Friday, March 30, 2018

Catching up

In my last post I mentioned problems with my laptop. It's been in and out of repair, three times now. The new battery has been installed and the old one, in danger of exploding, is at the service place for safe disposal. My laptop is working fine for now, and running faster. But I'm still getting the error message for which I originally took it in. Grrrrr

The problem, so I'm told, is that since it's a Sony laptop and Sony is out of the PC business, they're not supporting it with software updates, so it can't accommodate Microsoft's big updates. The service people tell me it can still receive the small security patches that Microsoft periodically sends out, but it can't accommodate the big Windows 10 update. They tell me that since I have anti-virus software installed I'm protected. I can still use the laptop and just dismiss the Microsoft update failure notices when they appear, which is several times a day.

My laptop has plenty of memory - It's at 126 of 900 something, whatever that means. I have all my quilting stuff, book and pattern stuff, graphics software, photos and household stuff on this laptop. I really don't want to get a new one, and a new one is not in the budget. I will continue to use this one for now.
Technology. Very much a love-hate thing. 

So I've been playing in the sewing room while the laptop was in the shop. Previously I had assembled the top for another Nurses for Newborns quilt. Now it's quilted and bound, awaiting a run through the washer and dryer. These little N4Nb quilts are 24" x 36" which is a fun size to play with.

I participated in Libby's Magical Mystery Blocks and used some juvenile prints with yellow. Libby cautioned about the need for value contrast, and boy, was she right. My blocks will go into another N4Nb quilt. I'm disappointed in my fabric choices, but at least these blocks won't go to waste.

It seems like I've been making a lot of very varied blocks lately. Bee blocks for Kerry, 5" finished Economy blocks with fussy cut centers:

Piecing Group (bee) block for Carolyn, hand pieced and not pressed per group rules.

My turn to hand out at Piecing Group is in June. My WIVSP that they've been working on forever is now in too few pieces to be able to hand out again. That means I have to have a new project. I have to have a test block complete and 17 kits ready, which means all pieces cut and seams marked for hand piecing. I saw a cool antique quilt on Pinterest that I thought might work. It's known as Friendship Ring or Grecian Star. Curves and inset seams, great for hand piecing.

I drafted templates and started hand piecing a test block.

The points are actually cranberry red, but they look too dark in the photos.

A 16" block with 29 pieces. This is way too complicated and there's no way I can cut and mark that many pieces in time. Plus, it's too much to ask of Piecing Group. Sometimes people hand out half-blocks when it's a complicated block, but this one doesn't lend itself to splitting in half. I'll finish this test block, make a pillow cover out of it, and move on to Plan B for Piecing Group.

Plan B is Winding Ways blocks cut with my die cutter. I machine pieced some test blocks. I'm in the process of hand piecing a block, and I can already tell, the center will come together much better with hand piecing. I can definitely get enough Winding Ways block kits prepped by June.

Last but not least, my Pickle Dish project. I've finished two more blocks, bringing the total up to 30 of 36 complete.

Whew, a long post, but I guess that's what happens after more than a week of no blogging.

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict


  1. I really like your final solution to the mystery! The diagonal is very apparent.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear you have had such an ongoing back and forth with your laptop. I know what you mean about not having a budget to upgrade; it's quite an expense! You have made a lot of progress in the past week. There's something to be said for disconnecting for a while, isn't there?

  3. If you have not already, please back up all of your information to portable hard drive so that you will not lose important information.

    I have an older laptop and Windows 10 updates have been taxing it to the limit. In the process of off loading information on my hard drive to another source, I got an MS-Dos error that made the disk I was offloading to unreadable. So this information is lost right now. My computer guy suggested doing a system restore from Dec 2017 to see if I can regain my information. I am thinking it over but not sure if that solution is best.

    It is difficult for older laptops using Windows 10 because it loads so much unnecessary software and uses so much space. I have been reviewing plenty of online videos to remove Windows 10 unnecessary updates that is causing my computer to run at maximum capacity 100% of the time. I am working to get everything I want to keep copied from my hard drive onto separate storage.

    Wishing you techno stress-less.

  4. So many interesting blocks! I know what you mean about the value contrast on the yellow blocks. It seems like the fabrics really "go" together, but sometimes it's hard to see the underlying block design. That's always a struggle for me. I do like the bright cheerful result of your yellow, though :)

  5. May I ask how a piecing group works? You sure do have a variety of projects going on. I love your pickle dish blocks!

  6. It's amazing how much sewing you can get done when you're unplugged! (Not that I'm advocating for doing away with technology--and I do feel for your laptop issues.) The yellow blocks may not have turned out as you wished, but I do like the low volume look of the quilt. Perfect for a bitty newborn.

  7. Oh yes, the dreaded Windows updates. Glad they've got it so you can use the computer. It is a pain to set up a new one. You've got some fun stitching done, I like you plan for the piecing group.