Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday

Friday..where did the time go?  I've just been puttering around the house doing a little of this and that with one exciting trip up to the grocers as the high point.  Exciting times people! 
 
I thought I'd finish out the week telling you about the sweetest thing ever.  I'm sure you all know Jodie, I've followed along with her on her blog forever and have had some crazy laughing good times with her at market.  She's smart and funny and oh so very talented.  You can find her on her blog here, and on instagram here.

Jodie Ric Rack
 
Anyway I knew she was on either the first or second row so I had to rush down to say hi before things got to crazy busy. That's the downside to market, the fleeting time spent with friends.  Thank goodness for the internet. 
 
She surprised me with this sweet P is for Pig and coordinating block ..  I love his little tilted head and articulated arms.  And those ears. Well it's P for Perfect! She also gave me a cute little packet of her line Bunny Trail!  If you haven't seen her wonderful stuffed animals be sure and check out them out here. I am so grateful for her generosity! I can't imagine taking the time to whip out a project as a gift during the quilt market frenzy period!

Jodie Ric Rac
 
 
I finally have a current block to show off for Splendid Sampler day!  This is Simple Surpises by Amy Ellis.  As you know I'm doing all the blocks that seem easy to me, and this pieced block was fast and fun.  So fun I actually made two of them! 
 
Splendid Sampler
 
I have sure enjoyed seeing everyone's blocks over on FAcebook and Instagram!  There are going to be some wonderful quilts when this is over!
 
Ok, we're having an extra long weekend!  Hope you have a safe Memorial Day! xo

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday

Good morning.  No exclamation point today.  I'm back home.  Insert sad face here, I started feeling sick on Friday night and decided instead of infecting Nanette and her people, including those two cute kids, I'd just come back home. 

coffee
 
The drive home went fast.  Luckily not super sick, just a cold kind of thing.  Phew.  Today I feel like a truck ran over me. 
 
Market was fantastic as usual and I'm glad I got to see a lot of people.  Of course for everyone I saw I missed some more, so that was the downside of leaving early.  Its good we have the internet to keep our friends close.  I know I'd be lost without it. 
 
And just so you know.. I did get to drive in snow.. just a smidge once I hit Donner Pass.  That 'Carry Chains' flashing sign does get one's blood pumping, just ask Elizabeth.
 
Ok peeps have a good week.  xo

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Good morning!

Short and sweet this morning my friends!  Sucking up a cup and a half of coffee before I hit the road to Salt Lake City!  I'm thinking of all my favorite places along the road. Things to see, the places that I get gas, the landmarks.  It passes the time along with a good audio book!

coffee
 
Cute mug from Frankie with a sweet message.
 
I was thinking about snow, it's been so stinken hot here already, two days in the 90s and people the a/c already has clicked on once!! I sure don't appreciate that! I probably won't run into any, they don't' expect snow in the Sierras till tomorrow!  Just as well I suppose.
 
Ok, see you later gators! You guys are the best! xo
 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

All the Colors

Good morning!  Its a quick week for me, Thursday morning I'll be off for Quilt Market in Salt Lake City.  I love every aspect of the trip, including the drive.  Its long for sure, but I have so many great memories of making that drive a couple of times  with Elizabeth and then later on my own.  And remember when we drove through snow both on the way to market then again I had snow on my trip to see Nanette.   Good times.

Just had to share my lovely  painting from Pam Garrison.  I have been following along with her on her artisitic journey since I found blogs and started my own, which  ten years now.   I just can't stop looking at it and I'm so happy to have it.  From the second I saw it on Instagram I had to have it.  You can see a better photo of it over on Instagram here.

floristA

Probably not the best way to show it off but Frankie brought me some flowers and the composition and colors reminded me of the painting.  Frankie's friend Amy who is a floristA created this arrangement. I love how cute the name is, with the capital A for Amy and her partner's name is Ann I believe, so both A's, both floristAs.  Clever I thought. 

floristaA1
 
Their arrangements are very eclectic, using a variety of flowers, many of them old fashioned like those white stocks.  Yum my house smells like my childhood. My father used to always bring my mother big bouquets of stocks and their spicy scent would fill the house.  Anyway lovely.  Everytime I walk past them I drink it all in.
 
Ok, I hope to get back here, I'm working on getting my stuff together.  After market I'm heading to Nanette's for a few days of visiting and sewing and sightseeing.  CANNOT WAIT.  Be sure and check on my Instagram account if you want to see what I'm up to! xo

Friday, May 13, 2016

Fri-YAY

Woohoo, Friday!  How was your week?  I got a bunch of small things crossed off my list, which feels so darn good.   I know so many of you are wonderful at keeping things in control and that's something I really envy.
 
I realized that I have forgotten to share my Spring in a Jar block for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Issue 13 with you.  This issue is now on newsstands!
 

Quiltmaker 100 blocks 13
 
I love simple applique shapes.  These are perfect to practice your machine blanket stitching. Of course you can straight stitch around the edge as well , which seems to be the popular finishing method. 


Quiltmaker 100 Blocks 13'
 
Popular or not, I love the blanket stitch.  I remember when I was looking at upgrading machines from my old used Singer my dad bought me in 1974, the main thing on my list was the blanket stitch. I've spent lots of hours stitching away and it's still my preferred method of applique.   I hope you like my block with the pieced background. 
 
Ok peoples.. hope you have a wonderful weekend!  xo

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wednesday

Hi there!  What's new with you?  The days have rolled by without a lot to show for them here on the blog.  We had some rain, I went to the market, I ran some errands, I had an eye appointment.  Although I did actually instagram a photo of my eye doctor way back in the day, some how it's just not that exciting anymore.  What will be exciting, getting my new glasses. Then maybe all those times when I think my block is right on, it actually will be!

stars
 
In the meantime, I have my stars stitched together.  It's really fun using the Sizzix die for this block, no cutting with templates or fancy rulers. They go together fast.  Well as fast as I do anything these days!  I have a few dies for applique shapes, this is my first die for  piecing.  Pretty fun.  
 
I really enjoyed Cheri's fun Scrapbasket Sew  Along, and it looks like starting June 10  there will be another one!  Here's the sneak peek of the designs.  Each month there will be an applique block and a pieced block.  You can join Cheri's group on Facebook here.   I really enjoy the group. 

blackbirdgathering
 
It's a very positive group, I haven't seen anyone being unkind, as sometimes groups can get.  I know some of you are already in the group, are you making the quilt? 
 
Ok, that's it for today.  Hope you're having a good week!

Friday, May 06, 2016

TGIF

How was your week peeps?  I don't even know what happened to mine, the days just slipped away and now it's Friday.  While I know I was in and out of the sewing room I know for sure I didn't sew a stitch. 

Holiday Wishes
 
I did do some coffee break reading this week.  Fat Quarter Shop sent me a copy of Sherri's new Holiday Wishes book.  Oh my gosh, so super cute. If you click over to FQS to the book you'll see the projects included.  Today's favorite is Norwegian Holiday. I love a pretty red and white quilt.  You can count on the team at FQS to have easy to understand, carefully illustrated instructions.  There's a nice range of projects for   beginner and  experienced quilters .  I can't wait to get busy on it!
 
Ok, it's Mother's Day weekend, hope all your moms out there have a nice day! Happy Weekend!

Monday, May 02, 2016

Easy Addition

Woo hoo it's Monday ! It's May!  Wow, I can hardly believe it.  It was a warm windy weekend here, how about your place?
 
I had mentioned last week one of things I'd ticked off the list was my Easy Addition Quilt.  I scrapped it up with a lot of PamKitty white background prints and I'm quite pleased with the outcome!  I can't wait to have it quilted. 
 
One of the things I love about blogs and social media is all the fantastic photos. I'd love to have the space in my house to set up but there's just no 'back up' room around here.  So my clever idea was to take it to a school.. I mean 'Easy Addition' has kind of a school house  sound to it right?  And where do you learn addition, elementary school.  Bret decided Walnut Grove, his elementary alma mater, would be the perfect choice.  I love the California Mission style of the plaza area outside the school. 


Easy Addition
 
But now close up, where you get a feel for the quilt you're stuck with a weird lame photo.  Or should I say another, weird lame photo. 


Easy Addition
 
So at the school we saw another sign, so thought that looks good.  Well, that provided some challenges as well, like the crazy wind that came up. And really, kind of my regular just barely ok photos. I guess in my mind I'm torn between wanting a pretty photo and wanting to see a good portion of the quilt.  Old school vs new school. School.  Get it?

Easy Addition
 
So we high tailed it back to Livermore to see if Frankie's old elementary school had a better sign.  And it does.  I practically had to get into someone's car to take these photos, but  they're much closer to what I had in my mind, a clever shot about math.  Or is that even a possibility?

Easy Addition

Thanks to Brenda for a great pattern and to American Patchwork and Quilting to bringing it to us.

Easy Addition
 
I really enjoyed making it, and participating in the quilt along.  It is great to have a community of like minded people to hang out with!
 
Have a great week!
 
 
 
 #apqquiltalong
#easyaddition

Friday, April 29, 2016

Strip Smart Mini

Hi there, happy Friday.  How did your week go?  I feel like I got a lot of stuff done.  I've sewn all my rows together for the Easy Addition quilt and it's now a quilt top waiting to be quilted.  I added my borders to the Pie Cherries quilt and I'm pretty excited about how it turned out.  I also stitched the  side borders onto my Scrapbasket quilt.. but I'm on the fence about my choices so I'm setting that aside. I've checked it off the list but I might have to uncheck it and try something else. Hopefully this weekend I can find some sun and get a few photos of all these projects to show you. 
 
No surprise I got sick of my list though. I have one more quilt that needs borders and I just didn't have it in me to do it.  So I took a bit of a sewing holiday and pulled out my Strip Smart Mini that my friend Kathy sent me.   Kathy designed this template for Creative Grids.  I'm telling you it's genius, just like Kathy. You might remember she's written two Strip Smart books, Strips Smart Quilts and Strip Smart Quilts 2... you can make mini version of all those quilts with this template. She's also designed new patterns to go with this template, you can take a peek at those here.  And there's a video and instruction page that includes more blocks and ideas here.

Strip Smart Mini
 
I cut myself two  2 inch strips and stitched them together.  Kathy recommends starch, as there will be bias edges.  Then it's just a matter of cutting you pieces. One strip set yields 10 pieces if you cut them as I've shown here.  If you watch the video you'll see there are other ways to cut the strip up. I'ts pretty amazing. 

Strip Smart Mini
 
I love this block, is it the double hourglass block?  I don't remember the official name.  So fast and simple. I pressed all the seams open. 

Strip Smart Mini
 
I also made a block stitching the to long edges together to yield a square.  I hope you go watch Kathy's video, or if you have the Strip Smart books, pull them out for ideas.  I loved the double hour glass quilt in the strip smart book, called Penny Candy.  You can catch a picture of it on my blog post here.  My books have a new life with this template.

Strip Smart Mini
 
One thing I really like about the Creative Grids rulers is the little booklet that comes with them.  I usually store my ruler with the booklet just in case I need help remembering how to use it. 
 
So that was my fun activity yesterday afternoon. But then I'm back at my list.  What did you do this week?   Have a good weekend! Can you believe it's the end of the month already??

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday

Good morning! Did you have a nice weekend? It was Splendid Sampler time again, and finally we're back to one of the blocks that I've made, Sweet Candy.  I'm sticking with what's comfortable for me, and that's the great thing about this, you get to do as many or as few blocks as you'd like. 


Splendid Sampler
 
This block is Sweet Candy by Kris Thurgood. Kris owns My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe and it's a charming store in Logan Utah.  I had the chance to visit there last year when I was visiting Nanette. Its a cheerful store and I recommend going it you have the chance.
 
I had a productive weekend.  I've organized more things so I'm ready with a list of what projects need to be completed.  Lots of things need borders.  Obviously something that's not my favorite.  I determined what to use on those quilts and have those ready.  I stitched all my Easy Addition blocks into rows, so that's another project that is so close to being done. All I need is some good TV and I'm set there. There are some projects I'd like to start soon, but I'm trying to clear up a few things first.  My sewing table isn't totally cleaned off because well, we're talking about me. But it's so much better.  I am trying to set reasonable goals that I can actually accomplish.
 
Hope you have a good week ahead of you!  See you later aligators! xo 
 
 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Cuppa with the Queen

Today's the Queen of England's birthday so I'm having a cup of tea in my fancy  mug.  I'm not going to lie, I totally got a jump start on  the whole cool mug thing this time, luckily I saw Sarah with her Queen's birthday mug over on Instagram and wasn't going to be caught without a full choice of mugs. Do I have a problem?  YES I DO.  But sometimes doesn't IG make you want to buy stuff?  Most of the time I'm able to quash it but I knew the mug was going to get to me.  I remember hunting down that Cath Kidston Jubliee mug like it was big game!

Queen
 
Phew.  I have a cool mug.  It was a tough choice, just look here at all these options! My mug is by Dunoon but there are plenty of fantastic mugs out there.  I'll be chugging some coffee out of this one later. I mean tea. Come on. 

scrapbasket Sanpler
 
More sewing done this week, pretty excited to have all the applique done on my Scrapbasket Sampler.   I thought about doing the majority of the applique without sewing the border onto the body of the quilt, but in the end I attached it so that I could make sure I was happy with the layout.  Some of the pieces overlap into the first row of blocks.

scrapbasket Sampler
 
It does make blanket stitching more challenging but not impossible.  For a few minutes I thought I was done but then remembered there were side borders. So close.
 
Wednesday I went over to  my mother-in-law's with my Easy Addition blocks.  Doris  has a big floor space and plenty of patience to make sure that all the blocks are laid out without two matching pluses ending up next to each other.  So those are all in a pile and I'll start sewing rows together.  Hopefully it will go together easily. 
 
Hope your week finishes out great!  We've had some nice sun and we're expecting rain tomorrow, or maybe Saturday depending on where you look.  I'm happy for the rain, it will extend the wonderful green season here longer. Have fun !xo
 
 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sunny Monday


Hi there! How was your weekend?  I got some sewing done, I was going to say a lot, but there are people who really do get a lot done, so I'll just say some and be satisfied with that.   I laid out my Scrapbasket Sampler blocks from Cheri's Facebook Group/Sewing Bee.   It took me a while to decide what to use for alternate blocks.  I ended up going with the same backgrounds, keeping it predominately pink and aqua.  I had waited till Cheri released the applique portions to decide what to do.  I know this is just a snippet of the quilt, it's long and narrow, but you can see the addition of the bottom applique.
 
Scrapbasket Sampler

I was able to do all the blanket stitching and then attach the piece to the bottom, I think it's kind of fun and makes the little green bits in the body of the quilt pop a bit. The applique is quite a bit darker than the quilt.. so I'm not sure if it will be successful in the end.  Maybe all you're going to notice is OMG LOOK AT THAT APPLIQUE.

Scrapbasket Sampler
 
 There's a lot more pieces in the top applique, lots of flowers and more stars.  I'd worry about it, but you know what, it's just fabric and so there's no risk in using it and making a mistake right? I used to be a lot more carefree with my projects, less worry about how it will all look, so I'd like to capture some of that again. 


Now for some coffee break reading.. Sunday's reading was Kerri's cute Lovely Little Patchwork book.  Chock filled with adorable projects. I'm sure you already know how adorable everything she makes is.
 
 
Lovely Little Patchwork
 
I am very excited to see some Pam Kitty Fabric featured in this cute table runner.  Very cute book, congratulations to Kerri. You can follow her on Instagram here, and check out all the cute stuff people are making using the hashtag #lovelylittlepatchwork here.

Lovely Little Patchwork

Ok, lets keep this week on the straight and narrow.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Friday

Ahh, another week has gone by, how did it go.  Have to say it had it's ups and downs.  But before we get started, did you work on your Splendid Sampler block?  I can' t believe we're on the 18th block already!  This week's block, Lina's Gift is by Pat Sloan, and you can find it here.  It's a straightforward block to make and I've really enjoyed seeing them pop up on Facebook and Instagram. 


Splendid Sampler
 
This block looks pretty bold, but it helps some of my other bolder blocks fit in with the softer colors.  Balance is hard for me on these kinds of projects.  I get in little ruts with color and fabric and then suddenly I have a bunch of soft looking blocks and a handful of STANDOUTS.  You can see a ton of great Splendid Sampler blocks on Instagram here.
 
I'm working on my sewing table.. I tend to just pile stuff up till I'm sewing on a little tiny portion of my table.  So I started at the top of the pile and worked my way down.  First up on my pile were all my flower box blocks.  I posted about being hung up on them way back last November here.  As soon as I picked them up I realized what had derailed me.  The last few blocks weren't done because I had run out of combinations where the text would all go one direction.  I pondered it for a while and then I just threw caution to the wind and sewed the remaining blocks.  Now they're in a tidy pile for a time when I can lay them all out. 
 
The next thing on the pile was my Scallop Quilt.  The quilt was the prototype for Holly's Two by Two quilt , and like the flower box blocks, I started it last year at my March retreat. I had the blocks all made and was at the assembly part of the project when I made some silly piecing errors, sewing some things going the wrong direction.  I picked it all up again and after a lot of the same kind of ridiculous errors I have the center pieced together.  All that's left is the borders.  I don't know about you but one of my least favorite things is cutting those long borders.   So that's folded up and OFF the table for right now, waiting. 
 
You might also remember these giant petunia blocks.  Why did I think I had a ton of those done?  I moved those off the table for now and I'll think about it later.  Now there's a lot more room on the table, but it's by no means done.  I still feel pretty good about it.  In the shuffling I saw another couple of things that just need borders.. hmm. Sounds like a problem for FuturePam.
 
That's a lot of reading to go along with one picture.  Hope you all have a happy weekend. xop

Monday, April 11, 2016

Monday!

Good morning!  How are things with you this fine Monday morning?  I got a few things  done this weekend.  Here's my wrinkly looking Splendid Sampler block. Kimberly Jolly desgined this block for us and she's got a sweet story behind it that you can read about over at the Jolly Jabber. Then head over and download your block, just in case you haven't yet.  I had lunch with a friend this past week, and we talked a bit about sewing.  I'm going to try out her advice for lengthening my stitch a bit, maybe that will cure my problems with pulling.  I've tried the starching, and also pressing my seams open, nothing seems to really work for me.  Well I should say work for me consistently.  So I'll just keep chugging along.  I'm in persuit of a good looking flat block like I see so much of online, but you know what, if I can't get it, it's not going to stop me from sewing and enjoying myself. 


Splendid Sampler
 
Also on my agenda was trying out this star.  Way way back when I first started quilting Alex Anderson had a wonderful quilt she was teaching at the shop I worked at, it was a 54-40 or fight quilt.  At that time there were no readily available templates like there are now, and if there were, I didn't know about them because you know, the internet was in it's infancy.  You could just hop on and Google triangle in a square template an find a bunch of stuff.  I mean it's like it was the dark ages for pete's sake! 

Sizzix block
 
I ordered up this great die from Sizzix.  I like that it has not only the isosceles triangle, it also has the right triangles to turn it into a triangle in a square. The points are trimmed already which makes lining them up a breeze.  And while I'm pretty sure I have several rulers that I could do this with, I'm in love with the accuracy with the die cuts and how easy it is to line them up.  I couldn't be happier with how fast it was. 


Sizzix block
 
I've been toying with the idea of a navy and green quilt.. I've seen a lot of that combination lately in fashion and in quilts, so maybe I'll go that direction. Here's a few things I've saved on Pinterest.   But navy kind of sets me down the more patriaotic path so there's red, then I just can't help but add yellow and before you know it's all the PamKittyColors at once.   So before I start cutting I'm playing around on Photoshop to see what I like.  What do you think?
 
Ok, that's it for today!  Tell me what you're up to!  Have a great week! xo
 
 


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