why you want to win MyMemories software.

3. Go to MyMemoriesSuite YouTube channel and watch a couple of videos. Then tell us in a comment what cool thing you learned.

There you have it - a possible three entries.

And for a bonus entry:  blog or tweet about this and leave a link so I can check it out.

To be sure all your entries count,  leave a separate comment for each entry.

But if you can't wait to get this - I have a great deal for you.  Just go to www.MyMemories.com and use code STMMMS34883 in the promo code box,  This code will get you a discount of TEN dollars.  The software is then only $29.97. For all that this software does, it is a great deal and very affordable.  As an added bonus for using this code, you will get another TEN Dollar value. This is a credit to the digital design shop This will come in the email receipt for the software.
This giveaway will be open until Monday August 13.  I will pick the random winner on August 14.  
And of course come back to my blog regularly as I will be posting more and will occasionally have freebies to go with your software just for stopping by. 


*Disclaimer:  MyMemories Software was given to me by the company.  However, the review and opinions are my own. 


Note: I will not reply to the entry comments for this post. If you ask a question that I need to answer I will however reply.   Be sure that you have your email enabled or leave it in the comment.  If I can't contact you, you can't win. 

Friday, August 03, 2012

Meet Me At the Fair

Here is Block Nine of the Beginner's Quilt Along that Pat Sloan has re-named "Meet Me At the Fair"
I did the warm version first.  I will do the bright version this weekend.

I love embroidered applique embellishments.  If you want to see more ways people embellish quilts go to Quilty Embellishment Day

This week's tutorial also shows a way you can make eight half square triangles using four seams and two pieces of fabric.  I fudged just a little and added an extra half inch to my two squares of fabric.  Instead of the suggested 10" squares, I used 10.5" squares.  Then when I cut them into pieces I just pressed them open and squared them down to size.  It gave me a little leeway and the came out perfect.  I do like this block - and of course I added a bit of embroidered applique to the center. I need to do that for one more block so I have four of them.  Then I will either put them in the outer corners or down the center of the quilt.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Pets on Quilts Show - Minnie and Her Puppies

NOTE: Voting has started at LilyPad Quilting    Minnie and her Puppies is #2 (just to save looking again.) 
I would think that Minnie and her Puppies fits in the dog themed quilt category and in the  Other pet on quilt category.  (updated 08-09-2012)

Today is the grand opening of the Pets on Quilts Show.   I am happy to announce my entry.  I am calling the quilt "Minnie's Puppies."  
For those of you who don't know, Minnie is my pet sock monkey and she is a mini-sock monkey. 
She loves puppy dogs, so she asked for a quilt with dogs.   I made the puppy dog applique blocks using my AccuQuilt Go! cutter. The single ones are embroidered using files that I got from Marjorie at Marjorie's Quilting Bee.  The block with two dogs was done with a simple narrow zigzag.
So I cut some batik squares and made two simple rows. I was just going to join the rows.  But, Minnie protested.  She reminded me that I had some scrap mini-tumblers that I had cut. So I made rows of them to finish the top (and keep Minnie happy.) 
Here is Minnie on her mini-quilt - but for her it is HUGE.

Look at this big smile! I think she is really happy with her quilt.
She reminded me that she was "Ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille" so I took this close up.
She had to get some love from the puppies.  She is fond of Blue Dog.
She adores Red Dog.
But she is in LOVE with Purple Dog.
Be sure to go to the Pets on Quilts show post and visit all the links to see all the quilts.  Then be sure to Vote.  Minnie and I would love it if you voted for us!  Minnie said that I should command you to vote for us. I had to tell her that it was not nice to be bossy. She is a bit of a wild child.  I don't know if I will ever tame her, but I am trying.