Here’s something you already know…

Copyright infringement is illegal. You know that and I don’t think any of you would dream of scanning pages and patterns from a book and posting them online. Even if it is  to your friends in a closed online group (something I found out was happening recently). But you know what? There are people who do that!

Every now and then someone lets me know when this sort of thing happens and I really do appreciate it. However, the truth is that it’s very difficult to fight online sharing.

Even though you know why, let me take a moment to explain why it is that you need to pay for your own copy of whatever pattern or book you want to work from:

If you want there to be a supply of new quilt patterns and books with well-written instructions, you need to support the authors and designers that who write them. Writing instructions, calculating yardage and precise cutting instructions, making the quilts and projects, all take a great deal of time and effort. I am not doing any of this for fun. If I want to make a quilt for fun, I just make it and to heck with all of that writing and calculating.

Plus, when you buy a book or pattern, it’s not just the authors you are supporting, but the publishers too. because i It is the rare author that who can produce an error-free, print-ready manuscript and pattern.

So, please, when you run across sharing that you suspect is wrong, consider nicely mentioning to the person or persons involved that you prefer to support the author rather than saving a little bit of money. Thank you so much :-).

Wooly news from Linda and her stitch group!

Linda decided she wanted to do 48 of the blocks from the Applique Delights book in wool. She thought her stitch group would have a lot of fun doing them together. The girls met and loved the idea!

For those of you who haven’t seen this book, Applique Delights has 100 different block designs that range from classic to whimsical. The patterns are 5″ x 5″, but you can enlarge them to any size—there is a handy chart in the book. The original book is out of print but you can get it as an ebook or as a print-on-demand book. AND these blocks are great in wool!

Each stitch group member selected the blocks she wanted to do. Linda provided the background fabric and she put her wool fabrics out for them to choose from. The finished blocks are wonderful! And Linda says that as new blocks go up on her design wall, she is thrilled to see how great they look together.

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Everyone has personalized their blocks with embroidery and embellishments. They are having a whole lot of fun sharing ideas. Linda sent me this picture of some of stitch group with their finished block. More to come as the blocks are done.

Linda says that if you have a stitch group, you might consider doing his kind of project because it is so much fun! Happy stitching, from Linda and me :-).

Would you be interested in silk scraps?

While I was in NYC, I bought a scarf from an artist, Lydia Crespo, at Chelsea Market. We talked, and when she found out that I sewed, she asked if I would be interested in her silk scraps. She has a lot and hates to throw them away. I assured her that even though I didn’t need them, one or more of you might love to have them.

Email Lydia (info@argamandefiance.com) or click here to go to her site and email from there.

I bought the Black Gold Speckled Raw Silk Cape.

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Could I have made it myself? Yes. Would I ever make it myself, and speckle it? Probably not. Am I glad I bought it? Absolutely!!! This is the only scarf I own (and I own way too many scarves) that stays where I put it. And it is neither too warm nor not warm enough.

This is also the only scarf I own that has slits that are useful and that disappear when I wear the scarf like a scarf.

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So, there you go. If you are interested in Lydia’s scraps, I hope you get some!

Thanksgiving – Macy’s Parade

Happy Thanksgiving!

It was crisp and clear this morning — a beautiful day for a parade! Lots of people out and about.

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On the way back, at Lincoln Center…

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Truth be told, I am not a parade lover. But the Macy’s parade, on Thanksgiving, with the kids, is an exception. I do love this experience.

 

Listen to your bits…

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I have spent 24 years drawing with my mouse on the computer. For the last several years, I used Apple’s magic mouse which is touch-sensitive and allows you to swipe across it to move the cursor and it has been wonderful — until a few weeks ago when I was doing a whole lot of drawing in Illustrator.

My right index finger (the mouse-finger) started to hurt, a lot. And it got swollen. And then it hurt worse. It is at this point that many people go into denial. I do not.

I treat my body like a used car. If warning lights start flashing on your car, you take it to a mechanic, right? We should all head to the doctor when our bodies send us similar warnings.

It may not be this way in your town, but here plastic surgeons are the hand guys. I visited Dr. Swamy who has been in practice here a long time and is much beloved. I took my mouse and asked if that was the problem. Yes, it was. I asked if rest would make it better enough to be able to use the mouse again. No, it would not. We agreed that I had to find a new way to draw in the computer and I had to also find a more ergonomic mouse.

 

 

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The mouse was easy. I got a Logitech M570. I’ll have to be careful not to overuse any of my fingers but I can do that.

I won’t be using the mouse to draw. I am, instead, viewing this as an opportunity to buy a tool that I have lusted after — a Wacom Cintiq tablet! (Imagine a quilt-y picture instead of a lizard.)

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The Cintiq tablet is actually a very fancy computer monitor that is touch-sensitive and that you can draw on. It’s similar to the iPad Pro, but you hook to to your computer and the Cintiq mirrors whatever is on screen. I’ll be able draw in Illustrator with a special pen. I’ll be able to use the pen in Photoshop as well, and I’m sure there’s more. I suspect that I’ll be able to move the mouse on the screen with my finger, much like you can on your smartphone.

On the advice of a friend (thank you, Amanda) I got the biggest Cintiq. I have gotten used to using a very big monitor and there isn’t any going back from there. Thankfully, this is piece of business equipment that I should have gotten a long time ago. I think it might actually make me more productive while also helping me to preserve my right hand – my sewing hand!

The bigger issue, and the point of this post, is that you need to pay attention to your body! Don’t ignore warnings, take care of your bits early rather than after damage has been done. Because I said so :-).

 

Be nice.

Dr. Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College, spoke at the Austin College commencement this year. One thing he said has stuck with me: Be nice.

He went beyond that to say that when you aren’t nice, people won’t like you. And if no one helps you [when you need it], it’s because no one likes you.

That’s harsh! But take a moment to think about people you don’t like. Are you going to go out of your way to help them? Not so much. Which takes me back to the top: Be nice. Build relationships with people. We all need friends.

I could stop there, and would have if I had not read this post from Generation Q yesterday. It appears that there is a ‘secret’ facebook group of quilters that is not being remotely nice to people who are different from them. Who knew?! There are unhappy people on facebook! Deep sighs all round, right?

I shy away from politics and religion online and in classes and I’m not going to spout opinions here. That said, my mom and grandmother taught me early on that if you can’t say something nice about someone, it’s best to say nothing at all. It’s better to make friends than it is to make enemies. It’s never nice to intentionally hurt someone else’s feelings who is doing nothing to hurt you.

So, please, let’s all do what we can to spread niceness in the quilt world, and beyond!

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What story would you want to hear?

I am giving a lecture at the Minnesota Quilters Show in Duluth in June and they have requested that I share stories about Piece O’ Cake. Here’s my question: what sort of stories would you want to hear?

I could tell you what I’ve thought of, but I’m more interested in hearing what you think. I appreciate in advance any suggestion you have. Thanks!

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You’ve seen 007 before but he’s so much fun that I thought you might like seeing him again :-).