Saturday, September 26, 2009

Blogging Made Easier

I’ve been using blogger now for about 3 months. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve struggled many times with inserting and formatting pictures in blogger. I have no problem if I use the “none” layout for the picture. But sometimes, I want to put two pictures side by side or move them to the right or left, and it just doesn’t come out the way I want it to. When I think I have everything the way I want it to look, the post still doesn’t look like it does in the preview mode. You’ve all seen it where the words are squeezed and wrapped down the side of the picture. I’ve seen this on other blogs too.

I also struggle with placement of the pictures on blogger. Blogger seems to always put my pictures uploads at the top of the post instead of where I want them to go. Moving the pictures is a drag…

So, I set out to find a way to make it easier, and I found this program, Windows Live Writer. Wow, what a difference. I downloaded this free program, and it is so much easier to blog. When you install it, you give it your blog account information and it goes out and grabs your template, colors and stuff.

1. You create your blog offline in this program, and then choose to upload to blogger as a draft or to publish the blog.

2. You can upload to multiple blogs. But I haven’t been able to get it to work with myquiltblog yet. I think it is because it is a more unusual interface for a blog. I can still copy and paste to my quilt blog, though.

3. Pictures are so much easier. When you store pictures on Blogger instead of somewhere else, it uses Picasa to store the pictures. You can also download Picasa 3.5 to your computer to store and edit your pictures offline. Since Picasa already plays nice with Blogger, pictures seem to be easy. You can download Picasa here.

4. Writing blogs in Windows Live Writer is pretty much a WYSIWYG, (what you see is what you get) experience. It has several icons for easy formatting of text and images. It is very intuitive and easy to use.

5. As you are working on your blog, there is a preview button that lets you see how it will look on your blog. Because it loads the templates from your blog, it looks exactly like your blog will look when published. No more “fake preview” that doesn’t look like it does when published with all of your pictures and widgets displayed.

And now, here is a sample of what you can do.

MQN show Sept 09 105 (2)

Not only can I do things to a picture like add a border, drop shadow, or as I’ve done on this picture used the “reflection” choice, you choose the text alignment as well. Look, ma, no awkward word wrapping in this picture! This picture is from the MQN quilt show a few weeks ago.

MQN show Sept 09 016 (2)

Add a photo border, tilt the picture to the right or left, and add words to the picture… I don’t know if you can tell or not, but the quilter in the picture used feathers as an integral part of the quilt design.

You can add a picture album with lots of pictures or multiple pictures on one page. The album has lots of different settings to choose from.

A break for a minute since this is a quilt blog. Look at the quilting on this quilt. Isn’t it fabulous?

Michigan aerial map

Adding a map is one of the choices. I’m just playing now…

You can also add videos, hyperlinks, tables, etc.

Since this has been such a long blog, I’ll leave you with one more photo album from the MQN quilt show.

I hope this helps those who are struggling like I was. Did I mention there are a lot more fonts available in this program?


Friday, September 25, 2009

Favorite Fabric Friday

I don’t usually buy fabric without a specific project in mind.  However, in this case, the fabric looked like orange and pink sherbet, and looked so delicious, I had to buy it.

Fabric Friday 001

I had just laid out this fabric and look who showed up…

Fabric Friday 002

I swear, he watches my every move.

The orange cream cooler version

Fabric Friday 003

I wanted to give you a sneak peek at my pinwheel applique, but my guard dog thought it was too much to show

Fabric Friday 004

Looking forward to seeing everyone’s Favorite Fabric Friday entries on myquiltblog.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

MQN Quilt Show

This quilt show was fabulous. So many beautiful, well designed quilts, that it is hard to pick only a few to blog about. Here are some of my favorites:

MQN show Sept 09 004 (2)

As I was taking this picture, the quilter walked up to me and said “thank you”. I told her it was a beautiful quilt. There were some other quilts that were similar, but this quilt was the only one with the inscription “We plant the seeds but He provides the harvest”

I like the way this quilt extends into the borders. Then you look at a close up and the quilting is really neat.

MQN show Sept 09 021 (2)MQN show Sept 09 022 (2)

MQN show Sept 09 023 (2)

MQN show Sept 09 017 (2)

The only cat quilt at the show

MQN show Sept 09 025 (2)

This one looks like it was a lot of work, but I love the bright colors and the rainbow effect

MQN show Sept 09 032 (2)

Titled A Sled Dogs Dream

“In my head, I’m somewhere warm”

These quilts fascinate me, and I’d like to do one someday.

MQN show Sept 09 012 (2)MQN show Sept 09 075 (2)

What an interesting twist on a double wedding ring quilt. This was a wall quilt size.

I’ll post more later.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Marshall Quilt Show Pics

Here are some of the pictures from the Marshall quilt show last week. It was a beautiful show, as always. My favorite, of course, was this Halloween cat quilt

Another Halloween quilt caught my eye...

This quilt was interesting. I had a hard time seeing the cottages unless I stood further back from the quilt. I could really see the outlines through the viewfinder of my camera.

This quilt spoke to me in it's simplicity, and the quilt on the right was nice and bright

Marshall had their annual home tour and other celebrations in conjunction with the quilt show. Across from the Quilts at the Marshall House (a wonderful quilt shop, I might add) was the Civil War reenactment. These guys looked a little warm in those clothes...

If you'd like to see more pictures, you can go to my Flickr pages here.

I looked a little closer at the policies that Flickr has for storing photos. I can load as many photos as I want up to my monthly limit without charge. But I will only see the last 200 photos that were loaded. The earlier photos do not go away or get deleted, and will still show on my blogging posts. Since I have the photos saved, and they stay on my blog posts, I don't need to go back to reference old photos I've already posted. It is a good place for quilt show photos.

I spent part of yesterday marking my Halloween quilt for the FMQ. I can do this FMQ, and yes, I can finish this before Halloween. . .

Take care, and have a great rest of the weekend.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Morning Glories!

When DH planted morning glory seeds at the beginning of the summer, we had no expectations. We'd never tried planting from seeds before, so we figured we would just water regularly, and see what happens. OMG! The morning glories are beautiful. I find myself checking the deck each morning before I go to work to see the flowers. Here are some pictures.

The large sunflower seeds finally bloomed. Does anyone know if we can collect seeds to plant for next year, and how that works?

And we have a watermelon! Imagine that!! The pumpkin is from the self-seeding in the composte pile from last year, and it is entirely God's doing. We didn't do anything to the pumpkin patch except watch it grow. There are 4 large beauties, just like this one. The pumpkins we did plant didn't do much...

I never knew how much fun it was to watch these things grow!!

Take care,

Friday, September 18, 2009

I am a computer problem magnet!

Is there a sign on my back that says "kick me"? Why do people think it's funny to make up a stupid program to give other people trouble with their computers? I just got my computer back, for what, one week? And bam! A computer virus. I was on a quilting blog site looking at quilts when I got it. For 3 days I tried everything to get my menu bar back again. Kind of hard to do anything when you can't get to the start bar or desktop. Finally, I gave in and DH reformatted my hard drive, again. . . Oh well, I'll just have to start over. At least I still have all my backups from the last computer problem.

I missed a lot of blogs while I was down. I'll have to catch up with everyone this weekend. The good news is I was able to save the quilt pics from last week's quilt shows, so I'll get those posted.

Question for everyone--what program do you use for online picture hosting? I was using Flickr, and found out when I was trying to save the quilt show pics that I've reached my "free" limit, and now they want me to start paying because I was at my 200 picture limit. Are there any good "free" sites out there that will let you load more than a few pictures before they start charging?

Looking forward to the weekend. The weather here in Michigan is classic fall weather. Beautiful days, cool nights, low humidity. Had to turn the furnace on last night for the first time, and even then, I was still a little cold. Should be a good weekend for enjoying the outdoors.

Have a good one.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Quilt Shows Galore!

It's been a sparse summer for quilt shows. But Fall is almost here and there are many quilt shows in the area. I'm going to try to hit 2 shows this weekend, in Lansing and in Marshall. The quilters at both shows are so talented. Fortunately, both shows run all weekend. For those in the area, here are some of the upcoming shows this month.

Been there before, prefer the Marshall show (same weekend)
September 10-12, 2009
Flint Festival of Quilts
Michigan Quilt Artists Invitational at the Greater Flint Arts Council
Genesee District Library
Court Street Village
Whaley Historical House
Longway Planetarium
Stockton House at the Grove
14th Annual African American Quilter's Guild Show at the Flint Public Library

Big show, I will be going.
September 10-13, 2009
Show Your Colors, MQN Showcase 2009
The Lansing Center, 333 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, MI

Lovely show, I will be going
September 12-13, 2009
A Quilter's Harvest Cal-Co Quilter's Guild Show
Marshall Activities Center, 15325 W. Michigan Ave., Marshall, MI

Show very small, but the quilt shop in town is wonderful! They usually have their Fall Fest at the same time, which has some interesting things to see. Quaint little town.
September 25-26, 2009
Hadley 5th Annual Quilt Show by the Wednesday Night Gathering of Quilters
Hadley Old Town Hall, 3551 Hadley Road, Metamora, MI
Contact: Elaine Quilty Shop, 810-797-2242

I've never been to this show, wondering if it is worth it?
September 25-27, 2009
The American Sewing Expo
The Rock Financial Showplace, Novi, MI

Lovely little show
October 2-3, 2009
Keepers of Quilting Traditions, 10th Annual Durand Quilt Show
United Methodist Church, Newburg Road, Durand, MI

October 2-3, 2009
Festival of Quilts and Crafts
Dearborn First United Methodist Church, 22124 Garrison, Dearborn, MI
Contact: Claudia Nickel at or Saranne Good at

October 2-3, 2009
Fall into Quilts, Town Hall Quilt Guild Show
First Congregational Church, 5449 Clarkston Rd., Clarkston, MI
Contact: Coleen Merte, 248-303-8410,

I'll try to remember to take my camera so I can post pics. Can't believe the weekend is almost here. I love these short work weeks!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Llamafest, Anyone?

The Labor Day weekend was beautiful here in Michigan, and it was even better when I was able to make it a 4 day weekend. I was checking out some web sites to see if there were any quilt shows, and ran across a posting that said they were having a llamafest at Michigan State last weekend. OK, I'm game. It was free, not too far to drive, and I've always wanted to see these creatures up close. We were headed to Lansing anyway, so DH and I decided to check it out. It was interesting to see the many varieties of llamas.

They had several varieties that were two-tone, spotted.

These little guys were kind of cute.

This guy was kind of cute with his buck tooth sticking out...

And for who love fiber arts, there were several vendors with llama hair for spinning, and beautiful knitted,weaved and other lovely goodies for sale. DH was with me though, so there was no buying going on.

Monday was kind of rainy, so I spent a good part of the day working on my pinwheel quilt. I got 2 side borders put on, and almost all of the applique done on the top border. I have a few more flowers to applique, and I have to figure out the bottom border. After I stitched the first border on, I discovered that the thread was kind of pulling on the fabric. I realized that the tension dial on my machine was wrong. I thought I could ease the thread through the fabric, and iron it smooth. Rip out an entire border? I don't think so. But the quilt has been hanging in my sewing room, and that border is nagging at me. If it doesn't look good now, it probably won't look any better when it is quilted. The perfectionist in me thinks I may have to rip it...

Hope your holiday was wonderful.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I'm Back in Business!!

I got my computer back, and it is running much faster. Now I just need to spend lots of time reinstalling software and copying my files from the backup. But the weather is going to be georgous this weekend, so I will be spending my time enjoying it while it lasts.

I got the following email this week, and thought it was perfect timing to post for those of us who have been going through computer issues lately. I have no idea who wrote the email or if it is true. Item #4 is what I just had done this computer...

For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on.

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, 'If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.'

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash........Twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single 'This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation' warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask 'Are you sure?' before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You'd have to press the 'Start' button to turn the engine off.

PS - I'd like to add that when all else fails, you could call 'customer service' in some foreign country and be instructed in some foreign language how to fix your car yourself!!!!

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend. I was able to start mine early and have a nice long 4-day weekend.