Friday, October 23, 2009

Ann the Gran picked up my patterns!

I woke up this morning to find the most wonderful of emails! Ann the Gran confirmed that they have picked up, and listed for sale, my patterns on their website! This is a wonderful website that is very well established and offers a wide selection of machine embroidery designs, as well as sewing and quilting related products. They also have a tremendous amount of software, tips and techniques, thread charts, and free stuff. Prior to them carrying my patterns I had purchased many designs from them and love their website. It's needless to say that today I am one very happy quilter!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Halloween Treat Bags - FREE!

It's no secret that I have two beautiful granddaughters and naturally, as Halloween approaches, I start to think of projects I can create for them. Lucy is going to be a little Pumpkin, and Madelyn is going to be a Fairy Princess for the big day. I decided that I wanted to make them treat bags and then got to thinking about how silly it would be to spend a lot of money on that endeavor. After all, they drag them around while they are Trick or Treating and only use them the one night. Besides that, I am really trying to use up some stash. What you see above and below is what I came up with.

First I embroidered the designs - they were free downloads that I already had on my computer. I also used a font that came on my machine. I constructed them from felt using a plain tote bag pattern that I've had forever. I was so surprised, after a bit of digging around in the sewing room, to find that I already had everything I needed to fancy them up and make them worthy of my precious little peanuts!
So, the purpose of this post? I wanted to show how, with a little digging, you can create wonderful things without spending a dime! Don't have felt? Use fabric! Use up those scrap embellishments you've had laying around for years! Dig through those boxes and I bet you'll be surprised at what you find. Get creative and wait until you see how good you feel when you create something wonderful that didn't cost you a penny!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Magic Number is....

I can not remember the last time I was this excited about something in the quilting world. I think it was when I first read Quilter's Home Magazine and discovered Mark Lipinski. Let me tell ya, Cupcakes, that's saying a lot!

Last night I was working on a quilt project for my guild's Brown Bag Challenge and was doing a bit of designing. This project, which I can't show yet becuase it is always a surprise, required many different sized quarter square triangles. I was a trimming and guessing fool. A BIG light bulb went off after I had to rip one quarter square unit apart. It was laying on my cutting mat and I saw that the original square I had just used to make a three inch finished quarter square triangle was 4¼ inches square! I say to myself, "By George, I think I've got something here...." I quickly whipped up some samples to try this theory out and sure enough, it worked!

So this is what I learned:
The "magic number" for quarter-square triangles is 1¼ inch. All you have to do is add 1¼ inches to the required FINISHED SIZE of your quarter-square triangle unit.

So, for example, if you want a 3" (finished size) quarter-square triangle unit, you need to cut two squares that measure 4¼ inches each. It is perfect every time!

I am sure this is not new news to the majority of quilters, but it sure was news to me. I knew about adding 7/8 of an inch to the finished size to get perfect half square triangle units, but had never made quarter squares for an improvised pattern, and thus I just didn't know this. It's the simple things in life...........

Are there any other Magic Numbers out there I don't know?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Quilted Media Case Is Done!

So this is the pattern that created the need for a new website. I've written how one thing leads to another in the past, and well, this is another perfect example. My red-headed step child came for a visit recently and we did a bit of sewing. She wanted a case for her iPhone. Here is the post I wrote about the one we made for her. Then I decided I needed a case for my beloved iPod Touch. I listen to audio books while I am sewing, cleaning or working in the garden and if I don't have a pocket, then I have no place to tuck the iPod while I am using it. I was constantly standing up to go to the ironing board, and PLOP! Down it would fall to the floor. Not good. Enter necessity, and on to invention.

This is what I came up with. It solved so many problems for me. I can wear it around my neck, or strap it to my arm using the Velcro straps. I have even hooked it through a belt loop.

Then I started making them to fit my moods. I really like flamingos...
When I made this one, I was feeling old, so I used 30's fabric. All kidding aside, it has just been so handy for me. Now when I sew or clean, even when I am in my jammie pants, I have my iPod in my ears so the job goes so much faster and I'm not fussing to hold the iPod while I do it. Even when I am not using my iPod, I keep it in the case without the straps so it stays safe and sound, protected in its very own quilt.
I'm curious: Do you listen to audio books? If so, what are you listening to now? What is your favorite audio book?
I'm listening to Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
Favorite is probably Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - best narration ever!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Website Published!

Holy moly, am I tired. Below is a photo of why I am so tired. I just finished building the new website. I can not believe how long it took me to build it. I used what is supposed to be the "Idiots Guild to Web Design" and let me tell you, the IQ necessary for success using that software far exceeds what I have to work with. I used "Website Tonight" from Go Daddy, and I am going to call them to find out exactly what planets "night" they are referring to in their title. I don't believe they are referring to a "night" on earth, because that is nowhere near long enough. It seems far more likely to me that they are referring to a night on Venus. It has a 224 day "night."
Either way, I haven't been sewing. I have been computing and I can tell you this; I like sewing a whole lot better. I had to get the website done so I could add a new pattern, The Quilted Media Case, to the site. The old design, which I had built as well, wouldn't let me add a new product. I tried every which way but Tuesday to no avail, so back to the drawing board I went. Now all I have to do is change that photo up there in the top left hand corner to that of a quilt block or quilt. Heck, that should only take me three weeks to accomplish...

I'm open for any and all website design software suggestions. This is getting ridiculous! What have you used that is understandable and successful?

FYI: (from Wikipedia) The phenomenon of day and night is due to the rotation of a celestial body about its axis, creating the illusion of the sun rising and setting. Different bodies spin at very different rates, however. Some may spin much faster than Earth, while others spin extremely slowly, leading to very long days and nights. The planet Venus rotates once every 224.7 days – by far the slowest rotation period of any of the major planets. In contrast, the gas giant Jupiter's sidereal day is only 9 hours and 56 minutes.[1]