Quilt Backing Recommendations

For quilters it is quite easy to back your quilt with the use of extra-wide quilt cotton available in widths of up to 108 inches bit the range of colors is normally limited to white, off white and a few solids.  Do something interesting instead using the back of your quilt.  Here is how.

Whole Cloth Backing

quiltbackingFor those that want to use extra-wide quilt cotton, make it interesting by making use of dye and other embellishments.  You can custom dye to complement the quilt or you can use a tie-dye technique or simply apply color using sponges or fabric brushes. Crafting retreats Minnesota recommend the use of dye or fabric paint with stencils for the purpose of creating a few motifs or an all-over pattern.  You may also add fabric appliques to the backing fabric.  Finish it off with some key embellishments such as beads, ribbons or decorative buttons.

Pieced Backing using Single Fabric

If you prefer the look of a single fabric on the back you are definitely not limited to using extra-wide fabric as you can piece together your own backing with your preferred fabric. Simply purchase additional yardage of your selected fabric that was used on the quilt top or go for broke with a totally different one.  In order to calculate how much fabric you require, measure the length of your quilt top and then add six inches, double the amount and the result is the fabric for your backing.  Quilting retreats Alexandria Minnesota recommends cutting the fabric in half, selvedge to selvedge. Put aside one half for the center panel and then cut the other half in half lengthwise. Sew each of these narrow lengths on either side of the center panel and then press seams toward the center panel.


When choosing a fabric for the quilt back it is recommended that you choose the same saturation of color as the fabrics used on the quilt top. A dark backing may show through on a light colored top.  In order to reduce bulk when creating a pieced back, simply press the seam allowances open as opposed to one side.

To know more about quilting log on to http://www.loonlodgemn.com/


Self-Help Guide to Garage Door Tune-Up

Garage Door Tune-UpGarage doors can be expensive to repair depending on the damage. It is a good thing that with a little know-how and some elbow grease you can perform some of the maintenance tasks yourself.  Here is a self-help guide on performing a garage door tune up.

Power Down

As with anything, safety should always be your primary concern. Disconnect the garage door electrical components so that it would not accidentally turn on while you are performing some routine checks.


According to garage door installation Oak Grove experts, some of the most obvious garage door problems can be seen by doing a visual inspection of the unit. Once you have powered down the door, inspect the garage door system and look for some possible problem areas. Check to see if the rollers are intact and undamaged. Make sure that the weather stripping around the door is still pliable. If the weather stripping has some damage or is brittle better to replace than repair. Simply get a tape measure and obtain the dimensions and replace. Do pay special attention to the weather stripping located at the bottom of the door called the u-shaped astragal as this is known to be prone to damage because of the fact that it is pressed directly onto the ground each time the door is shut.

It Pays to Lubricate

Assuming that everything is in good working order, the next step according to garage door maintenance East Bethel experts is to lubricate some important parts so as to breathe life into them. Use WD-40 only if the rollers are made of metal if not doing so can damage them. Look for the appropriate alternative lubricant for vinyl or rubber rollers.  For the garage door to operate smoothly, do pay special attention to the chains and springs. Use a silicone-based spray to lubricate them. For chains a white lithium grease product should do the trick.

Final Check

Once the tune up is over, test the door by opening it halfway and leaving it there. If it stays as it is then it is good to go. If not, the springs and cables are not balanced correctly and will require professional intervention at this point.

To talk to a garage door expert today log on to http://www.garagedoorsplusllc.com/

Advantages of Hot Water Recirculation Systems

Hot water re-circulation systems are also known as secondary return in plumbing terminology.  They are a kind of plumbing system popular in both commercial and residential establishments where there is a need to have ready hot water anytime at every point of use or faucet.  If there is not hot water available from the primary water heater, it is then drawn from the secondary system to fulfill the need.

According to whole house water filtration systems Chandler AZ, secondary plumbing returns typically consist of a copper pipe and a tee system.  The secondary returns are attached to the household water supply lines in order to recirculate the hot water back to the water heater or to the point of use like the faucet.  This “re-circulation” by the return guarantees that hot water is always available at the point of usage.  There are some systems also that make use of a pump that is programmed in such a way that it turns on only during periods of maximum hot water use, which in most residential homes are usually the evening and early morning hours.


Hot Water Recirculation SystemsIn a secondary return system, the pipes are arranged in a loop manner that depends greatly on the natural behavior of water to rise upward and cold to fall down.


Hot water recirculation Mesa Arizona experts recommend this method because it prevents overheating of your water heating system by guaranteeing that enough water is circulated through your plumbing system at all times.  In commercial establishments like large buildings this method can prevent choke points, which happen when, the heating system has a lot of power but not enough water to go around. In a re-circulation setup, the hot water is not drawn from the water heater unit, but from a secondary loop of pipe wherein heated water can flow at a much large volume in order to accommodate the needs.

To inquire about hot water recirculation log on to http://clearwaterarizona.com

Interesting Garage Door Uses

Garage doors are really important utilitarian items in the home.  While their primary function is for opening and closing to allow cars to enter the garage, they can be designed to make statement pieces that can augment the exterior look of the property.  Here are some worthwhile suggestions to consider.

Wooden Doors

According to garage door spring repair Guthrie Center IA, wooden doors add an unmistakable statement of elegance to garage doors. They can instantly upgrade the look of the home whether the exterior surfaces are stucco, brick or wood.  They can be designed to have a country like feel with a complimentary look that include diagonal crossbars.  Moreover, they can be stained in order to further compliment the home’s exterior color and also varnished to protect against wind and water in order to add years of beauty.

Energy Efficiency

Steel garage doors are popular because they can add beauty and value to your home. They can be painted to tie in to the exterior colors.  The doors are lightweight and manufactured to comply with energy efficient standards.  Another benefit according to is that you can qualify for energy efficiency tax credits that will save you a lot of money.

Arched Door Frames

According to garage door company Norwalk Iowa experts, arched and curved framing may also provide a highly customized and sophisticated look to your garage doors. The arch may be created using brick or stone.  If the home already includes such elements, the garage will then blend and compliment the home’s exterior.  The door itself will be horizontal, squared or fitted.  The arched and curved framing can be integrated as an after-piece, utilizing the exterior surfaces of the property to establish the effect.

Privacy Window Panes

garage door 1A good alternative to conventional glass panes on top sections of the garage doors, frosted glass may be used to establish privacy. In this context, light may still enter the area but can prevent others from peering in to know what is going on inside. Using materials other than glass also creates possible embellishment ideas like dark glass to minimize light infiltration, use of glass that mimics stained glass or even small shade screens on the inside of the windows to create additional privacy and energy efficiency in warm weather zones.

To talk to a garage door specialist log on to www.dsmgaragedoors.com


Yellow Lawn Causes & Solutions

yellowing lawnIf you notice your green lawn slowly turning into a bed of yellow grass, it may be doing so for a couple of reasons.  According to turf care company Cologne Minnesota expert, certain nutrient issues and plant disease are the usual suspects.  For instance, a lack of nitrogen and iron could cause that yellow smear as well as fungal infections.  Here are some ways to keep that lawn green and fresh.

Look at Pattern

Examine your lawn and take note if the yellow smear appear in a circular fashion or is it disseminated all over the lawn.  If there is a distinct pattern noted, this may be attributed to a plant disease known as Summer Patch or Rhizoctonia Patch a fungal infection.  Treat the lawn by applying a fungicide to kill the pores.  It is also recommended to water the grass less and ensure there is adequate soil drainage and soil aeration.

Iron Deficiency

In some cases, the cause of yellowing lawn is due to a nutrient deficiency such as lack of iron.  Lawn care service Crystal Bay MN experts recommend chelated iron or iron sulfate to correct the deficiency.  Typically, grass blades streaked with yellowish hue imply lack of iron nutrients. For most cases, just spray the iron directly onto the grass.

Peat Moss

If you want a healthy lawn peat moss can help turn your grass a lushful green in no time. Root rot problems respond very well with peat moss application.  Grass with this problem have both green and yellow grasses mixed together.  To treat it properly, apply one to two bales of peat moss per 1000 square feet of lawn to the affected portions and then water until it is wet.


Do not forget to apply a nitrogen-iron preparation to ensure you got all the bases covered.  Grass blades with this problem have totally yellow blades without any mixture of striping within.

To talk to a lawn expert today log on to http://www.diversifiedmosquitoandturf.com/

Quilting Design Basics

rag quiltQuilts become more interesting if there are quilting designs integrated into the finished product. Stitched either by machine or by hand, it can add texture and interest creating the correct finishing touch for your hobby.  According to quilting retreat Brainerd MN specialists, once the pieces are finished to create a quilt top, it is layered with batting and backing fabric to hold the whole quilt sandwich by stitching through the three layers.  Some quilters prefer a random design called stippling while others want to integrate more focused elements like feathers, flowers and other common motifs. Another option would be to follow the shapes of the quilt pieces either by quilting along the seam lies also known as “stitching in the ditch” or by quilting inside the shape, about a fourth from the seam.


Piece backing fabric as necessary so that you have a whole piece of cloth that is about 3 inches longer on each side than your quilt top. Next, spread out the backing fabric on a big, flat surface with the print side of the fabric touching the surface and then the other side facing you. Make sure that you spread the layer of quilt batting and then finish the quilt sandwich by placing your finished quilt top on the batting.

Craft retreat Alexandria MN specialists recommend that you use contrasting thread and large stitches in order to baste the quilt layers together. This will prevent it from slipping when you begin your design. Alternatively, you can use an adhesive spray available in most quilt and craft supply shops for this purpose.

Quilt the Design

Once you are done marking the design on the quilt you can then proceed to quilt the design using a short quilters’ needle and thread. Use tiny stitches along the marked lines to quilt through the layers. If you prefer a machine-quilt, use thread that is specific for this purpose.  For people using a regular sawing machine be sure to drop the feed dog and use a walking foot as recommended.

To know more log on to http://www.loonlodgemn.com/

Speech Ideas for Toastmaster Meetings

One of the most important skills that one needs to master if one wants to succeed in business and politics is public speaking.  Similar to other organizations like Growth Partners International, Toastmasters is an organization that aims to help people develop confidence and skills.   If you are interested to become a member of Toastmasters you will have to give what is called an ice breaker speech. Here are some ideas for you to consider.

Adventure Time

If you had an interesting adventure lately, you could structure your ice breaker speech around that experience. It could be an interesting trip abroad, a hike or a given time in your life like the time you volunteered to do work for a charity program outside the country. The main advantage of giving out an adventure story is that it is bound to spark interest to the audience. Make sure to tell it in a chronological manner. Begin with the start of the adventure and a bit of background to it like why you embarked on it in the first place, continue with the highlights of the trip and then finish with the most interesting experience you had, what you learned and how it changed your life.

Obsession Story

Another ice breaker speech idea to give during a Toastmasters meeting is an obsession story. This could be a passionate activity that takes most of your time or it could even be something that you have not yet experienced but want to in the future.  The point of the obsession story is why a particular activity is so close to you. The fact that something is very dear to your heart means that telling it would be quite easy and your descriptions of it may entice even the audience to like your activity as well.

Family Traditions

Almost every family has their own unique tradition passed down from generation to generation. Talk about grandma’s stories or granddad’s fishing adventures during summers.  The point is to tell a story in such a way that it will strike a chord in your audience.  If you want to play it safe, this is the topic for you to begin with.








How to Prevent Garage Door Opener Vibrations

The vibrations in a typical garage door opener most of the time results in an annoying rattle and clanging of the door while it opens and closes. The motor vibration passes through the opener’s support structure leading to the home framing and drywall.  Here are some helpful tips to reduce this.

Rubber Padding

According to garage door repair experts, the motor accounts for about 90% of the noise.  Rubber can absorb and softens the vibration produced. This is helpful when the motor is connected directly to joists in the ceiling or to steel framing that bridges the gap between the ceiling and the motor. Rubber washers cut from scrap rubber may be used for this purpose.  Even thin pieces of padding about 1/8 to ¼ inch thick feature vibration reducing properties.  Inserting rubber pad at each point that the track connects to the ceiling may reduce vibration more.

Connecting Bolts

Bolts and nuts that hold the garage door in place may loosen over time in large part due to the large vibration. Once loose, the bolts also vibrate which causes metal-to-metal contact. Check carefully the framework that holds the system in place, securely tightening the bolts and nuts along the way.  Check also the bolts holding the rollers securely onto the door. Usually these are held by carriage bolts of which the heads are located on the exterior side of the door. Tighten but do not over tighten as the carriage bolt head can tear easily through the door.

Door Rollers

garage door sensorsGarage door installation experts agree that the door rollers are most probably the culprits in door vibration, as the rollers tend to rattle and vibrate within their tracks.  The movement increases the noise level that shows up as a symptom of vibration. The fact that the tracks are much wider than the rollers within them, there is little if any adjustment that can be done. A possible solution would be to ask your technician for nylon or plastic rollers, which can absorb vibration more effectively in the same vein as the rubber pads.

To schedule a site visit log on to www.phlgaragedoor.com


Knowing the Key People to Building your Custom Home

When you first gazed at a set of blueprints, you already know that you will need to work with a builder in order to convert these plans into something solid.  What you may not have known at the time that the builder is just one piece of a large puzzle.  Aside from the builder, you will need to deal with subcontractors, local architect, and mortgage broker, interior designer, planning and zoning authorities as well as city and town inspectors.

2015 American homeUnless you are wealthy and have the money already set, your construction cannot begin without adequate financing.  Homebuilder Plymouth MN specialists recommend that you look for a reputable construction loan through a mortgage broker or banker.  Aside from the money, you also need to talk to authorities in your local community represented by a planning and zoning board to ensure your building meets with local standards and regulations. The officials will review and approve your plan which will net you’re a building permit to start construction.

While it is true that an architect can take care of any structural changes you will require for the home, an interior designer is the one responsible for assisting in the décor choices. If you have a certain look that you want to achieve but do not know how to go about it, the interior designer can help you in this regard.

While you may have contact with these professionals at different stages of the construction, the bulk of communication will rest with the builder.  According to custom homebuilder Shorewood Minnesota experts, it is best to have the builder take charge in hiring the subcontractors as they know who to recommend and who to avoid.

Over the course of construction, the builder will have city or town inspectors come in to verify that the home is compliant with all necessary building codes. If this is so, a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued which deems the home structurally sound and habitable.

To learn more about building a custom home log on to www.nihhomes.com

Designing a Logic Circuit

In electronics, circuits operate thru the use of different combinations of five-volt and zero-volt signals that represent the electronic state of “on” (5 volts) or “off (zero volts). These two states are also represented using the binary numbers 1 and 0.  According to PARCAM with EXT viewer experts, Boolean algebra was utilized in order to perform calculations using the binary numbers and the process of digital logic.  These in turn influence greatly the design of the circuit using electronic components called logic gates that use logic calculations embedded in the real circuit.

When designing a logic circuit the first thing that needs to be done is to write all of the electronic events that will happen on the circuit. A good example to use will be three events like running motor, running fan and a lighted LED screen.    Phototooling toolbox specialists recommend that you write which events that are “input and which “output.” Separating the action of the outcome will help you in the process. When the fan and the motor are both running, the LED should light up. The motor and the fan movements are actions and the LED is the outcome of that. The motor and fan are inputs and the LED is the output.

Write each input combination of the fan (f) and motor (m), using “1” for “on” and “0” for “off.” In this case, there will be four input combinations (f0 m0, f1 m0, f0 m1, f1 m1).

Write the desired LED (L) output for each input combination (f0 m0 = L0, f1 m0 = L0, f0 m1 = L0, f1 m1 = L1).

The next step would be to determine the “truth table” on the AND gate data sheet and compare it to the “logic” combinations of the motor, fan and LED. Moreover, do a comparison of the number of inputs and outputs. For instance, a two-input, one-output AND gate is a match.

Make a sketch of the electrical operation of the circuit. The motor and fan will be connected to the inputs of the AND gate and the LED to the output of the gate. The LED will only light (receive five volts) when both inputs of the gate receive five-volt signals from the motor and the fan.

To learn more about the intricacies of electronic circuitry log on to www.igi.com