Sunday, August 25, 2013

Back to the quilt studio

Now that our trip to Vancouver Island is over, and we have had a chance to cool down (wow, was the ride in the RV hot!), I can get back to my quilting studio.

After being in my SIL's lovely new home I found I can no longer ignore the fact that the curtains in this room came with the house.  We purchased it in the early 90's and who knows how long the curtains were there prior to that!  They are so blah that I just can't keep them up any longer. 

Years ago I participated in a birthday block exchange with an Internet group.  I received very colorful - 60's type fabric blocks. Somehow I am going to use them along with some amusing cartoon quilter's fabric.  They will be "in your face" curtains.  And will keep the quilt police out of my room.  (Not that I ever let that type of quilter in my home.)  Now to figure out how to make them.  I'm heading over to the local fabric store this afternoon for inspiration and supplies.  Hopefully I'll be able to put up a photo of the new curtains by the end of the week.  (Use sunglasses to view,)

Did I mention that I won a year's subscription to a great Canadian quilting magazine?  And it was through a Canadian quilting podcast! The podcast host asked for amusing quilting short stories so I sent them one about my DH attending a quilt conference with me.  Check it out on podcast #7 of Canadian Quilt Talk.

Canadian Quilt Talk Podcast

Quilter's Connection Magazine

An update on the Fitbit issue:  The Fitbit help desk requested that I return the device to the retailer. If it was beyond the return time window, they offered to replace it themselves.  Now that's great service!  Fortunately I am within Amazon's return time so I sent the device back yesterday.  Now to see if it really is that easy to return something to Amazon.  It just seems way to easy.  I am finding that I am missing the silly thing.  Now to dig up a pedometer to use until I get the replacement.

Friday, August 23, 2013

No Fitbit for a while

Well I'm back from my trip to Vancouver Island.  My SIL and her husband have a lovely new home.  It's my wish and prayer that they have many happy and healthy years there. 

It was a wonderful visit.  Although I wish we would be able to make a yearly visit to see them, I doubt that it will happen.  DH has issues with his ears.  Pressure changes be it on airplanes or driving through the mountains is very painful for him.  I know he will be missing his sister and brother-in-law.  Hopefully they will be able to get out to visit us often.  (But I wouldn't blame them if they didn't want to leave their new home!)

Now for the Fitbit.  It thinks it won the battle.  Only temporarily though.  The Fitbit help desk came to realize that despite all their and my efforts, it just was not going to sync.  So they finally advised me to return it to the retailer (Amazon in this instance) and request a new one.

Tell me, is it really this easy to return to Amazon?  All I said was that I was advised by the Fitbit company to return it and they told me to print the label and get it into the mail.  Sure hope it will end up being as easy as that.

Now to figure out what I can make for my SIL's new home as a thank you for their hospitality.  Not a full size quilt.  They definitely have no need for something like that.   I love a challenge......

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Fitbit yet again

I knew the good folks at Fitbit would get tired of me.  I'm still having issues, and they are still doing their best to help.

Meanwhile I've been on a quick road trip.  A very bumpy road trip.  If anyone ever wants to increase the amount of stairs the Fitbit records you climbing, this is the way to go.  Doesn't help your health, but does give one an bit of a  boost on their stats.  Yesterday I recorded the equivalent of 80 flights of stairs.  That's a lot of  bumps.  Now I know why my back and  butt are sore!  But not as sore as they would have been if I had actually climbed 80 flights of stairs!

On the quilting front...nothing happening except to get some great ideas for future quilts and colour combinations.  Can't wait to get back to the quilting studio and start creating!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Driving the Help Desk Crazy

Well in my last post I did say that I'm persistent.  And that there was a good chance that I would be driving the poor souls at the Fitbit help desk crazy.

We are on day two of sending e-mails back and forth.  I understand that they have no idea what computer skills the person on the other end has, so I will be patient.

"Are you using a device that will support the Fitbit?"  According to your specifications, yes I am.

"Is the wi-fi and blue tooth enabled?"  Yes.

And what got me giggling is the question that is always asked "Did you re-boot the device?"  Okay, maybe they didn't ask if I re-booted, but they did say to power it down and then turn it back on.  If that's not a re-boot, then what is?
These guys must have put in time with Microsoft!  Or the government IT desk.  This seems to be their "go to" answer for everything.

At the end of the day, I am still unable to sync the Fitbit, but I am still being patient.  I'm hoping at the end of this that I'm not so tired of this gadget that I won't bother using it.

Hang in there.....

Monday, August 12, 2013

Having a "Fit" bit

Ever feel like you can not keep up with technology?  I am not tech savvy, but I am stubborn (just ask my husband and son).  So my new challenge is getting my Fitbit to work.

We use a Linux operating system called Ubuntu.  The Fitbit does not seem to sync with it.  So I try to sync with my iPad.  Worked great.  Once.  Then I try with my iPhone.  Worked...once.  I'm pretty sure it's something I'm not doing right.  Either that or the Fitbit doesn't like me.

Today I walked to my doctor's then to a mall that is about 2 kilometers away and back.  One would think the Fitbit would be impressed.  Instead it tells me that I only walked 2,300 steps and that the distance was .9 of a mile. 

I have fought many a battle with fitness equipment, in which the fitness equipment usually wins.  I have dealt with quilts, sewing machines, electronic gadgets and call centers where I can at least have the illusion of success.  I will persist in getting this Fitbit to acknowledge my efforts!  Or drive their help desk crazy.

Since I am writing about health, wellness and frustration, I'm going to mention something I really appreciate.  Sparkspeople!  Check the site out.  Loads of information about health, fitness and for those who cook - recipes.  They have calorie and fitness trackers.  Even A1C trackers for diabetics.  Exercise videos.  All for free. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Long Arm Quilting System

Did I mention that I love to quilt?  I dream of quilts. I've flooded my family and friends with quilts (that they do not need).  I've made charity quilts, look for quilt shops while on vacation.  I listen to quilting pod-casts while quilting.  I subscribe to QNN (24/7 quilt shows on the net).  Well you get the idea.

The only part of the quilting process (besides the mess it creates in my home) that I really didn't enjoy was the basting and quilting.  I had so many pieced tops waiting for completion that I almost gave up quilting and donated the tops to Goodwill.  Then I read on the Internet about the Bailey system.

The Bailey is a mid/long arm machine that can be ordered along with a frame that comes at a reasonable cost.  I joined a Yahoo group that is focused on the machine as well as the Proboard discussion group.  Wonderful quilters on these two sites and loads of information.  I finally made the leap and ordered one which was delivered in May.  After a few bumps in the learning curve, almost all of my quilts are finished.  Happy Dance!!!

So here is a photo of my 17" Bailey:

And I built the Gracie Queen frame myself!.  DH did have to spend some time fixing it so it is level and the tracks are spaced perfectly. 

I did have some issues with thread tension and breakage So I "exercised" the tension disks for a day or two.  Every time I went by it I would change the tension then raise and lower the foot a few dozen times.  That seems to have fixed the problem.  Guess it was stubborn but I can beat any machine in that department.

I'm sure I'll be writing about Bailey again soon.

Here is one of the early quilts that I finished on the Bailey.  It went to one of the Southern Alberta flood victims.

All in a day

August 7, 2013

One never knows what a day will bring.  Today started as most do, with feeding the cats and then coffee!  BFF Joan was to come over for an early visit before heading out to some appointments.  She called to cancel since she wasn't feeling well.  So I drank the whole pot of coffee by myself.  Don't be alarmed, that's my usual intake.

Then came loosing track of time surfing the net.  After that was creative time working on a quilt top.  All that is left is squaring it up before adding the last borders.

This is definitely an new and old style quilt.  Not so much the design but what is going into it.  First, the main blocks are from an internet swap (thus the new).  Secondly the rest of the fabrics are not 100% cotton (don't tell the quilt police)  I use what works and what is affordable.  One fabric was used as table covers when we used to sell at a flea market.  Another was "recovered" from a bed skirt that my Mom no longer needed.  The backing will come from the matching bed spread.  The center comes from the swap and are paper pieced canning jars with nature scenes inside the jars.  The blocks are square in a square put together in a 4 patch and joined with sashing. 

While playing on the computer and then quilting, I am really waiting for two deliveries.  Amazon is sending a Fitbit via UPS and FedEx is delivering Christmas tickets (I know it's August but they sell out early-don't ask...)   Just as I am about to give up and head out for a walk in the rain, they both showed up.  Glad I was still at home to sign for the packages!  The Fitbit is charging ready to be used tomorrow.  I'm hoping to get in a lot of walking to test it.  I'm tech challenged  so I had some problems figuring out how and what to do with this thing.  Thank you You-tube videos!  They are my go to for solutions.

DH enjoyed Sheppard's pie for supper.  Thank you Costco.  (I do not cook unless forced to.)  Then it was time to get ready for bed and the phone rings.

It was a friend's daughter calling to say her Dad passed away this morning.  I was hoping to go see him out on Vancouver Island next week.  His sister-in-law had let me know he had suffered a stroke a few weeks ago.  Why do we put these types of visits off.  Do we think that life never ends?    My thoughts and prayers to his new wife whom I've never met, his much loved daughter, her husband and their three little boys.

RIP Art....