Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

All I have left to do is sew on a few snaps to the back of doll dresses and I will be officially done with Christmas gifts.  Today I finished the binding to the second quilt for my daughters.  

They are folded and ready to be gift wrapped.  I have more pictures of them on my flickr account here. They are both coin quilts to go along the end of their beds. I can't wait for Christmas!
Here is another mouse in hammock ornament, my last one for the year. He is sleeping cozily in his hammock waiting for St. Nick. On this guy, I added a piece of fabric around his neck to look like a shirt collar but also hides the stitching around the neck.  With the mouse ornaments, I gave a book called Mortimer's Christmas Manger.  It is darling story about a mouse looking for a home.
Here is another gift that I will make again for next year. These are rice therapy pillow packs that are so warm and soothing for long, winter days. There is a cute poem that goes along with the pillow packs. I made several this year for teachers using pretty 100% cotton flannel fabric.

If I had more time, I would have attempted these projects but instead I will save them for next year(click on the title to view the tutorials):

Mini Book Christmas Ornaments
Voile Scarf Tutorial
Christmas Tree Hot Pads
Gathered Clutch Tutorial

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Gifts and Wrapping Idea

Not much longer now so I've been sewing like mad. I do this every year and say the same thing - "next year I'm going to start in January!"  Maybe 2012.... sounds like a new group forming called Christmas Projects Once a Month or Christmas Ornaments Every Month.  Hmmm... following is what I have been busy sewing the last few days...
These are my felt angels singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing!  Find more pictures on my flickr account. An ornament from my grandmother inspired me to make these lovely angels. The one I have is very old but still in great condition. These little gifts will last a very long time. Lots of stitching and detail involved but once you get started, it goes by quickly. And they are so much fun to make! I love getting out all the beads and sequins at Christmastime. It's hard not to overdo it with the embellishments because they are so fun but don't add too much, unless you are going for the gaudy look. Wouldn't a table top tree full of these singing angels look so divine?
Another mouse in a hammock ornament complete. This one is smiling waiting for Santa's arrival and wondering what kind of cheese will be under the tree this year. This is another felt ornament that is addicting. Warning: it's hard to stop at just one!
Mr. Owl is for a teacher who loves owls. I hope she loves this one too! Owls are one of the easiest stuffed animals to make because of their shape. I highly recommend giving one a try!
Tip of the year:  use old tins to wrap your gifts this year. I've been collecting tins while thrifting the last few months. They make great boxes to put gifts in. What's even better, you can fit several small gifts into one. Also, the gifts inside don't get smashed and you don't have to wrap! Who needs all that extra wrapping paper that ends up in the trash? This wrapping can be reused or used for decoration. It's a winner all the way around! And that's a wrap (no pun intended).

Thursday, December 8, 2011

17 More Days

I'm making some progress with Christmas gifts... presenting one of my mouse in hammock ornaments..

I am working on a grey mouse now.  It's so fun picking out fabric for the blanket, pillow, and night cap. I think Mr. Mouse needs a Mrs. Mouse!  Maybe instead of a night cap, a little lace cap would suit Mrs. Mouse.  Hmmm...
Also, the coin quilts for my daughters are coming along nicely.  This picture shows only part of the quilts.  I have 3 rows of pieced fabric in each quilt.  As you can see, my girls have very different color preferences.  I love being able to play around with both color schemes.  Also, it's been great using a lot of my fabric stash!  This picture on flickr inspired me to try a coin quilt.
My latest Pyrex find - Rosette!  And I found the lid with it!  Lids and saucers are usually nowhere to be found.  I believe this pattern is from the 60's and was a promotional item.  So pretty.

Wishing everyone sewing success and speed as we count down 17 days until Christmas!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WIP Wednesday

The Christmas rush is starting to creep up on me.  I have presents that need be shipped out to relatives in various states so the need to complete sewing projects starts a little early for me.  I make Christmas ornaments for the nieces and nephews.  This year, I am trying an ornament that my aunt made for the family when I was little.  It has been one of my favorites.  It is a mouse sleeping in a hammock. It's so darling to look at hanging from the tree.  Here is a picture of the mouse ornament my aunt made many years ago...
Isn't he so cute?  Now I am trying to make some. This is my WIP...
I can't wait to complete these little guys.  It has been fun selecting fabric for the blankets, pillows, and little night caps.  I will post my completed ones soon, hopefully.  I'm envisioning some vintage bed linens for my little guys too.  Vintage bed linens don't usually come in holiday colors, but who cares! Vintage can get away with it!  Also, I'm working on a coin quilt for one of my daughters.  
I love being able to add different prints and patterns for her to look at and enjoy.  One more row and I can start putting the top together.  It is one of those quilts that goes on the end of the bed for some extra color and comfort.  It's a little smaller size than a twin size so I can quilt it myself. 
Lastly, some apple bread from an Apples for Jam recipe baked in my Meadow Green Fire King Dish.  Yummy!  Happy sewing and baking!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Waste Knot Blocks

The winner of the give away is Stina!  Congrats!  She made this comment - "Hello.. thanks for the links to this new blogger.. :o) Have added her and commented on her blog.. nice with new friendships!!" - on the Vintage Sheet Blog.  Stina, I hope you enjoy your vintage sheet fat quarters and crochet hot pad!  Would love to see what you do with them!

A friend of mine gave me a quilt pattern made with blocks called Waste Knot. I fell in love with the blocks and started using my 30s repro fabric collection to make them,a different color for each block. It's one of those blocks that is so fun to make and becomes addicting quickly. The designer is Susan Fuquay from American Retail Quilter. The pattern is in American Retail Quilter, Vol.14, Issue 83.  
I have the blocks on my felt wall. As you can see, I am one block short! At first, I was thinking of making a block for the center using all the colors. Then, I thought maybe I should just pick 3 colors and put them into one block.
Cute, but I think it would be better as a pillow.  Now, I think I'll make another green and put the red or blue in the center.  The block is intended to look like a knot; using multiple colors breaks up the knot and the effect is lost. Thoughts? I'm embarrassed to say the blocks have been up on my felt wall for months!
Don't you think this would be great with vintage sheets?  A different sheet for each block!  The friend who gave me this wonderful pattern is sewing a different holiday for each block so she can have her quilt displayed all year long.  I can't wait to see it!

If I had more time:
 I would make something from this pattern,
I would start knitting a hat,
and I would make apple bread.

But, for today I will be thankful for the time I do have with loved ones and for our health, food, and love.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Vintage Sheet Blog

I am really excited to announce that the Vintage Sheet Blog is doing a shout out for me! This lovely blog has wonderful ideas on what to do with all those vintage bed linens we collect and store (like squirrels getting ready for a long winter).  You'll be amazed at all the great ideas this blog has for  your vintage sheets.  It'll make you want to go out and find more!  Below is a give away I am doing for fun.  Visit the Vintage Sheet Blog to find out how to enter the give away!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Circle of Geese Color Wheel

This week I decided to do a little color therapy...oh, I mean color theory.  I found this great paper piecing tutorial here to make a color wheel.  Using a little help from one of my favorite blogs, In Color Order, I set out on a course to make this...

I'm so glad I did this project because the colors in my head were getting all mixed up.  I needed to go back to basics for a bit.  Now, I think all my colors are in line and singing together nicely.  And I have a great spot for this mini wall quilt in my sewing room right above my cutting table.  So when I start having a mixed up color day (isn't that a Dr. Seuss book?), I can refer to my lovely color wheel.  All I have left to do is quilt the top and add the binding.  It makes me want to sing! Oh happy day!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Doll Nightgown with Vintage Bed Sheet

This doll nightgown is made with a cotton flannel bed sheet and eyelet lace.  I had fun putting this together and plan to make a bonnet to go with the nightgown.  Also, I have enough fabric from the bed sheet to make my daughter a matching nightgown.  Cotton flannel bed sheets are so great for pajamas and sewing projects that require lots of fabric.

I am in the middle of organizing my sewing room.  Here is a picture of one wall that is finally put together nicely.  The rest of the room is a disaster!  My plan is to keep it neat but we'll see how long that lasts, especially with the holidays coming up...  I folded my fabric into nice, neat stacks using this fabric folding tutorial from In Color Order blog.

This last picture is of an apron I made using a pattern from the book, Girl's World.  The main fabric is a vintage bed sheet.  If you don't like greens on the yellow side, you are going to find this awful.  But, I love the colors so it appeals to me.  The only thing is that I'd hate to get this messy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Reversible Headband Tutorial

Here promised!

Cut two pieces of fabric 15-1/2" in length by 2-1/4" in width.  I am using one of my favorite vintage bed sheet fabrics along with a nice autumn brown.

Place the two pieces of fabric right sides together then fold in half so the short ends are together.  Using a rotary cutter, taper the long sides in by 1/2" on both sides.  Make sure you taper the sides so the 1/2" is being cut off the raw edges, not the folded end.  You want the ruler to be at zero on the folded end and taper to 1/2" on the raw edge.  If you do this right,  the tapered end should measure 1-1/4" across.

Cut single-sided fusible, lightweight interfacing so that it measure 15" by 2".  Taper interfacing so that it can fit inside the headband fabric.  It doesn't have to be exact.  You just want a bit to add some stability.
Iron short ends in by 1/4" and place interfacing on wrong side of fabric with fusible part facing down. Turn headband over and iron so fusible interfacing sticks.  Next, iron short ends in by 1/4" to match the ones you already ironed. 

 Now you are ready to stitch!  Sew the long sides with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Don't sew the short ends!

Using your favorite turning tool, turn the headband right side out.  I have a blue one by Dritz that I absolutely love.  It's one of those inexpensive finds that makes life so much easier!  Now, iron your headband nice and flat.

Topstitch using thread to match or accent your headband.  I topstitch along the sides making sure to keep one end open and at least 1/2" space down the middle for the plastic headband form.

Place a 3/8" plastic headband form into the open end and stitch closed!  Voila!  So pretty!  You can find the plastic headband forms on  Remember to stop by my shop on etsy for vintage fabric!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Forest Fancies Bake-Serve-Store Casserole Set

I found this Pyrex set today!  It was so nice to find all three bowls in the same place and the one lid.  I believe all the bowls came with lids at one time but I like to display this set stacked so one lid on top will do just fine.  It seems this is not a very popular set among Pyrex collectors but I like to bring these out in the fall.  The beige color and design seem autumn-ish to me.  

These are Forest Fancies Bake Serve Store Casserole Set #471, #472, and #473.  According to Pyrex Love website, they were released in 1981 so I guess they are barely vintage!  In addition, I have the large Forest Fancies bowl that I use mostly for salads.  It's so fun deciding what to dress my food in each day.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Doll Dress with Vintage Bed Sheet

This is one of my favorite doll dresses to make for my daughters' American Girl dolls.  It is a McCalls pattern #6005.  I have made many dresses using this pattern but the one I am showing is made with a vintage bed sheet.  Doesn't she look ready for a tea party or birthday party?  I added my own touches with a little rick rack and a headband.  

My youngest daughter's doll is modeling the dress but I made it for her friend's doll.  I didn't tell the mom that it is a repurposed bed sheet.  Maybe I should get little tags that say "repurposed with vintage bed sheets."  Anyone know a great place to get custom tags?  Probably etsy!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tender and Crisp Chicken Legs with Sweet Tomatoes

Dinner is served thanks to Jamie Oliver's recipe called Tender and Crisp Chicken Legs with Sweet Tomatoes.  This is a beautiful dish with chicken, fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, and garlic bulbs.  You can throw in cannellini beans or small potatoes too.  Doesn't this look so colorful?  The yellow pear-shaped tomatoes are from my garden.  It all goes straight into a pan in a preheated oven for 1-1/2 hours.  I love these one pan meals.  Jamie makes it so easy.

And voila!  You have yummy chicken with veggies and soft garlic to smear on bread.  I lost those vibrant colors during cooking, so sad.  I think next time I'll add fresh basil and uncooked yellow tomatoes before serving.  But either way, it tastes so good!  The recipe is in the book Jamie's Dinners.
 (Did you notice my Dansk Kobenstyle casserole pan?  I'm on the hunt for more!)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Brownie Headband

This reversible headband was a request for my friend's daughter who is in Girl Scout brownies.  I used Girl Scout fabric on one side and a vintage bed sheet on the other side.  This bed sheet is so great because the light blue color is the Girl Scout brownie color!  It's such a great match!  Not to mention, this 2nd grade brownie will be a walking example of repurposing.  I think she deserves an extra fun patch!

For those of you who are interested in making these neat reversible headbands, I will be posting a tutorial soon.  I have made so many of these for shows and friends that I'd love to share the fun!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thrifting (is that a word?)

I was lucky to find a few vintage pillowcases and bed sheets this week!  I found the one pictured below that I absolutely love the colors!  I keep looking at it with a big smile on my face wondering what to make.  I think I'll let it sit for awhile and think about all the possibilities.  I'm not sure if I'll ever come across the same pattern again, so it's a lot of pressure to find just the right project to showcase the colors.  But this is supposed to be all fun, right?  

Any ideas or thoughts?  Recommendations?  It's a full size bed sheet so I could make a couple things.  My first thoughts are an apron so I can see the colors everyday in the kitchen, a doll dress for my daughter's American Girl doll, and/or a skirt. Oh the possibilities... For now, I'll just look at it and smile :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Southwest Spaghetti Squash Casserole

I have never cooked with spaghetti squash before yesterday.  I have cooked acorn squash and butternut squash but never spaghetti squash.  I learned that it is called spaghetti squash because of the spaghetti-like strands that make up the inside of the squash once cooked.  In fact, it is super easy to take out the cooked squash.  All you do is get a fork and pull out the strands in big lumps.  I felt like a "real" cook yesterday.  One of my daughters helped me which makes the experience extra special.

Doesn't this casserole look nice in my Dansk Kobenstyle Pan?

 The farm stand I frequent had a yummy recipe that  I had to take home and try.
Here is the recipe:

Southwest Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds)
14 oz can Mexican-style diced tomatoes, undrained
14 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup (3 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut squash in half lengthwise.  Remove and discard seeds.  Place squash, cut side down, in greased baking pan. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tender.  Using fork, remove spaghetti-like strands from squash and place in large bowl.  Add tomatoes with juice, beans, 1/2 cup cheese, cilantro, cumin, garlic salt, and pepper.  Mix well.  Spray 1-1/2 quart casserole with nonstick cooking spray.  Spoon mixture in to casserole.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until heated through.  Serve and enjoy immediately!
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