Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Looking for Rudolph's nose and Borrowing library books using a Kobo Arc

Finally all the embellishment has been done for the first month's blocks.  Except for Rudolph's nose.  I know just what I want to use.  Now to find it.

Other than the nose all that is left is to get rid of the glitter.  From everywhere.  From the kitchen counter where I applied the stuff, then on the kitchen table where I left the block to allow the glue to dry, to the living room couch where I put the block to take a photo.  There is glitter on the floor where it fell off the block during it's travels back and forth.  I bet still more glitter will fall off when I go to cut the blocks down to the correct size.  Glitter everywhere!

I now have a week to clean up the glitter and work on something different before the fabric for the next two blocks will be ready for pick up from the quilt shop.

Other than quilting there is a lot of time being spent on the computer.  The Linux course is fun. 

Mom, J and I also had a one hour session at a local library to learn how to borrow books using Overdrive.  Then I had to write instructions up to be followed later.  The library does have written instructions to use for devices that sync with a computer.  But the instructions for tablets that can borrow books without syncing were almost non existent.  I checked several other public libraries and their instructions were a bit better.  But the borrowing process is different. 
So just in case there is anyone reading this who would like to know how to borrow a book using a Kobo Arc, and is not familiar with tablets at all, here is what we ended up with:

Borrowing and Reading E-Books from the Library using a Kobo Arc

Several things to remember:
  • There is no cost to borrow e-books from the library.
  • Your Kobo Arc must be connected to WiFi to borrow a book. The WiFi router must be turned on.
  • The “app” you use to borrow books is called Overdrive (Installed on your Kobo Arc and place in the Reading Tapestry.
  • There is no need to worry about late fines when you borrow these books. They will automatically disappear from your Kobo Arc when the borrowing time expires. If you have not finished the book, there is an option to renew it. Providing no one else has a “hold” on the book.
  • You do not read a library book via the Library app that is found in your Reading Tapestry. The Library is for books you have purchased from the Kobo website, or obtained from sources other than through Overdrive.
  • You read books borrowed from the library via the Overdrive app. When you open the Overdrive app you can click on the “O” at the top left hand side of the screen. This opens up a list. Tap on the Bookshelf to view which books you have borrowed. Then tap on the book you wish to read.
  • Your book should open up on the last page viewed. If not, then hopefully you tapped the bookmark icon at the top of the page before you finished your last reading session.

Connecting your Kobo Arc to WiFi

First: Make sure your WiFi router is on and your Kobo Arc is connected to it:
  1. Turn on your Kobo Arc and tap the Home icon (top centre of the screen)
  2. Next tap the Get Apps Icon at the top right hand of screen (six dots inside a circle)
  3. Then search until you find an app called Settings (note 1: not Google Settings. It just says Settings) (note 2: the apps are listed in alphabetical order so you will probably have to swipe to the second page to see the Settings app)
  4. open this up and click on Wi-Fi
  5. Choose the WiFi network you wish to connect to
Swipe downward from the top centre of the screen. If done correctly a number of icons should show up at the top of the screen. Click on the one that has 3 horizontal lines with one short vertical line on each of the horizontal lines. This will open the same screen as the Settings app does.

Steps to borrow a book:

A number of these steps only have to be done the first time you use Overdrive. This is when you should pay close attention to the instructions on the screen. You will be asked for certain information and be asked if you want the device to remember them. If you don't want to have to keep typing in your library card number, the email account you used for your Adobe account as well as the password....then click on the “Remember” or what ever wording is used. In other words READ the screen. Yep, I'm talking in all caps. This is important.
  • Click on Overdrive to open
  • Click on Add a library
  • Type in the library you are a member of, when a list of libraries in the then select the library from the list that appears.
  • A new screen appears with a star to the left hand side of the library you selected.
  • Click on the star. This tells Overdrive that this is your default library to go to
  • Click on your default library to open up the search lists for e-books.
Now you search for a book you want to borrow. The top right hand corner of the books that show up in your search will show an image of an open book. If it is greyed out then the book is already out and you cannot download it at this time. If the open book image is black then the book is available for you to download.

To search for specific book, author or type of book, click on the icon of a magnifying glass. This opens up the search function.
Tap on the search bar to bring up the keyboard. Type in what you want to search for.

When you tell Overdrive to download a book you want to borrow it will ask you for your Library card number and pin. Wait a second or two to see if your library card and pin automatically shows up. Remember: if you have already borrowed a book and read where it said to click to save, you won't have to do this a second time.

If you forgot to click in the box asking Overdrive to remember this information then: Type in your card number and your pin is by default the last 4 numbers of the telephone number you gave the library when you obtained your library card.

You will also be asked for your Adobe ID and password (if it is has not been already saved on this device). Type in the e-mail address that you used for your Adobe account and your password. Or if you do not have an account you can create one at this point.  Remember the e-mail you used as well as the password!


Click on the O at the top left hand corner of the screen. Click on Bookshelf. Check the status of the new book you have borrowed. It should say underneath if it is still downloading. Open the book by tapping on it to make sure the download was successful.


To increase the size of the font, click at the top centre of the screen. The three horizontal lines with 3 small vertical lines shows up. From there click on Font Size to change to the size you find easiest to read.

Play with some of the other settings to become more familiar with what your Kobo Arc can do as a reading device.

Have fun!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Have I been getting any sewing done?

The answer is yes.  Some.  A bit.  A couple of hours worth.

Okay, time to confess.  I've made exactly one block.  It's the last block for this month in the "Welcome To The North Pole" BOM.  So the three blocks to be sewed this month are done up to the embellishment stage.  After a trip to Micheal's craft store to pick up supplies, I am ready to completely finish these blocks.  Hopefully this week will see them done.  Then I'll have a week to work on other projects before February's BOM package is ready for pickup from the quilt shop.

So what's keeping me away from the sewing room.  Not cooking!  Or cleaning!  I'm learning Linux.  The free on line classes offered by Edmonton Public Library that I registered for have started.  Hopefully be the time it's finished I'll have a better understanding of Linux.

The course is six weeks long, with lessons coming out on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Students have two weeks to finish each lesson.  I know if I don't keep up, I'll never finish the course.  So far by noon each Wednesday and Friday, I've finished the lesson and taken the quiz.

Along with the Linux class, I'm playing with yet another tablet.  I'm really enjoying my Kobo Arc.  Mom, my son, as well as one of my best friends have the same tablet which makes it even more fun.  Playing around with Skype, competing for the best most points on the games, etc. has been a blast.  

Personalizing the case for the Kobo has been fun as well.  We have the same cases.  So without personalizing them, there could be some unintentional swapping.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Second block is ready for the sewing machine!

The second block for the Welcome to the North Pole block of the month quilt was more complicated than the first.  So naturally I cheated.  The pieces have been bonded to the background fabric and the block is ready to be machine stitched down.  Here's what it looks like without the stitching or embellishments:

The plaid roof was to be created in two pieces.  My version has the roof in one piece.  The side wall, wall with door, and the piece above the door were to be three pieces.  To make life easier these walls were cut as one large shape.

The plastic template is to be laid on top of the background for placing of the pieces.  Black lines on top of a black background makes that difficult.  So the reindeer barn was put together as one piece (minus the roof). 

Making the walls one piece worked well.  It became the background for placing the sign above the door, the window, window frame, the door, the trim around the door and above it.  Then this part of the barn was positioned onto the background and secured with the iron.

Next came the roof which fit like a jig saw puzzle, no need for the plastic template.  The iron secured only the lower portion of the roof to hold it to the background fabric.  Next the weather vane was placed with the bottom of the rod tucked under the top of the roof.  Then the whole barn was ironed down.

The plastic template did need to be used for the placement of the trees.  Dark background did not make this easy.  But with the trees in place the iron went back to work, but only the top half of the trees.  With the trees secured in place, the top of the tree trunks were tucked under the bottom half of the trees.  Iron, and then the snow was added.

Everyone making this block met up at the quilt shop yesterday.  Several had been working on their blocks already.  They seemed to be attempting to place all the pieces onto the backing and then ironing everything in place at one time.  All had complaints about fabric shifting under the iron. 

Working a bit at a time as the block above was made, eliminated this shifting.  Also checking to see where a larger shape can be cut out instead of several smaller ones made life a lot easier.

Anyone ever done paper tole?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

First Block Stitched

I would have said that the first block is finished, but it's not.  I still have embellishments to do.  Like sew some glitter onto the trees and perhaps in the snow.

The Wonder Under fusible webbing did not work as well as the less expensive type that I usually buy from Fabricland.  After it's used up, I'll go back to the product I'm more familiar with.

I was supposed to do the raw edge stitching with invisible thread on top.  The thread tension was awful.  No matter how I adjusted it.  So the invisible thread is now in the bobbin and a light gold is showing for the top stitching.  The gold should work fine with all the blocks.  It is supposed to be a Christmas wall hanging after all.

So here's the block, without embellishments.  The block still has to be trimmed down to 4.5" square.

There are two more blocks (both way more complicated) to be finished by the end of the month.  The templates, fabric, iron etc. will probably stay on the kitchen counter until it's done.  A constant reminder to keep working on it.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Progress on the Block of the month

Progress on the block of the month:

Two days ago I said that my goal for the day was to trace the templates onto the plastic film.  Well, I'm still not finished.  I'm having some "stick with it" issues.  I get distracted very easily.

There are six or seven more blocks of templates that need to be traced.  Then comes the tracing onto the fusible webbing.  That I will do one block at a time.  So my goal for today is to finish the tracing on the plastic film.  Then trace one blocks worth of templates onto the webbing.  Thursday will be making the block.  Friday is the first group meeting at the quilt shop.

The distractions:

It has been a couple of fun days here.  Snow removal of course.  Our weather has been cold, but not as cold as other parts of the country have "enjoyed".  A side affect of the cold weather is that there are more e-mails, tweets and blog posts to keep up with.

One tweet lead me to discover that the Edmonton Public Library offers on line courses.  Because I really don't want to do anything but play, I check it out.  There are loads of classes on just about every subject!  I quickly called a friend who is getting used to Windows 8.  She's now enrolled for a class that starts in 7 days.  Cool. 

But are there any classes I would like.  Loads.  Digital scrap booking, photography, writing. Linux and many more.  We use Linux and it would be nice to add programs, extra. without having to get my husband involved.  He's more than happy to do so, but I want to "do it myself".  Guess I spent too much time around toddlers.

So I'm enrolled in the Linux course which also starts on the 15th.  I definitely need to get caught up with my Block of the month project. And keep from enrolling in even more classes with the library.  I still want time to play with all the new games I've put on my tablet.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Block of the Month post

Saturday I stopped at Sew Devine to pick up the first package of fabric for the Block of the Month (BOM) project.  This is the "Welcome to the North Pole" BOM  that my husband gave me as a Christmas present.  Pat explained how I should start off for this month.  I was also invited to come to the shop on Friday to join the rest of the quilters working on this BOM.  We are getting together for an hour or so to talk about the project.

Here are the first three blocks we are to work on.  Pat did a great job.  She used raw edge applique instead of the needle turning that is shown in the book.

Today's goal is to trace the templates.  I figured that while I have everything out I might as well trace all of them.  I'm using a plastic film and a permanent marker.  These templates serve more than one purpose.

When I go to trace the pattern onto the Wonder Under (fusible web) I will turn the plastic template over.  That way the tracing on the fusible web is going in the "wrong direction".  Then I will iron the webbing onto the "wrong" side of the pieces of fabric.  That way after the shape is cut out and right side up, it will be going in the correct direction.  Really important to have Santa's sleigh going in the same direction as the reindeer are.

Next use for the plastic template is to use binding clips to hold it in place on the back ground fabric.  Take off one clip and slide a shape in place on the back ground fabric using tweezers or a a stiletto (I use my seam ripper). 

Use the plastic to hold down the small pieces of fabric in their place.  Gently lift one edge of the plastic and press down the shapes so they adhere to the background fabric.  Lay the plastic you lifted off back onto the background fabric to ensure the small pieces did not shift during the pressing.  They can be readjusted if you work quickly (or reheat).  Never let the iron touch the plastic.  Unless you enjoy cleaning up your iron.

Next some tech stuff.  I've been playing around with a Kobo Arc.  It's a fun device that I think the person it's going to will enjoy.  After watching a lot of YouTube videos, reading instructions and help tips, I'm getting familiar with the device.

But all these helpful aides probably will not address the end user's questions.  So I made very short to the point videos.  This has been a fun project and I learned a lot while doing it.

The Kobo Arc has something called Tapestries that show up as soon as the Arc is turned on.  You get to choose what apps go into which Tapestry.  So you get to organize the display the way you use your device.  I've put the e-mail apps along with the internet browsing apps together.  In the Reading tapestry I have the Kobo reading app, as well as the apps needed to borrow books from the local library (Overdrive).

I wanted to share a couple of the videos with a friend that also has the Arc.  I really wanted her input before we give the videos to the new user.  Since the roads are bad and it's way too cold to walk over to my friend's home I decided to try the Google Drive.  I uploaded 4 videos and then sent my friend an e-mail giving her access to the videos.

Well this didn't work out so well, as she could not view them on line and received a message to download them to her computer.  Rather time consuming and she would need to update some of her programs first.  What a pain.

The weather and street conditions are better today.  So I took the videos on a thumb drive over to her.  We copied them to her hard drive and watched them.  A few changes need to be made to the videos.  Especially the one on how to use Skype.

Then she opened my e-mail sharing the videos that I put up on Google Drive.  When she clicked on the link the video opened up and played.  Simple as that.

As long as video player applications are up to date this method of sharing videos works.  So now I know how I'm going to share large videos in the future!  Quite painless. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2014!

I firmly believe that how we start the new year is how the year goes.  What I planned on doing today was a bit of cleaning, eating healthy (gifting away all the left over Christmas baking, chocolates etc), a bit of exercising and some sewing.

Reality check.  We always visit our parents on New Years Day.  I would not want to miss doing that!  We are so grateful that they are such an important part of our lives.  So there goes the eating healthy part of today.  Our parents feed us.  A lot.  And they are trying to get rid of all the Christmas goodies as are we. 

Not sure I'll be able to get much exercising in.  The cleaning will happen.  But I'm going to have to make sure that I sew something.  Not sure what, but something.

What is really scaring me though is that here it is, already 8:20 am.  And I'm drinking coffee and playing on the computer.  If I remember correctly, that's how I started 2013!  And that's what I ended up doing every morning for the whole year!  Even on vacation!  My good plans to live healthier, accomplish more, and limit computer time may be doomed already.

I received some great news to start off the year.   One of my e-mail friends has purchased a Bailey Long Arm machine!  I'm so looking forward to reading about her experiences with it.  I love this machine.  It's basic.  Either I or my husband can trouble shoot any issues.  So far all my husband has done was to add a paper clip to the thread guides.  This machine has very little that can go wrong with it.

Bailey, in my humble opinion needs a different thread guide in the needle area.  My husband got creative and added a paper clip he bent into a circle at one end and straightened on the other.  All the more expensive machines have a thread guide right above the eye of the needle.  The Bailey has a thread guide to the right or left of the needle.  I never use either of those.  Instead I thread through the paper clip guide.

I'm hoping for lots of e-mails from Debi.  I wish her many hours of smooth quilting experience.  There is a learning curve but it's so much fun.  Makes the learning curve worth it.