Friday, March 24, 2017
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
You might be able to see the hole in this close up.
Then I laid the template on my background fabric and made a mark with the temporary marker on both sides.
And the placed my peel. Super cool. Wish I had thought of it before I got started.
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
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
Tuesday, February 07, 2017
Hi there! I'm on a roll here this week.. a half roll that is. I fell in love with a quilt that Fat Quarter Shop shared on Instagram and decided that I would have to make it. It uses their Orange Peel templates and their Round Robin Pattern. I hopped online and ordered the Birds of Liberty Half Roll and as a special treat I picked up the adorable small Lori Holt Cute Cuts mat. Just because.
For some reason, I had thought the half roll was half length strips, like 2 1/2" x 22, why? No idea. It has 18 full width of fabric strips, and if I hadn't already traced my small template onto miles of Quilter's Select Appli-Web Plus I would have made it bigger. As it is, I only used 22 inches of each strip to cut these 144 small orange peels.
I'm not sure which fabric I'll use for the background. I need to check my stash of dots or maybe a white on white. Have you seen Nadra's version on Instagram? Precious.
Well time to make some decisions. I'm looking forward to a lot of blanket stitching. A LOT! Happy days!
Monday, February 06, 2017
Good morning! I can't believe we're on the second week of February already. It seems like time picks up a lot more momentum the older you get. Cliché I know. But seriously, February.
You'll find it hard to believe that I turned this pile of fabrics into a finished quilt but I did.
Here's the proof. It's bound even, not a just a top, not unbound, DONE. At the onset of the project I couldn't quite imagine how I could turn a modern looking quilt into something that was PamKitty style, but reducing the blocks by half did the trick. So there you have it, My American Patchwork and Quilting quilt along quilt.
I am happy it's done and I'll pop it on the table once I clear it off. Go ahead, insert some maniacal laughter here. A clean table. I crack myself up.
Hope you have a great week everyone! You guys are the greatest. xo
Thursday, February 02, 2017
Good morning! I'm warning you, I'm full of surprises. My APQ quilt along quilt top is done. That's right. And here's photo proof. Today I'm marking the first lines and starting the quilting. Diagonal grid for the win! I'll just mark the "X" thru the center and let my walking foot guide do the rest for me. And at just 30 inches square it will go fast. I think it turned out pretty cheerful and I look forward to using it.
Yesterday my trees and my neighbors were filled with birds. My neighbor has an enormous oak tree and it had Robin's and Cedar Waxwings all over it. And the squawking, I could hear it inside my house, which is how I know so many birds were there. My photos didn't do it justice, but I did catch this little gold finch in my yard. Sweet. I know, not a great photo but I enjoy that little burst of yellow right in the center.
A few weeks ago I had tons of Mountain Bluebirds on my tree out front. I honestly felt like it was a bit of a miracle. I have seen them in great abundance at Alden Lane Nursery but never anywhere else.
As long as the berries were on the tree they kept coming back, hanging out there or in our big fruitless mulberry. And a lot of them. Hard to catch a great photo of them either. It was actually so gray and there was so much glare I wasn't even sure the first day that they were bluebirds. I had to grab a photo to really see the color.
It feels somewhat miraculous to suddenly have so many wonderful birds showing up. I've seen the Cedar Waxwings more than I have in years, usually they are around one day in their migration. They must be finding great food choices around here if they're lingering.
Well enough bird talk. I better get busy ! Have a great day! xo
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Falling on the heels of that completed pillow you'll be shocked to see I actually have a start on my quilt along quilt. I've chosen the quilt from Quilts and More Magazine, Step by Step. True confession, I just don't think I have it in me to patiently cut strips for that string quilt, even though I think it's tons of fun.
Of course I have to make things Pam Kitty Style, and to do that I needed to look at the size of the pieces and the scale of my fabric. The magazine version uses large scale prints with a modern look, and my fabrics are smaller scale, so I got out my calculator and got busy cutting the pattern down to size.
Then I popped the design into Photoshop and got busy with a layout. You can see my printout as a guide next to my stack of fabrics. My quilt will be half sized, and will be perfect for the top of a table. As a bonus, easy to quilt. I used the layout of the fabrics in the original quilt to guide me in fabric selection and placement, and I had a lot of fun going through all my boxes of fabric to find fabrics to use from all my collections. It really is a perfect stash quilt.
If you're stitching along with all of us I hope you'll show off your progress on Instagram and on Facebook using the hashtag #APQquiltalong so we can look around and see what everyone is working on.
Thanks for stopping by. You guys are the best.
Monday, January 30, 2017
Welcome to another week! How was your weekend? I managed to finish up that pillow. No one is more surprised than I am, trust me. I've been good at starting things and not so good at finishing them. I popped an 18 inch pillow form in there, but I might try and find a 16 inch.. I generally like a nice firm pillow but this might be cuter a little less puffy.
I'll send it off to live with Frankie, it's perfect for her sofa. It's fun for right now, Valentine's Day season, but perfect and pink for everyday!
I've managed to get my APQ quilt along quilt cut out But more on that later. I don't want to scare you with too many things at once. Too shocking.
Hope you have a great week! xo