Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Day of the Year

Bhu is ending 2011 A.D. in much the same way he started it: sleeping in a sunny spot. "Vitamin D is good fur U!" How true, and I was lucky enough to get some of it myself. First, I did laundry and hung it up outside because it is in the 60's today. Then I put out more bird seed and found a new place for the suet feeders. We went to the library, to the natural food store for coffee, and to the Goodwill and bought two new dishes for your Fancy Feast, Bhu. Then, I worked on this project -- the last of the year!
I love using the tiny little scraps that are leftover from the quilt projects so I decided to make a cover for my little sketch book. I love the 30's fabrics; they are so colorful and cheerful, much like the "modern" fabrics.
Some of the quilting/sewing bloggers are posting "restrospectives" featuring the projects completed during the year. Probably, if I had "planned," I would have tagged all the posts with quilts and sewing projects. But I didn't. Maybe I'll do that from now on. Or maybe I'll just wait until next year. xxoo Patty

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Kissmess to All!

xxoo Patty, Bhu & Sabryin

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Sabryin had begun complaining that Sofie didn't want to sit in his lap much, so I decided to get him another kitteh for his birthday. On December 18 we went to pick him up from the breeder. In the back seat of the car, he had his own little quilt to keep him warm and he kept chortling -- it was his first ride ever! He sounded more like a dolphin than a kitteh. Inside the house, he was right at home, running hither and thither -- a little Tasmanian Devil with wild red eyes! But that first night in his new home, it was clear he preferred his mom over his poppy. "You fed me." I guess it's a simple as that.

We love the boy! xxoo Patty & Sabryin

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cheesecake Sunday

"Effury once in a while, I will give you a pose that is photo-worthy. You have to be purrepared fur it and even if it IS July U needs to take the shot when I gives it to U or it will be lost FURREVER! Don't worry! U can use it in Decembrrrr when it is kissmess time." [or at least that's what I imagined he was saying to me at the time]

I have made a cheesecake. Three pounds of ricotta, six eggs, cream, vanilla, four teaspoons of orange blossom water and two cups of sugar. It's supposed to bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour; it's been two and the middle is still jigglin'! OY! So, I took it out and now it has shrunk about an inch. Nevertheless, it looks golden and smells divine. You wonder why I have not included a photo of this event and the reason is because the 'puter that has Photoshop on it is in use by Sabryin (but mostly because I am lazy).

Things have been busy around the homestead here (not because of xmas). We're very sad about the turn of events in Ginger Jasper's life and wish his mom & dad well through the journey. Bhu's Gotcha Day is coming up (the 17th) and it has been a delightful fourteen years!! We luv ya, Bhu! Bhu?


Monday, December 5, 2011

In Bonaire . . .

they have donkeys instead of squirrels. xxoo Patty

(photo by my SIL)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanks, Part 1

I saw this project on a sewist's blog and it is so screechingly simple. I could make a hundred of these in one day, I bet. I don't want to, but I could. Right after I made this I realized I had no tissues to insert. A few minutes later I had to move two full-size quilts into the quilt closet but there were four vintage purses in the way, so moved them out and put the quilts in. I decided to clean out the purses and found lots of money and stuff and a little purse-sized packet of tissues!! Perfect!
This ornament will be a gift. I had a bit of fun making a box for it and a "nametag" (free-motion wrote the giftee's name in red on white batting, pinked the edges, slit the batting and slipped red ribbon through it). Getting the buttons for this was a three-hour process because I got side-tracked sorting through a gallon-sized bag of buttons! Remember when the buttons on pea coats had anchors on them? I found a lot of woven leather buttons from preppy tweeds we used to wear in the olden days.

"We thank efurryone who visits here and hope you all have many good people in your lives. It doesn't matter if you have a sumptuous meal; only if you have love in your heart!" xxoo Bhu
Ditto! xxoo Patty & Sabryin

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Giving, Part 1

Several years ago, my DD gave Sabryin a really cool fleece hat that she made from a pattern. He loved it and so did I. However, there was only one hat and two heads that wanted to wear it! So I asked her to make me one, but that never happened. So some weeks ago I finally broke down and got some colorful fleece at JoAnn Fabrics and used our only hat to make a pattern. May I introduce to you: PINKY! Isn't she purrty? Confession: it took me four days to figure out how to make a pom-pom (you'll note there are FIVE on the hat). It fits, it is warm and I love it and I am almost certain I will not have to worry about Sabryin borrowing it. I thank him very much for never complaining when I borrowed his.

What do you think, Bhu? "Too much PINKS! AND, there seems to be something missing here . . . like mai FANCEE FEEST!"

P.S. Many, many thanks to Ann of Zoolatry for the super cool new banner!! We love you, Ann! "Ok, mom, and say that I love Maggy, too." You just did, Bhu. xxoo

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I finally finished it! The photo shows the blocks on the floor awaiting the final sewing, which took about three hours because it was SO HEAVY! My poor little feed dogs were wimpin' out on me. Now I know why I don't do this often! For a small quilt or a lap-size, qayg is not a problem. But for a queen-size . . . just too heavy. But I LOVE it! And I got it done before the snow flies! :-)

These are some new fabrics that I am going to use for projects this winter:
--Amy Butler fabrics that were on sale 40% last month. No way I was gonna pass that up!
--Flora fabrics from Moda that I saw last week. I was going to order these online, but there they were, right in front of the store calling my name! So I got one yard of each and 7 threads for the price of 4 in the right colors. These are going to be my bull's eye quilt!
Aside from this, I have been really busy at work. We have been having "fake summer" again and I just love this weather! Unfortunately, it will get cold again and April is a long way off. Haven't had time for blogging and very little for sewing, but the time I spend at the machine is always the most fun and satisfying! I've also been reading a LOT of books, including at least a dozen "new" quilting/sewing books written by twenty-somethings. There is quite a different perspective, from the fabrics to the patterns and the quilting. The quilts and fabrics remind me very much of those made during the depression: lots of bright colors and white! I still love the 1800's repros, but I love these "new" fabrics, too.

Tonight I spent a couple of hours making a chili mother for the school's annual chili/chowder cook-off. I actually have a chance to win because Dr. Sampson is NOT making his shrimp creole this year! He has won two years in a row. I don't really care if I win: this is a fundraiser so we can buy presents for our adopted family. I just hope there's enough food for everyone and that we make LOTS of money! I let Mark taste the chili mother and he didn't like it. Maybe when I put in the beans, he will change his mind. He is such a purist.

Bhu is being very lovey. He enjoyed having a new quilt to "baptize," and I enjoy seeing his bright blues glow when he sees it for the first time. "Oh, good! More quilts fur ME!" That's right, Bhu. It's all for you! xxoo

Friday, November 11, 2011


Every November 11, we remember and try to honor veterans. Almost everyone has one in their family, even me. My brother-in-law (Vietnam) and father-in-law (Korea) served and my late father fought in the Big One. Sometime during the '80s, he created a set of four journals to describe his experiences and these two are a sample. No, this is not photoshopped; it's for-real hand printed and the drawings are THAT SIZE and water-colored by hand. When he died, I went back East for the funeral and found the journals by accident. Wish I could get them published. Maybe someday!

And then today is 11-11-11. Last night I thought how I wished I had made a record of what I did on 01-01-01, 02-02-02, 03-03-03, etc. I know that LH's son was born on 09-09-09, but that's the only one I remember. I suppose I could go back through all my e-mail archives and try to figure it out, but if it wasn't important to me then I guess it's too late.

I have got a disk FILLED with photos of projects, new fabrics, and Bhu KEWTness and I promise I will post at least some of it this weekend. xxoo Patty

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dona Nobis Pacem

Can we haz PEACE pleeze? November 4 is Blog for Peace Day and if you want to join you can get details on Mimi's blog and also find links to all the people and pets who would like to have Global Peace. And, if you want to wear your peaceful heart on your sleeve, visit Peace Kitty. Mai mom sez it almost NEVER happens that someone will ask you why you want to have peace instead of war. So, tell me why we still has war then?

P.S. Mai mom sez she 'polojyzes fur not blogging more lately. She has a disk full of photos to share. "Yes, some very handsome shots of you, Bhu! Just in case your lady friends are getting lonely for a peek at those luscious blue eyes of yours." xxoo

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bhu Purrfday Boy!

This is Baby Bhu, about 8 weeks old when he first came to live with us on December 18, 1997. Today he is 14 years old!! We love him very much and hope he lives another 14 years. Mushy, mushy Bhu Bhu Bhu and a Happy Birthday to You!

"Thanks, mom, but why you post baby photo of me?? Hmmmm, I was purrty hansome!" Well, yes, and you still are a very hansome mancat! You were such a scamp when you were little, always running away from us! You would run and run under the beds, under the sofas and chairs, under the tables and never let us catch you. And then when we gave up, you would come out and show yourself and sit calmly and look at us until we came after you again and you would run, run, run, run away. What a scamp!

"Well, you knew I would get hungry some time and stop running to eat." THAT'S for sure! And now you don't run, you just EAT. And sleep.

"Yep. I has matooored." Hmmm. Well, Happy Birthday Bhu! We love you! xxooo

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The mother of invention

Not quite sure what I was seeing.
It's Bhu and he's snuggled himself into the butt of Sabryin's pants! What are you DOING Bhu??
"I is testin' out this cave fur hibernation."
But that's not a cave! It's a pair of pants!
"So what?! It's soft and cozy and I likes it."
Okay, but it's too early for hibernation, so come on out and have some Fancy Feast.
xxoo Patty

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sweet Land of Liberty

This is a quilt mai mom made because she didn't have a flag on 9/11. This is a day when she gets really sick to her stomach and tells me "Bhu, humans are so mean and societies that don't respect women tend to be the meanest. What is the point of all this hate?" I think she is right because she is a very NICE LADY and all the humans I know are very nice, espeshully if you purr fur them. So why would anybody hate them? I dunno. Do they hate me, too, cuz I am an American Cat? Even if I purr fur them?

Peace on 9/11, Bhu. xxoo Patty

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mo Cats Day!

"Mom, U R such a slacker! September 9 is almost OVER! Acshully, it's already tomorrow for Mr. Puddy!" Okay, okay. I AM a slacker, but you are sure keepin' me busy dishin' out the food day and night here. The cool weather's made you hungry, huh? Anyway, you are MO CAT than I can handle today.

Sorry about being "absent" lately, but we have been a little busy with school starting and stuff happening. Our water line broke and we had to shell out the big Plumber with the Backhoe Bucks for that one! Then the water line under the street broke and I guess that I, as a property tax payer, will ultimately pay for the repair of it as well. Then I just got fed up with doing chores all the time and decided to have some fun, so I started a quilt-as-you-go project using a basket full of 5-1/2" string blocks. I'm sewing four blocks into a larger block and it takes over an hour to do make each block! Since I want to finish a large bed-size quilt before the snow flies, I vowed that I would make one large block every day until they were all done or until I had 42. As of today, I have 24 (I made two today because I couldn't go to work). Of course, once I get the 42 done, I will have to sew each of those together in rows and then sew the rows together before I have a quilt. So, I'm thinking it'll be done mid-October. Photos when I cross the finish line.

So, Bhu, what do you have to say for yourself? "Hope efurryone is (a) not flooded out, (b) not on fire, (c) not shakin', and (d) not blowin' in the wind. Oh, yeah: GETCHER FELINE ON!" Thank you, Bhu. xxoo

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Strike Breaker!

"Mai mom finally relented and started feeding me more Appetizers, so I let her take mai piksher." Gee, thanks so much, Bhu. During the strike, since I couldn't blog or take pictures of Bhu, I decided to make quilts instead and here are some photos. First is a group of UFO Bowtie blocks arranged with a pink sashing and backing: I had LOTS of bowtie blocks, so I made another one with blue sashing and backing. And I finally decided on a border and backing for the Firecracker quilt and finished it. I am going to go back and quilt it some more; it appears to be a little "loose" for my taste. And then yesterday I finally found border and backing fabric for the Broken Crockery top and quilted it; currently sewing on the binding. Now that all these quilts are done, it's okay for at least three of my friends to start having those babies!!

I enjoy these periods of super-productivity. The other day as I was arranging blocks on the "design door" I realized that all my life "play" has always meant working on some project or another. On vacation, I was always building cities in the sand dunes. One summer (I must have been 9 or 10), I decided to start my own lending library (I had a lot of books because I was a voracious reader). I got a date stamp and ink pad and went to the stationery store and bought little pockets and cards like library books used to have in the olden days before computers and bar codes. I think only one or two people actually borrowed books from the Skypants Free Library, but it was fun and kept me busy for a few days! Now I am convinced that the only way I can relax is by artificial inducement, e.g. a Tanqueray Martini with two olives. My lids will get heavy and I will sink back into the chair and that silly Buddha smile spreads across my face and I am at peace. But only for a moment.

xxoo P

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bhu is on strike

He claims that as the "star" of the blog, he deserves more remuneration than just a few doses of Appetizer every day. He says he is not going to look at the camera until we come to a negotiated settlement. Fine. So, there will be no photo of Bhu in this post. I might sneak "vintage" film in; I might not. While the negotiations resume, here is a report on what I (Pattyskypants) have been up to.I was working on this quilt top the last time I posted and, as you can see it is done. Typically, the biggest delay in finishing quilts for me is finding the "right" backing fabric. I have too much fabric. In fact, today I was making a new tote bag out of decorator fabric samples and found a huge plastic bin FILLED with fabrics!! I don't even remember what's in there, but from what I could tell it is stuffed with large pieces of yardage, probably purchased for backings. Anyhoo, this one is pretty cute, 38 x 38 with a glorious sage green paisley for backing. Then I saw this cute little "Firecracker" quilt and decided to make it. I don't buy patterns; I make my own. I have a calculator, I'm good with math, so why not? I always enjoy using 30's repro fabrics. I drafted a pattern to make the units 6", but that turned out to be too big. I might make another one in 1800's repro fabrics, but redraft for 4" units instead. Not sure what border will evolve around this. And then there is the garden. Peppers and basil are going strong; tomatoes are going . . . well, WHAT tomatoes? At this point I have a handful of little yellow pear tomatoes, but that's it. I found a little intruder in the butterfly plant -- can you see him??
Okay, Bhu, so are you ready to resume the negotiations? "I will wait until mai loyer gets here." In the meantime, would you like some Fancy Feast? "Yes, negosheeayshun makes me hungree." xxoo

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hot enuf 4 U??

When it's hot, the peppers seem to thrive. Not much else does, though. I can't remember the last time I could go outside at 3 in the afternoon and not gasp for air. I have stopped watching television for fear I will hear yet another apocalyptic forecast about the "deadly heat index." Instead, I am pretending it's "just summer" and water the garden and go about my business as usual. And I quilt in the very cool sewing room! I finished one top last weekend and pinned it up Friday, quilted it yesterday and am sewing on the binding today. This morning I finally pinned up the Amy Butler III project: then quilted it and sewed on the binding. This should keep me busy for a couple of days! This will keep me busy after that! I'll be making 6" blocks and using 30's repro fabric because someone is bound to have a baby soon and this will be a really cute gift. As for Bhu, he never goes out anyway, so it's all the same to him. "Just feed me and, oh, I left something for you in the litter box." Hmmmmm. Thanks, Bhu!

Self-hypnosis tip: "I love the heat. I really, really do. Love it! Honest!

Friday, July 15, 2011

sizzzzzlin' hot summer daze

Very hot and humid with unspeakable heat index! Nothing to do but take a nap:

or let Summer dry your laundry for free:

or sit back and watch the double daylily and purple liatris grow:

or notice that there is a "mystery" squash growing in one of the compost bins:

or sew all of your little Broken Crockery blocks together in color ways because you can't decide how to "randomize" them:

and then start a new quilt.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Camembert & Chamomile

Yet another way to use half-square triangles! Nancy e-mailed this Broken Crockery pattern to me and, although I didn't follow the pattern, I was able to wipe out another basket of half-square triangle thread-saver units! Man, there was some UGLY fabric in there and a lot of very, very poly blends that I decided not to use at all. Not to mention the fact that I am completely stunned by the variety of muslins I have used over the years! My thread-saver units are really quite a fabric archive of the late 20th century. Makes me sound old and that's about the facts Jack! LOL
And now, I know you have all been waiting to check in with the Bhu. He's not purring for me anymore, he sez. All because I locked him out of the bedroom Wednesday night. He likes to sleep next to my feet at the bottom of the bed, but I was ill and needed to sleep. The night before I had kicked him in the head at least three times, so it was done for HIS safety. But he doesn't understand that. "You LIE!" He has been sulking since Thursday morning and no matter how much I pet him and coo at him and love him up, he won't purr. He won't purr for Appetizers, either.

So, be that way. "Hmmpphhhf!"

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lazy but Busy June!

I keep thinking I am being lazy, but what I am being is "semi-retired." After a year of this, I am very happy about the free time I have. I really enjoy the light in my sewing room in the morning. I am more relaxed. "But you still make a LOT of noise and always BOTHERIN' ME when I is tryin' to sleep!" 2 bad 4 U Bhu! I notice it's not so annoying to have me around when you get hungry. "Oh, yeah. I furgetz that part. I change my mind. I like you bein' around." Hmmm, I thought so. Anyhoo . . .
This year I seem to be focusing on working with scraps and the tinier the better. The past couple of weeks I have been assembling strips of little strips and sewing them together to make larger pallettes. I can't explain how or why this is so much fun for me, but it is. I am using bits of fabric that most people would throw away. And then there are the June critters. There is a family of very FAT rabbits munching on our clover day and night. They don't even pay attention to me when I come into the yard. We always have a lot of interesting moths that hang out around the porch light. This dude found his way there last week and stayed for about six days and then was suddenly gone. It does break my heart that there just aren't very many lightning bugs anymore. When I was a kid there were so many that all you had to do was open a jar and within minutes it would be full of fireflies! You couldn't run with your mouth open: I swear they'd fly right in!

Other than that, I read Tina Fey's Bossypants Saturday (ish!), watched "Capote" Friday night (even bigger ISH!), completed at least thirty crossword puzzles (in ink), test drove the new Pfaff Ambition 1.5 (impressive and affordable!), and got on with life in my own fashion. "Me, too," sez Bhu. xxoo

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summertime Bhus

So what's with you, Bhu? "Got fleas." How did that happen? "Dunno. I never go outside, only once a month to get groomed." Well, I'll put some Advantage on this spot right here and see what happens, okay? "K. Thanks, mom. Also, I didn't win the Cutest Pet Contest. Some silly black woofie won and I don't even think he was cute." Well, you're the CUTEST to me and since I'm the one who feeds you, I guess that's all that matters. Aside from hiding from tornadoes and trying to keep cool during the heat wave, I've been busy working on quilts. This is a thread-saver quilt for someone who is retiring next month. She likes "harvest colors," and I'm not quite sure I know what that means, so this is my attempt. Then there is this one that I finished this morning. Just need to put on the backing, quilt it and bind it and it is done! And the Amy Butler III quilt made with thread-saver rectangles for which I used scraps from her Charm and Belle line combined with rectangles from the Midwest Modern line. Just needs a backing, quilting and binding. Well, Bhu, I guess I'll need to move your butt offa there! "No thanks, mom. I is comfy." Hmmmmmmm.