Thursday, April 20, 2017

Charming

Sometimes you happen upon something that is so sublime you have to stop what you're doing and make one.    I love little mushrooms, as you friends know.  Anyway, I was cruising around on Instagram when I came across a bunch of little mushrooms cropping up.  I found the original pattern at Larisa's blog, Stitching Notes.


mushroom
 
You too can download the free paper piecing pattern.  Don't paper piece?  Well it's not hard, I was able to do it.  So you should try if you're a fan of little mushrooms as well.  If you need some inspiration, check out Instagram here on the #stitchingnotespattern hashtag.. so much cute!  And check out Larisa's IG feed here.  Lots of  adorable things to be seen there.
 
What are you up to? 
 
 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

When good ideas good bad

Over the years I have been the recipient of some lovely items from blogging friends.  Blogging has changed over the last ELEVEN years, and while I love the new social media platforms, I remember the old days with great fondness.
 
Old friends may remember when I received this wonderful owl made by Laurie of Old School Acres.   I have carefully guarded it over the years after I blogged about it here in 2008, keeping it from harm and by harm I mean DUST.  Because I AM THE WORST.

owl
 
He's still in his pristine condition.  I've looked for good display solutions over the years and today I figured I'd hit on pay dirt with this cute cupcake stand at the Dollar Spot at Target.   It's got scallopy edges, and for those that can resist those cute scallops there's plain ones.  And then also larger cake stands.  Just an FYI.


Target cupcake stand
 
I've been looking for a cute cupcake stand figuring if I could find a nice dome, my owl could stand on it and be safe. 


cupcake stand and wide mouth jar

After months of fruitless searching for domes, enter my bright idea, the wide mouth mason jar.

owl in captivity
 
Ooops. Maybe not my best idea.
 
Hope you have  a nice week friends. I appreciate your visits! xo
 
 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

SEW SPLENDID!

Exciting times !!!    Today we're celebrating the release of The Splendid Sampler book! 

Vintage-Flower-Basket-PAM-VIEIRA-MCGINNIS
 
I was so excited to be inclulded in this great project by Pat and Jane.  Today on  the Stitch This! blog there's a great Q&A post with Pat and Jane and I hear rumors of  big give aways prizes by  sponsers Martingale, Moda, Aurifil, Schmetz Needles, and Reliable Irons that are up for grabs!
 
You can check out more images from the book here!
 
 

Monday, April 10, 2017

True confession

Hi there, how've you been?  Still struggling with the virus that has it's iron grip on PamKittyville, but I hope we're REALLY kicking it the curb this week and not just getting kicked ourselves.  We'll see.  So far it's the thing that never leaves. 
 
But I did get out, had to run a quick errand that put me over near the Cost Plus, so I treated myself  to a little shopping.  I didn't buy much, but I did get this cute tin of Walkers  Shortbread. 

tin1
 
It's about 5" x 3 1/4" and it's completely cute.  And look at the cookies inside.  Union Jacks.  Union Jacks people.  Remember when we were all about Union Jacks?  I mean quilts and mugs and more mugs and pin cushions and tea cozies.  And everything. We couldn't quit the Union Jacks? 

tin2
 
And then we all moved on to something else.  I don't even know what replaced the Union Jacks.  But British stuff always catches my eye, like on Instagram when someone posted pictures last week of floral bags or tea towels from the UK  which sadly I can't find now.. it was all I could do not to jump up and head to Home Goods to find them!  But back to the tin.  I just know that someone will get this tin and turn it into the cutest little sewing box ever  and then take the most delicious photo of it, with the cookies of course and maybe some coffee or tea in a perfect mug and my I WILL LOSE MY MIND OVER IT.   Then I would have to search the planet for the tin and it would already be gone and I would only be able to find it from some place that had it for an exorbitant price and lets not even talk about the shipping.... and then it would come and I wouldn't be able to open it or even worse eat the cookies and would set it aside and then pile something on top of it and then forget about it.  Till the next time I saw it. 
 
Sigh. 
 
So if you see a cute sewing tin made up and photographed I'm not sure if you should tell me or not. 
 
Have a great week everyone!!! xo
 
P.  S. TELL ME. DUH.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Two By Two

GOOD MORNING!!!  How have you been?  We've had some lovely spring sunshine here  in PamKittyVille. I couldn't love it more!!! 
 
 
Two By Two Quilt
 
I FINALLY got the binding sewn down on my Two By Two quilt!  I'm so lazy about these things.  I really love how it turned out, Holly's great design and scallop fabric and Amy's wonderful quilting makes it! 

Two By Two Quilt


Two By Two Quilt

Hope things are going well with you!  I'm just getting over a crappy cold and I'm into the coughing zone.  What a pain that is, but thankfully it won't last forever.  I'm glad for some really nice days to open the windows and let some fresh air blow through the house to clear away the stale germy air!
 
Hope you have a great week friends! xo

Friday, March 24, 2017

Little Clover

Happy Friday!  Hope you're doing well!  Another spring like week here in PamKittyVille.  Sunshine and rain both, very nice.  The dose of sun between storms has really helped.  So did a nice day sewing with friends.  I feel grateful when I am included.  Patty hosted and I she gave me a tour of her beautiful gardens, full of drought tolerant plants that have loved this rainy season.  Check out  the amazing  Banksia I posted over on Instagram.  I need to grab up one of these plants this season, it's so cool.

Little Clover
 
Did you see this cute little clover block over at The Splendid Sampler?  DYING OVER IT.  Designed by Jane its so darn cute I can't stand it.  You can click over here and grab your pattern.


Little Clover
 
I still need to add my log cabin style sides to it, but I just love how cute and small this is.  And green.. I'm in love with green these days. 
 
Hope you have a nice weekend friends!  xo

Friday, March 17, 2017

TGIF

Hi there, how was your week? 
 
This week I had a dentist appointment and drove out through the country to get there.  Everything is so green and lush, I haven't seen it like this in years.  During the drought especially, the hills would barely turn green at all, maybe just a hint and as fast as it came it was gone.  Driving through Clayton this lane filled with trees.. oh my.  All the plants and trees so happy with all our rain!  

clayton
 
Sorry they're just phone pictures... not as nice as a real camera but I wanted to capture how pretty it was and didn't have my camera.  Words I cannot even imagine saying 5 years ago.  How much our lives have changed.

Home Goods
 
Tried to recapture the HomeGoods feeling this week.  I guess now that I have a HomeGoods just a few freeway exists down it no longer holds the same thrill. Of course how much more stuff do I need?  I didn't even see one cute mug!   Still it was fun walking around. 
 
Hope you have a good weekend everyone!!! Happy St. Patricks Day ! xo

Monday, March 13, 2017

Monday

Morning! How was your weekend? So sunny and nice here.  Saturday we went for a drive in with the top down on Bret's car.  It was pleasant enough to just wear a light jacket!  Not unheard of for this time of year..it's mid-March!  I don't know where the time goes these days.

coffee


Took time to wash off the swing and get the cushion and canopy out.  No rain till the end of the week, so plenty of time for enjoying the backyard.

Big Foot
 
Sorry for the phone picture.  I was stitching along and grabbed this photo of my Big Foot.  I kept looking at it for a long time then realized I had a leftover large square.  DUH.  His left leg has some problems.  You can see him  in his corrected glory here.  When I started this project I didn't cut the sashing so I have some work to do before I get started. 
 
Hope you have a nice week!  xo

Friday, March 10, 2017

Sunshine


Hi there! I know it's been a while since we met here in this space.  What  have you been up to?  So many people are sewing away and I see so many great projects on Instagram and on Facebook.  Thanks for sharing your great PamKittyFabric projects, it really is so exciting to see so many of you diving into your stashes and cutting it up to make some lovely things. 


Legendary
 
I haven't sewn much lately.  Not really sure why.  Well probably because I can't decide what to do. I have a lot of tops sitting around, so I pulled those out so I can determine what I have for backings.  As usual well laid plans  went awry and some backing fabrics became separated from the tops.  No surprise, I pile stuff up then dig back through it.  It's my own fault.  I did find my stripes for binding on the Two by Two quilt and have it sewn on.  Hand stitching next. 
 
Yesterday I was determined to sit down at the machine and get to work on the last block of my Legendary quilt. Here's as far as I got.  I couldn't help but head outside to putter around emptying pots and getting ready for some patio planting.  Even though we've had record rains I'm not sure I'm ready to get into any big garden project quite yet.  But I'm sure enjoying all the green everywhere.  The hills around town are so green and lush, so different than they have been in past winters. 
 
I hope you're well, as days go by and I don't bring my coffee here to join you I do think of you and wonder what you're doing. Happy weekend friends! xo

Friday, March 03, 2017

Fun Finds!

Wow it took longer than I thought to get back to testing out these Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmers. I had great intentions but life and the addition of some sunny days around here pulled me away from the sewing room.  But yesterday I was back at it.  I know when I saw these trimmers on Kari's Instagram post that they were genius tools!

New Leaf Slotted Trimmer
 
I made a couple of slightly oversized half square triangles.  I haven't always been a trimmer but I've come over to the trimming side.   I used my regular  ruler with the diagonal line, trim to sides then turn the block and trim again.  But sometimes my ruler would distort the center line, or I wouldn't use the right line.. nothing that I couldn't resolve but I felt a big frustrated.

Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmer
 
So simple. There are two trimmers in the set, for half inch squares and full inch squares.  (for instance 2 1/2 inches OR 2 inches)  The rulers are on a plastic coated sheet with instructions on how to use them for your basic half square triangle units and then trimming methods for quarter square units, three piece triangle squares, and block cutting techniques for strips. Seriously it's so clever.  


Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmer
 
To use it you line up your stitching on the dotted line and trim your two sides. Then slide your rotary cutter into the slots on either side and it will trim off those dog ears for you. 


Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmer
 
As a right handed person I easily used the right slot, the left was reaching across myself, which was a tad awkward but says to me "Pam, buy yourself a rotating mat".   HOLY COW I LOVE THESE TRIMMERS SO MUCH.  And since the dog ears are off, once you're back at the iron the block is ready to use.  Again, genius.  It just seems so much easier than what I have been doing.  

Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmer
 
Ta da. Perfect squares. They even ironed up nicer this way.  I don't know if that's because the dog ears are off and the tension on that seam is different or it's just my giddy perception of it.  One thing I do know for sure, this is a tool that won't languish in a drawer once the novelty has worn off.   Many thanks to Kari who sent it to me to try out. 
 
Ok that's it for me.  Tomorrow we expect more rain so I have to enjoy today's sunshine!  Have a great weekend friends. xo

Friday, February 24, 2017

Hindsight

Hi there.  As promised, today is my little tip for working with the cool Orange Peel Templates that I received from Fat Quarter Shop.  If I had thought of this before I got started I would have ended up a with a much nicer finish.
 
Each of the template sizes in the group has a placement guide for the peel.  I laid each background piece over the little guide, and then placed my peel on top.  Lining up my fabric on the square was easy, but as you lay the peel onto the background, it's easy for it to shift slightly and you end up with intersections like I had, where the points are slightly off.   So while I was stitching away I got to thinking of how way way back in the day when I first started quilting in the back of the covered wagon I mean the late 80s,  we used to make little marking templates.  So I went about making myself a little marking template out of some template plastic.  If you don't have template plastic you could cut a square, mine is 2 inches in this case, out of some plastic packaging or maybe a clamshell berries come in... something rigid and clear is what you need.  Or I should say what works best for me.  You can see in the photo below that I've put my 2 inch square over my placement guide and with a fine point sharpie pen, marked a dot at the tip of the peel.  My template has a 90 degree corner and I lined it up exactly with the square, and that's important.  Lucky for me ALL the different sized peel placements in the Round Robin pattern are the exact same distance from the corner so one template works for all points!

placement template
 
I got out my million dollar 1/16" hole punch and punched a tiny hole there.  Back when I started there weren't the same variety of punches as there are now, and  I saved up for this one.  It makes the tiniest hole that allows for precision placement.

punch tool
 
You might be able to see the hole in this close up.

punch tool
 
Then I laid the template on my background fabric and made a mark with the temporary marker on both sides.

template

applique marking

And the placed my peel.  Super cool.  Wish I had thought of it before I got started. 

applique placement
 
Marking like this is good for Y seams as well.  Make a little template  with the 1/4" to use where you start and stop.  It's much quicker than marking with a ruler if you're marking a lot of pieces.  And as I said the hole is very small and this punch was made specifically for  this I believe. 
 
So that's my little tip. SO MANY WORDS. 
 
HAPPY WEEKEND PEOPLES. xo

Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday

Morning friends!  Believe it or not I'm back to stitching away on my Round Robin orange peel project.  You can find the Impressions Orange Peel templates and all the patterns to accompany them here.

orange peel
 
Right now I have all the blocks sewn into rows and maybe 5 rows sewn together and I love the cheerful look of these Birds of Liberty fabrics. I used one of the half roll ups that I ordered from FQS and you can find that here. For my small quilt I used half the strip for my shapes. 

orange peel

One of the things I don't like about my quilt is how some of those peels DON'T LINE UP. I was undoubtedly  casual about the marking  and there is a placement guide in the pattern but I wasn't all that careful.  So my future-tip maybe will help you if you're more like me.  The first two squares are perfect and it goes downhill from there. Don't worry though, it's not ruining the project for me, I love it...so charming.  And I'm glad that I saw the quilt on the FQS Instagram to inspire me to make it!
 
New Leaf Slotted Trimmer
 
Next up on my agenda is testing out Kari's new Slotted Trimmers. I have known Kari for   while now and saw her photo on Instagram   using the trimmers and thought they were such a clever idea.  She very generously sent me the trimmers along with here Clearly Perfect Angles to try out.  So more on that when I get these rows sewn together.  
 
Ok, time to get busy!  See you later alligators! Have a great week!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Orange Peel

Hi there peeps! Not a ton of stitching progress since we last met.  I managed to get my orange peels blanket stitched finally.  I had been off to such a quick start then those last dozen peels took forever to complete.  Just too much going on.  But today I am back at it, sewing my rows together. 


orange peels
 
This might be the worst photo ever of adorable orange peels but it's the best I can do today.  Stitching the blocks together will be a breeze but let me offer a tad of advice if you're working on this project.  Pin those blocks!  When you are at the end with the two points meeting, your machine may fight a bit skewing the block a bit. 
 
Is it a long weekend where you are?  Do you have plans?  We're expecting more rain which we love, although we're watching the Oroville dam like so many as we have family and friends up there in the area. 
 
HAPPY WEEKEND FRIENDS! xo

Monday, February 13, 2017

Splendid Sampler

Well like all good things, Pat and Jane published the 100th block of the Splendid Sampler yesterday bringing this year long project to a close!  At the onset of a journey like this you think it's going to last forever and then suddenly it's over.  I am so happy to be included in the project along side of really talented designers and I can't thank Pat and Jane enough for including me. 

Splendid Sampler
 
Over at Martingale you can see a cover of the book and some blocks and quilt layouts featured.  These pictures come from the Martingale website.  I think the quilt below is my favorite of those shown, love the colors and the layout.. so cute.  It sure makes me wish I had stuck with a more controlled color palette.

Splendid Sampler
 
It's hard not to be inspired by all the people who participated!!  Especially the people who tried all the techniques included even if they were new to them.  The quilts in the facebook group are wonderful.  Even if you don't ever plan on sewing a block it would be worth it to take a peek at some of the blocks people made.  It's a great community of quilters!
 
Thanks for following along! I guess I should get busy with my blocks!  Have a great week friends!


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