Monday, March 28, 2011

Pillow Slip Project

Elizabeth tested the new sewing machine on Sunday by making a pillow slip.She was patient when cutting and pinning the fabrics.
And the excitement was flowing when it was time to begin stitching.She managed to complete most of the pillow slip by Sunday evening and finished the rest this afternoon.

The pillow fit perfectly.
And now it's on her bed;
Being tested by Alf and Tweety.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ultimate Bargain

I recently stumbled upon a used sewing machine at the thrift store. The cost?A whopping $9.48 with a note "Needs Works". Well, sometimes a machine needs work and sometimes it's just operator error; especially with computerized machines. So, after a little thought I decided to take a chance and see what would happen.
Normally I just look and pass up used machines because I already have a collection of machines that I use when I teach sewing classes. But this machine had two features that caught my attention; 1) it was computerized and 2) it offered a nice selection of stitches.
My next thought was "can I re-sell it and make a profit"? Yes, I felt it was possible to re-sell and make a nice profit.
After getting the machine home and setting it up I quickly learned the "problem" was indeed user error! The machine works beautifully, is smooth and quiet and in perfect shape. It even came with a book and a few accessories!

Instead of re-selling the machine I have decided it would be the perfect starter machine for Elizabeth. It has a speed control, which is so important when first learning, and the simple push button controls will make it easy for her to operate.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Break Trip

Seldom do we follow the traditional school vacation schedules, but this year we did so Jonathan could get a break from classes and visit with his grandparents. Our Spring Break destination was Missouri.Our first stop was in Lebanon where I met my Internet friend Ann. We actually went to the same school when growing up but did not get to know each other until recently.
Elizabeth had such a good time playing with her cousins Matthew and Samuel.
While the kids played at the park Jonathan tested out the running trail. He really loved being able to run up and down hills and smelling all the wonderful trees that surrounded the park.
During our stay we experienced many different types of weather; snow was by far our favorite!
Most of our vacation plans changed because of the weather so we occupied ourselves with Scrabble. Elizabeth nearly won thanks to having help from her grandma!
When six o'clock rolled around each day Elizabeth loved being smothered in hugs and kisses from her grandpa!
During one of our outings my sister took us to an Asian market where we saw many, many forms of sea creatures. The biggest shocker was giant fish heads, on sale for $1.29 per pound. I don't think I would take them even if they were free.
After our visit ended, and we were on our way back home, we made one last stop to visit my friend Rita. It had been 9-years since we last saw each other. Rita and I were best friends in school and have been able to keep up with each other all these years.
Vacations are always fun, especially when you get to see family and friends.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Eyeglass Case Tutorial

I have been wanting an eyeglass case for my sunglasses and since I did not have a pattern I created my own using the case that holds my reading glasses as a guide.
I began by placing the sunglasses on a piece of muslin and folding over the fabric to get an idea of how much fabric was needed.
Once the size was determined I cut my square slightly larger.
This square was then used as a pattern to cut my printed fabric;
And the quilt batting.
The muslin goes on the bottom and will become the inside of the eyeglass case; the batting is second and used for padding; and the printed fabric goes on top for the outside of the eyeglass case. These three layer are then pinned together.
Using my walking foot I stitched vertical lines through all three layers.
Once the quilting was finished I then trimmed the outer edges.
I wanted to add the little dip at the top of the eyeglass case so I folded my square in half and snipped off one corner and then curved the other corner.
For my binding I found a red fabric with small white polka dots. This fabric was cut into a 2-inch strip;
And then folded, pinned and pressed.
The hardest part of the eyeglass case was maneuvering the binding around the curve and catching the two layers of the folded edge together; go slow and be sure to keep your needle in the down position.
Continue sewing down the side and across the bottom.
Once the binding is on the eyeglass case is finished.
The sunglasses are well protected inside the case;
And I no longer have to worry about my sunglasses getting scratched.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Elizabeth loves her Christmas puppy...The pattern is pretty simple; I used McCall's 4893.
This little one is a Birthday gift for one of Elizabeth's friends.I added a boutique style bow to the back of the neck.
The body is made with corduroy which made for a very soft and cuddly puppy.
I so love handmade gifts.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Under Pressure

When I was growing up my mom had a pressure cooker and my grandma had a pressure cooker; so when I found a used one, about 15 to 20 years ago, I just had to have it. I believe I paid 3-dollars for it and was pretty excited until I realized something was missing...
Which was the pressure control that sits on top. After searching for several months, while on a road trip, I located one at an Ace Hardware store in Oklahoma. The price was a shocking 10-bucks; but without it the pressure cooker wouldn't work.
Thankfully finding a book was cheaper, 1-dollar at a junk store.
Over the years I found I seldom used my pressure cooker; until recently when I was on a quest for a juicier roast and began searching the web for ideas. Now I am truly hooked on pressure cooker cooking.

To cook a great roast sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder; sear each side in a little oil; be sure to sear the roast in the pressure cooker and not a separate pan.
My book recommends cooking roast at 10-pounds for 45 to 60 minutes. I like cooking for the full 60 minutes; the meat comes out so tender and juicy.
The broth you will find at the bottom of the pan is so rich and full of flavor;
And makes the very best gravy ever.
Why did I wait so long to discover how well a pressure cooker works?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Al Fresco Dining

Oh my, today's warm weather had me wanting to bar-b-que so I fired up the grill!
On the menu was beef ribs and sausages.
While the food cooked Elizabeth and I tried out our "new to us" patio table.
This was given to us by a customer who was moving and no longer needed it.
The food was amazing and eating outdoors was great fun.
This is definitely the first of many Al Fresco meals!

msn live statistics
Hewlett Packard Laptop