Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A small to do - jazzing up some potholders.

This is the other small thing I would like to do soon.  I love these bright potholders I found in primary colors at the dollar store, but they need some jazzing up!  I have seen some cute ones on pinterest.  They might stay potholders, and I might turn them into something else.  We'll see what I can do with them!

4 More Gathered Clutches Ready to Go

Wow - what terrible lighting!  Oh well, it's not the finished project.  I have 4 more Noodlehead gathered clutches cut out and ready to put together when I am feeling better.  You can see the first one I made here.  I got them ready earlier this week and then I got sick.  Hopefully they will be done soon.  I am thinking about opening an etsy shop, but I am not sure it will be worth the bother.  Any thoughts on that?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Neon Gathered Clutch from Noodlehead Pattern

Can I just say NOODLEHEAD ROCKS! This is made from her gathered clutch pattern. I still consider myself a beginner when it comes to sewing anything other than straight lines. Noodlehead's patterns come directly via computer when you pay. They are 15-20 pages or more with step by step photos and details. If you think you can't follow a regular pattern (like me) give one of noodleheads a try. It is kind of like step by step sewing for newbies. Anna has not compensated me in any way for saying these things and doesn't even know I am writing this post. It is 100% my own opinion and your opinion may differ.

Anywho, back to what I was saying - Anna's patterns are fantastic. I don't know why I held off
so long on making this because it came together rather quickly. I whipped it together in a couple of hours after dinner. It shouldn't have taken that long, but I am kind of a perfectionist when it comes to sewing. It has the option of a divider, which I did and am not happy with it. I did not put it tight enough, so I need to be more careful next time. It also has the option of single and double credit card holders, which I did both and am pleased with how they turned out. 

The divider is orange and too loose which is my fault it is NOT a faulty pattern. The single credit card holder is also orange and the double (forgot to get a picture of that) is paisley.
This was really fun to make. As a matter of fact, I already have the parts cut out to make four more. Hopefully I will get them made and a post done before the end of the week!

Noodlehead Go Anywhere Tote

Ok - I guess it is kind of a Noodlehead day here at the domestic groove.  If you saw my last post on the Noodlehead gathered clutch, you already know how much I love Anna's patterns.
I actually made this Go Anywhere Tote back in 2012 and have been carrying it as my purse for months.  I have learned at least one new sewing technique with each Noodlehead pattern I have made.  This time it was piping and a hidden magnetic clasp.  When I made the 241 tote, it was a regular magnetic snap and an interior zipper pocket.  With the gathered clutch I ruffled material and made zipper tabs for the first time for a neater finish.  These were all things that I thought I would never be able to do, but the step by step color photos made it a breeze.
I have also purchased the sidekick tote and with that I will learn to install a recessed zipper.  Just the other night I purchased her basket pattern and with that I will make my first basket with a divider in it.  The beauty is that once I learn these techniques from her patterns, I can then apply my new found skills to other projects that I want to make.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dishcloth - a - pa - looza

Ok - so I might be a little obsessed with making dishclothes.  They are just something simple and mindless to do when I am watching tv.  I have given away about 20 of them and I still have about 30.  I can't stop making them and I am not sure why.
I like to sew, but I have to be in the mood to go upstairs and sit alone when I sew.  I can just whip these up real quick when I am sitting with my family.  They are kind of fun and I don't see me stopping anytime soon!

Bread Machine Pizza

Layer the ingredients in the bread machine in this order:
1  1/4 very warm water
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
4  1/2 c white flour
1 tsp salt - in one corner
1/2 tsp sugar - in opposite corner
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1  3/4 tsp bread machine yeast - make a shallow well in the center of the flour for the yeast

Choose the dough setting - mine takes 1  1/2 hours.  About 10 minutes before the dough is done preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Spray baking sheet with pam.  When the dough is done work it across the baking sheet.  We like thin crust so I use a pan the is big as my oven rack.  You could use a smaller pan for a thicker crust.  Bake about 6 minutes to get the crust started.  Remove from oven.  Layer with sauce (I just use 1/2 a jar of spaghetti sauce), mozzarella cheese and toppings of your choice.  Bake about 12 more minutes.  YUMMY!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Don't Call Me Betsy Lucky Stars BOM

So I think I did ok for my first attempt at paper piecing a quilt block.  This is the practice block that was sent out at the end of December for the Lucky Stars BOM club by Betsy.  There was a lot of matching up to do in the center and I only had to rip it apart once to make it work.  I did have to make an extra unit with the aqua and dark brown because one of mine was backwards. 
The block above is the January block.  It went together faster because it only has 4 main pieces instead of 8.  I was not careful when cutting and cut too much so I had to make one of the 4 over.  The dark purple in the upper left hand corner does not come to a good point because it folded weird.  It is really bugging me, so I might rip it apart and make that fourth over.  I have to look at it again because it might get covered up by the 1/4 inch seam allowance when I sew it to the next block.  I have time to ponder that before I decide what to do. 
All in all I am quite pleased with how the 2 blocks turned out.  I really wasn't sure if I could do it.  I don't want to say it didn't take some skill, but I really think it was more about patience.  I worked on these about 4 hours today and already had about an hour into the top block.  That seems like way too long, but maybe I will get better and quicker with each block I do.  Thank you to Don't Call Me Betsy for giving me the kick in the pants I needed to try paper piecing.  It was only $10 to sign up (I think it is $15 now), and well worth it to stretch beyond my comfort zone.
UPDATE - I just realized one section has the 2 purple sections BACKWARDS!  UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Candy Tree

Check out this cool little tree.  I went to a fundraiser for a family friend and won this at the Chinese auction.  My kids really wanted to keep it and I am a serious chocoholic, but we did part ways with it. 
We decided to give it to my husband's grandmother for Christmas.  It was a huge hit at our gathering.  I am not a total el cheapo.  I did not give it to her in place of another gift, we gave it to her on top of the other gifts we already had for her.  I just wanted her to have it because she really likes candy.  Also, I knew how much I loved it.  What makes a better gift than something you actually love yourself? 

Souper Supper

It was soup for dinner today!  Broccoli cheese soup above and potato soup below.  Only one of my boys likes broccoli cheese soup, so I only made a small batch.  Originally I was going to make grilled cheese sandwiches but we opted for chicken quesadillas to go along with it. 
This will give us lots of leftovers for lunches this week.  We are working on the eat from your pantry challenge.  We will be working on this challenge all month!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Pinterest Recipe for Dinner

As per my menu plan for the week, we had beef with broccoli in the crockpot.  The verdict from my family is a definite 2 thumbs up.  Collectively, that is 8 thumbs because there's 4 of us.  With 2 teenage boys, I altered the recipe to make more. 
Here's what I did:
3+ pounds boneless beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips
1 cup beef broth
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cooled sauce from the crock pot after being cooked
3 heads of fresh broccoli florets
Hot cooked rice
I am linking to the original blog, not the pin.  Yum, yum, yum BS Recipes.

Swedish Dala Horse and Flag Quilt

 So I wanted to make my mother something special for Christmas as she already has everything she needs.  She is extremely proud of her Swedish heritage, so this is what I came up with for her.  She has a yellow and blue "nice" living room.  I saw the Dala Horse fabric on Ebay and immediately knew the yellow/blue color way would be perfect for her.  I ordered 2 yards at $25/yd (gasp) over Thanksgiving break.  I fully intended to cut it up for quilt blocks for the front until I opened the package.  The repitition in the print made it very difficult to find a way to cut it without cutting through many of the dala horses.  I just couldn't bear to touch it with my rotary cutter after what I paid for it. 
I went to bed that night hoping for clarity and it came to me.  It seems that is when I do my best thinking.  The living room is blue and yellow, the fabric is blue and yellow  .................  the Swedish flag is blue and yellow and now I know what I am going to do.  I new I had to vary the prints and shades in the flags so the pattern stood out.  If I only used only one blue and one yellow it wouldn't look like flags.  It would show up as big blue rectangles with yellow borders.
I love how it turned out.  I know the real Swedish flag is medium blue and medium yellow, but I love the variety in color and pattern.  The Dala Horse fabric intended for blocks on the front made an awesome backing.  My mom cried when she opened it.  I have definitely spent more money on presents for her, but never gave her something so touching and from the heart.

I forgot to take measurements before I gave it to her, but each flag s 10x15 and I believe the yellow border was 5 in (maybe only 4 in) before the seam allowance.  I guess that makes it a hair under 55 x 70.  (It really isn't crooked, my son is just holding it that way!

Please comment and let me know what you think!