Sunday, April 13, 2014

Quilting & Programming

MelbaChristmasQuiltI’ve been pretty busy lately, but then, that’s nothing new!

I finally got over the crud that was going around, which, of course, started right when I began teaching my software training classes at work.  Thankfully I didn’t get the version that kept coming back 2 or 3 times  like some of my co-workers.  I give credit to my holistic medical approaches which included extensive use of the nasal rinse bottle and using almost an entire bottle of doTERRA’s OnGuard essential oil blend!

However, before I got sick I was able to finish a quilt for one of my fellow guild members, Melba.  She made it as a Christmas quilt for her corner_quilting_flannel_backgranddaughter with the idea she could take it to college with her in the fall.  It’s going to be nice and snuggly with the flannel backing she picked.

I did an overall meander in the middle and a custom design in the border, adding SID (stitch-in-the-ditch on each side of the inner border.  It always amazes me how long SID takes!  I  used Superior’s King Tut on the front and Superior’s Omni on the back.  Melba provided the Quilter’s Dream cotton batting.

I signed up for a Python programming class on Coursera.com and of course it started the week I got sick and I missed the announcement that it started, so I’ve been busy trying to catch up on the homework.

If you’re unfamiliar with that site, you simply MUST go check it out!  They offer free online college level courses from all over the world!  I’m not going for the certificate track, which has a minimal charge, but I may do something like that in the future.

So today I’m loading another customer quilt.  Maybe I’ll get some homework done, too!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

It’s the Switch!

DIY oil pan matDo you ever make to-do lists for the day?  I’m all about them, especially for the weekend.

Today, though, even though I hadn't planned to, I spent a fair amount of time removing the old oil pan drip mat from the Featherweight I purchased online at the end of October 2013.

The reason?  I called my OSMG, Jerry, because I had a couple of sewing machines to hand off to him.  He’s done so much for me, he’s the first person I thought of when I started clearing out machines from their hiding places. Smile  Jerry offered to look at the Featherweight again and I’d removed the pan from the machine to try to get the smell out of it.   I wanted to have it ready for when he picked it up, so I spent the time to get it ready.20140330_105400

I replaced the original drip pan mat by tracing the outline of the pan, then refining the pattern so that a single piece of black felt, which I stuck in place with Elmer's school glue, fit perfectly.  If I have to do it again it won't take so long!

The problem with the Featherweight?  I cleaned it up, and purchased a foot controller, but when the pedal is pressed nothing happens.  A couple hours after Jerry picked it up, he called to say he’s narrowed the problem down to the switch!  He’s found a replacement and I’m hoping it’ll be working by next weekend!

Woo hoo!!  I can’t wait!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Busy Weekend!


20140316_120311Until I looked at the photos I took from the projects I worked on I didn't quite realize how much sewing I got done...yay me!
 
I made:
  1. Nine QOV blocks for Kevin the Quilter's QOV block drive.   Check it out if you haven't seen what he's up to!
  2. Pass the Bag Bento blocks
  3. Loaded a customer quilt
  4. Mailed off a care package to a friend
  5. Watched some of my Craftsy short rows knitting video
20140316_192145I even walked the dog twice and did all the laundry!
 
Now, I just need to make one more QOV block and I can send that package off to Kevin and be entered into his drawing twice.
 
Oh, and I caught up on email just a bit and saw the email from the Curious Quilter that she's having a March PSQ charm swap...so, I need to get cutting!
 
Now it's back to work.  What have you been up to?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

QOV Block Drive!

If you are looking for a quick, fun, and easy project in which to participate, check out the block drive that Kevin The Quilter is having!



For every 5 blocks you make he'll enter you into a drawing for a $100 gift card to the Missouri Star Quilt Company, too!  Can't beat that!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Aren’t Computers Fun?

KoalaI'm finally getting my computer set back up again, but it’s going slowly.  More slowly than usual!

I got the hard drive late last week but the installation of Windows went wonky and I couldn't get it to reinstall until I used a Linux distro to repartition the hard drive....4 times!  Yeah, that's right, 4 times!

That's because I haven't used the partioning tools in Linux before and it took me awhile before I actually looked up the directions.  I usually don’t read the directions first, that’s for wimps! Winking smile

What’s really amazing is realizing how much software I rely on for everyday tasks.  For instance, I need to scan a photo.  I will have to install the photo editing software as well as the printer/scanner software.

I’ve already installed 2 additional browsers so now I have IE, Chrome and Firefox.  The reason I have more than one is so I can test my website in the major Windows browsers, and I’ve learned to separate tasks into specific browsers at home, just like I do at work.

I’m so thankful I had a good backup of my data before the old hard drive went bad.  So…when’s the last time YOU backed up?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Don’t Buy Progressive Insurance

I finally got by car back, but boy, am I unhappy with Progressive Insurance.  To put it politely.

I don’t normally bad mouth products or companies, I simply vote with my wallet.  This time, though, I’m not the actual customer, since it wasn’t my policy that the claim was being made against, and I am so angry, frustrated, and simply dumbfounded at the arrogance and attitude I’ve experienced over the past twenty, yes, twenty, days that it’s taken for me to get my car back.

The Progressive insurance adjuster never once initiated a conversation with me.  No status updates, no going over the estimate, no contact about when my car might be finished.  All of my conversations happened with the auto body shop.  I’d asked for original Toyota parts, but  I never got a chance to decide if I wanted to pay the difference for them vs. the after market parts.

To top it off, well, I’m just being unreasonable to ask that the corresponding tire on the affected axle be replaced, so that the tread and mileage match, keeping my car in warranty and preventing any possible damage to the transmission, tie rods, or any other affected parts.  There’s almost 33,000 miles on this 65,000 mile tire.

No matter that I don’t have a factory paint job, and I now don’t have a clean Car Fax report,  I’d be “ahead” if they replaced the other tire.  All because there isn’t a written recommendation by Toyota on how and when the tires should be replaced in pairs.  Which is an industry standard practice.  Oh, but that’s just the tire and car dealers wanting to sell more product.

I’m unhappy about that Toyota couldn’t bother to write this into the manual, and a letter to them will ensue.  Maybe I can save someone else this hassle if they decide to update their policy.  I called Toyota and got their call center where they only suggested I talk to the dealer, who had already been contacted, and whom Progressive ignored, because they contacted a dealer, not MY dealer, who gave them conflicting advice from my dealer.

And the Progressive supervisor came back with, “well, I checked into this further and your adjuster gave you 100% coverage on your damaged tire.  But, in Idaho, we only have to cover the depreciated value of any wearing part, which tires are, so we didn’t have to cover that tire completely”.

He proceeded to go through the calculation for the remaining tread on both tires vs. the amount they paid to put a new replacement tire on the car and said AS A CUSTOMER COURTESY they aren’t going to change the amount they would reimburse for the new tire because I’ve clearly come out with more money than I should have.  Because, you know, I can drive the car with half a tire.

So, I paid to have that tire replaced myself, because that’s the responsible thing to do.

Unlike Progressive Insurance.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Pass The Bag

Bento-darkYou’d think I’d learn, right?

I don’t need another project and I certainly don’t need another commitment (does anyone?)  So what did I do?  I signed up to participate in a Pass The Bag project with my small group from work!

It just looked so simple and like so much fun!  We narrowed down our choices between a Disappearing Nine Patch and a Bento Box pattern.  Both are really easy to make, and the base blocks are great blocks for new quilters, and we have a new quilter in our midst.  What better way to get started?

Have you seen either one of these patterns?  The Disappearing Nine patch uses a nine patch and the Bento Box uses a center square surrounded by 2 additional strips.  The Bento-lightBento Block is typically made in pairs, with each block using the colors in the reverse areas of the other block.  For instance the dark center is surrounded by light, followed by the dark color on the outside.  The light color is used in the center on the next block, surrounded by dark, followed by light again.  Both blocks are then made by cutting the block into quarters and swapping two corners with the corners of another block.

I created a Bento Box board and a Disappearing Nine Patch board on Pinterest with examples that I really like, check them out if my description isn’t making sense!

DSCF7855You know how the makeover shows all promote blue and green as spa-like and calming?  Well, I decided to go with teal blue and green, inspiration from the calm colors in the ocean we saw during our trip.  I’m planning to make it into a king sized quilt, so DH and I had to agree on colors.  The photos of my blocks don’t quite reflect their true colors, so I’ll post additional blocks as I make them and hopefully I’ll have a better representation.

I’ve gotten the blocks made for the first bag and purchased fabric for the additional blocks I’ll need to make this quilt bigger.  Let’s get this party started!

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