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Friday, April 30, 2010

More about EQ7

The Electric Quilt people have now posted their pre-order information and a terrific list of features to expect in EQ7 when it ships in June. Keep in mind that I'm not an employee of EQ, nor do I benefit from posting this; I'm just terribly excited about what I'm reading and want to pass along the information. :)

There are two ways to pre-order this new version. First, if you have EQ6, you can buy the upgrade version here


If you don't already have EQ6, you will need to purchase the full version, available here.

Either way, the savings from pre-ordering are pretty spectacular!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Half!

Yay! I've hit the halfway point in making my Winding Ways blocks! I have to say that my blocks are improving, too, with fewer little "misses" in the center. I'd probably be making faster progress on these blocks, except that the warmer weather is setting in, and my sewing room faces due west. Have I mentioned that I live in the desert? ;) This room -- with my sewing machine, iron, computer and TV (so I can watch old movies while I sew) -- gets hot. So sewing sometimes doesn't sound as appealing as it does in the cooler weather. At any rate, "halfway" means that I have a nice little pile of 46 blocks, each with ten curved seams. Joining the blocks together should go much more quickly, since those seams will be straight. LOL!

I've been putting these blocks together by color, so now I have two of the four reds finished, with the other two to go.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The good, the bad and the ugly

What an evening this is turning out to be! I had plans to have a nice, quiet evening of piecing Winding Ways blocks, but that is apparently not to be. Let's begin with the good, though! I tried a new recipe this afternoon for English muffins. I love English muffins, and I've made English muffin bread, but never the muffins themselves. They're not as difficult as I'd thought they'd be, and they're so good!

 Now for the bad. I was checking my credit card statement online (you do check yours, don't you?) and noticed that my former hosting company, whose services I'd canceled over a week ago, went right ahead and billed me for a further two years of service! Ack! This sort of ineptitude is one of the reasons I decided to leave them and go elsewhere. Okay, call the company and get this straightened out. I spoke with a very nice woman who assured me that she didn't know how this had happened but that she would take care of it. Fine. I then called my credit card company to dispute the charge, just in case the hosting company doesn't refund my money as promised. The credit card company's dispute department is closed for the evening. It figures. :S

And now comes the ugly. I checked my email, and the hosting company has sent me a message to confirm that my hosting has been canceled -- as well as my domain registration name! Keep in mind that I'd specifically said that I wanted to keep my domain registration. Aaaaarrrrgggghhhhh. I'm on hold -- again -- trying to get this figured out, but I'm not holding my breath. :S

Friday, April 23, 2010

EQ7 is coming!!!


I'm so excited! I love EQ6, but EQ7 promises to be even better, and it's going to begin shipping on June 7. :D Here's what we know so far:

Quilts, Blocks and now PHOTOS!
Digital cameras will become a quilter's best friend. EQ7 has dozens of ways to turn everyday photos into quilt art images. Or crop and edit scanned fabrics right in EQ7 in minutes. And that's just the start!
New Activation Policy
You'll never run out of EQ7 activations! Activation and deactivation is as easy as two clicks of the mouse. Install on as many computers as you like and quickly transfer activations from computer to computer. This new policy gives you complete freedom to manage your own activations — and no dongle to worry about!

Easier than ever for new users
EQ7 is the most user-friendly full-featured quilting software yet.

•Complete user manual
•22 printable full-color PDF lessons (115 pages)
•Point-and-read info on each tool – now linked directly to Help topics
•10 videos targeted for beginners
•67 “How do I?” topics: printable stepped-out instructions for doing everything from printing English paper-piecing templates to drawing a New York Beauty
•Built-in Help buttons are everywhere, targeted to the task you're doing
•New block tools for creating original blocks instantly without drawing
•Blocks size themselves – just drag and drop on the quilt

Users upgrading from EQ6 will feel right at home
Exactly the same friendly interface, plus loads of new user-requested features.

•5000 copyright-free blocks
•5000 new scanned fabrics, plus grayscale textures
•120 new pre-designed quilt layouts
•Snap blocks to a Quilt grid
•Instant border blocks with greatly expanded Auto Borders
•Print multiple photos on fabric
•Create original fabric designs from photos, then print on fabric
•Mirror and use myriad symmetries on photos
•Use dozens of artistic effects, making everyday photos look like watercolors or Impressionist paintings
•79 new features in all

 
Netbook compatible
Works on netbooks as well as laptops and desktop computers.

I can hardly wait! How about you?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Click-it bag

I belong to a local quilting group, and we had a meeting today. Many of us enjoy ourselves so much that we go to our meeting place around mid-morning to work on whatever we like for a couple of hours, while catching up on everyone's activities. Then we all have lunch together, either bringing food or going and getting something and taking it back to eat with everyone. The afternoon usually boasts a little project of some sort. Today's project was the click-it bag. It has pieces of a metal tape measure in the top, which makes it "click" together after opening, thus keeping your possessions inside. 

I probably would choose different fabrics if I did it again, but I had misunderstood how they went together as I was raiding my fabric stash prior to the meeting. Anyway, mine is just the right size to be the bag for carrying around my Martelli rotary cutter, since that cutter doesn't fit into the bag I used to use for the flat cutters I used to favor. There's even space inside for spare blades. :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A birthday

I really am trying to work on my Winding Ways blocks, but there isn't actually much to show that's new. Besides, I keep getting interrupted for other things that don't necessarily have anything to do with quilting! Today, for example, is our younger daughter's birthday. She and her two children, along with our older daughter with her husband and three children will be here for dinner tonight. I've just finished making dessert, which is not a cake, as we tend to prefer pies and cheesecakes to cakes. Since there will be ten of us, including four growing boys, I made two lemon meringue pies. The idea of lemon meringue pie sounded really good with our current quite-warm weather, and who doesn't love lemon?

Maybe soon I'll have some quilting to show instead of food! ;)

Friday, April 16, 2010

And more yum ...

Can you stand another foodie photo? After all, I did call this "Quilting and more...". So, I made some cheddar cheese biscuits to go with our chili con carne tonight -- it's a new-to-me biscuit recipe, and they were pretty good, if you can judge by how many my husband ate. ;)

Yum!

I've had a KitchenAid mixer for several years, but it died. It wasn't its fault, of course -- it was a casualty of our move ten (almost eleven) years ago. Two days ago, my new mixer arrived, and it's a beautiful cobalt blue! Today I gave it its first little chore, some absolutely delicious-smelling Lemon Blueberry Muffins that my husband and I will enjoy at breakfast for the next few days. The mixer sounds so much quieter and smoother than the old one, and I'm in love with the color, which I think looks great with my other kitchen things. I think my husband will be more impressed, though, with the muffins. ;)

Quiet

I've been quiet lately, and I don't even have anything to show for it! What's been going on? It's nothing anyone except me would ever see, but I had to do some "rearranging" of web stuff. I have my own domain (the bit you type after the @ in emails or the bit you type to get to a URL) so as to have my web site and an email address for my husband (and one for little Bisou! LOL), but that domain has to be hosted -- or "stored" -- by someone's server. I've been with my service for about three years now, but I haven't really been very happy with them for some time. What to do?

Step 1: research online to find a new hosting service. Instead of looking at the sites that rate these services, which are frequently funded by those same services, I found a forum that discussed just this topic. Thank you, Google!

Step 2: check out the services that most of the forum members thought were the best. Make sure the one I selected had the features I needed.

Step 3: pay for the new service and let them move my web site to their servers. Then wait while the internet was "updated" to point to the new server. Change the email application's preferences on my Mac so I could get email from the new server, rather than using web mail (which I hate ). 

Step 4: call the old service to cancel; the renewal would have been due next week.

Step 5: argue with the old service when they wanted to charge me a cancellation fee that had never been mentioned previously. Win the argument! :D

Okay, all of this looks fairly straightforward, but there were the inevitable small glitches that had to be straightened out. It took about three days for everything to be working seamlessly at my end, but I have to say that everything was working seamlessly right away in terms of people being able to email me or visit my web site. :) No disruptions for anyone, and the only one inconvenienced was me! :D This certainly beats having to change an email address and/or move my site to a new URL. That very problem is why I bought my domain a few years ago; I'd had to change several times in a very short space of time, and it was a nightmare.

Here's hoping this new service will prove to be as good as their reputation! :) And do you see why there are no photos for this post? LOL!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring is springing!

Spring here doesn't last long -- sometimes as little as a few days. However, right now we're really enjoying gorgeous weather, though we're going to have a bit of a cool snap at the beginning of the week. Green is sometimes a bit difficult to find here in the desert, so I thought I'd show some photos of things in our garden. It's really my husband's garden, since I don't do the gardening, but I do enjoy seeing it. :) In this first photo, you can see that the roses are beginning to bloom.

Here are some nectarines barely beginning to grow from the blooms we had last week. Behind this tree is an apricot tree with a very few apricots beginning to show up, and there's also a lime tree quite close; we're hoping to get a couple of limes this year for the first time.

This flowering bush is right outside our front door -- don't ask me what kind it is, but I do like the delicate pink flowers it gets. :)

And here is my husband's pride and joy: his vegetable garden. It's still too cool at night for much to be growing, but we're getting lettuce, and you can just see the tomato cages that will later be filled, not with tomatoes, but with green chiles! The tomatoes grow in another, more shaded area.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

First blocks

I was able to begin making the blocks for my Winding Ways quilt today! It's going to take a long while to finish this quilt, as there are to be 99 blocks and each one takes some time, given that there are twelve pieces, all with curved seams. These four blocks all have the same red print, but there will be other reds, just as there will be more than the two yellow-beige prints pictured here. It's a start! :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Cutting, cutting and more cutting

Do you remember these fabrics that I posted on January 8?  (I'd post a link to that entry, but there seems to be a problem accessing it at the moment.) I've been delayed in getting them cut out, but the past several days have seen me doing a marathon of pressing, folding, re-pressing and cutting.

I'm going to make these fabrics into a Winding Ways quilt -- a pattern I've wanted to make for some time. I'm going to need 99 blocks for this quilt, and each block has twelve pieces. I ended up cutting enough pieces for 104 blocks (it was easier, trust me!), which gives me some leeway for eliminating a few if they're wonky. ;) But 104 blocks times 12 pieces is 1248 pieces!!

Here is my pile of pieces. The next step will be to mix and match them so that there are dark foreground pieces paired with light background pieces, and vice versa. After that, I'll finally get to begin the actual sewing. :)