Friday, December 27, 2013

A Christmas of Quilts

We made it through!  Honestly, I am not sure how we did it.  Between my sister-in-law and I, we completed six quilts for Christmas presents.  Not bad for a couple of amateurs!  Before this adventure, I had only helped complete one quilt, and my sister-in-law zero!  I guess we decided go big or go home!!  Yes, I know I neglected my blog in the process!  

Now I am not going to say that they were the most wonderful perfectly created quilts, but they were stitched with those we love in mind.  And they will, in return, get a lot of love back!  So here I share with you some smiles we created!
 We had a couple helpers!!
 The first to get hers open!

 The Whole Tribe!
 Grandma, loving it already!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Apple Pie ~ Grandma's Way

Today I am going to share with you my Grandma's Apple Pie

I am so glad that I took the time to learn as much as I could from her.  A woman who overcame so much, and always with a smile.  I try to carry that into my everyday life.

Without further ado, 

Apple Pie
The Way Grandma Did It

First, start by making your crusts for a double crust pie.
(Perhaps that will have to be a future tutorial)

Roll one out, and place in the bottom of your pie pan.
Now, here is the strange part.  Grandma said, just throw it in the bottom, the juices will take care of the rest.
To the pie plate, add:
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbl. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
Peel and slice your apples, and pile them on top.
(I like to use nice tart apples.  My apple tree makes great pies, but if I have to buy apples from the store for a pie, I always buy Granny Smith.)  I pile them nice and high, usually takes about five nice sized apples.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Boys Quilt Part 2

Welcome to another quilt tutorial.
This is part 2 of my boys quilts.
With this second quilt, I started once again with 60 - 9.5" squares.  
As in the last quilt, I used the grey chevron fabric as my main color, so I had 30 of those.  Three other fabrics 10 of each.

I thought it would be cool to have a square with a little and a big square opposite of each other.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Grab The Seam Ripper!

It's been one of those nights!  I am almost finished putting the top of my quilt together.  I can deal with ripping out one long seam, but when I get to the second, I think it's just time to put it away for the night.  
Sometimes a fresh perspective is all that is needed.  So until tomorrow, I am signing of on this quilt! ;)  

Nobody is perfect, so don't expect your projects to be either!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Inverted Block - Quilt tutorial

Today I am going to show you the first of two boy quilts.  Again, like the girls, I wanted them to match (since they share a room), but be different since they like to have their own identity. 
I started by picking out the fabric.  The two grey fabrics will be used in both quilts.
Step one is to cut your fabric.  I chose to begin with 9.5" squares.  The finished block for this first tutorial will end up 8.5".  The nice thing about this tutorial is you can begin with whatever size block suits your fancy!
Now that's what I call a stack of blocks!
For one quilt, I used 30 blocks of the striped grey (main fabric), and 10 each of my two blues, and solid grey.

Now you will take and stack up a few blocks at a time - Do however many you feel comfortable cutting at a time.  I chose to do four.

Your first cut will be a 3 inch strip on the side of the block.
I would like to mention here to let your creativeness run wild, if you want your center block to be bigger, or smaller, just adjust the strips accordingly.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Auntie's Sugar Cookies

Thank goodness it's Friday right??    So why not whip up a little treat for yourselves this weekend, some good old fashioned 

sugar cookies!  

When we got married, one of the best gifts I received at my shower was some cookie sheets and baking supplies, along with my Great-Aunts sugar cookie recipe.  Since I love to share, all the lucky folks who find me floating out in cyber space will get to enjoy this sweet treat with me!

Before we get started, I must tell you that if you are looking for a roll out sugar cookie, this is not the one.  But trust me, they are good!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Start by creaming the above ingredients together.  Trust me, when I say cream, I mean it!  Get it nice and smooth.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Grandma's Quilt

My Sister-in-law is a genius!

She came up with this wonderful idea for a Christmas present for my mom.
My mom is now up to nineteen grandchildren and one great grandson.  She is the typical proud Grandma, and always there for any of us who need her, so she is much deserving of a special  gift like this.

First she cut out twenty 12.5 inch squares and had all the names embroidered on.
Next, using a fabric paint (found at the fabric store), we put hand prints on.  We used this paint, but there are many different kinds.  Just be sure it is for fabrics and won't come off when washed!
Here's a set of hands.
 And now, to finish collecting prints (that's probably the hardest part!!!)  and, put it all together.
I'll keep you updated on her progress!
There is still time to get one done for that special someone on your Christmas list!!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Two Down, Two To Go!

I am always hesitant to take on bigger projects.  I always get frustrated with how long it takes me to finish.  I do not have the luxury of putting my nose to the grindstone and finishing fast.  I have four kids, a husband, and a house who scream for attention!

So when I do finish, it feels so much sweeter.  I just finished the girls' quilts.  Now I get the excitement of starting two more!  With over a month, I should be fine getting the boys' done before Christmas.
 I chose to back them with super soft fabric.  My youngest is now four, so they are all moving away from their baby blankies, but why should that softness end there, right?  I mean even I enjoy softness, and I am far from a baby!  My husband even said, "When do I get a blanket this soft?"  So I guess I'll add him to the list too, but we'll put his on next years Christmas list!!
So go get started!  You can do it!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Homemade Syrup

Here is my disclaimer:
Syrup = Sugar
I know that it's not the best thing for you, but I feel better about feeding this to my kids than something that is packaged with a bunch of stuff added to it!  
The more we can do ourselves, the better our bodies will be in the long run.

Let's get to it. Take 1 cup sugar and pour into a small pan.
 Add 1 cup brown sugar.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tuna Pie

I find as my kids get into after school activities, I am even busier than I imagined! (Makes me really appreciate my mom!)  That being said, I appreciate a meal that I can throw together really fast when I need to. 

And of course, we have to stick together and share every tidbit we can right!?

So here is a quick easy dinner that the kids love, and you will too!!  

Try this one out! 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly grease a pie plate, and layer two cans of tuna fish in the bottom.
Sprinkle 1 cup shredded cheese over tuna.
 Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a frying pan and cook two cups chopped onions, over low heat.
 Until lightly browned. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Christmas Quilt Projects

Hey everyone, I just wanted to share with you the second quilt top, and the finished pink quilt top.  These are for my daughters for Christmas!  I am off tomorrow to turn them into true blankets!  Super excited I must say.  

For the tutorial on half square genius, and how to get all so many designs, click here.

I wanted the quilts to be different, since the girls like to have their own identity.  But on the other hand, I wanted them to tie in together, since they share a room.   
This is what I ended up with.
I also ended up putting another border on the purple quilt.  You will see that when I post the final project.

Here are some other layouts I could have done with my half square triangles. 
I absolutely love the diagonals, but you would have to plan out colors accordingly!
Have fun with your projects.  Remember not to get frustrated.  We learn by doing!

Apron Tutorial

Women's Apron Tutorial

This is a nice apron because all of the seams are finished inside, giving it a very finished off look.

Let's get started!  

First thing you will need to do is draft a pattern.  Don't feel overwhelmed, it is not as hard as it sounds.  I simply drew mine on a piece of newspaper and cut it out.
It is a pretty simple pattern.  I have drawn a little sketch to show you the sizes of it (don't mind my neatness, or lack there of).  The apron in the tutorial is for an adult, but to make it for a kid, I would just shrink it about an inch on each side.
So as you can see, you'll pretty much begin with a rectangle, and add the curves from there.  

Once you get that pattern all cut out, you'll be ready to cut your pieces out.  You will need to cut 2 of the body pieces(front and back).  It is very important to be sure and fold your fabric, and line it up, as the pattern shows.
 You will also need:
Neckties - 2 strips - 3" x 28"
Waistband - 2 strips - 4.5" x (40-60") (you can make the length                                           of the waistband longer                                           or shorter depending on                                           if you want to tie it in                                         the back or bring it back                                         around and tie it in                                             front.  Mine were 44".)

Ruffle - 5" x 80"
 Pocket - A rectangle piece however big you want the pocket.  I like to put a different pocket on all my aprons.  I feel it adds a little personality.
Here are two examples:

Both started as rectangles about 6"x 9".

Now That you have it all cut out, lets begin the construction.  Get your iron hot!
First You will want to press your neckties, and waistbands in half, right sides together.
Also, press your ruffle strip in half, wrong sides together.

Finally, Press the edges of your pocket (whatever shape you choose).  You will just want to fold in the edges about a 1/4".   As you saw earlier, I also like to press my bottom corners in too.

Now, off to the machine.

First, Sew along the top only of the pocket.  You only need to finish off the top, since the others will be finished when you attach it to the apron.  Which you will want to do now.  Decide where you want it placed, and sew it to the front panel only.  I always pin it in place first, to make sure it is straight, and stays that way as I sew.
Onto the straps.  I like them to have a slant on the end.  You achieve this by first sewing from the bottom corner (on the fold) diagonal to unfinished edge, stopping 1/4" before. 
Turn, and continue on down the unfinished edge. 
Do this with all four.
Cut the corners off and set aside.
Now, for the ruffle.  I know I told you to press the ruffle with wrong sides together, but in order to have a finished end, we must get a little tricky here.
Taking one of the ends, you will want to fold it right sides together (on the end only) and sew a diagonal opposite of what we did on the straps. 
 Cut your corner off.
Fold it back to wrong sides together, and your ends will be finished. 
Next, sew a basting stitch all the way along the raw edges of the ruffle.
Find the middle of the ruffle, and pin it, raw edges together to the bottom center of the apron top. Gather the ruffle piece however much you need, so it reaches to corners on both sides.  The folded edge should be towards the middle of the apron.
Continue to pin the ruffle along the outer edge.  I have found it easiest to leave my needles sticking out like the picture below.  this makes it quicker in the long run.
Don't be afraid to use a lot of pins.  It will make it much easier when you are sewing around the outside.
Now, onto the straps.  First, we must turn them right sides out.
 And press!
Now, we will lay it all together.  Let's start with the neck straps.  Note that you will not want to put it right against the edge of the piece.  We will have to sew along there in the future.  So leave about 1/2". Lay both sides in place.
Take the waistband and put it between the ruffle, and the apron top.  Keeping in mind that we will also need room to sew on top of the band, without catching it. 

 Pin the ruffle back in place.
 All of your straps must be inside the body of the apron.  Make them lay as flat as you can, and pin them down in a couple of places to be sure they do not slip around.  We do not want them to move around, and get caught when we sew!
It should now look something like this!
Finally, Take your backing piece and pin it on top.  Right sides should be together.
Sew around the apron, using a 1/2" seam.  We do a bigger inseam to be sure you are catching the whole ruffle, and hopefully hiding your basting stitch.
Do not sew the top between the straps.  This is where we will turn it right side out.
 I think it's important to reinforce straps at this point.  I like to back over them and then forward again.  This will make nice sturdy straps.  We put time into our stuff, we want it to last right?!
When sewing along the straps, use your fingers to be sure you are not catching them with your seam.  We do not want these to be sewn down!!
 Follow the outside all the way around, pulling pins as you go.
 The top should look like this.
Now turn it right side out.
 All we have to do now, is close the top.
 Fold, and press the edges in.  I also give the apron a light press at this time.
 Sew along the top.
You are done!
I hope you're happy with how your apron turned out!  Please share a picture with me!!


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