Good news/Not so good news

Just when I think I have everything under control….

The Good News:  I approved the proofs of the Christmas Candy pattern, so the printer should be working on those as I write.  I am so glad that pattern is finally off my desk.  It came out well and I learned a lot from it.  Forthcoming patterns will be done a lot differently and hopefully take  a lot less time!

The Not so good news:  I wanted to finally get the shop up and running before the end of this month, but I’ve been struggling with my website host’s customer service department since Novemeber regarding the “e-commerce” side of the site.  I signed up for (or at least I thought I did) for their basic package, but somehow something got messed up and they linked a professional (i.e. more expensive) package to my site. Everytime I talk to someone I get a different answer.  The latest answer I got was that they can’t unlink it without canceling my whole website.  I’m tired of arguing, so… I’m looking elsewhere.  Of course, I worry about making it all a smooth transition and not losing what I want to keep – my domain names, the blog content…  I’m sure if I were a bit more of a computer geek, I wouldn’t be so anxious – but quite honestly it’s all Greek to me!  These computer guys through around internet terms and acronyms like it’s somehting I should have learned in 2nd grade.

I’m done with arguing and I want to get this done, so hopefully within the week, I’ll have this issue resolved.  There may be as much as 24-48 hours of downtime during the transition – so don’t get worried.  If all goes well, should still exist when the dust settles.  As for the blog – I’m not sure exactly where that will reside.

Wish me luck! Any suggestions would be most appreciated!!!  The one web hosting site I like so far is called InMotion Hosting.  If you have any comments, let me know.


P.S.  I just had a thought – I’m going to check out putting a blog on Blogspot at least for the transition.  I’ll keep you posted.

Happy Day!

The printer has all my files for the Christmas Candy pattern!  Yeah!  I should have a proof back early next week.  I will get the “store” set up and finally have something to offer for sale.  OK – so I’m a month late, but better late than never as they say! 

Kindergarten Quilt

I just had to share my latest quilt project!  My younger son attends a Lutheran church based full day Kindergarten.  Each week they focus on a different letter of the alphabet.  Last week was “Q” week, so naturally I had asked if I could do a quilt project with the kids.  It went so well and the kids enjoyed it so much that I wanted to share.  For all those quilter moms and and teachers out there it was super easy and very popular! 

The art teacher gave me sheets of 12″ x 18″ paper that was slightly heavier than cardstock – more like the oaktag of my school days.  Using my rulers and my son’s help, we drew a 4 x 4 grid on each with 3″ squares.  Using my rotary cutter, I trimmed  the paper into 12″ blocks.  Then I took all of my fabric scraps (especially the ones from the boys’ and other juvenile quilts I had made) and cut 3″ squares of fabric.  I sprayed the fabric with sizing first to give it a little extra body.  I must have cut 400 squares!  I sorted them by color family and brought it all to school.  Each child picked their own squares to put on their block.  Applying glue to the paper with a glue stick seemed to work really well.  I was worried that regular white glue would get too gloppy with the fabric. 

When we were done, we had 18 unique 12″ blocks, which the teacher and I then arranged into a quilt on the wall.  We used colored tape in between the blocks and one of those pre-cut wavy bulletin-board borders around the outside edge.  It looks great!  The kids were so proud of their individual and group quilt!  The next day the teacher told me I had turned them all into mini quilt monsters as they cut up pieces of paper and wallpaper samples during their free time to make more quilts  (even the boys!)!  I couldn’t be more proud!

The pictures are a little skewed because the quilt is in a hallway and I couldn’t get it all in standing in front of it!

Q is for Quilt

Kindergarten Quilt

A cool internet story

Remember my husband’s friend who found me on the internet after 15 years? Well I found out how and I think it’s a pretty cool story.

She was looking for a contemporary quilt design for her mother to make her a quilt.  Surfing the web, she came across this website  .  It’s one man’s personal website about his travels (he’s been to 172 countries- even Estonia!) and interests.  Turns out he has an interest in quilts due to his grandmother and wife who are quilters.  He attended the 2007 Quilts, Inc. show in Chicago and took a bunch of pictures of the quilts on display, including the one I had exhibited “Treasure Chest.”  He had my name on it, but spelled it “Helle-Mae”.  My friend saw it and thought there was a chance it could be me with a misspelling, so she googled the correct spelling and Voila!  came up with my website.  I just think that’s pretty cool!  Check out the website – this man has beautiful pictures of people from all around the world.

Good news!  I finally finished the pattern instructions for the Christmas Candy TableRunner and Wallhanging on Friday.  Just need to put the cover together and it’s off to the printer!  The delay was in being able to produce the diagrams I wanted to include and figuring out a way to incorporate it with what I had already written for the bedsize quilt.  Long story short – for some unknown reason, the drawing tools that I had mastered in Word, no longer operate the same way since I upgraded my Microsoft Office package to include Publisher.  Very frustrating, Mr. Gates !!!! 

So, not wanting to spend more money on software (my friend wants me to get Adobe Illustrator), I went back to the TurboCad program I bought last spring (very inexpensive – but could not make heads or tails of) and figured out how to use it!  So here I am the frustrated engineer – elated that I can draw with CAD!!!  I keep teasing my husband that he can hire me now!  Let’s just say that it’s great to know that when you dust the cobwebs off – there still is a functioning brain in there!!!

I’ve said this before, but I hope now between Publisher and the TurboCAD I can put on paper what is in my head and that pattern writing should take a lot less time!  I missed my end of January deadline – but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!  I just hope no one turn off the light to save energy!


The Blocks!


So here are the blocks.  I like the way they came out.  I like the way the colors blend, but I have to admit I’m used to working with a lot more contrast.  As one friend put it – they are definitely my colors.  I think all quilters gravitate toward a certain palette.  For me, I like working with the violet/yellow-orange/green triad.  I love the way those colors play off each other. 

As I make the initial blocks, I work out all of my pressing directions.  I think pressing direction is an important tool for making sure that seams and points line up.  Once these initial blocks are done, I complete the remaining blocks in assembly line fashion.  For me this is more efficient and time effective (Henry Ford and I would have been great friends!) and I think leads to more consistency and better piecing accuracy.    On my website I mention that in my former life, I was a production planner for several companies.  This is where profession and hobby meet!  I just can’t help it!

So I better get that assembly line moving!