Monthly Archives: January 2012

Furever Homes - FINISHED!

So… I finished a thing! A thing with cats!
 Here’s the whole thing (please forgive the weird bright sunlight and shadows):
 Here’s some of the houses in the village (top left):
And here’s the woodsy cabin (lower left):
 On the wrong side of the tracks, things are a little shadier:
Good thing there’s a nice cannery on the waterfront to make all the cat food for those cats:
The back is a fun rainbow print, with two of the extra blocks inset. The center of that star is where I wrote the label:
This quilt will ultimately benefit Good Mews Animal Foundation, a non-profit, no-kill cage-free cat shelter that I volunteer for.  How it will benefit it remains to be seen.  Several people have asked how they can get a chance to win this quilt, but unfortunately online raffles are illegal for the state of Georgia. I’ve inquired with the fundraising chair for Good Mews if they’d be willing to do an in person raffle (and I could be the go-between and take ticket “orders” for people I know that are out of state), but haven’t heard back from the Chair yet.

In the mean time, I’ve listed it on my etsy store. All proceeds from the sale will go directly to the shelter, and the buyer will be listed in the honorariums in the quarterly shelter newsletter. If there’s no buyer for it on etsy, and the shelter doesn’t want to do a raffle, I’ll donate it for their silent auction in the fall.

BOOM. Found a buyer! My parents are buying the quilt and sending the money directly to the shelter, so the etsy listing has been deactivated. And I get to keep it long enough to show off to Tiny Stitches and the AMQG meeting this weekend. I knew I was raised by the right people…

Sunday Night Stash: Jan 29

A pretty productive week - finished two quilts and worked on my daughter’s room makeover! Didn’t get much sewing done this weekend due to spending so much time painting.
  • Used this Week: 23.5 yards
    • 8.75 yards to make Ted
    • 9.5 yards to make Furever Homes (pics tomorrow!) (for charity)
    • 5 yards for curtains for Bloomer’s room
    • 0.25 yards for Hello Kitty pillow for Bloomer’s room
  • Used year to Date: 55.25 yards
  • Added this Week: 7 yards
    • 5 yards for Bloomer’s curtains
    • .5 yards white fleece for Hello Kitty pillow
    • 1 yard green swirly cotton print
    • .5 yards yellow polka dot to make bunting for Bloomer’s room
  • Added Year to Date: 26.75 yards
  • Net Used for 2012: 28 yards
    • YTD Used for Charity: 21 yards (37% of total used)

Where’s the Podcast For 1/27?

Weellllll… I mentioned last week that I was nearing my bandwidth limit. I’ve haven’t hit it yet, but am at 85% of allocated bandwidth, which is due to reset on Feb 7. Rather than push it by putting out an episode today, (and not next week because I would surely be hitting the limit then), I am taking at least this week, and possibly two weeks off.  If the numbers look okay for next week, I might squeak out a short one next Friday (Feb 3) and risk hitting my limit for a couple days until the 7th.

I know, I’m not happy about it either. It was my plan to continue a weekly podcast with the exception of two weeks (due to vacation times) for the foreseeable future, but given the limitations of Podomatic, that may not be possible. It seems like a bunch of people figured out at the beginning of the year that they needed to subscribe to the new feed and BLAM! there were a ton of downloads at once. So this may not be a permanent change to my schedule, but I gotta tell, the my OCDish traits are killing me with the inability to stick to a schedule.

While you may not hear my voice over the podcast feed for the next couple weeks, I may see about doing video (hosted on YouTube) or something to tide you over. I’ll try to be better about blogging regularly and not just when I finish something. I’ve been thinking of doing a “studio tour” (a grand name for holding the FlipCam while I spin slowly in my chair, surely).

If you’ve got suggestions for blogging, tutorials, or video topics, let me know in the comments. I think I might do one on adapting illustrations for applique since apparently I’m making a Hello Kitty wallhanging for my daughter’s room redecoration.  You know I won’t be sitting idly by during this time, so there will surely be plenty for me to talk about when I’m back to the airwaves!

Insert Boring Technical Podcast Stuff Here

So those of us that had to move from to Podomatic (or some other service) are dealing with the rude awakening of bandwidth limitations, which is something our Podbean quiltcast sisters have been facing for quite a while. It’s just that our listeners are SO AWESOME they like to listen to us all the time!  I’ve got a couple suggestions to alleviate the bandwidth blues:

For listeners:

  • Only download a podcast episode once. This might sound silly, but I know I’ve been guilty of having the podcast download automatically on my laptop, but, being too lazy to sync my iPod at that time and impatient to listen, will download the episode a second time directly onto my iPod via the wifi connection. So that counts as two downloads for the podcaster’s host, soaking up the bandwidth.
  • Listen to it streaming direct from the podcast host site or embedded player on the website. I know this is possible for Podomatic and Podbean, but not all podcasts have this option.  So if you’re going to be around your computer and can listen there instead of downloading the mp3 file, do that since I don’t think playing on an embedded player counts against bandwidth.

For hosts:

  • If you’re on Podomatic, use the “Light” quality setting. You get that option when uploading a new episode (or editing a different one) in the “Review/Publish” section, as below.  Click the blue “Format Settings” link and change from Standard to Light. It will reduce the quality of the file, but since we are talking about quilts and not producing fabulous concerts (except Daisy - love her voice!), it should be okay.
  • Reduce your file size by fiddling with your settings. The easiest place to do this (in Audacity - can’t speak to other recording software) is in the MP3 conversion.  There are several resources on what to change to reduce file sizes, including Podcast Answer Man and Audacity to Podcast. I know it’s technical and somewhat scary, but 15 minutes of recording a sample and fiddling with settings can pay off in the long run. And besides, learning something new never hurt anyone! Well, except learning that you don’t want to be a lion tamer - that might come with boo-boo’s.  This, ladies, is not lion taming, and remember, even monkeys can learn!
  • Blog more. I know! Crazy talk. I got into podcasting because it was easier to sit in front of a mic than type out a lot long boring words. Many of you are already better than me at blogging regularly, but I’ll be dipping back into the written word more if I’m limited to podcasting every other week instead of weekly. It’s a good thing quilting is a visual medium, so it makes sense to balance the visual with the auditory.

Most of all: let’s go sewing something beautiful!

Meet Ted (Giant Hexie Quilt: FINISHED!)

Meet Ted:
Ted is made up of two layer cakes of Circa 1934, some Kona Sand fabric, and 2 yards of some weird gold color for the backing.
Why is he named Ted, you ask? Because of this Buffalo Border:
I call this sort of thing “buffalo quilting” because you use up every last fabric scrap, like the Native Americans did with their buffalo kills. Buffaloes make me think of Ted Turner because he single-handedly brought the bison out of endangerment through his ranching and breeding efforts (thank you, Stuff You Should Know podcast!).
Now, since this is a gift for my husband, do I mind him snuggling with Ted? Nope. I’m pretty secure in our marriage.
 Here’s Ted’s backside (that won’t get old!):
It’s primarily “B-roll” layer cake squares (filler prints), a buffalo strip, and a 2 yard piece of that gold-ish fabric that I seem to have in plentiful supply. Seriously, I have at least 4 more pieces of yardage in that gold tone.
That’s another 8.75 yards in the “Used” column of Sunday Night Stash Report!

Sunday Night Stash Report

I want to be more mindful of the amount of fabric coming in (and out, but mostly in) to my stash, so I’m going to give this “Stash Report” idea a spin.  I’m guesstimating what I’ve used in finished projects since the beginning of the year based on what I’ve blogged, so this is sort of a catch-up post.
  • Used this Week: 7.25 yards
    • 5.25 yards to make 5 pillowcases (3 for charity)
    • 2 yards to make cat bed covers (for charity)
  • Used year to Date: 31.75 yards
  • Added this Week: 16.75 yards
    • 5 yards for blue Swoon backing
    • 5 yards for purple Swoon backing
    • 4.5 yards for purple Swoon background fabric
    • 1 yard Hello Kitty fabric for Bloomer’s pillowcase
    • 1 yard Happy Birthday fabric for Boxer’s pillowcase
    • .25 (fat quarter for one of the Swoon quilts)
  • Added Year to Date: 19.75 yards
    • 1 yard light blue cotton from the remnant bin
    • 2 yards fleece for cat bed covers (for charity)
  • Net Used for 2012: 12 yards
    • Total Used for Charity: 11.5 yards (36% of total used)

I also want to track what I’m donating to charity - I don’t have a particular goal in mind for the percentage (over 10% maybe?), but wanted to see what it actually comes out to.  I’ve got the Furever Homes quilt coming up to add to the charitable crafting, as well as a twin-sized quilt for the Wellspring Living house and whatever smaller Project Linus ones I’m inspired to make. Of course, with the 3 king-sized quilts I want to make, too, that’ll shove that percentage in the other direction!

A look back 12 years ago…

Twelve years (and an hour and 20 minutes) ago, I married the love of my life in a ceremony that only took 11 minutes (for some reason a friend of mine timed it). This picture represents us perfectly.

I made my own wedding dress.  It was a lot of work, but the marriage has been worth it.

HtbaS - Episode 64

I talk about my quilt “pile-up”, cutting the Swoon blocks, meeting the lovely Frances from Off-Kilter Quilt for breakfast, and give out a pile of birthday and anniversary wishes!

Oh hey, did I mention I had breakfast with someone?

You know… a rhombus is just an off-kilter square. Just sayin’.


I Get By With a Little Help(er) From My Friends

I wanted to thank everyone for their kind words and thoughts after last week’s episode.  The good news is that I was correct in assuming it was at least partly hormonal, and that wave was crested and subsided. I’m feeling much better, and will continue to look out for myself and my family.

So while I was working on projects to keep my mind busy, I got a little helpering from a little helper.

Zoom loves that spot on my sewing table, although it is incredibly inconvenient for productivity.
And here’s part of what I worked on:

The wrong side of the tracks blocks! Clockwise from top left we have the Pussycat Club, bar, used car lot, and tuna cannery.

Now, I do actually have the entire top put together, and the back pieced, but I’m going to wait to show any more pictures until it’s quilted and bound.

HtbaS - Episode 63

It’s another episode of Hot Babes! (That’s what Jaye thinks “HtbaS” looks like.)

I take a bit of time at the beginning to talk about yucky emotional stuff, which segues into talking about finishing the Grama’s Hankie wallhanging.  But then there’s fun stuff about giant hexagons, Swooning Along, and being on the wrong side of the tracks with the Houses Sampler.

Giant Hexagons (with a lot of scraps)!

I’m still deciding between the Ruby fabric from the kit, and using Christmas cat fabric to make a quilt for my daughter for the Swoon-Along.