Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lavender Lemon Bars

This is one of my favorite lavender recipes. By now, you've probably figured out that lavender goes well with lemon. I got this recipe here on Recipe Zaar. It was posted by Barb Gertz and she originally found it in Backyard Living. The picture is also from her post on Recipe Zaar.

Try these tasty bars. They aren't too heavy on the lavender. While I like lavender, I really don't like it when it's overpowering, and a little goes a long way. I've said this before- but it bears repeating. If you're new to cooking with lavender, start light and work your way up. It's strong stuff! And-- as always-- use lavender sold as "culinary lavender" or lavender you or a friend grew that you are 100% sure has had no chemicals used on or around it. I think one of the reasons the lavender isn't too overpowering is that the lemon is strong. You can decorate the serving plate with a few sprigs of fresh lavender if you make them in season.

If you haven't heard of Recipe Zaar, I highly recommend it. Even if you aren't interested in this recipe, you should take a look at I can't tell you how many of my favorite recipes came from this site. You can enter the name of a recipe, or an ingredient and you get back a bazillion options! There are some great copycat recipes on there, too. Type in the name of your favorite chain restaurant and see what you get. I found the recipe for the little cheese biscuits they serve at Red Lobster on there. And I got the recipe for the dressing they serve at Benihanna, too. YUM!!!

Lavender Bouquet WInner

I promised a second winner of a lavender bouquet this month. I'm a few days behind, but here goes.... drum roll please.... Judy LeVang! (The confetti falls, cheers, whistles....).

Judy- Send your mailing address to my email-

Check the blog on August 1st and I'll have a new giveaway. Thanks to all of you who ask to have your names in the drawing. I'm blown away by how many people read the blog and how many more people are entering the giveaway each month. You guys are the greatest readers in the whole world!

Friday, July 17, 2009


I had a nice surprise yesterday. I lost touch with a very special friend who moved away from the area many years ago. Yesterday, I got an email from her. Robyn Dunlap made this quilt for me about 15 years ago. I always liked bunnies and Robyn surprised me with this one year for my birthday. She hand quilted it.
It's really a wall hanging, but I have had it over the back of my desk chair for years. I have it folded so that a bunny shows nicely behind me, and the 3 thicknesses of quilting behind me are like a small pillow on my back.

The internet is a wonderful thing! I know- some people use it for ugly purposes. But for the most part, it's a great thing. One of the many things the internet can do is to help us keep in touch with each other. We make friends on blogs, we find old friends on Facebook, and we learn by searching the internet with a few keystrokes. Wouldn't it be fun if we all sent a message, or called, or searched for an old friend? Why not do it this week- and then tell the rest of us about it by replying to this post.

I think I'll go and send Robyn an email....

Lavender Creme Brulee

I found this wonderful recipe here. What a nice dessert! If you've never made creme brulee before, you really should give it a try. Don't be afraid of it- it's not difficult. It's not exactly a health food, but once in a while, it's a great treat.

If you want a lighter (lighter on the lavender) version, just make the creme brulee without adding the lavender. Then, use lavender sugar for the top. Be sure to flame the sugar at the last minute. Have the little ramekins with the custard nice and cold in the fridge. Then put sugar on top, roll it around, and knock off the excess. If you have one of those cute little kitchen flame thingies, they work best. You can also put it under the broiler for a short time, or use a butane torch. This is a fun and elegant dessert- and NOT as hard as you might think!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I just HAVE to put a quilting post in there among all the lavender postings! I have been kitting Helene Knott's Garden Patch Cats as well as selling the patterns on the website. I saw this today at the wholesale distributor and I just LOVE it in the neutrals. Isn't he a cutie!? Helene's newest cat(s) is/are Pod Cats- 3 little kitty heads in a bean pod. I'll have that on my website in a day or two.

For those of you who haven't seen these yet, the Garden Cats are quilt patterns featuring cats that resemble fruits and vegetables from the garden- Avacato, Boscat, Pumpcat, Walla Walla Kitty, Kitt'ney Bean, Stalker, and Caulipus... and now PodCats. They are ADORABLE! Helene releases a new pattern about once every 6 weeks. I'm making them into kits for wall hangings or pillows. When Helene is finished with the series (and I know how many there will be total), I'll do a block of the month to put them all into a big quilt.

Lavender Sugar, Plan-B

Well... nothing like a blooper on live TV! Or make that, a blooper on a blog! So.... we learn together!

I have often made lavender sugar, vanilla bean sugar, and other flavors. Never had a problem. So what happens? I blog about putting a few lavender sprigs in a container of sugar. When I've done this before, I used dried lavender. But THIS time, I use fresh lavender. I tell you it's a good idea. Wrong. New plan.... don't put anything with a high moisture content in the sugar and seal it up. Look closely at the above photos.... the sugar crystallized on the lavender. There is moisture and little wet, sugary blops on the lavender. I caught this in time. There aren't any growies on there. I'm just going to take the wet lavender out and let the lid off for a day and see what happens.

From now on--- I'll use dried lavender in sugar to make lavender-flavored sugar.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lavender Lemonade

I've heard of a lot of ways to make this refreshing drink. Basically, you add something with lavender to lemonade, and you serve it iced cold. Here are a few ways I know of:

Add brewed lavender tea to lemonade. Of course, you can use fresh lemonade, frozen concentrate, or instant. The problem with most of these drinks is that light yellow and pale purple make brown. You don't get a very appetizing-looking drink. Try looking for white lemonade, or even use a white grape with lemon slices. The basic ratio is 3 parts lemon drink to 1 part lavender tea.

If you aren't sure how the lavender flavor will play at your house, or if you prefer a very lightly lavender flavored drink, make fresh lemonade and sweeten with lavender sugar. I blogged about that a few days ago. You infuse the sugar with lavender by storing sugar and some lavender buds or flowers in a tightly capped container and shake it every few days. I like this version- it's very subtle and refreshing. (photo above)

It's not easy to find, but they do make lavender syrups. It comes in big bottles- the ones they use to flavor coffees. You can add lavender syrup to lemonade.

Another way to make a very subtle lavender-flavored drink is to start with lemonade, and then garnish with a lemon slice and a few short stems of fresh lavender.

My advice with all of these versions is to start with lemonade and slowly add whatever you are using for lavender flavor. Start with just a little and add to taste. If you love lavender, then go for it. But if you're new to the flavor, add it gradually.

Enjoy! It's unique and refreshing.

The first bundle goes to.....

... Happy Cottage Quilter!

Send me your name and mailing address to and your fresh lavender will be on it's way!

I'll blog more tonight!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Let's chat about dried lavender in potpourri. Of course, you can put dried lavender buds in a pretty container, or in a little drawstring bag. The bags are popular for putting dried lavender in your "unmentionables" drawer. It's also nice to put a bag of dried lavender in the closet with your sheets and blankets. But don't hesitate to mix other dried flowers or herbs along with lavender. I love the scent of roses, so I like to combine rose petals and lavender. There's no reason not to display them while they are drying. These photos are of fresh leaves and buds placed together today. As they dry, I'll probably mix them and might move them to another container or even a little drawstring bag. Use your imagination. I love this teacup. My Aunt Nell gave it to me because she knows that I love trillium. They grow wild in the woods in the northwest. They thrive in heavily wooded areas where trees have fallen and decay naturally. They are often growing near sword ferns around here. I love it in the spring when the woods behind my home are dotted with the while trillium! So this teacup, given to me by a special aunt, with roses and lavender drying.... well it just makes me smile to look at the combination. :-) Why not put dried flowers (whatever you like) in a cup or dish or container that makes you smile.
This is just a luncheon plate from my cabinet with rose petals and lavender on it. I put it on kitchen table for a few days. This would also be pretty with a candle placed in the center.

If you'd like to freshen potpourri or make it a little stronger, you can add a drop or 2 of oil. You can also mix in interesting dried things like little pine cones, pussy willows, etc. Not everything added to the mixture has to have a scent. If you add lavender oil or rose oil or whatever you like, the other things will absorb the scent you add.

I've purposely kept these displays very simple. This doesn't have to be difficult and you don't have to have a lot of time. Don't put it off because you are trying to create the "perfect" arrangement. The formula is simple: take a container you like, and then toss some things in it that smell nice. Don't make it more complicated than it has to be.

I'd love to see a picture of your creations!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Cooking with lavender & Lavender Sugar

First things first. If you are going to ingest lavender in ANY way, shape or form, you MUST know something about it. You can purchase culinary (food grade) lavender from grocers or specialty shops. You can grow your own or you can get it from a trusted friend. But never eat or cook with lavender from garden centers. If you purchase a lavender plant, you have no idea what might have been sprayed on it. Once you have planted it and cut it back, the next season of new stems is what you can trust. Also be wary of friends' lavender and even your own. Even if you don't THINK you put anything bad on the lavender- really stop and consider what all is around it and all of the garden chemicals you use. I'm not a purist about organic gardening. I try to keep use of chemicals way down, but there are times. :-) But it's a different story when I'm going to eat something eventually.

OK... enough of the warnings. There are lots of things to do with lavender and I am going to mix up the posts in the following weeks to tell you about recipes, craft ideas and all kinds of stuff. The easiest thing to start with is lavender sugar. It's the simplest way to use lavender in the kitchen and the easiest way to find out if your family likes the stuff. You can also "ease" them into it this way.

Just put some lavender in a container of sugar and cover it. That's it. You can use fresh or dried. I put some stems in the sugar for a pretty picture. But what I generally do is put the lavender in a little bag (cheesecloth, mesh, organza- whatever- just as long as it's clean). This keeps me from having to strain the sugar. I like to use fresh lavender, but I suppose dried works, too.

Using lavender sugar in tea gives you a milder lavender flavor than brewing lavender tea. It's also nice to sweeten iced tea. You can make your own unsweetened lemonade and add the lavender sugar to it. (I'll post other recipes for lavender lemonade soon). You can sprinkle it on a grapefruit half. You can use it for the topping of creme brulee. Use it in place of plain sugar in shortbread cookies or sugar cookies. Put the lavender sugar next to your plain sugar container. Every time you go to use sugar, ask yourself if you think you might like to try lavender sugar for this.

By the way- if you ever use a real vanilla bean in a recipe, after you scrape out the seeds, place the bean in a jar of sugar and shake it up. As you use it, just keep adding sugar. It's wonderful! Hmmm.... I just got an idea! I think I'll try mixing a few lavender stems AND a vanilla bean in a container of sugar. Yum!

Can you think of other uses for lavender sugar? Let's hear them!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


When I told a friend that I planted a 1/4 acre of lavender, she thanked me. Uh-- you're welcome. Why? She told me it was good for bees and that the bees are in trouble. I have to admit that I don't know much about bees. (I don't suppose watching the Bee Movie counts). But I had heard that many honey bee colonies were collapsing and that a virus was suspect. It's my understanding that bees look for herbs like sage, mint, oregano and lavender. I also have to admit that I never considered the bee thing before I planted the lavender. I seem to be able to co-exist comfortably with them, though. When I go out to the field in the morning, the whole field is buzzing with the little pollinators. I'm probably living on borrowed time, but I always walk slowly through the field and they don't care about me at all. As long as they have the lavender, they aren't interested in me. And they're really sluggish- almost "drunk" with the nectar from the lavender. I'm sure one will get me eventually, but for now, I just take it nice and easy out there. Sometimes there are bees on a lavender plant and I take a handful of stems (holding them from the base), cut them, and place them carefully on the drying tray... and the bees never leave the flower. I transfer the bee from the plant to the tray right along with the bundle I cut.

We need these wonderful pollinators. Unless you have a bee sting allergy, consider planting a few things the bees particularly like. And I'm going to do a little research and learn more about bees.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bouquets and Deer

Here's a picture of one of my lavender bouquets. I'll start shipping them this coming week. This is exciting!

I wanted to make sure I didn't mislead anyone about deer and lavender in my post yesterday. Lavender does not repel deer (at least not MY deer). They don't mind smelling it. But they don't like to eat it. I have an apple tree right next to my lavender field. They walk around in the lavender field- not minding it a bit- to get to the apple tree. But they don't eat any of the lavender. So- when people say they want to plant lavender near their roses to keep the deer away, I'm not sure how well that will work. If you have any experience with planting lavender to keep deer out of areas I'd love to hear about it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Moths, Fleas, Mosquitoes and Deer

Lavender is beautiful and smells nice, but there are more benefits to having it around. Moths, fleas, mosquitoes and deer don't like it.

I can't honestly tell you that lavender is as good as moth balls at keeping moths out of your wool, but I do know that moths don't like lavender. And I definitely know that lavender smells better than moth balls.

Likewise with fleas- I'm not telling you to stop flea treatments recommended by your vet, and I'm not telling you not to use a flea bomb is you have an infestation. But if you want to avoid problems, you might try sprinkling dried lavender buds in your carpet and using a carpet rake to spread them around- and then vacuum them up. Don't chase your pets around with bundles of lavender without checking with your vet first, but I have known people to add dried lavender to the stuffing of pet beds to keep them unattractive to fleas.

If you have mosquitoes joining you at the BBQ, you might try tossing some lavender in the campfire, outdoor fire pit, or on a BBQ as it cools down. The scent we enjoy repels the annoying little creatures. Don't want to "waste" pretty lavender by burning it? Save clippings from pruning, or stems from de-budding dried stems for this purpose. Never just throw away any part of a new or old lavender clipping in the trash. Always save it for burning. You can also toss it in an indoor fireplace. Just add a little at a time or you may have a little too much of a good thing.

And last but not least, deer do not like lavender. I know this for a fact! We live out in the country and I regularly have deer right up close and personal to me when I am in my yard. The even dine on the apple tree that overlooks my lavender field. But NOT ONE of my 300 lavender plants have been touched! I'm going to plant lavender near my roses to see if that works. I'll let you know. I'm not sure they are repelled by lavender. I just know they don't like to eat it.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Bringing in the Harvest

I harvested LOTS of lavender today. Here's a little glimpse of my bounty. The tray on the left is Gros Blue. This variety has a deep bluish purple color and is very fragrant. The stems are thick, which makes them ideal for making lavender wands (I'll blog about that soon). When the bundles are dried, it's fairly easy to remove the dried buds, and they retain their deep color fairly well, which makes it a good candidate for dried buds.

The tray on the right side of the picture is holding Grosso lavender. Grosso is the most popular variety grown in the Northwest. It's a good producer and it's just a great all-round lavender. When dried, it retains buds better than most varieties. The stems are long, strong and thick and the heads are full. The color is more of a grayish-purple... very nice. It's also a good variety for distilling the oil.

When I harvest, (I'm right-handed) I take a handfull of stems in my heft hand, and cut the stems at with a sickle using my right hand. A "bundle" is a different number of stems, depending on the variety. Take your thumb and touch your middle finger. The circle you create doing that is the diameter of the bundle. I do a good big tight squeeze at the thinnest part of the stems. Right in the field, I put a rubber band around the bundle. I lay them on trays that have screen on the bottom. These are my drying trays, but I also use them to hold the lavender in the field. When I bring the trays up to my house, I trim the base of the bundles so they are all even. I want them to look nice and tidy.

What I do with them from this point on depends on how the bundle will be used. If it is going to be sold as a fresh bundle at a farm market, I put it in water (not much- just a few inches). If it is going to be shipped, I prepare it for shipping right away. Either way- the bundles need to be kept in a cool, dry, dark place with good air circulation.

If I'm going to dry the bundle, I do one of 2 things. This depends on the ultimate goal- dried bouquets or dried buds. If I want pretty dried bundles, I hang them upside down in the barn, giving them good circulation. If I want to debud them after they are dry, I just lay them on the drying trays (with screen bottoms).

When you harvest also depends on how you are going to use the stems. Obviously, if you want dried buds, you need to harvest before the plant flowers. If you want to use the lavender for culinary purposes (cooking) it depends on whether your recipe calls for dried or fresh, buds or flowers. I'll blog some recipes later in the month. For those of you who aren't aware of it- lavender is an herb. DO NOT eat or cook with lavender unless it is food grade (culinary) or unless you grew it yourself or know for SURE that no chemicals were used on or near the plant! As I said- I'll blog more about this another time.

What should you do if you have one plant, or just a few plants? If you want it to stay fresh for a while, you can put it in a little water. The bottom of the stems will get all yucky, and if you leave it in water too long it will rot. If you plan to dry your lavender and keep if all year, you can dry it right in a vase. No water- just arrange it the way you like and then put it somewhere where it won't get bumped. The heads might droop over this way, but that is attractive, too. If you want the stems to stay straight with the heads not drooped over, rubber band the bundles and hang them upside down in a dark place with good ventilation- not too hot- until they are dry. If you tied them with string and skip the rubber bands, you'll regret it. As the bundles dry, they shrink. You just might go out to your garage one day and find the stems all over the floor. Rubber bands take up the slack as they shrink. I've heard of people drying bundles hung from shower rods in spare bathrooms, or in closets.

As I dry bundles this year, I'll take pictures and come back and add them to this post.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Harvesting Lavender

The lavender plant in this photo has just been harvested AND pruned. I took the stem as well as a little of the new growth off when I cut.

I'm smack dab in the middle of harvesting right now. Whew! Harvesting is simple. If you go to a u-pick lavender farm, they usually just give you a pair of scissors or snipers. That is FINE if you are just cutting a bundle or 2. But, for large quantities, the best tool for the job is a small sickle. I use one that is 6 1/2". The inside is serrated and you just hold the bundle in one hand and pull the sickle around the base of the bundle with the other hand. (I'll add a picture when I remember to take one of the sickle). For large quantities of bundles, it's best to just put a rubber band around it as you harvest.

A key point here is that harvesting and pruning are not the same thing. To JUST harvest, you can just cut the stems above the green growth of the bush. This gives you bundles that are nice and neat at the bottom. You can prune at a different time, or you can prune at the same time as harvest. You really should prune at least once a year. To prune, you want to go down into the newer growth area of the bush, itself. Think of it as a nice round ball (the bush) with spikes (the lavender stems) sticking out of it. You harvest to get the stems off. You prune to care for the bush.

Lavender is a woody shrub. To prune, you don't want to go all the way down to the woody part. Look at the soft green growth above the wood. Take off anywhere from 1/3 to 2/3 of the green growth. Just make sure you leave at least 1/3 of that green fluffy stuff. This will give you double the number of stems next year. It will also keep your plant from getting leggy. People often complain that their lavender is leggy and overgrown and doesn't look like a pretty plant the rest of the year. When I ask, they almost always tell me that they don't cut the stems (harvest) or do any pruning. You can cut before they flower, after they flower, or after they look all dead..... just make sure you cut them. If your plant is really leggy, I don't know of any way to bring it back to a nice ball of green. My advise would be to send it to the compost pile and start with a new plant.

If you aren't planning to propagate the plant (make more from cuttings) you can just prune while you harvest (go down into the plant a little when you cut the stems) and then clean up the base of the bundle to make it look pretty. If you DO want to propagate the lavender, this comes along with pruning. You can prune in the fall or spring- or both. I guess it depends on your climate. In my case (Oregon) I prune twice a year. In the spring, I do light pruning of the new growth to ensure a fuller harvest. Then, in the fall, I do another light pruning. This makes the plant bushier in less time. For those of you out there who have experience with lavender, I know some will say to prune in the spring, some when you harvest, and some in the fall. Some will prune once a year and some will prune lightly 2 or 3 times a year. Experiment. If it works for you- that's the "right" way to do it.

It depends on how you are using it and where you live, but here's what I have been doing with great results....

In the spring, I go through my field and take off just a little of the new growth. If there is a sprig really sticking out there and going crazy, I cut it down a little more, giving me a nice little "start". I might get one or 2 good starts from each plant. As they get bigger I'll get more. Then I take the little starts, and with my thumb and index finger, I strip off the lower leaves. I dip it in rooting hormone (not critical to do this) and then poke it in a little baby pot of moist sandy soil. (Note- I've read that you should be careful with rooting hormone and wash your hands after using the stuff. Read the labels. I use gloves and wash the gloves afterward.) I keep the new starts misted with water. If it's early spring, my trays of starts live in the garage a while (they'll live in the greenhouse when I get one!). As the weather gets warmer, they spend more time outside. I lose some, but most of them survive. I have a raised bed and I put these baby plants out there for the next season to plant. I just completed my first cycle of this and it has worked very well. Then- in the fall, I could do the same thing. But last fall, I just went through the field and did a light pruning. I didn't root any starts. If I do want to root starts in the fall, all I have to do is make sure they are protected over the winter- maybe with some mulch. I would bring them in the garage over the winter if it got too cold. You have to baby them a little more if you take starts in the fall. which is why I like spring better for this.

That's all there is to it. I'll add pictures of harvesting and of a sickle soon, and I'll add pictures of pruning to this post the next time I have some starts to take pictures of.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Growing lavender

I've had a lot of emails today about lavender. I'm going to try to post some sort of tidbit about lavender every day- until I run out of things to say (which could be a loooooong time....)

This photo was taken in September of 2007. The photo I posted yesterday was the same plant in July of 2009.

Let's start with growing lavender. You can do it from seed, but I don't have any experience with that. I bought 2 1/2 inch starts from a wholesale lavender producer. I planted them in the fall of 2007. My first harvest was last summer (July 2008) and this is my second harvest. I'm getting about 1 1/2 large bundles per plant this year already! It's amazing how fast this stuff is growing! The first winter, I lost about 20% of my crop- mostly due to moles, voles and gophers. They burrowed under the plants and left air pockets around the new little root balls. I replanted where the dead ones were and this second year, I only lost ONE out of 300 plants! I think it just helped that the root balls were more established. Or maybe the underground varmints didn't like our harsh winter. Who knows. Last winter, we had 27 inches of snow- a record for this area. They didn't mind a bit. In fact, I think they loved the white blanket.

To plant your little lavender plants, the best time to do it is in the spring or fall. We did better in the spring, but don't hesitate to plant in the fall. Summer is ok, but it will need to be watched a little more to make sure it stays moist, but not too moist. VERY IMPORTANT.... lavender does not like wet feet! They can't thrive in standing water, or hard, wet soil. Raised beds can help with the soggy soil--- even small raised beds. If you have clay soil, you have to add some sand or peet or something. I dug large holes (don't skimp here-- dig a big one!). I made a mixture of 1/3 clay, 1/3 sand, and 1/3 peet moss. There's no magic to this, although I'm sure people will say there is. The point is to get a lot of sand in there. I've known people to plant in almost all sand. You could just mix whatever soil you have with sand... just make sure your drainage is good. And you don't want to get your soil TOO rich. They are native to rocky alkaline Mediterranean. If your soil is really acidic, throw in a little lime (calcium carbonate). They really don't want you to fuss with them too much. My field is on a hill, which is perfect. No low-lying areas where water pools. Then I put the sandy mixture back into the big hole and then scooped out a little hole (for the 2 1/2 inch plant). In that little hole, I put a mixture of steer manure and a little bone meal. I used about a handfull of manure and about a tsp of bone meal but you don't have to be exact about it. Then in went the little plant. Don't burry the woody stem under the dirt line. Leave it right at the dirt line or a little above.

In addition to not liking wet feet, lavender does not like the shade. Stick it in the sunniest spot you have. They like at least 8 hrs of full sun each day. Less sun will give you leggy plants. Moisture will cause rot and all kinds of yucky stuff. In areas where too much rain is a problem, some people put white landscape rocks under and around the lavender. When it's sunny, the white rocks reflect the sun and dry it from underneath. At least that's what they say. That's also why some people put white sand under the plants. I haven't bothered with the rocks or white sand, but that's mostly because I'm too busy. I might stick sand out there one of these days.

The first season, make sure they get some water and don't dry out. After that, unless you live in a really dry area, it pretty much takes care of itself. I almost never water, unless we have a week of 90 degree, sunny dry days. And even then- they don't need much. I put a little of the magic potion of manure and bone meal after I harvest and that's about it. I do keep them weeded because weeds in the bundles are not good.

Don't try to transplant lavender in the middle of the summer. Transplant in the early spring or fall for best results.

More tomorrow.....

July Giveaway- bundles of fresh lavender!

Here at Alderwood Quilts, everything is purple! We have a small lavender farm and right now, my quilt shop overlooks a field of 300 lavender plants just bursting with fragrant purple stems. Our harsh winter didn't bother them a bit! Starting next week, I will be shipping bundles of fresh lavender all over the US. I will be at our local farm market each week this month and I also have several lavender products on my website. If you are interested in purchasing fresh bundles in July or dried buds year round, they will appear on my website in a few days. You can always send me an email if you have questions.

This month, instead of a quilting product as a giveaway, I'm going to select TWO lucky readers to receive a fresh bundle of lavender. I will select one winner on July 7th and one winner on July 14th. No need to enter twice- I will just add names to the drawing as you enter and draw from that same pile twice. So enter before the 7th, and you'll have 2 chances to win! If the field is still producing, I may even add a 3rd winner on the 21st- so stay tuned.

To be entered, simply reply to this post and ask to be entered. If you prefer not to post to the blog, you can send me an email ( I try to reply to people who post, but that may not happen over the next few weeks. If you reply to this or send me an email, rest assured that you are entered.

While I often ship internationally and I LOVE to see that readers from around the world are following this blog, I can't guarantee that I can send lavender internationally. I need to look into the rules for sending fresh herbs to various countries. If I draw an reader from outside the US, we may have to substitute a different prize. We'll just have to see what the rules are.

Good luck to all!

Yes- I'm still here!

I can't believe that I haven't posted to the blog in a MONTH! For those of you who are loyal readers- hang in there! I WILL post a total of 12 handbag patterns before the year is over and I WILL get back into regular blogging. I plan to do several blog posts on frayed edge quilts and I still remember my promise to teach you how to do a double sided rag quilt. I have some big projects I'm working on and I'm knee-deep in helping my husband update our previous home to get it ready for sale. My biggest project this month is dealing with 300 blooming lavender plants! See the July Giveaway post for details on that! I've gotten lots of new fabric for the website and I have some interesting new patterns on order. For you quilters out there, check out my website! I hope you're having a wonderful summer!

June Giveaway Winner

I drew pattyruth14 from the hat this month. Congratulations, Patty! Send me an email to with your address so I can mail you these adorable daisies.