Friday, April 30, 2010

Fun with Flickr -- or Flickr 102

Just wanted to share a couple things I recently discovered about Flickr that you may or may not know.  But first, the Flickr pool is so fun!  Just fun!  I love seeing everyone's fabric choices! 

Tip 1:  Looking at other Blocks
Sometimes when I see a block, I want to see the blocks that go along with it.  There's an easy way to do this.  When you are looking at the block, look on the right.  First it says "Uploaded by . . . ."  Right below that it has a plus sign next to " . . . .'s photostream."  If you click on the word "photostream" it takes you to a different page where you can see the other blocks and other pictures that have been uploaded by that person. 

-OR- you can just click on the plus sign.  That opens a small window where you can look at the thumbnails.  That way you can see the other pictures quicker without opening a new window.

Tip 2:  Group Discussions  
Click on the "Pool" that brings you to the page of thumbnails.  From there click on the large title "Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt Along."  That brings you to the main page of our group.  There are other ways to get to this page.

Scroll down.  Under the deadline information is a group discussion section.  Did you know that was there?  I didn't!  Until a few weeks ago.  The only thing I haven't figured out is how to be notified through my email when there is an update.  If any of you Flickr pros know, I would love for you to tell me. 

So, ask a question or answer a question, talk to your new friends, here's another way to add to the fun. 

Quilter's are such a fun group.  I love being part of the quilting community!  If you have another Flickr tip you would like to share, I would love to hear it!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Block Five Winners!

Here I am in Council Bluffs, Iowa on my way home from Paducah, Kentucky marvelling at the amazing country I have been driving through.  I brought things to do while in the car, but I just can't get enough of staring out the window.

This country is gorgeous!  I love it!  Thanks to all of you bloggers who came and said hello to me!  Quilters are a great group of people.  The quilt show was great.  I do have some pictures to post, but I left my camera cord home -- dumb move I know -- so I can't get them on the computer until I get home.

But now my husband says it is time to go to bed.  (I better get off the computer so he can go to bed as he does all of the driving.)

But, real fast, here are the winners --

jenjohnson wins something fun from Emily Herrick

and Denise in PA wins a jelly roll from me.


These are the Flickr usernames. I have emailed both winners via Flickr mail. I have also posted their blocks to help identify the winners. Email me to claim your prize.
Remember, if you didn't get your block done, no worries. There will be another drawing in two weeks. Any blocks posted between now and then will be entered into the next drawing. We've had quite a few start just this past week and are caught up already.
Thanks for playing everyone! Keep on quilting!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Block Five with Emily Herrick

Emily and I met when a baby quilt she had made won the viewer's choice award at our local Peteetneet Quilt Show.   She ended up part of our quilt show committee and now we both write quilt patterns.  Emily's company is called Crazy Old Ladies.  Emily is the type of person who you like the minute you meet her.  She is very friendly and a lot of fun.  She has a great eye for quilts, and I'm so glad she said she would design a block for you. 

Now from Emily:
-Hey all, it's me here! That's right, the one and only Crazy Old Lady! Ok, so I've been catching a lot of flack for not being old but funny how no one ever mentions the 'Crazy' part. OH well. Some of you may know me by my street name- Emily Herrick. I have been quilting for almost a decade. About 2 years ago I started to go 'crazy' when I decided to start designing and selling my quilt patterns. It has been a BLAST! The best part is that I can quilt [almost] whenever I want and tell my husband "I'm working" and he's okay with it (most of the time.) Naturally I am attracted to all things fabric and quilting so when Konda asked me to be a part of her Jelly-Roll-Quilt-Along I was so excited. I hope ya'll don't mind that I wanted to share the block I designed that was featured in Quiltmaker magazine several months ago. I LOVE this block because it's different. I thought it would add nice interest to your quilts. But what I really love about this block is a whole quilt done out of it! For those of you up for that challenge you can get a good idea of what it will look like here:

I've had such a fun time checking out all the blocks as you quilt along and I can't wait to see what you do with mine!

Happy Quilting!

Click HERE for instructions to Emily's block.

Thanks Emily!!!

Here are my blocks:  First with Attitude Girls

Second, with Swanky

My favorite thing about this block is seeing Emily's whole quilt that she made using this pattern.  (See link above.)  I love how it's almost an optical illusion -- which chain are you seeing? 

REMINDER:  You have two weeks to make these blocks.  There will be a drawing tomorrow for block four.  Of course, any block that is posted before mine on flickr gets entered in the drawing.  I have another jelly roll up for grabs and Emily has graciously donated one of her patterns.  YEAH!

Note:  Please forgive me if the timing of the drawing is a little off.  I will be on the road Monday night.  I am hoping we will find a good internet connection on the road and that you don't notice a difference, but sorry in advance if it doesn't quite work out that way. 


Friday, April 16, 2010

Paducah -- Ready or Not, Here I Come!

Toward the end of last year I thought I should go to Paducah.  Non-quilters first ask, "Where's that?" and then, "Why are you going to Kentucky?"  How does everyone not know that Paducah is the Mecca of the quilt world?  It is my turn to go on a pilgramage to Mecca. 


Planning the trip was a little more difficult than I thought.  First, in order to make the trip, my family needed to come.  (Can't be gone that long from tiny ones.)  So the first of the year my husband got the time off.  Then we found out that vendors aren't usually accepted the first year they ask because so many want to be vendors. 

My husband kept the dates open, but the trip was off.  Then there was a cancellation.  Yippee!!!  The trip was on again.  But with the trip off, lots of other stuff was happening.  Suddenly I am leaving tomorrow.  Ahhh!  Not ready.  Not ready.  Not ready. . . .

Quilts -- check.  Some aren't bound yet, but I thought you would like to see new ones anyway!
Signs -- check.  And they are cute.  Yeah!
Rubber bands -- check.  Why rubber bands?  It is just something that you always need for some reason, like pins and scissors.
Books -- check, almost.  Gotta get them packed still.
Clothes -- still in the closet.
Project A -- postponed.
Project B -- half done, postponed.
Project C -- crossing my fingers it doesn't need to be done yet.
House clean -- not gonna happen.
Sanity -- it's in Mecca.  I have faith I will find it there.

I know there are a few questions that need to be answered, so here are the answers.  I will leave the questions to you:
  • We are driving.  Yes, the whole family. 
  • Booth 4518 in the pavillion.  Please come and say hi!
  • and last, but not least -- the post for block 5 was just scheduled, so it will appear as it should.  (I even scheduled it for 1:00 a.m. for you early birds or early time zoners.) 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Block Three Winners!

Winners, winners, who are the winners?!?

The first winner who gets a book from Kathy Skomp of Lavendar Lime -- yebbyanny

And the second winner who gets a jelly roll from me -- aquiltlady


These are the Flickr usernames.  I have emailed both winners via Flickr mail.  I have also posted their blocks to help identify the winners.  Email me to claim your prize.

Remember, if you didn't get your block done, no worries.  There will be another drawing in two weeks.  Any blocks posted between now and then will be entered into the next drawing.  We've had quite a few start just this past week and are caught up already. 

Thanks for playing everyone!  Keep on quilting!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Block Four with Kathy Skomp

I met Kathy Skomp and her husband about a year and a half ago in Houston at Quilt Market.  Our booths were across the aisle diagonal from each other.  Being from Tennessee, they were very friendly, and I couldn't help but like them.  Kathy and her husband the owners of Lavender Lime Quilt Shop.
Kathy also writes quilt pattern books.  I think this book "Sassy and Sophisticated" was the new book when we met. 

With our booths so close together, by the time market was over I could give their pitch just as well as I could give my pitch, and sometimes I did on accident.  I think I will forever remember that Kathy's quilts sell fabric, and they are easy to kit. 

Our lives came together again when I saw that Kathy was designing patterns for Northcott just like I was, and we both have the same number of books published.  BUT before I tell you everything, here's what Kathy has to tell you:

Hey Ya'll from Chattanooga, Tennessee

I started sewing at a very young age as I grew up in my grandmother's and mother's upholstery and drapery shop. I was picking up scraps off the the workroom floor and making purses which I sold in elementary school. Even some of the teachers bought my purses. I decided I did not want to make a living sewing, (don't ever say never) so I graduated college and spent the next 15 years as a math/technology teacher. I sewed as a hobby, making items for my home and sometimes sewing my own clothes. I took my first quilting class about 10 years ago. The first time I worked with Batik fabric, I was hooked.

My husband and I opened Lavender Lime Quilting in Chattanooga in the summer of 2005. In 2009, we were named by Better Homes and Gardens as a "Top Ten Shop" and were featured in their 2009 Fall Edition of Quilt Sampler Magazine.

I began designing patterns in 2007. We have 6 books published under "Designs by Lavender Lime" and #7 is almost ready. You can see all the books and many quilts made from the books on our web site at The books are sold nationwide and are carried by many quilt shops. The designs are easy and quick but make beautiful quilts. I also design patterns for Northcott Fabrics. You can check out their website and see my designs:

My blog is where I try to post things going on at the shop. We would love to have you as a follower. My favorite things about this business are the creative freedom that quilting allows and the wonderful people that I come in contact with. What a blessing to spend time creating!


Thanks Kathy!

Kathy has designed block 4.  She calls it "Stepping Down."

Click HERE for instructions to Kathy's block.

Here are my blocks:  First, with Attitude Girls

Second, with Swanky.  For this one I just used two jelly roll strips that I alternated and used my background fabric as the small squares.

REMINDER:  You have two weeks to make these blocks.  There will be a drawing tomorrow for block three.  Of course, any block that is posted before mine on flickr gets entered in the drawing.  I have a jelly roll up for grabs and Kathy has graciously donated one of her quilt books.  YEAH!

Note:  Something is being wacky this morning with my pdf files.  I hope the file works for you.  I am going to post this and then try to trouble shoot.  I will be working at the computer this morning so hopefully we can get the kinks ironed out.   

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Taking and Posting Photos 101

I have had a few questions about pictures of blocks with all the posting going on at Flickr.  (Love all the photos showing up in Flickr!)  I have decided to address some of them.  Feel free to comment and add to my tips if you do something differently that may also help out a fellow quilter.

1)  How do I get a good picture of my block?

Two things make a big difference -- lighting and angle.  First, the best lighting is outside in light even shade.  Of course, that isn't always possible.  If you have a place in your house that lets in a lot of light, that is second best and can be just as good depending on the time of day.  After that, do the best you can. 

Second, angle.  Pictures of quilts and quilt blocks look best when taken straight on.  This can happen several ways.  Probably the easiest way (for blocks) is to have your block on a design wall and take the picture straight on that way.  Or you can hang your block on something else vertical like a wall hanging or the back of your couch (assuming it isn't up against a wall), etc. . . something plain colored is better so the block doesn't have to fight for attention. 

Here is the link to an excellent article about taking pictures of quilts:
 Click here to read "Shoot That Quilt!" article.

2)  How do I get rid of the stuff around my quilt block in the picture?

You want to edit your photo in a photo program like Photoshop or Picasa.  I will address these two becasue I am familiar with them.  This information can be applied to other programs.  Picasa is a free photo program by Google.  No matter which program you use, you are looking for the words "crop." 

In Photoshop you select an area, then go up to the top menus where it says "Image."  This pulls up a list.  One of the words in the list is crop.  Click on that, and now everything around where you selected disappears. 

In Picasa, under "Basic Fixes" is the Crop button.  First click on the crop button, then draw the box of what you want your photo to look like.  It defaults to a 4x6 picture size so if you want something more square for your block then select "manual."  You can then draw the box any shape you want -- well, not any shape, just any rectangle or square shape. 

3)  I'm worried I'm going to mess up my picture.  Help!

This is a valid concern, but there is an easy way to solve this.  As soon as you open up your picture, go to the "File" menu and click on "Save As."  Then rename your photo and click save.  (I usually just add a letter to the end of the original name rather than thinking up something new.)  Now if you mess it up, it doesn't matter because you have messed up a copy of the picture and not the original picture.  Feel free to play.  See what this button does or see how that filter looks.  Transform, warp, color, discolor, smear, blur, sharpen, etc . . . to your hearts content.  Learn what your photo program can do.  AND save as many copies of the original as you want -- without messing up your original photo.

Part Two -- make "undo" your friend.  In every program I have used, CTRL-Z is undo.  Or look for an arrow pointing backwards.  Or find "Undo" under the "Edit" menu at the top of most programs.  Undo can fix most problems, and if it can't, well, that's why we have already done "Save As".

4)  My file is too big to post in Flickr.  How do I make it smaller?

To view blocks nicely on the web, they don't have to be very big.  Definitely under 1 Meg.  There are two ways to make a file smaller: 1) make the size (actual print size in inches) smaller and 2) make the dpi (dots per square inch or pixels per inch) smaller.  I usually do both, but not until AFTER I have cropped the photo.

In Photoshop, this information is found in the "Image" menu.  Under Image it says "Image Size."  This brings up a box that says Document Size.  Change the smaller of width or height to 4 or 5.  The other number is automatically changed.  Change the resolution to 72.

Side note -- if you are printing a picture you want 300 dpi, but for web viewing you only need 72 or 75 dpi.  Did that just go over your head?  Don't worry, you aren't alone. Just know if you see a 300, change it to 72.

In Picasa, the way to change the dpi is to "Export to Folder" the file in the "File" menu.  After you click "Export," you get a box.  Where it says Image Size, click "Resize to:" and slide the slider down to one of the left marks -- either 320 or 480.  Then click export.

5)  Any other suggestions?

Yes, I have two other suggestions.  First, give it a shot!  This is the perfect time to figure out how to take and post great pictures.  It's always faster the second time, or the third time, around. 

Second, if all else fails, go find a relative, friend, neighbor, or a teenager you know and have them teach you all of this on your computer with your programs.  This isn't Calculus.  This is something all of you can do.  And there is the possibility of a quilting related prize as incentive.  What better time is there to learn?

Go for it!   

Monday, April 5, 2010

Working with Jelly Rolls

"Janieg" made a comment today that I thought some of you might be interested in.  She said:

"I'm struggling with block 3. After having it come out smaller that the other blocks, redoing, THEN measuring the my dismay, I found that one strip is approx 1/8 inch narrower than the standard 2.5 inches. So I'm doing it again, making the seams narrower. I could have chosen another fabric, but I really liked the one I picked. When I finish to my satisfaction, I will photo and post. In the meantime, I suggest measuring your strips. Mine was a commercial jelly roll."

Sometimes the pinked edge of precuts makes quilting interesting.  I often measure my charm packs to see where 5" is.  Sometimes the outer edge of the pinking is 5."  Other times it is the inside of the pinking that is the 5."  I actually haven't worked with jelly rolls much which is why I wanted to do this sampler quilt. 

Just something to consider if you have found your blocks frustrating to put together like Janieg.  (Also make sure you are sewing a 1/4" seam and are pressing well.  These blocks shouldn't be very frustrating.)  Thanks Janieg for that observation.