Friday, April 18, 2014

Springtime Quilt

Last week, this quilt was posted on the "24 Blocks" page on Facebook.  SHEESH!  I instantly got a bazillion requests for the pattern.  I've carried it for years, but didn't have quantities on hand to take care of everyone.  Since last week, I've ordered twice from BeColourful.  The patterns come from the Netherlands, which is why they are a little hard to find.  I now have a large supply on hand. 

I think the colors are particularly stunning on this quilt.  Simple- and just awesome!  HERE's a link to the pattern on my website.



Here's a closeup.  I always like photos that show the quilting.


If you enjoy paper piecing, this is a great new project for you!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I went shopping for fabric....

 "I went shopping for quilting fabric"

 I went shopping for fabric and this nice man helped me bring it home.


I saw this on Pinterest and it made me smile.  It's sometimes difficult to track down the origin of photos on Pinterest to get permission to post them.  I think this originated with reginasworld.com.

I hope you are all enjoying the last few days of 2013. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Quick Cookie Idea

Need to take something to a gathering over the holidays?  Need it to be yummy AND quick? 


This is a re-post of a recipe I posted last year.  It's worth telling you about it again.  These yummy treats start with crackers sprinkled with almonds.  Add some gooey sweetness and you have a real conversation starter.  The crackers are the buttery kind, so it just tastes like the base is a butter cookie.  You WILL get requests for the recipe and you WON'T have any left over.  You'll find the recipe HERE.  Enjoy!




Sunday, December 15, 2013

Memories in a Box


 Isn't this lovely? (NOT!)  If you were to see this old jewelry box in a garage sale, chances are pretty good that you wouldn't even pay a quarter for it.  It has virtually no monetary value.  But value isn't always monetary.  This is the little jewelry box that started it's life on my dresser when I was somewhere around 4 or 5 years old.



In recent years, I've been going through the "things" I've collected in my 6 decades of life.  This is the season of my life when I am cleaning out, paring down, finding new homes for things and deciding what I really want to keep.  But it's so difficult for me to just toss something that has so many memories.

As I go through the boxes from the attic, if something makes me smile, I'm trying to incorporate it into my everyday live.  If I don't want it in my house, if it has no resale value, and if nobody else wants it--- then it goes.  But in the case of my jewelry box, I just couldn't get rid of it.  Plus-- as I said-- it makes me smile.





 SO.... I got the perfect idea!  I put all of my Christmas jewelry in it!  I did this last year, and after the holidays I packed it away with the Christmas decorations.  When I started decorating this year, out came the jewelry box, and you guessed it... it made me smile.  :-)

I've been looking for ideas like this one to re-purpose old things with good memories.

Oh--- and can you see the little puppy earrings in front of the box on the left?  My oldest son gave them to me when he was 8 years old.  I still remember the day he gave them to me.  He payed $2 of his own money for them.  Yep- they make me smile, too.

It's the little things in life.


Friday, December 13, 2013

The Hooters Quilt

Delightfully tacky, yet unrefined.
You read that right.  It's a Hooters quilt.  Quilting (to me) is all about making a memory- or preserving one.  Why else would somebody make a quilt out of old Hooters t-shirts?

A very special family friend married the love of his life a few weeks ago.  In his "bachelor days", he had a rather extensive collection of t-shirts from his many visits to various Hooters restaurants around the world.  I "acquired" his collection and took a rotary cutter to it.  I took special care to preserve the spots on the shirts that were autographed by the ladies.

By the way- it seems I always have a dog around when I'm trying to photograph quilts.  This one is being tested by my son's moose... I mean dog... Nelson.  He's a cross between a St. Bernard and a Great Pyrenees.  Big.


 
As far as quilting goes, this one isn't anything special.  It's just a rag quilt- little sandwiches of t-shirt on top, batting scraps in the middle and flannel on the back.  Sew an "X" through the sandwiches, stitch them together with a half inch seam and stitch all around the perimeter at 1/2 inch.  Then clip all the seams with rag snips (important so you don't get blisters).  Then wash a few times and clean out the lint trap in the dryer a million times.

This quilt is a great memory for the groom.  It represents a time in his life and memories of friends, trips he took, and his transiton from boyhood to manhood.  He LOVED it!  You might be wondering how the bride feels about this.  She loves it, too!  Jealous?  No way!  She says, "I'M the one he married!!!"

Being a quilter gives a person the ability to create a one-of-a kind gift from the heart.  Nothing I could have purchased would have shown his young man how much it meant to me to watch him grow up than this quilt does.

And besides... now I can say I made a Hooters quilt. :-)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A good laugh!

I saw this on Pinterest... it gave me a good chuckle.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Giveaway Winner- Congrats, Wendy!




We have a winner!  Wendy, from Alabama, is the lucky winner of the Apple a Day pattern.  Wendy has several blogs- she's a very prolific blogger and quilter.  Wendy- I'll send you an email and we'll get your pattern on its way!

If you didn't win, and you just HAVE to have this pattern, you can find it on my website.

I'll try to get another giveaway posted soon.






I hope those of you in the US had a nice holiday weekend.  It was Thanksgiving, the start of Chanukah, and the official start of the crazy holiday shopping season.  Sheesh!  I think I need to get started with my shopping.  I'm late this year.  But the fun thing is that I have a grand daughter to shop/sew/knit for this year.  FUN!  So what did I do this weekend?  I started knitting a hat for MY baby (who is a grown man).  LOL  I'll show you pics when it's done.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thinking of Others on Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!  It's been a beautiful, crisp Fall day in the Pacific Northwest.  My list of things for which I am thankful goes on and on.  Life is good.  :-)

On this day of gratitude, I'd like to share a personal story with you.... the story of an afghan... and many friends.


If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that quilting is my passion, but knitting is a close second.  I'm very active on the social website, Ravelry.  If you knit or crochet and have not yet discovered Ravelry, you HAVE to check it out!  Ravelry is full of patterns and yarns and best of all... chat boards and groups of people with similar interests.  I'm active on several of the group boards, one of which is a group of followers of the Knitters Brewing yarn company.  After several years of posting and chatting, you get to know people.  Much like blogging, you feel very much like you KNOW people you've never met in real life.  For many years, I chatted with a lady who shares my first name.... Sue Thomas.  Whenever Sue sent me an email, she signed it, "The Other Sue",

Sue passed away suddenly and peacefully in her sleep in August.  The ladies in the group were shocked and saddened.  We felt so empty and helpless.  When we experience loss, we have the natural desire to do something.  But when the members of a group are literally spread all over the world and only have a chat board between them- it's hard to know what to do.  You can't very well send a casserole to her husband thousands of miles away.  She had a favorite charity, so many of us donated to it, but it didn't fill our desire to do something personal.

The moderators of the chat group quickly filled our need to act on our grief and reach out to her family.  Yarn was sent by the owner of the yarn company to 42 of the knitters who had known her the longest.  There were MANY more people who would loved to have participated, but the 42 of us knitted on behalf of the whole group.  We each made one square and sent it back to the women who edged and blocked them and stitched them together.  The project was financed by the sale of a colorway of yarn that Sue loved, and all additional money was given to her favorite charity.  The afghan, which we called the "comfortghan" was sent to her beloved husband.  Her birthday fell on Thanksgiving, so this was a doubly difficult day for him.  The delivery was timed so that he would receive it this week.


I am truly thankful to have been a part of this project.  My block is the butterfly.  From the bottom left corner, it's 3 blocks up and 3 to the right.  The very first time that Sue and I chatted online was about 5 years ago when we were both working on a sock with a butterfly design.  We were both new sock knitters at the time.  So I chose to put that butterfly design on the block I contributed.  I think it's wonderful that we sent the afghan to Sue's husband, and I'm sure he will treasure it.  But this is about more than an afghan.  It's about losing a friend and feeling a void, and coming together with others who feel the same sadness to act on our feelings, and fill that void by sharing our feelings with others who understand, and then do something nice for somebody Sue loved very much. 

Birth and death... and joy and sadness and everything else we experience are a part of life.  We all know that.  But how we act on those feelings determines what kind of life we live.  My family and friends are my greatest wealth.  The people who walk through this life with me are everything to me.  On Thanksgiving, we reflect on things for which we are thankful, and in that spirit of gratitude, we often show acts of kindness toward others. Today is a day of giving thanks and for sharing (most of us with family) and generally feeling good.  But today, I also thought of my late friend, Sue.  And that made me think of all the many, many people in my life who are not family or super close friends.  I thought a lot about the hundreds of people who are, for lack of a better descriptor, the "cast of characters" who make my life as rich as it is.

Happy birthday, Sue.... from "the other Sue".  Life is better for countless people because you shared yourself with us.  We miss you and that smile of yours.... and your positive approach to life.  You always had something good to say, and you made us feel better about ourselves with your kind words.  You made life richer for all who knew you.

And happy Thanksgiving to all who read this.  Remember that we are all one of "the cast of characters" in the life of everyone we know.  Give them all an extra smile.  Life is good.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend Giveaway- Apple a Day Pattern


We haven't had a giveaway in a while, so let's do a quick one.  This will run through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  I'll draw the winner on Monday, December 2, 2013.

*To be entered, just comment on THIS POST that you would like to be entered.  That's all!
**For a second chance, do a SECOND COMMENT to THIS POST and let me know that you are a follower of this blog and you'll have 2 entries. Don't assume I know- you have to post a comment because use the number of comments for the random number generator.
***Want a third entry?  Share the news.  Tweet it or post on facebook or post it on your own blog or rent space on a billboard in Times Square.  :-)  It doesn't matter how you share it, or how many times- just do another comment to THIS POST to let me know and you get a third entry.  (just one)
****For a 4th chance, send me a picture of a Thanksgiving or Autumn-themed quilt or sewing project.  Comment on THIS POST that you let me know about it.  Send the picture to me in a private message or post the link if you have in somewhere online and let me know that I am permitted to "lift" the photo and show it here.  (I'll give you credit, of course).

This pattern is published by Bigfork Bay Cotton Company and uses the fun technique of fusible applique.  If you liked paper dolls when you were a little girl- you'll love fusible applique!

Monday, November 25, 2013

New Patterns from Jacqueline de Jonge!

Are you a paper piecing fan?  Have I got news for YOU!  Jacqueline de Jonge, the Dutch quilt artist who is the creative genius behind the pattern at Be Colourful Patterns has just released 5 new patterns, plus released a new format of another.  My jaw is on the floor.  OHMYGOSH--- I only wish you could see these patterns in real life! 

You carry all of Jacqueline de Jonge's patterns and you can see them on my website.






 Brilliant Beauties of Joy is not new, but has been re-formatted.  It was previously available in 5 different patterns, designed to be a block-of-the-month.  Jacqueline has now formatted this to sell in one pattern- at HALF the price of the original set of 5 patterns!!!  WOO HOO!   If you've been drooling over the set- you can now justify the purchase.  :-)  It's a very large quilt and a very large pattern.... enough to keep you busy for a while.
















And if you REALLY want to keep busy for a while... check out Catch Me if You Can.  This isn't one of the new ones, but it's pretty recent and I had to show it to you again.  I think this is one of my favorite Be Colourful patterns.  Holy Cow-- this quilt is stunning!




















Now for the new ones.  This is Aurora.  How awesome would this look on your bed????  It's like a New York Beauty on steroids.




















Black Beauty is actually less complicated than it looks.  It's a creative arrangement of some New York Beauty blocks... and only uses a few fabrics.  really stunning!



















Endless....  Well named.  The flying geese travel in an endless path around the stars.  I love this one.  Well... I love them all.  But I super love this one.



















This one is named Summer Dream.  As Be Colourful patterns go, it's one of the "less complicated" ones.  It would be a great one to start with.  It's sized right to make a table topper or wall hanging.... or a baby quilt if you're so inclined.  :-)



















And last, but not least... Midnight Stars.  Such a stunning quilt!  This is a big one... and it has it all.... spikes, curves, stars, flying geese, and a medallion.  LOVE it!










If you're thinking, "I could never make one of these quilts"... you might give it another though.  I will admit that you do need to know how to paper piece and you really should LIKE to do paper piecing.  After that- all you need is time.  It's just one step after the other... keep on going... and eventually, you'll have an heirloom quilt. They're no different from any other paper pieced quilts.  You piece a lot of sections and stitch the sections together.  Simple.  Right?  OK... there are a lot of sections.  You can do it.

Just a note if you look on the website at all of the Be Colourful patterns.... some have full size printed foundation papers included and some do not.  Her older patterns don't have the printed foundation papers included, but they do have full size pattern pieces that you trace or copy onto foundation papers.  As you might expect, these are less expensive.  Her newer patterns have all full size foundation papers included and ready to use.  Also as you might expect, these are more expensive.  It's a trade-off.  I like to get started right away but I also like to save money.  You're choice. 

One last thing-- I still have a small number of three discontinued Be Colourful patterns.  When they're gone, they're gone.  Twinkle Star has lots of stars and hexis.  Sweet Melody and Sun and Shadows are a lot like Black Beauty, but are different sizes and do not include foundation papers.  You can see them along with all of the other patterns here.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Flannel Quilts and a Sale!

I fondled some pretty flannels the other day and got the bug to make a flannel quilt.  September always has that effect on me. :-)  I have a couple started and I think I'll be a good little quilter and finish one of them rather than starting a new one.

Here are two flannel quilts that I made for my grown sons a few years ago.  The blue and taupe half square triangle quilt is Paul's.  Yep--- it's just a bunch of half square triangles!  The trick is to use flannels with high contrast.  This one was actually a pattern, and I have ordered some.  I'll put them on my website soon.  I like it because it's just 2 colors, but it's super scrappy.  Paul likes it because it's soft.


This is Steve's quilt.  It's one of Moda's flannel collections from several years back (definitely no longer available).  It's another simple pattern with lots of "pop".  It's a really fun "guy quilt".  I was visiting Steve and his family last week and saw this on the floor in his family room in front of the TV... so I know it gets used!

Let's kick off the season with a flannel sale.  ALL flannels in stock are on sale for the month of September, 2013 for $8.95 per yarn.  All of the flannels in my shop are high quality, soft and squishy.... not the thin scritchy kind. Many of them are by Maywood Studio.  There are also a few flannel fat quarter packs very attractively priced.  Tomorrow, I'll post a blog giveaway.... and.... hint, hint..... it will be flannel!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Giveaway Winner!

WOW!  I can't believe how many customers scooped up Bigfork Bay Cotton Company patterns and kits today!  I'm not planning to re-stock most of these items, so these great prices are limited to the quantity on hand.  You snooze, you loose!

So.... on to the giveaway.  For the month of June, we took entries for the drawing to win 1/4 pound of dried lavender buds (from my farm, of course!)

Isn't this a pretty picture?  My friend, Stephanie, took this photo of my sachets in her yarn basket.  Her yarn is great-smelling and bug-free!  (Not that she had bugs before.... but lavender does naturally keep the creepy crawlies away).

The winner for the June giveaway is..... drum roll, please...... Nanbon (blogger name) from Milton, Florida.  CONGRATS!  I'll send you an email so I can get your address and get your fragrant package on it's long journey from Oregon to Florida!

Our harvest is beginning tomorrow.  We'll be cutting in the early morning hours so the lavender will be nice and fresh for it's trip to our first farmers' market of the season.  I'll have pictures soon.  We'll also be starting to ship fresh bundles next week.  I'll post about that soon.

I'll leave you with a few photos of our field that my friend, Kathy D took last summer.  I'll take some current pictures and post them soon. 







Bigfork Bay Cotton Company on SALE!

A new month- a new sale!  All Bigfork Bay Cotton Company patterns and kits are on sale this month.

Bigfork Bay patterns are incredibly detailed.  The finished quilts are breathtaking! We have horses, North American wildlife, African and Asian wildlife.... and frogs!


Kits include the same fabrics as shown on the pattern covers.  All fabrics are high quality batiks.


To create these beauties, you trace the full size patterns onto a fusible product such as Steam-a-Seam.  Then fuse the shapes onto the back of the fabric, cut on the lines, peel off the backing paper, and you are left with iron-on shapes.  Arrange the shapes under a silicone pressing mat and fuse.  Finish with free motion quilting.


The frogs are great starter projects (not as many pieces as some of the other projects).  These little guys always make me smile.

You can click to the Bigfork Bay products, as well as other sale items from our home page.

To go along with the sale this month, we're going to give away a Frog pattern on the blog.  Look for it on July 2nd, after I post the winner of the June giveaway.

Monday, June 17, 2013

First Fathers' Day

I just had to post this picture!

After a nice family lunch in honor of our family's fathers.... the newest father had to get a few things for their new house.  I thought it would be appropriate to document Baby Madison's first Home Depot run!  New dad, Steve, said, "Wow!  It's weird walking around in here with a stroller!"


 I just chuckled... thinking ahead... it won't be long before she'll be running around and he'll be wishing she was still sleeping in a stroller while he shops!

One week old- now a few ounces more than her birth weight.  Sleeps all day, cries all night!

OK... now that I have your attention with the baby pictures.... here's my annual warning about social media and vacations. 

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE.... think about what you post on Facebook and what you Tweet!  It's so popular for vacationers to post their travels AS they happen... but be aware that you may have a reader who is not a friend.  I know, I know... you say that only your friends can read what you post.  That's not entirely true.  One of my family members Googled her name and came up with a recent (private) FB post.  And then you say you don't have your address posted.  Well--- I'm no computer genius or private detective, but if you have an active FB page or blog, I can probably figure out your name and general location and from posts and pictures, I could probably find your house.  Don't tell people your house is empty!  Post about your adventures after you get home.  We can wait a few days to hear about your awesome trip.  Be safe!  Come home to everything as you left it- dirty dishes and all!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Super Simple Baby Blanket

I made (and am in the process of making) several baby quilts for my new granddaughter.  The one I'll show you today was SOOOOOO simple!!!  

I went to the store ('cause I don't sell this stuff in my shop) and found some cute owl fabric in a plush fabric that I knew would go well in her nursery.  I just got 1/4 yard of it.  Then I got 1/4 yard each of lots of other plush, soft, fuzzy stuff that would coordinate.  These are all different brands- sort of like Minkee fabric.


 Then I cut it into the largest squares I could get out of the 1/4 yard cuts, allowing for some straightening.  I think I ended up with 8" squares.  It doesn't matter- just as long as they are the same.  At this point, my sewing area was covered in fuzz.  This stuff sheds BIG time!  Some people use a walking foot- I used a ton of pins.  It's super slippery.  I just sewed them in long strips, then sewed the strips together.  You just HAVE to go slowly- and use lots of pins.  Then I had a little date with the lint brush.  Don't wear black when you make one of these.  I used a piece of yellow flannel for the back.  No batting- it's super heavy as it is.  I put the top and the backing right sides together, stitched all around the outside leaving an opening to turn.  When it was turned right side out, I stitched all around the edge on the right side.... then did a little tack stitch with the machine at each intersection of blocks.  (Kind of like tying the quilt, but with the machine).


It's not an heirloom quilt.  I wanted it to be something my DIL can throw in the floor and the baby can make messes on and can be thrown in the washer.  It's to be "loved"... not protected. 

See the trees on the nursery wall?  Baby's mom and I did them ourselves!  We projected a tree onto the wall and sponged over the projected picture.  I really like how they turned out.  What a memory THAT day was!  To see the trees on the wall, you had to have the room dark.  Envision a very pregnant woman and her old mother in law in a dark room with sponges full of paint.  It's a fun memory.


And here are a few of this new grandmother's favorite one-day-old photos.  Precious photos of my son holding his new daughter.  (She's learning to pull his beard, already!)


Daddy's little girl .


 Gotta love baby toes.  :-)


Sunday, June 9, 2013

New Baby!

I'm overjoyed to share my good news with you!  One June 7, our family welcomed it's newest member, Madison Marie. 

                                 After




             Before


Steve and Emily, our youngest son and his wonderful wife, made us grandparents for the first time this week when they brought Madison Marie into the world.  Words can't express my joy!  One look at this precious face and I was in love.  Both Maddy and her mom are doing well.

What is that I hear you asking?  Why haven't you seen any baby quilts or knits?  Just be patient......

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Knitted Shawlettes

As long time readers of this blog know, I own and quilt shop and LOVE to quilt.  But a close second is my love of knitting (and then there's paper crafting, gardening, cooking....).  Never enough hours in the day!

Bryce Canyon Shawl

I do a lot of test knitting for "verybusymonkey", who is a talented knitwear designer.  I recently tested the 4 shawls in an e-book for her.  Test knitting is like proof-reading.  I knit the item and look for bloopers- and edit the pattern.  It's so much fun- and I end up with some great knitted things.  These are called "shawls" but I almost always wear them as a scarf.  They're small, as shawls go, and I love draping them around my neck in the winter- they keep me nice and toasty.  :-)


 Canyonlands Shawl

If you are on Ravelry, you can find all of these patterns by searching under verybusymonkey.  If you're not on Ravelry, you can find VBM patterns here.  Not familiar with Ravelry?  If you knit or crochet- you HAVE to check it out!  It's like facebook for knitters (sort of).  If you're looking for me on Ravelry, my screen name is suehauser.


 Grand Tetons Shawl

 You might notice a theme in the names.  The shawls in this collection are all named after National Parks.  The designer donates a portion of the sales of these patterns to the National Parks Foundation.  (Her pattern prices are very reasonable, but the way).


Olympic National Park Shawl

This last one is a favorite of mine.  Oh, MY.... this is beautiful!  It was so much fun to knit the little leaves into the piece.  As you can see by the tablecloth in the picture, I made these last fall and winter.    I have more, but I'll save them for another post.


Monday, June 3, 2013

June Giveaway- 1/4 pound of fragrant dried lavender buds!

 Looking out at my field, I see my lavender farm waking up and growing fast!  It looks like this year will yield a bumper crop of this delightfully fragrant herb.  We sell fresh bundles in season (mid July) and fresh buds year 'round.  You can purchase the buds and sachets on the Sunset Lavender Farm website any time.  The fresh bundles will be available for pre-order soon.  Send me an email if you want me to let you know when we are harvesting the fresh bundles.  These products are also available on our Alderwood Quilts website.

We haven't done a giveaway in a long time.  To kick off lavender season, I'm giving away a pretty organza bag filled with 1/4 pound of dried lavender buds.

I regret that I can't ship the lavender to international readers.  But if you don't live in the U.S. but know someone in the U.S. who would like lavender, you could enter and have me send it to them if you win.  Most of my blog giveaways are open to international readers, but I can't do it with the lavender.  Sorry!

To enter the drawing- just comment to THIS POST and let me know you'd like a chance.  That's all!

For a second entry- make a SECOND COMMENT to THIS POST and tell me that you are a follower of this blog (new or long time follower- makes no difference).

For a third entry- spread the word.  Tweet, post to Facebook, go to the website and Pin it on Pinterest,  post on your own blog- whatever.  One entry for spreading the word- not an entry for each form of social media.  Then make a SEPARATE COMMENT to THIS POST to let me know you told your friends.

For a 4th chance- COMMENT to THIS POST and say something about lavender (how do you display it, does the scent remind you of something, does a friend like it, do you grow it... anything at all about lavender).

I'm pretty easy-going about this stuff.  I just need you to do a separate entry for each extra chance so I can count the entries to enter in the random number generator.

I'll select a winner at random on July 1st.  I'll also be doing some posts about lavender in July.  If you have any questions or anything you'd like to know about lavender, let me know and I'll try to address it.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Skinny Bolt Sale


WOW!  I can't believe it's been over 3 months since I'm blogged!  I've missed being involved with the blogging community and I'm going to start posting regularly again. 

I thought I'd start with a sale in the shop.  I pulled bolts with 3 yards or less remaining and marked them all down to $7.95 per yard.  That makes some of them a good price, and some of them a SUPER GREAT price.  I didn't hold back.  The skinny bolts include top quality batiks, Maywood Flannels, and much more.

The Skinny Bolt Sale runs through June 31, but shop now for the best selection.  As other bolts go to less than 3 yards, I'll add them, so selection will vary throughout the month.  Go to Alderwood Quilts to start shopping!

 That's it for today, but I'll be back.  Tomorrow I'll post a new blog giveaway.