Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Squirrels are jerks. Yesterday a squirrel got into my house though the screen door. Not the official way, the way where they claw their way through the screen. I walked out to get my camera and there he was! He was probably just as surprised as I was, and he jumped up on my hutch.
I guess that will teach me to just drop a bag of delicious bird seed right inside the back door instead of walking it out to the metal can that I keep it in. The one with the squirrel proof lid. Lesson Learned. The hard way.
Monday, March 30, 2015
Happy Monday Morning Super Friends! What are you up to? How was the weekend? Over in PamKittyville it was busy.. lots to do around here. You guys know how it is! It's always something!
Luckily I found some sewing time, which was great. I have this little project I'll talk about later, it's just for fun. I love machine applique and I can't wait to fuse it and have it ready when I want some good zen sewing.
Not much else going on today, except loads of coffee and lots of work. Hope you have a great week! xo
Friday, March 27, 2015
Good morning! Today we're working on another Shortcut Quilt with the Fat Quarter Shop! The Charm Box quilt takes just two charm packs and 7/8ths a yard of a solid fabric. (check the pattern for binding and backing requirements) I chose the Milk, Sugar and Flower collection by Elea Lutz. (Be sure and check your charm pack to make sure you have enough squares for you project! You'll need 60! )
The most exciting thing about this pattern the shortcut piecing! Holy cow people!! It's great! I confess to being skeptical, but wow, it really works! You can see it all in the video here! Even Kimberly can't contain her enthusiasm!
Its gorgeous sunny spring weather her in Northern California, and it's perfect for showing off a fun springtime quilt. That's a lot of spring time in one picture.
I'm a little embarrassed it looks like I wadded it up in a paperbag and drove out to get a photo. My iron is not heating up as it should and that make pressing a bit of a challenge. That and the super sunshine make this adorable project seem like a bit of a hot mess. BUT OH GOSH IT'S CUTE.
Super springy! I chose the pretty floral for backing, but once I laid it all out, I decided that it would make a pretty border and extend the size just a bit. And look at that cute stripe for the binding! So now I'm just waiting for the time I can focus on finishing it. Frankie thinks it will be great for hanging out and binge watching tv. I think she's right!
Pam Kitty really plays well with Milk, Sugar, Flower! This was a happy accident on my cutting table one day! You know me, I like to get along!
So for sure you're ready to download your pattern right? Here are all the links you'll need!
Now hop on over to the Jolly Jabber to see who else made Charm Box Quilts!
Have a great weekend everybody!
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Hi there! I got some happy news this week, the McCall's Quilting issue with Holly's Petal Pathway Quilt is available! The quilt was designed by Holly for the magazine using Pam Kitty Garden, and it was pieced by Debbie Taylor newly retired from The Fat Quarter Shop and quilted by Karolyn Jensen, known to many of you as Nubin.
You can find the information on this quilt on the McCall's website here. And guess what, you can get a kit for this here at the Fat Quarter Shop. They have a nice photo on their website so you can get a good close up of the fabrics used!
These photos were provided by McCall's magazine.
It's always exciting to see Pam Kitty Fabric. I hope you'll check out the McCall's Quilting May/June issue ! Holly does a great job creating beautiful designs to stitch up!
Ok people! I'm on my way to get my magazine! I hope you have a great day! xo
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Happy Tuesday! I know I know... it's taken forever to get to the retreat report! To me it seems like it's so far in the past.. and it's been what a week? Or is it two? I'm not even sure! It seems like the time is just speeding by me right now. Anyway, the retreat was set up by my friends Deb and Debbie, and I was excited to be invited into this long time group of sewing friends. The retreat was held along the Central California Coast in Templeton at the Dancing Deer Farm. The location was great, very picturesque and the weather was perfect. Nice during the day and cool at night!
Of course there were deer! Everywhere was green and lush. I brought my binoculars and watched the birds, it was great. Lots of outdoor seating for reading or relaxing. It was very unstructured so you could go out and go shopping or stay in and sew or nap or read.. lots of room to spread out.. really a great time. The food was wonderful, and who wouldn't want to have meals appear without having to think them up or make them!
We had a block swap. Debbie and Deb provided instructions for the block and most of us made one, then we put our names on them and put them into the pot. That was fun.
We also played Left Right Center, I had never played before. We each brought 3 batik fat quarters to play with. Mary won all of them!
Julie and Deanna made cute bags for everyone. Deanna made the cute bag with the sewing machine on her embroidery machine. Super cute.
I worked on some blocks for Holly and then some projects for me.
I sat across from Debbie who was working on the basket quilt we started in a workshop with Laura Nownes. I'm embarrassed at how long ago that was and how I'm not any farther than I was in January a year ago when I blogged about it here.
But her Pam Kitty Love baskets make me want to get it back out again. For sure. She's close, she'll be done before me I'm sure.
So later I'll take you on a tour of a cute quilt shop and show you some great show and tell, well the quilts are great, the photos are lackluster but you'll get the idea.
Friday, March 20, 2015
Good morning! How was your week? I was super busy, I came home from the retreat and then next thing you know it's Friday! I know I still owe you some retreat photos but I had a couple of days where I couldn't download photos for some reason and then well, the week got away from me. If you head to instagram you can see a little bit of the weekend while you wait, plus some pictures of the latest quilt I'm test piecing for Holly.
Anyway, the exciting thing yesterday was getting over to the studio and checking out the strikeoffs for Fog City Kitty! I am so pleased with how they turned out. It's been a real treat to have that bonus collection and exciting to have some fresh fabric earlier in the year.
I'm quite pleased with all the wonderful colors. This is an extension of Pam Kitty Garden in a "fog" gray colorway, something a lot of shops asked for. We also had a lot of requests for the cherries so we popped some of those in too! Of course in true Pam Kitty style, all the new Pam Kitty mixes right in with the old Pam Kitty.
Not to jump the gun, but how cute are these Sunrise Studio mini strawberries with these prints? SUPER CUTE TO ME! I hope to you too.
Once we have strike offs you know that yardage isn't far behind. Of course it has to travel from the mill and then get rolled on bolts and then get shipped to the distributor and then to the stores, so patience is the name of the game right now. And I'm still pretty darn happy sewing on my Pam Kitty Garden fabrics.
Ooops another picture. Sorry, I hope you can indulge me today! I can't help it, I love it so much. Of course you know that Holly is the woman behind the curtain Wizard of Oz style. She's the one who makes it really great!
Here's more of the Sunrise Studio.. new scallops in new sizes. They'll be perfect for your more petite scallop needs! Bags! Blocks! Holly has some great projects coming in McCalls Quilting and McCalls Quick Quilts. I can't wait till I can share those with you. Remember to head over to Instagram and you'll see a bit of a sneak peek of those test blocks.
Seriously, strawberries good enough to eat!
All in all it looks pretty darn good I'd say! I was so completely thrilled to see them all laid out with the Sunrise Studio prints looking so cheerful. It makes me want to sew sew sew!
So that's that! I hope you guys have a great weekend! I can't believe it's Friday! Better get my coffee and get busy!!! xo
P. S. Be sure and ask your favorite quilt shop to order Fog City Kitty and Sunrise Studio!!! That would be super awesome!
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Hi there! Its Fat Quarter Shop Snapshot Quilt day here on the blog and we're at Month 3 already! The year is just jetting by isn't it? Or is it just me? Anyway, if you haven't heard about the SnapShots quilt, you can read all about it over on the Jolly Jabber here!
This month is the cute tea pot block! I love the steam, it looks complicated but it's really easy! I used my little floral there because it reminded me of the sweet scent of tea when you brew it. You can see I've diverged a bit from the pattern using a pink print for the star.. the more fabrics the merrier to me!
Are you stitching along with us? The patterns are free, but we're encouraging everyone to donate $5 per pattern to St Jude's Children's Research Hospital. You'll find the link to the pattern over on the Jolly Jabber blog today! The videos are fun too, so be sure and visit the Fat Quarter Shop's You Tube Channel to watch this month's video and see all the other great videos out there.
Ok, have a great week everybody!
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Good morning! I'm all packed up and heading out to my sewing retreat today! Pretty exciting. I have a ton of stuff packed, I hope I have enough and sadly fear that I have far too much! I'm going to work on a variety of things, including some stunt sewing for Holly, she's got a project coming out in McCalls Quilt Quilts that will run all 2016, and while we wait for the Sunrise Studio fabric to arrive at the studio, I'll work on a small mock up in Pam Kitty Garden.
This week, between getting things ready for the trip, I 've made some #stopdropmakeablock blocks. I have two each of the red and pink and 3 more of the yellow waiting to be sewn. I made a quilt with these blocks in 2004, as a gift, and I've enjoyed revisiting the block. I am thinking of these as petunias, and my old blocks were a variety of reds with black centers and I was thinking big poppies. Fun and scrappy, I'll make a bunch and see what happens.
Hope you guys have a good weekend! I'll see you back here on Sunday for the Snapshot's Quilt Along!
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
So yay! Some super friends made some great #stopdropmakeablock blocks and I'm excited to show them to you or link to them! First off is my pal ThimbleAnna. You probably already know her, but just in case you can find her blog here. I love her little Liberty blocks, and if you hop over to her blog, she has a quick tutorial on making them. They're tiny!
And kind of on the same wavelength, Mary Ann made a churn dash block as well. You can check out her instagram posts here.
Susan is working on her Moda Modern Building blocks and she got busy and made this vibrant block to get a jump start on her project! That's exactly what I was thinking!
My friend Roseann had some scraps on the cutting table and whipped out these two blocks with what was handy! I love that. And of course I was excited to see it was using some Pam Kitty Love and some Pam Kitty Garden, it really does all go together! Thanks Roseann!
Meg got started on a block but ran out of time, and you know that's cool too.
But later she managed to get her whole cushion top done!!! Sometimes all you need is a little help getting started.
My friend Bev, who is a long time blog writer and reader, also got busy and made several blocks. Bev has great style, you should head over to her blog and check out her blocks and her post about making them. Thanks Bev!
My friend Tasha also stopped and made a couple of blocks and managed to finish up her Hashtag quilt... you should check it out here on Instagram.
I even got some more flower blocks done, you can see here on my Instagram! But don't worry, I have more to make and they'll show up here soon!
So hey you guys make me feel super!!! Thanks for embracing my idea, hope that it was fun!! I LOVE SEWING SO MUCH. Have a great day everyone!! xo
Monday, March 09, 2015
Wow, sometimes I'm just embarrassed at the amount of good weather we have. Honestly it was so warm last night we had the windows thrown open wide till after dark. By morning it's cold again, but well into the night it remains pleasant. The air smells so sweet with all the jasmine we have out front, and my neighbor's Japanese Pittosporum has just begun to bloom and it's scent is a lot like orange blossoms. When I was a little kid, we had them planted in front of the bedroom windows and when I'd kneel on my bed and look out the window at the kids playing in the street without us while we had to go to bed before dark, I would breath in their heady scent. Darn you daylight savings and strict bedtime parents. And hey, everyone says this happened to them so just who were those kids out front? And why didn't their parents love them enough to torture them with early bedtimes? Ahh nostalgia.
But I digress. As usual. It's been sunny. I should have just said that. Recently Bret and I were out for some kind of drive, and happened to go through the Danville Livery, which is a wonderful little shopping center in Danville. It is pretty swanky, way back when we used to go there to all kinds of little events, there were a lot of cute little shops to wander through, plus the Stride Rite store, so it was totally legit that we went there a lot when Frankie was little. There was a great shop there, big, that had furniture and lovely gifts, and it was our favorite place. At Easter we'd go their for their spring open house and they'd serve champagne in little cut crystal style plastic Dixie cups and we could wander around enjoying all the vignettes. Doris, my mother-in-law, and I LOVED IT.
ANYWAY, I used to love making little pots of plants or 'Easter grass' which they sold at these gatherings. I'd add in some little chenille chicks and mini pastel eggs and use the little pots of grass for place settings at , duh, Easter. It was so much fun. This story is so painfully long, sorry.
So after our drive down memory lane, I found an empty pot and a few pieces of this creeping fig I'd rooted from clippings and went to town. And it was so much fun. I grabbed up some sticks from the yard, some little doo dads I had laying around and before you know I had a nice little garden in a fancy pot.
It was probably the funnest 7 minutes of the week!
Ok that's probably an exaggeration but still it was super fun and I really enjoyed getting back to doing it. Now I move it around to catch some sun in different windows. Of course when I took the picture it was so sunny it hurt my eyes. Man sometimes life is tough.
Just kidding, life is great and it beats the alternative.
Ok that's it for today. Did you do anything fun over the weekend?
Thursday, March 05, 2015
Good morning friends! How is your week going? We're on the downhill slide now. Today will go quick, midday I have to head over to SFO and pick up Bret from the airport. He's been on a not-so-whirlwind business trip that has been nothing but delayed and cancelled flights, staying over midway to a secondary location without luggage.. you name it. Today they're talking about snow.. hope he gets home. Still too early to tell.
Today's topic.. do you ever get in a slump? Maybe slump isn't the right word, I want to sew, I just don't know what I want to make. I see tons of great projects on social media and they're all inspiring, but maybe it's too inspiring. I'm at the project buffet and there's too many choices to decide. Yesterday I decided that I'd just stop worrying about a project and make a block. I stopped what I was doing, went to my Around the Block book and picked a block I was interested in making. (The link is to the 501 Rotary Cut Blocks as it's the compilation of all three of Judy's books.) For a long time I've wanted to make a Greek Cross block, a couple of years ago it was kind of a big deal and a lot of people were making Greek Cross Quilts (see a ton of images here). There are lots of options with this block, those corners are perfect for making a secondary pattern alone or with sashing.
I tried some pressing methods I normally don't use, and I got a nice flat block. I'm not saying I'm a total open seam convert, I'm too old school for that, but I'm not going to lie, it made a difference. It did take longer than pressing to the dark side, which is my normal method, but enjoyment was part of my goal, and I have to say it was a great exercise. And with a simple block like this it was quick. And from there I went on to cut out some other blocks that need stitching up for another project and it got me back on the move.
So.. in the end I thought it was a fun exercise. What it reminded me of was those #stopdropselfie challenges people make on instagram, so I'm calling it my #stopdropmakeablock challenge, which is one heck of a long hashtag but a fun idea. Or maybe it's a lame idea, at this point who knows. But if you want to try it, make a block and tag me and use the #stopdropmakeablock hashtag. It could be instagram or facebook, and if you don't have either but you want to share, email me a picture of your block and I'll post it for you!
Ok, better get some more coffee and get busy! Have a super day!
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
Hi there my sweet friends, good morning! It's a great morning too! Super excited to share my find with you! I was out in the back doodling around and noticed some little birds swooping in under the eaves. I have a lot of 'regulars' around the back yard that come in close, my hummingbirds still come to the feeder, although they nest elsewhere, a lovely pair of Black Phoebes that flit around and often hang off the planter baskets, so it wasn't a surprise to have birds zooming in and out.
The little birds go deep into that sock like nest and you can see it shaking when they fly in. They're still building, I see them coming in bringing little flower petals and other stuff. Who knows what it is.
This is the backside of it, the 'door' faces out, away from our door.
I sat in my swing and used my zoom to get some pictures of the birds. Just not quite sure what they are yet. I had my bird books out yesterday watching, getting pictures, and trying to decide definitively. I'll let you know when I figure it out. Or maybe someone here will know.
They're very small, and they are fast. Soon my pink lemonade honeysuckle will be leafed out and they'll be hidden away. Now I just need to discourage that blue jay that keeps coming around. That bird is a ruiner for sure.
So anyway, sometimes life just holds an embarrassment of riches and you don't even realize it.
Ok, today I'm out and about, and then I 'll be back, and out back watching. Maybe I'll even pull a few weeds while I'm at it. What's on your agenda?