Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pinwheel Block #1

I finished up the first pinwheel block, fussy cutting the large pinwheel "blades"... which proved to be a bit of a challenge since I didn't have a lot of the fabric to play with.  Had to piece one of the "blades"... but I don't think it's too obvious.

Block is 12" finished.

And yes, that is a US Coast Guard emblem on the fabric!  Didn't I do a wonderful job fussy cutting those?   *grin*

(If either of my sisters read this blog post, don't say anything to your DHs (both retired Coasties).... one of them may be receiving this quilt.)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Becoming Inspired

The past school year was rough and I won't go into all the trials and tribulations again.  However, I was worn down both physically and emotionally.  Just out and out blah...  not even much interested in sewing / quilting... OR even buying fabric.   Yup... it was that bad.  My last day of work for the 2012-2013 school year was this past Thursday, June 27th... and I am now on summer vacation for the entire month of July!   Then I ran across THIS POST by my blogging buddy JoAnne of The Patriotic Quilter!

Photo stolen borrowed from The Patriotic Quilter

A pinwheel block!  What's not to love about a pinwheel block, especially in patriotic colors & fabrics!   And particularly when it turns into a quilt this lovely....

 Another photo stolen borrowed from The Patriotic Quilter

Okay....  I did a little stash diving and came up with...

I pulled out my quilt block reference book...

...and found the quilt block I need!

Yup!  The block is called "Turnstile" in this book; however, it is the double pinwheel that I need to replicate JoAnne's quilt.    If you look closely, the book give the cutting measurements for six different finished sizes of the block.   No math to be done...   I am a happy camper!

Thanks for the inspiration, JoAnne, my wonderful blogging buddy! Let the fun begin!

Psst...   I also ordered some more patriotic fabrics just now.  I think I'm getting rejuvenated...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Light Bulb Moment in Target!

A friend and I went on a road trip yesterday to the nearest JoAnne's and hit Target while we were in the neighborhood.  We weren't 20 feet inside the store when I noticed a display of picnic/cook-out items including this wire thing... the likes of which I've not seen before.

 It's a picnic or cookout caddy....  says so right on the tag!

The display had red, blue, and green caddies and I resisted....   until I made my way to the outdoor section of Target and saw the white version.   I had to have one..   you see, I already have a picnic caddy on the back of my cutting table, which I've been using to store stuff related to cutting fabrics.

However, the blue caddy is much smaller and the heavy scissors fall out when I bump the table... the back section (for napkins) is really too small for the templates I've accumulated.   The blue caddy has almost slid off the cutting table when I accidentally nudged it.  I clearly need a larger/ heavier one, yes?

The front and back sections, which are for napkins and plates, did not have the wire mesh bottoms like the utensil sections but I cut some white cardboard to fit....  and now, small stuff won't fall through.

I didn't have any small plastic "glasses".... the small ones that I used with my kids when they were learning to hold and drink from a glass for the first time...  that would fit in the napkin section to use as "pencil holders" but I did find two toilet paper rolls ready to go to the recycle bin.

I covered those with one of those nice bags you get at gift shops sometimes that are printed with old-fashioned florals.

The tubes are a bit small so I will look for small plastic "glasses" to take their place since they will be heavier and less likely to move around/tip over.

It was fun loading up my new cutting table caddy... so much room!   Stuff fits!  Stuff doesn't fall out!   Wooo hooo!

There's even a bit of room for a few more templates.... which is a good thing because there are a couple under piles of fabric on the cutting table that I need to find...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Favor for a Friend

As some of you may know, if you sew... everyone thinks you can do N-E-thing at all!   So, my friend Lea, who won a quilt at a Red Cross fund-raising auction, brought it to me to figure out how to hang it on the wall in her living room.   I pondered on how best to do this and toured the local home improvement emporium for ideas.

I picked up a package of Command Strips (which I had used to hang the Mary Engelbreit wall hanging in the psych office) with Velcro-like stuff to put on the wall and the hanger strip.

The wood/board strips that were long enough were thicker than I wanted them to be but then... I stumbled on to yardsticks in the paint department...   for 69 cents each!   Instead of cutting one of the yardsticks and then trying to figure out how to connect them....


...I put two Command Strips on the yard stick and stuck them together with the Velcro-stuff, overlapping the yard sticks in the middle.

I made four "sleeves" and pinned them to the back of the quilt...  since I was too lazy to unsew the binding and attach the sleeves in the traditional way.   The spaces are where the Command Strips will be stuck to the exposed yardsticks.

On the front of the quilt, I stitched in the ditch to sew on the sleeves.

I inserted the yardsticks and pinned the bottom of the sleeves to the quilt before sewing down the sleeves.  This way, I was sure the yardsticks would fit in the sleeves when I was done!   

The yardsticks DID indeed fit and I rolled up the quilt before taking it over to Lea's house.  Presentation is everything, don't you know?

Once we got the quilt up, we sat for a while and admired it...  it looks perfect in its new home!

We adjourned to Panera's for an early dinner and returned to find the quilt was still(!) hanging on the wall just where we put it!

Another task crossed off my "to do" list!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Latest Internet Scam

One of my concerns about growing older is that I will become more easily persuadable in regards to scams...  but if that is going to happen, it's still in the future.

Recently, I've been getting nightly phone calls from "Out of Area"... and I'm talking about 4-5 calls per evening.  Thanks to Caller ID, I've not answered any.   Last night, I was fed up with the calls and did take one from "Out of Area" just to see what was up.... AND hopefully get off their call list.

The caller identified himself as "Harry" but given his accent, clearly his real name is wasn't anything close to "Harry."  His accent and background sounds indicated a call center in India.

"Harry" announced he was calling from "Windows Service Center" and that I had a virus on my computer.  Playing along with "Harry" who was definitely reading from a script, I went to my computer and followed instructions to "right click"... "left click" and "scroll down"...  and did I notice any "errors" or "warnings" in the list.

I did...

Next, "Harry" offered to rid my computer of a dangerous virus remotely.  

I informed "Harry" that I had a good anti-virus software program installed but, according to "Harry".. it could not protect me from this bad virus that could obtain financial data from my computer.    "Have you not heard of hackers?"

I informed "Harry" that I wasn't interested in what he was selling.

"Harry" proceeded to warn me that my computer would "crash" if these viruses weren't removed.   "What would you do if your computer crashed?"

I told "Harry" that I would buy a new computer.


Then "Harry" told me that the virus would infect my new computer and what would I do then?

"I'll buy another computer."

*longer pause*

"Harry" started talking faster and I told him I wasn't interested and hung up.   Hopefully, I'll not get any more of these calls.

My daughter and granddaughters are visiting and I told her about the conversation.   She shared that the next door neighbors of her in-laws fell for the scam about a relative (in their case, their son) being in a foreign country and needing them to send money to help him out of trouble.... and they did.  A lot of money...

Warning flags about this call included:
  • MicroSoft does not call people about any problem with their computer.  "Windows" certainly doesn't.
  • Someone who called me wanted to access my computer remotely.    (Heck NO!)
Reading local news this morning, I found that this area is being targeted by this particular scam.  

Computer Fraud Alert

The Fayetteville (NC) Police Department would like to alert citizens of a new trend that has been reported by citizens in our area. Citizens have reported that they have received telephone calls from persons portraying that they are Microsoft employees and are being advised that there is an issue with the Windows application installed on their computer. The caller attempts to get the victim to activate the remote access on the computer, thus giving the “caller” direct access to all of the files on the computer as well as all processes on the computer. Once the caller has obtained remote access, this allows the person to steal protected information from the computer and potentially commit crimes. A link has been listed below in which Microsoft had provided to avoid Tech Support Telephone Scams.

Avoid tech support phone scams

Cybercriminals don’t just send fraudulent email messages and set up fake websites. They might also call you on the telephone and claim to be from Microsoft. They might offer to help solve your computer problems or sell you a software license. Once they have access to your computer, they can do the following:

• Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software.
• Take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.
• Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.
• Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there.

Neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes
Telephone tech support scams: What you need to know

Cybercriminals often use publicly available phone directories so they might know your name and other personal information when they call you. They might even guess what operating system you’re using.

Once they’ve gained your trust, they might ask for your user name and password or ask you to go to a website to install software that will let them access your computer to fix it. Once you do this, your computer and your personal information is vulnerable.

Do not trust unsolicited calls. Do not provide any personal information. Here are some of the organizations that cybercriminals claim to be from:

• Windows Helpdesk
• Windows Service Center
• Microsoft Tech Support
• Microsoft Support
• Windows Technical Department Support Group
• Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)

Report phone scams

Learn about how to report phone fraud in the United States. Outside of the US, contact your local authorities.

I've decided if I get another of these calls, I'm going to...

Be aware of this scam as well as similar ones...  how you handle the cold call is up to you but feel free to tie up the caller's time and have a little fun if you'd like.   I do like the idea of telling them you have a Mac....  but they may have a script for Mac owners as well...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Two More Kid Days Left!

The psych staff has a new office...  as in a 8'x10' space with bare walls and no windows.   Two of us will be working out of this space thru June, starting back again August 1st, conducting what is called "summer testing."  I've taken it upon myself to make this closet a workable space and made a Mary Englebreit panel into a wall hanging to bring some color into the institutional off-white/antique white room.

The finished wall hanging is appx 22" wide by 42" long.  I did some outline quilting as well as a bit of freehand quilting.  Nothing spectacular but it does add a bit of color to the space....

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Five More Kid Days Left....

...with eight (8) scheduled meetings (at least) left to go.  There may be more... these are just the ones I know of right now!   I will survive....

I have been doing a little sewing and today... I finished up a diaper bag/tote/thingie for a coworker whose shower is this week.

I fill it with diaper changing supplies....

...and will include the remaining diapers in the gift bag as well.

If you're interested in how to make one of these fabric storage bags, here is THE LINK to the tutorial.