Thursday, March 31, 2011

Old project to share anew :o)

A while back I was following along on a month long journey called Celebrate the Boy that was featured on an awesome blog I follow called Made.

During this month long sewing extravaganza featuring all things boy I was inspired with a featured pattern to create a really cool wallet for my little monster (boy).

Check it out! he even has some cash and cards in it!
The original pattern and creator can be found here!

Let me know what you think!

The kid has got to create!

So tonight my lovely sunny has requested (begged :o) for me to make her some play dough-- right now!!...she just has to create.

so off to the world wide web I go to find an easy and fast play dough recipe for the child.

and boy did I find it! check out this most awesome site! it is chock full of wonderful recipes for all manner of play dough!

tonight we sampled the cream of tartar play dough and it was fun and easy! and the bonus came when my 7 year old told me that he liked this kind better than the 'regular' kind--kooddos for the homemade cheap stuff!
gather ingredients and dump em in a pan and cook it up!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Yoopers Delight!

It is a fact that within the USA there are locations that have a type of person that we give a funny name to. We have such a term here in Michigan.

Our state is made up of two peninsulas, an upper and a lower. And we have a term for those guys 'up north' we call em Yoopers. and they have all kinds of facts and stereo types about them.

One fact about them is a style of food that was made popular years ago when the cooper mines were in operation. This food is called a pasty and they are this really delicious bread pie you can hold in your hand and enjoy--sorta like a sandwich.

My husbands family are these such people and we do love your pasty's!

So last week while at lunch at my in-laws house, my brood was treated to a very sneaky sorta pasty--not a real pasty but a knock off that is still quite delicious! and I am going to share this simple treat with you! :o)

first we gather our ingredients:

a bit of flour, a pound of ground beef, an onion diced up to how you like it, some cheese--any hard yellow cheese will do, a package of store bought ready-made 8 count biscuits and a rolling pin. first we chop the onion--I kinda minced mine because my family is not onion friendly.

I began frying the beef a bit, drained off some of the fat then added the onion and cooked until the beef is browned.
next I opened up the biscuit package and with a lightly floured surface I rolled out the biscuit then topped with the cooked beef/onion mix and added my cheese.
I smooshed it all together into a pizza pocket like shape. *if you use too much flower just add some water to your finger and smear along the edge-this will help "glue" the edges shut.
ta da! now repeat for a total of 8 fake pasty pies.

place them on an ungreesed cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 14 minutes. Keep an eye on them cause ovens vary. you are looking for the dough to brown because the meat inside is already cooked--and cheese melts easy!
YUMMIE! we top ours with a bit of ketchup and dig in!

Hope you like this feast and much as we do! now go dig in!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Work in Progress: Grandma's Flower Garden Quilt

Well here it is. I have had this quilt in process --making some progress for the last 10 years or so. It's been pulled out and put away so many times I really don't recall when I actually began working on it.
this type of sewing employs the English paper piecing method

I got the original plans from a long time friend, Anne, and have had some design changes along the way.

The real beauty of a quilt of this kind is you can do it anywhere--a great time killer while otherwise waiting for something else to happen (i.e. in the doctors waiting room).

The design is really simple. First take a hexagon (a shape that has 6 equal sides)

use this shape to make yourself a handy template.

print it out and glue to a piece of cardboard (I used an old cereal box) or quilters stencil plastic. The size hexagon you start with is relative to the size flower you intend to make. Meaning, you don't have to have a specific size to start with, only once you have the size you MUST keep that size for each "petal" for the entire quilt!

but size does matter a bit right?. if you make a 3 inch hexagon template you are gunna get a really big flower.

My quilt is made up of hexagons of about 1.5 inches. so if you measure from the top to the bottom along the center it is 1.5 inches. If you want to make yours bigger go for it, just remember that all the paper pieces must be the same size.

so I made my cardboard pattern. I then took plain copy paper from the recycling bin and folded it accordion style so that the entire card board piece fit with some room around each side--cutting to close to the folded edge will result in a connected line of hexagons--not what we want, here we want to cut many but have them all individual pieces so make sure you have some room to ensure each hexagon will be an individual :o)

I then set my cardboard piece on top of this and traced around with a pencil as many hexagons as would fit on the folded page (keep the page folded to cut multiples at one time). I then cut out the paper pieces.

then I took my desired color of fabric and did the same accordion fold but this time I cut the hexagon out with a 1/4 inch seam allowance along each of the six sides. you  could also make another cardboard template to accommodate the seam allowance, but I just eyeballed the 1/4 inch and it worked well for me.

This 1/4 inch will end up being the seam allowance.

so to plan what to cut you will need 19 paper pieces per flower. one center piece, 6 first row and 12 second row then 18 white for the flowers that need them.

the amount of fabric you need for each flower will be determined by how big your petal is..but this is a great stash buster quilt. As you can see from my pics I only use each print one time--never repeating any fabric.

you start with the center hexagon. I kept this a uniform color for the entire quilt. My Grandmother (Fannie) had given me an old yellow sheet she no longer needed and I chose that for my quilt center. pretty sentimental now that she is in heaven ♥.

To make the center and petals I took one paper pattern and one fabric piece-- placing the paper to the wrong side of the fabric and folded it over one side 1/4 inch and put a basting stitch in and continued turning the seam allowance down and basting until I had the fabric completely covering the paper hexagon. this technique I am told is called English paper piecing.

I did this technique and made up a flower group, one center, 6 first row petals, and 12 second row petals.

then beginning with the flower center (yellow in my case) and one first row petal, I put them right sides together and whip stitched one of the six sides. tied my thread in a simple knot and cut my thread. re knotted my thread and got first row petal number two ready. sat everything in front of me with rights sides up, lined up the second first row petal put right sides together and whip stitched this one on, you will have to do some funny turning on this one, but keep laying the flower down to ensure the correct sides of the hexagon are being whip stitched together.

*sorry I don't know how to do videos at this point--I know that would be really helpful right!

Also you will not be able to sew the petals all on without tying off and starting a new knotted thread.

when the flower was done I repeated the steps to add the white border on some you can see in this picture above I first decided to have 2 rows of white, but once I had about 20 flowers all sewn up--I hated it! so now I am ripping and restitching to get just one row of white and I like this new look a lot!

I have made this quilt to have 9 rows of 9...but a little clarification on that...since we are not sewing with flat squares we need to do some adjusting to make the rows even. To do this I made my first row 9 solid flowers, my next row is 8 sold flowers with 1/2 flowers on the top of bottom of each row.

another tip. if you plan to make up a bunch of flowers first then sew them together to form the quilt top, make sure you pay attention to those white hexagons. if A has them, B will not, but C will need them. Just take a long look at my in process quilt and I am sure you will see what I mean.

So my plan at this point is to have 9 rows by 9 rows, which in my estimation will amply fill the top of my king size bed.

and just a note of clarification--the paper pieces will need to be removed before you create the quilt sandwich and quilt it up. So my tip is to cut many hexagon paper shapes and reuse them. So I cut out enough paper templates to make 8 flowers then removed the interior papers and used to make more flowers. this way you will not end up with an entire quilt of paper templates to rip out in the end! ☺

I got lots of work to do!

I hope this post helps inspire many to attempt this quilt, if you have any questions or suggestions please send me a note and I will help clear things up! happy sewing :o)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tooth Fairy Please Beware!

So last night my daughter (aka Miss. Junie B) came to me with a mouthful of blood. What is going on I say --as I am freaking out --thinking what just happened in the other room!

nufin mom, she says, I fink I just wost a toof!

Well indeed she did--a canine and her 9th she proclaimed!

so after the tooth was safely recovered from the pool of blood in her mouth and she and her mouth all cleaned up and ready for bed--again--'we' decide it is high time 'we' make that monster pillow for the kids to use when they lose teeth--a big habit going on in our house these days.

Tooth Fairy Beware! there's a monster over there!
I have had my hand on this pattern for quite some time, I guess waiting for a good reason to make it, and now we have one.

So tonight I dug through the fabric and felt stash and came up with this combo...oh and I should mention that I obtained the original pattern from a very cool blog called the long thread...check it out:

oh and the safety pin--well we are having a mother daughter moment here--I want more stuffing she likes it less--so for tonight the stuffin' hole is being held with that pin to prevent our monsters inners from coming outters---we will settle this some time--some how :o)

Love the new top!

Just finished whipping up a cute new top for my Niece. I used Simplicity pattern 3835 by designer Wendy Mullen over at Built by Wendy. I just ♥ her patterns!
Simplicity pattern 3835
Fashion note. While I chose the pattern my very hip niece chose the fabric. I just love how the contrast of the boyish print plays well with the girly girl shape of this top. nice job :o)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Trying to do this "easy stuff" is not so easy!

So I am attempting to get my blog here all rolled out and ready for action, but it is not as easy as stated in the directions...but I am persistent so I will keep at this until I have what I consider a good looking blog :o)
oh and look at this...can't wait to be here! come on summer!!!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Well it was an eventful night of sewing. Thinking that I unsewed as much as I sewed today but that's a sewers life!

Almost done!

So way back in January of 2010 I decided to do a Block of the Month (BOM) quilt. My search landed me to a really cool website
This website is/was great! I don't think it is being run right now but back in the day when the owner Kim Noblin was posting regularly the site was a great place for me to check new ideas, and I just love her BOM's! This is my second--did the 2009 BOM too!

I still need to get the borders on there and looking pleasing to my eye but for now I am very pleased with the results!