Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Quilt and Cookies

Have you seen Hazel's new quilt? I think it's a lovely way to commemorate her Grandmother. I was mentioning to her that I made a similar quilt a few years back, though not as sweetly sentimental.

Nigel has always bought beautiful shirts to wear to work and when they would begin to wear out I couldn't bear to throw them out. So, I saved a few and then made a quilt.

The idea came from a Kaffe Fassett book called Glorious Patchwork. He calls it a "Bricks Quilt", though I've seen it in older books referred to as "The Canadian Soldiers Quilt". The story goes that wounded Canadian soldiers would work on quilts as therapy. If I remember the story correctly, the quilts were made out of discarded woolen uniforms. I had a quick search on the web, but couldn't find a reference to the tale, but, well, I read it somewhere at sometime.

Now, Nigel's shirts are hardly made of military grade wool, in fact, the cotton is very fine, and after many wears and washes, it becomes almost delicate. Not really the best choice for a quilt, and as a result I've had to patch it many times. Some of the rectangles go the same direction as the originals, and some the opposite.

It continues to disintegrate, and I had to artfully photograph around all the worn bits. It's a good thing I've got tons more shirts to cut up and use. It's also a good thing that Nigel consistently buys blue and white. There isn't any lurid canary yellow to have to contend with.

It was our turn for treat day at the office this week, so I made Linzer cookies. Now, for purists, Linzer cookies always contain almond extract or ground almonds, but I cheat a little in case there are allergies.

I make a basic shortbread dough (though this one is a little sweet and has a teaspoon of vanilla extract), you could also use sugar cookie dough.

Roll and cut the dough into hearts or circles, half plain and half cut with a small heart out of the centre.. Normally I use a little heart cutter, and then a smaller one for the centre of the tops, but I thought I'd do things differently this time and I used a fluted circle (this was a minor disaster, as the cookies were bigger than usual and I had to make more cookies to have enough for treat day). After they've been baked and cooled, spread the bottom halves (the solid ones) with seedless raspberry jam (or whatever seedless fruit spread you like), and dust the top halves with icing sugar, then sandwich them together.

Why, it's almost easy-peasy, except for all the effort.

The other cookies (the one's I made so that everyone could have a cookie) are super easy-peasy, no-bake, fantastics. Just take two ready made meringue cookies (I used Miss Meringue plain vanilla) dip the bottoms of each half in melted chocolate, a good one (I used Bernard Callebaut semi-sweet baking chips), stick them together, chill a bit in the fridge, et voila. And, even better, I made a batch in under fifteen minutes. Low-fat, wonderful, quick and impressive looking little cookies.

I suppose I should mention the idea came from the December issue of Weight Watchers magazine. I didn't actually read the recipe, I just looked at the picture and guessed, still though, I suppose they deserve the credit.


hazeljoy said...

that's beautiful! such lovely colours. ooh it's making me wanna make another 1, this could be trouble! xx

Jane said...

I love the Quilt of Nigel's shirts. It's a work of art. The cookies look delicious and beautiful. Nigel's office must love when it's his turn to bring the treats.

Jane said...

Another thing you could do with Nigel's old shirts is make them into handkerchiefs. Lawyer Hankies - he could hand them out to his clients with the bill!

Jane said...

It would be an exchange of the 'shirts off their backs'.

Jane said...

I would like to order a dozen lawyer handkerchiefs. I have way more ideas for this - fundraising, packaging, etc.

shillelagh said...

Anne, you never cease to amaze me.

The Nigel quilt is beautiful... and I'm hoping for a cookie sample next time we meet for knitting ;>)


vanessa said...

what a wonderful way to recycle shirts! I'm not a quilter, but I can appreciate how fabulous your quilt is.
Perfectly alluring biscuits too!