Monday, February 29, 2016

The Name Game: Pam Kitty Morning

It's that day that happens only once every four years, so welcome to the Leap Year bonus edition of The Name Game! I'm thrilled to have Pam Vieira-McGinnis here from Pam Kitty Morning, a name that has intrigued me for years. You are probably familiar with Pam, as she has designed some of the most beautiful fabrics, the latest being Fog City Kitty. You can find a lot of her fabrics here.

How did you choose the name for your blog?

I started my blog in July 2006, but months before I had begun to read some blogs at the urging of my friend Sandy.   She kept sending me links to blogs with lovely photography and great posts.  No surprise one of the first blogs that I fell in love with was Posie Gets Cozy by Alicia Paulson ( I savored each page and then began to
go through her blog roll and  links to find more blogs and website. And there I found it.  Kitty-Craft. At that time I hadn't heard of the Japanese Craft websites or books and magazines and I went BONKERS over it.  

One morning I got an email from my friend Elizabeth asking what I was doing... normally I had Pam Mornings.. just drinking coffee and looking at blogs.. but that morning I was on Kitty-Craft and was having  a Pam Kitty Morning...and that's how I got the name. 
Of course Kitty-Craft is long gone, and probably forgotten by everyone but me!  I've loved having a blog, and all the amazing opportunities it's brought to me.  I can't believe it's been 10 years this July.   I don't blog as often as I used to, taking pictures of my lunch seems a lot less exciting than it did back in June of 2008 when I blogged about my Trader Joe's tamales, but it still  brings me a lot of pleasure and I have the blog to thank for a lot of great friends!

Were there other names you considered, and can you share them with us? 
I actually went and looked back through old emails to see if there were any other options I considered, but it looks like it was PamKittyMorning from the 

Now that you are known by Pam Kitty Morning, are you happy with it or do you wish you could change it to something else? 

I am happy with it!  It turned out to be a great choice, kind of quirky and one of a kind. 

Thanks, Pam! You can follow along with Pam's adventures on her blog or on Instagram @pamkittingmorning.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Really Random Thursday, 2/25/16

A blog post three days in a row?

I only have a couple of things of a random nature for this week.

At the playground...

He went down the slide and ended up with his hair standing up straight because of static electricity. It was pretty cute.
And this is how Mark has been spending some of his time lately. Junior high girls today...When he retires he will be doing a lot of this in the afternoons and evenings.

With all due respect to those covered in actual snow, this is the Fresno version of snow--blossoms gently floating to the ground.
My parents brought over this bouquet to celebrate my three quilts being hung at QuiltCon. So sweet of them.
I feel this way sometimes.
I mentioned that Anna Maria Horner signed the lining of my raincoat, right? Here is a close up.

And with that, I'm over and out...and spending the weekend at one of my favorite quilting retreats.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

QuiltCon West 2016, Part 2: The Quilts

I debated on the best way to show the quilts. I didn't take pictures of them all. In fact, you will notice that I missed a lot of award winners. You can find pictures and information on the all the winning quilts here. Also, you can see lots of interesting photos on Instagram--just use the hashtag #quiltcon2016.

For whatever reasons at the time, these were the quilts that caught my eye.

I will show them by category, and other than a few comments here and there, I will just list the name of the quilt and the maker. Okay? Let's get started.


"Whimsical Logs" by Leticia Chung. This was a 1st Place Winner. Tiny log cabin blocks.

"Amish-ish" by Ruth Beeby, Santa Clara, California. The maker said the name of the quilt (which I loved, by the way) came from the many discussions she had during the design process as to whether it was going to be sufficiently "Amish-ish."

"Escapade" by Elaine Poplin, Huntsville, Alabama. The pattern is "Metro Rings" by Sew Kind of Wonderful. Wish I had taken a close-up picture of the quilting--it was really beautiful.

"Migration Quilt" by Yara Greuter, Berlin, Germany.

"Solid + Plaid Modules" by Christine Barnes, Grass Valley, California.

"Delta Breeze" (the only picture taken of me next to one of my quilts--and this one was snapped by the official convention center photographer).

"6one2" by Colby Lowrey, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 621 is the area code in Minneapolis. Other than that, the state itself is just grid quilting on a whole cloth quilt. I knew Mark would love this one.

"In Flight" by Dawn Golstab, Leander, Texas.

"Fossil" by Nancy Purvis, Garner, North Carolina.

"Just Point Me in the Right Direction"--my entry. Beautiful custom quilting by Darby Myers.

"Twizzle Glitz" by Heidi Grohs (my roommate), Salt Lake City. Subtle and stunning.

"Every Which Way" by Jen Sorenson, Northborough, Massachusetts. Check out this matchstick quilting.

"Directionally Challenged" by Victoria Findlay Wolfe, New York City

"Making Triangles" by Dawn Golstab, Leander, Texas

"Modern Dresden" by Lori Landenburger, Anchorage, Alaska

"Pointed Statement" by Amy Friend (or as I like to call her, "my friend, Amy Friend"), West Newbury, Massachusetts. This quilt won 2nd place in this category. Congratulations, Amy!

And I loved the quilting. Simple and so effective.

"Ephemera" by Jenn Rossotti, Kingsburg, California. Amazing.  She cut templates and then machine pieced.

Also, you will see Jenn's beautiful work quite a few times. I'm a fan. Glad we finally met.

"Diamonds Quilt #2" by Tara Faughnan, Oakland, California. I really loved the stitching on this one.

"Under the Radar" by Corinne Sovey, Austin, Texas. This won first place in Piecing.

"Plaid on Point" by Jenn Rossotti, Kingsburg, California. You can make your own version as the pattern is now available for free on the Robert Kaufman website.

"Piece 12" by Lissa Alexander, Dallas, Texas.

"Fish & Visitors" by Rebecca Burnett, Toronto, Canada. I stood and stared at this one for a really long time. Great optical illusion.

"Tessellation 4" by Nydia Kehnle, Monroe, New York. Beautiful color transition.

"Lines Lost and Found," Jenn Rossotti, Kingsburg, California.

 And the close-up. It won second place--well deserved. That is some amazing piecing.

"Hot Spot" by Krista Fleckenstein, Anchorage, Alaska.

"Sweet Lean To" by Chawne Kimber, Easton, Pennsylvania.

Want to see some tiny piecing?

"Cut & Keep" by Gina Pina, Austin Texas. This quilt probably intrigued me the most. I studied it for a long time. All the words are underneath a thin layer of fabric. I really loved this one. 

"Double Wedding Ring" by Tara Faughnan. 

A closer view of this 2nd place winner. Gorgeous hand quilting.

"Fraction" by Louise Orth of Driscol, United Kingdom (I hope I have that info right--my photo was incredibly blurry)

"Skylight View" by Jenn Rossotti, Kingsburg, California. And this one needed a close-up--the flying geese are tiny and the quilting is phenomenal.

"The Whole is Greater Than the Sum" by Cassandra Beaver, Urbana, Ohio.

Beautiful quilting:

"Embers" by Stephanie Ruyle. This is an amazing quilt from an overall perspective. But Stephanie had sewn in bits of reflective fabric and when you took a picture with your flash on, it turned from this
to this
Isn't that cool?

"Cumulative Effect" by Stacey O'Malley, Ottawa, Canada. This quilt was made from cumulative scraps of Stacey's first 25 quilts. (Note: Does she even look old enough to have made 25 quilts? She was so sweet and I'm so glad I had a chance to meet her.)

"Tranquility" by Kristin Shields, Bend, Oregon

"I've Got Your Back"--my entry.

This is actually the back of the quilt--the front is made from strip-pieced kaleidoscope blocks, and was made from fabric I received from Timeless Treasures, When Hayden, their marketing rep, said she knew the quilt was in the show but she couldn't find it, I told her it was probably because she was looking for the "front" of the quilt, and I had entered the back. Here she is taking a picture when she finally found it.
I'll end the quilt show with another favorite picture, thanks to @gina_pina.
There were so many wonderful quilts. I wish I had pictures of them all because I know I missed some beauties.

A FEW RANDOM THOUGHTS ABOUT QUILTCON (as there will be no Really Random Thursday tomorrow--I'm at a quilting retreat!).

This is the second year in a row I have attended QuiltCon. Due to the expense involved (because any way you look at it, attending these things can cause the expenses to add up in a hurry), if it had not been within reasonable driving distance, I would not have attended, especially not two years in a row.

When it is time for registration in June, it is really easy to get caught up in the frenzy of trying to get the classes you want--some of them can fill up in a few minutes--and then signing up for lectures, and if you are not careful, you can overbook yourself, to the point where you don't even have the time to slow down and look at the quilts.

I signed up for one full-day class (EQ7), and two half classes, which were both at night (6-9 p.m.). I am not in my top form at night, and the night class started just one hour after the full-day class (I would really try to avoid a full-day class and a night class on the same day if I attended again). My head was hurting from all those hours of trying to learn a new computer program (even though Christa Watson was an excellent instructor), and I was hungry because there had not been time between classes to grab anything (so big thanks to Dani @knitty34, for sharing part of a bagel with me while we waited for class to begin at 6 p.m.) I did just the minimum amount of sewing, and then chatted with people around me.

At the end of that class, I knew that I was going to cancel my other night class. It was a more advanced and fast-paced EQ7 class, Saturday night--when I was sure to be exhausted. Thankfully, there was someone on the wait list who was happy to purchase the class from me. A win-win--she was able to take the class, and I had some extra dollars for shopping.

There were one or two lectures that I had paid for (thankfully only a nominal fee, around $12 I think) and either I (a) completely forgot about or (b) was too busy enjoying a conversation, which I felt was more important at the moment.

The most frustrating thing was the way the keynote presentation was scheduled. The amazing Gwen Marston was the keynote speaker. She was scheduled from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night. Here is the problem: If you were in an all-day class it ran until 5 p.m. but you were still able to attend the lecture. If you had a night class (like I had originally scheduled, but then sold), you had the choice of attending the lecture, but getting to your 3-hour class at least half an hour late. So I sadly opted against the keynote when I registered. By the time I sold my class Saturday morning, the keynote was sold out. I hope the board will be able to address that situation at some point. I'm sure there were a lot of instructors who were also wishing they could have attended the keynote.

There is an amazing amount of talent at QuiltCon. I only have the experience of having taken three classes total (one in Austin, two in Pasadena) and I was fortunate that all three of my instructors were top-notch so I can't speak to anyone else's experience, but mine has been very good.  There are free demonstrations throughout the day (the one where I was able to connect with Anna Maria Horner was at the end of her demo on hand quilting) so there is a lot of availability to gain more knowledge or even to just hear the back story on big names in the industry.

To be able to meet people you have only connected with on the other side of a computer screen, or to reconnect with friends from far away, is the best part of QuiltCon, in my opinion. And I say that as an introvert who has probably used my daily word allotment for the whole month of February!

I'm not sure if QuiltCon 2017 is in the cards for me or not. It's in Savannah, which has always been on my bucket list. We'll just have to see how the rest of the year plays out.

One thing I can tell you is that I'm always on the lookout for quilting inspiration all around me. Pasadena did not disappoint. So don't be surprised if you see this cute top
or even the carpet of the convention center
show up in some form in one of my future quilts.