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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pretty Pincushion Ring

 

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I am really excited about this pincushion. They are really pretty and simple. I will also be showing a turning technique in here as well.  I need  better camera.  It would be nice to set the camera on timer. So that I can demonstrate better. One more thing that I need. However, I go to the store, and I am not at all thinking about the camera. I’ll get around to it.

This is a small tupperware lid (about 5 inches across). You could do this from a scrap piece of fabric. I just drew around it, and cut.

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You will need:

* 5 inch strip x 1 1/2 inches wide

*marking pencil.   (any will do)

*polyfill

* 3 to 4 inch 1/4 elastic

* needle and thread

*scissors

*bottle cap

*safety pin

* hot glue gun and at least half stick of glue (You could use another kind of glue, but I like hot glue.)

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Set the stitch length to the longest setting. Stitch all the way around. Once that is done. You hold one side of the thread and push back the fabric. Try not to push fabric to hard, or you will break the thread. You can also hand stitch along the edge. It’s small enough that it actually is easier for me to hand stitch. You will just double the thread and knot the end.

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Now, we can start filling with polyfill. As you fill it up, you can begin to draw the circle closed with the thread. Once that is done, you will take the needle and go through several times to get the middle secure. It doesn’t have to look good, noone is going to see this part.

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Next, take the 5 inch strip. Fold it in half with right sides together and sew 1/4 inch seam.

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This is the turning technique. Take the safety pin and put it through one side of the fabric (like above) Now, bring the top of the pin down into the opening and push the pin down through the fabric.

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Take about 3 to 4 inch elastic and put the safety pin on one end. You will feed this into fabric. (shown below)

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I am holding the fabric and pin with my fingers. You don’t want to cover the left end of the elastic.

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When it is poking out, put this under the machine and sew. You will need to go forward and back a couple time to make sure the stitch holds elastic in place.

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To make sure the pin keeps the elastic out on this side. I simply take it straight to the sewing machine and sew down. Then, I removed the safety pin.

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Take the bottle cap, a piece of fabric a little larger than the cap, and hot glue the fabric down.

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It comes out looking like this on the top of the cap. Don’t worry about the underside. We are going to cover that in a minute.

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Hot glue the one side down. Then, wrap the elastic band under and come back up on the other side and hot glue the other end.

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Now, Take the ball that goes on top. I applied hot glue to the whole inside of cap. I put the sewn side of lime ball down and push it together for a few minutes to set the glue.

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Presto!

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Mackenzie (daughter 6) thinks this is pretty. She wants one too. Maybe, I will just make a small one for her. I had fun doing this pincushion. I do have another one to post as well. I am going to make some changes to it first. I am looking forward to trying this out with some of my upcoming sewing projects. I believe, I am going to make a wrist band too. The tomato is just not cutting it.

I hope that you don’t find the turning technique daunting. I sure did, and this is a real cheap and easy way to do it. There are turning tools out there, but I like this technique best. Plus, I have plenty of safety pins hanging around here. I hope you enjoyed this post. I will blog at you later.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Blueberry Breakfast Cake


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I am still working on the next project. They don’t always work out. This Blueberry Breakfast Cake is the second attempt.  I am glad I gave this recipe  another try. It is AMAZING! It’s not to sweet. I love me some blueberries. I got recipe here.
http://www.alexandracooks.com/2011/06/29/buttermilk-blueberry-breakfast-cake/
I did make just small adjustments. So, lets do this.
You will need:
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. lemon juice (I don’t keep lemons. So, I substituted here.)
almost 1 cup minus  1 tablespoon sugar for sprinkling on top.
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries (about 11 oz container will work)
½ cup buttermilk Before we get started, here are the tips for this recipe. I did frozen blueberries.  They need to be dry or as dry as you can get them. It will not cook right ( I botched that up, the first time.) Also, I didn’t have buttermilk the first time. So, I put the lemon juice in the milk and let it sit. The second time around, I just used buttermilk. I don’t know if it will make a difference to the taste or texture. I also used salted butter, and I could tell the difference. So, I would highly suggest that you use salted butter as well. This time, I didn’t want to take a chance. The original recipe calls for 9x9. I used 8x8.  Aparently, I have 3 that size. Thank goodness, it came out very good. The smell while cooking is mouth watering!
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. It will cook about 35 to 45 minutes. You will need to cream the butter and sugar. I cheated on room temp butter. (20 seconds in microwave) You will need to keep a close eye on it though. Just mash the butter and sugar together, until they are really mixed. Combine egg and vanilla. Mix in  the remaining flour, baking powder, and salt. While adding flour, alternate with buttermilk. Seperately,  mix  blueberries  with ¼ cup of flour. Now, mix in the blueberries. Make sure that they are mixed throughout the doughy mixture. The dough should be like a thick consistency like a cookie or bread dough.  Grease or pam the bottom of the pan. I smoothed the dough flat. My son, Jared, was helping me today. :) Snapshot_20120130_3 Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. I baked this for about 45 minutes. I checked on it twice after 35 minutes. It should become golden brown, but not to dark on top. 107 It could’ve stayed in a bit longer, but I like my cakes to be just a little moist. Let this sit 10 to 15 minutes after it comes out of the oven. The blueberries are slightly melted and very hot.
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It looks beautiful! I only made nine slices. Haha! Jared enjoyed it too. If I could impress upon you the goodness. Mmmm..mmm.
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Alright, my tummy is satisfied.  Now, it’s time to clean and sew. Back to the grind. I hope you try this one! I know, I will be making this again.








Monday, January 23, 2012

Table Runner On Point


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Finished size is 16 1/2” x 50 1/2
I have been wanting to do a table runner. I found a nice  pattern in McCalls October magazine issue . I have adjusted it a bit in the size, but the  possibilities are endless. I want everyone to know that you can cut the pieces without the cutting mat and the clear ruler. It will take more time, but I have done it.
What you will need:
*  5  fat quarters or you can get a couple more. Mine were in a pack, and I reused a couple of the colors.
* Thread to match or stand out. Again your choice.
* Batting 22” x 56”
* 3/4 yard of  backing fabric.  1 yard if you would like to make your binding out of this as well.
*1/2 inch binding. This time, I got a handy, bias tape maker.
First, I cut all the pieces out and laid them in the order I would like them to be sewn together. 
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Middle Square 10 3/8 x 10 3/8  * 12 small squares 2 1/2”x 2 1/2” * 2 strips 2 1/2” x 10 3/8 * 2 strips cut 2 1/2” x 12 3/8” * Then you will cut 4 strips of each additional color 2 1/2” x 12 3/8” (starting with flame print, grey with circles, orange with dots, white with dots, and the last row of flames)  *  Cut 126” x 2 1/2” strips for binding.
Let’s get started!
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I will be sewing the middle square. Take the first row of two strips 2 1/2” x 10 3/8”  and lay them as shown above here.
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Turn small square over onto long strip and sew 1/4 inch seam.  Press the seam towards darker colored fabric.
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Take the long strip and put that right side together with large  square and sew.
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Now take the bottom strip that has been sewn. Turn it, right sides together, making sure that line of small 2 1/2”  square  lines up with seam of orange square and grey fabric seam. I pinned this in place and sew. I flipped the square around and applied the two long strips  2 1/2” x 12 3/8” and 2 1/2” block together on the other side. This formed the base of the runner.
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Now, I have laid out the next rows  to sew on the side. I have turned small square onto strip and sewn.
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Then, press the seam down, and sew right sides of long strip and middle square together. I will then press that seam out. Turn up the  bottom piece and attach it. Continue until your rows are complete.
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Congratulations, one side is complete. I took my first break here. I find that when I get tired,I tend to make mistakes. We will  turn and repeat on the other side.
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This is what I mean by the seams being pressed down. It will keep the points looking fantastic (seen below)!
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I decided to trim my edges, 1 1/2'’ from the top of the middle point. You can also cut excess  from the tip of the point of middle block. Really, it is about preference. Also, you can lie the runner face up and cut it on one side and then the other. You can also fold it in half long ways and cut get both sides in one swipe.
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In order to get the binding length measurements, I folded it in half and  measured. Write this number down. The next measurement was on one angle to point (as shown above). Add those 2 numbers and multiply this by 2 and add 10. This is where I come up with  126”.  With that being done, I will sandwich my front,batting, and backing. I have decided to stitch in the ditch.You want to keep the quilting right in the crease of your seam.
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The backing should look like this if you decided to stitch in the ditch. However the options for  quilting are limitless.
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This is the back. I turned it over. I trimmed the top, and I am ready to put on binding. I bought something really cool. It is an 1” bias tape maker. I will show you. It saved soooo much time.
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This is where you put in the fabric strip.
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Then, slide it through to small opening at the other end.
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From the point, you hold the strip coming out the left side of photo and put from attachment. I really is simple! I sewed the binding on just like in oven mitts tutorial. There’s one slight difference. When you get the point you will stop 1/4” from point. 

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Turn end up. This makes a little angle here.
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Leaving finger there, flip binding back down.
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Sew up to edge, needle down, and turn.
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It always feels successful to finish a project! I already have my next project planned out.