Sunday, March 29, 2015

My Ever Evolving Comfort Zone

A few weeks ago Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl requested some quilt blocks for 2 very deserving kids. I was happy to oblige and this weekend I set to work.

This first one is yet another paper-pieced block. I've been making a lot of these lately, but I'm happy to say that things finally clicked in my brain. Not only am I no longer intimidated by paper piecing, I now consider it to be within my comfort zone. Who knew, right?

This next one proved to be more than I bargained for. I had a few leftover 60-degree triangles from my Triangles on Parade quilt so I figured it would be easy to use one for a sailboat. If only it were that simple.

I'd wanted something to break up the triangle center, something to resemble a mast. The easy thing would have been to appliqué it on, but I just wasn't feeling it. This block may look like it's paper-pieced but it's completely free-formed and improvised, a technique that I'm definitely not comfortable with. There was a lot of trial and error involved, enough that I almost ran out of my background fabric which is why there are some extra seams. If I were to make another one, I'd probably look for a pattern, but I'm still happy that I stretched a bit outside of my comfort zone for an afternoon.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Stash Bee Block for March

Here is the block that I made for Stash Bee this month. It's the Starry Night quilt block.  I really love the color combo and this is the first paper piecing pattern where things really clicked. Hooray!

You can check out my full post about it here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Compass Quilters: Domestic Deficit Disorder

It's hard to believe but this is the last month of our Compass Quilters Bee. For March, Tanyia from Domestic Deficit Disorder wanted us to make some polaroid blocks. These came together very quickly, especially when you construct them assembly-style and was a great way to showcase some smaller novelty prints.

Unfortunately, I've been seriously battling some nasty viruses all winter long and have spent very little time in my sewing room so I didn't make as many as I'd wanted. Of course, living right behind Disney's Magic Kingdom, I had to include one with Mickey Mouse. I hope Tanyia likes them!

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): Joanna from Riddle and Whimsy also posted on this same topic - check it out here.  Thanks to her suggestion I've decided to try using the comment moderation to see if it helps with the notifications from commenters who use yahoo email addresses, but alas, it still didn't work if the person is using a yahoo address.

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.


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