Quilter’s Bee Giving – Prizes Galore!

Don’t forget to sign up for the Quilter’s Bee Giving raffle and auction. The giveaways have been EXTENDED to DEC 15, so you’ve still got plenty of time left to gift yourself with great prizes (that you can use) and it’s all for a good cause (four causes–read about them at the link above).

there’s 17 prizes in the  AUCTION worth over $1900

and

there’s 20 prizes in the RAFFLE worth over $1600

Quilter's Bee Dec

SewCalGal has found some of the best prizes ever–and there will be lots of winners. But most of all the charities that these benefit are the biggest winners. Please visit HopeforHH.org to find out about the organization that I support.

My first granddaughter was born with hypothalamic hamartoma which is a lifelong and very rare condition. Without the volunteer efforts of the women who founded HopeforHH, many children would face devastating results as this brain tumor causes progressive intractable seizures and cognitive decline when it is not treated. Many doctors have never seen a patient with this kind of brain tumor and it goes undiagnosed unless the parents are able to find information about the symptoms and are able to find a doctor who can diagnose and treat. And getting information and resources to patients and their doctors is what we’re all about at HopeforHH.

 
 

Information Overload — OR NOT–Tools that Help

It seems the quilting world has boomed with information and keeping it all sorted out is quite a challenge. Things that are hardest for me are wading through email and my blog reader. Thus far, I have used many different tools for doing this including sorting by search and sorting by mailbox and blog readers, but am still overwhelmed by all the information. However, there are three tools that have become very helpful to me and I’d like to share them with you: Google documents, Evernote, and Pinterest.

Gmail and Google documents work together quite well now. What I have found is that at the top of the gmail window in the icon bar, there’s a “More” button. In the dropdown box there’s a command “Create a document” and that allows me to create a Google document from the email. I have been using this to save important information including travel itineraries, software receipts, and serial numbers. I can create my own set of directories and labels and can rename the email/document so that the name tells me immediately the content of the document. Once it’s in Google documents, the original email can be deleted. And the information is accessible from any computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Evernote is the nicest tool for storing ideas, but even greater is it’s ability to keep track of tips and tutorials and all sorts of reference information. I have been using it for a couple of years now and recently upgraded to the Premium membership. It works on the concept of tags and allows the creation of new tags as part of the clipping process. It is not social media per se, but a personal notebook system. There are multiple screen views , but the one I use has tags as an index on the left column, a list of clips in the next column, and a preview of the selected clip on the right. Thus, one can visually search by tag or just by going through clips and looking for a photo. The clipper tool allows one to clip a URL, a selection, a complete page, or the article on the page. One of the nice things about this is the ability clip only the relevant information without extraneous and unnecessary information such as ads. The information one stores in Evernote can be accessed from any computer, tablet,  or smart phone. The only hard part was that I use multiple browsers and have multiple computers, so had to setup the clipper on each.

And now we have Pinterest. I have only had it for a week or two, but am finding that it’s a great place to store ideas. Back in the days when most information was in magazines, I used to clip photos and ideas from magazines and newspapers and taped them into an idea journal. This is a wonderful way to create an idea journal via browser–and the bonus is that your friends share their journals with you. 
 

Fabric Indulgence

Do you have a fabric indulgence? I think most quilters do. Some of us collect fat quarters, some of us just “build the stash”. My indulgence is batiks so I get a special package every month from Batiks, etc (no affiliation except batik love). It’s expensive, but I love them so much that I chose the half yard option rather than the fat quarter option. At one point, there were so many batiks in my fabric closet that I had to stop getting them for several months so I could use up what I had. But a few months back, I called them and started my subscription again. This month’s package is particularly colorful and beautiful, so I will share.

January Package from Batiks, etc.

I love scrappy quilts, so there’s never any waste. I do sort them into groups with bright colors together, fall colors together, and blacks and reds together. After that, they’re just sorted into yellows and oranges, blues and greens, and then mixed colors.

And, if I ever have a color that’s not quite dark or light enough, I use Shiva Paintsticks to change the color of the patch to be just what I want it to be. I color the fabric patch with just enough Paintstick to color the fabric without completely covering the fabric design. The color sets in a couple of days and is very permanent.

Mom update: She’s doing quite well and if she keeps up like this, she’s could possibly get discharged from Hospice. I’ve never heard of that happening, but her heart is doing great and her kidneys seem to be stable right now. This is a wonderful respite from the doom and gloom we were feeling.  
 

Christmas IS coming – and I can’t count?

Well, yesterday I said it was 26 days until Christmas, but really today is 26 days until Christmas. Hopefully I can be excused since it was my birthday. I had a wonderful time. My friend, Dorothy, took me to lunch at Herons Restaurant in the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, NC. It was absolutely the best–both food and friendship. I want to go back just for the art on the walls – better than a gallery. Everything I saw could be a wonderful quilt as well as a painting.

And what are you doing to get ready for Christmas? I saw some really fun links for handcrafted gifts over at MQResource on the weekly Whistlestop tour and thought you would enjoy them too.  I was intrigued by the Gifts in a Jar link. There are great recipes and gifts that go in jars and mugs and other things. There are also some fun things that you can do with kids of all ages. I loved the instructions for making a snow globe. Check out the links over there. And have a wonderful day! 
 

New Hopping Foot

I am so excited. The open toe hopping foot for my longarm came in the mail today. It took me about an hour to get it on my machine – it was a very tight fit, and I had to adjust the needle bar height. I put a practice piece on the machine. I can see where I’m going on feathers and fills. I love, love, love it. 
 

Sewing Room Tool: Sharps Disposal

One of the things that everyone needs in their sewing room is a quick and easy disposal of broken needles, bent pins, and dull blades. Over the years I have used many containers, but the one I have found to be best is an empty Coffeemate powder container. It has a small round flip opening for needles and pins and a wide mouth that can be opened to dispose of blades. I always make sure that I remove the label and mark it with a red Sharpie that says “Sharps Disposal”.

Another container that works well is a Benefiber container. I am sure there are others that meet the criteria. Just last week, I bought Coffeemate instead of the store brand just because of the shape of the container. 
 

An Introduction to the Twins

I haven’t written about the twins, but they were born November 19, weighed 5 lbs 9oz and 6 lbs and now weigh almost 8 pounds each. They are growing like weeds. 

Here’s a slide show of these two cute little fellows:

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