Ps 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Batik Beauties

I have been working on my batiks that I bought while on my retreat. I love these fabrics. To think that they are hand dyed amazes me. Seems like so much work. I have sewn different sets of 4 strips together and now I am cutting them into 8 1/2 inch squares. I am not sure if I will do strips, squares or triangles for the quilt. I am making headway though! Progress is good.

Sorbetto Tank Top Pattern from Colette

The free pattern from Day 24 of Grosgrain's cool month of free patterns is a keeper. The Sorbetto blouse is super easy to print and assemble. Super easy to cut out-(2 whole pieces). Super easy to sew together. This is the third Colette pattern I have made and they all just work! They know what they are doing. I chose this cute print that I think is an Amy Butler for the shirt and used cream bias tape. I switched things a little. I used the bias tape at the neck and hem and not at the armholes. The top picture is Sarai of Colette patterns in one of her versions. The only problem I had was my machine. FROWN! It is not keeping consistent stitch length for some reason. I put a new bobbin in, a new needle in and even tried to adjust the tension manually, but none of it has worked. My hubby says it probably needs to be serviced because it has already been used so many hours. I feel like it should last longer than 5 or 6 months before needing servicing. Maybe not. I will have to figure it out because it is putting a kink in my sewing plans.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Baby Quilt Finished and A few YoYo's to boot

I finally switched everybody's sheets from flannel to cotton yesterday. It usually happens a little sooner, but the weather has been weird here. I washed and dried my baby quilt yesterday after finishing the satin binding. I figured if it all stayed together that it would be alright to give it away. I sat with my family last night talking about college and vacation and ended up making quite a few yoyos. Not sure what I am going to do with them yet. I have also been cutting strips of scraps to make a Gracie Jane Quilt. I have MANY scraps that I would like to use up. This looks fairly simple. I might also make one of these belts. I also cut out a bathing suit top last night. I have never tried to sew swimsuit material but it does roll alot even when cutting. I have to get some tricot lining material before I can start it. It was a remnant piece, so it was cheap. That is the best way to practice I think. We have a graduation open house and a wedding to attend this weekend, so I doubt I will get much sewing in. Our air conditioner isn't working even though the repair man was here yesterday. He will be here again today. Thankfully it isn't hot, but it makes the house feel damp since it is so wet outside. I am rambling now so that means it is time to end this post. Have a lovely productive day!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The bridesmaid and the baby

I finally finished altering a friend's bridesmaid dress today. I had to take in the hips, shorten the straps and cut off the bottom and make a new hem. I just have to say that I love my serger!!! It just tackles every kind of material with ease. I serged the cut bottom and then did a simple machine hem. I also serged the slip and didn't have to hem it. This was the first time I have worked with this type of satin. It was not too bad. The scariest part was cutting into the dress. I then took a bit of a sewing break and weeded my blackberry and blueberry patch. It was horrible due to all of the rain. It looks much better and I have quite a few blueberries and several blackberries as well. They aren't ripe yet, but they look so good. I then proceeded to quilt the baby quilt for my sis-in-law. I did a simple grid (stitch in the ditch) on it,but it was still a little difficult due to the different fabrics in the quilt. It is a mixture of cottons, flannels, fleece, butter suede and chenille.I used the walking foot on my old Kenmore. I don't have a walking foot for my new machine yet. So I have finished that part and now I will add the baby blue satin binding later this week. I cleaned my fridge today which also makes me feel better! A little laundry and cooking rounded out a pretty productive day. I love having those every once in a while!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lemon Meringue Pie & a cheesecake too!

Well I have made my gingersnap lemon cheesecake. Wow was it a lot of work and even more dishes! My other cheesecakes are fairly simple and make for easy clean up. This one had bowls, pots and spoons all over the place, not to mention my food processor twice. It was a long process, so I will definitely be trying it tomorrow to see if it was worth all the work. After I finished that, I decided to make a lemon meringue that I recently got a recipe for from Parrett's pastries. I think it was in the Kentucky Living magazine. It was much easier than the cheesecake and I spread my meringue out past the edge of the crust, so it didn't shrink back. Looks pretty good so far. Will hopefully get a few pictures and definitely tastes tomorrow. If they are good, I will share the recipes.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Berry Bliss Batiks by Hoffman

I was just talking to a friend of mine the other day about some beautiful batik fabrics I bought while on my retreat. This is a Bali Pop from Hoffman Fabrics. It is basically the same thing as a jelly roll. I have sewn my strips together in rows of 4. I graduated the colors from dark to light and then cut them in 8 1/2 squares. I am not quite finished yet, but once I have them all sewn and cut I will decide how I will put them together. Quiltjane at put together a beautiful (picture above)one out of the Spumoni bali pop. Mine is Berry Bliss. My mom bought the same one. I wonder what she will do. Batiks are just beautiful hand-dyed fabrics and I am looking forward to putting mine together.

Another vintage goody from Cincinnati trip

I love this Holly Hill by Levin & Co polyester polka dot shirt that I found in a cute consignment store in Ohio last month. The consignment had several special sections just for "vintage" goods. This shirt was fairly cheap, but I discovered it needed some work. I wore it to church once and realized I spent most of the day looking like a stegosauras. The zipper was very bumpy in the back, so I was left with the dinosaur look. I have removed the zipper and plan on just sewing the back up. It has enough stretch as a vneck to not need the zip. It also has some seam issues in a few places that I am repairing. It will end up being a great top, it just needs a little TLC. Don't we all!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Butterick 5613-bubble version

My daughter's friend who did her first year of 4H sewing this year wants a bubble skirt. She picked out really cute polka dot fabric and she cut out, serged and pinned all of the pleats several weeks ago. I have just been busy or gone and finally got around to sewing on it this week. I have sewn all the pleats down and all I really have left is the zipper and gathering the bottom of it to make it bubble. I have had to go on basic knowledge to put this together because the pattern has been misplaced. I don't know why. My sewing stuff is always so organized-Ha! That is another project for the summer. I would love to organize my patterns by date or era and also by size within that era. Ah dreams of all my sewing things in their proper place-swoon! Maybe a sewing room one day. Unitl then I will just keep moving things around and trying to get some sewing done. I think this will be very cute on Katy's friend once it is finished and pressed.

Reserve Champion

As I posted earlier, my youngest daughter and I went to the area Rally Day for her to participate in the Fashion Revue portion of the program. There were many girls there from multiple counties and they were divided by sewing unit. Katy was in "Top it Off" where they must include buttonholes in their project. They lined up and waited for their turn to interview with the judges individually and then finished off with a fashion show. Katy won Reserve Champion again this year-Hooray! The same girl who won last year, won this year. Katy can now wear her jacket whenever and wherever she wants. She is thinking about entering it into the fair this fall. We shall see. Congrats Katy girl!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sewing Stagnation

My goodness! I sewed up a storm while on my retreat and now I feel like I am in S L O W motion. I worked for a while on my Lisette dress today. I managed to get the bias tape on the armhole openings. I pinned my baby quilt which now needs to be quilted too. I organized my closet with the help of 4 hangers a sweet friend gave me that hold 4 pairs of pants each. I also ordered one of the IKEA Komplement hangers from an ebay seller because you can't order them online-BOOBooBoo! I bought a $15 ebay groupon coupon a while back that I only paid $7 for and I used it today to buy the hanger. I will get all my scarves organized once that comes in. Have to hem the bridesmaid dress this week. I suppose I am in a sewing funk and I hate that! Need to get motivated. Hope all of you are being more productive than me!

Lemon Cheesecake with gingersnap crust

This coming weekend our church will be having our quarterly member's meeting and our food theme is Italian. I was given a recipe by a good friend at church for a lemon cheesecake with a gingersnap crust. You don't bake the cheesecake-you cook the filling on the stove top and then refrigerate it. You bake the crust first. I plan to try this for Sunday. Here is the link for the recipe along with one for a white chocolate cheesecake. Let me know if you try one first!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Great grad gift?

Girls are just easier to shop or make for-you know. I am attending a graduation ceremony tonight for 3 homeschool students and one of them is a girl. I decided to use one of the tea towels I bought in Pigeon Forge to make her a personalized apron. I also used my YoYo maker that I bought at JoAnns in Knoxville. That thing is just fun and easy. Added a few blanket stitched leaves that I did by hand and a few vintage buttons from the "Nanny" stash and then her initials. Voila! A perfect female grad gift. A girl can always use a cute apron-right?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A little organization please

While I was making meatloaf for dinner last night, my oldest daughter brought in my new Real Simple magazine. I noticed the front cover said something about "getting rid of clutter" and light bulbs went off. My sewing and scrapbook area are just a wreck right now. I have several projects in the works and my area is not hidden in a room where I can just close the door. I then started thinking about my closet. I just have way too much in it. Shoes are a little problematic for me. As in, I have a problem with "shoe love." My 2 girls wear the same size as me, so we can share shoes. My shoes are not organized! I have tried the plastic shoe bags on hangers and they just don't last. Oh well, so I saw some cute organization tools in the Real Simple that you might like as well. I love this Komplement hanger for scarves at Ikea. It retails for $7.99, but you can't buy it online. I will have to try to find a store that has it. This would be great for all those scarves I have made over the last couple of years. I also like this 4 tier pants hanger by OXO for $13. I bet Bed, Bath and Beyond would carry it. I like how each rod pops out so you don't have to jerk the pants out and drag the other pairs with them. Lastly, I think this little over the door birdie hanger from for $27 is just cute and sweet. I think it would be cute for a nursery gift too. Well, now that Real Simple has inspired decluttering, I guess I will have to work on something today. I have completed 2 steps of the satin bridesmaid dress I am altering. All I have left is the hem. Do you have clutter and unfinished projects? How do you get organized and complete the tasks at hand?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Blueberry Gelatin Salad with creamy topping

I use 2 small boxes of blackberry jello. (You can use grape if you like)
1 can of blueberry pie filling
1 -8oz can of crushed pineapple (undrained)
2 cups of boiling water
Combine all of these ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. You can use a gelatin mold, but I always use a 13 X 9 glass pan. Let this chill atleast 2 hours.
Then combine:
1 block of softened cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Beat until combined and smooth. Spread over gelatin. Top with crushed pecans if desired. Serve. If you use a gelatin mold, remove before adding topping. I have also used brown sugar in this-very good too!

Simplicity Sidewinder

For Mother's Day I told my kids I wanted a bobbin winder, so I could save my machine from all the extra wear and tear. I bought the Simplicity Sidewinder at Hancock Fabrics on sale for $17.99. Not bad. I have only used it once and I am sure I need to read the instructions. This thing goes 0 to 60 in seconds. It didn't stop once the bobbin was full. Instead it wound thread all around the top and bottom of the post. I figured this would be a sort of plug it in and go kinda thing. I will not give up. I will figure this out. I will enjoy having a new bobbin winder! I also got a buttonhole chisel set. I am really looking forward to using that! Atlanta Thread and Supply Company has some pretty great deals. Their serger Maxilocks (3000 yds) were only 1.85. That is pretty cheap. I would love to have some in every color of the rainbow-but that would just be down right frivolous!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Appliqued Tea Towel Apron

Another project I completed while on my retreat was an appliqued tea towel apron (which could use a little ironing). Jane at the Cherry Pit Quilt Shop brought these and also some table runner kits as freebies when she did the trunk show for us at the cabin. These are larger than normal tea towels. This one is 20 X 27. It came with the instructions, which included the template for cutting at the armholes. She had also included some applique pieces that were already backed with fusible web, but I didn't care for them. I found a pretty flower in one of my mom's quilt books that was traceable and voila! I did the stem and leaves by hand and the flower on my machine. First time I have used the blanket stitch on my machine. It isn't easy on something as twisty as this flower, but I went very slowly and it turned out okay. Practice, practice, practice-I guesss. I love this apron because the channel for the ties allows you to adjust it for you. My girls can wear it and quickly make it fit them too. Anybody interested in the instructions on how to make one?

Friday, May 6, 2011

The White Minky Pig

I almost finished another pig friend while I was in Pig. Forge. I didn't have any pipe cleaners with me, so I haven't finished his tail. That is a quick fix and then he will make the softest, sweetest baby gift. I have never used Minky material, but man it it soft. This was a scrap I bought at the Cherry Pit Quilt Shop. They have this great bin in the back full of scraps and whatever you can fit in the plastic ziplocks they provide is $2. I am pretty good and shoving those scraps down in those bags. I gave my brown argyle pig to one of the ladies at the retreat. She just loved him so much, I hated to seperate the 2 of them. I also made another scrappy flannel owl. He too will make a soft baby gift. They are really easy. I did that the first day there. It takes so much time to get everything unpacked and set up and I helped some of the other ladies bring in their heavy stuff. I wanted to accomplish something quickly as a confidence booster, so I made the owl.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Whew! It has been some kind of week!

I returned Friday from my quilting retreat. I attended my daughter's 4H Fashion Revue and her jacket won first place-WhooHoo! She and all the other girls will now move on to Rally Day, which brings multiple 4H groups from neighboring counties together for competition. That is May 14th. Saturday night we had our final Unit Celebration for school and it was awesome. We had a little 60s, 70s & 80s decade party. You can go here to watch our hig school boys perform their version of SNL's Need More Cowbell. htt Very fun and so much talent in our homeschool group! Sunday church all day. Monday was my birthday and my hubby surprised me with dinner and flowers at a local restaurant. Some of our favorite friends met us there and we stayed for 3 hours just eating and chatting and staying out of the pouring rain! Tuesday night we attended the local pregnancy center banquet and we placed about 250 pieces of desserts on tables. Wednesday church and errands. Today was our final school co-op meeting. It is always a little bittersweet. I did manage to get quite a bit done on the retreat and I will soon post pictures.