Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Eye Candy: Strips and Squares

In the grand, overall scheme of things, this was a instantaneous quilt for me ... only 4 months from being pieced to quilted, bound and finished!  Amazing, considering that I have a pile of other tops waiting to be quilted that are several YEARS old.

This past January, I had an overwhelming desire to piece a bunch of flannel tops, of which this is one.  I have no idea why I felt I needed to do this but I gave into the urge.  I used my flannel scraps and flannel almost-yardage.  I did buy the batting.

The almost-yardage pieces yielded almost width of fabric strips, which made up the center part of this quilt.  As a result, this quilt isn't quite as wide as the pattern calls for.  Additionally, it's not quite as long because I decided that I didn't want to repeat any flannel in the strips ... that limited how many I had.

As a result, at 51"x 63", this quilt is bigger than a crib quilt but smaller than a lap/throw sized quilt.  But, it's still large enough to be a cozy cover when laying on the couch or recliner. :-)

That picture is just a teaser! For all the gory details, links and more pictures, please visit my web page for the Strips and Squares quilt.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Unintended consquences of copyright violations

You may have read of various quilting blogs being copied to another blog site for publication, without the permission of the original quilting blog owners.   I wandered over to this other blog site and, sure enough, there was at least one of my blog posts showing up.  Interesting. 

There have been requests made to us quilting bloggers by other quilting blogger to email the offending blog site and demand that they stop their wholesale hijacking of blogs.

But, *this* blog post of mine isn't about that.  My posts, generally speaking, are just blathering on my part;  talking about the projects I'm working on, problems I'm having and if I found solutions to those problems.  My posts are as though I'm talking in person to each of you .. my quilting buddies.  

I know I should be at least annoyed at this because I sure didn't submit my blog to be published at the other blog site but, ya know, I'm really lazy, so I've let it go.   BUT ..because I'm also a basically  really selfish person (said in the nicest way possible), the eventual fallout from this other blog site *has* gotten me riled up.

When Google Reader was around, I used that to read the blogs I'm interested in.  Google Reader was an "aggregator", which means that it would take a list of URLs that I would supply and present me with something to read whenever anything on that list was updated.  The beauty of using an aggregator .. as opposed to directly looking at a site myself ... is that I don't have check every site every day .. or every hour .. or every anything .. just to see if new content has been added.  Google Reader would know when anything new on my list was published and present those new entries to me to read.  When Google Reader went away, I eventually switched over to Inoreader.   Love it. :-)

For example, every one of you could directly type in the URL of this blog and read it.  But since I write on an VERY uneven schedule ... or no schedule at all ... you have absolutely no idea when something new might be published.  You could check every day but you'd probably be disappointed and annoyed most of the time, since it would be a post you would have already read.

An aggregator looks at your list of URLs for you to see if anything new has been published.  If so, the aggregator makes that blog show up in your feed list.  It's all automatic and oh-so-wonderful, because I don't have to do any extra work for something new to read.  For an aggregator to "pick up" a site, that site has to have an RSS feed .. that's important and required.

Getting back to me being selfish and that other blog site publishing blogs without permission ..... is a "blog of blogs".  The owner of doesn't write a blog him/herself.    You submit your blog to their list and they will publish & distribute your blog entries whenever you have new content.  There are over TWO THOUSAND quilting blogs on their list!  This means that if you read, all those blogs will come to you when there is new content to read; you don't even need to be aware that they exist!  It's awesome! 

I had included as part of my Inoreader list ... i.e. the URL was part of my aggregator list.  Whenever there was new content in (and there always is), I would see those new entries in my Inoreader feed.  They had an RSS feed, which is how it would show up in my aggregator list.

But suddenly .... I stopped getting new content from them.  Inoreader sent me an error message saying that the RSS feed from was no longer working. 

SAY WHAT?!?!??!

How on earth am I going to get my more than daily fix of quilting blogs if isn't feeding Inoreader anything??  Surely, there was some sort of glitch over at   So, I sent them an email stating the alleged/apparent problem with their RSS feed and could they fix it?

They *promptly* replied and said ..

"Sorry we have discontinued our RSS feed because it was being abused by other sites that was taking the content and posting it as their own infringing on the copyright of the blog authors.

You can still visit and see all of the same great posts! Sorry for the inconvenience we just want to make sure we protect our contributors."

And THAT made me really, really, really annoyed.  Stamping my feet on the ground kind of annoyance.  Almost to the point of saying some very unladylike words out loud.  Not that discontinued their RSS feed, per se, but the REASON why they discontinued it.

And THAT unintended consequence of copyright violation is what REALLY makes me angry.  Yes, yes,  I know I should be all up in arms just on the philosophical grounds alone but .... didn't I say up front that I'm basically a lazy, selfish person?   So, while it's not a good thing that blogs are being published by someone other than the author without permission (including mine, by the way), that really didn't get my goat UNTIL my Inoreader feed to was stopped.   NOW you've impacted me in a very negative way.

Now, in order to read all of those collective quilting blogs, I need to go directly to and read the blogs on their website.  They don't have the navigation controls that an aggregator does, so advancing from blog to blog isn't quite as seamless and easy as with Inoreader.  Did I mention that it wasn't as easy?  

Let's be perfectly clear ... I'm all about easy.  Because I'm lazy.  And selfish.  
And now I'd like to roast that other blog site over hot coals and disembowel them with a rusty spoon because I've been inconvenienced.   I'll be the first to say that this is definitely a FWP  (First World Problem) but .. doggone it ... I *am* inconvenienced.  Harumph.

Harumph, I say.

Bottom line:  if you have included in your aggregator feed ... you aren't getting anything right now.  And now you know the reason why.

If you want to continue reading the blogs that publishes, you need to go to their website.