Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Turn Off Iron Reminder Card

I always second guess myself and wonder if I've turned off my iron.  I haven't left it on all night yet, but I have come back in my sewing room after being out for several hours, and noticed that it was still on.  That happened again recently, so I made myself a reminder card.

I just printed it on a card stock paper and laminated it for extra durability. I  have it taped above the light switch in my sewing room.

I see it every time I leave the room and shut off the light.  It does a good job or reminding me to think if I've turned it off.  Perfect.

If you want to print your own reminder card, you can download it here.

Happy Stitching!!

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Doing Embroidery

It was blustery cold outside today.  Great time to spend inside sewing, right?  This is what my embroidery machine looked like this afternoon.  The pile of jackets on the left is done, and the stack on the right was my "still to be done" pile. These fleece jackets had a pocket on the left side, so I embroidered the logo on right side instead.  

Done and To Be Done piles.

It was a little odd to mark the fabric as my Embroider's Buddy placement tool is marked for embroidery on the left side.  I just flipped it over and copied the markings to the back.    I was able to get all the jackets finished.  Yea!
Sample of a completed jacket.

My next little project is to make a name tag block for my quilt guild.  It is a 4" square set on point.  I did it up in Electric Quilt 7 to audition some of my fabric with the design.  I will do post of it  when it is done.

Hope you had some time to stitch this weekend as well.

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

How To: Watermark (already uploaded) Blogger Photos

I know it is a good idea to watermark the photos I post online.  My problem is that I don't use Photoshop routinely with my photos.   At this point, I have hundreds of photos online, and wouldn't want to go back and find and edit each photo on my laptop, and then upload again to each individual post in Blogger.   Way too much work.  So, how do you watermark your photos that are already online in Blogger?

I have searched and tried a few editors, and have found a free straight-forward solution that works!!  I am able to watermark the online photos without touching the originals that I have stored somewhere on my personal computer.  I prefer to keep my personal photos without the watermark anyway.  Since I'm editing the online photos, I don't need to re-upload any image to any specific blog post either.  That's nice!

So, here is how I do it:

FIRST, DID YOU KNOW?  All images that you upload to your Blogger blog are automatically stored in an online Google Picasa Web Album.  You can view your online photos and albums by visiting  The album name is the same as your blog name.  You can do some photo editing online using Picasa Web, but you cannot add text to a photo for a watermark.

The website that I now use to edit my Blogger photos is Ribbet.
Disclaimer:  I'm not affiliated with this website in any way, I'm just a new user of it.  ☺

You can create an account on Ribbet for free, but do not need to create an account to edit your Picasa albums.  The advantage of creating an account is that Ribbet then remembers your history and connections.

If you clicked on the Ribbet link above, you will be at the following Ribbet Welcome screen.  Select the Library tab at the top, or click on the Picasa symbol that is further down the display.  (If you go directly to, click the button to "Edit a Photo", then select Picasa, Google+ from the menu bar.)

The first time you do this, you will see a message to connect Ribbet to your Picasa photos.  You want to do this, so select Connect.

You will see a dialog box to ask permission to connect.  Go ahead and grant permission.

Once you have connected, you may select your blogger album in the drop-down list on the right.  Now you have access to all your photos on your blog!  Simply double-click an image thumbnail to edit the photo.

Here is an example using a photo of our puppy that I double-clicked to edit.

  • Select the "Aa Text" option on the top Ribbet menu bar.  You will see a list of fonts to choose.  Notice that the ones shown in blue are "premium" fonts and cost money to use.  I stick with the free fonts, shown in black.  There is also a button on the bottom to "Load My Fonts".  I click this button to see my own fonts.

  • Click on your selected font, type in your text, and select "Add".  Use your mouse to move the text to where you want it to be.  You can also use the Text Properties box to make adjustments to the text.  Select the "Save" tab at the top menu when you are ready. 

  • I uncheck the Tag with 'Ribbet' option (just because I don't know what that option does).
    Make sure you choose the option to "Replace the old file".  Then click Save Photo.

  • Confirm to replace.

DONE! Your blog photo is saved and now will show with a watermark.  You can close the photo, or click the Library tab at the top to move on to another photo.

You can check your original blog post that has the edited photo to verify the change.  My puppy photo post is here.

I'm working my way through my photos now.   I get a rhythm going, and have my text string copied to my clipboard so I can just paste it in.  Ribbet remembers the last edits, so the next image I select to edit automatically pops up with the "Aa Text" and font selected.  I just paste my text, move it into place and save.  You'll notice my pics are starting to show with their watermarks.

Hope you found this helpful!

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

FNSI - Stuffed Turkey for Thanksgiving

Friday Night Sew In - I finished stuffing my turkey for Thanksgiving.  Fortunately for him, he isn't the kind that would taste good!  LOL  My kids have named him Timothy the Turkey.  

He started as a simple panel by Patty Reed Designs.  I've had this panel for several years, and finally remembered to do it this year.

I sandwiched the tail feathers with some batting and stitched through for the feathers.

Tail feathers done.
 Stitched the body pieces and added the tail feathers.

The wings have batting sandwiched between them, like the tail feathers.
Quilted the wing feathers for dimension.
The instructions said to hand stitch the wings to the body at the end, but I prefer to machine stitch as much as I can, so I sewed them to the body before stuffing him.

He looks decapitated, doesn't he?
Sewed the base onto the body, and stuffed through the neck opening.
Did some hand stitching to add dimension to the face starting above the eye and defining his snood (that thing that grows on his face and hangs over his beak - I had to look that word up).

Hand stitched the head/neck to the body and was done!

A glimpse at the back side.

Timothy the Turkey will be joining us for Thanksgiving dinner this year.

I had planned to do some embroidery last night too, but didn't get to it.  Sleep was calling me instead.  Hope you had a good Friday Night Sew-In too.

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Night Sew In tonight

It's Friday Night Sew-In!  Once the family finishes our pizza dinner, and the younger ones are settled, I'll be up to my sewing room.

I'll working on a turkey for Thanksgiving.  The centerpiece-kind, not the kind you eat.   :-)

I've had this Stuffed Turkey Panel by Patty Reed Designs for several years.  I bought it at Hancock Fabrics, and I forget about it every year.  I finally remembered it this year, so I'm going to get him done so he can adorn our table.  I'll post an update tomorrow when he is finished.

I also have a case of jackets to embroider for the Ha'Penny Montessori school.   I did one jacket to verify the thread color.  The Director loves the white thread, so I'll use them for the others.

I've got some company in my sewing room tonight. ☺

Are you stitching for Friday night too?    Join in FNSI too!

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

New gadget and blanket embroidery

I went to the embroidery group meeting of my sewing guild today.  A friend brought a new personal lamp to show.  It is a Hug Light.  I've never seen one before, but they are really neat!  It is a flexible light with 2 super bright LEDs.   You can wear it around your neck to shine on your work area.  It runs on regular AAA alkaline batteries.  She said she found a two-pack at Costco for $12.99 (item #527662).  They are sold in other places for $20 each.  I stopped by my local Costco on the way home and bought my own two-pack.  I had a hard time finding them at first though - combed the hardware and home aisles.  They turned out to be displayed with the laptops.  Go figure.

My new Hug Light.

They do make a difference, and add a nice amount of fill light to my work area.   I like that it is truly hands-free, and stays put where you place it.  It comes with a little stretch collar if you want to wear your hug lamp snugly.  You can even coil it to stand on its own if you want.  My friend says she puts one on her dog at night so she can see where he goes in their yard.  I may try that too.  :-)

Here is my work space as usual.  I have an Ott desk light on behind my machine, and the overhead room track lighting on.
Work area without Hug Light.

Same work space, but with the HugLight on high (there are three brightness levels, plus a red night light).
Fill light added with Hug Light on.

I showed these Hug Light things to two of my daughters, and one immediately adopted one for doing homework, and the other daughter took the second one to read in bed.  I think I will go back to Costco and pick up another pair for our house, and maybe a couple more to give as gifts at Christmas.

In case you are wondering what the embroidery was that I started in the photos above, it was a little Dumbo elephant on a child's blanket.

A friend had asked if I could embroider a couple of blankets for her boys.  One is still an infant, and the other is five years old.  She wanted their names and birthdates, plus a design of my choosing.

For the younger son, I chose a Disney design of Dumbo that was on my embroidery machine, and used a built-in font for the lettering.

The older son likes sports, so I chose a sports design from, and the "Lisa" font in the BES software.  They turned out cute!

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sewing Guild Fabric Challenge

This spring, my local sewing guild, the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Sewing Guild, issued a fabric challenge.  Participants were give the one yard of the same print fabric.  The challenge was to make something with it.  The entire yard didn't have to be used, and it could be dyed, bedazzled, or whatever.  I didn't sign up for the challenge, since there were health issues going on with me.  But, at our chapter's recent annual meeting, others showed their fabric challenge projects.  It was great fun to see what people came up with using this definitely challenging fabric.

The Challenge Fabric

I do the website for my sewing guild chapter, and just uploaded the photos from the meeting.

I wanted to share these projects, so click here to see the project photos.

An umbrella made by a sewing guild friend.

Happy Stitching!!

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