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.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Kimono for 18" Doll

I am planning on teaching a class on making doll clothes for the 18 inch dolls, like Our Generation and American Girl. I have not made doll clothes since I made Barbie clothes for my daughter over 20 years ago. I was not sure I really wanted to do this but thought I would give it a try. First I needed a model, so off to Target I went and bought an Our Generation Doll. I actually had fun picking her out and then became excited about the clothes. Here she is in her store bought duds. I love her glasses too.

Well I found a free pattern for a Japanese kimono but I was pretty sure it had major mistakes in it after 2 hours of trying to get it to actually be a piece of clothing that would fit her.  So I drafted my own and this is the result. I did put her hair in an updo and removed her glasses for the occasion.
I hope to draft a dress pattern for her tomorrow. Stay tuned.
Side View
Front View


The Weekender Bags

My current class that I am teaching is a weekender bag made from a pattern by FigTreeQuilts, My Paris Traveler's Bag and here is the link http://store.figtreeandcompany.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=754. This pattern can be confusing in places; thus a good pattern for a class. This is an ample bag measuring 23" X 15" X 9". It has a pocket on the front to fit your e-reader into.

We had good participation for this class, and as usual, each student's bag is unique. The fabric was quilted in the class; no prequilted designs for us. Quilting our own fabric gave us the freedom to select any design we wanted. Some used their stash and other bought fabric specifically for the project. Skill levels of the students vary from beginner to advanced and we all learn from one another. That is what I love best about classes.

So here are some of the finished bags and I will be adding others as they are completed. Note how the differing fabric gave each bag a different flavor.

Judy's Bag - Vera Bradley better watch out!
My Class sample
Carmen's Bag - Ready for her next trip!
Claudia's Bag - Pretty in Blue!
Theresa's bag - Love this fabric!


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cute Covers for Pocket Datebooks

I found these cute pocket calendar/datebook covers at Five Star http://fivestarfonts.com/pocket-calendar-in-the-hoop-5x7?filter_name=pocket and they are adorable. They have a design for 5x7 hoop that requires a few seams sewn on the machine and a design for 7X11 that is done completely in the hoop. I made two as a little gift for my daughter-in-law and her aunt that we met for dinner last evening. We had a lovely dinner and the gifts were well received.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Some Creations From End of 2013

Well I was kind of busy at the end of the year and neglected to post most of what I did before the Holidays. So I will try to get caught up. Here is a pic of my daughter wrapped up in the quilt I made for her birthday in November.
I made this quilt with Moda fabric with The Yellow Brick Road pattern. I actually quilted it with the Pfaff P3 Longarm with a stipple pattern.  I wanted to try a longarm and it is very different to free motion with one. However I free motioned the border pattern on my Elna 740.

I also made my first art quilt in November 2013. I read an article about girl quilts in the fall AQS magazine and decided to make one for my daughter-in-law's birthday. we were hosting her 30th birthday party and I thought it would look cute hanging on the front door. My favorite part was the brown suede boots I made and she actually showed up wearing hers the day of the party! I had a great time making it and doing the appliques and will definitely make another.

Here's the birthday girl with her hubby.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Only Crocheted Twisty Scarf

So before Christmas I decided to re-learn how to crochet. Back in my college days (some 40 years ago) I was quite the productive afghan maker. Through the years I got away from it but I figured it is like riding a bike and assumed it would come back to me.  I always like to give my daughter and daughter-in-laws something little that I have made for them.So I bought a small introductory to crochet booklet and found a pattern at this site http://goodtimesithinkso.blogspot.com/2009/08/sunroom-spiral-scarf-crochet.html for a twisty scarf. Off I went to Michael's and bought enough yarn to make 3 of these scarves.  Well here is the first one I made for my dear daughter-in-law.

So here's the deal on my experience of re-learning to crochet.  Yes the process came right back to me and I could crochet for hours. However, my fingers actually ached from all the crocheting. So after this one was finished I promptly took the rest of the yarn back to Michael's and I now know why I no longer crochet!
This left me with the problem that I still needed to make something for my daughter and other daughter-in-law the week before Christmas. I decided to use some of my fabric and make these cute zippered change purses.I used a pattern from Atkinson Design called Cash and Carry. They turned out great and my fingers did not ache when I was done.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce

This is my crockpot spaghetti sauce recipe that is so easy to get started and then have a great smelling house. It just always turns out good and there are many ways to vary it.

1 1/2 Tblsp olive oil                            2/3 cup chopped onion
2 tsp minced garlic                              1 Tblsp dried parsley
1 Tblsp dried basil                               1 Tblsp dried oregano
2 - 28 oz crushed tomatoes in puree                
1 - 28oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup red wine - any kind
1 tsp each of salt, sugar and pepper

First put the garlic, onions, parsley, basil and oregano in the bottom of the crockpot with the oil. Cover and cook on high for 1/2 hour.

Now add the rest of the ingredients and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.  1 hour before finished cooking you can add cooked meatballs; if using pre-made frozen just drop in while frozen.

To make meat sauce just brown 2 lbs ground beef and add at least 1 hour before done.
If you prefer marinara type sauce, use 1 can of diced tomatoes instead of sauce.
In the summer substitute your fresh tomatoes for all 3 cans of tomato products and add tomato paste to thicken.
This batch will feed 6-8  people easily. Make it and freeze the leftovers for another meal.

Monday, January 6, 2014

My First Tee Shirt Quilt

I have had a basket of the middle child's tee shirts sitting in my basement for quite awhile now with the intent of making a quilt.  I got the urge late in December and decided to get started. Honestly it may be easier to make a quilt from scratch but it turned out great. So here is the process I used.
First you launder them all because you have been procrastinating. The shirts are from childhood and the child is now an adult. But a kid can amass some interesting shirts as he goes through high school and college.  Next you slit them open at sides and cut off sleeves so the shirt can be splayed open. At this point you iron on middleweight Pellon interfacing to any front or back that you will be using. It is imperative that you iron on the interfacing before cutting out your quilt blocks.  If you use interfacing that is too lightweight the blocks will stretch too much when sewing them together.
As you can see my blocks are not all the same size.  I cut them 12 1/2 inch square, 8 1/2 inch square, 4 1/2 inch square and a few 4 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches. I did not worry about how many of each I had. When I had all I wanted to use I set about designing it. It was like a jigsaw puzzle. I just started at the center and fit them together. It was quite fun laying it out. Then I just sewed it together with 1/4 inch seams. I added a 3 inch border.
To quilt it I used quilter's flannel on the back and 1/4 inch loft needlepunched poly batting. For the body of the quilt I stitched in the ditch around the blocks. However my favorite part was free motioning his name, Jimmy, around the entire border.
I have also decided to take the time to add a label to my quilts. I have been remiss in the past of doing so.

So clean out those drawers and make a tee shirt quilt.  It is a great way to use up those shirts you don't have the heart to throw away and make something useful.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Thank You Tara Pork Roll Soup

Well it is a snowy Pennsylvania day and I decided to make soup this morning. I went into the fridge and pulled out fresh vegetables and I saw the pork roll sitting there and an idea hit me. Why not make soup with some of it. Now I have no idea what pork roll is made of; all I know is that my daughter-in-law Tara brought pork roll to us from her hometown of Howell, New Jersey and we Pittsburghers love the stuff.  In the summer it is fabulous grilled on a sandwich with our fresh tomatoes. It is great scrambled with eggs also. So here is my Pork Roll Soup recipe - boy did my hubby and I enjoy it for our lunch today. So Thank You Tara!!

1 cup chopped celery
2 carrots coarsely chopped
1 slice of pork roll (1 inch thick) diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tblsp olive oil
64 oz chicken broth
1 small can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans
1 cup Spanish rice (cooked)
1/4 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
Saute the celery, carrots, garlic and pork roll in the olive oil for about 10 minutes. Then add broth, tomatoes, beans, rice and macaroni. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about an hour. When carrots are tender season with salt and pepper to taste. As you can see I happened to have left over spanish rice and threw it in; but you could use any leftover pasta or rice you have on hand.