Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Kissmess Card Case

Let's say you are giving someone a new tarot deck or Jessie Lawson's Sensory Reflection cards for a Kissmess present.   Once the wrapping paper is off, don't these cards deserve a nice place to live?  You can make one of these, too!  If you can't and you want one, let me know.  xoxo

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Full view but hard to see the fabrics.

Closer look, but you still can't see the fabrics.

A little bit better, but this camera sux!
I finished this UFO at the beginning of December.  Initially I had arranged all the stars on point and the edges were finished with triangles.  However, I wasn't careful enough with the squaring up on the blocks and some of the triangles did not fit properly.  So, I took the whole thing apart and cut additional squares and this went together very quickly.  I hand-stitched these star blocks some years ago and I was surprised to see how small my stitches were.  I was actually quite good at it! 

This quilt actually is more of a peach color than the camera has registered.  Someday I might get a better camera or better lighting, but if you could see it in person it would warm your heart! 

More to come!  xoxo

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Another Fail-but-Finish!

The first sign of failure was the appearance of puckers during the quilting.  Hate that!  Then I ran out of bobbin thread with only 7" of border to quilt!  Hate that, too!

Then, I learn that my math is wrong and I am short 1-1/2" on the binding!  What the . . .!

Then, it's all done and I realize I should have quilted it in the same direction as the strings in the blocks!!  Oh, kurrapp!

And, as if that wasn't bad enough, I see my quilting is absolutely MORE than modern!  It's positively WONKY!
 So, as you can see it was a big day in the sewing room.  I finally pulled together those 5" Amy Butler scrap blocks and made a baby quilt. was having a sale and I couldn't resist this fabric on sale for $2.99/yard.  It's the perfect backing for this quilt.  The green fabric used for the binding was actually a mistake:  I forgot to remove it from my cart before clicking on "submit order."  Just another part of the "fail," but it worked out very well,  I think!

These are the days when I do so appreciate the Millenials and their Modern Quilting, where nothing needs to match and symmetry is frowned upon! After decades of measuring and worrying and pulling out stitches and resewing seams until my points matched . . . woo hoo!  Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last!  And these photos testify as to just how free I be!  

Sunday, October 26, 2014


My pfabulous Pfaff quilting Key West!
The Key West quilt has been pinned up for months now but I never could figure out how I would quilt such a large top!  The worst problem is always keeping the top UP at the edge of the machine.  I just don't have a table big enough and, needless to say, I don't have a bazillion dollar Koala sewing furniture set-up.   It finally occurred to me yesterday that I could try to use my little fold-up plastic table as an addendum to my regular sewing table (which is really just a vintage formica top on aluminum legs 1950's kitchen table).  It worked like a charm!  I was able to finish quilting in just a couple of hours. 

I used variegated thread and quilted in wavy lines (mirroring reality in which no waves are the same, but they all do the same job).  It's fantastic (or at least I love it)!  And I love even better the new quilting set-up! 

I used eight bobbins during this quilting and it reminded me that I really would like to get a machine that has a top loader with a transparent cover so I can see when I'm running out.  And I'd like one that has at least a ten inch throat opening so I can stuff a lotta quilt in there without it getting caught.  I love my Pfaff, but it's pretty much a sissy.

It will have a turn-over binding, so I will have this quilt in use (or available for gifting) tomorrow.  Right now I'm going to go make pizza for dinner.  Hope you are all having a great Sunday!  xoxo

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Key West

A less-than-optimal photo but at least it's not raining and there aren't any blinding sunspots and shadows on it.  This is the kind of quilt traditionalists will find problematic; modern quilters will have less trouble with it.  Fabric choices were made based on color and print; I purposely avoided prints with pink and orange in them because I wanted to focus on the colors of the ocean/gulf and the sand/flora of the beach.  I had a blast making this and freely admit that it was inspired by a quilt I saw ("Sea Grass" or something like that) in a magazine (probably American Patchwork).  The instructions for that quilt were all wrong; you wound up with all the blocks being on the bias.  There's no way it would sew together or lay flat once sewn.  So I redesigned it and this is perfectly easy to sew and will be easy to quilt as well. 

Can't wait to show it off when it's finally quilted!  xoxo Patty

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Just like me!

It was hard, but I had to choose only a few!
 Today was the staff council arts & crafts showcase and, as usual, I dawdled all year and chose not to create a professional looking display.  I only enter because they have the BEST brownies (with chocolate chips in them)!  No, that's a lie.  I could easily create a professional display, one that would knock your socks off -- Quilt Market quality!  I just don't want to get sucked into that whole schtick.   So, what's on the table, you ask?  The first layer is that wonderful pinwheel quilt that I used last year for my display and on top of it I put the rug I made while "learning" how to weave.  On top of which there are a few recent mini quilts and the 3-D applique basket.  Most people stopped to look at the 3-D applique, which I admit is pretty cool.  I can hardly believe I did it! 

So here is a collage of the event, which was really inspiring and energizing.  We have many talented, skillful artists among us.  The first photo is of one-half of the room as the chair of the council makes her speech.  The dude in the middle right behind the period costume is the chancellor, who appears to be tweeting.  We got him from Texas and I guess that's what they do there.  Anyhoo, that's my stuff in the foreground -- a much better view of the 3-D applique piece.  There were so many participants this year that I had to share a table with another artist and you can see him there.  He was kinda grumpy. 

On the bottom row is a photo of a felted tableau that I am just in love with!  The piece wasn't more than 13 x 13 and if you can bigify the photo and check out those tiny little ducks on the pond!!  So KEWT!  The second photo is actually just a piece of a full-length coat vest . . . one piece among many that was full of color and verve!  And the final photo is a headdress that I must have.  I will go back tomorrow to inspect it more carefully.  There were many more pieces just as fascinating, but I liked this the best.

Preparation for this took one-half hour, which included the time it took for me to brush my teeth and hair, and I did not fret over any of it.  The only problem I had was not being able to find my third Amy Butler melon quilt.  Each quilt is made with the cut-outs of a melon-shaped applique used in the previous quilt.  I found the first two, but don't know what happened to the third!  The fourth one is a UFO and maybe I will finish that this year and display it at next year's showcase.  If I can find #3! 

Toodles and have a happy day!  xoxo

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Remember Me

Back in the mid-1800's a lot of people were moving west beyond the Mississippi and one of the traditional going-away gifts was a quilt made of album blocks.  People would make blocks with a center piece that could be signed and often words of encouragement were included.

I have a friend who is leaving this beyond-the-Mississippi place to return to Virginia and so I made this "remember me" mini-quilt.  I hope she likes it.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Cloche

Amy Butler fabric, but can't remember which collection.
My friend Nancy sent me a blog that had a pretty cloche hat with a link to the free pdf pattern (on another blog, written in German) which I duly saved and made today.  Voila!  So, why is it posing as a lampshade instead of a hat?  Because it's too big for my head.  I asked Sabryin (the King of big heads) to try it on and he pronounced it "Too Big," as well.  You ask "Why didn't you try it on before you finished it?"  and I reply "The story of my life."  Now, I'm not going to remake it because I can easily wear it with the brim turned up on my forehead (the only problem with this solution is that you get to see more of my face).  I will, however, alter the pattern pieces so they aren't so generous.  I think my problem from the get-go was sewing 3/8" seams instead of 1/2". 

Happy Easter!

P.S.  That quilt on the wall behind the hat was made on the day of the big California earthquake back in '94. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Key West Quilt

This is where I am with the formerly-known-as-Beach-Grass quilt, currently renamed the Key West Quilt.  In reality, I was going to copy the FKABGQ but realized that the instructions called for creating some blocks with on-the-bias sides and that didn't make any sense to me.  So I designed an entirely different process and, therefore, I can call it whatever I like.  Key West is what I like.

I find creating these blocks is addictive.  I've used only 1/10th of the fabrics I've chosen so far, but I am very pleased. 

If I think of it tomorrow, I will take photos of some of the thread-saver blocks I am finishing while making the Key West top.

We are currently riding out Day Two of spring severe storms featuring lots of rain, some hail, flooding, tornado watches.  Hope you are safe and dry!  xxoo

Saturday, March 29, 2014

"Under the Gunn" (Shoot Me)

I was a late-comer to the Project Runway phenom, but I've made up for it by watching all the seasons on Lifetime or Netflix.  I've even watched all the Project Runway All Stars seasons.  I was so excited that Tim was going to continue with something similar!  Well, I watch it faithfully, but I will say I am pretty much bored by it at this point. 

The only thing remotely interesting to me is Tim himself.  The judges suck, the contestants are horribly uncreative and mundane, the mentors are unlikeable and distant and the whole thing is just not begging for another season, IMO.  I mean, Shan won last night's challenge by making what I would consider to be a pillow case dress with a long train . . . slapped together in one hour and made of the most horrendous GIANT POLKA DOT fabric I've ever seen.  Oscar doesn't win because his gorgeously crafted piece (which was totally inspiring from the color to the draping) was "too old."  And Asha's dress looked like lettuce in bondage -- UGH.  They are all so awful, I don't care who wins.  Oscar is the only one with a personality; at least he is happy week after week and always has an idea and always chooses the right fabric and makes beautiful things.

I don't dig the LA vibe, either.  Maybe that's why the show isn't edgy enough for me.  I like a little "Fierce"ness; I like the NY streetscapes.  It's busy, it's business; LA is like . . . vacation. 

So, whaddya think? 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Holy Kay Rap, is it March Already?

Remember this little one, an off-shoot of the Kitty quilt from last month?  Ta Da!  It's all quilted and everything and I just need to sew on the binding.  I love this one, although it is only 15-3/8" square. 

It's sitting on top of a selection of fabrics that I am going to use for a new quilt inspired by the colors of Key West and the Florida Gulf.  It is a simple string quilt and I hope it will be beautiful.  I was forced to supplement my light greens because I just didn't have many of them and those that I did have were blooming with lots of pink roses!  That seemed to be the case with the blues, as well:  bunches of pink flowers.  I don't want this to read pink.  Ninety percent of these were in my stash . . . a lot of Amy Butler and  few Heather Bailey fat eighths.  I'm looking forward to working on this one and will provide status reports every once in a while.

It felt a little like Spring today!  But that reminds me we are only getting closer to the Ides of April. 


Monday, February 24, 2014

No Kill Shelter Quilt

I finished it yesterday, but I'm about to go off and have surgery so I'm afraid it won't be in the auction tomorrow.  Completion was delayed because I developed skin splits in my fingers -- something that happens often in the winter time, which I blame on antibacterial soaps and detergents -- and I had to wait for the splits to heal (cocoa butter and bandaids).  The quilting was all that had to be done and I tried free-hand (not freemotion) and loved it.  This is 44 x 44 and is cotton 1800s repro fabrics with warm & natural batting.  The gold block is in honor of Ginger Jasper, who crossed the Bridge last year, and the brown and carmel calico on the lower left is in honor of Sweet Praline, who left two years ago.
Detail of the free-hand quilting, which I think is fairly expressive.

Photo of the back-lit backing.  Kitty ghosts! 

What would you bid?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Spay-ghetti Auction Quilt

 Making progress with the calico kitty quilt for the Spay-ghetti Dinner auction.  All the blocks are done and now I have to create a setting and decide on borders and backing to complete the top.  If I work on this diligently through the rest of the week, I could probably finish it by the weekend. 

1800's reproduction fabrics, for the most part. 

I can never toss the little triangles that are left over from any of my projects, so I made half-square triangles and added a square to create a flying geese mini-block.  These are so cute!  I will sew them together, put on a border and make a doll quilt from these.  Doing this also helped me to come up with the final arrangement of colors.  A lot easier than schlepping big blocks around on the floor!

Having fun!  I'll be adding a few patterns to the etsy shop this week, too.  xxxoo

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Ice, Ice Baby!

It's beautiful if you don't have to go anywhere on foot or en vehicle. The birds are quite confused.  Good day to stay inside, sew on charity blocks and search for saddle-yoked blouse patterns for your friend Nancy!  I was able to find five, but two are actually "faux" saddle-yoked.  I am posting the photos here for Nancy's convenience so she can see what I have, if she's interested.  Hope everyone else enjoys this little pattern fashion show.
This is a faux saddle yoke.I made so many versions of this to wear with skirt suits; it was a real favorite!

Bodice and back pleats!

Favorite camp shirt fits like a dream.

This is a faux saddle yoke -- particularly original.  In the right print, the collar is not as obtrusive as in the photo.

So this is what I have.  Most are from the 70's; the Valentino might be earlier, but not sure.  I am not willing to part with the Willi Smith or Valentino patterns, but they are already cut so we can work something out in private. 

Okay, so back to the Calico Kitty quilt blocks.  Only four to go!!  Stay warm and safe everyone!  xxoo

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bears Paw Done

Bhu's still got his eye on the thread spool but you can see it is all for naught:  it's DONE.  The only thing that caused a delay was the fact that the skin on my fingers is shredding and splitting open.  It hurts!  I blame it on the combination of antibacterial soaps, cold medicine, and dry heat from the furnace.  So, now that it's done, what do I do with it?

Yesterday I started making a Kalico Kitty quilt for the silent auction at the Spay-ghetti dinner the local spay and neuter organization is having.  It's in a month and I plan on having the top done by Friday.  We shall see. 

xxoo Patty

Monday, January 20, 2014

So Much To Do, Part II

Remember this?  Well, I knew this wouldn't take long to make and I was right.  I finished the top yesterday in a couple of hours.  It took much longer than usual because I dawdled.  And because I decided to expand my fabric choices to include more than just those scraps in my one go-to freezer bag of 1800's repros.  That meant taking down plastic bins and moving them around, so I probably spent thirty minutes just moving stuff around . . . searching, searching, searching for just the right 2-1/2" square scrap!  I am so OCD.  Really, I had to remind myself this was an EXERCISE, not an exam!  So here is what I came up with:

I like it.  I decided to arrange it en pointe, as you can see.  I found the corner fabric in my stash (I have way too much fabric, friends) and there's plenty for the backing.  Actually, I think I have about five yards of the stuff.  For some reason it is reading grey and blue, but it is actually more of a khaki and blue; a nice, substantial cotton of unknown vintage.

The reason it isn't quilted and 100% finished yet is because I didn't think I liked the corner fabric and I was about to pull out all the stitches and try another fabric, but decided to take a photo first thinking I might ask for opinions.  My Color Muse (Sabryin) was off doing some sort of errand, otherwise I would have left it up to him.  He has one fantastic eye for color.  Anyway, as soon as I saw it on the preview screen, I changed my mind about changing my mind.  It's a keeper.  So, I will now start on the quilting.

What do you think?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

One Down!

So, here it is!  I still have a lot of hanging threads to clip, but it is all done, quilted and bound.  This is not an heirloom or a masterpiece, but it is now a practical item that can be used for warmth as opposed to a bag of blocks that can be used for annoying the dipstick out of me. 

The background fabric and the binding are both VIP prints from the 80's or 90's (or both).  Do they still make VIP prints? 

It's 36 x 36 (give or take) and comes from a cat-managed home.  Loving it!  xxoo

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Most of you are experiencing one form or another of The Big Chill and so am I.  I don't want to think about it.  I am in denial.  So in order to avoid thinking about it I have been trying to keep myself busy all day with tasks.  First, I crocheted a dice bag for Sabryin . . . just scrap yarn that's been hanging around the house since the last time we had this kind of weather.  Second, I darned a pair of Sabryin's socks (80's vintage and handknitted by someone in South America).  Third, I was shuffling through photos on my jump drive and found this UFO:

Seven blocks made using xmas fabrics.  So I went down into the cold, cold sewing room and found these and decided to get to work.  My dilemma:  I need nine blocks to make a small quilt.  Eureka!  Found one 9" block and added borders to it to get a 12-1/2" block.  Found two 6-1/2" blocks and two 4" blocks and added borders and sewed them together to make one 12-1/2" block.  I took an old mattress pad and cut it up to use for the batting because I decided to do a quilt-as-you-go process on this one.  By the end of the afternoon (and well after the snow stopped), I have quilted three of them.  Then I came up and made meatballs for dinner (with pasta and sauce, of course).

Tune in tomorrow to see if I've made any progress.  xxoo

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

So much to do

And so little motivation!!  For the past few months I have not had any interest in quilting.  Usually I love to make little quilts from the scraps and leftovers of my sewing projects, but this year it just hasn't captured my interest. 

My friend Nancy forwarded a blog post to me that featured this cute little bear's paw "quilt" and lots of other really cute, small FAST projects -- one a month.  So I decided to follow along (at least this month) and see if that will jump start my quilting habit again.  Otherwise I just do not know what I will do with all my fabric!  (Yeah, right!)

The blog is written by a professional quilt book writer and you can find it here if you are in the same quandry as I.   Of course, all the little projects will be from her books and I am not endorsing any of the stuff that she sells.  I will not be buying anything because I can draft my own patterns and I have a ton of fabric, mercibeaucoup.   She's lovely to let us come along for the ride, though and her blog is full of cute projects!

As 2014 gets off to a start, I am going to be paying more attention to myself and being less judgmental about being lazy or whimsical.  Hope you all have a happy, safe and healthy year!  xxoo