Sunday, March 1, 2015

Making a Switch

Change is good. Except when it's not. Or when it concerns the email platform that I've used for the last 10 years. I admit it - I like yahoo mail. And maybe when I say that I've never been fond of gmail, I'm in the minority. I can deal with that. But what I can't deal with is how a majority of the comments that I leave on others' blogs are all sitting there, unbeknownst by the blog owner. I'm not sure why this started happening but it has, and very recently.

After various experiments when commenting on some of the blogs I follow, I think I've figured out what's going on. It looks like gmail is blocking yahoo emails from going through when it's being sent through a 3rd party site, like a Google+ account. As far as I can tell, these things need to be in place for this to happen:
  1. Your blog is hosted on blogger (I've not seen or had an issue with wordpress blogs)
  2. You have your blog set up to email you at a gmail address when you receive comments  
  3. Your commenter is using a yahoo email address for replies.
When these three things were in place, my comments were showing up on a blog but the owner was never getting notified. Instead, I would get an email stating that my comment (or rather the email that included the comment) to the blog owner was blocked by gmail as suspicious or spam. I did some online searches for the specific error and the only solution was to not use a yahoo email address. I tested my theory and changed my blogger/google+ profile's email address to a gmail account and made some comments on blogs where I've had the problem and *poof* - they got notified that I commented.

So if you thought I just stopped visiting your blog, that may not be the case. And because of this I will learn to adapt and like gmail for the sake of the blogs I enjoy reading. Because really - what's the fun of commenting on blogs if there's no back and forth communication. It's what I love about the quilt-blogging community. I just have to be more diligent now in monitoring my own blog so that I'm not missing comments.

UPDATED (3/2/15): Per the suggestion of one of my readers below, I've decided to try using the comment moderation to see if it helps with the notifications from commenters who use yahoo email addresses. Hope that works so no comments get lost!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

More Adventures in Paper Piecing

Even though paper piecing still intimidates me a little, I'm definitely getting better with each project and my confidence is growing. Carla from Granny Maud's Girl charged us with making these amazing union jack blocks for our February Compass Quilters Bee:

They were so fun to make and what made the difference for me was her detailed cutting instructions. That extra prep at the beginning made the actual paper piecing a breeze. Here is her tutorial if you want to make your own.

We were only asked to make 2 but my first one came out a little small due to what can only be a printing issue. I can't explain why my measurements weren't accurate. I printed the pattern off at 100% scale and it also included a 1-inch square to check scale. When I measured the square, it was spot on, but when I measured the sides of the block it was off by an 1/8 inch all the way around. Just plain weird. So that's why I made 2 more for her. I'm hoping she can still manage to use the slightly smaller one somehow.  I was in such a rush to get these sent out in the mail that I had forgotten to take any photos which explains my less than stellar pics below. It was late at night when I remembered, so  I opened up the mailer and snapped a few quick pics.

I then promptly sealed the mailer back up, mailed it at the post office, and then realized that I forgot to add a signature block.  Oops. Oh well, I hope Carla likes these along with the other little goodies I send along.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Handy Metric Conversion Chart

I love Craftsy. It was such an invaluable resource to me when I first started quilting in 2012. But did you know that in addition to all of the amazing classes, patterns, and fabric that they also have some handy reference materials? Below is their metric conversion chart. When I saw this, I immediately thought of all my international quilty friends, especially those with metric rulers who struggle to convert patterns You can download the PDF directly from their website here.

For some reason, I had a hard time trying to find the comprehensive reference list on their site. They don't seem to have an easy-to-find link, so I just added the word references at the end of the URL and got to it that way. Here is the direct link for all Craftsy reference materials.  You'll notice that they have reference categories for both quilting and sewing.

*This isn't a paid endorsement or anything fancy like that. I just like Craftsy and wanted to share something new that I'd found.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Neat Little Seam Ripper Trick

I've known how to sew for most of my life but I'll be honest - I never knew the purpose of that little ball on the end of the seam ripper. Well, I just learned about it. Check out this quick little video and see for yourself.

Who knew! Right? Or maybe it was just me that was in the dark. All I know is that I can't wait to make a mistake so I can try it out for myself to see if it really works.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sewing for Others

For anyone who follows my blog regularly, you may have noticed that I'm not posting very often. I'll be honest - I'm struggling to find a balance in my life.  I absolutely love working again, even if it's only part time. But because my son is still so young I'm working nights and weekends. Some days I feel like a zombie during the day and have been known to take a nap between the 3 trips I make back and forth to school. It doesn't help that I got sick right after the new year and still don't feel 100%.

Now don't take this to mean that I'm complaining - I'm not. I've not been out in the working world for 5 years now and it's just a life adjustment that's going to take some time and for now it's my sewing that's taking the hit. I just don't always have the mental capacity to be creative. So for now, the only sewing I'm getting done is for my bee mates in Compass Quilters and Stash Bee.

Here is my most recent finish, my February stash bee block for Kathy. You can read the Stash Bee blog post here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bigger is Better

The saying bigger is better doesn't always apply, but when it comes to me and piecing it's usually true. Take these little cross blocks.

When we were first asked to make them, I couldn't wait to get started and thought they were adorable. Don't get me wrong, I still think they're adorable but I've gained some perspective. I struggle for accuracy when the fabric pieces are smaller. These are made using 2.5 inch squares and rectangles and they did not make it easy on me. I've pieced them together, ripped them out, and re-pieced them, only to still have them slightly off. I don't know why it makes a difference but whenever I have to press to one side, I have this issue. I think that's why I've always pressed my seams open. It makes my work flatter and my scant quarter inch seam works perfectly. I press to the side and I always have to adjust my sewing to something between a scant quarter inch and a fat eighth inch seam.

How about you? Do you ever struggle with accurate size with smaller pieces and does pressing make a difference?

Friday, January 9, 2015

A Little Birthday Splurge

It's that time again, when another candle gets added to the cake and facebook messages abound. I'm midway between milestone birthdays and while I've never been one to call attention to myself when it's my birthday, it's still nice to be pampered and splurge once in a while. I did just that when I decided to add this book to my collection.

My online quilty friend Chelsea has made many of the quilts in the book and highly recommended it to me so I finally decided to treat myself. The hard part will be deciding on what to make.


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