Friday, July 29, 2011

Sorry I have missed posting. Our Newsletter is going out in different groups making sure that the new upgrade we put on the Membership side works correctly, and it is......Hooray! I have been fielding people who forget their Usernames and Passwords, so for our members, write it down in a notebook or keep it near your computer. We want everyone to enjoy the new things we are putting on.
You know, anyone in this country right now is scared, including us! I also think the more you watch the news, the more scared you get as the media has a way of making it even worse than it is. I guess I'm an optimist, but I believe everyone will get through whatever happens. I have never posted anything like this, but there really needs to be drastic changes in this country in my humble opinion. The people we elect to represent us appear to me to be caring only for their party and getting re-elected. Robert and I talk about this often with our friends. Roberts thoughts in this: Make a flat 10% tax for everyone across the board and quit subsidizing the big corporations that are making huge profits. This way the very rich would not have all of the tax shelters that they seem to have and would pay their fair share.
American jobs are going overseas, craftsmanship in this country is becoming a lost art. The interest rate on credit cards is horrible and nothing is being done to reduce that, but boy, do they hit everyone with getting more and more credit cards - especially the young people! It sit here at my age and see all of this and it makes me very sad.
For my quilting friends out there.......we have more foreign memberships than American. These memberships are from all over the world: Spain, France, S. Africa, Australia, Canada, Brazil, England, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, etc. It has just amazed me. I know you are all scared, but Americans need to support Americans too.
We are attempting to do our part by giving you new ways of doing things so that you spend less on items you do not need to do certain techniques, along with hundreds of patterns and discounts. This isn't a sales pitch, although it sounds like it, but it's disturbing to me to see more people from other countries than my own - and there are a lot of them!
Keep quilting - all of you. Do what relaxes you and makes you feel good. If everyone panics, it won't do anything! Keep a stiff upper lip! Hugs to all of you!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We are running a short promotion (as everyone does) as a membership type of incentive to join our club. We are giving a FREE Angler 2 for new members from one specified date to another (August 15th, 2011). Today, I am going to speak my mind. There are days that I am to the point where I have no clue what to do to please people or what on earth they expect. I am in the middle of sending out our Newsletter, and I received this comment from a member:

Sooooo....the people who joined first are left out in the cold without an Angler 2? Great way to reward us.
I honestly don't even know the amount of patterns we now have in the club that are FREE to members for a small fee of $39.95 for an entire year, as we continue to add and add and add + a 60% discount on the patterns in our store. I just added 9 more the other day that are FREE to members. I do know, however, that we also just added five new videos to save people time and money who have how many rulers for $19.95 sitting in drawers that are never used?
Would I write this to another designer in the industry who has a sale from one time to another? NO! Would I write this to L.L. Bean who I might have purchased a sweater from yesterday - and today they had a sale on the same item I purchased yesterday? NO!
Hopefully BLOGS are a place where you can get personal feelings down on paper. I have no clue how to please people like this. I do not think that anyone is exempt right now from what is going on in this country with the economy. I understand the economy is not good in very many countries right now.
If anyone, as a human being, who has a business they have to work at from 9:00 a.m. until midnight 24/7 has any clue about how to please people like this........please tell me!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

It occurred to me today when I was working on my Newsletter that I would love to get feedback on HUNTERS STAR. When Susan was doing research for her new techniques that do not involve any Triangle-Squares, she came across hundreds of traditional blocks that could be accomplished so easily with her technique. This one just happened to be our favorite because there are so many variations and so many ways you can turn it, color it to make it look completely different.
Susan studied the blocks and did what we call the "blow aparts", and I chose the fabrics and did the actual patterns, which is the way we work as a team when she designs something special.
In studying all of the blocks, and looking at a lot of videos, which we normally do not do, we could not believe some of the laborious ways that people put these blocks together. Rulers, templates, paper, drawing lines. I guess our main question was "WHY?"
I think we both would be interested in knowing how each of you have put this block together, and what you went through to accomplish one of the most popular blocks that we found.
We had fun with this one. Susan on her end (in Colorado), turning it, placing it in different ways to get the variations, and me (in Georgia) finding fabrics that worked to emphasize the beautiful arrow shapes that form such a wonderful star.
I would actually love to make a quilt for myself from this one. 15 of my quilts are traveling the UK right now and many are in my trunk show, so we change quilts frequently on our bed. I would like to have one that STAYS THERE!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

One quick post tonight. I'm really slammed!
I finally got an iPhone! I'm learning how to use it and when taking a break for dinner, I tried the iPod! OH MY! Anyone that knows us knows we love Barry Manilow.........BUT..........there is hope.........we do like others too!
I was standing on the back screened in porch with these tiny little speakers in my ears listening to "Flashdance" and I was dancing, waving my arms, singing with it, which means you can't hear what you are singing so you sing way out of tune! All of this in the heat but I didn't care!
Good thing our neighbors are on vacation. If anyone had seen me they would have thought I was ready to be put in a straight-jacket! Lord, what fun! I LOVE APPLE PRODUCTS!!!
Our little granddaughter's B'Day is Tuesday and her party is at our house on Saturday. I have got to expose my grandchildren to FLASHDANCE! Positive music! Good music! Fun music!

French Toast (Pain perdu)

From Pam's son Dallas. Pain perdu or French toast may not have come from France. The origin of this dish is not known, however a recipe for it can be traced back to a fourth century Roman cookbook. This is the first known printed documentation for this dish. Pain perdu is just another great recipe borne out of necessity. What to do with stale bread? Huh. Let’s soak it in milk and eggs and fry it, that aught to work. Here is a variation on the classic recipe.

8 eggs
2 cups milk
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp grated nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
16 slices stale French bread (if you wanted to do this as a brunch item, you could use a baguette and make many 2 or 3 bite sized servings as well.)
1 jar of your favorite preserves
1 8oz package softened cream cheese
1/8 cup powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup sliced almonds
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp granulated sugar

Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Whisk together vigorously or put into a blender. Butter the botton of a 9 by 13” baking dish. Pour half the batter into the baking dish. In another bowl, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and half tsp of vanilla. Beat to cream everything together. Take 8 slices of the French toast and on each slice put a liberal amount of cream cheese and preserves. Place the slices jelly side up into the casserole and move them around until all of the batter has been absorbed. Pour the remaining batter into a bowl, and soak the remaining bread slices in the batter. Place the soaked pieces on top of the jelly and cream cheese topped slices. Sprinkle the top with the almonds, brush the tops with melted butter, sprinkle the top with the granulated sugar, and bake for 45 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and delicious.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dallas said, when I started this BLOG to write about me and the things that are important to me and influence my daily life. I have to say that my Newsletters to our mailing list were a lot more fun in Colorado because I was able to really put my love of the area into it with beautiful photos, and that is where everyone (including me) got hooked on "The Boys!" We lost our beautiful, funny, and exceptionally intelligent English Bulldog, "The Earl Of Brumley" in October, so that sort of ended "The Boys". We are still fortunate enough to have "The Incredible Hulk" who is one adorable little 70 lb. cube bodied character. He will be 9 on September 17th.
The photo in my Newsletter that started it all is the one with the two of them on the back end of our car when we were packing orders in the car to take to the post office. Bulldogs can not jump, therefore they stand there with their short back legs just moving up and down, yet they go nowhere! It is hilarious! Robert caught the famous photo and we added it to the Newsletter with a caption that read: "You think we could get more orders in here Bubba?" So they became a feature in my Newsletters to let everyone in on an important part of our lives. They received fan mail from all over the world, and the night I posted a photo of The Earl on my home page when he passed away, I received hundreds of letters, emails, - you name it - from all over the world. So The Earl touched a lot of lives and it made it a bit easier.
I have had dogs all of my life. We bought our first English Bull over 30 years ago when we lived in St. Louis. They are all different, and they all do their own hysterical things. They are the one breed that I have had that actually gets expressions on their faces and they are very humanlike. Three of our Bulldogs, including The Earl were avid TV watchers. The Earl could tell the difference between an animated animal on TV and a real one. If a real one appeared, he would jump up to the TV to try and get it. The Hulk is the only Bulldog we have had that is capable of sitting up. He actually moves his little arms up and down, and reaches out for us to hold his paw. We need a camera with us continually to capture what he does.
So, for anyone looking for a breed that continually makes you smile and laugh, and only wants to be with you and love you, this is it! They are now very expensive to get a good one without inbreeding, but they are worth every penny. For those who are not familiar with the breed, they can not stand the heat, they frequently have health issues, and they definitely CAN NOT swim! You can not leave them outside in hot weather as they can die within 3 minutes. No car trips without air conditioning. If you are looking for a companion to go running with you - they are not for you. Read up on the breed before you consider one and the responsibilities that go with them.
They have all added so much to our lives over 30 years, it's impossible to even describe. There will be another baby bull in our future, but not now, and not where we are living. The puppies are irresistible.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

And what has Pam been doing for two days?? Well, Pam has had constant interruptions and has been working until midnight, but a new Christmas pattern collection is about to emerge from the two days!
I am doing so many things at once there are times I actually have to just walk away from it. I'm not sure if a BLOG is where you tell everyone about the wonderful good things that you are trying to do, and if not, well....I'm sorry, but I am trying to do some wonderful new things and I have to talk about them.
Pam's Club is taking off like a rocket, and the more we get into it, the more we find to offer to our quilting friends.
When Robert and I teach at guilds we hear continual complaints about how many rulers people have in their drawers and how many ways they have tried to accomplish two tasks accurately: One is Flying Geese and the main one is Triangle-Squares. Triangle-Squares seem to intimidate a lot of people and we have studied every single way that is out there to make them accurately.
As far as I'm concerned, and Susan is concerned (she teaches as well), drawing lines and anything to do with the grid method is stone age techniques. It's laborious no matter how you approach it, and drawing lines on the bias in our humble opinion is a "No No" unless it is absolutely necessary.
We just added five new videos to Pam's Club, which I hope will make people really think about what they are doing, and what they are learning - and how they are learning certain techniques. For those who do "snowball" or "diagonal corners", Susan even has pressing techniques that show you how to press these units so that seams "lock" when you are trying to match seams, making the task ten times easier.
There are pdf patterns with 4 of the videos and I have just added 9 more traditional blocks that normally require Triangle-Squares, and there is not one Triangle-Square in them. So you no longer need to use paper grids either, which we found to be very time consuming.
We are not new at this. We have done our homework to try and help people in several ways. One way is to save money, and the other way is to save time.
We have a sample video on our home page with the Flying Geese technique, and it is also on the Welcome page of our Facebook Fan page. Does it waste a little fabric? Yes, in some cases it does, but when you trim off the seams, rather than throwing the fabric away, just stitch 1/4" from the seam line, trim between the seams and you have Triangle-Squares to use on other projects.
I would love to hear feedback from folks on this. One lady was kind enough to actually send us a photo comparison of Susan's way of doing Flying Geese VS. the other methods. With Susan's method, there is no bulk in the seams, which is another major problem when trying to match seams. Give it a shot. What have you got to lose? There is not one Triangle-Square in any of the photos!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I am continually fascinated with the people who "Friend" me on Facebook from all over the world. I actually watched part of the movie "The Social Network" last night, and although I am not impressed with the way it ended up, I think something was created with Facebook that was obviously really needed and has served a great purpose.
I look at the people's work who "Friend" me and the more I look at them and their work, the more it strikes me that Facebook put normal, everyday people together from all over the world. This has also given me a great insight and provoked a lot of thought about wars, and this proves the point. I am posting photos here from a lady in Pakistan, ladies in Argentine, a lady in India who made an adaptation of our Flying Home quilt, and one from Italy. What do these people have in common? Not the way they dress, obviously, nor the homes they live in, but quilting, which is a shared art form all over the world. I have many people from Istanbul, Turkey "Friending" me, and am fascinated by the American patchwork that is there, but their elegant embroidery.
When you dig a little deeper, how many of you think about what these normal folks on our planet who are living their everyday lives, and enjoying an art form together do to cause wars? In my humble opinion - nothing. Do they think differently? Yes. Do they have different beliefs? Yes. Is it different from what you believe? Perhaps it is, but that is not what I see when I look at their work, nor do I care about what they think, or what they believe. I look at the smiles on their faces and the pride they take in their work. That's enough for me! How about you?
The photo of the work in progress on a very dated (looks like industrial) machine is one of our designs. This lady is from Pakistan. She has posted on my fan page a few times. This is the only type of machine available to her and fabric there, is a precious commodity.
The ladies standing with their work are from Argentina, and the cute little pincushion was made from a lady in Argentina.
The adaptation of Flying Home from a lady in India. I loved the way she added the trees. And last but not least our Sunflower quilt by a lady in Italy, and the beautiful flower also by a fan in Italy.
I hope that you enjoy this and look within yourselves with all of these people coming together in friendship and say: "They are really not that different from me!"

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Will miracles never cease! Here's Pam Again!! I just received this letter and photo from Carol Moellers and I stand corrected. She made BOTH of the quilts that are shown. Her friend, Michelle made the one pictured in this post.
You must read the part about Michelle's husband Tim. Now here's a man who was looking at the beautiful things these ladies were doing and who taught Tim? Someone helped him with long arm quilting.
Great letter from a great lady who also owns a veterinary clinic and is also very busy! ENJOY THIS! I sure did! And by the way, Ricky Tims is not only talented, but from what I understand, a wonderful teacher.

Hi Pam, I just came in from doing yard work outside. Hot, sticky, and tired, I thought I would cool down with a nice glass of ice tea and check emails. Boy, did I have a very nice surprise. I can't tell you how much this made my day. It was a lovely blog but I do want to let you know the black and red quilt is also mine. It is called Northern Lights. I made it with Eileen Fowler's permission from a pattern in Quilter's Newsletter magazine. It was my 2009 Christmas quilt. It received a 2nd place award in the Wall Quilts at the 2010 Iowa State Fair. I was so tickled. My friend Michelle made a king size that was stunning. I attached a picture of her quilt. It was made as a wedding gift for her new sister-in-law. Her quilt won 4th place in the Bed Quilts. Both were beautifully quilted by Michelle's husband Tim. Tim was seeing all the fun we were having and decided he wanted to be part of this fun expression of art.
Your blog was wonderful. I have been sewing and quilting for awhile now but I just started to enter quilts in show during the last year. I thought why not. They put the entry form out there for everyone. I just wanted to share and make some new quilting friends. I can not think of a better way to meet wonderful people. The sharing that happens between quilters is amazing. During this last year I have been blessed to have met new friends from Missouri, Mississippi, Texas, Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, California, Norway, Germany, Canada, and England. I had the opportunity to meet a few of them down at IQF in Houston last Fall. It was wonderful. This year 10 of us are meeting at a special retreat at Ricky Tims Art Studio in October in LaVeta, Colorado. I have to say, the art of quilting has opened a whole new world for me. It is a way to relieve stress, meet new friends, and express my creativity. There is nothing I enjoy more then to come home from a busy day at the clinic and enjoy an hour of divine quilting time. I am anxiously waiting to hear if I will have a quilt juried in again to IQF World of Beauty show. Stanza was last year, and I am hoping Cripple Creek Columbines will get the honor to hang in the show this year.
Thank you so much for the inspirational words to all quilters. I love your designs. I was peeking around your web site. Oh my. You are one talented lady!!!! I love your Daisies in the Cabin design. I have just downloaded the PDF a few minutes ago. It is just wonderful!!! I think I have just found my 2011 Christmas quilt for this year. I have been looking for just the right quilt and there it is. Just to clue you in on a little secret I am going to enter it in the 1st International Quilt Festival of Ireland show. They have a category for Christmas quilts (which are my favorite) and I am going to enter one. I hope I have your permission to make a quilt from your design. I may add some appliqué but overall I just love this pattern. My husband and I are going over in June to visit were my Great-grandparents lived, explore Ireland, and enjoy a wonderful quilt show.
Well, I best get back to yard work. It was nice chatting with you and thank you so much for your inspiring words!!!!
Two posts in one day! Will miracles never cease! I just read the post below from Bill Locke who, unbeknownst to me has a blog and is a designer. Boy! Does this one stress the point I just tried to make. Here is a man who had enough passion to take the bits and pieces he had learned from his grandmother and turn it into something he is proud enough to write a BLOG about, sell his work and begin a design business. Yep guys! Bill learned and practiced.
GOOD FOR YOU BILL! Nice to know you. Here is his BLOG:

I seem to be missing days with this BLOG, but the thoughts are in my mind, just not enough hours in the day right now. I have just completed 9 new blocks that are now online in Pam's Club for BEGINNERS. Yes, for beginners using our assistant designer, Susan's wonderful new techniques. What a great thing for beginners to learn. I'm proud of Susan's work, and I am proud of Susan who is a fine example of what I am about to write. Susan had never been on a computer when she began working for us and certainly not a complicated drawing program.
My son has been reading posts about me on different chat rooms, 90% of which are very favorable with the exception of one woman who said my name made her nauseous, and I assume it was because she had problems with putting a design together that frustrated her. My only explanation for such a statement from a person who does not know me personally, nor do I know her is frustration and inner anger at everything around them.
With the artistic personality that I have, it is difficult for me to understand people who carry this kind of frustration (or whatever the explanation is) into contempt for another human being they don't even know. It does not hurt me, only fascinates me as I am doing a great study on human nature and behavior in the writing of my book.
I hold fast to my beliefs and my convictions regarding the art of quilting that I have practiced and designed now for over 30 years. Quilting is an art form, which is why, as a watercolor artist, many years ago, I had inspiration for creating beautiful things. I think because as an art form, I hear or read about far too many people who are negative in this way: "I wish I had the talent to do that". "It's too hard, I would never attempt that". "I can't do that!" Well folks, that is why there are people in our industry to teach you how to do it right. It takes time and patience, and the answer is not slapping 4" squares together and calling it a quilt.
Consequently we have put new techniques on our website to train beginners (and quilters who are stuck in a rut) so that they can take pride in their work.
Again there are two photos here. One from a lady who "friended" me on Facebook and one from her friend. It is obvious to me that the quilts are paper pieced, but what impresses me the most is that they are so proud of what they have accomplished.
The creativity and craftsmanship that was in this country from our forefathers (and mothers) left and went overseas, which makes me ill. Quilting has even gone there with the cheaply made quilts that can be purchased in most department store chains for a very minimal price, and then fall apart after 2 washings. The materials are bargain basement as is the workmanship.
Our fast paced country has brought about the beginning of a lost art, and it makes me very sad. For those who post: "I can't do that", or "It's too hard", take a look at these photos. I don't understand "I can't do that" if you haven't tried and practiced a little.
These quilters had to learn somewhere, and they obviously practiced because they had a passion for learning and doing it right. To them, I salute you for having patience, and the desire to make something beautiful....and to all of my fans on my Facebook Fan page....You can do what you set your mind to do. You just need a "kick start!" It's not a contest of how many quilts you can churn out in a years time. It's looking at what you have done and being able to say: "I am so proud of myself. Look at what I did!"
The brown quilt is Carol Moeller's "Stanza Della Signatura" which was selected as a finalist in the 2010 International Quilting Assn. Houston Festival annual judged show, and the glorious red on the black background is from her friend, Michelle who took 4th place at the Iowa State Fair.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Oops! Missed yesterday completely! One last pattern to finish and they are all online!! Tonight maybe I will get back to my book; then next up is Susan's gorgeous log cabin Christmas Collection.
I do love looking at my fans work when someone "Friends" me on Facebook. I am getting all of these "Friend" requests from all over the world, and I wonder how these people have heard about me. I find this Social Network to be very fascinating.
I referred to one of Ruth Wilson's quilts I think on my very first post, and I went back this morning and looked at more of them. We have a beautiful Canadian Geese quilt in our Big Book Of Rotary Cutter quilts and I guess everyone and their sisters have made that one, but I have never seen anything like Ruth's, and I just love it. I don't use many grays in my quilts, but Ruth has found the trick to really make them look spectacular. Here she has combined patchwork (once again) with piecing, and the large open space in the center of the quilt, really makes the subject matter in that space stand out. This is a wonderful use for grays and browns.
I also noticed a table runner made by another "Friend" on Facebook by the name of Bill Locke. When I thumbed through Bill's quilts it immediately caught my eye. It's a bit hard to tell a lot about the fabrics from the photo, but again, I love his mixture of grays and browns. The main thing I liked about this piece was his use of the gold in the center, and it is just the right gold. Not brassy! Just a nice, soft gold which makes the flower in the center even more lovely.
Because I don't pay a lot of attention to what other designers do, I have no idea if this design was from a pattern by another designer, but the way it was executed is really nice. Good job Bill!
Before someone asks the question: "Why don't you look at other designers work?" I will answer it. Okay, I featured Melissa Grant the other day because I think her work is different and unique, as I do with Robyn Coots who is a fabulous appliqué designer in Australia. Those two really caught my eye, but I don't make it a general rule to look at other people's books, patterns, etc. No, I'm anything but a snob, but the answer to the question is that I do not like to be influenced by someone else's work. This way, I always have my own approach and I stick with it.
Enjoy your day everyone!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

This post was something I found very inspirational this morning. I first saw Heron Dance on Facebook and joined their Newsletter. Many times when the Newsletter appears, it is just the inspiration that I need to help me at that particular time. The Newsletters always contain the creator's paintings. It helped this morning. Lately I find myself getting up every morning with memories of my home haunting me, and this was one of those mornings.
This was written by a writer by the name of Frazier Hunt and was in Redbook magazine about Helen Keller. I am including a screen shot of the painting.

One July afternoon at our ranch in the Canadian Rockies I rode toward Helen Keller’s cabin. Along the wagon trail that ran through a lovely wood we had stretched a wire, to guide Helen when she walked there alone, and as I turned down the trail I saw her coming.
I sat motionless while this woman who was doomed to live forever in a black and silent prison made her way briskly down the path, her face radiant. She stepped out of the woods into a sunlit open space directly in front of me and stopped by a clump of wolf willows. Gathering a handful, she breathed their strange fragrance: her sightless eyes looked up squarely into the sun, and her lips, so magically trained, pronounced the single word “Beautiful!” Then, still smiling, she walked past me.
I brushed the tears from my own inadequate eyes. For to me none of this exquisite highland had seemed beautiful. I had felt only bitter discouragement over the rejection of a piece of writing. I had eyes to see all the wonders of woods, sky and mountains, ears to hear the rushing stream and the song of the wind in the treetops. It took the sightless eyes and sealed ears of this extraordinary woman to show me beauty, and bravery.
- Frazier Hunt, from Redbook magazine

I am fortunate enough to have people from all over the world send me photos of the work they have created from my designs, or the designs from my team. This one is my design - done a long time ago. I created it when flannel was really "hot stuff" and my best friend owned the quilt shop in Durango, where we lived. This was sent to me this morning from Brenda Maloney from Clew Bay (Westport Quays), Ireland. I Googled Clews Bay as I am always so interested in where everyone lives. I am including two photos of the area. It is magnificent. The quilt was a Block-Of-The-Month called Flannel Flora, and is in the Store on Pam's Club...and NO, you don't HAVE TO make it out of flannel. Any cotton fabric will do. It would actually be a great use of your Stash!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Good Morning! As I mentioned before, when folks "Friend" me on Facebook, I realize that 99% of the time they are quilters, and 1% of the time, they are other designers. I believe these networked BLOGS are to help each other out. I noticed this ladies work probably about 2-3 months ago. So much goes on in my life that unless I write it down, I forget dates, but I do remember that her work really impressed me. Her name is Melissa Grant, and she is from Victoria, Australia, where we have a lot of fans. Love the people from OZ!!
There are several things that struck me about Melissa's work. I has a very distinctive look which makes it her "own look". That kind of self expression always makes me look twice. I do not
like going through a show and seeing one booth after another that are "Clones" of each other. This is NOT one of those. If you are on Facebook, search for her at
OneDayInMay.MelissaGrant. She makes very spectacular fabric flowers as well. This one is really worth a look. I'm including some screen shots I took of her work. Take note of the gathered borders - especially on the table runner. The fabric boxes also struck me as they have a "Scrappy", yet elegant look and her suggested use is for your Stash Fabrics! It gives it an entirely different look. Good Luck Melissa! I love your work!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Pablo's Mom's Roast Pork and Puerto Rican Rice.

This is Pam's Son Dallas again. One of my very best friends is a great operatic tenor named Pablo Veguilla. Right now he is singing with the Paris opera, and is really loving France. He is of Puerto Rican descent, and comes from a very rich culinary heritage. Pablo's Mom is one of the sweetest human beings walking the planet right now, and I wish that everyone on the face of the earth could meet her and taste her cooking at least once in their lives. They would be the better for it. Pablo was my roommate for many years in Philadelphia, best man in my wedding, and we went to Florida State together. His Mom would make occasional appearances in our home and always make her roast pork. It was a must, and I'm sorry to say that no matter how many times I've made it, I never have quite gotten it right. It never tastes the same. I have a feeling that there is some kind of magic weed she sneaks in with the oregano. Or perhaps, and it probably is this, it's just the love. It always tastes better when someone you love, and someone who loves you makes it. So, in honor of Mrs. Veguilla, here is this recipe.

1 5 Lb pork picnic roast or Boston Butt
1/8 cup Dried Mexican Oregano
1 whole pod of garlic crushed and finely minced
5 Tbsp Spanish Olive Oil
several turns of black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
2 sweet Spanish yellow onions sliced
1 cup chicken stock

In a small bowl combine the oregano, salt, pepper, garlic and olive oil. Make a paste out of it. Take your roast, and with a parring knife, stab several holes into the roast all over. Using your finger, push the paste into the holes all over the roast. Probably about 25 puncture wounds will do. Put the roast, onions, and chicken stock into a large dutch oven. Place in a 325 degree oven and cook for 3 hours or until the meat reaches an interior temperature of 165 degrees. When Roast is done, remove it from the oven. It should fall apart. Serve with yellow rice, or on hoagie rolls dipped in the juice. Enjoy!

****Gandules or pigeon peas, and sazon seasoning can be found in the Mexican section of your local mega mart as well as your local Mexican grocery store.

Puerto Rican Rice

1/2 lb salt pork cubed, or if pre sliced cut into strips
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion
4 cloves of garlic
1/8 cup finely chopped cilantro stems
****1 can Gandules (pigeon peas)
1 1/2 cup rice
3 cups chicken stock
2 packages sazon seasoning
1/2 cup cilantro leaves chopped

In a 2 quart pot, bring water to a simmer. Add the cubed salt pork and blanch for 2 minutes to remove much of the salt. Remove from water and blot dry with a towel. Discard the water. In a large pot add the olive oil and bring up to medium high heat. Add the salt pork and brown. Remove the pork from the heat. If there is a lot of grease left over drain all away except for a couple of Tbsps. Add the onions and garlic and saute until translucent. Add the chopped cilantro stems and pigeon peas, and finally the rice. Continue to stir for another minute and then finally add the chicken stock. Add the sazon and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and cover for 20 minutes. Stir in the cilantro leaves just prior to serving and top with the crispy salt pork.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Good Morning! It's noon here, so I guess Good Afternoon is better!
I'm about to throw everyone a curve, but this is about me - right? So when you get into that subject it becomes complicated because there are quite a few things that help me to be creative, and the main thing is the beauty that moves me. 26 years ago, I had a very profound experience. We vacationed in Durango, Colorado where my ancestors (great grandparents - on) were from. I had heard about it growing up, and in the 50's I was enchanted by the Westerns on TV, such as Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, etc.
So to make a long story short, I am writing a book.

What I am posting is not the first part of the book.

It is what I call a "sketch" that I sat down and wrote one night at midnight describing what happened to me when I first saw it. I have about 22 pages of the first part started, but this is the part I wish to share. It's going to probably take me about 2 years to finish it, and the story will revolve around my family from 1886 to present in Durango, Colorado. The story will have a lot of Durango history, so I have a ton of research to do....gaps to fill, etc. I know a lot, but need to go home and meet with the town historian to fill in the gaps.
I don't know how many people out there have had actual "MIRACLES" happen to them, but if you have, I'd sure like to hear about them. This is where you can let your hair down because that's what I'm doing now. Miracles are not always recognized as such when they happen. Sometimes it takes years to step back and understand what happened to you. This is where my heart is and always will be. When describing this to a friend the other night, I said: "I am Colorado".
It's a switch, but I hope you all like it!
Although I had felt it in my heart for all of those years, it had been set aside as an unconscious part of what constitutes a human beings make-up. Unthought-of as life went along with the daily attempt to struggle and survive with two young children to raise and a family to support. It never occurred to me that not many people experienced what was about to happen to me.
Being placed within it went to the depths of my soul as though I had just been born and brought into a world filled with beauty beyond my wildest imagination. It immediately became a vital part of my life force and individuality, touching every part of all of my senses. A passion for living rose within me that I had never experienced before. The sky was bluer. So blue that I looked up at it in wonder, expecting it to fade. The scent of the pines, like a sensual perfume, drew me into it with every breath that I took, and as I walked a path in the magnificent forest, I inhaled deeply, believing that my soul would remember it forever. Food had a new flavor, and the silence brought a sense of peace beyond comprehension. The roaring sound of white water was the exemplification of the most primitive excitement I had ever felt and everything else, before this time paled in comparison. The majesty of the mountains was everywhere, rugged, with colors imbedded into them that were harmonious on any palette. The rich iron ore stood out, its intense rusty orange spilling down the sides of peaks unveiling the stories of a mining history, long since past. A brief rain shower brought a double rainbow afterward, and I recalled a painting I had seen as a child in one of my books that had looked the same. It was a fantasy then, but now a reality, and the sight brought a rush of emotion as I reached for a handkerchief to dry the tears that spilled from my eyes as the shower had done before the rainbow.
The wildlife that I encountered on that first visit held me spellbound as even the birds looked totally unique. Red Tailed Hawks circled above, and the timid Stellar Jays with their tufts, and touches of white among cobalt and navy feathers flew from branch to branch in the Ponderosa pines. Even the smallest of creatures intrigued me. The tiny chipmunks and squirrels that lived in the trees, rather than in the ground with long fluffy hair extending from their small ears, and tails than enveloped them when they wished not to be disturbed. It was a land of enchantment that could not be completely captured on film or canvas. I had been placed inside of a magnificent postcard that was embossed with peace and beauty.
I never really knew who I was until that summer of 1984, but I knew now, and I became one with every particle that I could behold or feel. With this revelation I knew that I was one with all of it. I became my environment, and a sense of freedom overwhelmed me. I had never really been free before, and I was setting myself free with whatever enveloped me. As an artist, the palette of colors before me in every direction gave me a new sense of creativity, and I wanted to capture it artistically. The need to lock it in my mind forever created a fervor within me. Money no longer mattered, nor did I question how I would manage to spend the rest of my life in this land that had been a part of me, hidden for so long, unseen until now. Nothing else mattered except being in the place where I knew that I belonged. This was where I had to spend the rest of my life, and this was where I knew that I had to be when I left the earthly part of my journey behind me.
It held secrets that were behind a hidden door that would unfold as I stepped into this new world, and whatever came my way I was ready to accept it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

When my son, Dallas encouraged me to start a BLOG, he expressed the fact to me that I could just be myself and write what I wanted (within reason, of course). I have an assistant designer. Her name is Susan Clark. Susan is not only my assistant, but a very close, dear friend and one of the kindest and most talented people I have ever known.
For at least 8 months, Susan and I have studied every way possible to make both Flying Geese and Triangle-Squares, and with many of them we have said the same thing: "WHY go to all of this trouble?" So we have let it rest all of this time.
Susan and I have been separated now for a year and a half by 1,600 miles, but it does not keep us from communicating all of the time. With some of the methods there are size limitations, which we felt was not very helpful, and could get expensive.
Last month, Susan joined me at the Tennessee Valley Quilters Assn. to teach for 3 days. Susan had come up with a fabulous way to make a Bear Paw block without Triangle-Squares and we decided to test it on 7 ladies that were in a class. They loved it and even wanted to demonstrate it at their guild. Susan was prompted to do this because of one lady who was a BEGINNING QUILTER.
Susan helps out part time at a store in Pagosa Spring, CO. called "Eagle Mountain Mercantile". Now this store sells everything from hardware to guns and ammo to quilting supplies and according to Susan, some really nice fabric! One day, late in the afternoon a lady came in and was very distressed (as Susan put it). She was a BEGINNER and just had to have a "Squaring Up Ruler". Susan asked her what it was for and she said "For making Flying Geese. I was told it's the only way, and I must have over 100 of them done!" Susan, being the way that she is helped the lady with the ruler.
When Susan and I met in Tennessee, we decided it was time to try to give quilters a choice - especially beginners. So we have created a series of videos which are now on Pam's Club with pdf patterns with the videos. The video is right here on my blog. Third one down. If you learn from this, please spread the word. The video is also on the Welcome page of my Facebook Fan page and the home page of Pam's Club. ENJOY!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

This morning Ruth Wilson "Friended" me on my Facebook page and suggested that I look at the photos of her quilts, which I did. There was one that really struck me as special and I hope it's okay with Ruth that I share this with you. I would feel "Loved" and comfortable and at home under this quilt. If I were a friend, walking into the bedroom where it is placed I would immediately feel at home in that room. The blocks that frame the appliqué are perfect, and color choices don't get much better than this. The color placement is dramatic and enhances the appliqué designs, and yet it certainly does not "scream" at you. I'm not one who is into the "Civil War" look, which is not to say that I am not interested in that period, I just do not like the colors. I personally find them depressing. This one says "Hey Pam.....come over here and lay on me and give me a HUG!" Great job Ruth!

Meet Pam.

My son, Dallas has told me that the BLOG is about me, my interests, what influences me, and what I am doing. I think its also important to use this space to feature others whom I feel are especially talented and point out my reasons why I feel they are. Some of that particular content could pertain to a design style, colors - anything that I feel strongly about regarding a design.

You can expect about anything from me; from quilts to English Bulldogs, to my grandchildren, our son, and to the book I am beginning to write about Durango, Colorado, where my true home and heart is and the history of my family, dating back to 1886. I'm always busy, with 100 things going through my head all at once, so self discipline to stay on task is a must in my life.

We moved to Georgia about a year and a half ago with "The Boys", our two English Bulldogs. I am adding a photo of the two of them in Colorado, helping us to pack the car with all of the orders to fill. This is the "famous" photo of "The Boys" as everyone tagged them. It got to the point where our fans expected something from them in every Newsletter, and they did get it!! We lost our white one last October 2nd. He was "The Earl of Brumley", and it was difficult, but I'm going to let the "Incredible Hulk" greet you this first time around.

I am Pam's son Dallas, and I would like to talk to you about some soft, poofy, sweet, rich, decadent pillows of love. Sue's cinnamon rolls. This recipe comes to you as a continual labor of love from Sue Grey, and myself. It started out as a very difficult recipe with great results, and now is much easier with the same results. It does take time, patience, and a heavy electric mixer like a Kitchen Aid, but the pay offs are wonderful. These kick Cinnabon in the putooty.


2 teaspoons active dry yeast (most of 1 envelope)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
6 to 7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons corn syrup
1 heaping cup pecan pieces, toasted in a dry skillet
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Begin to prepare the rolls, first sprinkling the yeast over 1/2 cup lukewarm water.
In a heavy-duty electric mixer with a dough hook on medium speed, cream together the 2 sticks butter and 2/3 cup sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is light and fluffy.

Beat in the yeast mixture, milk, salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, eggs, and 5 1/2 cups of the flour. Beat for several minutes, adding flour 1/4 cup at a time until a cohesive but very sticky dough forms. Beat in no more flour than necessary to avoid hopeless stickiness. Beat for 5 minutes longer, until the dough becomes smooth and satiny and only a bit tacky. Pat the dough into a fat disk, transfer it to an oiled bowl, and turn to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl and set it aside in a warm, draft-free spot until the dough doubles in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (I have found that if you put the dough covered in the fridge for about 8 hours, and let it rise there, it is much easier to roll out.)

Begin the filling and topping. You will need 2 baking pans for the rolls, one a 9 x 12- or 13-inch size and the other an 8- or 9-inch square. Or I use three deep nine inch cake pans. Combine the granulated and brown sugars and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Melt the 4 sticks butter in a small saucepan with the corn syrup. Combine the sugar cinnamon mixture with the butter mixture. Take 1/4 cup of the butter and sugar mixture and spread it out on the bottom of the small pan. Put 1/3 cup of the mixture on the bottom of the larger pan and set aside. Refrigerate the remaining butter, cinnamon, and sugar mixture for 20 minutes until it re-solidifies into a spreadable mixture the consistency of soft frosting.

Punch the dough down and roll it out into a 12 x 18-inch rectangle. Turn the edges up just the tiniest bit, to keep the butter you will be topping the dough with from running off. Spread the cinnamon butter, sugar mixture on the top. Sprinkle with the pecans. Roll up the dough from one of the rectangle's longer sides, snugly but not too tightly. Cut the dough with a sharp knife into 1 dozen slices. Arrange the slices, one of the cut sides up, in the 2 pans, placing 7 or 8 of them in the large pan and 4 or 5 in the small pan. Cover the pans loosely and let the dough rise until doubled again, about 1 hour longer. (Alternatively, the rolls can be placed in the refrigerator to rise much more slowly overnight, for 8 to 10 hours. Let the rolls sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before baking.)

Near the end of the dough's rising time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, until puffy and golden brown. I cook them with an over proof thermometer inside and remove them at 185 degrees. Let them sit in the pans on a baking rack for 5 to 10 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edges of both pans and invert the rolls onto one or more baking sheets. If any of the gooey topping remains stuck in the pans, scrape it out and plop it onto the rolls.

Prepare the glaze, mixing the ingredients with 1 tablespoon warm water. Add up to 1 tablespoon more water if the mixture is too thick to drop easily from a spoon. Drizzle the glaze over the warm rolls and serve. MAKES 1 DOZEN LARGE ROLLS.