Monday, December 31, 2012

Hello Everyone,

Wow, the last post of the year, and what a year it has been!  Let's all make 2013 the best year of quilting yet!  Make a commitment to finish UFO's, learn new quilting skills,  organize your stash and quilting space, and join a local quilt guild. Sounds like a fun year to me!

I wish you peace, contentment and good health for the coming year and hours upon hours of quilting bliss.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Quilts Home For a Visit

Hello Everyone,
A few of my "traveling quilts" arrived home before Christmas so I was able to display them in my own home.  Summers Blush has been gone for a whole year while she traveled around to quilts shows on the East Coast.

This  version of Country Charmer has also been gone for almost a year.   I was so happy to have this one home for the Holidays since it is so cheerful.

The other version is on display in the window at In Between Stitches.

Now that most of my quilts are home, they will be moved around to other quilt shops and become shop samples.  They have to earn their keep!  I have a flow chart prepared so I can keep track of what quilts are where and for how's like herding cats!

Christmas has officially been packed away for another year.  My house looks naked!  I love to have all the decorations put away by New Year's so I can start the year organized with everything nice and tidy.  My mother always said, "The condition of your home on New Year's day, is the way it's going to look all year long."   I don't know if this is an old wives tale, but I'm not taking any chances.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas to All

Merry Christmas Everyone,

The binding is finished on the tablerunner.

The last Nostalgic pillow is quilted and wrapped.

The Elves' Belly Buttons cookies are made.....then promptly thrown away after the twins left.  You know the recipe isn't a good one when two 10-year-olds turn down a second cookie.  Emily was very diplomatic and said, "I don't think they are very healthy."  They were not only not healthy, they didn't taste good.  I made the batch of dough so I'm not blaming it on the girls!

All the gifts are made, wrapped and under the tree.  The cards are in the mail and will have a postmark prior to Dec. 25th! The house is clean and I'm ready for the big day!

Tonight I'm serving Crab Cakes.  These are delicious!  I repeat, these are delicious. It is crabbing (not crabby) season here in California and we can buy fresh crab.  It isn't cheap, but it is sooooo good.  We usually have a smaller group gathered around our table Christmas Eve, so I can afford the splurge.  Trust me on this one, the crab cakes are far superior to the Elves' Belly Button cookies! 

Cape Fear Crab Cakes with Lemon Dill Sauce

1 pound fresh lump crab meat
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 scallion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Cayenne pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon each minced fresh basil and parsley
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs (I use Panko)
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons each butter and vegetable oil

- Flake the crab meat and remove bits of shell and cartilage.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet. Add the garlic, scallion and red pepper.
- Sauté for 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in the whipping cream, mustard and cayenne, ½ cup of the bread crumbs and the crab meat and mix lightly.
- Shape into 16 patties - 2 inches in diameter.
- Mix the remaining ½ cup bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a shallow dish.
- Dredge the patties in the crumb mixture until coated. Place on a platter and chill, covered for 1 hour or longer.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and fry for 3 minutes on each side.
- Drain on paper towels. Serve with Lemon Dill Sauce. Yield: 16 servings

Lemon Dill Sauce
¾ cup mayonnaise
½ cup buttermilk
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dillweed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

-Blend the mayonnaise and buttermilk in a bowl until smooth. Add the garlic, dillweed, parsley, lemon peel and lemon juice and mix well.
- Chill, covered, in the refrigerator until the mixture thickens.

Now it's time to talk directly to YOU!  All of you that read my blog on a regular basis, comment, buy my patterns, send me emails, take my classes,  come in to the shop or show up at quilt shows in remote locations to meet me (and you know who you are).....THANK YOU!  You have made my life better. You have made me a better person. You have made me a better quilter.  You have made me a finisher because you keep me on my toes asking when something is going to be done.   I appreciate each and every one of YOU.  May you all have a happy and blessed Christmastime!


P.S. The next week will be time spent with family.  I may get a few posts out.....but not too many! 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Treats Tablerunner

Hello Everyone.
I put Holiday Treats tablerunner on my HandiQuilter yesterday and got it quilted.  I was going to put this aside and save it as a birthday present for my daughter-in-law.  But I thought, NO!  I can finish this one before Christmas.  

Each present is quilted differently.  I started on the binding last night and I should be able to finish it up tonight or tomorrow during football.  Now wait a minute, I was going to wrap presents during football.  I may have to adjust my schedule around a bit.

I decided to quilt snow flurries down the center.  This design needs more practice and this runner was a good place to start.  Now every 'Wilder' in the family will have a tablerunner.

It's a windy, stormy day here in California.  Old Man Winter is making his presence known.  It seems more like Christmas to me when there is a storm raging outside and I'm nice and toasty inside.  Our twin granddaughters will be over later on this afternoon to make Elf Belly Button cookies.  I think we are going to put some lint in Mr. Joe's cookie!  Pictures tomorrow.


Friday, December 21, 2012

The Best Gift Ever

Hello Everyone,
It's re-run day here at Sew'n Wild Oaks.  I have a full to-do list just like the rest of you.  I'm reposting one of my favorite posts from December 22, 2009.  Enjoy!  --Lynn

Merry Christmas Everyone,

At Christmastime there is a strong gravitational pull of your thoughts back to A pull so strong that it helps keep me balanced and centered like the hands on a compass pointing true north.

Let me take you back to a little town called Paradise in Northern California where I grew up in the 1950's. Money was very scarce and my parents, both remembering the Great Depression, knew how to squeeze a dollar. On the demographic scale for the 1950 census, we probably would have been "binned" in the low-income column. My sister Gail and I knew nothing about economic status. We just knew we were happy and loved.

So let's go downtown to Harrison's Market. You knew everyone in town so when you went to the store you "swapped howdies" first then you shopped. The butcher called you by name. The clerks had a feather duster sticking out of their back pocket and a price stamper strapped into a leather holster covered with purple ink.

Above the vegetable section of all places were the "big" Christmas toys for sale. Wagons, dump trucks, large dolls 2 feet high and then there was the present I wanted. A pretend kitchen! A turquoise kitchen that was as tall as I was. It had a sink, refrigerator, and a stove! There were pots and pans and plates and silverware oh my! It was the best pretend kitchen a 6-year-old could ever want. I was always straying away from my Mother's cart and she'd find me standing in front of the brussel sprouts staring up at MY PRETEND KITCHEN. (I think the store's management put the toys above the vegetables as a subliminal your vegetables and these toys will be yours!)

I ate my vegetables, I was good, as good as a 6-year-old could be for the whole month of December, forget the rest of the year! Christmas morning came and was that turquoise kitchen under our tree? No it wasn't, but this little wooden hutch and sink were under the tree handmade by my Grandpa Marshall.
The little hutch was filled with little plates, a canister set, a cookie sheet and a tea set all the way from Japan! I loved my pretend kitchen.

I washed many a dish in this tiny little sink.

When I grew up the little hutch was packed away for years along with the remaining dishes and accessories. It has been on my kitchen counter for the last twenty-five years. Would you believe the price on the cake decorations is 17 cents! (Where's the "cent" key on my keyboard?)

Here I am on the right with my Grandpa Marshall and Gail. I was about 3.

I was about 7 in this picture. Don't you love the old vintage porch swing!

This gift from my Grandpa was the best gift a 6-year-old could ever want. It's lasted over 5 decades. I marvel at the quality of workmanship, the tiny hinges and screws and the mitered corners on the cabinet doors. Through our youth, my sister and I received other handmade, wooden treasures from our Grandpa.

So sometimes what you think you want, and what you get, are two different things. I haven't forgotten about the turquoise pretend kitchen in Harrison's Market above the vegetables, but it would not have survived the decades and would not have been loved as much as I love my little hutch. (To this day I dislike brussel sprouts!)

As always,

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Nostalgic Pillow Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,
Yesterday was the final session of my Nostalgic Christmas pillow class at In Between Stitches.  Kaye finished her pillow!  Two of her family members think she is making it for them, but this one is a keeper for Kaye.  

Barbara G. had an extremely productive day and took her three pillows from parts and pieces to almost finished.  Here's pillow #1 at the beginning of class.

Here is the same pillow by the end of class.

Pillow #2....

Pillow #3.

Barbara O was new to the group and finished the day well on her way to a cute pillow for Christmas.  She mastered the double flying geese method that I show in my Virtual Classroom tab at the top of the blog.

Last night, Mr. Joe and I had the honor of attending our grandsons Kindergarten Christmas program at his school.  My heart ached for the little 5 and 6 year-olds that won't be singing this year.  Their voices were taken away too soon.  Give everyone an extra hug today.

Love and hugs,

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Smitten with Mittens

Hello Everyone,

I have just enough time for a quick post this morning.  Our dearest friends, Santa Mike and Mrs. Mike are coming over for dinner tonight.  Santa Mike comes over as Santa at 5pm for gifts and pictures, runs across the street to change, and comes back as Mr. Mike for dinner.  So far, the little kids haven't put two and two together yet......and I hope they never will.

I made a complete set of Mittens with Moxie for their family.  Our granddaughter, Kinsey, decorated all of the tags and Mr. Joe made the mitten stand.  This was a true family gift from one family to another.

Santa Mike and Mrs. Mike are the kindest, most genuine people that we are proud to call friends.  They embrace the true meaning of Christmas throughout the entire year.

Our 10-year-old granddaughters are in charge of dinner for 15 tonight.  They are coming over at 1 this afternoon to start making Sweet and Sour Chicken with a side dish of fried rice.  The rest of the family is bringing side dishes and desserts.  It's never too early to start the little ones learning how to cook, set the table, and decorate.  They love it AND they are great little cooks.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Out of My Comfort Zone

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday I worked outside my comfort zone on this pillow top. Why is it, I can put 25 different colors together in a large block without any issues......but not four colors?  Four different colors and my brain freezes.  Notice I was able to work a plaid into the mix.

I scanned this picture of my granddaughter that was made in 2002 and printed it on Printed Treasures fabric.  The picture always reminded me of Cindyloo Who from the Grinch book.  I thought I would whip a pillow together yesterday morning......wrong.

I made more flying geese that you can shake a stick at and I still wasn't happy.  Not being one to let this get the best of me, I stuck with it and finally finished the pillow after dinner last night.

I'll put this on the quilting machine and quilt it before I put the backing on it.  Last night I packed up all of this fabric and put it away in the closet so I won't have to look at it for awhile.  I'm sure my daughter-in-law is going to like her pillow.......the verdict is still out with me.

Today I have to write some Christmas cards.  I went through every picture that we took last year and tried to pick out the best of the best for my Christmas letter, that I call The Wilder Times.  It was nice to reminisce and look back over the year.  What a year it was!  I always try to put a slide show together for a year in review and we watch it together as a family Christmas Day.  I need to get busy or it's not going to happen! Gotta go......


Thursday, December 13, 2012

December Preview Party

Hello Everyone,

The theme for the December Preview Party for In Between Stitches was Toyland.  The tables were decorated by the wonderful customers, staff and teachers. The tables were so inviting.

Quilters started lining up early to enter the Toyland created in the event center at the Purple Orchid in Livermore.

My friend Chris, brought out her Nostalgic Christmas pillow to show me.  This is going to be a surprise gift for a family member.

The room was full of anticipation....just like Christmas morning.

There were quilts hanging all around the room so everyone could see the quilt class offerings starting in January.

Here I am with my sister Gail.  The Dear Jane quilt is pretty amazing in back of us.  Carrie, a staff member, made this quilt AND she is making another one too! 

You'll see me working with my buddy Lisa (in red) on Mondays. 

Here is just a sample of some of the classes for the next quarter. 

I'll bet you haven't seen this one before......wink!

The catered lunch was so good!  It was a never ending table of food.

We had a surprise visit from Santa.  This is Santa Mike, our long-time family friend.

Santa made his rounds through the room and hammed it up with the girls.

Gail has known Santa just as long as I've known Santa.  In fact, Santa will be at our home this Sunday to surprise all of my grandchildren with a special visit.

"Now Elaine.....have you been a good girl this year????"  Elaine is hysterically funny and keeps me in stitches!

There were many other quilts offered as classes, but this photographer was asleep at the switch.  I was so engrossed seeing all of the offerings displayed by the instructors......I forgot to take pictures.  By the end of the party everyone was full, happy and had signed up for lots of classes to begin their year of quilting in 2013.
I'll be writing Christmas cards today......and maybe I can sneak in a little quilting between naps.  It's been a busy few days.