Wednesday Giveaway

Connie G. is this week’s winner! She will receive a 6″ Add-A-Quarter Plus ruler. This dandy tool is used in foundation paper piecing to safely trim away excess fabric, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Leave a comment/reply on this blog post to enter the drawing. A winner will be chosen by the random number generator tomorrow.

I’ll be back with another Giveaway next Wednesday. Until then you can shop for all sorts of sewing notions, books, and other fun stuff at pieceocake.com!

Zoom Tips for Quilters

Quilters are creative and smart. We put together complex patterns and many of us use advanced, computerized sewing machines. We have mastered email, online shopping, and social media. It is definitely time to master Zoom.

If you haven’t Zoomed yet, the first thing is to not be afraid. Click here to open Zoom’s home page. Once there, open an account. For most, a free account is all you need. You definitely need to do this well before you want to join a Zoom meeting.

Once you sign on, you will see offers to take a tour of Zoom. Take the tour because it might be faster than sorting things out on your own. Or click here to go the tutorial page. You can’t break Zoom or your computer by clicking on stuff.

You will need to download Zoom if you are Zooming on a computer. If you plan to Zoom from a phone or tablet, do a google search for ‘zoom on an ipad’ (or whatever your device is) to find help.

If you are hosting a Zoom meeting, go through all the tutorials until you figure out how to do it. You will be the one emailing invitations to participants.

Participants will receive a link to the meeting in an email. Click the link at the appropriate time and Zoom will open but only if you have already registered and downloaded the program.

Once you get to the meeting, Zoom itself is not that hard to master, especially if you have already watched the tutorials. You can do it!

The most frustrating problem I ran into was my screen freezing and/or being dropped out of a meeting. It’s easy to blame your computer, but it’s more likely to be a problem with your cable modem or router. Dang.

  1. The least expensive and easiest fix for slow connections is to connect your computer to the modem or router with an ethernet cable rather than relying on wifi. That may solve many of your problems. Your computer may have an ethernet port but mine did not. I bought a longer ethernet cable and an adapter for my laptop. You will need to connect either to the back of modem or to a port on your router.
  2. When you are Zooming in small groups, it’s really great to see everyone, but the more video streams you have open, the more bandwidth everyone uses. When I lecture to guilds, I want people to join without video. The group can see and hear me and the guild host, but not each other.
  3. If your cable modem or router are more than 3 years old, you probably need to upgrade. You can go to https://www.speedtest.net/ to test your ethernet and wifi speeds and/or call your internet provider and let them help you to determine if your plan matches your current usage needs.
  4. Move your router to a high, central location if you can. The wifi signal does not travel well through metal so if your refrigerator is between your router and device, the connection can be slow.
  5. This video explains a lot. After watching it, I upgraded to this tri-band Asus router designed for gaming. You may be able to get by with a less fancy router.

But wait! There’s more!

For larger meetings it is a good idea for most people to mute themselves to cut down on confusion and extraneous background noises.

Lastly, if you join with video, look at yourself in your window. Move your device up so that the camera is eye level or sit in a lower chair. You want people to look you in eye rather than looking up at your chin. Place a lamp in front of you to light your face and turn so that bright lights are not behind you.

Getting all of my technical gear set up made me a little crazy but, once done, I am a much happier Zoomer. And wifi devices are faster all over the house—yay! it was worth the effort and expense.

Good luck… you can do this too :-).

Wednesday Giveaway

This week’s winner is Mary Kastner. She will receive a travel sized Orange Vanilla Lolo Body Moisturizer. My hands are usually OK in the summer but with the increased hand washing I’m using Lolo all day long and my skin is much happier :-).

I’ll be back with another Giveaway next Wednesday. Until then you can shop for all sorts of sewing notions, books, and other fun stuff at pieceocake.com!

Scenes from the 10-Acre Rock

My husband Steve, the field biologist, knows stuff. And one of the things he knows is how to find the 10-acre rock. It is a 10 acre outcropping of granite in southern Oklahoma, near Tishomingo. There are smaller outcroppings in the area (like the 6-acre rock) that are no longer accessible.

This is not a park, and you can’t exactly find it on a map. Many of the locals don’t even know it’s there… but some do because they obviously party on the rock.

There used to be a quarry here, but it is long gone. The granite is pink, white, and black—very pretty and unusual. There is granite from this spot in the Oklahoma state capital building.

Mother Nature is just full of surprises :-). Here is an close and personal view of a mossy crack in the rock.

Show and tell…

Lisa Deering sent me this photo of her finished Baby Bullseye quilt. Isn’t it wonderful!!!!

From Lisa: I guess shelter-in-place is as good of a time as any to get things finished. I used a facing on the edges and attached it to the wall with Command Strips (removing the adhesive and hand stitching one side of the strips to the facing of the quilt).
The border geese are done in a rather large print which makes it look like they are moving around on the quilt. Of course one goose is going in the wrong direction just for fun.

Truth be told, I had to hunt and hunt for the geese flying backwards and even now, when I know where it is, I have to look for it. That big print does indeed add a lot of movement and it’s really good!

Wednesday Giveaway

This week’s winner is Lisa G Benson. She will receive 3 scissor charms that are mostly red and white. There’s a ladybug, a cupcake, and a bird that you can use to dress up your scissor, rotary cutter, a zipper, and more!

If you are not Lisa, you can find more scissor charms, plus a movie that shows how you can use them especially with serrated scissors, here.

I’ll be back with another Giveaway next Wednesday. Until then you can shop for all sorts of sewing notions, books, and other fun stuff at pieceocake.com!