Saturday, January 24, 2009

I Must Be Really Slow...........................

My MLK Day of Service became more like a week of service. Last Saturday night I got out my drawer of r/w/b strips and my foundation pieces, cut the center strips cut and pinned them on the foundations so they were all ready to start sewing. Got started on that Sunday afternoon because I had to work Monday & then go to a granddaughter's basketball game. By Monday night I had 20 blocks done and it took me until yesterday afternoon to get the quilt top finished. I must be really slow.......... I want a patriotic print on the back & for a matching pillowcase so the quilting will have to wait until I get to town. I'll post a picture when it's all quilted & bound.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Change of plan

On Sat. night I laid out all the pieces of step 1 of the Double Delight quilt next to my sewing machine. The plan was to work on them on Sun. Then I read some quilters' blogs about how MLK day was Monday, and it should be a day of service to others, and how Alycia C. still needs almost 100 quilts ready to be delivered to the Fort Carson hospital in May, and how wouldn't it be good if quilters would take Monday to work on a quilt for the project. Yes, would. So I put away the DD pieces and got out the foundation squares I had cut back in May for the Heartstrings R/W/B blocks and the still full drawer of r/w/b strips and set them out by the machine to sew on Sun. since I have to work today and go to a granddaughter's basketball game after work. Here's the 20 I got sewed up. The other 28 are in progress. I intend to quilt & bind this myself & make a pillowcase to go with it.

And a girl has to eat so I got a bag of the apple dumplings I made up last fall out of the freezer and made the sauce that goes with them & got them in the oven. I think this is the best thing I've made out of last year's apples yet. DH thought so too and wanted to know how many bags were left in the freezer. The recipe was from a magazine article about a church group that makes them as a fund raiser and makes 24 dumplings. I only made one batch as an experiement so there are three bags of six left. He seemed disappointed.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cuttin' Up

It was so cold Tues. & Wed. that the best thing to do was stay inside and work on quilt projects. I spent quite a bit of time cutting pieces for the Double Delight mystery. Didn't get to do much on Thurs. since I worked at the library, but today I was back at it. While the pattern was offered in steps as a mystery I didn't start cutting until I had printed out all the steps. Then I started cutting..and cutting..and cutting, until this is what my Double Delight looks like at this point. Now I can sew..and sew..and sew. And THEN I get to trim...and trim...and trim. (Not really looking forward to that part.)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Look What I Got!!!

Look what was waiting for me at the Post Office this morning......the door prize I won from the Heartstrings New Year's Block Party. It's from Deb in AZ. Thank you so much, Deb. The fabric looks so yummy and I know I'll spend a lot of happy hours with the book. Thread is always most welcome, I use a lot of it.

Tonight is supposed to be our quilt club meeting but as lousy as the weather has been all day...blowing like crazy and snowing way more than they told us to expect.....I'd just as soon postpone it. I'm home from work now and really don't want to think about going back out again. A few of our member's who live out of town probably won't attempt coming anyway.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Have I bored you to death?

Quilting friends, I know I have probably bored you almost to death with all the technology posts. I just needed to get this class all wrapped up so I could move on to other things. However, if you are interested in learning about these things I have listed Nebraska Learns 2.0 in the list of blogs I read. Of course, you don't have to blog about the various items and report your blog post the the Library Commission, but you could follow along with the 23 things on the right side of the page.

My posts today showed what I spent my time doing and none of it included cutting pieces for the Double Delight mystery. Tomorrow I work at the library & have to come home and cook because we have a family dinner to go to on Sunday and Monday I work again. I guess I won't get to cutting & sewing until at least Tues. unless I find some ambition after work or visiting. Working sure gets in the way of quilting doesn't it? Too bad they won't pay me to stay home.

Thing #23....The end of the road....or is it?

It may be the end of the road for this particular learning journey but I imagine it's only the beginning of learning about technology innovations. I wasn't sure about the whole thing when I started but I'm glad I started and stuck with it.

What are my favorites among the 23 things? I'd have to say RSS feeds and Delicious. Flickr is OK, but I'm a Webshots fan and also have some pictures on Multiply. Don't think I'll ever get into IMing. Maybe if my friends and relatives were into it I'd give it a shot, but they're not. I never thought I'd put a video on YouTube, but I did (though I doubt if my daughter will thank me). Overall, I've enjoyed this opportunity. I like learning new things and am a little bit of a computer geek anyway, so this was perfect. How much of it I will be able to actually use at the library is questionable since what I already do there takes up the time available.

I do know that if the Library Commission were to offer another similar learning opportunity, I would participate. I like the learning pretty much at my own pace & at a time & place of my choosing, I like the CE hours and I like that this has saved me about 4 or 5 trips to classes & workshops for the same number of CE hours. And, if I were to win an MP3 player, that would just be frosting on the cake!

Thing #22..........Podcasts

I used to listen to a few podcasts through Itunes but I don't have an IPod so I was tied to the computer. I'm glad to find some other podcast directories. Found a few of my old favorites and added Leo Laporte's "This Week in Tech" to my Google Reader listings. I've always liked Leo. Anybody remember the old "Screensavers" show on TechTV? I learned so much from that show. I know the directions say to add it to Bloglines but I switched to Google Reader a while back. I saw some book review podcasts that I think I'll go back to at another time. Other than those I'm not sure how this would benefit my library. I could listen to podcasts of workshops or presentations I missed maybe. Maybe podcast book reviews could be done and put on a library's website? Probably not something I will do. There just isn't time in the day to do all this stuff. Cool as it may be.

Can I download any of these podcasts to my Sansa MP3 player? I hope so, because if I have to be tied to the computer to listen to them I'll listen to very few.

Thing #21

I'd watched videos on YouTube before, so this wasn't completely new to me. Once I had ordered my quilting machine I searched for videos on machine quilting, lining up pantographs, loading the quilts, etc. And heaven knows I've watched the kids watching funny cat videos at the library. So, I decided to go one better than our exercises instruct. I uploaded a video my granddaughter took with my digital camera at Christmas and this is it: That's my daughter & grand-daughter playing their new Wii at our house on Christmas Day.

A library could use YouTube to publish a promotional video. Or, maybe video some library activity so the kids & their parents could see themselves in a video. Could video a presentation or how-to video (like using the microfilm reader or something like that) and patrons could watch it. YouTube could be a useful tool but there's also an awful lot of crap on it that it would be just as well without. I guess the same applies here as selective.

Thing #20

Since I have an interest in genealogy I explored the My Heritage app site. It is the winner in the genealogy category & says it is free, private and secure. It claims to have more than 28 million members, include more than 300 million names and host more than 5 million family sites. I did find several listings for Risinger family sites but other names I searched came up with nothing. The site offers family web sites, genealogy searching, photo posting, message boards and downloadable Family Tree Builder software. I already use Legacy Family Tree but for someone just starting out this might be a free option for software. One of the interesting things about the site is their claim to use advanced face recognition technology that you can use to find relatives on the site. They offer a look alike meter to find resemblances between your child and you or other relatives. You can also see if you resemble a celebrity and strangest of all there's a program to morph yourself with a celebrity. You can even order flowers or gifts to be sent on this site. The pricing is in Euros so I'm assuming this is a European site. I intend to come back to the site when I have more time and I've bookmarked it on Delicious and my own computer.

Thing #19.....Will it be there tomorrow?

My main concern about online apps? How reliable are they? Will it be a case of here today, gone tomorrow?  We've seen websites that seemed useful come and go. And some become so changed they are hardly recognizable. Some start out free & change to for pay.  I can also see some convenience in these sites.  For someone who travels frequently for business or to give classes or presentations an app like Google Docs or something similar could be a way of not having to lug that laptop along.  Store the the needed documents or presentations online and access them from any computer.  Print your handouts onsite and not have to carry them with you. (I'd still have everything on a disc in my luggage.) The convenience I see is the same as for Delicious---having your material available from any computer.  If using these products, I would still keep a copy of the material on my own hard drive or a removable disc while also keeping them online as another means of backup.  I just find it hard to trust all this online stuff, know what I'm sayin'?

PS...I wrote this in Google Docs & published to my blog.

Things 17 & 18....Learning about Wikis

Wikis are another of those things I had heard a few things about so I know what they are. After visiting the examples I have a better idea of how a wiki can be used. I guess I have a few reservations about them simply because anybody can add or change information so it could be fact or mere opinion. I can see them as being useful in certain situations. For instance, in a library much larger than mine a wiki could be used to keep staff informed and let them add their comments or info or questions and collaborate on projects when they don't all work at the same time. A book review wiki for a library would be easy to change and add to. A Library News wiki would be easier to add to than dealing with changing a web page all the time. When I saw the examples for community wikis I thought that would be so much easier to maintain than the website Nebraska communities have through NPPD where the info has to be sent in for someone there to make the changes, changes have to be paid for and can only be done a certain number of times per year. It'd be so much easier to keep it current. Of course, it would have to be set up so only certain people could make the changes to keep it from being a free for all.

I played on PBwiki, adding my blog to the Nebraska Learns 2.0 favorites and added my favorite quilting page to favorite pages other than my blog. Not hard at all.

Not the ideal day..............

This is the view out my front door as of about ten minutes ago. I think I'll stay in and find something to do where it's dry, warm & and not windy.Maybe something like ironing some of these fabrics and starting the cutting on Quiltville's Double Delight mystery, which is no longer a mystery to me since I have printed out all the available steps.
These piles of fabric I pulled for the mystery have been growing. It's scrappy so I want lots of variety in the pinks & neutrals. I'd like a few more blues, too, so I may have to dig through those a little more.

Or, maybe instead of working on the quilt I should get back to finishing the 23 Things in the Nebraska Learns 2.0 online class. The end of January will be here before we know it. Decisions, decisions.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It's a big one

Here's a picture of the quilt I finished quilting last night.It's a big one.....99 x 102. The back is pieced out of leftover fabric from the blocks and sashing for a total coordinated look. The canvas leaders on my 10 ft. Premier table are 104 in. long so this quilt was pushing the limits. I know now how big I can go. I hope the young lady who pieced it will be pleased. It's a present for her boyfriend so I quilted it in a nice, gender-neutral pantograph called "Deb's Swirls." I really like that pattern and have used it on three other sports themed quilts. It's pretty but not girly looking and goes fast because it's a nice size.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I've been on a roll!!

I've been on a roll the past month. First I won two gift certificates at my husband's company Christmas party. Then I won a door prize in the Heartstrings New Year's Block Party. Can't wait to see what it is. Then I went to the grocery store and found out I had won the monthly drawing for a $50 gift certificate. Maybe I should go to the casino and make my fortune while the luck lasts. Or maybe I should at least buy some Powerball tickets. And just to prove I really am on a roll, I noticed on Saturday when I put air in my car tire that the valve stem cap was missing. Figured I'd have to scrounge around among the old tires to find a different one. Sunday night as I was getting ready for bed I went to close the drawer on a little dresser in the bathroom and just as I was pushing it shut I saw something small & black in the drawer...............Yep, a valve stem cap. What are the chances???? So I put it in my coat pocket so it would be handy next time I drove the car, to put it on. Now, doesn't that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm on a roll?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Should I?...........Or Should't I?

Tonight when I should have been going to bed I opened up my fabric cabinets and started pulling out fabrics that would work for the New Year's Eve mystery quilt at I don't really need to start another project & it definitely doesn't meet my goal of finishing things that are started. However, all the fabric IS from stash, and that meets the goal of using what I have. I have several quilt tops of my own that need to be quilted and a king size customer quilt that will take a while to finish. Why am I even considering starting another project? Especially one with as many small pieces as this one. Am I insane? The strange thing is that I have been thinking about how to make a quilt with blue, brown and pink and along comes Bonnie with this pattern. Maybe I'm meant to make it. Maybe it's destiny. Maybe it's karma. But not before I finish a couple of other things, I think. Problem is, now my mind is racing & I probably won't be able to sleep. Oh well, I can sleep in.

Friday, January 2, 2009

What fun!!

This is my 3rd and final set of Happy Blocks for the Heartstrings New Year's Block Party. I finished up last night about 9:45, having completed three complete sets of 48, plus I had six extra blocks for a total of 150. This was such a fun project and if your year goes the way New Year's Day goes, then I'll be happily sewing all year. One thing I did learn by doing this was that my considerable fabric stash is missing something. Yes indeed, I will have to shop for blenders, those fabrics that may not be solids but read as solids from a distance. A few of the ones I used for my blocks would pass if viewed from a distance of 15-20 ft. from the back of a galloping horse. We all need goals for the New Year, right? Mine is to shop for blenders!!!

As for other goals, I think I'll try to finish some of the started or planned for a long time projects, some of which are only piles of fabric & a pattern. I also plan to keep using fabric from the stash as much as possible. (with the exception of those blenders!!)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Second set of Happy Blocks done

I've just been having a nice quiet day at home with my sewing machine. Hubby is off work but got up early & went out rabbit hunting. He came home for a good dinner of roast beef, baked potatoes, green beans & homemade peach pie w/ice-cream and then left again to go ice fishing. See, that money I spent on a hunting & fishing license is paying off already!! I don't know if he goes back to work tomorrow or not, I just know I don't have to so maybe I'll sew some more. Here's a picture of the second set of Happy Blocks. The more you sew the faster it goes, guess there's a rhythm to it.