Sunday, February 26, 2012

To have or not to have ...

This week I made a decision, then I changed my mind, then I changed it back again!  It's all about Word Verification and commenting on blogs.  I have found the new Blogger system of having to type in two words to verify you are not a robot, to be quite a pain.  One time I had to type in the words FOUR times before I guessed the letters correctly!  I love to receive comments, so I decided that I would turn word verification off, so my readers would find it easier to make a comment.  Knowing that Blogger had its spam detector working, I thought it would be fine.  But I was wrong!  I have been inundated with spam (well, a steady stream of it) in my blog comments!  It didn't take long for that to drive me crazy, needless to say.

So word verification went back on.  But then I thought there has to be a better way.  So I turned it off again and now have anything coming from "Anonymous" going straight into my deleted box in my e-mail programme so that I don't even see it anymore.  Unfortunately, this now means that a comment from anyone who is an Anonymous "no reply blogger" will no longer be seen by me. So if you are one of those, and have something you want to say, could you please e-mail me direct. I'm sorry for the inconvenience to a few, but hopefully it will make it a lot easier for the majority.

On a happier note - my photobook has arrived.  I am so pleased with it and it's a great substitute for what would be a very poor attempt at scrapbooking by me!


I managed to get quite a few jobs ticked off the list this week.  There's a new free pattern for you on the web.  If you are wanting something quick and easy to make for a fete, these little bags are ideal and can be made up in about an hour.


Go here to download the pattern.

I also managed to get a couple of projects finished this week. A much larger quilt has gone off to be quilted professionally and a little stitchery has been posted off to a magazine editor. In between stitching, I preserved another two lots of plums. They wouldn't win any prizes in an Agricultural Show, but they sure taste good!



I have a case of peaches sitting in the kitchen now waiting to be attended to. When I finish them, I will have enough beautiful bottles to keep us going with fruit on our cereal for 12 months. I love being able to have stone fruit the whole year.


You all know how hopeless I am at free motion quilting.  Mostly I choose to do any quilting by hand because I have never been able to conquer the machine process. Yesterday, I don't know what possessed me, but I decided to have another go at FMQ on a baby quilt I am making.  I thought I would try something really simple - a four-petal flower in the centre of each block - and if it didn't work, I would just pull it out and do something else. I drew a template so that at least I knew where I should be heading. My first attempt wasn't too bad so I just kept going and did all 20 blocks.  They are certainly not perfect but for once I would give myself a pass mark!  I was so excited with my success I then decided to do something a little bit more complicated in the border.  I can't say I am a convert to FMQ yet, but it is now on the list of possibilities!


And here's a project I haven't shown you before - my Trio of Trivets, which appeared in a recent edition of Handmade magazine.



That's about all I have to tell you this time.  Have a great week.

Happy stitching!
Val

21 comments:

Sharon - Lilabelle Lane said...

Lots of lovely items, you have been very busy

Sharon - Lilabelle Lane said...

and thank you for turning off the word verification, I have a hard enough time seeing....with galsses on!

Susan said...

And another thank you for turning off the word verification - gosh its a pain isnt it - I have turned mine off - not that I get oodles of comments. We need a petition to hand to the faceless men of blogger. Your FMQ looks pretty good to me - I'm with you - its all a bit of "no mans land" for me. In fact did you know there is a free FMQ 'thing' over at - http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com.au/p/free-motion-quilt-challenge.html - lots of free lesson and tutorials - the Feb one will be taken off at the end of Feb.
PS- the fruit looks lovely.

Maddy said...

I fond the double word verification a real pain, trying to guess the letters. I echo Sharon, with it being hard enough with glasses at the best of times.

Larissa said...

You've done very well with your FMQing!!! Congragulations!!! Round-of-applause!!! Hip Hip Hooray!!! Lol! Can you tell I'm loving it?!! ... I saw the recent Handmade pattern, and I Loved it as soon as I saw it ... it is currently residing in my "to make" pile, lol! ... And yes, thank you for removing the word verification ... it truly is such a pain trying to decipher those terribly warped letters, lol! ... Susan, I like your idea for a petition!

Sue from Cyprus said...

Hi Val, I think you did a lovely job on your FMQ. I could never attempt anything like that. Stippling is about as far as I can get, then sometimes my sewing machine plays up!! Did you use a darning foot for the petals and the lovely cable on the borders? Never quite sure about that, which probably explains why I haven't attempted it! Lovely post Val, thank you (:>).
Hugs, Sue from Cyprus x x x

Quilt Kitty said...

That word verification is annoying & yes I often have to do it more than once too. Your plums look gorgeous, great colour. FMQ is such a scary subject, I'm determined to get at least basic skills in it this year but it's very slow going so far. Lovely gift bags, thatnk for the pattern. Tracee xx

barcord said...

Good for you on the free motion quilting. I'm still at the point of being scared to spoil something, so I do some straight lines instead. The two word verification gets me also. I have sto study it closely, then usually get it wrong....ah well, thanks for thinking of us. The plums look delicious. x x

StitchinByTheLake said...

I'm just learning the FMQ too but I must say I'm having fun doing it! It may look child-like but I'm doing it on things that are going to friends and family and they love me no matter what, and mostly they don't know the difference anyway. :) Thank you for the pattern and for turning off word verification! blessings, marlene

vernagrace said...

I really like your FMQ. I haven't yet accomplished it and would really like to. I love your scrapbook and what a great idea having it done by someone else. I'm not a scrapbooker either.
Beautiful things done this week.

KaHolly said...

You surely have been busy, Val!! Your projects are delightful. I turned word verification off a few months ago and haven't had a single problem. Sorry it didn't work for you.

Allie said...

Thank you for turning it off - I hope it works well! Your photo book is LOVELY, what a neat idea, I've tried my hand at scrapbooking [very minimal, just sorting by year and putting in a book] and it's a pain. That, I could do.

LOVE the little bags and trivets! So very sweet! And your plums look amazing, they win a prize in my book!

I too choose to quilt by hand rather than wrestle with FMQ - but Val, look how wonderful that turned out! You give me hope! I am so impressed!

Kathryn D. Duke said...

thanks for the one up on the spam comments...I had been wondering about that myself...

Linda said...

Sure understand what you mean about that ugly new word verification. I turned mine off and thankfully haven't gotten any spam. I didn't know that no-reply commenters are blocked if they're anonymous, so thanks for that information. I'm glad you're FMQing as I'm a big proponent of that. In fact, I have three pin-basted quilts just waiting for me. The tough part is always choosing the quilting design, but it looks like you've got that mastered! Well done! Congrats on being published again. Do you ever get tired of being so famous?! ggg

Ondrea said...

Val, I have the same trouble that you seem to regarding being able to read the verification words correctly. I only just asked if anyone else does on the craft forum I am on . Talk about synchronicity!

LOve those little bags.

Ondrea said...

Val, you have stated exactly the same problem I have been having regarding deciphering the verification letters correctly. So frustrating. LOL I just commented and found that I was one of those annonymous people! So I hope I have done it correctly now.
Love those little bags.

Val Laird said...

Hi Ondrea

Yes, you have come through as Ondrea, so no problem (even though I can't reply to you because you don't allow your e-mail address to be shown). It's when people sign in as Anonymous that they will be deleted.

Thanks for dropping by.

desertskyquilts said...

I think your plums look like a picture out of a gardening magazine! How funny to think of you canning, just like I do. I hate the word verification thing! Most of the time, it voids the Open ID people, too. Thank you for finding a way to keep it off! Your FMQ is way better than mine, and that's my standard. LOL

Wendy said...

I for one am very glad you've turned word verification off. I struggle with it and I dread to think how those with a disability manage, i think Blogger forgot those people when it introduced it. I have comment modification on. Every single one of my spam comments has ended up in the "spam" folder, not a single one has got through.

stitchin' girl said...

Your quilt looks very nice. I am impressed with your quilting! I have just made two quilts to auction off at our school, and had a terrible time just stitching in the ditch with my machine - The fabric kept slipping around so much! Anyway, congratulations on figuring it out!!

Catherine Colquhoun said...

Hi Val,You are an inspiration to those who are not as experienced. Love your creativeness! Since I got my new machine in November 2011, I have been sewing madly. My darling hubby bought it for me as I haven't had one for nearly 5 years. ( My other one crashed ). Keep up the good work. I love your blog! God bless, Irish Angel/ Catherine.