Saturday, March 30, 2019

~ Handy Old Supplies ~

Did you know I used sell handmade bags locally?  This little crafty phase didn't last long.  I couldn't produce items fast enough, the profits were low and I wanted to quilt not make bags.  The bag supplies have been stored away for almost 10 yrs.  Over the years I've considered donating or selling them but there's a little voice in my head...."you may need them someday". 

Well someday has finally come.  We need a new extra long dog training leash for Khaleesi.  After spending an hour researching training leashes it occurred to me, I could make my own with the old bag supplies.  Now to see if I have what's needed for a leash that is about 20 foot long. 

Would you look at all the hardware!  Opening up the old supplies stirs up the feeling of needing a new tote or handbag.  I really do like making them but who has the time.

Lucky me there is a clippy thingy needed for hooking the leash to her collar.  Hmmm....this was designed for handbags and key chains.   Would it be strong enough for my 64 pound German Shepherd?  Do I want to take that chance?  Uhhhh....No, I think not.   The mom in me worked up all kinds of bad scenarios. 

So while out doing my weekly errands and shopping at Meijer I found a King Chain that looks perfect.  A little bit  bulkier and better made.   

There's about 20 feet of this brown nylon webbing.   Brown it is, it'll match her beautiful fur.

A quick dig in the thread box produced a spool of Extra Strong Jean thread used for hemming dads jeans.  And guess what needle goes best with Jean thread?  You guessed it!  A Jean Needle!

This was the quickest little project ever.  10 minutes later I have a very long leash.  Yes my stitching looks awful.  I'm sure Khaleesi could care less.  It will serve it's purpose over then next few months.  

Our first day out on the new leash.  We practiced sit and stay.  She does well with both commands until I get about 10 foot away from her.  Then she takes advantage of the long leash and me not being right there to hold her in position.  I'm pretty sure she knows it's going to take me a bit to reel her in.  During this "reeling in" she does whatever she feels(sniffing for critters).   Dogs are so smart, but I know how to out smart her....HOT DOGS!  She will do anything for a little pieces of cut up hot dogs.  Today I'll let her get used to the new leash and following the "Come" and "Heel" commands.  She already does both really well.  Khaleesi has been certified as a service dog by the previous owner.   However, after having her trained and certified he did not keep up with all the commands.  Dogs need to practice these often or they forget them.  She does well with all but "Stay".  A command he did't use since she was basically in a cage for year.  I have faith in my girl and her ability to overcome day at a time.

#germanshepherd #germanshepherdrescued #furbaby

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

~ Lakehouse Drygoods Fabric Look a likes ~

 As you all know I'm a sucker for bright and happy quilts. Many of my quilts feature fabrics that are by a fabric company that is longer in business, LakeHouse Drygoods.  LakeHouse Drygoods was owned by two wonderfully talented ladies, Pam Vieira- Mcginnis of Pam Kitty Morning Blog and Holly Holderman that seems to have stopped all activity on social media.  These fabrics can still be found if you search hard, dig deep in the internet and your purse.  Every once in a while a print will pop up on Etsy or Ebay that I don't have in my stash.  So what can you do if you love these brights but can't find them, or more often for me, can't afford the out of print fabrics?  The answer is simple, find a look a like!  Pictured below on the left is Backyard Roses by Nadra Ridgeway for Riley Blake.  It too is a few years old but you can still find some fat quarters and yardage for sale if you're willing to search.  Nadra is still designing so keep an eye out for her up coming lines.

Nadra's current line on the market is Mon Bleau Jardin.  With a quick google search I found a fat quarter bundle on Etsy.  There was also some yardage and smaller precuts.  This is one I don't have in my stash so if you want it you better get it quick before I change my mind...LOL!

Some of Nadra's past lines that you can search for are Bloom and Bliss.  I have a few of these but not the whole line.  The trick to searching is to do it often.   Doing a  Google search will bring up those who paid Google to be at the top of the list, so dig deep in Google.  Which means going to more than just the first page of the search.  I once found Lakehouse on Pg. 16 of Google search, a little shop in Ohio, $4.50 a yard!  I bought almost all of it!

Arbor Blossoms is another great line by Nadra.  Sadly I have none.  Good luck with the search and dig deep.  In my quick search for writing this blog post I found very little in the first two pages of a Google search.  A little yardage but no precuts.

Another excellent look a like choice is Flower Sugar by Lecien.  Any Flower Sugar you find would work great.  It's easier to find than some of the fabrics I've mentioned.  Etsy and Ebay both have quite a few.  The downside of Lecien fabric is it's from Japan so the price can be a little higher sometimes, especially when it's new.  Playing the waiting game of letting the prices fall is a risky game.  I've missed out on many great fabrics by playing the odds.  All lines of Flower Sugar play well with Lakehouse Drygoods.  I was gifted a small bundle of these last year.  They are even more precious to me than the Lakehouse because I have so few in the stash.  The bundle below is still available in several online stores.  The first one that came up in my search was Fat Quarter Shop.

And later this month they have new Flower Sugar line coming out!  Woohoo!  Look at this cutie bundle!  Did you know you can sign up to be notified when it comes in stock on the Fat Quarter Shop website?  By signing up for the in stock notification you are NOT required to purchase them.  They will send you an email with a link to the product.  At that time you can buy it or not the choice is yours.  Click here if you would like to give this feature a try on Fat Quarter Shop Website.

I saved the best for last.  Why is it the best?  Because it's still pretty easy to find.  So I ordered a bundle this morning!   Hand Picked by Tammie Green for Riley Blake.  I found several different sites with this in stock.  Mine was order from a shop on Etsy.  It was the last bundle, but I found another good buy on Missouri Star Quilt.  

Before ending this blog post I want to address online shopping vs local quilt shop shopping.  By all means support your local shop.  I purchase locally whenever possible.  The issue I have is the local quilt shops around me don't carry what I want or need.  Recently I went in one of the local shops asking for a specific Lori Holt fabric. I was told they didn't carry it and it would be best if I ordered it online because they tried the Lori Holt thing and it didn't work for them.  Really?  You're turning down my business?!  
Here's the other issue.  Quilt shops buy what's hot, what's trendy and what will sell fast.  My color pallet isn't the trend, or so they say.  If this were true why do so many ask where I find these amazing lines of fabric?  And why do they sell out so quickly online?  So I buy my fabric where it's available and for me it's online more often than not.

My latest pattern using Lakehouse Drygoods and few of the mention above is Bluebirds and Blossoms.  This little quilt was an inspirational piece designed when I needed a break from the work side of designing.  All of the applique fabrics were small bits from the scrap bin.  It finishes at 
24 x 24.  The pattern is available in my shop as both a PDF instant download and a mailed paper copy.  Click here to go to my shop.

#pamkitty #pamkittyplayswell #lakehousedrygoodslookalikes #prettyfabric #lakehousedrygoods

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

~ Jane's Cherry on Top Picnic Quilt ~

 Nothing makes my heart go pitter-pat quite like when someone sends me pictures of quilts they have made using my patterns.  Whether it's a free pattern here on the blog or one of my purchased quilt patterns the feeling is the same.  To know that others love my patterns enough to make them fills my heart with so much joy.  Yesterday I was feeling a little overwhelmed with the daily grind when I was contacted by Jane.  She had some questions about my newest quilt pattern Stars and Stripes Forever and then it happened, just what I needed on a stressful day.  She shared some photos of her Cherry on Top quilt.  

Oh what a beauty!  So much love and attention to detail with every hand quilted stitch. 

Can you see the hand quilted cherry?!  Too cute!

Jane found the perfect cherry backing fabric.  

I thought I had every cherry fabric ever made.  Guess I missed this one!  Me and Google will be spending some time together looking for this darling print.

The label was the cherry on top. I love the quote, how sweet is that?!  Margie is one lucky lady to have a cousin who loves her so much.

After seeing these pictures I was recharged and ready to tackle the rest of the day with a little pep in my step.  If you like to make one of these sweet little quilts you can find the link to the tutorial by clicking the image below.   And don't forget to send pictures to my email,  I love seeing you creations with my tutorials.

#cherryontoppicnicquilt #cherryontopquilt #cherryquiltpattern #cherryquilt #podunkpretties

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

~ Busy Work ~

 It's that time of year when life in Podunk gets super busy.  After a winter of little to do but hide out in the house it is a nice change of pace to have a schedule full of outdoor chores.  Sneaking into the Studio for a little me time is essential to keeping my sanity.  Late yesterday afternoon I found time to play with these gorgeous bundles by Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter.  

Because I'm torn on whether or not to dig into these girls I'm borrowing fabric images from Riley Blake and Penny Rose Fabrics.  Amy's first line Gingham Girls stole my heart.  Such a sweet line of fabric that reminds me of the many calico dresses momma made for me back in the 70's.

 I was hooked after the first line.  The cheery brights and happy prints are the perfect fit in my stash.  The Sunnyside Ave.  Gingham with flowers is just too cute!

When the Gretel line was announce I'll admit I was a bit skeptical of the pink in this line.  But now it just wouldn't look right without it!  The prints in this line remind me of Pennsylvania dutch mix with a little Nordic and Scandinavian.  Cute as can be whatever the inspiration.

While were on the subject of the vintage look and style, look the birthday surprise I received in the mail this week.  The color of the mug reminds me of the decor in the first house I bought back in the early 90's.  Are these colors having a comeback?  Do you remember the slate blue, mauve and sea foam green decor?  I do!  I even had a little peach thrown into the mix. My kids called my living room the Neapolitan Ice Cream room.  Kids!  Everything is sweet treats! 

So who sent this amazing handcrafted mug from Rachel Allene?  My dear friend Bev.  I bet some of you remember Bev from 44th Street Fabrics blog and Blossom and Bev.  She no longer blogs but she's still very active on Instagram.  Her color inspiration is just as bright and happy as ever!  Pop over and say hello on Instagram, I'm sure she would love to hear from some old blogging buddies!

 Bev has been a big help when it comes to my new fur baby.  She has tons of information on dog psychology.  We talk on the phone almost daily about anything and everything.  She has been the best friend a gal could have over the last few years.  If it wasn't for her I'm not sure I could handle Khaleesi.   Khaleesi is improving daily and fitting into our world much faster than I thought.   This is her first fishing trip with Mr. Podunk.  She was mesmerized by the fish.  We thought for sure she was going to jump in after them. 

Everyday she is showing signs of being on the mend.  In the last week she has found her voice and isn't afraid to let me know when she needs or wants my attention.  Mr. Podunk is a little jealous of our bond.  Khaleesi and I spend every minute of everyday together.  We eat, play and sorta sleep together.  No she's not in my bed but she is in the same room.  Most of the time she is on the floor right under where I sleep.  Twice a day we head outside for training and playtime.  So when I left on Sunday to spend the day with my dad Khaleesi had a bit of an anxiety attack.  Pacing and whining.  Later in the afternoon on my way home I called Mr. Podunk to see if he needed anything from town before I returned home.  In the background I could her Khaleesi whining and barking.  It wasn't an aggressive bark, it was more of her way of saying "Hey why can't you understand what I want!"  She does this to me all the time when she wants or needs something.  It's also her way of saying it's passed time for us to go outside and play.  Mr. Podunk said she had been a mess since I left.....AWE....poor baby, but it made me feel good knowing she was so attached to me.   It'll be interesting to see her progress over the summer.  Right now she's barking and telling me "It's time to play!  Let's go outside, NOW!"......LOL!

#pennyrosefabric #amysmartfabric #ginghamgirlsfabric #sunnysideavefabric #gretelfabric #germanshepherd #podunkpretties
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Monday, March 25, 2019

~ Stars and Stripes Forever ~

Over the years I've had many requests for quilt patterns of quilts I've designed and made.  So this year it's time to finally fill some of those requests.  The first of the requested  patterns was Bluebirds and Blossoms, you can find it here.  Stars and Stripes Forever is next and now available in my Etsy shop.

Stars and Stripes Forever is a throw sized quilt pattern that is the perfect size for Quilts of Valor.  The 69 x 79 finished quilt would also be a great little quilt to take along on a summer picnic or backyard barbecue.   And how jealous would the neighbors be to see this tossed over your comfy rocking chair or porch swing?

 I designed this quilt after seeing a beautiful quilt that was much more advanced.  You can read more about the inspiration quilt here.

My quilt is scrappy, made from fat quarters and fat 8ths.  But this could easily be made from 100% scraps from your scrap bins.  Most of the fabrics in Stars and Stripes Forever are from Wal-mart, Joann's and our local discount quilt shop that has gone out of business.  You can read more about my fabric choices here.

Since I like to break the quilting rules I chose to  use two different methods of applique in my quilt.  The stars are raw edge fused applique using Heat N Bond Lite and Superior MicroQuilter 100wt Thread.

The wave in the border is a more traditional applique that does not have raw edges.  It was stitched in place using Superior Thread Mono-poly Clear thread.  This thread is amazing!  Once the quilt is washed you can't tell the wave has been machine stitched in place.

If you're a patriotic quilt lover like me you might also like Patriotic Picnic that is also available in the Shop. This big scrap buster quilt finishes at 95 x 95!

#starsandstripesforeverquilt #patrioticquilt #patrioticquiltpattern #podunkpretties #redwhiteandbluequilt

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