Friday, March 31, 2017

8 Shooters Clue 4: A bit of background

Before we begin today's post it is important that you remember which of your 8 shooters is which. If you will remember we did 3 different sets, so label them as such.

Set one had a single 8 shooter and four sets of 6 point uncompleted stars. Label these as Shooter Set One.




Set two had four matching 8 shooters as well as double shots.
Label these as Shooters set 2:




Set 3 had four 8 Shooter Stars and some single shots.
Label these as 8 shooter set THREE:


And now with these all labeled properly, we can begin working on some back ground.
Before you cut your background, click on that 8 Shooters page and make sure that you have all your back ground pieces labeled properly as well, or you WILL get them confused. It is very important that you follow the fabric requirements and label them as such.

Today we will work on basting your SOLID MAIN BACKGROUND pieces.
For me, my solid main was black.
You will use this background for:
ALL of your giant triangles (36 all together).
32 of your small triangles (NOT all of them).
and 20 of your squares. (NOT all of them).

Use your favorite method to baste these pieces and I'll see you in a week. 
(It looks like a Jack-o-lantern face). 





Thursday, March 30, 2017

The website: what to do?

Yesterday's post (about the disability) was important so that you would understand where I am coming from for today's post.

I go back and forth about my little quilt business. When I am at work, I get discouraged. I read emails from folks wanting this or that, and the five days that I go to work, I just really do NOT have any time at all to devote to quilting. (Because I homeschool the little guy before/after work. ) So, I think I should just pull the plug on the thing and let it go...

Then a day off rolls around and I think, "Why? " I LOVE designing, I LOVE quilting. I have this big machine for cutting papers and engraving stuff.  We, as a family, need money. So why would I do something stupid like that? And for a day, I work on it. Then I put it away until another day off rolls around. (Typically one day off a week belongs to Stephen and our nature or roam school studies, and the other belongs to errands and trying to quilt or sell things or whatever I can squish into a day. This week the "other day" belongs to blogging. Before I am finished I will have written about 8 blog posts between mine and Stephen's blog. )

So, lemme tell you where the problems are and maybe you can help me figure something out.

I currently pay $30 a month for a website, and I don't need to be paying that. I like that I can just put the PDF designs out there and you can just click and buy and then they auto send them but, honestly, over 90% of the time no one sees it on the confirmation email anyway and I end up having to send it. So I might as well move over to some sort of platform where I just send them anyway.  I dont really want to do this but if it will save $30 a month, then this person needs to save in anyway she can.

Also, the designs are often 25 cents or less. Well the shopping cart platform I switched to since not everyone seemed to be able to use the old one charges a 30 cent fee plus a percentage per transaction. Um... ya. losing lots of money there.

So it's just ridiculous. I shut the website down for a week while I contemplated a solution, but in that weeks time, my son got Strep and probably Fifths disease (hes going to the doc today), my daughter had a formal wedding reception and I managed to get a double ear and sinus infection. So I didn't do much solution contemplationisms this last week.

I had a request to get the website back up and running, so I did. But I need a better solution. Help me out folks. Give me some easy, quick ideas. Because I don't make $30 a month on my business right now. Nope I don't. Not even close. So lets find me a free website or... I just don't even know.

Talk to me peeps...

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

In the Hillbilly News: Disability Edition

Well, my husband has finally been approved for disability but that's not as good as it sounds. In some way it is wonderful (Starting in April he will finally have full coverage insurance and finally get back to treatments) and in other ways it comes with some devastating news. I am going to push real life numbers out here and be gut honest and some might say I am too open but really I don't care. *Shrug* It's life, why hide it? What if it helps someone to learn from it? So here goes:

Background: Many of you know this but it does pretty much decide our future so it needs touched upon again. Something like 11 or 12 years ago, Jerry's then wife, took the foster children they had in the home, dumped them on the doorstep of DFS, then took their two adopted children and jumped state. To buy her time she called the sheriff's office and made several false charges against Jerry. He was working at the PD at the time all this happened, so he was then hand cuffed to his desk for hours while investigations started. It took months, as he was a police officer, but eventually all charges were dropped. Of course this bought the nasty wife time. Time in which to jump state, and start proceedings to get child support. So now it was a battle between MO and AZ. Jerry tried all he could. This is when I met him. He had sunk all he had into getting his children back. But they weren't extradited back, so he lost all. I lost all with him and we went bankrupt. (This was over a several year process, in which time we were married, etc.) His lawyer told him not to follow them to AZ or she would just try it again. (During the entire thing, it was found out she, in fact, did try this before and LOST. Her child from that first husband contacted Jerry on Facebook. The father got custody and Jerry didn't even know about the whole situation until it happened to him. )

He's never had contact with his kids again. This is America. It happens. Look up Parental Alienation. It's a big deal.

Now, here is the problem with disability.

All this time, child support has built up. I am going to give real life numbers, cuz this is the truth of our situation.
We should have been awarded $34,000 in back pay. But back owed child support will take $18,000.
The problem is, long term disability also has to be paid back their entire portion. They said if we take the back pay then we are double paid for this time, so they get the entire $34,000. That's kind of hard to do when child support takes $18,000.
Which leaves us paying long term the difference. Somehow. I don't even know how.

Now lets look at his monthly disability that was awarded:

He was awarded $1260 a month. But child support will be garnished for their monthly which is $700. Plus we have to pay Medicare and Medigap. This leaves his monthly income at $400. Minus whatever the long term people are going to require. He was receiving $1700 a month on long term. We just suffered a $1300 (and then some) loss of income.

Thankfully I have received a promotion and raises at work. It helps a little but in now way comes close to covering this gap. Therefore, I have a couple of HUGE prayer requests:

1) MO is fighting AZ in court about the child support. Again. Prayers please that the child support is dropped for good. The children already receive SSI for being adopted with disabilities (as infants.) One of the children is 19 years old. The children will get part of the disability awarded to Jerry's children. (it has to be divided between them all, so Stephen will only receive a small portion. ) The ex is head charge nurse over some unit so she's financially just fine. We need the child support dropped. Period. He's not seen, talked to, heard from the children in 12 years, so for once let's pray the courts do the right thing here.

2) We need to purchase our home. We need to get a new roof and a few other things in the loan, but the loan should only be for $60,000 or so. If we cannot get this loan, I just don't even know our next step. We are awaiting the child support decision before we attempt the loan. But, by purchasing, it should drop what we pay a month by several hundred dollars. If we cannot get the loan we will be forced to move to public housing. Jerry will lose his tools, I will lose my quilting business for good ( I am still struggling it along, waiting for the day when I can devote more time to it...especially since our family really needs this income), and our family will lose our dog. I cannot let this happen to Stephen. No way.

3) I have to get three years of taxes done. Asap. Ive drug my feet because I am NO accountant. I loathe it and I don't understand all the ins and outs of the tax stuff. It stresses me to no end. Like big time stresses me but I can't buy a home with three years of taxes needing done.

So there it is, all in its out in the open glory. Sometimes I am not real proud to be an American. Sometimes I get really disgusted by 'the system'. Just sayin'.

A Tutorial Request

I received a message on Facebook asking how to stitch up one of the hexagon designs. Now as most of you know, I've sort of let them fall by the wayside, given that they are promoted so heavily by you know who. But I am always willing to help anyone, so here is a quick little post on how to stitch Y seams using the English Paper Piecing method.

Of course EPP is by far the easiest method for sewing tricky seams (although some would argue that Foundation Paper Piecing is the easiest method...and, yes, I agree I do like that method as well. But not for all patterns).

The lady that messaged is going to make the hexagons into jar grabbers. I tried to google a pattern for them but came up empty handed. I would assume you just layer as normal and add some of this stuff to the back before you sew the layers together:


Begin just like any other EPP project, baste. If you don't know how to baste, you can find glue basting or sew basting videos on YouTube. I have some glue basting videos out there. 


Once you baste you are just going to attach one half hexagon to the hexagon, sewing right up until you have nothing left to stitch. (Note the red arrow. I stopped and knotted my stitching there.)



Next you are just going to bring in the next piece and sew the directions of the blue arrows. Make sure to knot the beginning and end of each intersection. 




Once you have one direction pieced, yes you have this little y seam gab to sew. It's not a problem at all! 



Just crease that paper and sew along! 



Continue all the way around, crease the paper, sew, repeat.
Again, knotting each intersection. 



This took me less than an hour while sitting and chatting with my next door neighbor.
Easiest method ever for pesky Y seams. 



Friday, March 24, 2017

8 Shooters Clue 3: Single Shots


Another quick one tonight. Its just before midnight, I am just home from work, and my daughter's big formal wedding reception is tomorrow and I am coming down with my son's strep throat/influenza or something type bug. So I need to get to bed for my HUGE day tomorrow. I'll fill you in more about that on another day, and I'll share photos of me in a formal gown. I am pretty sure that will never happen again, but one should never say never, huh?

Before I give you the clue I am going to beg something of you. PLEASE SHARE photos in our little Facebook group or at the least please comment on this blog 1) If you are participating and 2) How far along you are. When a designer spends so much time preparing a project/ mystery, then a bit of feedback is very very much appreciated! I know some of you have left feed back, but only 3 people and surely more than 3 people are joining along. Besides, I need to know how far along you guys are to judge when to release future clues. Hand piecing mysteries are so different than machine because the pace is so much slower, so please comment or show pics in the group, thank you!
(and if you really love me then share pics in other groups too!!).

Ok so Clue 3:

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Clue 3 is almost identical to clue 2. You are going to use 8 matching medallions. You will cut four one way and make four matching stars using the small diamonds:


(excuse my dark photo, my son is sleeping nearby)

Then, also using small diamonds, you will cut up 32 matching pieces from the other four medallions only this time DO NOT PIECE THEM TOGETHER. Leave them as "Single Shots".


Since you don't have as much piecing this week, I'll see you in 7 days!



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

8 Shooters Clue 2: Double Shots

A quick post today without a lot of cute stuff.

1) The website is down temporarily. I am pretty sure my 8 shooter became a bazooka and blasted it into oblivion within the last hour... at least I sure wanted to. So I just shut it down until I can either find a new server or call them on my next day off (Friday) to fix bugs.



2) My husband is very ill and even getting confused right now so, as normal with me, I am not around much and also the reason this blog post took extra time for me to post... and I am just rushing it and not giving alot of fluff, sorry about that. I enjoy making them fun and silly so I am sad this is a rush job but it is what it is. I know all you all want is the clue anyway so here it is.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Pick out the next medallion. You will need 8 matching medallions. If you purchased four panels this is no problem. If you didn't, then just look how we piece them and go from there.

You are going to make four of the medallions into 8 shooters that look exactly alike. (This would require 32 SMALL diamonds.)  Here is my first 8 shooter. I really struggled with which way to turn my pieces, I loved them both ways!



So with four medallions you will make four matching 8 Shooters:
(If you haven't figured it out yet, an 8 shooter is an 8 pointed star or shooting star). 



THEN you will take the other four matching medallions and choose a different place to cut out 8 small diamonds from each. (32 total).  But this time you are going to only match them into double shots.
No not like this:



Like This: 



When finished you will have 16 sets of these.


If you are using non matching medallions for this project then at least do these in sets of 4 that match. (8 diamonds make 4 pairs).

SO IN SUMMARY:
You are going to be cutting 32 diamonds this week that match one way, and 32 diamonds that match a different way. ALL will be cut from the same matching 8 medallions.


Lots of 8, pieces of 8, multiples of 8.
8 Shooters.
Dream 8, 8, 8, 8,8,8,8,888

I'll see you in ten days. Lets see, how about Saturday March 25th?
Yep. Sounds good.
Happy Shooting!




Tuesday, March 7, 2017

8 Shooters Clue One

NOTE about my colorful paper pieces BEFORE WE BEGIN:
I am so sad. Like broken hearted.
One of you commented about my colorful paper pieces and asked if the color dye would come off onto fabric. Well, I didn't think a thing about it because I don't get my quilts wet before I remove the papers. At least barely if at all.
But, then I thought about those of you that use school glue sticks (as opposed to quilters glue sticks) and I started worrying because I know that kind of glue has to be well moistened to remove the papers. And SIGH OF ALL SIGHS.
The dye WILL come off if it gets soaked. Oh I am so so sad.
This means my beautiful paper pieces will just have to be plain ol white paper just like everyone else paper pieces. I am so not happy about this.
Any ideas, pray please tell.
And to the one who pointed out the dye issue, thanks. I am glad you did before someone ruined a quilt with them.
But for me... its a sad day.
I'll have to re price them all and refund those of you with color pieces to be the same as the ones with white pieces. I am not sure of the prices yet as I've not priced out the paper. But the good news is, you will be super pleased I am sure. Plain ol white paper is less expensive than colored paper, so there is that.

--------------------------------------

Well lets quit jawin' around and get on with the mystery.
You in?!


Do you know your guns?
Well an 8 Shooter is a gun that holds 8 rounds of ammo.
Like those ones ^^ up yonder.
I really don't know a rootin tootin thing about no guns.
Not my thing.
But I do know about 8 shooters in the quilting world.

Are you ready to make some?

As normal for me with our mysteries, we are going to begin with our focal fabric.
It is easiest to get the fussy cutting out of the way, and work our way to the other fabrics.
There is one exception this time around. We won't be working with our Coordinating matching A/B C/D  fussy cuts for awhile.
If you are not fussy cutting, then just cut everything out of your focal fabric using just the seam allowance that you need.
If you are fussy cutting the panel fabric, follow carefully to get the best use out of the panels.
This time we won't be using all the tiny medallions along the edges, but in a few months, I'll share a project that you can use these for. (Just be sure to save your paper pieces from this project to use again on a later project! )

CLUE ONE

Pick your favorite medallion.
You need to actually use four repeats of the same medallion for this first clue.
 (If you don't have 4 matching medallions, at the end of this post I'll share alternative suggestions. )  

We will begin with our small diamonds. Remember, I won't state the size right here. But you should know which are the small ones by looking at your 8 Shooters Mystery PDF.
Using your small diamond paper pieces, make 8 diamonds exactly the same from one of your fabric medallions.
When I am choosing placement, I just have to be careful to leave enough seam allowance when cutting them out.


Also when cutting, I begin by cutting out these little triangle sections. They are good little itty bitty fussy cuts that can be used in a later quilt.
(I no longer have a fabric shop so frugal is the name of my game. )


After you have cut out 8 matching diamonds, then choose a DIFFERENT spot on your other three medallions to make 24 matching diamond fussy cut sections.
I used the same medallion, I just chose a different spot for my paper placement for the 24.
Hold on you'll understand if you keep reading.

(If you are using different medallions and cannot get 24 matching pieces see below.)


From your 8 matching diamonds,
stitch together your very first 8 shooter.
Make it a good one.
It's your bulls eye. Yep, this little diamond is the very center of your quilt.


Then from your 24 other diamonds we are going to make these partial stars with 6 pieces each.
So you will make 4 of them.
(Doing the math that will use up all 24 of your pieces. )


Aren't they pretty?

If you do NOT have 4 matching medallions then divide up the medallions as above. Either make two of the six sided partial stars the same, and then another two the same, OR make 4 different 6 sided sections. This will look fine too. Just please try to make 6 sided sections in some way or another with your fussy cuts.
Again if you are not fussy cutting then just use your focal fabric to cut all 24 pieces the same and sew them as shown above!

Get those guns a' smokin' and I'll see you next Wednesday.
(Yes I know some of you will be ready for the next clue by tomorrow but remember to be patient for those hand cutting their pieces and sew basting as well. )



(IF YOU ARE NEW TO THE MYSTERY, THERE IS A TAB UP TOP THAT SAYS '8 SHOOTERS' . JUST CLICK THERE TO GET FABRIC REQUIREMENTS AND FOLLOW ALONG)

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Hillbilly makes a Colorful EPP Splash!

I DID IT. 
FINALLY.

I packaged my own paper pieces cut with my own machine using the papers I wanted. All by my little fluffy self.

You see, we quilters love COLOR. Am I right? I mean if you didn't like color then your quilts would all be black and white. And while black and white quilts are cool... black and white quilts with a splash of color are even more cool.

So, when I decided to start cutting my own papers, I decided that they had to be colorful.

 I've been collecting paper to get ready for it.

See?
This is my cardstock paper rainbow. 

While I am still not ready to begin mass producing paper pieces, (it might never be my thing. There is a company for that. ) I am super excited that my pattern packs will be pretty and fun to sew up.
I know its silly. One can just as easy use white for templates. But, these have that added Hillbilly Flair!
Each pattern pack will be different colors. I base it on how many pieces of paper I need for the order, and how many of each color that I have on hand.  It will just vary with each person depending on current stock.
Think of it this way: A mystery of rainbow of EPP color arriving to your mailbox.
SO FUN.

BONUS BONUS BONUS BONUS!!!
I have decided that anyone that purchases the paper pack for the 8 Shooters Mystery gets the PDF for free. While I originally marked the price down to compensate for having to purchase the PDF I decided that there is no reason for someone purchasing the papers to need to purchase the PDF. You will know what size they are when they arrive in your mail box.
But I will still send the pdf to you for free after you purchase the papers.
Just give me some hours in case I am at work.

Here is what the first pack going out for this mystery looked like:


Guess what I am going to go do? Go stitch on my mystery using some pretty pieces of paper.
Cuz I like color.
Just $49.99 folks for almost 800 pieces.
The equivalent of 18 quilt blocks that are 12" each.
And a $6.99 PDF included.
Not bad. Not bad at all.
(find it here.)


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

8 Shooters Post One: The Stuff

I am so ready to begin this mystery. This is the prettiest one yet, and so different than anything I've seen in the EPP world lately, yet they are pieces and patterns quite common in the EPP world. I just chose a "different" sort of setting. But don't be scared. It's nothing wild like the table runner we just completed.




This quilt completes at 51" but that is minus borders, add in some nice borders and you'd have a wonderful throw quilt of an awesome size. My kids are already fighting over the one I am making. I'm undecided if I'll keep it for a display quilt for shows (as if) or give it to one of the kids for Christmas. (probably a better decision for now).

There have been a couple of issues on my website lately, and I am not sure why. And they are not happening every time.
First of all, several have said they are not getting the links to the files.
THE LINK IS ALWAYS IN THE CONFIRMATION EMAIL. You just need to read the email to find it.

Second, occasionally the links to pdf downloads don't work. (UPDATE: THE 8 SHOOTER FILE IS WORKING JUST FINE FOR FOLKS).  I am not sure why this is happening, and have emailed the web host company to see why. Today's 8 Shooter link has just been uploaded and untested so hopefully it will work. If the link IN YOUR CONFIRMATION EMAIL doesn't work, let me know and I'll email it to you as fast as I can. For the next couple of days I am off work so it will arrive faster than if I am at work, gone for 11 hours at a time usually.

Third, I've been told that upon checkout there are two PayPal links and one doesn't work.(UPDATE: THE NON PRETTY PAYPAL LINK IS THE ONE THAT WORKS).  If the one you choose doesn't work, then try the other one. I've emailed the company concerning this problem as well. I use a web host company called Big Commerce and pay a pretty penny for it so I am sure these issues will be fixed later today and I'll be able to edit this post !

Moving on, let's get our gun belt strapped on!




(Don't you love our 8 Shooters logo chick? She looks like a gun totin' quilter doesn't she? )

The PDF is available RIGHT HERE.

And the Papers are available RIGHT HERE.
Please be sure to read the description about the papers. The reason for the price, etc is explained on the description.

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We will be working through this mystery slowly. No rushing in the EPP world. Those of you that purchase precut papers and use a glue pen please keep in mind that many cut their own papers and sew baste. So we need to go slow enough to allow them time to prepare their pieces.

TO THOSE CUTTING THEIR OWN PAPERS: START with the smaller diamonds. Again, sizes will not be stated on my blog, as a person will need to purchase the PDF to get the sizes. But you will note two sizes of diamonds, and you will be using the smaller size diamonds first, so start there. (Page 3 of the pdf).

TO EVERYONE: While I would love to begin on Sunday, we have to allow time for those that are purchasing their papers. So, let's begin next Wednesday, March 8th with the first clue.