Monday, August 27, 2012

Getting to long arm

My quilty friend Denise (My Life In Quilt) had generously invited me to use her longarm probably about a year ago but I had not gotten around to doing it until last weekend. I finally set up my babysitter (aka Mr. FO) and headed over to her place for a fun day learning to long arm.

With all the yummie food and the chatting I'm surprised we managed get any work done! But we did load up my muslin to work on and I have to say really liked it! This surprised me because I really don't like the quilting step on my home machine. It's probably my least favorite part of the process.

Here is what I did with my first attempt.

I started out with some free motion to get the feel of the machine.

I attempted some pebbles and feathers which were laughable but fun. Those are Denise's pebbles that look like actual circles.

Attempted a word.

And then she got out a pantograph for me to try.

And finally the boards (which I don't know the official name of) but they are plastic and you follow the pattern on them.

I have to say, I really loved it and now I'm scheming on how to get my hands on my own! It definitely would not be my least favorite part of the process if I had one of these guys. Big thank you to Denise for such a fun day!

What about you, what is your least favorite part of the process?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pinterest Report #4

This one is all recipes again. But before I get started, have you seen this website?  So funny. They post peoples attempts at making stuff from Pinterest. This post in particular had me laughing out loud at my computer.

So, what did I do this week?

Southwest Egg Rolls with Avocado Ranch dressing. These were  big hit. And surprisingly, they are meatless! Mr. Fabric Obsessed doesn't usually go for meatless and he was very satisfied with these. And I've been using the dressing for my salads since then. One thing I will say is that it makes a lot! I wound up freezing half of it so hopefully it freezes well. I'm looking forward to having it again.

Grilled Balsamic-Garlic Pork Tenderloin. Also another big hit. Although like she says in her post, it's hard to mess up Pork Tenderloin!  This one was even good re-heated (since there is only two of us we had leftovers). Another recipe I will make again!

And finally:

Tequila Orange Grilled Shrimp. This one had me nervous as I was making it. My fingers were burning from chopping the jalapenos (next time I will wear gloves!). And the pepper smell as the sauce was reducing was catching in the back of my throat and making me choke. I totally thought it was going to be too hot for me to handle. But it was surprisingly good!! Just warm spice-wise and really good. Even Mr. FO went back for seconds. Another one for the recipe book! Since I love making shrimp, I can never have too many recipes.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Some quick finishes

I've gotten a couple quick finishes done the last week. Mostly because I'm avoiding quilting a top that I can't figure out what to quilt on it! So here is what I have done.

I made two of these bags.

These are the ever popular Jane Market Tote with one change. I sewed the handles inside rather than on top.  I had this fabric and used it for powder room curtains (photos will follow once they are hung). I had way too much of it so I actually made two of the same bag. The only difference is I left my label off one.

What do you think of this fabric? I'm thinking of giving the extra bag to my daughters summer camp teacher as a thank you gift. But even the inside has the dogwood fabric on it.

The other small project was to recover my ironing board again.  Here is it in the first fabric I used all browning and gross.

And underneath is the original board. My husband and I call it the first ironing board because it's so old.

It came from his family farmhouse and we have no idea how old it is. Case in point, when I first did this, I tried to re-pad it as well and found this underneath.

Yeah. That's bolted in! I wasn't and am still not messing with it.

So I got myself a fun decor weight fabric from Joann's and used this tutorial to re-cover it.

I have to say, the tutorial is great. Very straightforward and easy to follow. And I think it left a nice clean looking cover! I'm excited to iron again!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Modern Scrappy Bits Swap

After doing a little stalking of my Modern Scrappy Bits partner, I think I've put together a package for her! She's been very quiet on the Flickr boards and we don't have to send out until Sept 1 so I may still change this.

The requirements were for a small item (pincushion, needlebook, or pouch). And I noticed my partner likes Katie Jump Rope and I just so happen to have scraps of that so I made her this pouch from this tutorial put together by Ellison Lane Quilts.

It opens up to this on the back:
 And the inside:

Then we are supposed to include at least a fat quarter's worth of scraps. My first pulling has given me this little pile....

So hopefully this will be the final package but for now it's all been put aside until either I get some feedback or until Sept 1st!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pinterest Report #3

That would be awesome!

So here's what I've done recently from Pinterest. All recipes this week.

The first recipe is from and is for Spicy Buffalo Chicken Salad. I have to admit I was pleased to see a recipe from a site with ratings and lots of reviews. Made me feel much better about making it!
I was nervous about how this was going to go over because the 'salad' part is cabbage. But it's got blue cheese and hot sauce on it so it was pretty awesome. I totally took the lazy way out with this recipe. First off I used a bag of coleslaw mix. Then, I had leftover rotisserie chicken so I used that and marinated it then warmed it on the stovetop. Its probably even better with real grilled chicken. Hubby ate it and had seconds (that's the true test you know, seconds).

The next recipe was Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps.

This was what I had originally bought the rotisserie chicken for. I went light on the sour cream so mine were a little dry. But I brought out the salsa and they were pretty good. I would definitely add some guacamole next time. But like she says on her website, these are really flexible and can be changed up a lot. Another good recipe.

A quick one that I did along with my pasta sauce was for Rosemary Olive Oil Bread similar to that at Macaroni Grill. I cheated on this one too. I made it like the Crockpot Bread from the other week with premade dough. Because I did it that way, the rosemary wound up more marbled than throughout the bread. It was still VERY yummie!

The last one was a mixed bag. It's Shells with Pesto Peas and Sundried tomatoes.

I made this because I had a ton of pesto from Costco. I thought it was excellent. But as usual, when I try to make a meatless meal, hubby is not happy. He ate this and liked it, but then finished off the leftover Buffalo chicken!  This made a lot so I would either save it for a party or cut it in half or even a quarter to use as a side.

So there is my All Done report from Pinterest! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Another Whimsy bag

Two years ago I made the above bag and blogged about it here. I have used and used this bag and I love it. And now that I'm not need to carry quite so much stuff I need a bag that was large but not so large that things get lost in it. Time for another one of these!

So here is my new bag! Made from the Whimsy pattern by Lazy Girl Designs. And updated with some Tula Pink Birds and Bees Fabric. I think that large floral is my favorite print from this line.

Here you can see the inside a bit better. You can see, I was so excited to use it that I forgot to take pictures. Just loaded it up and started carrying it around. That's a sign of a good bag. And just like last time, I have to rave about this pattern. It's SO easy to put together. I got it done in one nap time. Which around here is not that long. What's also clever about this bag is that she uses batting for stabilizer so it's a great way to use up those small pieces of batting left over from quilts.

I can't recommend this pattern enough if you are looking for a great bag. The pockets on the outside are perfect for all those things you want to reach right away (sunglasses, phone) and the inside isn't too deep so you lose everything at the bottom. How about you? What's your favorite bag pattern?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Success with knits! A t-shirt finish

I just finished this cute little shirt and I couldn't be prouder or more excited! I finally mastered knits! And I did it because of the book, Sewing Modkid Style.

I have struggled with knits before and managed some okay stuff. But this was super easy and went together SO FAST! I just needed the right supplies and information. And Patty Young covers all of that in this book. (I've not been asked or paid to say any of this)

And look what I learned. Most machines have an overlock stitch and it works like a serging stitch (not as great, but definitely works). Here's what it looks like. On my Bernina 240 it's stitch number 3. Looks like a wide zigzag and essentially it takes several stitches on the fabric, then one stitch on the outside.

Here's what the foot looks like for this stitch. Apparently a lot of the machines come with this foot. It has a little bar in the center that hooks the thread and makes it loop over nicely.

And, because everything was working so nicely. My model actually cooperated and let me take her picture! Yup, that's the cheezy grin you get when you ask a 3 yr old to smile.

The knit I used was from Patty Young's Sanctuary line and I got it at Have you ever sewn with knits? Do you have a good source to buy them?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pinterest Report #2

I tried a bunch of different things this week from Pinterest. First off was actually a sewing project.

This is the tutorial for that shirt. It's a simple tutorial and easy to follow. I of course screwed it up! I decided to use voile instead of knit. I'm still kinda scared of knit and I figured voile would be flowy enough. Wrong.  Listen to what the pattern designer tells you. There are reasons.  Here is my voile version.

It's hard to tell in the photo, but the shirt part of it sticks out like I've got crinoline in it! It's not heavy enough to hang nicely. Same with the sleeves. And as I've already got broad shoulders (see the Liverpool Shirt)  it's not a good look for me. Here's a blurry shot, but you can see the shoulders.

Again, the fabric isn't heavy enough to drape nicely. It was such a simple pattern that I might try it again in knit. But I need to find a good source for knits. My local Joann's only seems to have yucky colors. And I'm also feeling a little discouraged with all these shirts I have that I can't wear!

For the Home:

This pin has a bit of confusion with it. It was pinned with "Keep one in the shower filled with a mixture of half vinegar and half Dawn dishsoap. Use it to wipe down the shower while you are in there and your shower will always be clean. Must try this!" When I follow the link to give credit here, the guy who's blog it is talks nothing about this!

Well, it is an okay idea. First off, if you do it, make sure you put the Dawn in there first or all the vinegar will run out. Also make sure you have someplace to prop it upright in your shower or again, all the vinegar will run out. I haven't used this much, but it seems to work. I may just start using the dishsoap without the vinegar.

Along the same lines, I thought I would share my own pin that I added as a result of this. It goes to this link. It's for a daily shower spray and it reduces the frequency with which you have to clean your shower. this one totally works! I've been using it for almost a year now.

The other pin I tried I can't find anymore. That's probably a good thing because it was a dud. The pinner talked about using your wall air freshener (the outlet plug kind) to use with essential oils instead of the toxic stuff that comes with it. Good idea in theory.  She says all you have to do is pull out the "wick" dump the stuff and replace it.

Mine is a Yankee Candle brand as you can see. I had the toughest time pulling out the wick. I had to get pliers and wear rubber gloves (to keep my hands from smelling for days). Once the wick was out it kind of broke and puffed up like crazy. You can see it in the above photo. It's kind of orange. I had a hard time stuffing it back in the bottle. I used an Orange essential oil and I had a scent in there previously that smelled like laundry. Now it just smells like orange laundry. **eyeroll**  I would recommend just going to your local health store and getting the oil warmer that is with the essential oils.

Hope you've found this helpful. I've got a couple recipes that I'm trying this week. I'll be back with reviews on those soon!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Bibs for Babies

A new flickr group has started up with a charitable goal. It's called Bibs for Babies and the goal is to send over 100 bibs to Operation Baby Shower. Operation Shower provides baby showers for military families to help ease the burden of deployment.

She asked everyone to make two bibs. Here is my first.

It is made from this pattern. So easy!! And if you join Bibs for Babies, you get a discount off the bib pattern. Of course you can use whatever pattern you want though.

I went girlie for my second bib.

The back might be my favorite part!

And since I was doing the bibs and I have had some leftover Richard Scarry fabric for quite a while, I made one for Evan quickly too.

If you want to join Bibs for Babies, she's also doing some giveaways for participants. You can go to the link, or let me know in a comment and I can invite you.


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