Friday, December 25, 2009

A Gift for a Little Girl

As a last minute thought, I decided to make a little bag for a friend's daughter. I used upholstery weight fabric, so I didn't use interfacing. The bag isn't very stiff, but it holds it's shape pretty well. I hope it is used to gather lots of little treasures!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Sew Mama Sew has challenged their readers to make 5 reusable shopping bags by Dec. 22. I don't know if I will be able to make that many with the other projects I have going on, but I have made two.
Back when I began sewing, just over a year ago, I bought a bunch of fabric from thrift stores in upholstry weight fabrics. I haven't used much of it, so this is a great opportunity to use some of it. The fabric for the two bags I made are from an old sheet, but the weight is heavier than normal sewing/quilting fabric. I used the tutorial on the morsbag website. I did modify it a little. The bag they show you how to make is just sewing two pieces of fabric together along three sides. This leaves a line along the bottom and makes for packing the reusable bag more difficult. I squared off the corners to make a "flat" bottom that will hold cans or boxes without pulling on the sides of the bag or distorting the shape of the bag. I am really proud of these bags!
Sorry, but I only have a picture of one of the bags. The other is the same fabric but with the strips running vertically.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Ornaments

Last Christmas, I made some ornaments by covering styrofoam balls with Christmas fabric. It worked well and looked good. This year I decided to make some marblized glass balls. I think I ended up putting to much paint into the balls because they took several days to dry and they have little puddles of paint in the bottom, but some still look nice. I made 24, but I am only going to put 12 on my tree. The other 12 I am going to save to paper mache next year. The problem with them is that the paint did not adhere to the inside properly. This means that they are streaked and look odd to me. I will use them for another project next year, so all is not wasted!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Working on a Tree Skirt

These are three blocks for the "back" of my reversible tree skirt. I decided the back would use all the same fabric. The recommendation of the tutorial by TallGrassPrairie was to use scraps from the front. She made improv Log Cabins, so I made improv Log Cabins with this bell fabric and made sure to keep the direction print all pointing the same direction. (That is a first for me!)


Thursday, December 17, 2009

A King Size (partial) Finish!

I finished the King Size Quilt top and back! I don't love it the way I thought I would, but I still have to follow through and be happy with the fact that I made it all by myself. I have looked into having it quilted for me, but I am not sure that I want to pay someone to do it for me. The only problem is that I am not sure that the quilt will fit into my sewing machine! Oh well, I look forward to having it completely finished.

This is the quilt back. I used the remnants of the fabrics used on the from and added the brown to darken the overall colors of the back.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Another Giveaway, but not Mine

I know that this makes two posts in a row that are not about what I have done or what I am doing, but bear with me. You have a chance to win a twin size quilt! Head over to Marie-Madeline studio for a chance to win.
Well, I couldn't post a picture, but they have a great twin size quilt with using scraps from Anna Marie Horner (one of my favorite designers and bloggers).
Go check it out. And on Wednesday is Giveaway day at Sew Mama Sew, so check that out too.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Flea Market Fancy Freaks

There are some really crazy people who are gag-gag over this fabric! I must admit that I really like it, though I never got in on the first selling of it. I hope they reissue it as I would love to turn some of the flea market fancy fabric into a quilt. Over at Flea Market Fancy Freaks, they are giving away some of this fabric. Go check it out!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Braided Bread

I often make stromboli for a Lord's day evening meeting that allows for much fellowship that our church does once a month. This week I tried something different. The recipe is a Ham and Cheese Braid. I didn't have ham or swiss cheese, so I modified the recipe quite a bit. I used Roast Beef lunch meat, cheddar cheese, and diced onions instead of the filling called for in the recipe. The dough is interesting because it has dijon mustard baked into it. As you can tell, it looks so yummy, and it tastes great too!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More Wonky Stars

I am coming along in getting my stars in line. I have 3 more big stars (for a total of 4) and 3 small stars. A layout that I have come up with calls for 21 big stars and 25 little stars. To make roughly a square quilt. I am not sure if I will stick to that or expand it out to make it bigger. For now I have a goal and I am having fun. The vintage sheets are fun to work with. I love the added thought that the quilt will have a history even when it is newly finished.

This and the next 2 stars are 12 inches square:

The next three are 4.5 inches square. They were hard to make than the big ones, but they are really cute!

This is the layout I am thinking about making. This pattern will repeat itself with little stars in the corners of the big stars.

(click on the pictures to see them larger!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Amazingly Moist Choclate Cake

In my quest to find a really moist cake, I came across this recipe for a Holy Cow Cake. I figured there was really no way it couldn't be moist as you pour liquid over it after it is finished baking! In the end, it makes an incredibly delicious cake that isn't too rich, but is amazingly moist.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Avalyn wanted to make owl cookies, so in the middle of our once a month cooking, we made owl cookies. The recipe uses refrigerator sugar cookie dough. These were cute and fun. The girls love them!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Once A Month Cooking

In response to a friend's questions on facebook, I thought I would write at least a little bit about how I do once a month cooking. I started by checking out Once a Month Cooking from the library. I tried their two week plan and thought it worked well for me and my family and gave me more time to do other things around the house, like sewing. Since then I have been doing it on a semi regular basis. I make a ton of meals at one time and use them of the course of the next month to month and a half. (We don't always pull food from our freezer some times we go out, or buy pizza or something like that.)
This month there are 21 different meals. 14 were prepared ahead of time, most of those (8) were doubled, and 1 was tripled. That leaves 8 to be made the day of use. I freeze most of the meals in the large ziploc style plastic containers that are about 6 in deep and 8 in long and 4 in wide. I bought these over the course of several months and just used freezer bags in the mean time. I do use some disposable aluminum casserole pans for some casseroles that need to be assembled ahead of time.
We have a stand up freezer that we use. I know all these containers would not fit into our regular freezer. With the ziploc bags, they stack quite a bit flater, so they would fit more easily into a normal freezer.
The menus change based on what I want to cook and what I know freezes well.
This month's menu is:
(Prepared ahead of time):

2 Colby Beef Lasagnas - I fry the bacon before I do anything. I assemble the whole thing then freeze it. When I want it, I thaw it, then bake according to the direction. (The key is thaw at least over night!)

2 Tailgater Chilis - I let this simmer for a couple of hours then let it cool and freeze. Just thaw and reheat.

1 Hashbrown Pizza - This recipe is not the best, it has some interesting potential, but I haven't found it yet!

3 Bacon Chicken and Dumplings - I add carrots and celery to this recipe and make through adding the crumbled bacon. Then I freeze it.

1 Lentil One Pot Casserole - I have never tried this one before, but I want to incorporate more of this kind of meal.

Autumn stew - this has stew meat, potatoes, carrots, celery, and a little bacon.

2 Honey Mustard Chickens - A friend made this for us and topped it with bacon and cheddar cheese! I usually cook the bacon ahead of time and freeze it in a separate bag, then just thaw cook and serve.

2 Emeril's Beef Stroganoff - This meal is great! It takes some time, but is well worth the results. Once it is put into the casserole dish, it freezes well. Just thaw and cook like the recipe says.

2 Honey Mustard Mini Meatloaves - I make the meatloaves, and freeze them uncooked with the sauce in a separate container. I thaw and cook as the recipe says. I don't make the potatoes, only because I haven't tried freezing those before.

2 Cranberry Chickens - I make this minus the ranch dressing. (The version I have didn't call for that.) The combination didn't sound good to me the first time I made it, but it is REALLY good and the kids love it too!

2 Twelve Boy Currys - This is a great recipe and recommends some fun topping to make it more interesting for the kids (big kids included). I have never really liked curry in the past, but this is now a family favorite.

2 Spaghetti Sauces - This recipe is very good, nothing really out of the ordinary, but good!

1 Pulled Pork (for tacos) - Such an unusual combination (in my mind), but so good! Mix everything together and freeze. When you want to eat it dump it into the crock pot and there you go!

1 Cilantro Beef - Another absolutely amazing meal. Make up through the marinating the meat, then freeze. When ready to eat take out of the freezer and cook in the crock pot. The Pico de Gallo and Citrus Onions are great too, but I don't think they freeze well.

(planned for):

Rice with Pork chops - The version I have calls for a stick of butter, and you top it with pork chops while it is cooking.

Split Pea Soup - I often just mix things together, or buy a mix. Here and here are two recipes that I draw from.

African Peanut Soup - Another unusual combination, but a great soup!

Chicken Tortilla Soup - A recipe where you dump a bunch of stuff into the crock pot and let it go. Good stuff!

2 Aimee's Quick Chicken - Yet another unusual combo, but a good one that everyone here loves.

Chicken Parmesan - This is an old fake it don't make it from real simple magazine (though I couldn't find it with a quick search of their website). It isn't great, but it is different for us and really easy.

Calzones and Pizza - I just use a homemade pizza dough recipe and make either form as I feel the need. I stuff (or top) them with whatever I have on hand. One of the best is just sauce, cheese, and pepperoni.

I hope that helps. THe recipes that don't have links, I can send to you if you want them. I couldn't find these easily available on the web. So the next question (and the one I am currently pondering) is, what's for dinner!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Block Party!

There is a quilt a long starting soon over at Block Party. They are going to be writing a book about the experience of virtual quilting bees, so it should be fun for all. Check it out.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

A little spiky haired monster wants to wish you a Happy Halloween. He is a little sad that it has come so quickly this year (and that he is not going to see the next one).

This little one didn't have enough hair to wear it like his buddy. He found a good solution: the ever popular comb over.

Enjoy the day. I am sure that I will.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Garage Sale Find

Back when I was still in college, I would often go garage saling with my mom and sister. One day, I found two table runners. (I only have pictures of one of them.) They are both linen and hand cross-stitched. Looking around for interesting things to post about, this caught my eye. I am guessing that these are at least 50 years old, but probably older as the lady who sold them to me was old and said that her aunt (or mother or someone closely related to her) had made them. It goes to show that you never know what you are going to find when you are hunting (as we call garage saling and thrifting).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wonky Star

After cutting my vintage sheets and pillowcases, I just had to put together this wonky star. I really want to make a whole quilt like this, but it will have to wait. In the mean time, I can look at this pretty piece!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Giveaway Winners

That is right I said winners. As I started to cut my vintage pillowcases, I decided to see how many and what prints I had in my vintage sheet collection. Much to my surprise (not really), I had way more than I should have! I cut into those too! So I have two prize packages. The first winner will get her pick, and the second will get the other package.
The first package is:

11 vintage sheets cut at 1/2 a yard by the width of the sheets. (I think most of them are twin size, though a couple are a larger.)

The second is:

2 vintage pillowcases and 16 fat eighths cut from the pillowcases I showcased on the giveaway post.

The first winner is 5: Liz B. said...

This is a wonderful collection of vintage linens! I love quilting with them, it's such a nice "green" thing to do! Thanks for the chance at your giveaway, you're very generous!

The second winner is 20: katevet said...

Great fabric! would love to use them to make baby clothes for my little one!

I will send you an email so that I can get your address and your choice Liz. I can not get your contact info katevet, so email me at notyetvegan(at)yahoo(dot)com with your address.

Thanks to all of you who entered my giveaway.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Playing with Pipe cleaners

My kids LOVE pipe cleaners. They are happy just to carry them around, but also love making things with them. We made glasses. Then we attached a mustache. Finally we added a crown, and all were set! Who knew that these little fuzzy things could produce so much fun!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Secret Project

How can I post regularly on sewing projects when all I have been working on is my secret project and my zig zag quilt? I am sorry, but hopefully I will work on something more intetesting soon! Don't forget to enter my giveaway.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thoughts on Charitable Giving

Thinking about posts ideas and with some good ideas from Cath at ChunkyChooky, I wanted to mention a charity that I am personally attached to. The charity is called Unique. They do research on rare chromosomal disorders, keep a database of people with disorders (to help provide info to them), and many other things. The organization is located in Great Britian and has been useful to my family. Our second daughter has a rare chromosomal disorder that is providentially mild. It took over a year to diagnose (not a long time considering, how long others have had to wait for answers), and the results were unusual. She has a disorder that only 2 other people in the world have (based on what we have been told). It has been interesting, frustrating, and very rewarding.
What is your favorite charity?
(And don't forget to check out my giveaway.)

Saturday, October 24, 2009


We love to play outside! Today not much sewing has gotten done, but my kids and I enjoyed some time outside.
Don't forget to check out my giveaway.
Have a great Saturday!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Feeling Like Fall

I love this feeling of fall. Here it has been much colder than normal the last several days, but it is starting to get to a good temperature for playing outside again. These apples along with the smell of cider, really brings home the fact that it is late October. What reminds you of fall?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

One More Example

I am really having fun making these blocks. This is the one that I converted from a 6.5 x 12.5 to a 6.5 x 18.5. I like the diagonal pink in it! I am not so sure about the tiny strip on the right, but overall I am happy with the block.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Giveaway Time!!!

*The Giveaway is now closed*

I am so excited to be able to host a giveaway! I have wondered what others would like and what I could offer. I finally settled on some fat quarters or fat eighths of vintage pillowcases coming to a least a total of 1 yard, but probably more.
Here is a preview of what I have and will cut for the winner (click on the pictures to get a bigger, closer look at the pillowcases).




To enter, leave a comment letting me know what you would like to do with the vintage fabric. Post about my giveaway on your blog, and I'll give you an extra chance. Just leave a second comment with a link to your blog entry. That is it. I'll use a random number generator to find a winner next Wednesday (Oct. 28th).

Just for those of you who love vintage sheets and pillowcases, this is a picture of my favorite one.


A great Crockpot recipe! Just thought I would share since it is crocktober.

Pulled Pork Tacos

2 cups Salsa
2 Tbs Chili Powder
2Tbs dried Oregano
2 Tbs unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tsp salt
1 2.5 lb Boneless Pork Butt or shoulder (or pork loin), trimmed of excess fat
Corn or Flour Tortillas
Cilantro Sprigs
Sour Cream
Lime wedges

Combine Salsa, chili powder, oregano, cocoa, and 1 tsp salt in a slow cooker. Add the pork and turn to coat. Cook covered until meat is tender and pulls apart easily, about 4-5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. Shred pork and stir into cooking liquid. Serve on warm tortillas, with cilantro, sour cream, and lime.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

More Sample Blocks

I had so much fun with the first couple of blocks that I made, that I made a couple of more. The first one is a 6.5 x 6.5 inches and the second is 6.5 x 12.5 inches. I didn't really like the second one as much as some of the others, so I decided to make it into an 18.5 x 6.5 inch block. (I don't have a picture of this new one yet.)

This one resembled a chair to me, maybe that is why I wanted to change it!

This one was in my mind during the making of the first several blocks. I had to put it together.

Monday, October 19, 2009

November Sample Blocks

I decided to ask those in my Quilting bee to make blocks of multiples of 6 (adding a half inch seam allowance) and made up of strips of various widths. As I didn't have a clear picture of what I wanted, it was hard to decribe to others. I made these three sample blocks on Friday to give some idea of what I was thinking.
This rectangular block was the first I made and I love the triangle in it. That is where I started making this one, the rest kind of happened. It measures 6.5 x 12.5.

Next I wanted to make a 6.5 in square block and just started putting some of the scraps from the previous block together and this was the result.

The last block was a little bit more interesting as I had the idea to incorporate the fan shape. Once I got it fairly square, I cut it to what I thought was the right size (12.5 x 12.5). I looked at it in respect to the rectangle and realized something was wrong. I had cut it to 9.5 x 9.5. That is was necessitated the strips on the left and top of the block. This block reminds me of a sunset for some reason. I guess the rays fanning out through the clouds. Any way, I am fairly happy with the results of this one.

Here all three are laid out together. I hope to make at least one more 6.5 x 6.5 inch block. These were really fun and almost completely improvisationally done.