Thursday, February 21, 2019

A Return, A Comment Fix, and A Favourite Tutorial

Things have been pretty quiet, for me anyhow, in my corner of QBL. If you follow me on Instagram @mmmquilts you'll know that I've been madly sewing and quilting away on a project I can't show until summer. Yes it's for a magazine, and I'm super excited about it, though super-exhausted by how much work it took around a multitude of interruptions ranging from daughter and grandson visit, to the two weeks in Mexico, to a 7-month-old-tomorrow puppy...
who's rambunctious as hell in the mornings, who isn't much interested in any kind of food (but fish he quite likes, oh,  and cottage cheese) so that is alarming as he is underweight to start with, and who has claimed MacGyver's IKEA poäng chair from time to time in the evenings, so hilarious, and he snores so loud in it because already he doesn't exactly fit...
Like how in the world is that comfortable?!
MacGyver was awesome at keeping him occupied and allowing me as much uninterrupted time as possible to work on the quilt, which is just under queen-sized. I also must confess I have lost a bit of the blogging mojo, and I did stay off social media a lot, especially this past week. 

So it will take me a few days to get back into the swing of things as far as responding to some comments, and writing up a few posts that are much overdue. One thing to let you know is that I had to redraw the winners (yay that Rafflecopter keeps the giveaway in your account and allows you to do this) as I hadn't heard back from two of the three winners. So if you go back to the original "Oh! The Places You'll Go!" Island Batik blog hop post and giveaway, you'll see that Lynda H. and Rochelle S. are the two winners. I've contacted them and got their addresses so a copy of Jan/Feb American Patchwork & Quilting is on its way to Lynda, and a charm pack of 40 squares of Crystal Ball, which I used in the quilt, is on its way to Rochelle!

In the vein of business, please watch for an upcoming announcement for my third (wow) annual Quilt Design Challenge run on Instagram. It's usually in full swing by now, but, yeah, quilt deadline.

Second item of business is please stay tuned for the third annual QAL here at mmm! quilts. We will be making Beothuk Star, a quilt I designed last summer for one of the Island Batik challenges:

Comment Fix
My readers know that I've been partially locked out of blogger for a few months now. First of all a tremendous thank you to several of my dear friends in QBL to whom I wrote personally my comment, explaining the reason for not writing it on their blogs, and who changed their comment formats to accommodate me, and others who have had this same issue. I'm so very grateful, and thankful for your true friendship.

What this has meant is that those blogger blogs who have comment boxes formatted so the box is embedded in the post and you write directly in the box below the blog post, I  am (as are others with this same issue) unable to comment. I have a greyed out head (which in reality is entirely not true, just a few white hairs so far, and maybe more because well, Rufus and quilt deadline) and there's a drop-down menu beside it. I click 'Google Account' and nothing happens. Those blogger blogs, like mine, where you click 'Post a Comment' and you get a separate window where you write in the box, no problem. WordPress blogs, no problem. Within the blogger platform itself, I could no longer edit directly on my blog post; the little edit tools had disappeared. I've been very worried that I'd get further locked out and be unable to write new posts, but that, thank goodness, didn't happen. Well, one of my readers, the lovely Anne-Marie, who is @just_anne_marie on IG and blogs at Stories From the Sewing Room has also had this issue, and in chatting with her, she discovered a fix, and it worked for me too! Well, at least on my MacBook; still blocked on my iPhone and I think it may be something to do with a third party blocker. It's been beyond frustrating, and near exhausting as I've wasted a big chunk of time, googling the issue, writing into a forum at Apple about it, and trying various things, none of which worked, until now. 
Think Rufus finds it exhausting to sit at a dish and eat... LOL He does have a raised holder so he doesn't have to bend down as much, but this dish doesn't quite fit in it. He sits to drink water which is always in a raised dish holder made by MacGyver of course. So funny.

Like Rufus, I'm easily distracted... Here's what you do if this is also a problem for you!

Go in Safari>Preferences>Privacy and then uncheck 'Prevent Cross-Site Tracking'. Ta-da! Let me know if this works. As I said, I still haven't figured out what the heck is the deal on my phone, which is annoying because sometimes I can read blogs there when I'm waiting for an appointment or sitting in the passenger seat of our SUV.

Favourite Tutorial (repeat)
New pics though. 😉  I had to make a ton of HSTs for the magazine quilt, and so I thought I'd remind readers, tell new readers, how I cut my trimming time in half. It basically works much like the bloc-loc ruler. (affiliate link - I think...apparently I have generated exactly zero sales in the first three months of being an Amazon associate lol!)
Instead of the ruler, though, you layer the two pressed HSTs right sides together, butting up the pressed (to one side) seams against each other, just as you butt the 45° angle lip of the ruler against that diagonal seam.

Here is the tutorial. You can even cut your cutting on the diagonal time in half by stacking two HSTs atop each other as shown below:
Be sure to align the stitched lines atop each other. I peel back the top one and take a peek.

Cut through the four layers.

Four instead of two cut in half! Now press the seams to one side.

Here is the butting up centre diagonal seams. Be sure to have them going in opposite directions so that the little ridges butt up against each other. My seams in the model one are pressed to the purple fabric, those in the lower two sets to the green. Notice, too, how the little doggie ears go in opposite directions.

First two sides trimmed. I've turned the set ready to trim the second two sides, and pulled the top one back so you see the perfect points. I often put my smaller cutting mat on top of my great big one so I don't have to move the stacked HSTs pair and potentially disturb the alignment. If you have a rotary cutting mat like the one below (affiliate link again I think ha), then that works beautifully for this technique.

Trim the second two sides, and voilà!  which is French (the correct spelling, but that's another post) for 'there!' Two trimmed HSTs in the time it takes to trim just one.
Hope you give this a try. I've used it now for several years. If you're curious about the fabric, also shown in the photo below that was posted on Instagram, it is Lilacs in Bloom by Jackie Robinson for Benartex. The white is my new favourite background. It's available in stores and online.

Linking up
Sew Fresh Quilts with the daring, intrepid Lorna, you ROCK, and I'm so impressed with and proud of your strength and that you're not afraid to stand up for yourself - and wave that dick quilt around Instagram and Blogland, ha! It is designed by Jeff, aka Molli Sparkles, who I've followed for a long time.  btw have you seen Lorna's latest pattern, the little dragon quilt?! LOVE.


  1. Hi Sandra! I am so sorry you are having such issues with this platform. Have you ever tried a different browser, like Chrome? We have issues with software at work on Safari, and have moved to Chrome for more reliable service. Give it a try maybe? Aww Rufus! HAHA - how on earth can he fall asleep hanging out of a chair?! He must have been really, REALLY comfortable. And it's oh so much work to eat. He's a good egg and has found himself a fabulous family to love and to love him. Thanks for the tutorial on trimming two HSTs at once. Why oh why couldn't I have read this before I spent a good hour or two trimming them last night. Not to worry though - I have more to make so I'll give it a try later today or this weekend. ~smile~ Roseanne

  2. The Beothuk Star QAL, this is what must have been waiting for me,or was I waiting for that? I recently received some stunning strips of Island Batik from Dione over at The Clever Chameleon, after her man chose my comment. They are so beautiful and I have scrolled through so many websites looking for a patter, and this is it. They are in greens and purples, so this is perfect. The large squares will show off a fabric beautifully. Now I have to clear the decks of all else waiting to be finiahed. Rufus, he looks SO relaxed, and will keep you entertained and busy!!

  3. How exciting, a new pup! That will keep you on your toes! How is your lovely cat Bella coping with this disruption to the household?

  4. You have been super busy it's no wonder your blog mojo is on a little holiday.
    That is so funny seeing the big pup in MacGyver's chair.

  5. You have certainly been busy, Sandra. I understand about the mojo. I think we all experience that at times. You've been missed, so have a cuppa mojo and get going again!

    Sorry you are having so much difficulty with your blogging platform.

    And Rufus - oh my, he is just adorable!! Fish and cottage cheese, huh? Now that is a combination!! My daughter's pom loves dill pickles! Any kind of dill pickles. She will drive you nuts until you give her some if you have them on your plate!! And...she burps!! LOUD!! The vet heard her once and looked at my daughter and said he had never heard a dog burp like that - and she is so tiny!! LOL Rufus is definitely has a cute personality! Gotta love our fur babies!

  6. Techy problems drive me nuts, mainly because I have just about enough knowledge to be dangerous. Glad you have a fix on your Mac. Hope the phone follows soon! Rufus is just too cute; the sleeping in the chair, and the laying down to eat bring a smile to my face. I'll have to give that triangle trick a try (fun alliteration there). Looking forward to the QAL and to the design party!

  7. I loved this post - just like talking with a friend where the conversation goes from here to there back to here and over to there again. Perfect! Excited to see what you've been cooking up for the magazine. Fun, fun, fun!

  8. love the lilac fabric. oh your puppy is so sweet and funny. i had a good laugh with him sort of sleeping in the chair. we have an 18 lb. cat who sleeps on chairs like this. seriously how is that comfortable? LOL thanks for sharing today

  9. So glad to see you back in my inbox. And so doubly pleased that you are going to run the Beothuk star QAL, especially since I might now get to see it in the fabrics I sent Jean. Your new puppy is just adorable.

  10. Young pets are a handful but oh so fun to watch!! Is Bella ignoring him? So many new adventures coming up for you, I am looking forward seeing them all. Thanks so much for the tutorial. My HSTs always come up short, so I used pp :) Lilacs in Bloom is gorgeous, btw!


  11. What an adorable puppy. We have a six month old puppy, Oreo. Luckily he sounds much calmer (and smaller) than yours. How exciting to have another quilt ready for the magazine.

  12. I've missed your posts and am so glad to hear from you. You have been busy...nothing like starting the year off with a bang. I was thrilled to receive your email that I was a winner and look forward to receiving those squares which I'm sure will be used in a lovely quilted project. That puppy is just like a baby...growing fast and begging for attention! He will be one big boy! I suppose we have to wait until summer to see the magazine quilt but from the fabric 1/2 square triangles and that lovely floral I can see it will be beautiful.

  13. Rufus looks like he has quite the personality! And I think he is going to be tall enough to give you kisses standing on his hind legs. I'm glad you are finding fixes for the tech problems. Those are the worst! I used to have trouble commenting on my phone. I have no idea if I did anything to fix it (I don't remember doing anything specific), but lately I have been able to comment on my phone.

  14. I'm glad the design challenge is me more time to get caught up on stuff so I can play along. Looking forward to this year's QAL. Great pattern. That's great you solved your comment problem.

  15. Sounds like you've had your head down and medal to the metal on getting your spring project all finished up. Sorry about the Blogger issues. I'm replacing my lap top this week (the current one is having major problems, like suddenly shutting down and having to be rebooted multiple times to get it back on line). I'm not looking forward to navigating all the stuff Windows has done to the operating system and getting all my programs to work.


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