Friday, July 24, 2015

Quilt Top :: Screen Printed

Screen printed quilt
When I was going through my screen printed fabrics a little while ago, I decided that I really should use them for something. Not just leave them in a pile. So I cut them up and made a quilt top. In less than 24 hours! Ok, it's a pretty small quilt top, but still. That's a speedy quilt top for me. usually they take months! ;-)

Now let's see how soon I can get it quilted and finished. :-D

Screen printed quilt

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Stitch Improv :: Another Flower

Large flower - stitch improv
Another experiment in 'what happens when you put random things together'.

Here I sewed several buts of fabric together to make a background that has different things going on but still sort of blends together. Although I think it may have been a mistake to use the Rosali fabric at the top. It seems too different and stands out compared to the others.

But I'll make it work. That's pretty much my only 'rule' for these stitch improv pieces. Once I've added something, it stays and I have to make it work. Even if that means covering it up. ;-)

Large flower - stitch improv
I'm adding a bit of 3D effect in the flower. I was only going to do one for each petal but now I'm thinking maybe it would be cool with two rows. Maybe. We'll see.

Large flower - stitch improv
I made that tiny hexagon flower ages ago but had a use for it. Obviously, I don't throw things like that away because they might come handy at some other point. And hey, there it was in the bag with all the other random hexagons. :-)

The leaf on the right was a bit camouflaged by the blue dots in the background so I started adding the green running stitch to make it stand out more. Although in hindsight it would probably have been better to use a colour that has more contrast, like a pink or orange.

But I'll think of something to make it work. :-)
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Sunday, July 19, 2015

DMC Variegated Floss

Variegated DMC
I've been doing embroidery for a bunch of years by now - almost ten years! - and there are still things that surprise me.

Like the embroidery thread in the picture. I had never realised that there were variegated floss with low numbers. I'd only ever noticed the ones with higher numbers, like 4180 or 4050 for example.

These ones are completely new to me! I think the difference between these and the other kind is the number of colours used in a 'colour'.

The low number ones have tones of one colour, light blue to medium blue for example. The high number ones seem to have more than one colour, peach with yellow for example.

I feel so silly for not realizing this before! I've never been that keen on variegated colours because I didn't really like the multi-colour ones. Maybe now I'll start using variegated floss with these low numbers. :-D

Am I the only know who didn't know about this?! Please tell me I'm not! ;-)

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Adventure :: Festival of Quilts

Festival of Quilts tickets
I've got my ticket! I'm going to the Festival of Quilts this year! I'm so excited. I haven't been before, but the last 2-3 years I've seen people blog about it and post pictures on Instagram and I was just wishing I was there.

Well, this year I'm going! Two days of looking at quilts and fondling fabrics, woohoo. :-)

I am really excited about this. And a tiny bit nervous, I have to admit. I don't know Birmingham at all and I never go away without Tony. Maybe that's weird if you're the kind of person who goes off on weekends on your own a lot. But I'm such a home body and I like being with Tony on the weekend. We don't see each other a lot during the week because he leaves for work early and comes home quite late.

But I'm looking forward to exploring a new city on my own. And I'm looking forward to having some time all to myself. No walking the dog, no doing the dishes etc. I think I'll spend some quality time with my sketchbook and a crafty project. :-)

Are you going to Festival of Quilts? Have you been before? If you have any tips for Birmingham, I'd love to hear them. Especially places where I can get some vegan food. :-)

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Adding Flickr Photos to Blog Posts :: Tutorial

Adding Flickr Photos to Blog Posts
If you have a blog, it's probably a good bet that you add photos to your posts from time to time. I use Flickr to host my photos. There are a few reasons for that.

The quality is better. When you upload photos directly to Blogger there is a weird loss of quality. Sometimes it's noticeable, sometimes not. But better to be safe than sorry, eh? You also get way more storage space on Flickr, 1 terabyte! That's a lot!

Having the photos on Flickr is also a good way to share the post on Flickr. You can add photos to groups, add tags and you can add a direct link to the blog post in the photo's description on Flickr. And if someone clicks on your photo on our blog then it will take them to your Flickr page, so it gives you (or atleast your Flickr page) a bit of a traffic too. ;-)

It's a couple of extra steps to use Flickr to host images, but it's easy once you get the hang of it.

I hope you are already familiar with how to upload photos to Flickr, below I will show you how to grab the code to add the photo to a blog post. I'm showing this for Blogger because that's what I use, but the process will be similar in other blogging platforms. :-)

(1) On the photo page, click the little arrow that points right. That's the 'share photo' menu.

(2) Then click on HTML. Never use IFRAME, it's evil. ;-)

Since I did the screen shots for this tutorial, Flickr have actually made some changes to this menu, so the IFRAME option doesn't show anymore.

(3) Then click on the size drop down and select the size you want. The size you use should fit the width of your blog posts.

(4) Once you've set the size, click to highlight the code and copy it.

Tip: Flickr remembers the setting from last time, so if you're adding more than one photo, you should be able to skip steps 2-3 and simply copy the code for each photo.

(5) Hop over to your blog post and make sure you have HTML view selected. Then paste the photo code in place where you want it.

(6) If you want to center align the photo, switch to the Compose mode and single click on the image. It turns blue because it's been highlighted. Then click on the Alignment button and pick the 'center' option.

I mentioned in step (2) that Flickr has changed some things and that includes the code for the HTML. It now adds an annoying header and footer to the photo. As in the photo above. (In a feed reader you may have to clickity-click over here to the blog to see it in action.)

I have no doubt that that could be useful, but it's mainly useful for Flickr so people are reminded that the photo comes from there so to speak.

On a blog, where you're trying to make things look pretty and cohesive.. it doesn't look so great. Fortunately, it's easy to remove!

Click to see the HTML view and then remove the pieces of code I have highlighted here. Just select it and delete it. Get rid of it. You won't break your blog by deleting it, I promise. :-)

Here is that same photo without that header and footer. Much better! :-)

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