Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jill's Strips n' Curves Quilt

Jill Bunis sent me this photo of her "first" quilt.  It seems that this was an on-again-off-again project that took her 5 years.  Well, it was worth the wait!  Jill was excited when she posted this on a message board and Louisa Smith (author of the Strips n' curves books and designer of the templates) commented on it.  She says it's the quilt that sparked her passion.  I've just discovered Jill's blog and I've become a follower.  It's chock full of eye candy!  Her selvage valances are amazing!

Jill gets lots of entries in the Holiday Giveaway- she commented, follows my blog, told her own blog readers about my goodies and sent me a picture!

I've had a lot of comments and entries in the giveaway and lots of readers have taken advantage of the blog special of 25% off the templates.  A few have asked me if NEW blog followers count- OF COURSE they do!  And one asked me if I accepted international entries- ABSOLUTELY!  I'm always happy to know that quilters around the world are reading.  I received calls from 2 wonderful Canadian quilters today.  I'm thrilled that they are new customers.

Thanks, again, for sending us a picture of your fabulous quilt, Jill!!!  And good luck in the giveaway drawing.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Holiday Giveaway

This is a short one- just running 11 days. I'll draw the winner on New Years' Day, so be sure to get your name in by New Years' Eve.

The draw is for Jennifer Chiaverini's book, "The Runaway Quilt", and 5 VERY colorful fat quarters. I had to take a second picture of the FQ's spread apart because they all blended together in the first picture! Pair these with some "quieter" fabrics for a striking project!

If you're not familiar with Jennifer's books, they are novels about the very gripping lives of a fictional group of quilters. Very popular!

For one entry, comment on this post and just tell me you want to be entered. If you don't like to comment on blogs, just send me an email.
You will receive a second entry if you are a follower of this blog.
You will receive a third entry if you have a blog of your own and tell your readers about this giveaway.
And a 4th entry if you blog about my Strips n' Curves templates that are on special.
Want a 5th entry? Send me a picture of a Strips n' Curves quilt (no-- you can't copy one out of the book- but you can talk someone else into letting you take a picture of theirs!)

AND... speaking of wonderful giveaways, I read Micki's blog, called Irish Muses. Micki and I have an email conversation going-- we both grew up in Philadelphia, both lived in Texas, and now she is in Ireland and I am in Oregon... both very green places! I am of Irish heritage and Micki now lives very close to my family in Ireland. The internet certainly makes this a small world! She is having a wonderful Christmas giveaway. Check it out.

BLOG SPECIAL- Sale on Strips n' Curves Templates


I want to give a holiday special to my blog readers (and their friends). A lot of you loved Wanda's Christmas Quilt (Scroll down to Dec 12th) that I posted last week. I carry all three of Louisa Smith's books and ALL 10 of her template sets on my website, Alderwood Quilts. The templates aren't easy to find and shops rarely put them on sale. I am offering them to you until the end of the year at 25% off. I'm not advertising this on the website and I'm not putting it in the newsletter. It's just being advertised here. So spread the word! Tell your friends, post it on your own blogs, mention it in chat rooms- whatever you like!

All you have to do is type "BLOG SPECIAL" in the comments when you enter your order. The discount will not be reflected on your order page. I'll send you a confirmation shortly after you place the order that reflects the discount. In case I run out of a particular set, the page will say, "Contact for availability". If you contact me before January 1st, and tell me you want a set that is not in stock, I'll make sure you get the discounted price when they are back in stock. (Louisa Smith ships promptly to me so the wait would not be long).

As for the books- they are ALWAYS 25% off. The newest of Louisa's 3 books, One Patch Plus, is a popular seller, as is the template that goes with it.

This offer is good to ANYONE who types in "BLOG SPECIAL" in the comments when ordering--- from right now until Midnight (Pacific Standard Time) on December 31st, 2009.
Questions? Shoot me an email. I love to hear from readers! You can also call me during business days (Pacific Time) at 503-324-9400.

Just FYI, if you order from my website by noon (pacific time) on Monday, Dec 21, the post office tells me that it will get it to you before Christmas. I can't guarantee anything after that unless you spend a bazillion dollars having Rudolph deliver it via express sleigh.

Mere's Cinnamon Buns

Meredith, one of my 3 wonderful nieces, made these amazing cinnamon buns. I twisted her arm for the recipe and a few photos. OK- no twisting involved... she just sent them to me. These are a Cinnabon Knockoff recipe- I think she got the recipe on recipezaar.com, but I'm not sure. So- if you have extra time on your hands over the holidays- here's a great recipe to try. Mere says they are soft and fluffy and amazingly similar to those wonderful treats they make at Cinnabon stores. My mouth is watering!!!

Cinnamon Buns
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons (2 packages) dry yeast
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
6-7 cups flour

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let sit for a minute or two. Add the sugar and salt. Mix. Add the cooking oil (or shortening), 2 eggs, 2 cups of flour and beat until smooth.

Stir in 3 more cups of flour. Begin kneading the dough, adding the final cup of flour. If the dough seems too sticky, knead in more flour, a quarter to a half cup at a time. Let the dough "rest" for 15 to 20 minutes.

Roll the dough into a rectangle that's 24 to 30 inches long by about 16 inches wide. Spread with soft butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Starting at the wide end, roll into a log. Cut the cinnamon rolls into equal sized slices (approximately one inch wide each or slightly more) and place into two greased 9x13 pans.

Put in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes (or until the cinnamon rolls are golden brown). Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then turn out of the pans.

Cinnabon Knockoff Frosting
This recipe makes a double batch. You can cut it in half for the above recipe. It also freezes well so you can make the full recipe and freeze leftovers for a future batch of buns. It helps to make this in a stand mixer if you have one (or you'll get a strong arm holding the hand mixer!)

1 pound margarine
1 pound cream cheese
2 pounds powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Allow margarine and cream cheese to reach room temperature. Beat cream cheese and margarine together in a bowl with a mixer. Slowly add in all powdered sugar. Once all of the sugar is in the bowl mix for at least an additional 12 minutes. When almost done, add in the extracts.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Winner is ANGIE!

Congrats to ANGIE STEELE, who is the winner of the Wave Edge Ruler and pattern. I had a lot of names for this drawing, so I numbered them (listed on a piece of paper).... a total of 55 entries. My DH was taking a shower this morning and I hollered in to him to pick a number from 1 to 55. Not having a clue why, he hollered out, "45". I counted down the page.... and Angie had that number. See how sophisticated my system is? I do it a different way every month- but it really is random.

Angie is a new reader of my blog and a relatively new quilter, too. I am thrilled that she won. Angie- send me a private email to sue@alderwoodquilts.com with your mailing address so I can send it to you.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Arlette's Basket

It's a basket quilt! Arlette LK. send me this photo. She said it was a class project. Well, Arlette... you are a star student!

I've put 2 entries in the drawing for you, Arlette. Thanks for sending the photo. Good luck!

The giveaway runs through midnight tomorrow night (pacific standard time). I'll announce the winner on Wednesday morning and we'll do another giveaway that will run through the end of the year.

Mel's Christmas Trees

Here's another cutie from my niece, Dr. Melanie Hauser. Mel is my bestest quilting bud! She made this paper pieced Christmas wall hanging when she was living here in the Northwest. Mel hails from NJ, but went to Penn State, Oregon State, lived in KY and now is a chemistry professor at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake Iowa. She actually likes knitting better than quilting, but still gets the quilting bug now and then. This pattern is "Very Merry Christmas Trees" from Quilt Designs NW. Maybe, if we twist her arm, she'll send a picture of her latest prayer shawl- it's a beauty!

I have more pictures of her quilts in the gallery on my website. I'm not going to add her to the giveaway because she can have anything she wants if she just calls her dear, sweet, Aunt Susan. :-)

Melanie just moved to Iowa in August. This is her first winter there. She tells me that her back porch is doubling as an outdoor freezer- no need to keep the ice cream inside! I miss you, Mel- stay warm!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wanda's Christmas Quilt

Can you say, "GORGEOUS!!!!!!" Wanda Hanson (Exuberant Color) just posted her 999th post. Congrats, Wanda! I'm a regular reader of Wanda's blog. She is very prolific and her work is pure eye candy. This one especially caught my eye because she used Louisa Smith's Strips n' Curves templates. I recently started carrying all of the Strips n' Curves books and the complete line of Louisa's templates.... and Wanda even purchased one from me. Besides being a talented and prolific quilter, Wanda is a super nice lady.

Wanda gets 2 entries in the current giveaway for allowing me to post this photo. I'll draw for the wave edge ruler and pattern giveaway on Dec 15th (there's still time to enter!). Here's a little "teaser"--- if you like the Strips n' Curves quilts--- be sure to check back between the 15th and the 31st---

Merry Christmas, Wanda. And here's to the next thousand posts on your fantastic blog!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jocelyn's "Schnibbles"

This is "Picnic", which is Jocelyn's November Schnibbles. I never heard of schnibbles before and just had to ask. Her is what Jocelyn replied:

"I am part of "A Year of Schnibbles". This is the best description that I have found about Schnibbles (copied from Carol's Crafty Creations).
Schnibbles are little patterns to make little quilts usually 40" or less. Often they are square but not always. They make up a nice size for a wall hanging or table topper, because you know, you only need so many big quilts. Not to mention the fact that they sew up quicker, they are fun to make and make good gifts as well. They are made to work with charm packs which are packages of 5" squares of fabric, one of each fabric in the fabric line. Often the charm packs have 40 squares but sometimes they have less depending on the number of fabric in the fabric line. The Schnibbles patterns are made by Miss Rosie's Quilt Company.
Here's the definition of a Schnibble from the Miss Rosie's Quilt Company's web-site:
Schnibble: noun A scrap of fabric; a leftover bit of cloth; a small piece. The word has a German origin and is found primarily in German settlements in the Midwest."

How cute! I put 2 entries in the current giveaway for you, Jocelyn. Thanks for sharing "Picnic" with us! By the way, Jocelyn also has a nice blog. Check it out here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Paw's Across My Heart

Rebecca McGaugh calls this "Paws Across My Heart". I have a vested interest in this one. Rebecca is a friend of mine. Rebecca and her husband, Clark publish the Independent, our local newspaper. I met her at a dinner for our local Chamber of Commerce. I sat next to her and we struck up a conversation. During the course of the evening, I told her that I owned an online quilt shop. She then told me that she wanted to learn how to quilt. The rest is history.

This is her FIRST quilt. It's old jeans and old flannel shirts- all belonging her her DH. The paw prints are appliqued. Rebecca and Clark love dogs. This quilt (and their bed) are room enough for all the extra paws and wagging tails that join them. Look closely at the bottom right of the photo. That's Janice- always looking for an opportunity to pose for a photo.

The backing is flannel. With a denim/flannel top, batting, and flannel backing- this thing weighs a ton.

Rebecca has been quilting for about a year and she has 3 or 4 finished quilts and 2 tops done that I know of. I'm sure I can talk her out of more pictures to show soon.

I put 2 entries in the drawing for you, Rebecca. Thanks for sharing your photo!

Cleary K's Christmas Mini

Cleary Cie K. Sent me this picture of a cute little Christmas mini quilt. Fun! Thanks for sharing with us, Cleary- I put 2 entries in the giveaway drawing for you.

Anya's Bento Box

Anya Tyson made this based on a tutorial from FilmInTheFridge.com. It's a modified Bento Box quilt.

Anya tells me she did this quilt in school colors and it was used for a raffle.

Anya has a great blog, too. Check out more of her work here.

What a stunning quilt, Anya! I love it! Thanks for sharing. I put a second entry into this month's giveaway for you. Good luck!

Mick's Quilt

Rhonda Phillips made this for her son, Mick, for Christmas. Let's just hope Mick doesn't read quilt blogs, or it won't be much of a surprise. (We're probably safe on that.)

The quilt was Rhonda's design but she used Carol Doak's Simply Sensational 9-patch stars to design it. What a stunning quilt, Rhonda! Thanks so much for sharing it with us. I put a second entry in this month's giveaway drawing for you. Good luck!

Angie's new hobby

Angie Steele is a relatively new quilter. She sent this picture of her daughter, Mary Grace, snuggled up in her Turning Twenty Raggedy Ann and Andy quilt. I believe this is Angie's first completed quilt. Didn't she do a great job?

Angie is doing a Block of the Month (I think at her LQS). She told me that she loves it because she learns a lot and has fun going. I gained a lot of my basic quilting skills doing BOM's with my friend, Diane, many years ago. Each month, the shop owner would give tips about how to put that particular block together and I didn't even realize how much I had learned until I was finished. I highly recommend BOM's- even if you aren't a new quilter. You learn and you meet people and have fun. I hope you send us a picture when this quilt is complete, Angie! I put 2 entries in this month's giveaway- thanks for sharing your photos. You are off to a great star. I hope you are quilting for many, many years!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gwen's Flower Garden

PRETTY! Gwen Davis (aka Pokey) send me this picture of her latest quilt. She must have had a lot of fun collecting all of these floral fabrics! I'm sure Gwen can do Y-seams in her sleep by now!
Look carefully at the purple block- her free motion quilting looks like petals of the flower.

Thanks for sending the photos, Gwen. I put 2 entries in the giveaway for you.

Addendum from Sue Dec 8th:
Gwen got a great laugh out of this! There are NO Y-SEAMS in this quilt! Click to enlarge the photo- can you see the seams? They're half-hexagons. Sharon says she does everything "easy peasy". Well--- ya; coulda fooled ME! This doesn't look like an easy peasy quilt at all. LOVE IT (she said, with a blush!)

Wendy's Halloween Quilt

Wendy Nugent sent me this photo of "Hidden Stars" by Marti Michell. Wendy said it was a Halloween quilt. I was ready to call it an "autumn quilt" because I didn't see any Halloween fabrics. Then I looked at a larger view (just click on the photo). Sure enough- there are little jack-o-lanterns all over. HOW FUN!

I love the setting. It really takes the sampler blogs and makes them pop! I'll put a second entry in the giveaway drawing for you, Wendy. Thanks for sharing your beautiful quilt with us!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bright Christmas

Doesn't this just make you smile? Thanks to Shaula Patton for sending this photo. Shaula taught this class at a quilt shop that is now (sadly) closed. I'm sure it was a fun class!

Thanks for sharing this with us, Shaula. I'll put 2 entries in the giveaway drawing for you.

Giveaway Update

I forgot to put a date up for the giveaway drawing for the Wave Edge Ruler and pattern posted on Nov 17th. Duh! Let's go with Dec 15th and then I'll do another giveaway for the holidays.

I got some nice photos today- I now have a happy in-box. :-)

No Pictures today!!!

Why no pictures? Because my poor, sad, in-box is empty. Won't you please make it a happy in-box? Send me a photo of one of your quilts and you'll get a second entry in the current giveaway for a Wave Edge Ruler and pattern (see Nov 17th post). Bonus- if you have Boy Scout or Girl Scout fabric in the quilt, you get a 3rd entry. Don't be bashful.... let's see those quilts! Send your photos to Sue@AlderwoodQuilts.com.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I'm SO PROUD to be an Oregonian this morning!

For those of you who follow such things (I must admit at this point that I am not a football fan), there was a HUGE football game in Oregon last night. Rival college teams from the University of Oregon and Oregon State University played what we "affectionately" call the "Civil War" last night. I dare say that most Oregonians have an allegiance to one or the other of these schools. People either attended one or the other, or they have a family member, friend, or neighbor who did.... or they like the team colors of one or the other! For whatever reason, there is a fierce rivalry between the 2 schools.

This year is a little different, though. The winner of THIS game will go to the Rose Bowl. So--- they were calling it the "War for the Roses". Fearing that fans might not show good sportsmanship, the presidents of both schools publicly promoted friendly competition, saying that this is competition- not war. It was amazing how heated this thing got. WOW!

So... if I don't care about football and I didn't go to either one of these schools, why am I proud this morning? NO VIOLENCE was reported on the news. I'm sure somebody somewhere got into a fight, and there were the usual traffic violations. But nothing really bad happened. I am seeing reports of people in rival colors shaking hands, and the losing team is being touted this morning as having played a great game. The game was really, really close, and both teams played well (or so I'm told).

One of the Oregon players was recently in the news for hitting someone during a game- lots of bad press. I think a lot of people got a reality check during that ugly incident. It's a GAME, people! But games like this one restore my faith in sports fans.

So who won? We ALL did! It was FUN. It was EXCITING! It was a GAME. But the duck fans are just a little happier than the beaver fans are this morning. The University of Oregon ducks will be playing in the Rose Bowl. And I'm sure they don't care much about the opinion of a lady who owns a quilt shop in Banks, Oregon, but I'm very proud of the Beavers for playing a good game, and being gracious losers.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Billy and Dolly

I'm planning to spend the next few days catching up on some "old news". I have several pictures on my memory stick from our trip and some random things that I'd like to share with you before I clear them from the stick. So... bear with me over the weekend as I share random pictures from the last month that made me smile.

First- here's Dolly and Billy. That's not their real names (if they even have names) but that's what we named them. My quilt shop in located in a building on our property, down the hill from our house. One morning, my husband and I were walking down there to fill some orders and we were greeted by livestock. Bear in mind that I grew up in Philadelphia, and lived in Dallas, Texas and Beaverton, Oregon until 2 years ago. I'm enjoying life in the country, but there's still a lot of "city girl" in me. I wasn't prepared to be greeted by a goat and a sheep at my shop door. I'm not sure one can ever be prepared for that, but I digress.

So-- Billy (the goat) and Dolly (the sheep- get it- the first cloned sheep was named Dolly?) just stood there. They wouldn't budge. We called all the neighbors we knew and tried to find their owners, with no luck. Eventually, they wandered up the hill and decided to spend the afternoon right above my lavender field. They disappeared that evening and I thought they had returned home. The next day, our dog was going nuts and we found that he was barking at- you guessed it- Billy and Dolly on our front lawn. These two were inseparable. They went everywhere together. (Best friends??) More calls, more shushing them- trying to find someone to keep them in a barn while we locate owners. After several days of spotting them, a good neighbor finally found their owners, who had been out of town and didn't realize they were loose. I'm happy to report that they are now back where they belong, safe and sound.

It still makes me smile to think of Billy and Dolly--- walking up the road together--- side by side. It doesn't take much to amuse me. :-)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Red Lobster Cheese Biscuits

If you've ever eaten at a Red Lobster restaurant, you know what these are! I found this copycat recipe on www.recipezaar.com. I've told you about this wonderful web site before- it's fantastic! You can search for a particular recipe, like "cheese biscuits". Or you can search for recipes with a particular ingredient, like "cheddar cheese". In this case, I searched for a restaurant-- "Red Lobster". When you search for a restaurant, you get copycat recipes for some of their popular recipes. Unfortunately, I haven't had much luck with small, local restaurants. But the large national chains have lots of entries. Anyway- this has become a family favorite. I think the Old Bay Seasoning is the key. If you aren't familiar with Old Bay- it comes in a yellow can with a red lid- you can usually find it with the spices and seasonings, but it's sometimes in the seafood area of the grocery store. It's particularly good with seafood, but lots of non-seafood things (like these biscuits) benefit from the concoction. There's no seafood in it- just a unique mixture of seasonings. My husband always adds it to tuna salad and I like it with eggs.

makes 12 biscuits
heat oven to 450 deg.

2 cups Bisquick
2/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (I used regular salt)
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes

Mix Bisquick, garlic powder, milk and cheese until well blended
Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes

While biscuits are baking, combine butter, garlic powder, Old Bay, parsley and salt and melt in microwave for 20 seconds.

When biscuits come out of the oven, immediately brush the butter mixture onto the tops. Keep brushing and use the mixture up.

A Dozen Bags- Cable Ready Bag

For those of you who have been long-time readers of my blog, you may remember my "Dozen Bags" project. In January of 2009, I started a bag a month that would utilize a free pattern- either my own or one found somewhere on the internet. The bags would be quilted, knitted, or whatever. Well... I think I got up to 4 bags and then life happened. This has been a crazy year for me. I got behind and the project pretty much got put on hold. Well-- I'm going to pick it back up here. I am not on track for a bag a month- that ship has sailed. But I'll keep going until I do 12 bags. I'd love to sprint to the finish and get them all done in 2009, but I'm not sure that will happen. We'll see.

I made this bag when we took our drive from Oregon to NJ and back. I got a LOT of knitting done on that trip! (You'll see it all in future posts). My greatest love is quilting, but knitting makes a great travel hobby.

This bag is a free download on the Lion Brand Yarn website. They have tons of great patterns on their site for knitting and crochet. This one is called the Cable Ready Bag. You need a really chunky yarn. It calls for Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick. I made it with the same colors called for in the sample they have. You could certainly make it in one solid color, as well. It's a great project for learning to do cables because the yarn and needles are so big- easy to see what you are doing.
I have a few tips for you if you plan to make this bag. The patterns is written pretty well, but there were 2 spots that made me think a little. When you have completed the front and back of the bag (which are identical), the pattern tells you to sew the sides and bottom. But it doesn't tell you how far up the side to sew. If you sew all the way up, you won't be able to get anything into the bag. So I went up to the last color change, or about 3/4 of the way up from the bottom.
When you're at the top and ready to deal with the handles, it's really very easy, although the pattern was a little confusing. It's just a matter of taking the crochet hook over the top and grabbing the next stitch off the knitting needle, then going inside the hoop (under) and grabbing the yard from underneath for the next stitch. This wraps the yarn around the handle.
You'll eventually get all the stitches off the knitting needle and then you continue on to wrap the handle. I have 2 pieces of advice here. First, count your stitches so you put the same number on both handles. Second- cram as many stitches in here as you possibly can. I think I did 150 on each handle. Really, really stuff them in there. When you think you're done-- keep going. I mean it- I stuffed and stuffed. Now that I've been carrying the bag for a while, they are loosening up and I'm so glad I wrapped it so tightly.

You can get the handles at most craft shops. The size called for in the pattern is perfect.

I have not lined mine yet, but I need to. My nail file and pens keep making their way through the knitting. If you like to knit bags but don't like lining them, a tip here is to make a drawstring pouch for the little stuff. Your wallet and paper items can go in an unlined bag just fine, and all the little stuff can go in the little drawstring bag. This also makes it easier to change bags AND to find things in your bag.

If you're new to knitting cables, it's surprisingly easy. There are lots of tutorials online. Here's just one of many. I'm sure you could find a video tutorial on you- tube. Basically, you knit a few stitches, then put a few stitches on a holder or double point needle and hold them either in the front or back of your work. Then you knit the next few stitches. Finally, you knit the stitches off the holder. You are holding a few stitches off the work and then adding them back in. It crosses them over. If you see it done once, the patterns are usually pretty easy to follow.

Have fun with this bag. I have a few more in process- we'll eventually make it to 12! For those of you looking for the ones I did earlier in the year, look over to the right side of the blog and click on "A Dozen Bags" on the list of labels.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

How a Sewing Machine Works

Do you ever wonder how the needle goes down and picks up the bobbin thread and magically makes the sewing machine stitches? You HAVE to see this!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cream Cheese Pecan Pie

It's been 24 hrs and I'm still full! I had a wonderful day with family yesterday. My favorite dessert on Thanksgiving is always the pumpkin pie, but I liked this one, too. This is a twist on the traditional pecan pie. You make a cream cheese filling, similar to cheesecake filling and spread it in the pie shell. Then you cover the cream cheese filling with broken pecan pieces and top it with a karo-based filling. When you bake it, the fillings magically separate. The karo filling ends up on the bottom and the pecans end up on top with the cream cheese in the middle. This stuff is killer rich! It would be good done in individual tart shells, too. Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Pecan Pie

Preheat oven to 375 deg.
Prepare one 9-inch pie shell

8 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

Beat above ingredients until thick and creamy. Spread in bottom of pie shell. Sprinkle with:
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces

3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup dark Karo syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat eggs in mixing bowl only until blended. Add sugar, Karo and vanilla; blend well. Gently pour over pecans.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes- until center is firm to touch.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Debbi's Sunflower

Here's another quilt made by Debbi Lamb. My goodness! Debbi certainly has been busy! Debbi's latest finish is a sunflower wall hanging. It's an applique embroidered 3-dimensional sunflower. The pattern she used is "Sunflower" by Lunch Box Quilts.
I love Debbi's fabric selections. What a bright, cheerful quilt! Debbi is a long time customer of Alderwood Quilts. I was speaking with her earlier this week and I told her that I no longer think of her as a customer. She's a friend who happens to buy things from me sometimes. You can see more of Debbie's quilts in the Gallery on my website.

I'd love to see YOUR latest project! Send me a photo and tell me what you're working on. It will give you an extra entry in the current giveaway. And, if it has Girl Scout or Boy Scout fabric in it, you'll get an EXTRA entry!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Judy and Jane made Pillowcases!

Judy Carpenter and Jane Reynolds purchased lots and lots of one yard cuts of Scout fabric from me a little while ago. Curiosity got the better of me and I had to ask them what they were doing. Aren't these pillowcases cute?

Judy and Jane have known each other for over 30 years and have been quilting for about 15 of those years. They get together once a week and make things for themselves, for gifts, and for charities. How cool! They enjoy each others' company and keep the bonds of friendship strong while creating beautiful things.

They belong to the Franklin County Quilter's Guild in Vermont. I looked at the guild website and had fun browsing through their show and tell pages.

Nice work, ladies, and thanks for sharing! If you win the giveaway, you'll have to share the wave ruler. :-)

Debbi's 4-patch Kaleidoscope

Here's another great Kaleidoscope quilt. If you liked Melinda's kaleidoscope yesterday, you'll also like this one made by Debbi Lamb. She took a class at her LQS to get her started on this one.

You can see in the closeup that it's a take on the Stack n Whack technique. You stack repeats so that if you put a pin down through them, the pin will land at EXACTLY the same spot on each repeat. You then make a simple 4-patch with the 4 exact same pieces. Debbi said that the class taught her how to cut the fabric to make the most of the yardage and get the most interesting cuts.

If you are attempting a Kaleidoscope quilt, you want the busiest fabric you can find. Just one fabric made all of these wonderful 4-patches. Look at Melinda's quilt (yesterday's post) and Debbi's quilt and you can see that they used vibrant, busy fabrics. Debbi told me that she really didn't even like the fabric she used, which is why you don't see it in the border on her quilt. But she loved what it did when it was turned into a kaleidoscope! Also notice that both Melinda and Debbi took care to use "quieter" fabrics for borders, cornerstones and sashing. If you give your eyes a place to "rest", it really makes the busy patches "pop".

OK... now that I've seen both of these quilts, I just HAVE to make a kaleidoscope!

Thanks for sending the pics, Debbi! And thank your photographer (aka DH) for us for taking a photo with you in it! I'll put another entry in the giveaway drawing for you.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Melinda's Magical Slice and Dice

Look what Melinda did! Melinda Fulkerson sent me this picture of her latest quilt. She used a pattern called Magical Slice and Dice by Robin Gallagher (her sister) of Two Wacky Women. Melinda says she loves it because it's very bright and cheerful.

Melinda gets 3 entries in the current givaway because she asked me to enter her (1), she sent me a picture (2) AND because she used Girl Scout fabric (3). See the light pink setting triangles? Melinda didn't even realize that fabric was from Robert Kaufman's Girl Scout collection until she put it in the quilt. You can see more of Melinda's handiwork by checking out her blog. I'm a regular reader of her blog- it's full of inspiration.

I love the Slice and Dice. There just might be one of these in my future. It reminds me of the kaleidoscope quilts published by Quilt Moments. I just this technique!

Thanks for sharing your latest quilt with us, Melinda. Who else out there wants to send me a picture????

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nancy's first Hand-Pieced Quilt

One of my blog followers, Nancy Bird, sent me this photo of her latest quilt. For sending me this photo, she gets a second entry in the giveaway!

Nancy has had a lot of life changing experiences in recent years. She was a victim of Katrina and now finds herself in Many, LA on 18 beautiful acres. The good part is that she will soon have a beautiful new sewing room in her little slice of heaven. The bad part is that she has to wait patiently for a place to use her sewing machine. Nancy always swore that she'd never hand piece a quilt top. Feeling sorry for herself, having to wait to sew and missing quilting, she decided that, even though she didn't want to hand piece the quilt, it would be better than not quilting at all. So, Nancy got some charm packs and hand pieced them. With this design and the charm packs, there was no need for a rotary cutter or mat- just lots of hand sewing. Guess what!?!?!? She loved it! Nancy surprised herself that she loves hand piecing so much. And she never would have realized it if it hadn't been for the fact that her life took so many difficult turns.

I'm do glad that Nancy has a new found love of hand piecing. Nancy is such an inspiration. She has the capacity to see the good in whatever situation she finds herself in. Nancy doesn't blog often, but I always enjoy reading her posts- especially the ones that show her talent as a poet. Check out her blog called A Little Bit of Heaven.

And remember- if you want to enter the latest giveaway drawing, just reply to the giveaway post or send me an email. If you send me a photo of your latest project (or any project) I'll put in a second entry for you- and if the project is made with Boy Scout or Girl Scout fabric, you get 3 entries.

Great Pizza- the next day!

I'm filing this under "recipes" but that's really cheating. There's no cooking going on here. I'm passing this tip along because it's just really great! A friend of mine, whose son worked for a pizza place told me about this. She always had leftover pizza that her son brought home from end-of-the-night unsold pizza. The manager passed this along.

Don't you just hate microwaved day-old soggy pizza? First problem- you bring it home from the pizza place wrapped tightly in foil (usually). It's better if it comes home in a box. You put the hot pizza in foil and you get instant soggy. So-- when you get the pizza home, if you can possibly remember to do it, take it out of the foil, blot it with a paper towel, and then put it in whatever you want- a baggie or a plastic container, or even back in dry foil. I like to wrap it in a paper towel and then slip it- in the paper towel- in a baggie. If you skip this step, it's ok, but it does help.

When you want to warm the pizza to eat it, first put it on a plate on a paper towel (you can use the one it was wrapped in unless it's wet) and microwave it to get it warmed through. You know your own microwave and it depends on how many slices you have. Just don't over-do it. Just barely get it warmed up.

Then- here's the part that works the magic- put it in a frying pan on medium heat. Don't walk away- keep an eye on it. You want to leave it on the heat as long as you can WITHOUT burning the bottom. It just takes a few minutes. Just keep watching the bottom. This gets the crust back to crispy. You won't believe the difference!

I tried just heating it on the stove and skipping the microwave but the bottom got dark before the pizza got heated through. The bottom was crisp but the middle was still cold. You CAN just use the stove if you're more patient and you do it on low heat. I like the combo method of microwaving and using the frying pan best. Get it? Combo method? Combo pizza? OK- bad joke. But really- you'll love this!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I was planning to catch up on my blogging in chronological order but I've decided to start with my recent accident. SOOO many people have written to give me their best that I thought I should make sure everyone knows I'M OK! And... so is everyone else... or at least I'm told they will be. A week ago, I was involved in a 5-car accident on our local highway. Four vehicles had to be towed away, 2 are totaled. Three people were injured but all will recover. The highway was closed in both directions for about 45 minutes. I was VERY fortunate! I had enough time to slow my car down a bit before impact. A driver fell asleep at the wheel and entered the oncoming lane, causing multiple collisions. My heart goes out to the guilty driver. We all make errors in judgment, and I am told that the driver is remorseful. I can't begin to imagine how it must feel... not only to be injured, but also to be at fault. I know in my heart that there was no intention to cause any harm. My car had the least damage (it is not totaled). While I was treated to an ambulance ride to the hospital (woo, hoo!), I am doing well. I do have a sore foot and leg, and some back muscles that are not happy- and a lovely seat belt bruise. The days right after the accident were a little tough- everything hurt. BUT... all are much better than last week and I am getting good care. I am now a huge fan of massage therapy!

My admonition to everyone who will listen.... if you feel drowsy behind the wheel.... pull over and take a cat nap or get out and jog around a parking lot. DO NOT think you can make it just a little longer. If you are already drowsy, you are already a danger to yourself and others. People love you. They don't deserve to lose you for a senseless reason. And you deserve to live another day. Take care of yourself- and those around you- if you're tired, stop the car!

I'll get my car back after Thanksgiving- good as new, I'm told. And-- I just have to say this-- the insurance companies (all of them) have been wonderful. I'm not kidding- everyone has been great to work with. I might feel differently if everyone involved didn't have good coverage, but hey- things really have gone smoothly.

I also have to say how impressed I was with the emergency responders. I was literally surrounded by volunteer fire personnel, EMT's, ambulance people, and police. We live in a small town close to a state forest. Out here, we really depend on our local volunteer fire fighters and EMT's. These guys and gals are nothing short of amazing! We don't live close to a hospital or any emergency centers. But we do have a great emergency team at our local fire station. I never realized how fortunate we are before this incident. If you're a professional or volunteer emergency responder- anywhere- my hat is off to you!

And- not one, but THREE people stopped and offered assistance and gave me their names as witnesses. You always hear that people these days don't want to get involved. Well that's not what happened here. People chose to get involved. WOW!

I'm taking it easy (really!) I've been resting a lot (really!) I'm having Thanksgiving at my house but I'm accepting LOTS of help (really!). My husband, kids, daughter in law, daughter in law to be, nieces, friends, doctors, massage therapist, and even my blogging buddies have been wonderful. I feel loved and cared for, and that's a very good way to feel. Thank you all for your kind words and your concern.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm Back!

I've been a baaaad blogger. I haven't posted for months! So much has happened and I have so much to share. We cleaned out, renovated, and sold 2 houses (one on the east coast and one on the west coast), we drove to New Jersey (from Oregon) to pick some things up from my late father in law's house, I've been knee-deep in a HUGE sewing project, and I was in a multi car accident (I'm ok). There's so much to blog about! Sprinkle in some quilting and a few recipes, and I won' be at a loss for anything to blog about for a long time. With so much going on, I've just had to prioritize and have not had time to devote to the blog. I'm going to be regular again, though.

So- let's start with a give away! I'm giving away a Wave Edge Ruler and a Wave Lotus pattern. These rulers are really cool. You can use it for a wavy edging or for wavy seams within the pattern. The pattern included in the giveaway will get you going, and there are complete directions included with the ruler.

To be entered- all you have to do is ask. Reply to this post, OR send me an email. Either way- just tell me you would like to be entered in the giveaway and I'll put your name in the hat. For a SECOND entry, send me a picture of your latest project. And, if it's made out of Boy Scout Fabric or Girl Scout Fabric, you get a third entry. This is low tech. I put your name on a piece of paper, fold it, put it in a bowl, and ask someone to draw. I was once asked if a previous winner could win again. Sure! International entries are welcome, too.

Good luck!