Saturday, October 31, 2015

Miniatures in Minutes

What are the book buying options?

Since Miniatures in Minutes is out of print, I thought I would show the options for those interested in purchasing it.

Print on Demand

First, there's Print on Demand which you will find at the C&T Publishing website. This, obviously, gives you a paper edition. The difference between print on demand and the regular print runs is that print on demand books are not printed onto glossy paper. The result is that the paper absorbs more ink and the colors are deeper and more saturated. In the photo below, the Print on Demand version is the lower book. You can see how the blue border in the tumbler quilt is darker than it is in the regular print run version (the book on top) and the colors are not as exact in all the little tumblers.

The book is otherwise the same. The foundations are included in the back of the book. For those who really like a book, print on demand is a good option. It's a little less pretty than the glossy paged version, but overall, the quality is quite nice.

Ebook from C&T Publishing

Another option is to buy the pdf ebook from C&T. Personally, I like this option a lot.  The layout of the pages is exactly the same as for the published book. Since I'm on a Mac, I read the pdf in Preview, but any pdf reader will work.

One of the things I particularly like about the pdf ebook is how easy it is to print off the foundations. The original print run has a large fold out at the back of the book. You orient the fold-out over a copier and away you go. The Print on Demand copy has the foundations on regularly sized and bound pages at the back of the book. Being able to print from the pdf ebook is definitely the easiest print option.

(NOTE: it is important to use a laser printer when printing the foundations. Ink jet ink will smear and run. If you don't have a laser printer, you will still need to use a laser copier to print your foundations onto translucent vellum. Even so, it is still easier to print the foundations off from the ebook first).

A Bit of Advice for Printing from the eBook
The page numbers on my reader are one page off from the numbering on the pages of the book. That's because the ebook version counts the cover of the book as a page. So, for example, what is noted as page four of the print book is page five of the ebook. When you are deciding what pages to print off from the ebook, be sure to use the page numbering from your reader. In the photo below, you can see that at the top of the page, the reader tells me what page it is on.

When I want to print off a foundation, I need to make sure to specify which pages to print. In the window below, I've selected pages 90 to 91 in order to print off the Pyramid Triangle foundation.

One thing I have to watch out for is the scale that the foundation prints off at. I'm not sure about what other readers and printers do, but my print window automatically scales the page at 96%.

So I change the scale to 100% -- which is what I need to get an accurate foundation.

Yes, I like the great formatting and the ease of printing from C&T Publishing's ebook version a lot.

Kindle from Amazon

There is also a Kindle version of the book. The great advantage of this version is that it is the cheapest version out there. Other than that, though, I don't recommend it. For one, the foundations are not included in the book. This is being looked into and meanwhile, if you have purchased the Kindle version, you can contact C&T Publishing to get the foundations. So, yes, it's doable.

On the other hand, the formatting is just not as neat as the pdf ebook version. For example, below is a look at a Kindle page (ignore the sepia page coloring -- that's just how I set my Kindle).

That's not bad, really. It's just off set pages and headings. But for contrast, below is what the pdf ebook version looks like. Much cleaner and looking exactly like the print version of the book.

What I've also noticed with the Kindle version is that as you change the font size (if, like me, you have aging eyes and want the font larger and easier to read), the formatting gets wacky. There will be pages with an image just floating there, and suddenly, directions aren't clearly tied to images. I think the book gets harder to follow.

For the record, I should note Amazon does still have some new books available.

So, here's my take: the Print on Demand version is great for having a print version to hold in the hand and page through. The ebook from C&T Publishing is great for the ease of printing off the foundations and its clear formatting. The Kindle book is doable but definitely not as neat an answer. I think it would frustrate the heck out of me if that's all I had to go on.

Also, duly noting, I still have a GO! weekly project in the works. Using the GO! equilateral triangles die and the Pyramid Triangles foundation from Miniatures in Minutes. I'm hoping to have it up tomorrow, but here's a (terrible) process photo for the time being . . . .

Sunday, October 25, 2015

GO! Trick or Treat

This weeks GO! sew was all about little drawstring bags. This time for a pumpkin carving party, so definitely Halloween.

These use the AccuQuilt GO! large Tumbler die, as I showed here.

Filled with treats:

A whole bowl full!

I think I made up 16 little bags. It's possible I may be drawstringed out for a bit!

Still pondering what this coming week's GO! project will be.  So many possibilities!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

GO! Fleur de Lis

I'm still  on my little zipper pouches kick and added a couple more to the collection this last week. I had picked up the GO! Fleur de Lis die on sale over the summer and made up a little pouch back then. Because, hey, how could I not use some French General with this die? The brown is a lovely soft brown linen.

And this last week, still working on all those little seasonal gifts, I made up a couple more.

Pretty in purple and dramatic in black . . .

All together --

Simple, but I like them.

I've also been cutting up more little equilateral triangles.

I'm doing a mini quilt swap and the theme for this exchange is Monochromatic. My partner listed orange as one of her colors, so here it is . . . a start. I won't be able to show the finished quilt for a few weeks yet, not till after it arrives on my partner's doorstep. As of now, it's still in progress.

I need to decide what this coming week's GO! challenge for myself will be.  Too many choices, too little time . . . .

Friday, October 9, 2015

GO! On the Road

'Tis the season. Temperatures are dropping. Sleeves are lengthening. Leaves are falling. And it's time to get in gear on all those holiday gifts that are coming up. One can always use a zipper bag, right? And one can never have too many? Hmmmm.

This week I'm on the road with the GO! Cute Car.

Once I added the words -- meant to be a bit of Jack Kerouac tribute -- I wasn't sure I liked them. Oh, well. It's not like I could successfully unpick them. I have a quilt buddy who says she very rarely picks out stitching. She just looks at a mistake, shrugs, and says, "That's how God intended it to be." So . . . the words stay.

Then, there's the more light-hearted cheerful one:

And the one that makes me think of a vacation in warmer climes:

And my favorite, of course, the Ghastlies!

Look at those happy faces! Who wouldn't want to go on a road trip with a Ghastlie entourage? . . . Upon reflection, just about anyone of sound mind . . . . Still, they are awfully cute.  (Just to note, the bare branched tree is from the GO! Stems and Leaves die.)

With a little handwork along the way?

Anyway, it's a start on some of those little gifts I need.

And more GO! ahead -- I did just get the half-hexagon die . . . some of those fabrics go way back.  My reproductions are vintage!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

GO! Flowering Snowball

Which GO! dies make up my favorites? The ones that have shapes I would find it such a pain in the neck to cut out, I'd never even consider making the quilt. The latest to fit this bill would be the Flowering Snowball. What a gorgeous block! I hope to make up a bed quilt with this one eventually, but I settled on a table runner to start out easy.

The first block I sewed up came out perfectly! Exactly 12 1/2" square. The next one came out as well. By the third block, I was apparently getting a bit cocky (aka careless), and I stretched out the bias curves. A little starch and a hot iron brought the block back into square. I was more careful with the last one, and it came out exact again. Lesson learned: careful on the bias!

But, oh, I'm really loving this! (Here it is out on my deck. Can you tell we're having a very Fall overcast day?)

And it looks so pretty on my table.

Meanwhile, I'm still on my GO! a week plan. Coming up: