Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Google Reader (30)

Thanks to Candace, I spent some time yesterday working out how to use Google Reader. I was a bit disappointed at first, because I couldn't seem to see the original blogs, but I've worked that out now and I'm really happy with the way it works. It's going to give me much more time to really look at some of the features on the blogs. People work so hard to add content and make them attractive, that it has seemed a shame to rush through them. 

Unfortunately, we didn't get down to Brighton to visit number two son on Monday, as I wasn't feeling too well. 
So, I'm making sure to get lots of rest this week so that we can get down to see him on Friday. It's not difficult to rest when the weather is like this - there's nothing better than to sit in the shade in the garden and read or hand sew. I did manage a bit of quilting. I've been using a small scrap quilt to practice my free motion machine quilting. I must say, it isn't as easy as it looks in the few videos I've seen! I started to get a bit smoother and more accurate towards the end but I have a couple of problems - which may be down to me or to my machine.

Firstly, the machine kept 'jumping' when it came to the seams. Secondly, I found it really difficult to co-ordinate my hands and feet, so the stitches were often either too long or too short. Any help would be welcome.

Isn't this azalea beautiful? DH has a real knack with keeping them and always manages to bring them indoors at just the right time. This one's about ten years old now and never fails.


Candace said...

Hi Amanda,
Sorry you didn't feel well enough to visit your son, hope you are feeling better soon and get to see him Friday. Your little quilt is really pretty, and I can't see it very big, but I love the subtlety of the grey blocks. I like everything about it. In the south of the USA, azalea's are almost the regions official flower, and your husbands are beautiful. This is one of my favorite photos on Webshots:
The Spanish moss is a parasite, but looks beautiful in its way. I would love to stroll down this path. The pink of your husbands azalea is very delicate and I particularly like it against the bricks. The whole setting is very inviting.

Phyl said...

How wonderful that your honey can keep your flowers gorgeous!

Your lil practice quilt is adorable. It seems like you have it all right...the may thing is to just keep practicing...even if its only 10 minutes a day. Practice is the key and then warming up on a practice piece each time before you start working on your main project. It is a skill...and you are gonna do well:).
I am praying you feel better and can go see your son...we Moms need to see our sons:).


scraphappy said...

I'm far from an expert on machine quilting, but mine keeps getting better the more I practice. I took a quilt that I didn't care much about and just started quilting. I seem to have more luck with way too fast than with slow and steady. I think the main thing is to try to relax and let it flow rather than over controlling and ending up with jerky motions. Good luck -- keep us posted on your progress.

Amy (lilme2_99) said...

I'll have to keep an eye on your comments regarding this post too. I purchased my "free-motion" foot last September and have been practicing here-n-there since.
*chuckle* I can feel your pain! I agree that you need to be one coordinated gal to accomplish nice, uniform stitches if you don't have a stitch regulator (which I ALSO don't have). There are simply too many gadgets out there!!!
The teacher in me wants to believe the ol' saying: "Practice makes perfect." I would like to say I have improved, but you may recall my last free-motion quilting episode where my tension was messed up! Grrrrr! I haven't free-motioned since then.
Sorry that I don't have a Magic-Advice answer for you.
And hun...I sure hope you start feeling better!!

Rhonda said...

Hi Amanda,
I was thinking of using Google Reader but haven't yet. Is it easy and faster to navigate thru the blogs?
Like anything else, freemotion takes practice practice practice! Make sure you run your machine fast and move your hands slowly.
Your DH has a very green thumb. :o)

Musings said...

The azalea is beautiful. It looks like a bonsai.

Gina said...

I'm afraid that with FMQ the only way forward is practise practise practise.
I find having music on with a good beat helpful as I then quilt in time to the music, but Deep Purple and Status Quo might not be for you.LOL
Relax your shoulders and take frequent breaks. I FMQ for 30-45 mins and then take a break.
Find a speed that suits you. You don't have to have the machine going at breakneck speed. I have mine going at half speed.
It will come. One day you'll be at your machine and it'll suddenly click

love and hugs xxx