Creating Pre-Set Hashtags on an iPhone

What on earth is this topic doing on a quilting blog? I’m sure at first glance it makes no sense, but this is actually one of my most used tools. I love blogging, but I post to Instagram everyday which involves the use of a lot of hashtags. Starting Tuesday a lot of you are joining me in doing a 100 day countdown quilt, so I thought I would share with you how I streamline the process of using the same set of hashtags everyday.

I’m throwing in a disclaimer here that I am no tech genius, and the iPhone is only smartphone I have ever used, so I don’t know how to make this work on an Android- I don’t even know if this would be possible on an Android. Now, let’s get started!

  1. Type your text. I typed in in the notes app, but you could also type it on your computer and email or send it to your phone. Double check the spelling on your hashtags to make sure you won’t have 100 posts with the wrong hashtag. If you are joining in on the 100 Day Project, make sure you include #quiltingthecountdown, then add any other hashtags that are appropriate to your project. You can also include an introductory sentence or two if you want to use the same format for every post.  Once you have the text, highlight it and choose the “copy” option. Exit the Notes app.
  2. Open the Settings application on your phone. Select General.
  3. Go to Keyboard.
  4. Select Text Replacement.
  5. Click on the plus sign in the upper right corner of the screen.
  6. Paste the text you wrote into the “Phrase” section of the text replacement.
  7. Add a shortcut phrase. Choose something that you will be able to remember, but it is usually easiest to use a series of letters/numbers that you wouldn’t type in a normal sentence. You don’t want to inadvertently populate this information every time you type a common word.
  8. Select “Save” in the upper right hand corner
  9. Now the shortcut will appear on your Text Replacement Screen
  10. When you go to post in Instagram, type your shortcut in the caption area. Once you have typed the shortcut, the text you created will appear above the iPhone keyboard where you would normally see autocomplete options. It is usually in the center section. Click it.
  11. The shortcut will disappear from the caption and will be replaced with the full text. Now you can edit the number of the day or add new information that is specific to that day’s work.

I hope this help you streamline your posting process, and I can’t wait to see what you make over the next 100 Days!

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Pre-wash My Quilting Fabric

I confess . . .  I’m a pre-washer.  I know that a lot of quilters prefer their fabric right off the bolt, but I feel a lot more confident about the appearance and longevity of my quilts when I know as much about my fabrics as possible before I start cutting them up.

The Big Three Reasons I Pre-Wash:

  1. The fabric will shrink before it goes into a quilt with other fabrics that may shrink at different rates
  2. If the dyes used on the fabric are going to run, I would much rather know before I put them next to other fabrics.  If a fabric bleeds a lot in the original wash, I will often wash it one or two more times.  Occasionally, there is a fabric that never stops bleeding, and I am very careful about where I will incorporate that fabric.  It may be perfectly fine in an all mid-tone quilt, but it would never be appropriate to use in a quilt with a light background.
  3. Pre-washing removes any residual chemicals or finishes that were added to the fabric during the manufacturing process.  I rarely wash my quilts immediately following the construction process, so I want it as clean as possible to start.  It also can’t hurt to make as little skin contact as possible with the residues.

One of the big downfalls that I hear about pre-washing is the tendency to have fabric ravel out.  To prevent this I stitch around the edges of the fabric prior to throwing it into the wash.  The easiest way to do this would be a serger or overlock machine, but since I don’t have one, I use my domestic machine.

You could use a zig-zag stitch to accomplish this, but my machine (as well as most other zig-zag machines) have a special stitch for this.  This stitch is called the Vari-overlock stitch in my machine manual, and it is recommended for stretch fabrics, but it works great for edging other fabrics as well.  The foot for this has a slender piece of metal that is zig-zagged over while it holds the edge of the fabric flat and prevents the fabric from rolling.

Fabric Edging Process

The stitch itself is a series of short straight stitches followed by zig-zag stitch.  You can make the stitch have tighter spacing by reducing stitch length.  I use approximately a two stitch length for edging fabric for washing.  When I use this technique for finishing edges on clothing, pillows, etc. I shorten the stitch length.

Fabric Edging Finished

How do you feel about pre-washing fabric?

Ohio Star Quilt Block

I am so excited to share the instructions for a second traditional block which is in the 2017 Quilter’s Planner.  The Ohio Star block is one of my favorites since I grew up, learned to quilt, and currently live in Ohio.  This block is particularly common in this area, but it never gets boring!  Have fun with scale (this pattern includes measurements for five different block sizes) and mix up your fabric selections to make this classic block your own.

You can download this free Ohio Star pattern on Craftsy.

ohio-star-block

 

I went bright and bold for this block, but monochrome and subtle color choices work beautifully as well!

This block is for the week of September 10-16.  Check out my other tutorials included in the 2017 Quilter’s Planner!

Sand Dollar Star (week of January 15-21)

Hourglass Block (week of August 27-September 2)

 

 

Hourglass Quilt Block

Have you received your fantastic Quilter’s Planner from Stephanie of Late Night Quilter?  If you haven’t you can order a planner here.  One of the amazing features of the planner is that there is a quilt block pattern for every week of the year.  In addition to the original block designs by many talented bloggers, this edition of the planner includes patterns for several traditional blocks as well.

I have written up directions for creating an Hourglass quilt block.  This design is in the planner for the week of August 27-September 2, 2017.  These instructions include measurements for nine different size blocks, and you make four at a time so you can start combining these blocks into all sorts of fun configurations right away.

You can download the free instructions for the Hourglass block on Craftsy.

hourglass-block

This block is used as a component in a lot of more complex blocks, but it can also be fun on its own.  Here are a few layouts for this very versatile block.simple-hourglass-layout

Set the blocks together in the same direction for this configuration.

chevron-hourglass-block

Offset the blocks by half to achieve a chevron appearance.

pinwheel-hourglass-layout

Or rotate the blocks to create a pinwheel effect!

This block is for the week of August 27-September 2.  Check out my other tutorials included in the 2017 Quilter’s Planner!

Sand Dollar Star (week of January 15-21)

Ohio Star (week of September 10-16)

Filmstrip Bee Block

This year I have joined my first Block Bee group with the Columbus Modern Quilters.  It is so much fun to make blocks that I may not have tried otherwise, and I am looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with for my block as well!  The block I am asking the Bee members to create is a Filmstrip block.  I have written the directions and published the pattern as a free download on Craftsy.  You can download the instructions for the Filmstrip Bee Block here.

Two Sample Filmstrip Bee Blocks

Two Sample Filmstrip Bee Blocks

 

This block could be used to create the main body of a quilt, but I am looking forward to incorporating it into a medallion quilt that will be a gift for one of my nieces who will be ten at that point.  This block would also be a fun border on a block based, whole cloth or panel quilt.

The black fabric for this block can be solid or a very low volume black/grey print, and the white squares are scrappy low volume.  My niece has a wide range of interests, so the featured novelty prints could be almost anything kid friendly.  I would like to avoid really specific cartoon characters so she won’t “outgrow” her quilt, although I think more generic fantasy/fairytale fabrics would work.  She likes art, dance, baking, Girl Scouts, animals, basketball, soccer, and piano.  She likes lots of colors, so I think the quilt will end up incorporating the entire rainbow, but I would like to keep browns mostly out of it- a little brown in a novelty print is ok, but it shouldn’t be the dominant color.

This block goes together in an hour or less, and if you are making lots of these blocks you could cut the time down by creating more black and white square strips at once by making a wider section of striped fabric in step one.

Thank you so much to everyone who is making a block for this bee!  I hope that anyone else who is in a bee will feel free to use this pattern for their block.  I would love to see what you make!