Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hey! Look at me!...

Well not me. That's what I call these little babies! My "Hey, Look at Me" Pins. I got the idea from a dvd that I bought a few years ago by Paula Reid called Fluff and Stuff about machine quilting...the gal who does all of Alex Anderson's machine quilting. I knew a lot of the stuff she covers in the video, but some of it was new. Her idea to move your quilting table into a corner was brilliant. I had forever struggled having my whole quilt fall off the back edge of the table and automatically start to drag against the needle. Anyway , back to the pins, she gave me this idea! Her pins have a special plastic covering that fits over the pin, but I had no idea where to find those so I improvised. I tied a small amount of ribbon on the top, non used side of the pin and Ta-Da...the Hey Look at Me Pins!

Now, what are they for? Well, anything that needs attention! A place that gets messed up and needs to be fixed later, or in this case, I marked where I had stopped sewing for the day. I ran out of bobbin and that was as good a place to stop as any. But without the pin, I would have looked for about 10 minutes to find the place where I left off. Normally I end by finishing my stitches very small and making a wide loop, but when the bobbin runs out, you don't get that option and the stitches have to be covered again with a start and anchored so they don't come out again.

I moved on to quilting the green areas yesterday, working with an amazing color Libby recommended from Aurifil. It is the nicest Army green color, but changes to suit whatever color fabric you are quilting over. I even used it one the brown areas with great results. I added a few of the blocks just to show you I am making progress. The first block has everything done but the red bird. The leaves were small so I just made a little vein in each leaf to anchor it down.

The next picture is dark on purpose, so that the quilting stitches show up better. This has really been a joy to quilt and easy so far. In the larger leaves I have just traced the outer edge, and the biggest leaves got loose feathers working with a spine on the right side and making feathers to the left. I think I got 6 feathers in the bigger leaves. Sorry the picture didn't pick up those stitches.
But it's coming along and I hope to have all the green done today! Maybe even start on the red parts! One reason I wanted to show the machine quilting was that someone asked in a comment on Kathy's Pink Chalk Studio about how on earth to quilt a king sized quilt on a home sewing machine. She just knew she would have to send it out. You don't! Really. All you ever have to fit under that machine arm is half of your quilt. Try rolling up that side and sliding it under. I bet you have room. Please before you get someone else to quilt something YOU want to do yourself, look at a few books or borrow a dvd and see if you can do it. Meandering is very simple with a small amount of practice. Try it. I hate to see someone feel they can't do it, when they really want to try.

Now to a different issue: Internet Security...

I promised someone I'd write this post a week back and now I can't remember who asked me to, and I am so sorry. It was another poor soul who recently had their credit card hi-jacked and used for some else's personal fun. You might have read that we had the same thing happen a few months ago. Luckily for me and the credit card people, the Primitives gals had tried to run my card to pay for classes and couldn't, so she called me. Luckily the company was able to stop all payments and the thieves were out of luck. Nasty people. Now yesterday I click on lovely Jan's Be*mused blog and read that she had similar issues with someone from Nigeria changing her address and password from eBay and bidding on items. Not once but twice in the same day!

Jan already mentioned that changing your passwords frequently is very important. I never did before our info was stolen. I used something very simple that I knew I could remember. Not good. Your passwords need to have upper and lower case letters intermixed with plenty of numbers. Write it down somewhere safe if you must, but change it often. What my friend whose name I can't remember...asked me to write about is removing your personal information from your computer at regular intervals.

Do you have cookies set up on your sites and often just hit the first letter of your name and have everything pop up? Well guess what? So can the thief. Did you know that all MasterCard's start with a 5...and all Visa's start with a 4? Some time when you are getting ready to list your numbers to pay for something you have ordered, hit the first number and see what happens. The whole number pops up!! The whole credit card number. No lie. That's why it's very important to remove all the pre-existing data about once a week. Yes, it will suck to have to enter all your passwords all the time for every site, but not as much as hearing that your credit card is at the limit when you didn't charge anything yourself. If a thief can log in as you, he will see all that data. How hard is it for him to punch in one number and have your whole card number come up? Not very hard at all.

Most computers have this feature located under the Tools tab on your top bar of your computer program. On FireFox, I click on Tools and it has the listing for Clear Private Data. Hit that and it will ask you if you really want to do this and I click YES! There is something similar on most programs.

It's really up to you. I am just sick of other people trying to steal our money when they didn't do anything to earn it. No reason to make it easier on them to steal it. That's my lesson for today. *G* Back to the fun stuff...quilting!

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