Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tula Pink Prince Charming Tote

When my niece was home for Easter today, we whipped up a quick tote back in Tula Pink's Prince charming fabrics.  We only had about 40 minutes and we had to work fast.  She seemed pleased with the results, but the perfectionist in me is not happy.

We guessed at the measurements and I feel that the tote is too long (the picture does not show the whole length).  I did not have time to show her how to box the bottom corners and I feel like that is where things went wrong.  If we would have had time to do that it would have cut about 3 inches of the length and about 3 inches off each size of the width.  It would have also given the bag a flat bottom and a more professional finish. 
I already have a plan.  Next time she is home, I am going to pull the lining out and cut an inch off the bottom of the lining and the outside of the bag.  I will then sew across each and leave a few inches on the lining for turning.  I will box the corners, and put the bag back together and that should fix it!

Mickey Mouse Tote

I made this tote last summer before we went to Disney.  It has a layer of fusible fleece and a layer of insulbrite (like you would put in a potholder).  I wanted a thicker liner to keep bottles of water cooler longer.  It worked ok, but it was just so darn hot when we were there.  It also has a magnetic closure and the pink and orange Mickey on the front is a pocket.
I wasn't blogging at the time I made this and I gave it to my niece when I got home.  When I saw her for Easter today, I thought I would snap a picture for the old blog!  I received a lot of compliments on it when we were at Disney.  My niece and I whipped up another quick tote when she was here today.  It will be an upcoming post. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Basket Tutorial


My sons are in high school and seem a little old for the traditional pastel Easter baskets, so I went ahead and made them each a new one.  My youngest loves Penn State so that was an easy choice for him.  My oldest seemed to be drawn to the flame/guitar material, so that is what I used for him.

The dark blue Penn State material is 9.5 in by 16 in.  The white is 3 in x 16 in.  Sew the white and blue pieces together with 1/4 in seam allowance and then iron fusible fleece to the back of each piece.

Pin the 2 exterior pieces, right sides together and sew around the left, bottom and right sides with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Next I cut 2  12 in by 16 in pieces for the inside from the blue pawprint material and ironed fusible fleece to the back.  Pin the 2 interior pieces, right sides together and sew around the left, bottom and right sides with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Leave a few inches unsewn at the bottom in order to turn the project right side near the end of the project.
Box the bottom corners of the interior piece and exterior piece to help the final project stand upright.  My purple line (shown above) is 5 inches.  I sewed across this line 3 times for strength. Cut off the excess point about 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the seam line to eliminate bulk.
Cut 2 pieces of 3.5 in by 9.5 in fabric for the handles and iron fusible fleece to the back of one piece.  Put right sides together and sew a 1/4 seam down one of the 9.5 in sides.  This is where I forgot to take pictures.  Iron the piece open.  Fold the 2 raw edges to the inside all the way to the other side and press like crazy.  This will give you a handle about 1.5 in wide.  Sew down the side and it should end up looking like the picture below.  Repeat this process as you need 2 handles.
You will now have 2 handles and you are ready to put the basket together!

Next put the 2 pieces inside of each other, right sides together.  Tuck the handles down inside, making sure they are not twisted and pin like crazy!  Hint - put your pins pointing down, not pointing up like mine if you want to avoid stabbing yourself repeatedly while sewing! 
Sew around the perimeter with a 1/4 in seam allowance, pulling the pins out as you go.
Pull the project right side out through the opening you left in the bottom of the lining.

Press the raw edges from the whole you left for turning under and iron well.

Sew the whole closed.  I did a line of straight stitching and a zig zag stitch because I am a little OCD.
Tuck the inside into the bag and press well.

I finished up with a row of top stitching a 1/4 in from the edge.  Now you should have an awesome basket!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Noodlehead Divided Basket

If you read my blog often, you know how much I love Noodlehead patterns.  This is Anna's pattern for a divided basket.  I am in a secret sister swap for Easter and this is part of my gift.  What better for Easter than a basket which will be filled with goodies?
Anna's patterns have step by step color photos.  What more could you ask for?  I hope the recipient will enjoy it.  I don't think they read my blog, but I guess I better not say more, just in case!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

More Freezer Cooking

So I was able to get boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.39/ lb yesterday and I bought a lot! I cut some up with beef strips and put uncooked into freezer bags.  This will make a quick stir fry or fajitas.
I also made 4 chicken and stuffing casseroles.  (2 shown above after baking).  I made 5 boxes of store brand stuffing and put them as the first layer in casserole dishes sprayed with Pam.  I made 2  9 x 13 and 2 8x 8 pans.
I cooked chicken, cut into pieces with garlic and onion in olive oil and then added 4 cans of cream soup and 1 3/4 cups of milk.  That was the next layer.
Next I added corn to all 4 pans and mushroom pieces to the large pans and finished with some grated cheddar cheese. 
One of each size went into the oven for about 30 minutes at 350 and the other 2 headed off to the freezer.  We didn't eveneat half of it.  The rest will be leftovers and lunches for the week.  I have frozen these before and they come out great.

I also cooked some more chicken in olive oil, onion and garlic for adish I have not tried before.  Hopefully it will freeze ok.  I am calling it Chicken Penne Pasta bake.
I added 3 jars of alfredo sauce and 1 1/2 pounds of cooked penne. It went into 1 8x8 pan and 1 9x13 pan.  I also added some mozzarella and parmesan cheese beforeheading it off to the freezer. 

Tomorrow's dinner will be grilled chicked salads and the rest of the chicken I bought will be prepared for freezing.  Our freezer is now stocked pretty well after emptying it in January.  These casseroles are not necessarily the healthiest, low calories options, but we only use them about twice a month in lieu of ordering out which is never healthy either.  Sometimes you just need a quick go to meal. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saturday Sewing

I made my niece 2 matching pillowcases today.  She loves anything with peace symbols and also loveslime green and purple together so the color choices were a no brainer.  I used this awesome tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  I have made many of this and they are fun and easy.  I did French seams so I didn't have raw edges anywhere!

I also made a large receiving blanket for my son's teacher that just had a baby this week.  It is mint green on the back even though it looks white.  I will make a few bibs to add to the gift and send it on it's way this week.  Finishing these items means I also finished my to do list for today!
I took 2 pieces of flannel, put them right sides together and sewed around the perimeter.  I left a gap of about 4-5 inches for turning it right side out.  I turned it right side out, ironed it, and sewed around the perimeter again sewing the gap closed.  It doesn't get any easier that that!

This is a very large blanket.  It was 1 yard by the width of the fabric.