Archive for December, 2009


Can it really be the end of the decade?

Think back 10 years. We were all so worried about Y2K. Businesses were being told that due to the short-sightedness of computer programmers of yesteryear, if something wasn’t done to correct it, all hell would break loose when the calendar turned to January 1, 2000 and all the computers would think it was January 1, 1900. Since the world didn’t come to an end as I recall, everyone must have gotten it fixed before midnight, New Year’s Eve.

Back in 1999, I joined an online group of quilters, the Cyberbees. I had been a Rootsweb (online genealogy forum) member for years before that and spent a lot of time there. Rootsweb decided to diversify a bit, so they opened up their forums to include other subjects besides just genealogy. One of them was Hobbies and a subset of that was Quilting. And so the Cyberbees were born. Today we’re still going strong, although we’ve been moved around a bit. We now reside on the server of one Doc Schneider (maddoc.net).

The Cyberbees were in the midst of a Millennium swap when I signed up. I was brand new to quilting, having taken one class at the LQS (local quilt shop), and didn’t really understand what they were doing. So I was too late to that party and Y2K fabric had all but disappeared from the marketplace. One of the Bees found me a small piece which I haven’t used to this day. I don’t know that many of them actually made their quilts, but Toni B. did and I fell in love with it. It’s a simple scrappy quilt but she fussy cut the “2000” out of the fabric and placed it in blocks all around the perimeter. Actually, I think Toni made two Millennium quilts because she has a different one labeled “Millennium” in our online gallery.

Even though I wasn’t able to buy any significant amount of Millennium fabric, I had a plan for an applique design. And now here it is 10 years later and I haven’t even taken the design out of my head and put it into Electric Quilt. I figure it’s probably never too late to actually make the thing, it would be something to hand down to my grandchildren. Just think, we lived to see the turning of the Millennium. How many generations can say that?

John and I are going to a small party tonight at the new home of our friends, Tom and Kay. I can’t wait to see it. It took them a lot longer to find their “perfect” house than it would have us, so I figure this has to be some kind of fabulous digs.

If you’re partying tonight, stay safe!



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A WordPress tip

If you have a WordPress blog like this one, you may have noticed that some of your pictures, which look fine in the Dashboard, look washed-out in your final post. I have talked about this before and I thought I had the solution: don’t let WordPress resize your photos, upload them in the exact size you intend to use. Most of the images I post here are 500 pixels on the long side which is the largest size my theme offers.

When I was working on this week’s Wordless Wednesday, the picture displayed in the Dashboard with the correct vibrant colors. When I previewed it, it was horribly washed out. I didn’t get it, I thought I had this figured out already. Fortunately, this question had already been asked over on the WordPress.com forums with a solution. I tried it, and it worked.

I don’t know about you, but I do most of my work on the “HTML” tab rather than the “Visual” tab. When I insert a picture, part of the code looks like this:

<img title=”IMG_1011-500-75 src=” src=” mce_src=” alt=”” width=”500″ height=”377″ />

The resulting image looks like this:

Even though the width is showing the 500 pixels as I uploaded it, WordPress must still be doing something to it, because when you remove the size code like this:

<img title=”IMG_1011-500-75 src=” src=” mce_src=” alt=””>

This is the resulting image:

Since both images look exactly the same in the Dashboard, you have to preview it to see it.

This may also be a browser thing. I tested it in Safari and Firefox with the same result. If you use another browser and can’t see a difference between the two pictures, please post a comment and let me know which browser and its version you’re using.

If you write a blog but use Blogger, Typepad or one of the other ones and you’re having the same problem, see if this solution might work for you. I have seen an awful lot of washed-out photos in the almost-200 blogs I follow, so I know I’m not alone.


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This can’t be right, can it?

Don’t faint, but I am actually SEWING. I am working on a UFO, the tablerunner I blogged about here.

Yesterday I quilted it and today I’m working on the binding.

Something seemingly has gone wrong and I can’t figure out what it is.

Here’s the binding fabric. It’s a plaid homespun and I want to cut the binding strips on the bias so that the plaid will be, ummm bias.

I was too lazy to look for Pirate’s (aka Shelley Rodgers) instructions for making the strips, so I started using the directions from The Quilters Ultimate Visual Guide because I had it handy.

I cut a 15″ square (because I had already determined this size would give me the length of 2.25″ strips that I need for this project), cut it on the diagonal, sewed the triangles together and marked the lines.

It was when I got to the part where you create a tube and offset the lines (step 5 in the photo above) that I decided to dig out Shelley’s instructions. I used them once before (successfully) and I remembered that hers were more detailed about how to achieve the offset. So I picked up from that step (Shelley’s step 6) and finished the strips.

I thought I had done everything right, but something looks wrong:

For one thing, the strips are not bias, they are straight grain. You can see from the plaid that it’s not “on point” or however you would describe that.

That’s the first big thing.

Here’s the next big thing:

Look at these seams! The vertical seam is from step 3 where the triangles are stitched together. The diagonal seam is the one where the tube was stitched together (Shelley’s step 9). ¬†Or maybe it’s the other way around. At any rate, I don’t think I’m supposed to have ANY vertical seams and I have a number of them.

Here’s the deal: I could use this strip as is or I can re-do it. I have enough fabric left over for one more try. If I can’t figure out where I went wrong and if you can’t figure it out, I am just going to cut regular strips and be done with it. At least I’ll have the same straight grain strips but without the vertical seams.


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Today I met Vicki Welsh of “Field Trips in Fiber” blog fame for lunch. She lives and works not too far from where I live but we had never met. Since I’m off this week, it seemed natural to see if she could do lunch.

She has many talents. If it’s a fiber art, she can do it. She made a ton of art postcards for Christmas, I would’ve been lucky to have done a half dozen at most. She is a longarmer, although I’m not sure if she does quilts for clients.

I got the impression that her biggest passion is dyeing fabrics. She has an Etsy store for her hand-dyes and I bought some from her.

I like her gradients. Laura Wasilowski dyes her own fabrics too and uses them in her applique designs. I bought another of Laura’s patterns when I took her class at Mid-Atlantic Quilt Fest and I need fabric for it.

Aren’t they pretty? Check out Vicki’s Etsy store, she has every color imaginable plus tie-dye, sun prints, all kinds of neat stuff.


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Merry Christmas to all!


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