About Me

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Sewing and cooking are two of my favorite things. In the past, I often found myself searching for pictures and details of projects I have done, without success. So I decided to start documenting my creations. Then my son suggested I add my recipes to the blog so that they are documented also.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to All! Have a Blessed Holiday Season.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Too Much Fabric!

So my son gave me this print awhile back and it is framed and placed right outside the entrance to my sewing room.  I find it amazing he was able to discover a print of a piece of his life.  Did he commission an artist to do this piece just to instill guilt into his mother?  Yes, it is true!  I took him to D.C., moved him into his freshmen dorm, traveled back to PA and quickly gutted his room.  By week's end I had a new sewing room complete with a huge set of drawers stuffed with my fabric stash.  So you ask, what would motivate a mother to do such a thing?  Could fabric really take precedence over a middle child?  Can I plead insanity?  Hmmm......it did motivate this son to stay away from home long enough to become a lawyer.  So my work was completed - it is called 'tough love'; one cannot make it too easy to come home again!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Monogrammed Blanket

This is a blanket from Bed, Bath and Beyond that I embroidered for a teenage boy for his girl friend for Christmas.  I so wanted to put a heart or a fancy & symbol in place of the + sign but he did not want either. Although it was too mushy in his eyes, I am sure it would have melted the heart of the girlfriend! The pile was a little high so I was concerned about the stitches getting lost in it but it turned out well.  I used Number 23 alphabet from Embird and made them a little wider to be sure to show.  I used a heavy tear-away stabilizer on the back and a water soluble on the top.  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Grape and Feta Salad

I wanted to do something different for a dinner starter today.  A friend recently told me about a refreshing grape salad she had; her version was tossed with olive oil but I added some white wine vinegar for some added flavor.

Grape and Feta Salad

1 lb. seedless red grapes
2 Tblsp. olive oil
2 Tblsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tsp salt
5 oz. lo fat crumbled Feta cheese

Wash and dry grapes. Place in bowl, sprinkle with salt and toss with olive oil. Add Feta chesse and stir. Drizzle with white wine vinegar. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour. Serve chilled.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Personalized Clothing Protector

Adult Clothing Protector

A friend recently asked me to personalize several adult clothing protectors for her mother as a Christmas gift. It was really a good idea, especially for those who have loved ones that cannot leave home and it is so difficult to think of something they need. I can remember years ago wondering why my parents would always say they didn't need anything when we asked for gift ideas for them. As I am getting older, I finally understand. If my husband and I need something, we just go out and get it.

Fast and Easy Dinner - Potato and Kielbasa Saute


So last night after work I needed to just throw something together.  Usually I pre-plan the night before, but I had not. So one of my standbys is Potato and Kielbasa Saute. You need 5 scrubbed potatoes, sliced in 1/2 inch slices. If you slice them thinner, they cook faster, but honestly I like a hearty potato slice that is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. I throw these in a skillet in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and let fry on medium heat for 10 minutes while I chop the rest of the ingredients. Don't stir or flip as you want the first side to get crispy! Now I slice a medium onion, a few small green peppers (I keep green peppers frozen in small bags in the freezer so I always have them. When I have extra I just clean, remove seeds and throw in a freezer bag). I slice a ring of kielbassa in 1/2 inch slices also.  After the first ten minutes, I flip the potatoes, layer on the onions, peppers and kielbasa. I stir and flip ingredients every 5 minutes or so until potatoes and kielbasa are golden brown on the outside. Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with a hot vegetable and dinner is done.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pizzelles and a Cup of Coffee

Well my hubby has been busy making Pizzelles for the Holiday.  This is his specialty; uses the recipe that came with the original pizzelle maker. As you can see, the recipe has been heavily used and retains mementos of holidays past. The chocolate pizzelles are always a big hit when given as gifts. Personally, I like the nut ones the best. I also like the smell in the house when he is making them, two at a time, on the pizzelle iron. He usually makes 12 dozen at a time. Do the math! That's alot of times refilling that iron in an evening - gotta love a guy who will take on pizzelle duty!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Frustrating Night in the Sewing Room

Well tonight was unproductive and frustrating in the sewing room.  I wanted to embroider a kitchen towel but after 4 thread breaks and some nesting in the bobbin shuttle, I decided it was better to turn off the machine.  Tomorrow evening, if I am not tired, I will take it apart and give the Janome 300E a good cleaning. All of the new high tech machines are great when working and very problemsome when not. Maybe the simple treadle machine was best because there is so little to go wrong. I probably need to take an evening and clean all the machines and clean the sewing room too. Whenever I clean that room, I invariably end up redecorating the room.  I move the machines to new locations, move the ironing board and the cutting table. The TV is an old huge one so it never loses its spot in the room. I have too many machines but cannot part with any of them. That is a discussion for another day!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How to Make a Fleece Blanket Roll

Many people make fleece blankets but I have started making fleece blankets that can be rolled up and have a handle.  These are nice to keep in the car or take in your carry on bag on a plane. I choose a fleece pattern that is personalized for the recipient and embroider the handle piece with either their name or a cute saying.  The one shown here was for a prize for a golf outing.  So here are my own instructions that I developed after I made a couple.

Supplies Needed

1 1/2 yard fleece
1/4 yard broadcloth - solid to coordinate with fleece   
handle webbing 1/3 yard
9 inches sew on Velcro

Make a template for handle panel – a rectangle 8 inches by 12 1/2 inches with bottom edges rounded - Using panel template, Cut two of broadcloth.

Embroider on front side of broadcloth (approximately 2 1/2 X 6 inches).  Center logo between webbing and bottom of panel. Place panels right sides together, stitch in 1/2 seam leaving top open.  Clip curves turn right side out and press.  Top stitch with zig-zag stitch on 3 sides, leaving top open. Place webbing on front of broadcloth 1 3/4 inches from top and 1 1/4 in from each side. Sew a nine inch piece of Velcro on underside of handle panel centered at bottom.
Finish all edges of the 1 1/2 piece of fleece with a zig zag stitch; turn under edge 1/2 inch.  I used zig zag setting width of 6 and stitch length of  2.

Lay blanket right side up.  Place handle panel with selvages even with top, centered. Stitch with 1/2 inch seam. Now turn the panel over on itself and topstitch with a zigzag stitch.

Sew the other piece of Velcro centered on right side of the fleece 12 inches from top of blanket. Now lay blanket with wrong side up. Fold both sides in and roll up and fasten with the Velcro.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dinner tonight

Salsa Risotto
Chicken Enchiladas
Well I am trying a new recipe for dinner tonight; Chicken Enchiladas.  I did add an additional ingredient of a 15 ounce can of black beans added to the chicken mixture in each tortilla.  I actually put them in a crockpot so hopefully they turn out well. I cooked the chicken and onions when I got home and then assembled for the crockpot. It turned out well but next time I will prepare the chicken mixture the night before and then just have to make the sauce before assembling it. It really is a struggle some days to get dinner cooking after work so I try to plan the night before. I also made salsa risotto; just made risotto with chicken broth and substituted 1/2 cup medium salsa for 1/2 cup of the recommended broth. It was delicious!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

What I sewed this weekend

Well I was a little busy this weekend.  I decorated the house for Christmas since hubby had gotten the boxes out of the attic; the house always looks so new and different after decorating simply because we haven't seen the stuff for a year!

I did monogram a set of sheets and pillowcases for a friend.  They are shimmery silver in color so I used a darker silver-gray embroidery thread and did a tone on tone - looks great. I used a Fancy Monogram Font from Embroitique.

I also had a chef coat to embroider - hubby brought it home from a co-worker and offered my services; turned out fine.

Also did one kitchen towel with a Sassy Christmas Girl design from Julia's Needle Designs.  It is adorable and I will do another this week.

I finished a few aprons that I am making for gifts and I will write about them later this week.  It is getting late and tomorrow is a workday so back to the reality.

What to do with the rest of my life

Well I turned 60 earlier this year and now I feel a need to figure out what to do with the rest of my life.  I have spent my life working in healthcare but I need a change. I love to sew; I want to sew alot when I retire. So I guess I will start posting my sewing projects and see where it takes me!