Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Fall Sewing

Hi there! How are you on this fall day?  It's warm here, kind of weirdly cloudy and humid, in the low 70s.  I even have the windows open.  After seeing snow pictures on Instagram I sometimes feel like I live in another world!

Celebrate the Seasons Pat Sloan
I finally got around to adding borders to my Autumn Stars Tablerunner. It's from Pat Sloan's Celebrate the Seasons book.  Pat and I are friends and she sent me her new Bonnie Lane fabric to play around with earlier this year.  It's a fun make, I had most of it done on my trip to see Nanette in September.  I really am bad when it comes to taking those last tiny steps to finish up a project!!  But I love how it turned out and it's perfect with the vintage tablecloth currently on my table. 

There's lots of fun projects in this book, big and small.  I like the options of smaller projects so I can finish myself.  I'm not an inspired machine quilter so I'll think on this, and examine the quilting of Pat's project a bit more before I get started. 
Isn't that pumpkin cute?  I was picked in a drawing for some pretty vintage sheets over on Alana's Instagram.  I was so lucky!  I have a small collection of vintage sheets that someday I will make into a quilt.  The fabrics are so soft and nice and I've seen so many lovely projects make with them.
I don't remember if I mentioned here that Frankie has moved back close by!  It's so nice to just say hey lets get together and not have to plan anything, we can just jump in the car and meet up in 15 minutes (or so)  door to door.  Fun!
Hope you're all doing well. xop

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Finally Finished

Wow I started to get this post ready some time ago, based on the appearance of those Marshmallow Peep Ghosts.   Those friends are long gone.  I had such good intentions of blogging about my progress...

...I don't even know when I took the picture of the ghost blocks on the design tablecloth, they've been a fixture there in the hallway for so long. I'm a procrastinator, and the time had come to cut sashing....
...and the dreaded long borders... they always seem like such a pain.  Maybe it's the thought of getting it wrong.  But it worked out.  Thank goodness.
I need to grab some backing and get it quilted. Something swirly.  I'll have to look and see what other people have done. There are so many great Boo! quilts out there. 
Anyway I'm happy to be back to sewing.  Frankie is all moved in to her new place and  it's nice to have her close by!  I have sewing room extension back, and can get into her old room to cut fabric whenever I want. 
Now that the ghosts are done, I can get to work on other half finished projects.   Also I have my vacation fabrics just waiting for me to cut into them. I have a few ideas, but haven't settled on any one thing.  Plus did you see that Kellie from Sew Mimi K is having a sew along for her little tea cup coasters?  I am going to make some, they look so cute, and paired with some coffee, tea or cocoa they'd make a cute  gift don't you think?  And they just look fun.  Kellie has a post from 2016 where she made a bunch of striped  cups that are so cute and you can see them here.  I'd like to make them for a cute banner for my kitchen window.  Dreams people. Dreams.  I'm happy just thinking about it and if  I get some made even better!
Ok enough of my rambling.  What's new with you?

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Classic and Vintage

Good morning friends!  I'm excited to share my completed block in the Classic and Vintage series from Fat Quarter Shop. The featured block is the Broken Dishes block and it's a favorite.  
FQS quilt along

I am using Harper's Garden Ivory Roses for my background an Bella Solids in Peach Blossom. I like the combo together, kind of a soft fall look.  I  am going to add a small border and make this a little pillow, 14 inch size.  

The triangle paper was fun to use, and your triangles turn out so nice. I hadn't used the papers in quite a while and it was a good reentry point.  This would be a nice gateway project into using those fun Cake Mix Recipe Papers! But back to this project.  The standout, besides the block itself, is the Square on Square 8" Tool!  This tool will allow you to oversize your triangles then trim your block for a perfect square in a square.  This has always been a bit of a challenge for me,ending up just not quite right and having to really work at matching things up.  You can make a 4" and 8" square in a square block with this tool.  There's also a part of the tool designed to trim up a 2 1/2" or 4 1/2" pieced block.  This option is perfect for those leftover or oversize 4 patches that can accumulate if you're like me and over cut for a project sometimes! You can check out the how-to video here

What a fun block! The Classic and Vintage Series is a favorite of mine.  I love old blocks and old quilts, that's what drew me into quilting  all those years ago.  Back in the days before online shopping you had to leave your house and find things in the wild if you didn't inherit them.  My love of fabric and sewing allowed me to make my own and those classic quilts are still what I'm drawn too. I hope you head over to the Jolly Jabber and check out their post about this great block! Thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop for sending me the ruler and papers to get started on stitching this one up!!!  

Monday, October 07, 2019

Out and about.

Hi there friends, how are you?  I hope you're having a crisp fall morning, over here in PamKittyVille we're expecting a day in the 90s..and I'm not a fan.  But lets not start off the week with my complaints! (although  seriously, it's October for pete's sake)
I suppose you all already know I've traveled to Utah again to visit Nanette.  We had a great week sewing and going out and about. The weather was so lovely, cold and frosty in the morning and sunny and nice all day.  The drive was nice, I enjoy it, there was a dusting of snow on the mountains along the way there, and on the way home there was serious snow down to the lower elevations, but nothing close to the road. 
Nanette's daughter Jaime is a big fan of Gritty.  I whipped out one of Ayumi's lunch bags using it and Frankie customized a Pyrex dish for me with her Cricut.  It's fun making things for people don't you think? Ayumi's pattern is so easy and it's the perfect size for some of the cute retro styled storage dishes available. It makes for a fun gift. (fits the 4 or 7 cup size Pyrex!)


One of the things I worked on was the ghost blocks from Margot's Boo! Pattern.  After my first ghost it was smooth sailing. 


My little ghostly points don't match up always on the sides but honestly I don't care.  Well face it,I care a little bit but it's not ruining the project for me. 

Everything is cut out, I just pull out a ghosts worth of pieces and work on them one at time.  I'm enjoying working with the solid colors. Candy ghosts!
Things are getting back to normal around here.  Slowly, and I mean really slowly, we're putting things back in order after all our renovation projects.  The bathroom is so nice I really want to put it in a vault but that's impractical.  
What's up in your neck of the woods?  I hope you're knee deep in pumpkins, fall leaves and cool breezes! xop

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Long time no see..

Hi there! How are you?  Things are perking along here. I haven't done much sewing this summer, but looking forward to some fall sewing.  I've received some e-books from Martingale and I'm anxious to start telling you about them, so many lovely books are now available or coming soon.  Their gorgeous photography coupled with some wonderful projects has me feeling like I can't wait to get back to sewing again.  I've also been invited to sew along with Fat Quarter Shop's Classic and Vintage series coming next month. You know that series is a favorite of mine.  This time we're using tools that are either new to me.. the Square on Square 8" Trim tool, or an old friend, Half Square Triangle Paper, and Fat Quarter Shop generously sent them to me. Because I'm feeling fall I ordered some pretty Harper's Garden Ivory Roses and coordinating Bella Solids in Peach Blossom to make my block.

FQS quilt along

I'll let you know how that Trim Tool works out.  It's not a ruler, but I can't help but want to call it one. I love how Creative Grids tools come with instructions that I can store away with the tool  to help remind me how to use it. 
You might remember I posted on Instagram about my daisy quilt. Its an Accuquilt free pattern. I love it's bold green lattice and white and yellow daisies.  Accuquilt gave me the exact solids they used and I ordered them, but somehow I just thought they were too... something.  So as much as I loved that quilt I decided to dig out some PKM and make it. 


I don't love it. I don't hate it, don't get me wrong, but it's not the bold statement the original is and I should have known that.  What did I love about it? BOLD STATEMENT.  What did I not use? BOLD FABRIC. I did learn a lesson though.. you can't make new things with new ideas and the same old ingredients. I'll try not to make that mistake again.

Alden Lane
It's still hot here but there is  a feeling of fall in the air.  Alden Lane's Quilting in the Garden show is this upcoming weekend. I somehow always manage to be out of town for the show, but I look forward to seeing lots of pictures online. 

Quitling in the Garden
This is a quilt by Alex Anderson that's hanging in the gift shop. It's a free pattern here on her website.
Alden Lane
Looking forward to a week away in a few days.  I'm cutting up some fabric so I can sew it back together when I get there.  You know, the usual.  I hope you are well.  I enjoy seeing so may of you on Instagram, but I think of all you who are not. Blogging friends have made my life richer and even though I don't blog as much I think of you and hope that you're up to something good.  Who would have thought that all those pictures of lunch would have turned into the social media of today.  I saw something the other day that cracked me up and I hope you'll click over and crack up too. I spent a lot of time in Cabot Cove so this was right up my alley.  Maybe yours too!
Take care friends. xop

Monday, August 19, 2019

Color Inspiration

Good morning friends!  How are you? We're in the middle of cool spell here, low 80s, and I'm enjoying every minute of it.  The windows are open and the breeze is blowing thru my house. We're still in the midst of the work being done around here, so it's chaotic, and I've not done much in the way of sewing.  My sewing and cutting spaces are more our of control than normal, and my brain can't take it.  Remember those old fashioned tile games?  I feel like this is what's going on in my house.  I have one open square and I'm moving everything in and out of it constantly. 

tile game

It won't be long now, maybe 2 or 3 weeks? At least I hope that's all.  Cross your fingers for me. 
In the meantime, I had cut out a watering can block before it all started so one day I sat and stitched that up. It's fun choosing the watering can fabrics but I need to be careful to not fall into same trap as when I sew on those random sew alongs.  I  make a bunch of cute blocks but they look like a hot mess together.  The only thing that I find to be a mildly annoying is that the cutting instructions for the background is for a single block, and the pattern shows all blocks are using the same background.  I thought about using all different backgrounds but I'm just not organized enough right now for that. In the future though I am going to do something with a bunch of different backgrounds (low volume) because I have a wonderful collection that I ordered from Sharon.

I also ordered the BOO! Ghost pattern from The Pattern Basket. Margot has such  clever blocks. Same as with the watering cans, the cutting instructions are for 1 block, and I'm using all one background fabric as shown in the pattern, so I need to calculate cutting for all blocks at once.  I find that to be more efficient when one using one background.  Anyway I'll get over  it and JUST DO IT but I guess I want to gripe a little bit.  I would never let this stop me from buying these patterns and her quilt instructions are well written so please don't think this is a big deal or that I'm on  a rant. Margot puts a lot of work into her patterns and I appreciate her great designs.  I'm just lazy.
But back on track, I'm making the ghosts out of the prints above and some I will add when I can find the fabric in my stash. Frankie has wanted a ghost quilt forever, but she's a pastel Halloween girl so I'm really making a leap here, but I have some color inspiration people I'm going to link to so you see what I'm talking about. 
First off there's Jessica.  When I was making my big foot quilt I wish I'd seen this version Jessica made.  I  made all my trees green and it's ok, but I love hers with the colorful trees.  She makes a lot of really great things, so check her out. Her quilt encourages me to step outside the box.
Next up is Erica, I'm sure you already know her, but if not check out her Instagram feed.  I love her rainbow colors, her garden, her sweet Creamie and how she lives her color palette.  I find everything there so charming. 
My ghost quilt is inspired by the colors in this photo, this photo and this one. Those cups in the last photo are the same type as the cups we had in our old camping trailer.  We had matching bowls, I think they were give aways from somewhere.  I see them and they always give me a good feeling, why I don't buy one or two, who knows.  They do make me happy.  And while we're talking about vintage camping, check out this feed. I love all her photos of her little trailer, which looks like the one we had in the late 50s early 60s.  Ours was pastel blue and white, but the inside looks very much like hers.  I love her colors and her joyful ways, and her cute dog Johnny.
ANYWAY YAKKITY YAK. That's what's up with me.  What's up with you? Is it still summer or has fall crept in?  I am seeing a lot of fall decorating already on IG but there's a lot of summer left around these parts. Hope things are good with you. xop

Monday, August 12, 2019

Happy 40th Anniversary Olfa!

Good morning friends!  Today is my day in the Olfa  Quilt Along.  I am so excited to be included in this event with so many great quilters.   I can still remember the day in 1987, when I first saw the Olfa Cutter.  I was on maternity leave pacing my house and watching  PBS.  I have always loved sewing and quilting seemed like it would be so much fun, but the thought of cutting all those pieces with scissors was way out side my patience level.  Kaye Wood came on tv and she was cutting out pieces for a quilt using a rotary cutter and it was like the voices of a thousand angels singing. Before I knew it was gripping  a yellow Olfa cutter in my  hand and I never looked back. 

Do you own a Ruby cutter or any of the wonderful Splash cutters?  I love my Ruby Red cutter, you know I love red.  That Ruby Red cutter on the new Navy True Blue mat would be sensational.  But I digress.

The assignment was to create a block using the Splash colors to include in a sampler quilt.  I got out my Splash cutters (yes, I have them all!) and went to my stash and pulled some fabric, and waited for some inspiration to hit. 
This is my block, Judges Favorite.  I think the Olfa Rotary Cutters, rulers and self healing mats are my favorite and most important tools for quilting and basically any sewing or crafting I do. They'll always win a prize ribbon from me!  Couple them with the circle cutter, the utility knife, little touch knives, scissors... well they are indispensable tools.


Here's the whole quilt and isn't it great! You can head over to this post to get started on the quilt if you haven't already checked it out! You can find the gallery of blocks here. I can't live without my Olfa Rotary Cutter and I bet you can't either!  Thanks Olfa, for including me in your Quilt Along Project!!  I'm so happy to be a part of the celebration!


Friday, August 02, 2019

Patchwork Picnic

Morning friends! How are you?  Today we're on a happy sew along with Gracey Larson and her new book Patchwork Picnic. I've been following Gracey on Instagram for quite a while and I enjoy her whimsical patterns, you might recall the popcorn pillow I made for Bret some time ago.  Her patterns are so detailed and believe it or not they're all traditionally pieced!
Patchwork Picnic
The book is so cute, it has 30 picnic themed blocks and instructions to put them together into a sampler quilt, as well as some other fun projects, including a table runner, potholder and packing pouches. 

Patchwork Picnic
The blocks come in two sizes, six and twelve inches. In typical Martingale fashion, the instructions and illustrations are great.  These blocks are cute and you can use them in Gracey's projects, or add them to  your own project designs. 

Patchwork Picnic

Today I'm showing off my  little bluebird block.  Cute right?  In her introduction, Gracey talks about fabric and using bits and pieces of your collection.  So in that theme I went shopping in my fabric and pulled out some pieces that I love to make this little potholder, a pattern project in the book. 
Patchwork Picnic
This potholder has a handy little pocket to slide your hand into on the back.  It's bound like a quilt and I like that a lot.  I never hang my potholders so I left off the little loop.  Its a fun addition to my potholder collection and a sweet reminder of friendships made on Instagram. 
This book is very cute and would make a charming addition to your sewing library.
Thanks to Gracey for inviting me to sew along with her new book, thanks to Martingale for sending me an e-copy of the book.  Book photos are courtesy of Martingale, taken by the great Brent Cane. 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Keeping cool.

Hi there!  Hope you're keeping cool in all this hot hot weather.  We're on a week of 90 degree days, but it's not too bad overall.  We replaced the furnace and a/c units at the end of the season last year, so this year we're enjoying the benefits of more efficient a/c. 

Right now we're at the beginning of some work around the house, so things are in a bit of a chaotic state.  No sewing for me right now, but hopefully again soon.  I did bring a bunch of quilts home from the quilter so I'm on quilt 2 working on binding.  It's not so fun in the hot weather, so it's sloooow going.  I still have several quilts out for quilting, and can't wait to get them back. 


Since Frankie started hanging banners in her front window and decorating for holidays and seasons, I've been wanting to do that in my kitchen window.  Do you follow Michele of Mumlicreates on IG? She makes the cutest banners and I've been in love with the tea time banner for ages.  All the details are so cute, that cup with the flowers is KILLING ME.   I ordered the Beach Daze banner for Frankie.  Perfect for Santa Cruz. 


On the sewing front, my friend Pat Sloan has a pretty new line of fabric with Benartex out and she sent me a selection of  fat quarters to play with.  Bonnie Lane is the name of this line, and it's due out later this year, September I believe.  This pile of beauties has a fall feel doesn't it?  Do you follow Pat?  She's always got a lot going on, sew alongs, books, online Fireside chats! You should check it all out.   Thanks to Pat for treating me to some of her fabric!  

One of the nice things about having this work done is that I can get into some daytime reading!  No work around the house to be done and my sewing room is full of overflow stuff, nothing to do but read!  Hope you're keeping cool and staying out of trouble!  xop

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Book Report

Hi friends!  Hope you are well and enjoying all that summer has to offer.  We've had a nice few cool days here, lots of swing time out back for me, enjoying the cooler weather.  The summer has been nice so far and my plants are all still looking fresh and green. 
Recently Deidre from C&T contacted me and asked if I'd like an e-copy of Alex's All Things Quilting book for review. It was one of the books I hadn't added to my library and I jumped at the chance. 

Honestly, it's so good I had to go out and get a hold-in-your-hands copy. It's the reference book that I've always wanted!  For instance, what's the calculation for setting triangles? I always like to check just in case. Well page 92 has a tell all on setting triangles, including a bit of a discussion on grainline.  Did you know that a lot of people don't know the difference between quarter square and half square triangles and why to use one or the other? 
But that's just one thing in the book.  Something that's important to me. There are a lot of other reasons to get this book. No matter how long I've been sewing or quilting, there are lots of techniques I don't know.  I remember when I was adding prairie points to the edge of a quilt, I didn't know how to do it. The internet at that time didn't really know either come to find out, and I was left to muddle through because my book and pattern library didn't have anything past a sentence or so to tell me how to do it. All Things Quilting has a bunch of step outs showing exactly how to do it.  Great photography that really illustrates the technique. That's just one of the many finishing techniques shown in the book. 
All Things Quilting is filled with things like that, great step out photographs of techniques of all kinds, you know, from start to finish of your project.  It has information that is missing today in lots of books or online sources, the reasoning behind doing something a particular way.  That back up info that informs your decision making process.  The information that can make the difference in the success of your projects.   For me it's all the information you might pick up if you took a lot of quilt classes.  It's all in this book waiting for you to pick it up when you need it. 
This book really is All Things Quilting.  It's a start to finish guide for making a quilt. A book filled with information you don't know you need till you do. It's your quilt class experience without leaving home. It's there, from a trusted source, so you know you can count on it.  I love it.  I feel inspired by it. And while this isn't a fancy review, because lets face it, I'm not that fancy, it's an honest assessment of this book. 
Thanks Deidre, for sending me an e-copy! What a great book!   People if you ever just wanted to know stuff I think you will love it. 
Ok, that's the news here in PamKittyVille.  xop

Wednesday, July 03, 2019


Hi there friends!  How are you?  We're in July already, I can hardly believe it.  The weather is cooler than normal right now, so Chris, no complaints for me!  I'm enjoying every breezy open window moment as soon enough it will be scorching.  That's just how it is. 

So what's been going on since I came here last?  Seems like tons.  We took a quick Father's Day trip to Disneyland to catch the new Disneyland Galaxy's Edge.  Bret is a Star Wars fan, and we knew he wanted to go.  Frankie and I were watching the crowd tracker and weather and both were in our favor so we went in the middle of the week before Father's day.  It was great fun.  Perfect weather, not too crowded. 
Things around here are busy.  We're having some work done around the house and wow, it's not like we're hoarders but holy cow.  Finding places to move stuff around is quite a challenge. 
Watering Can
I have been a sewing a bit, and when I saw Margot's Watering Can Quilt I knew I had to make it.  I mean, come on, SCALLOPS! It's adorable, I've just cut out and made one so far, but I'll make more. 
A couple of years ago I bought some canvas to make a new canopy for my swing. Of course I promptly put it off making due with the old ripped up one.  I pulled the fabric out finally a couple of weeks ago and made another.  It was filled with frustrations, my fabric wasn't wide enough, I kept sewing wrong sides to right sides.  But it finally was done.    I have sat outside in the shade of the canopy since then.  My sweet neighbor Alice Jane passed away a couple of weeks ago.  She was so wonderful to me, friend and mentor, a confidant. Someone who really changed my life.  We always underestimate how much we will miss people. 

Me, mom, Frankie and Alice-Jane
Allied Arts Menlo Park
July, maybe 1990
Do you have 4th of July plans? Not much going on here.  More moving stuff around for us.  Seems like no matter how much we clean up and move out there's always a bunch more.  Well we've lived here about 36 years I think, I guess it shouldn't be a surprise. 
I hope you are well friends.  Be safe over the holiday.  xop

Friday, June 14, 2019

Wave Your Flag

Time to pop in... sorry it's been so long!  The last time I was here it was for a sew along as well, I like these Fat Quarter Shop sew-alongs and I'm always happy to be asked to participate!
It's certainly summer here in PamKittyVille, already in the 100s! We have the perfect summer time project today, the Wave Your Flag Table Runner and it's super cute.  I chose this Orchard fabric from April Rosenthall for Moda, I've been waiting for it to be available, those fruits are killing me!

The pattern calls for only one navy fabric, but I wanted to use the scalloped fruits in the flag to look like stars, well sort of anyway.  The pieced stars need the more solid tonal fabric as the pieces are small. Just a chance to use more fabric, right?

It's very fast to piece together.  I wanted to quilt a wave, so many wonderful flag quilts are out there with wave quilting.  I didn't have a wave stencil or any quilting paper so I made my first wave using my orange peel template and some strips from copy paper.  It worked out pretty well! After the first row I used the guide on my walking foot to work my way across the runner.  It was speedy.
I love love LOVE how it turned out.  It's already on my table ready for the season. The Orchard fabric is perfect, I used the aqua fruit for backing.  I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. 
You can hop on over to the Jolly Jabber and see all the  other table runners! I can't wait to see what everyone else made.  The free pattern can be found here. And check out the #waveyourflagrunner hashtag to see more on Instagram!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Picnic Time Pillow Remix

Good morning friends!  Today is Picnic Time Pillow Remix day here.  Fat Quarter Shop is revisiting some of their really great projects that maybe you missed or maybe you just need a reminder of!  Of course I'm always up for a pillow project, especially one like this!  It's fast and simple and a great project for an afternoon!
I just had to use the cute Bluebirds on Roses fabric by Elea Lutz.  It's the cheeriest aqua blue and that background fabric with the birds, I can't get enough of it.  I chose a coordinating pink from the collection for the binding .


I'm thrilled how it turned out. The pattern is a fast make, and there is a even a quilt to go along with it.  That would be very fun for those few cooler mornings on the patio with my coffee.

Be sure and head over to The Jolly Jabber for their blog post and see all the other pillows. You can find the pattern here and the accompanying video here.  Check out the #picnictimepillow hashtag for more pillows and the #fqsremix hastag for other remix projects!
Thanks for following along friends! xop

Monday, April 22, 2019

Stitched So Sweet

Good morning my sunshiney friends!  How are you? I'm excited to talk about my friend Tracy and her new book Stitched So Sweet today! I first saw Tracy's cute designs at a shop called Horsefeathers and they were so fresh and different.  I loved them.  It's been a lot of years since then, don't make me count! But her designs are still so charming  and  unique.  It's so great when you see friends have continued well deserved success.

These photos from the book are courtesy of Martingale, all photography by Brent Kane.  Like all the photos in the book, each little vignette is perfect.


I love the combination of  patchwork, applique and stitching.  It's soft and vintage looking, which of course is a look I love. This piece is stitched on a wool ground with a wool heart, and little cotton prairie points, the mix is precious, soft and cozy.


This is my favorite project in the book, The Thread and Whimsy Wall Quilt. It's a seasonal project with patchwork, applique and embroidery.  Like the project above, it celebrates the four seasons in it's embroidered designs.

I love the soft colors, but I think it would be so cute in vibrant PKM colors as well. The modern machine applique style with the vintage style designs is so charming.  Of course scallops.. I love scallops.
Tracy's book is adorable.  I guess I've used all the superlatives but really, so sew cute! I'm so happy for her.  What more can you want for your friends than happiness and success? I hope you enjoyed this peek into Tracy's new book Stitched So Sweet. Thanks to Martingale for sending me the e-copy to read and enjoy. 
Ok friends! I'm off on an adventure tomorrow!  Hope you have a great week. xop