Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Blog Lovin Questions...

I have used Blog Lovin for a while now and I don't know if anyone else is experiencing these things, but I wanted to ask in case maybe there is some way to correct some of these problems or is it just the quirkiness of Blog Lovin?

  • When I get my daily email from Blog Lovin showing the blogs I follow, I click to read the posting and on some blogs I can make a comment on that blog, but a lot of blogs I cannot comment while in Blog Lovin. So I have to then go directly to that blog in order to comment. Of course this takes more time and often times I won't leave a comment because I don't want to have to go through those extra steps. Isn't Blog Lovin supposed to make it easier to read the blogs?
  • Another thing I noticed is that some of the blogs I know that post often were not showing up on Blog Lovin. So I would go to their blog to see if maybe something was going on with them. I found out they they were posting and I missed a ton of posts because they didn't show up on Blog Lovin. I even made sure I was following them through Blog Lovin and I was, so why wasn't I getting their posts in the Blog Loving emails?
  • While reading some blogs through Blog Lovin, the posting might contain links to click on. But I have found that those links weren't clickable when in Blog Lovin. Again I would have to go to that blog directly in order to click on the links in their posting. 
  • Having to go directly to blogs in order to comment or click on links makes Blog Lovin not so user friendly. If my readers are having these problems when reading my blog, then they must feel frustrated too. I am sorry if this happens when you are here. It is out of my control.
  • I prefer to use my Blogger Dashboard because I do not experience any of the above, however not all blogs I read are on Blogger (some use Word Press or Type Pad), so I cannot follow through Google Friend Connect, and therefore must follow through Blog Lovin or by email.
  • Speaking of following by email, some blogs when following by email will have the entire posting show up in my inbox, and others will give you a snippet and you must click to read more. So again that takes more time and more steps to get to the blogs. I prefer the posting to show up in my email. If I get a snippet and it doesn't catch my attention, I won't click to read more. How about you? I do not know why some blogs have the entire posting and other don't. Is there a setting we can choose as bloggers to change this? Or does it depend on the email service provider like Feedburner? I am not sure.
I want it to be easy for my followers to read my blog. I want it to be easy for me to follow other blogs too. I don't know if these things I have noticed are fixable or not? Does anyone using other readers like Feedly have these problems too? I don't want to try Feedly or others (not sure the names of other readers) unless I know they are better. I'd love to hear if you have any solutions or know of a better reader that doesn't do these things?

UPDATE: 
Thanks to Mary who commented she follows all her blogs on her Blogger Dashboard. I didn't know I could follow Word Press or Type Pad blogs there. So after I read and responded to Mary I happened to notice on my dashboard the little "Add" button on the left side. I clicked on it and voila, you can add any URL address there to follow those non-blogger blogs. Who knew? I am learning more and more every day. Okay now I am going to add all the blogs from other formats to my dashboard and say adios to BlogLovin, because I am not Lovin it. Thank you Mary for telling me that you do this.

I also filled out a comment form on BlogLovin to tell them about the problems and hopefully they will fix it and make it better if you follow that way.
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Friday, July 26, 2013

Crocheted Tee-Shirt Rugs

I have been experimenting making rugs using tee-shirts that I cut into strips and make tee-shirt yarn from the knit material. I am a much better knitter than a crocheter, so these are not perfect, but most are colorful and useful. These are all made in double crochet.
Round tee-shirt rug in progress. I crocheted one more round using a charcoal gray "yarn". If you look at the bottom of this photo you can see my crochet hook is still in a loop. 
This was the first round rug I crocheted using a different color for each round. It's a little larger than the rug above.
Closer look at the center of the rug.
My husband gave me about 6 khaki colored shirt he no longer wanted and so I made him this rug. This was the first round rug I ever made. 
My first idea was to make a large oval rug. The larger this rug got though the harder it was to keep the oval shape. Perhaps I needed to start with a longer center? As it started looking more and more round I decided to stop at this size. This was the first oval rug  ever crocheted.
I guess I am not so good when it comes to changing the colors, as you can see the jog where I change the colors. I did learn and got a little better on the last round rug I made (the first photo). My color changes are still not perfect, but they are getting better as I make each rug..
This rug was supposed to be a half circle. It came out as a half hexagon. I followed the instructions as they were written. I later read somewhere that when you stack your increases on top of one another from row-to-row (or round-to-round), that you get straight angles like this. The key is to stagger your increases so they are not stacked if you want a rounded edge. Okay so then why did the instructions for making a half round  tell me to crochet "x" number of stitches and increase and crochet "x" number of stitches and increase and so on to where the increases were being stacked? Actually I rather like the half hexagon shape so I am not complaining. I just wanted to know what I did to cause the shape to change. In fact I might make a couple more of these half hexagons.
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Friday, July 19, 2013

Quilted Trivet Covers

MooseStash Quilting has a tutorial on how to make a quilted trivet cover using a 6" square ceramic tile inside the cover. You can use any applique or your own designs to applique on the front. You can also make a pieced quilt block if you want to instead of doing an applique block. Here are the trivet covers that I made~
I appliqued a teapot onto a fabric that I had stenciled pink flowers on. Since my teapot was a bit larger than the background fabric, I added the border first and let the teapot spill out a bit onto the border.
This is the back showing the flap where the ceramic tile goes inside the cover.
Again, I added the border and then let the heart spill onto the border.
I used the same stencil that I painted the pink flowers on the teapot  background above, but used several colors of paint for this one. Then I sewed on 4 different fabrics for the border.
A paisley on more stenciled background fabric.
Don't you miss those old telephones? I actually used a scrap of quilted fabric leftover from quilting a bag for the telephone here.
Moon and stars.
A teapot. The handle is a scrap of  fabric that I painted with metallic paint.
I wanted to experiment by fusing some hexagons onto a muslin foundation and then stitching them down instead of hand sewing the hexagons together. For something small like this it worked out okay, but it would be too hard to keep the hexagons aligned on anything larger.
Closer look at the hexagons and stitching.
Bird on a branch. Now why does the border on the bottom left look crooked? 
Bird close-up.
Flower with a heart center appliqued onto a background of 3 fabric scraps that were already pieced together. Nearly all the fabrics I used for all of these trivets came out of my scrap bag.
This was going to be another trivet, but I goofed by cutting the border fabric a hair too small. I might use this for something else instead.
Closer look at heart.
I pieced the background fabric because I wanted to use scraps and didn't have enough of the lighter blue fabric.
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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Metal Purse Frames...Not all Created the Same

When I made my Tammy Bag for the Tammy Bag blog hop a while back, I sewed on a too large metal purse frame. The bag wouldn't open very wide. So I took the frame off and sewed on a smaller frame and yes it opened nice and wide and looked better on the bag too. See here both the large and smaller frames and how they look. Since I purchased 2 large purse frames at JoAnn Fabrics (the large one has the black ball knobs), I wanted to be able to make a purse they would fit. So I enlarged the Tammy bag a bit and made my Citrus Tammy Bag and a coin purse to match. I sewed the frame to the bag and then I opened it up and waahhhhhhhh, it still doesn't open very wide. I couldn't figure out what I had done wrong at first. Then it dawned on me what it was and this is what I want to share with you: Not all purse frames are created the same so BEWARE when purchasing a purse frame.
These are the 2 metal purse frames I had sewn to the first Tammy Bag I made. The top one was too large for the bag, so I sewed the smaller one to my first Tammy Bag (see link highlighted above).
This is what finally dawned on me. When I opened the frames, you can see not only is one opening rectangular and one is square, but there is a huge difference in how wide the purse can open! The larger purse frame on the left doesn't open that wide. Who knew? These are sold at JoAnn Fabrics and are of course in a plastic bag so you cannot open the purse frame to even see this. There is nothing on the packaging letting you know how wide the opening of the frame is either.
Here is the slightly larger Tammy Bag that I made using the larger purse frame.
This is as wide as this frame will open, making it difficult so see what's inside, and it's also difficult to place items inside or to retrieve them. Perhaps this frame would be better to use on a short flat clutch? I just wish they would have labeled the frame package information telling me this, because had I known, I wouldn't have purchased this frame.
Tammy Bag and matching coin purse.
This is the coin purse and see how wide this one opens up. I think all metal purse frames should open up wide so that you are able to see and place items inside the bag as well as take them out. 

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sisters, Oregon Quilt Block Challenge

I entered the Sisters (Oregon) quilt block challenge last year (2012) and was chosen as one of the 5 winning blocks. See here and scroll down to the Contests & Special Exhibits section. My block is the sea turtle. I received 21 blocks plus my own block back and made a quilt, which will be hanging in the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show this Saturday July 13th. I won't be attending the show this year, but at least my quilt will be there. So if you happen to get to the show be sure and see my quilt, which will be hanging in the Special Exhibit section where this year's quilt blocks will be displayed.

I also will have my 2013 block somewhere on the display board amongst the hundreds of other blocks that will be there. I just found out yesterday that my 2013 block was a winner! Yippee!! Apparently this year the top blocks had a few votes that were tied, so instead of pairing them down to just 5 winners, they allowed those who tied for whatever place, to win blocks as well. That just means that I will be receiving fewer blocks this time, which is okay by me. I still will be receiving extra fabric to make a quilt and if I want more blocks too.
This is the quilt I made from my winning block (the Sea Turtle in the center of the quilt) and the other quilt blocks that I received. I added some more smaller sea turtles to the quilt so that it looked like they were swimming around the quilt. I named this quilt Swimming Sea Turtles. 
I also added a few applique flowers, embroidery stitches , buttons and silk-like flowers to some of the plainer blocks.

This is the label I made for the back of the quilt. I included the names of the block makers and where they are from.
These were the 5 fabric that I received for the 2013 Quilt Block Contest. I got the blue colorway and some people received the green colorway. Fabrics are donated every year from Westminster Fabrics.
This is my winning quilt block entry for this year (2013) contest. You must use only the fabrics given , but you can embellish the block any way you want to. I added buttons, embroidery stitches and sequins.
French knots that I added to the center.

My winning quilt block for 2013! I actually took this photo before I added the blue sequins. See the first photo above of the block showing where I added the blue sequins. 

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Friday, July 5, 2013

From the Garden

I was looking at how pretty the dill looked in the garden a few days ago and took some photos of the dill and a few other plants.
This flower is a Moss Rose which is about to open. The Moss Roses love the heat and only open when it's hot enough, and it's been very hot here lately in the 100's! The plant in front is either a sage or a cat mint, they both look so similar and we have both growing in the garden.
I love dill and it's lacy look. 

Honeysuckle is not only pretty, but it smells so good too!
Our first crookneck squash and doesn't  it look just like a yellow duck? It wouldn't stand up on it's own so I had to prop it up for the photo.
I love the dill scent as well as it's pretty lacy quality.
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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Knit Rugs from Tee-Shirts

I wanted a couple of rugs for beside the bed, so I decided to knit 2 rugs using old tee-shirts that I made into yarn. I asked friends for their old tee-shirts or other similar knit material and a few gave me some of their unwanted tee-shirts. What took the most time of all was cutting the tee-shirts up into the strips and knotting them together and winding into ball. I also pull on the strips after knotting them together so that the material curls in and creates the "yarn". 
I knit this one with the linen stitch. It has a woven look to it. This one I gave to my husband.
Close-up of the linen stitch.
For this one I knotted the tee-shirt strips creating a variegated yarn. These were the only colors I had at first to use. Since then I have been give more tee-shirts. This was knit in the garter stitch.
Close-up of the garter stitch.
The back or wrong side of the linen stitch is nice looking too. Here you can see the front and the back.
This is a close-up of the back or wrong side of the linen stitch. It has a bumpier texture.
I am making more tee-shirt yarn right now as I have acquired more tee-shirts. I want to make a large oval crocheted rug for our living room. I can crochet the stitch just fine, but I need to get a better understanding of  where to do the increases. I have trouble with crocheting because I am not certain to the exact place to increase. I started to crochet a round smaller rug and tried to follow the instructions which sounded fine, but as I crochet I cannot see clearly where to increase. My rug curled and wouldn't lie flat. I ripped it our found another pattern and the same thing happened. Then I thought an octagon might be easier to make increases, but it too started to curl. I carefully placed a marker on the round and octagons rugs too. I so much prefer knitting, but I don't think you can knit a flat oval or round rug, so it has to be crocheted. Any help from you crocheters out there would be much appreciated.
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