Monday, November 29, 2010

Rotary Cutter Replacement Blades

Here's a weird one for you!  My friend Nancy told me about this.  It seems that Harbor Freight Tools sells a product for cutting carpet that takes blades that fit 45 mm rotary cutters.  The blades are 2 for $1.99 (at least that's the price today). 

I have no idea if the price will change or if they will always be available-- and I'm not sure if they are equivalent to the blades we get from quilt supply businesses.  But they sure do look like they will work!  If anyone has used them, or purchased from Harbor Freight, let me know.  If they cut carpet, you wouldn't think they'd have trouble with cotton fabric. :-)

A couple of cute ideas from blogs I enjoy.....

This is cute--- but it's cuter when you know that this is a family portrait.  Heather at Small Fry and Co made this to reflect her family.... she has a photo of mom and dad and toddler and baby and this is the snow people version of that photo.  I was thinking it would be super cute to make these people out of flannel and arrange them each year as the real family grows.  If I had any extra time, I might try this!  :-)

And Lynn at Nebraska Views made some really cute Christmas stockings--- and she has a super great tutorial on how she does it.  Check it out!

Neither of these photos are mine- they are the work of Heather and Lynn.... check out their blogs for lots of inspiration!

I have a busy day today- lots of orders to fill, errands to run, and more sewing on the Double Wedding Ring quilt!  I just thought I'd share the links to these creative bloggers.  Happy Monday to all!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

We had a Shower!

 I'm still working on the Double Wedding Ring!  While you wait to see my progress, I thought I'd show you a couple of fun pictures.  My baby boy, Steve, aka the grown man who towers over me, is getting married next month.  The maid of honor hosted a shower last weekend.  Her mom made this  "wedding cake" out of towels.  Isn't it adorable?

Sarah (on the left) is the maid of honor, and Emily (on the right) will be my daughter-in-law in a few short weeks.  Emily is holding a bouquet that her cousin made with the ribbons from the shower gifts.  Such happy smiles!

It was a lovely shower, with a house full of women who love Emily and wish her a lifetime of happiness.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I posted this last Thanksgiving, but I think there are a lot of readers who may not have seen it.

Here’s my all time favorite Thanksgiving tip. We love stuffing and I generally make a big casserole dish of it. It’s not my personal preference to eat the stuffing that was cooked in the bird- a little too greasy for me- but that’s just me. Everybody likes the crispy crunchy top of the stuffing. So-- what I do these days is make “stuffing balls”. I use an ice cream scoop (any size- it’s your preference) to scoop out the stuffing onto a cookie sheet (I have a silpat sheet I line it with but you could use parchment or spray with Pam). I do this ahead of time, or assign it as a job to someone who “wants to help”. Close to serving time, I pop the tray in the oven to warm the stuffing and crisp them up. The balls look nice in the bowl and they’re always a hit- especially with new guests who haven’t seen them before. These freeze well, too. Great to make extra and have some in the freezer to bring out as a side dish when it’s not Thanksgiving. We like them with chicken or pork chops.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fans of Alderwood Quilts

I'm back on Facebook!  I have a button on my sidebar- become a FAN!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Busy Day!

I didn't get ANY sewing done today!  I worked about 10 hrs in the shop.  We got a fabric shipment, new patterns, I cut lots of Garden Patch Cats kits and filled lots of orders.  Our newsletter went out yesterday announcing our shipping special for the holidays.
DH did this for our homepage with one of the pictures he took on our property last winter.  They're predicting a stormy winter here-- we'll probably be looking like this soon!

I hope to do lots of sewing tomorrow--- wish me luck!

Progress on the DWR

I can see light at the end of the tunnel!

I haven't been posting a lot lately because I've been SEWING!!!!  Sewing, sewing, sewing!  I had a goal to make this king size double wedding ring quilt in 4 weeks.  I'm on week number 5 and it's looking like it will take me about 6 weeks.  I'm doing 9 rings across and 9 rings down (that sounds less scary than 81 rings).  Each ring is 11 inches across.  I measure from any spot to the same spot on the next ring.  I can't bring myself to call these things "blocks".  I have all of my rings done and now I'm putting them together.  In a "normal" quilt--- putting them together is usually the easy part.  Not so with this thing!  What I wouldn't give for a straight line right now.

I've taken some pictures of the process and I promise to do a very detailed tutorial complete with tips and pitfalls.... but that takes time and I'm going to do it after I get my top done.  I'm on a deadline and... well.... you know how it goes.

Back to the sewing machine with me......

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quilting Calculator iPhone App

I've been a bad blogger this week.... spending lots of time working on the Double Wedding Ring.  I'll try to get some pics for you tomorrow.  I'll do more of a tutorial on it soon but I'm really working hard right now just to get it done.

In the meantime- I have a little gift for those of you who have "fancy phones".  I carry a lot of Robert Kaufman fabric.  They sent me a newsletter today with this iPhone app.  If you're lucky enough to be an iPhone owner, this is the app for you.  Have fun!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New blogger and a giveaway

I read a lot of blogs... really... a LOT of them!  I'm sporadic about it.  I'll go a week or 2 without looking and then I'll make a cup of tea and browse through my blog reading list for a while.  It's like looking at a really good magazine-- only better.

I rarely post about other blogs.  Jeez... I hardly have time to maintain my own!  But this one caught my eye for several reasons. 

I know that I have readers of ALL AGES from all over the world.  But the quilting industry generally caters to quilters who are.... well.... we have a few gray hairs.  Thankfully, that is starting to change.  I'm always thrilled to see fresh, new fabrics and patterns that are aimed to please those who may not yet have found their first gray hair.  :-) I want sewing and quilting to thrive for generations to come, and I want my own business to cater to quilters of all ages, so I love to follow blogs like this one, so I can stay fresh.

Shellie is a new follower of my blog and I just started following hers.  She has designed this cute Swirly Girl skirt.   And guess what?  She's giving the pattern away, along with the fabric to make it!  Check out her blog to enter her first giveaway, but don't delay because it ends on Nov 6th.  Shellie is an amazing seamstress.  She quilts, but she also does a lot of garment sewing.  That's how I started (half a decade ago).

 I just have to show you this.  Can you believe it?  It's a Halloween Poodle Skirt!  I laugh every time I look at it!  Shellie- you're VERY creative!  If you watch the TV show, NCIS.... this looks like something the character, Abbey, would wear.  :-)
All photos are from Shellie's blog.... Shellie Sews.  None of it is my work nor are they my photos.

Slow Cooker Liners

Just a quick note...
A lot of people have been asking me about the Slow Cooker Liners.  There may be other manufacturers, but the ones I have are called "Slow Cooker Savers" by Regency Wraps, Inc of Dallas, Texas.  My friend got them for me from Kitchen Kaboodle in Portland and readers have told me that they are available at WallMart and Statler's.  I think they're pretty widely available- if you look around, you'll probably find them at many other stores.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cleaning the Slow Cooker

A friend of mine, Diane, gave me a package of crock pot liners.  I love making crock pot meals but hate cleaning up the crock pot, and I always wondered if these things worked.  WOW!!!!  They work!  No melting or burning of the liners... and it lifted right out, leaving a perfectly clean crock pot.  I made my Tarragon Chicken recipe last night.  For the recipe... look HERE.

Easiest cleanup ever- Thanks, Diane!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lucky Number 1342!!!

It's gonna be a very happy Monday for Teresa!  Teresa is the very, very lucky winner of the AccuQuilt GO! Giveaway! 

I plugged the number 1408 (the number of entries) into the random number generator and it gave me number 1342. (If you're interested, you can find this tool at

Comment number 1342 belongs to Teresa, from Homer Glen, Il.  She also has a blog and it's called, It's All Good, which is appropriately named because I'm sure that's how she'll be feeling when she reads this!  She has some cute projects on her blog- you should check it out!  I look forward to chatting with Teresa and getting to know her.  Woo Hoo!  Another new friend!  One time, when my son was a little boy, he said, "Mommy- do you know everybody?"  I said, "Not yet, Honey, but I'm working on it!"

The fine folks at AccuQuilt (and I really do mean that- they've been wonderful to work with) only asked me to do a tutorial to participate in their program.  I'm pretty sure I've done that, but I have no intention of stopping here.  I will be finishing the Double Wedding Ring quilt and showing you my experience with the GO! along the way.  I will also be doing the Winding Ways, and Dresden Plate quilts with the GO! and I'll blog about them.  The tutorials I do with the GO! projects will be of interest to you regardless of whether or not you own one of these wonderful machines, because once the shapes are cut, you still have to do some sewing! :-)  The GO! just makes the cutting go lightening fast so you can get to the sewing part sooner.  I'm sure Teresa will be doing some projects, too, and I'll be following along and will be sure to show her creations as well.  (No pressure, Teresa.... HA!)

Thank you to all who have entered.  I especially appreciate all of the new followers to this blog.  I realize that many of you signed up to follow in order to get another entry in the contest, but I hope you find this blog interesting and that you'll stop by once in a while. I do a giveaway just about every month- not as good as this one, but still fun!