Archive for the ‘Tutorial’ Category

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42.2 Making Lanyards for the Guild Show

November 24, 2017

We decided to change the way we were doing our charity project for our upcoming guild show in 2018. We used to make a quilt (or other) and put it up for silent auction to be given to the highest bidder at the end of the show. Instead we are going to make things to “buy it now” – to borrow a phrase from ebay.

Somehow, this flipped a switch in my brain to say – make boutique like items.

Also my old lanyard was starting to look gunky after several years of use, and I decided to make myself some lanyards, at least one for me, and the rest I can make for the guild for the charity portion of the show.

In the meantime, last June, at the Kansas City show, I saw the vendor Project Lydia. I had seen them before.

They are a group of ladies who make colored beads out of very thin strips (triangles) of magazine paper, and then string them into bracelets and necklaces.

From their website:

Project Lydia is an economic development project that lifts women out of the worst of poverty, restores purpose, hope, and dignity. All our paper beaded necklaces, bracelets and jewelry are made out of recycled material.

And I have put my necklace I purchased from them as my own lanyard for the time being. Sorry for the poor quality picture.

I’ll take you through how I am making these lanyards if you decide to make one of your own. I like the Project Lydia piece, but as it is beads and I use this daily, I have had a poor experience where I had a handmade beaded necklace break in the middle of the hallway when using my badge.

Next to the beaded lanyard is a strip. I start my strips for my new lanyards as 2″.

I then fold towards the middle twice. Actually one fold in the middle.

Open the strip up again, and refold to the new middle line that is just pressed in.

I then take some sort of stabilizer. I already had this with the lines on it for a project long ago abandoned.

I cut just under an inch, about 1/8 inch less than an inch, so that would make it 7/8″.

And I slip it into the middle of the opened up strip, trim it up.

I don’t honestly know exactly how necessary it is for the stabilizer. I have chosen batik fabrics for my lanyards as a good chance for the ends not to unravel.

The next part of this, I fold everything back up, press it again and sew it down. Don’t worry, I forgot to take a picture of this part so I decided to slip it under the presser foot so you could see.

And most of my lanyards are at this stage right now!

The next part of this is the tricky bit that gets rid of the cut edges from being exposed.

I unloosen some of the end stitches on each side, and open up the lanyard about half an inch. I decided to reach in with my scissors and cut just a small wedge on ONLY the inside piece.

Repeat on the other side.

I then decided to notch the front folds just a little bit to help reduce the bulk here.

Then, we turn inside out the very end tip, pushing from the back side, and then using fingers to press this all down. A spritz of water helps with this process. If you see below, there is a fold towards the inside of the very little section (maybe a fourth of an inch) of the end piece.

Definitely fiddle with this to get it flat and then sew down the edges.

How they go with the lanyard pieces.

The reason I start with 2 inch strip is that my lanyards have about a 3/4″ flat space. I purchased them on Etsy about 5 or 6 years ago. This size of strip lays flat exactly with this size of lanyard piece.

For the folding of the lanyard, I chose the best looking side to go through the lanyard piece.

Then next to the back side of the lanyard – OUTSIDE the lanyard, I place the other side, making sure the lanyard is flat all the way through the fabric portion. This is folded back toward the main part of the fabric.

The first piece is now folded over to match the previously folded piece.

Be sure to give yourself a large enough “tail” here. You want to be able to have enough space for your presser foot to be able to reach on both pieces of fabric and also NOT hit the metal portion of the lanyard.

Sew many times back and forth as this is going to have a lot of strength on it. Make sure you sew or correct the last part of the tail that was previously un-stitched by one of the previous steps. For the one in my tutorial, I made the full length of the lanyard a “little bit longer” than I normally like.

Here’s the end stitching.

This shows how it looks from the side.

I should have cut this down a little more. This was done at width of fabric from the original piece, so it started as a 40-42″piece. If I had wanted a shorter one, I would have cut it before folding in the ends. I can work with this long of lanyard just fine. I just hope someone else will like this length too.

Since most of the rest of my lanyards haven’t turned in the sides, I can rectify this for the future pieces. I think we need to get this to the proper length, also taking into account that there will be about 3-4 inches taken up by the bottom section folded over.

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37.6 How Round Robins Work

May 23, 2015

This is a post describing how round robins work, or rather, how our round robin worked, complete with pictures.

If you missed a while on the blog or were redirected here from elsewhere, I was included in a multi-group internet friends (twilter-twitter quilter friend) round robin quilt exchange.

One fantastic lady, Daisy of Lazy Daisy Quilts decided to put together a round robin quilt exchange and asked for signups from interested people back at the beginning of 2014.

There were enough ladies who wanted to participate that we had 3 groups: Twilter Round Robin Group A, Twilter Round Robin Group B, Twilter Round Robin Group C. Our group was Group A

Basic Definition of a Round Robin quilt exchange:

Round Robin quilts are long-term projects in which each person works on other peoples’ projects during the time of the round robin, passing along a quilt idea, fabric, and a rapidly growing partial quilt top to each participant until the quilt ends back in the original quilter’s possession.

For me, it all started off with a pattern from electric quilt, a fabric choice & then a block.

center for round robin quilt darla

Here’s the first question I am asked when talking about the round robin: How does it work?

Generally, a round robin quilt (as our group did it) is an agreement between friends or strangers and friends to work on a quilt of someone else’s with the understanding that they will work on yours in return.

My role in the round robin:

  1. I made the center of the quilt. I decided what colors to be used & original quilt direction.
  2. I selected fabrics for the quilt to use in the quilt.
  3. I provide some kind of guidelines or suggestions to the others in the group for working on the quilt.
  4. I send the quilt onto the next person in the list (in the mail or in person). I am always sending to the same next person.
  5. I receive someone else’s quilt in the mail, with their center (or more), their fabrics, their instructions. I am always receiving a quilt from the same previous person.
  6. I work through an appropriate design to add a border to the outside of the quilt. Using math, graph paper, books or websites for inspiration, sometimes electronic quilt blocks or suggestion from Electric Quilt 7 (EQ7).
  7. I follow general guidelines by the round robin coordinator for each round to help spur imagination or direct the appropriate design. Not to be used religiously with all quilts in all situations, but to help stretch each quilter, and attempt to provide harmony with the finished project.
  8. I finish my section of the new border, sometimes making changes due to size restrictions, or fabric shortages which happens because we’re not always great at figuring out in advance what fabrics others would be appealing to the general design or just underestimation. Sometimes this step also requires purchasing fabric of our own.
  9. I write down something interesting in the process in the quilt journal. (optional) I write my name on a label provided by the original quilter (optional, but fantastically helpful in the end).
  10. I send the quilt top with my new border to the same next person in line.
  11. Receive the new quilt, repeat steps 5-10 until the original quilt comes back. I have a full quilt top and a full label and journal.

Twilter Round Robin Group A final collage

 

The coordinator has a lot of decisions to make before getting the round robin started.

The round robin coordinator’s role:

  1. They decide the groups (if more than 6 want to be part of the round robin) 5-6 people seem to be a good match for this round robin.
  2. They create a deadline for each border swap.
  3. The estimate the approximate amount of each type of fabric needed to make the quilt work, suggest the amount of background fabric, focus fabric, and other fabric to be used in making of a quilt top.
  4. The estimate the sizes of each of the borders to be proportional to the space on the quilt.
  5. They create general guidelines to help direct the future quiltmakers down a path to help create a good quilt and/or to ask people to work out of their own comfort zones.
  6. They coordinate the addresses and order of each person to do the round robin.
  7. They answer general questions, help figure out if deadlines need adjusted.
  8. They type up all the info and get it to the participants. Follow up if needed in some areas. Perhaps some handholding or drama-gathering if needed in some groups.
  9. Remind us it’s all fun.

Round Robin Twilter Group A

As you can see above, we had 6 different quilts with 6 different personalities and styles.

How does the passing of the quilts work?

Because we had a round that we passed quilts on to each other, and each person was in a different order, we were able to affect each quilt at a different stage of its development.

  • The first two quilts each of us received, we were only beginning to shape the look and feel of the quilt to follow.
  • The next round brought the middle into focus, the meat of the quilt,
  • The last two rounds were on the finishing side of the round, these were larger & took up more time & fabric.

Our round went like this:

Daisy passes to me, I pass to Diane, Diane pass to Laura, Laura pass to Tami, Tami pass to Tina, Tina pass to Daisy.

twilter round robin how the quilts got passed in a round

And each of us had our own version of that. The drawing above shows how the quilts were passed around.

My role in the round robin Group A, and the quilts as I saw them in the order I worked on them

Round 1 – Daisy

Since Daisy’s was the first round robin quilt I saw, it was the first one I worked on, and thus the smallest round to do.

This is a collage of the completed quilt of Daisy’s (on the left), the block as I received it, and the block as I finished it.

daisys finished quilt center and my portion

Once completed, I wrote in the journal, and on the label, then sent it in the mail to Diane.

Once Daisy was finished with the next quilt – Tina’s quilt, she sent it in the mail to me. As you will see I was always receiving from Daisy and sending to Diane. So I really only had to have 1 address.

Round 2 – Tina

Tina’s quilt only had her center and Daisy’s first border. The sky was the limit here.

tinas finished quilt center and my portion

The picture above is Tina’s finished quilt on the left. Top right is the original block, middle right is the quilt top as I received it, bottom right is the quilt top I sent out.

Round 3 – Tami

At the “halfway point” everyone was working on the opposite person’s quilt. I was working on Tami’s quilt when she was working on mine.

tamis finished quilt center and my portion

 

The picture above is Tami’s finished quilt on the left. Top right is the original block, middle right is the quilt top as I received it, bottom right is the quilt top I sent out.

Round 4 – Laura

Laura’s quilt was based on neutral fabrics. Greys and browns dominated the landscape of this quilt top with dramatic golds and blue hues thrown in for a smidge of color

lauras finished quilt center and my portion

 

The picture above is Laura’s finished quilt on the left. Top right is the original block, middle right is the quilt top as I received it, bottom right is the quilt top I sent out.

Round 5 – Diane

Diane’s quilt was mostly done. I was trying to figure out an appropriate finish for her quilt.

dianes finished quilt center and my portion

 

The picture above is Diane’s finished quilt on the left. Which is also the portion that I worked on and sent out to her. Top right is the original block, bottom right is the quilt top as I received it.

More notes about Round Robin Quilts & observations

Since it was a center-focused round robin where we added further borders to the outside of an already ‘finished’ project, so the projects usually take on a medallion feeling.

Each quilter has to essentially be a “border designer”, and has to be willing to either ‘do the math’ or make a program (like EQ7) do the math for them.

I used inspiration from either drawing graph paper, or Electric Quilt 7, or a book on borders, or pinterest pictures, or various books on techniques. Sometimes I tried several different versions of the quilt, but once I kept seeing one version in my mind more than 1 day, that is the variation I went with.

There is an option to do rows instead of medallion rounds, which would be the same amount of work on the last one as on the first one. This would work in a similar way, but are usually called “Row Robin” quilts instead.

The first round we received, we had a shortened timeframe, but we had less size to finish before sending it off. This was stressful for me, but I did get the quilt done by or close to the deadline most of the time.

Each swap we had different goals, different color pallets, different visions to try to work into the quilts. It is truly a good way to sew out of the comfort zone.

And since the twilters who were interested in this swap were all over the US, the boxes got some post office traveling time around the country.

Some of the early quilts I worked on, I was completely surprised with at the end.

We got to learn about each person as reading through the journal entries of the original quiltmaker, in addition to things other people said in the journal. I was inspired by things in the journal in addition to other blocks and items I saw elsewhere. Many times the journal dictated the “tone” of the quilt more than anything!

Math was very helpful in the round robin. Having the original dimensions of each quilt, then trying to figure out how to put blocks together with appropriate spacers was challenging, but a heck of a lot of fun.

It helped me to use a program like EQ7 to help with the math and to visually see if the blocks I were doing were too big or not big enough or if I needed to add spacers.

Often times, I used my moleskin graph paper the most as it was the perfect thing to visually count other parts of the quilt.

Another note was to not try to overshadow the other people’s work. Since I try to do “big bold complicated” this was a constant worry for me, and something that at times reigned me in, and other times I probably ignored. Looking back, I ended up adding a darker border many times to the quilts I received. I don’t know if/what that says about me.

The most important part is to leave a part of yourself in the quilt that you’re working on. Being true to who I am is very important to me, even if I don’t always know what that looks like. So even during the “potential overshadows” I may/maynot have done, I still made quilts that were pleasing to me, that were something that I could do as well as I could.

That’s what matters & that is what’s special about these quilts.

In summary (visual)

The quilts as I worked on them, the center block, what I did to them, and their final product.

Round Robin Progress

Yay for round robins with friends!

 

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15.3 Going in Circles

April 30, 2011

I just saw a blog post about sewing perfect circles.

And she’s a ‘math nerd’, and something about the labeling the circle angles really appeal to me!

Image is from Cut to Pieces blog

This image is just a board to create when you may be dealing with making a lot of circles at a time.

The post is long, but so worth it, because it has a high level of accuracy when finished.  At least, it looks like it would produce high levels of accurate results.

Here’s the link

Perfect Circle Tutorial

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14.8 Hot

April 3, 2011

Note to Self: Remember to Breathe

It’s not only hot(er) here, but I am working on a quilt block swap called hot flashes.  The swap is so named because of the hot colors rather than the pattern.

At least I don’t think the pattern is called hot flashes.

I’ll have to find a way to sash this quilt (once I get back the swapped blocks in May) so that my eyes don’t explode.

But it’s an interesting block, yes?

I found it challenging to do ‘light and dark’ brights, and some are successful with the light and dark and some are not.

But these blocks are easy.

You take three strips for a whole block, you have to go width of fabric.  At least you do when you start out with 2 1/2 inch strips (jelly roll sized).

Then when you have all three strips sewn together, you square up one side straight.

Then you take your ruler at 45 degrees and line up the 45 degree line with the bottom of the fabric (or you could line it up on the seam) and cut.

You get a bonus half block here.

I’m finding this ruler handy and it keeps me from wandering away.

You cut each  strip at a 45 degree angle.

If you used fat quarters instead of the whole width of fabric, you get 4 bonus blocks for each set.

 

I have a plan for the bonus triangles.  Wouldn’t it look good set with solid, maybe black/subtle black and white?  Neutral?

For this swap, the hostess requests we use one fabric set for every block, instead of swapping out the different fabrics and making more of a scrappy block. Both would work, and there’s nothing that says that I need to keep my rotary cutter away from the finished blocks that I receive, is there?

 

Interesting.

 

I just got word that my last swap (that’s still going on) may have too large of seam allowance (they’re a little small) and that my seams are not lined up well enough, and to help that, I need to pin.  Sigh.

 

I may get my own blocks back.  And then I’ll have to resew them.  Or sew new ones.

 

Just when I think I can move away from the crutches (mental), I can’t.  I was using a quarter inch foot specifically, so I thought I was lining up to that foot, and I wasn’t.  And I was sewing squares, not triangles, and I still screwed up.

 

Anyway, I’m not feeling too well, a little bit hot, also very tired.  I think I may go lay down and call it a day.  Sigh.

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10.0 Home Sewing Front – Quilt as You Go – Wide Sashing Tutorial – front side

January 1, 2011

I want to thank Sandi from Quilt Cabana Corner for providing my blocks in the Quiltcast Supergroup Tilted Four Patch block swap.

She provided me with the nicest purple tilted blocks.  I was thinking … this should make an easy and quick quilt. 

The blocks have a light, dark and medium purple, all based in the red-purple family. 

I had bought the crazy purple fabric I am trying out as sashing during our trip to the International Quilt Museum in Lincoln. Same with the border (seen later)

It was a fabric I found in the bargain bin, but has both the red purple and the blue purple in flecks. 

So I am putting in corner stones of blue purple.

And working on them quilt as you go!  The first quilt-as-you-go project of mine. 

I made the back the same size as the blocks, figuring I am adding this wide sashing to each side. 

The batting sticks out an inch on each side because my finished sashing is two inches wide.

Yesterday I took my ‘New Year’s Eve holiday’ to quilt the blocks.  First Free Motion Quilting in a while.

This gave me practice on the design that is going on the hurricane quilt.  My corners got a free motion round stipple effect, which was much more fun, but much easier to start to speed up at the end.

Now the method of joining these were slightly different than Allison’s (of Within a Quarter Inch)  method of joining the blocks.  This being that the sashing still hasn’t been joined before quilting as you go.

The rest of the post is a tutorial on how I handled the wider sashing as quilt as you go.  The front side.  The back side of this quilt , I haven’t completed yet, so no pictures, but I KNOW how I want to finish it.

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I am leaving the 1 inch of batting around each edge so the sashing can have some batting. 

Sashing for this quilt is 2 and a half  unfinished, 2 inches finished. 1 inch of batting from one block plus 1 inch of batting from second block should fill the 2 inch gap nicely.  If you have wider sashing, leave more batting around each block.

So I start with sewing the sashing on 1 side of the block.

DO NOT cut batting down to the edge if you want there to be batting under your sashing.

Now to join the other completely quilted quilt block.  Open the sashing.  Flip this piece upside down.  Put the other quilt block on the bottom and line up the raw sashing edge with the new quilt block edge.

Sew it, and open. Press.  DO NOT cut batting down to the edge if you want there to be batting under your sashing. If you have over lap, go ahead and trim pu the batting so that it lays flat and butts up together.

Here is the front (actually picture taken before I pressed).

Sew the next sashing to the corner-stone (if you have one), pin it to one side of the double block. Sew.

Be careful.  Even with a walking foot, I found the bottom more tightly sewn than the top.

The single piece of fabric on the top always seemed to have a harder time easing into the seam.  So I had to hide the extra seam fabric in the corner-stone.  This was lining up before I started sewing, but by the middle, my bottom fabric sandwich was much farther along in the machine than my top fabric. Pins helped, but did not prevent this. 

Has to do with either my walking foot, or the extra layers, or both.  I have suspected similar type problems with my walking foot when working on the bag, but perhaps this is natural?

We’ll repeat the process of flipping this set of 2 blocks over, and sewing the raw edge seam onto another group of two blocks (also pinned – pins not  shown below).

At this time, I have the quilt as you go done on this point.  I am working on the outside sashing and cornerstones.

I also have to quilt as you go my border fabric, which is just adorable.  Or adorabibble as my friend says (she bought the same fabric on the same trip, unbeknownst to me).

First I have to go cut more batting down to size.  I do have the borders size predetermined, and the outer sashing and corner stones will provide me a way to connect the inner quilt with the borders.

To complete the back, I have sashing that is the same size (no corner stones) and I am going to fold over a quarter inch on each edge and top stitch it onto the quilt.  Like an extra wide bias tape. 

However, I MAY have to make the sashing just about a quarter – half inch wider just to handle some variations in my fold as I am going along.  But I suspect the current sashing is going to be adequate.

I should be able to update in a couple of days once I make sure I have figured out all the kinks in doing borders on quilt as you go.  If so, consider this post a ‘part 1’ as it were.

… to the “quick and easy quilt” thought I had earlier … DOH! 

I know better. 

This coulda been much quicker and easier if I wasn’t trying out a new technique.  But look what I have had a chance to share with you?!  So no loss there.

 Happy New year everyone, let’s keep experimenting!

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4.2 How to add audio to a podcast using Mevio and Audacity

February 8, 2010

Recently a fledgling quilting podcaster was asking about how to create music files for her podcast, and I took the time to do some screen shots and sent them to her.

I realized in the process of writing the e-mail that this could be a helpful blog post to dispel some of the confusion in using music in a future quilting podcast (if that’s what’s stopping you from doing a podcast). Okay it’s not all that confusing, but if you’ve never done it before, this could be a good way to start.

This is the way I have done the music portion of my podcast.  This tutorial uses Mevio’s Music Alley and Audacity because that’s what I use.  Both are free to use, and be sure to read the guidelines they have for each site – particularly Mevio’s Music Alley.

For more detailed info on how to start up a podcast from a quilting podcaster’s perspective see Allison Rosen Episode 53 and show notes.  I also said something about creating a podcast in a previous post.

Using Mevio

Using Mevio’s Music Alley for Podcast Safe music first requires you to have an e-mail address, website, and a feed address for your podcast hosting site.

Let’s assume you’ve done all of this already.

Addressing the guidelines:

Mevio wants you to:

  1. Saying during your show “Some of the music provided tonight from Mevio’s Music Alley. Check it out at ‘music.mevio.com'”
  2. Playing one of our bumpers during your show. (Coming soon!!)

We also ask that you link back to Mevio’s Music Alley in your show notes for those shows that include music from this site. http://music.mevio.com.

I have a permanent link in my sidebar with the Music Alley link and I state in my podcast outro that the music is from mevio’s music alley.  So make sure you plan to do this as well so that the artists can get credit for their work.

If you’re starting a podcast, you’re considered a producer, so if you don’t have an account you have to register.  Otherwise use the producer login button.

View of the registration form.  Check the guidelines here first as well.  You may have to go check your e-mail and come back at this step.  I’ll wait.

You need to build your playlist to find your songs you want to use.  Click build playlist.

You can do a search in the search function, or look at genres of music.

The Listen here button is where you can play songs.  The blue background is the amount of the song downloaded, take time searching & browsing and find a good song for you.

If you’re logged in you have an add to playlist option.  Click here to get the song available for download.

You’ll get a popup and you want to add to the playlist.

When you’re ready, go to my page for downloading.

Then go to the My Playlist button. Click on the download mp3 and save the file on your computer somewhere.

Using Audacity for Music for the introduction

How do you incorporate this music into Audacity for making music fit for your introduction?  Let’s see.

Import Audio option in Audacity.  Chose your file.

Highlight the beginning of your music.  A few seconds will usually do.  The shorter time highlighted the more sharply the music will fade in.  How much you highlight will depend on your own style preference and music type.

Choose the fade in option under effect and the audio will go from zero to the current volume.  Neet huh?  What if you want to record over a section and the current volume is too loud?

Highlight the section you want to record over, then chose effect amplify, and then put in a negative number.  There’s a handy preview button in the corner for you to critique yourself.

Start your cursor in the faded section and start recording.  You can always adjust the time your audio clip starts by clicking on the double arrow tool and dragging your audio around.

Delete the part of the audio in the back you don’t want (highlight and delete) and don’t forget to go to effect fade out at the end.

Once everything is set in place, export your file as a wav file instead of an mp3.  In my opinion, mp3s compress things too much to get good sound quality on something you use over and over in your show.

Don’t forget to save changes to the project file in case you want to make changes later.

Then when you need the intro in your show, before you start recording, just go to project/import audio and start recording new stuff at the back.

Listen to several different podcasts to see what style of music and music choices work best for you.  Some quilting podcast examples below:

Brye starts her intro with her own voice and then fades into music, as well as Allison LeeJennifer and Allison Rosen start with music first, Kelley doesn’t have any music and that works well for her, Michele starts with her kids’ recording, very cute.

How do you setup Bumper music?

What about my bumper music?  How did I achieve that?  My bumper music is still part of the song Science vs. Romance by Rilo Kiley.  I was very fortunate enough to pick a song I liked as well as a song that has a lot of instrumental parts (yes there are words to the song) in addition to the amazing title and how it fits my entire blog theme.

Here is a picture of the audacity bumper music project file.  I don’t have pictures of the entire process of how I got to this place step-by-step but I can outline steps below.

  1. Open up the song (import music) I want to include for bumper music.
  2. Delete the singing part I don’t want as bumper music. (but please listen to the song in its entirety on Mevio – it’s pretty good)
  3. Highlight a 5 second section of the music and go to the option Edit/split.
  4. Repeat for all the 5 second sections I may want to have in the show.
  5. Grab the first 1 second of the clip.
  6. Go to Effect/Fade In.
  7. Repeat for the last 1 second of the clip – Effect / Fade Out
  8. Repeat for all the bumper music sections.

Save the project at this point as something so you can go back and make changes.

Export as a wav file (see above).

I just have the entire bumper music file saved and import the entire file each time and delete the part I don’t want.  If you desire, it may be easier to save each individual blip separately.

So that’s what I do in a nutshell (Hey look, I’m in a nutshell!  What am I doing in a nutshell?)

Any questions please ask.  Glad to be of help.

Could I ask someone to help me and tell me if episodes 1 & 2 are showing up in iTunes for you?  I already have the episodes downloaded and so I want to know what this “archive thing” on podbean does.  Thanks a bunch!