Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My Email has been Kidnapped!

The messages you leave me on my blog get forwarded to me on my Hotmail  account.  It is now called Outlook.  I logged in to see my messages yesterday, and while it showed me my inbox for a couple of seconds, it immediately popped up with this message about Skype.  I can now connect Skype to my inbox.  I don't want to do that. I just want a simple email account. I haven't used Skype in a long time.  Skype doesn't need to know the email addresses of all my friends, and when I want to use the service, I will add my contacts there.

I know you can't see it in the picture but it says "By continuing, you agree to Skype's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy." The only option presented on the screen is "Continue". The other button says, "Already using Skype? Sign in". The only options are to "Continue" or to close out the window. This means that unless I agree to Skype's terms of use, I can no longer use my hotmail account. Does anyone know how to disable this? There is no "no thanks" button. My emails will be forever lost to me unless I agree to give up my privacy to this service which I don't use. The easy way out is to click the Continue button and carry on, but this irritates me, and I am going to wait. I will link a different account to my blog posts. I appreciate all of the messages you have written on my blog posts in the last couple of days, and I can see them on my blog, but I cannot respond to you personally.

Friday, June 19, 2015

A Quilt for My Bed

The downsizing of the stuff in my house continues, and one of the things that have recently been downsized is my bed.  I have replaced my queen sized bed with a full size one.  I never did like the headboard, and through a complicated series of decisions, I decided that a full size bed would work better for me.

Once I realized how much smaller this bed is, and how the queen size was not too big for my room, I thought I would regret my decision to downsize the bed.  But since we haven't had a full size bed in the house since I was younger, I need to buy new sheets and new bedding.

I have looked online for different comforter sets and quilts, but none of them really seemed to call to me.  I want something wild - lime green, bright orange, turquoise, sunshine yellow and royal purple  - with crazy patterns swirling together, yet cohesive and pretty.   The it finally hit me - maybe I should commission myself to make a quilt for my bed. I would work for free!  It is sad how long it took me to have that realization and decision.

I have been gravitating towards diamonds lately. I looked at many different diamond patterns until I realized that I could get a quilt off my bucket list.  A simple equilateral triangle one.  The repetition of a simple shape would tame all the wild colors and patterns, and give an interesting sparkling look. It would let the fabrics shine without a great deal of effort on my part.  While it might be interesting to make a big quilt with lots and lots of teeny tiny pieces, I have decided I am going to scale up and make a more manageable size triangle.  I haven't decided on the size yet, but right now I am leaning towards five inches wide or maybe even bigger.

I am really getting excited about the fabric selection process - I have been collecting lime and turquoise fabrics for a while now - ever since I painted my bedroom lime green in 2009. I think it was the sheer size of a queen size quilt in my little domestic machine that prevented me for actually making a quilt for that bed.  But now I have a small and simple bed, and will start making a quilt for it.

Once I finish my Elephant Parade and Life of Plenty quilts, that is.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Giraffe Arrives!

When last we left our elephants, they were waiting for the elephant parade to begin.  It's been a long wait, and although they are well fed, well rested, and keeping entertained by each other's company, they are getting impatient.  Where are the rest of the animals that will be in the parade?

They were expecting an adult giraffe to join them, and were going to give him a stern lecture about keeping other people waiting, but what they saw instead stumbling across the savanna was a little wonky baby giraffe. Nobody knows what happened to her parents, but all the animals vowed to take care of the giraffe and let her join their family.

Hopefully the giraffe will keep them busy and entertained as they wait for the rest of the animals to arrive.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Power of Generosity

It started out pretty simply:  I had a large entertainment stand in my family room.  It took up a lot of space, because it had to be placed diagonally to avoid covering up the windows.  It worked well for many, many years.

Then, my daughter recommended that I replace the entertainment stand with a smaller TV stand, and I thought it was a really good idea. I didn't know what to do with the old stand, so I decided to give it away.  I have a lot of downsizing to do, and I have decided that trying to figure out the right places to sell things will make it harder for me to downsize.  The local charity does not want furniture that large.  So I went back to trusty Freecycle to see if anyone wanted it.

Freecycle, if you don't know, is a newsgroup where people in your local area post things they want or are offering for free.  It is a great way to avoid putting so much in our landfills.  In the past, I have given away empty jars to someone who sold soy candles, magazines to a church group for crafts projects, etc.

I posted my ad, and while I was there, I decided to look at the other postings.  I saw a posting for free quilt magazines, and jumped on that offer.  The lady gave me three huge boxes of quilt magazines spanning many years.  I have gone through a very small amount, and am waiting for the opportunity to go through even more.

To pay it forward, I looked for the wanted ads.  I saw a post where someone wanted some perennial plants, namely peonies.  Well, I am trying to reduce my gardening space, so I happened to have them available.  It turns out that the lady who was getting the peonies was also a quilter, and gave me this big box of fat quarters.

The moral of the story is this: The more I try to give away, the more things that I want come back to me.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Winner! Winner!

March was National Quilt Month for me.  Not only did I find the time and the mojo to do a lot of quilting, and watching quilting shows, I also won two prizes!

I received two fat quarters for helping a quilter name one of her quilts. These are beautiful, versatile colors that will fit in any quilt.  I might even put them in a quilt I am working on now.

I also won two magazines and three pins from Quiltmaker's Rock the Blocks contest. There are so many ideas for future quilt projects. 

April, unfortunately, will not be able to have the same momentum.  I have received an offer to work, so my time will be more limited.  I was hoping to get some mad dash spring cleaning and quilt finishing done before the job started, but I then got an offer for jury duty.  To accommodate the jury duty, I was able to start working even earlier, which meant all my free time disappeared retroactively.  Don't worry, I will be able to sneak in both the cleaning and the quilting into my April.

On the first day of jury duty, I decided I did not want to sit alone, so I sat with two other jurors.  As we started talking, it turned out that all of us have dogs, which we thought was a nice coincidence. Then we realized that all of us are quilters!  Then, all three of us were called to get questioned to serve on the same jury.

I was called to be a juror on a trial, and since the other two women did not make that jury, I sat with another juror at lunch.  She is not a quilter, but she also studies her family history.

I will now try to consolidate two weeks of mad dash quilting and cleaning into one weekend.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The People Have Arrived For the Elephant Parade!

Excitement is building backstage as the people have arrived backstage (what do you call the part of the parade where people get ready?)!  And as everyone requested dancing people, they are doing just that!

I started out making this dancing woman. I started with the skirt, trying to keep all the dancers on the skirt intact.  But as you can see, she is too tall.  And since I had to give her some surgery anyway, I decided to make her a little bigger on the top. She looks disproportional, since her top is so much smaller than her bottom.

She turned into these two women.  Since there is a limit of three people in the parade, the one on the right is probably going to have to go on the back or have a special place in the orphan block quilt. She looks like a spinning top! Or maybe she has to go to the bathroom really badly!  Or maybe one of them will get a special place on the border.

The woman on the left came after I had seen some quilting shows.  I kept trying to figure out how to make people with straight lines, but after watching an episode of the Quilt Show where they were showing drunken path blocks, I remembered I know how to do curved piecing, so I did some curved piecing on her hips.  I really like her.  I thought about adding a sash on her to show her as Miss Parade, but I would like to keep showing off her pretty dress.

This is the dancing couple I showed on the last Elephant Parade post, but now in fabric!   He looks a little bit like Santa with his big waist.  People are fun to make, and addictive! I am having a hard time stopping.  Maybe when this one is done,  I will do another one with just people.

The animals and people are jostling for places as they get ready to start the parade. The people are practicing their dancing.  Right now they are armless, but don't worry, their arms will magically appear before the parade.  Unfortunately, the giraffe, leopard, and monkey are running late, and we will have to wait for them before we can get the parade on the road!

Linking to Free Motion by the River.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Life of Plenty Decision

That row of four blocks I showed you in my last post has been bothering me. They are the wrong color / mood.  I didn't like a long row next to the other long rows in that section and needed to think of a way to break it up.  I kept trying to think about what to put there.  Come on, what a life of plenty have?  Love, it is in there.  Nature, it is in there.  Friendship, it is in there.  Books, nah, they don't seem to fit with the other things in the quilt and may be hard to draw.  Money, no, you buy things with money and there are baskets in there for that.  I couldn't think of anything.

I think the reason the decisions are hard is because there is a limited amount of space left in the quilt for extra stuff.  I like all the other designs that are in the other quilt and it would be hard for me to give them up.

I considered making this quilt bigger, but have decided that it might be better just to start over with another quilt like this where I add things from the multitude of patterns I have collected over the years.

Then I got a notice from the library that I had a book that was about to become due to return.

Colorful Stitchery: 65 Embroidery Projects to Personalize Your Home by Kristin Nicholas was the only one that could not be renewed.  I looked through it to make sure I wasn't going to miss out on anything important. It has lots of cute little stitchery projects.  The patterns are all tiny, so you can enlarge them on your printer.  Then I  noticed the pattern for the vase that is sitting on the chair on the cover of the book.  My quilt is full of flowers in vases, and this one would fit in it perfectly.  That vase can take up the place of two blocks, and I can still piece two blocks to fill up the space. Decision made.

You know what a Life of Plenty needs?  Unlimited inspiration in the form of library books and the internet.