Friday, October 9, 2015

You Can Quilt! Blog Hop featuring Island Batik fabrics

Welcome to our You Can Quilt! blog hop featuring Island Batik Fabrics that are being released at market this month.

First --Big thank you goes out to AQS who published our book and provided ebook copies to all the Island Batik Ambassadors (IBA). AQS is excited to share the book with everyone. Check out the link at the bottom of where you can get the book directly from them. And thank you to Island Batik who made sure we all had the latest fabrics (including Leila) to use and showcase the blocks in the book.

Second--Thank you to each IBA who agreed to jump in and help us show off the latest fabrics but also introduce new people to our book.

Each IBA will have made 1-3 of the blocks in the chapter and may show you how they chose to put them together into a finished project (s). You won't want to miss seeing all the new fabrics and what everyone is doing, so please follow along over the next 4+ weeks as we see how each Island Batik Ambassador and the authors of the book, You Can Quilt! Building Skills for Beginners used the new Island Batik fabrics to showcase the blocks in each chapter of the book.

Which fabric collections each IBA used is still a secret, so stop by each day of the hop to see a new collection!

Here is the line-up:

Bloggers are by Date, Chapter, Name, Blog

Oct. 9 – Ch. 1. Basics - Leila Gardunia - co-author -

Oct. 12 – Ch. 2. HST - Tammy Silvers

Oct 14 – Ch 3. QST - Connie Kresin Campbell

Oct. 16 – Ch 4. Flying Geese - Maryellen McAuliffe

Oct 19 -- Ch. 5. Wonky - Christine McCrann Martinez

Oct. 21 – Ch. 6. Improvisation - Connie Kauffman

Oct. 23 -- Ch. 7. Foundation Paper Piecing - Joan Kawano

Oct. 26 – Ch. 8. Curves - me! - Marlene Oddie

Oct. 28 -  Ch 9. One-Patch Blocks - Bea Lee

Oct. 30 – Ch. 10. Applique - Barbara Gaddy 

Nov. 2 – Ch. 11. Inset Seams - Pamela Boatright

Nov. 4 – Ch. 12. Challenge Blocks - Linda Stewart Pearl http://

Nov. 6 – Ch. 13. finishing – I'll share a variety of ways to finish off your blocks that aren't covered in the book.

Fabric bundles and books are being given away to 4 lucky people at the end of the hop. This is only eligible for U.S. residents. Be sure to use the Rafflecopter box to enter the giveaways that will be posted on each person's blog and show each blogger some love with appropriate comments. Wouldn't you like some of these? These Spring releases just arrived in my shop!

Wondering where to buy other Island Batik fabrics near you?
Search here.
For an autographed copy by me of the book, you can always click on the top right of my blog on the book and PayPal button. I'd love to send one to you!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

EQ Seasons RAL Finish

I ended up creating two pieces ...the one row that you saw (above), but then I needed something for another challenge and came up with another piece using the blocks I shared with you.

I didn't hit the deadline for two possible challenges that the original block was envisioned to be ready for, but it then hit me that this could also work for a National Park themed opportunity. It still needs to be blocked and bound, but this is where it is at so far.

How about 'View from the Ahwahnee'? Have you ever been to Yosemite National Park when the dogwoods are blooming? It can be stunning and I've seen it many times in my life. I love the stone work of the building and incorporated that into the border of the piece. The unquilted part in the border suggests the Ahwahnee's logos (but not exactly).

A plate from the dining room c. 1929

Do you realize that next year, 2016, is the National Park Service's Centennial? Yosemite just celebrated their 125th year, but the National Park Service was created in 1916.

We're so lucky! Here in Grand Coulee area we are going to be hosting a curated exhibit by Donna Desoto (her most recent curated exhibit featured a quilt for each of 150 Beatles Songs) that represented the flora, fauna and landscape for each of the 59 parks. Yes, 177 quilts! All here in our area for part of the NPS Centennial celebrations, July 1-4, 2016. We have a Festival of America that occurs over the same weekend and sets fireworks off the top of Grand Coulee Dam. You don't want to miss this weekend --or at least drive in for the show!

We're also inviting quilters to create their own 'inspired by the National Parks' quilt. What experiences have you had in the National Parks that inspires you to create a quilt?

There are currently no specific rules for this, just that it has been inspired by your own park experiences. Then share them with us during this same weekend along side this incredible curated National Park exhibit.

The NPS is sponsoring this and will have a webpage up shortly with additional details. I'll blog and post about it on Facebook, so be sure to be following along!

I can still kit the original 60" row in all but this exact bark fabric (have many alternatives)--the fabrics are all Northcott, Toscana line. Let me know if you're interested.
There are still giveaways available.
Northcott Fabrics is giving 1 lucky recipient, 6-8 pieces of fabric at 1 yard lengths each. You may
 only enter once. In other words, if you enter it here, do not enter it at the other blogs. 
This giveaway is at all the featured blogs today. Value $60-80.00.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Free Shipping to anyone in the 48 Contiguous states. 
If winner is outside of this area, you must agree to pay shipping cost. Value $450.00
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Sept 01, 2015 to October 13, 2015 - Combined to make it easier. This is a participation giveaway, if they post to flickr, they are entered into the drawing. 
As An Incentive To Participate By Making Blocks and Rows
Craftsy Class of your Choice
Value $40.00 based on average cost of Quilting classes,
but the value goes up if you choose lets say a sewing class.
3 individual winners
Nancy's Notions
2 individual winners
$10.00 gift certificate
When you add a unique block/row to the Flickr Group that you've created from any of the patterns offered each
week, you will get one entry into the drawing.
You can enter at any blog featuring the Flickr giveaway once each day of this Row-A-Long until
October 13, 2015 when the giveaway closes.
Winners Announced October 14, 2015
If you enter both giveaways, you need 2 unique blocks per each day you enter.
Duplicate Entries will be checked and if found you will be disqualified.
Filler Rows Do Not Count. These too will be disqualified if entered.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
SHOW ‘N TELL DAY - that's today!

This has been a great RAL...hope you enjoyed it! Be sure to share links in your comments if you have posted a finished row as well. I especially would like to see it if you did my dogwoods! Have a good one!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Teal Mini Swap - Ovarian Cancer Awareness

As a small part in raising funds for Ovarian Cancer Research, I participated in the Teal Mini Swap 2015 --an effort to get all 50 states represented caused me to jump in for Washington State.

My partner for the swap was Barbara Townsend in New Hampshire ---hard to get much farther away, but her request was a mug rug or 2 if she could be greedy to use in her log cabin cottage as coasters. She preferred blues and browns but would love whatever came her way.

I was even more vague and said I didn't really care as I'd likely gift whatever I received to someone I know who is surviving cancer, but suggested something more modern vs. traditional.

Using foundation patterns for the Circle of Geese by Piece by Number (originally designed by Beth Maddocks and used in our book with her permission) from my co-authored book, You Can Quilt! Building Skills for Beginners, I decided to just do two quarters of the big square to create two separate mug rugs.

The teal fabric was provided as part of the swap. I added a Gelato Ombre in brown (available in my studio if you're interested along with several other colors) and was quite fussy about how I used it so that the valuation changed from dark to light (left to right), including the binding. The background was a simple Fresh Water Designs cream with small brown dots from the Quilter's Garden line. I used Thermore for the batting and quilted a scroll pattern in the geese and pebbles in the background. Geese threads were: A&E Tex 30 Scarab in the teal geese and YLI variegated Marbled Brownies in the brown geese. Background thread was A&E Tex 30 Dyed Natural. I only cut a 2" binding and applied it completely by machine -- its not perfect, but she said they were perfect for the cabin. YEAH! She might even make some more.
Back side.

My swap partner, Barbara Townsend, made this mini! Barbara says it is 'busy' for her taste, but she has done a great job. I couldn't resist taking this photo outside my studio on the hay bale with (ok they are obviously fake) fall leaves for decoration.

Teal is the symbolic color for Ovarian and Cervical Cancer and we're starting fall and so the orange and yellow really picks up on the time of year. Barbara uses her domestic machine to quilt and did a fabulous job quilting in the ditch. She used her signature piped binding as well which finished it off in a lovely way!

The froggies on some of the fabric is also used on the back and the sleeve. My former neighbor, Traci (shown on the right in the photo below) --a cancer survivor has family that lives in Milton-Freewater and their symbol is a frog....the town is often referred to as 'Muddy-Frogwater'.

Barbara really created a beautiful finished product that anyone would be happy to have as their own...I just might not be able to give it away, but when I saw the frog fabrics, I knew for sure who I wanted to give this mini too. Traci ran her 6th marathon this past weekend in Portland, OR and even ran a Personal Best. She is surviving well! It was 14 years ago this month that she was
diagnosed. I'm so honored to have had such a wonderful neighbor for many years and grateful her life has been so blessed.

She is active in raising awareness and funds to help those going through cancer. Most visibly in my former community, she is VP and Treasurer of J.U.G.S. (Just Us Girls Sharing). point of participating is that I love my friends and family dearly who have had anything to do with this type of cancer or any other 'teal' symbolized cancer and just want to show some support.

I hope you will enjoy seeing more of these swaps during a blog hop Oct. 12-16 or at the Facebook Page.

Oct. 7 - last post as part of the EQ7 Seasons RAL blog hop with a reveal using the Dogwood blocks that are available FREE via PDF Download through Oct. 12 

Oct. 9 I'm kicking off  a 4+ week Island Batik fabric blog hop showcasing their Fall Market releases featuring blocks from my book. Be sure to come back for that! There will be giveaways!!!!

Be healthy! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

EQ Seasons Row-a-long - a Spring Row - Dogwood Branch

EQ Seasons RAL Button Excited to be a part of this EQ Seasons Row-a-long (RAL) and provide you with a Spring row.

Thanks to Marian at Seams to be Sew for organizing this RAL Blog Hop and all of our many sponsors. You're going to learn a lot and get lots of inspiring ideas for all seasons.

Special thanks to Northcott who sent me the sky and tree (Stonehenge, Woodland) fabric to work with. I've also got the entire Toscana line of theirs, so have made my row entirely with Northcott fabric. I've got one kit to share with a lucky winner and am willing to ship kits if you're interested in purchasing one.

I've had this dogwood paper piecing design for a long time in EQ, but have never moved on with the design and made something. This seemed like a great way to give it a try. Just a row, could be a nice wall hanging or part of a bigger quilt.

Several techniques are used to make this row --Rotary Cutting, Paper Piecing and Templates.

Helpful tools to make it include: Rotary cutter, mat, ruler, foundation papers, add-a-quarter ruler, template making material or cardstock.

This row is 60" x 8" finished. That doesn't make an equal number of squares.

If you want to create this in EQ7, start with New Quilt, Horizontal. Click on the Layout tab (lower left of your screen) and then in the pop up window select 7 Horizontal blocks; 1 Vertical block; Finished size of Blocks are 8".

Select Border tab .....Remove check mark 'All', adjust top, right and bottom borders to 0. Make LEFT border, 4".  This would be the place to add another border if you just want to make the row and finish it with a nice frame.

Select Layer tab. It should now look like this.

Block 1 is the 'Left border' 4" block.

Blocks 2, 6, and 3, 5 are similar but 'reversed'. To create these, go to Block, New Block, Easy Draw ...Draw the first block with a branch. Save to Sketchbook.

Select branch lines (click with your mouse on the line; hold your shift key down and select the second line as well), right click with your mouse and select 'Symmetry', use Flip H (Flip horizontally). Select the 'Color' tab to be sure the lines connected to the edge of the block. If so, save to Sketchbook. If not, go back to the original branch block and try selecting, and flipping again. Be sure to check that the ends are connecting to the edge of the block before going to the 'color' tab. Save to Sketchbook. don't actually have to draw the flipped block. Just place the first branch block into the quilt in all 4 blocks where it will be used then from the tool bar select the 'flip' the blocks according to how you want it to be.

Block 4 and 7 have the same dogwood block, but one is 1/2 scale of the other. I drew the big one first so I could get the accuracy easily. This is a 2x2 grid block. I used a 12" drawing table block, 36 snaps both horizontal and vertical. Draw vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines both directions. Because this is paper pieced, I've used these guidelines to help create symmetry and a bit easier to piece the strange shape I am trying to create. Dissect the corner to create the edge of the petal. Make similar lines to give it the divot for both the petal color shift and the leaves. In the center, this visual shows no diagonal line, but you will need it there to more simply create the petal section patterns. If you remove it the foundation pattern will print it out separately, but it just adds more paper and isn't necessary. Ultimately don't add the yellow corner until you have joined two petals together, then do it as a single combined corner. Save the large dogwood block to the sketchbook.

To create block 4, I changed my snaps to 72 (H and V) then selected the whole block, right click -- 'Resize' and choose 50% for both Horizontal and Vertical. Then move to upper left corner. Add the branch elements to mimic the original branch block and add another branch out to the small 4" dogwood. Save to sketchbook.

Place each block in its respective place back on the Layout tab of the quilt. Note that the first (border block) and the far right block are just fabric.

Fabric Requirements:

Sky/Background: 3/8 yard
Trunk/Branch: 1/4 yard (fat eighth will work)

Remaining pieces can likely be made from your scraps. If you're buying fabric, get 1/8 yard for each described below:
  • Dogwood petals--Choose several values (light to dark) to make whatever color of dogwood you're used to seeing.
  • Leaves
  • Pale yellow for centers
8 Blocks ...numbered 1-8, left to right.
1                  2                    3                       4                         5                           6                         7                            8
To print the various instruction types, select the block while in the quilt layout, then File...Print and choose the desired method of pattern. The tool bar print icon will also give you these various options. Sometimes using 'landscape' mode makes for a nicer printout, sometimes using the 'move' option to move the different parts around on the paper is also handy. Change the 'printer' to Adobe PDF if you want to create a PDF pattern for use later. When the print dialogue initially comes up, choose the "Page Setup" button to change the printer or any other print options, otherwise it uses your default printer.

Rotary Cutting
Block 1: Cut 8.5" x 4.5" trunk --note direction of wood grain so that it is vertical.
Block 8: Cut 8.5" x 8.5" sky

To simplify the piecing and yet give the branch some movement, I used this template technique to just reverse a block image
Block 2 and 6 are template pieced (REVERSE--flip it so that you are using the template shape on the side without the printing), Block 3 and 5 are templates as printed.

Paper Pieced
Blocks 4 and 7 are paper pieced. Foundation patterns are included in the download. Use unprinted newsprint or specialty foundation papers. Shorten your stitch length when stitching on paper just to make it easier to remove it (if you normally stitch 2.5, then stitch these 2). Pay attention when joining the leaf corner and the petals. Put pins through the paper and fabric at the join spots. Use another pin to angle in sideways to hold the two pieces together until you can get them stitched down. If you try to use the pin that you put in vertically and then rotate it, the fabric layers will slide. Remove the vertical pin before stitching.

Add the yellow center after joining two petals.

I did not use an iron to press as I went ...just finger pressed--more an issue of time. Take your time and press (up and down, don't slide the iron) it as you go and it will be much flatter. This will get pressed before quilting, but these photos were taken before that step.

Examples of fanning the many pieces that come together at the center. The paper has not yet been removed in these photos. Once the entire row is assembled you can remove the paper. This fanning technique is also discussed in detail in our book You Can Quilt!

Note Block 4 requires a rotary cut 4.5" x 4.5" sky to be added to the 4" finished dogwood flower, then add the paper pieced lower branch to complete the block.

There is plenty of negative space in this row to add additional branches and dogwood in the quilting. Perhaps in your row you want to just do repeated dogwood flowers in 4" or 8" sizes rather than creating this 'branch' concept. Up to you! You have the pattern now so feel free to be creative.

I just might have it quilted into a finished wall hanging by the end of this RAL --think about those spaces above wide doorways, sliders or French doors, etc....maybe a seasonal wall hanging of this shape would work well there. I'll be sure to blog about it and add it to the Flickr group when I do, so I hope you'll choose to follow along.

There is an EQ support group for this Row-a-long. Feel free to ask questions here in the comments or there on Facebook and post your photos in the Flickr group too. If you have EQ I hope you'll give it a try to draw one yourself, but if you'd like the .PJ7 file please indicate in a comment below and I'll send it to you --BUT YOU MUST BE SURE YOUR EMAIL IS PART OF THE COMMENT OR KNOW that you are NOT a no-reply blogger. Several have asked, but there is no way for me to send it to you because you are a no-reply blogger. Here is the Dogwood Branch PDF for those who don't have EQ. These will be available for free through (Oct. 12, 2015). I have numbered the foundations according to how I would like the seams to lie ultimately when I am quilting it. You'll find in EQ that the default does not take that into consideration necessarily. A great opportunity to learn about numbering your own foundations. When in the foundation pattern print dialogue, the sections tab lets you define the entire section--not all sections have to be identified if they are repeating--just print more pages--this can help if you find them spreading over multiple pages. Get a section that is repeated sorted properly and just print it multiple times. Then go to the 'numbering tab' and renumber if you need to. The options tab lets you define the line width, Font button at the bottom of the window lets you define the font type and size for a variety of elements on the page. I also had problems when 'creating a PDF by printing to a PDF', that when I try to print it to paper, the seam allowances don't show. If I select 'advanced' in the dialogue box when printing the PDF (not when creating it, but actually printing it) then click the box that says 'Print as image' then the seam allowances do print. It could be just my printer, but wanted to share that little tip in case you find the seam allowances didn't print. You also need to be sure that it is set to NOT SCALE (Auto-rotate and center is ok). Updated 9/2/15.

I only have a couple of kits with the exact same trunk fabric, but I have a variety of other suitable trunk fabrics available if that is not of a worry to you. Send $20 via paypal ( and be sure to include your shipping address -- it will include printed pattern on appropriate papers for templates and paper piecing, fabric kit and shipping. The first two  payments submitted via paypal, will get the original Stonehenge Woodland and one lucky winner from comments left on this blog will get it for free.

Three other randomly chosen winners will receive these giveaways via this blog post and I'm using Rafflecopter to track entries (first time for this, so hope it all works) -- A gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop, my new book "You Can Quilt: Building Skills for Beginners" (I co-authored this with Leila Gardunia from ) and a kit to make this row just like mine. This will end on Sept. 8 and winners will be announced! We've been recommended to do individual rafflecopter tools for each giveaway, so choose the ones you would like to win and click through on each one. Some have more entry opportunities than others.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see some of your fabulous creations! Note there are three different giveaways that are from this blog only and two others that are consolidated from all blogs today, be sure to enter all or at least the ones you're interested in, click through to each one separately. There are also giveaways through all the participating blog posts, so you'll want to be sure to visit all of them. The RAL goes through Oct. 6.

The others posting today are:  Stof Genoeg - 2" Filler Row - Be A Quilter - Filler Row - Quilt Art - Fall - ThimbleMouse - Winter - The Quilting Queen Online - Summer

Note...each week for 6 weeks there will be new rows revealed. Be sure to check the complete schedule for all links. There is a huge giveaway during the 'show me' phase at the end. You won't want to miss it!

My three giveaways:
You Can Quilt! $24.95 value

Fabric kit to make this row - $12 value
The Fat Quarter Shop
You can only enter once at this blog.
While this giveaway is specific to this blog, you can enter at each featured blog today.
There is 1 giveaway for each featured blog of the day.
Entries accepted until September 08, 2015
Winners Announced September 09, 2015
$25.00 gift certificate

Consolidated giveaways coming from all blogs today:

Northcott Fabrics
is giving 1 lucky recipient, 6-8 pieces of fabric at 1 yard lengths each.
You may only enter once
In other words, if you enter it here, do not enter it at the other blogs.
This giveaway is at all the featured blogs today.
Entries accepted until September 08, 2015
Winners Announced September 09, 2015
Value $60-80.00
Northcott Fabrics Big giveaway

As An Incentive To Participate By Making Blocks and Rows
Craftsy Class of your Choice
Value $40.00 based on average cost of Quilting classes,
but the value goes up if you choose lets say a sewing class.
3 individual winners
Nancy's Notions
2 individual winners
$10.00 gift certificate
When you add a unique block/row to the Flickr Group that you've created from any of the patterns offered each
week, you will get one entry into the drawing.
You can enter at any blog featuring the Flickr giveaway once each day of this Row-A-Long until
October 13, 2015 when the giveaway closes.
Winners Announced October 14, 2015
If you enter both giveaways, you need 2 unique blocks per each day you enter.
Duplicate Entries will be checked and if found you will be disqualified.
Filler Rows Do Not Count. These to will be disqualified if entered.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you're still blog hop starts October 9. It will be all about our book, You Can Quilt!, and beautiful Island Batik fabrics. Set the calendar to come back and be inspired!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Island Batik - Summer in the Country Blog Hop - Haystack Christmas

 Summer in the Country Blog Hop. - Day 14


This is part 2 of my participation. I hope you enjoyed the post (Part 1) on 18-Aug (Day 2).

When I originally thought Summer in the Country and was looking at these fabrics, there were a couple that just said--Christmas in July. But we're doing the blog hop in August, so that wasn't quite right, but I just couldn't get the thought out of my mind.

So, I have a little Christmas in July concept, that has now been adapted to be a wall hanging that could be thematically decorated for any season. The other fabrics were used in examples shown in my Part 1 blog post from Day 2.

My primary fabrics are three SKUs; two from Green Acres and one from Countryside. I've thrown in a few other bits for the inner borders, and a woodgrain fabric for the frame.

You won't see the reindeer in this first image below, but it becomes the feature next.


This stack of hay bales next to the barn, has a cat and a dog (ok, maybe they really are a cougar and a wolf, but in this context I think they work as happy farm animals) and some bushes and grassy areas and even a bit of dirt road leading up to the haystack.

I created the cornerstones of the sashing by making 8 half square triangles (HSTs) at a time (you can find this technique taught by Eleanor Burns at Quilt-in-a-Day and also in my new co-authored book You Can Quilt: Building Skills for Beginners. Yes, they are small, but using this method they came together beautifully. This helps to give dimension to the bales. They are finished HSTs - 1/2" square; start with two 3" squares. The beauty of doing them this way, they all finish without bias edges.

The hay bales are cut 6.5" x 3.5" and the sashing is cut 1". I did improvise the inner borders (around the hay bales basically...and when trying to add the final woodgrain fabric border, it became clear that I hadn't kept things very straight, so had a few adjustments to make. If you want to improvise...just be careful to keep it squared up.

With the help of two of my friends, Nancy Goddard and Julie Tapley, we have seasonal decorations to hang on the hay bales. There are a variety of ways that they could be attached, including stitching a loop into the top of each bale --either in the piecing process or by hand after it is quilted. Then all 'ornaments' can be hung traditionally. A hook and eye mechanism --put the eye in the strategic spots and a hook on all 'ornaments'. Since some decorations may not be desired in the same locations all the time, perhaps a sticky Velcro system would allow for easy movement (Thanks to another friend, Linda Roberts, that for that suggestion). I'd love ideas for solutions!

I really knew next to nothing about doing machine embroidery. A couple of key things I learned through this experiment--there are designs that are rated for stand alone (i.e. it would make a patch) ..I don't think we used any of those, so a few of these are quite delicate, but they will work for this illustration. We also tried using a water soluable interfacing. Some worked better than others. You'll see on the spider webs that a clear film developed when it dried. That helped the stitching stay together even though it wasn't a design intended to be used in this way.

Here is the first concept -- Christmas in July ....or just really at Christmas!

Then a 4th of July celebration might look like this:

or consider many other seasons

Snow time --I always think of January for snow --used an Aurifil variegated thread for this one.

Appliqued onto polka dotted fabric for this heart.
Valentine's Day in February

St. Patrick's day in March or                Easter Eggs ...sometime in the spring

Watermelon for summertime fun or even something hand made using my Queen of Hearts accuquilt Go! die and cutter and a few hand stitches with Aurifil 12 wt thread.

and how about the fall ....or Halloween.

Even thought a 12 Days of Christmas idea would be fun or even a countdown to the start of school. On the backside of the Christmas ornaments, use a nice light neutral fabric so you can write a number or use a fabric with numbers or print them yourself. Then stitch out a school house and let it be a fun countdown to school.

Now for this very yummy recipe!

Lemon Berry Bars

This idea developed in my childhood and continues to evolve. Start with a Russian Tea Cake recipe. Don't make the 'balls', just put the dough in a pan and bake it. Cool. Add a lemon pie filling and top with berries. They could be fresh berries or make a compote.

I chose to try using almond flour instead of wheat flour (often I use part wheat and part white flour). I have many friends and think I myself would benefit from minimal gluten, so have started experimenting with other flours. It actually turned out great.

Russian Tea Cake mix for the 'crust'

1 cup soft butter--just let it sit out for a while (I tend to use butter with olive oil premixed)
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla (I used some awesome Mexican Vanilla)

Sift and stir in:
Flour (I often use 1 1/4 c whole wheat flour and 1 c white; this time I used 2 1/4 cups Blanched Almond Flour - Gluten Free! ....and no sifting actually occurred, but you get the idea)
1/4 teaspoon Salt (I used Sea Salt)

Mix in:
3/4 cup Almonds (calls for chopped nuts ...I just put the whole almonds in --while mixing it broke them up a little bit, but not much, I like the crunch!)

Spread into a pan (use a bigger pan than this! unless you love a thick crust)

Fresh out of the oven.

Yes, it fell, but that's ok. This made for a very thick crust --my weakness I realize, so it would probably be just fine in a larger pan and make for a bit thinner crust --it will go farther when serving it.

Lightning Lemon Pie filling

(this is from a recipe book my mom had in the 1970's) I wrote up a recipe card while in a high school foods class circa 1980.

Super simple ingredients --powerful punch!

Stir together until it thickens (beat it!):
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk --I notice that the can purchased at Costco recently is an ounce less than what they were in the 1970's!
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind (zest!)
2/3 cup lemon juice -- fresh or ReaLemon

Spread on cooled crust.

Add Fresh Berries when ready to serve or make a compote and chill before serving---I used rows of fresh raspberries (they were huge! --those Driscoll berries are grown where I was born) and blueberries.

Cut desired size and garnish with a fresh mint sprig if you'd like!

Hope you've enjoyed these ideas! Leave a comment below to be entered into a fabric giveaway of all three of these primary fabrics (hay bales, sashing and reindeer ornaments). Be sure I can contact you if I select your comment randomly on Sept. 7.

Any ideas for how to attach the 'ornaments' on the hay bales?

The next blog in the Summer in the Country Blog Hop is Be A Quilter.

Use the Rafflecopter below for the main Island Batik Giveaways.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My next blog post will be on 1-Sept as part of the EQ Seasons Row-a-long. Tutorials of how to draw rows featuring the four seasons and lots of giveaways. You do not need to have the Electric Quilt (EQ) software, but you might be inspired to enter to win it. My design will be a new paper piecing pattern incorporated in two sizes into a beautiful Spring row. See you then! Join this Facebook group if you'd like to get additional support for the EQ Seasons RAL.

Update 9/7:
Giveaway is now closed.
Randomly selected winner is Anita. You have been sent an email requesting your mailing address.

Thank you for all the 'fastening' ideas!