Thursday, October 30, 2008

Little House on the Prairie?

This morning I was sitting at the kitchen table talking with my mother and drinking coffee. Since one of my brothers has recently acquired a rooster and 3 hens, I asked her if chickens had to be kept warm in the winter. We had freezing temps this morning and I just wondered. Well, she began to talk about her childhood and I was amazed at the similarities to Little House on the Prairie.

I guess you could have called it Big Old Farmhouse on the Coastal Plain!

She said that her father, who she calls Papa, would buy 200 biddies that they would have to keep warm and take care of until they were big enough to go into the poultry yard with the already good sized flock. The chickens were very important to their survival, and she assured me that they always ate very well, thanks to her Papa and Mama.

She said there were chicken thieves who would come into the yard at night occasionally and take chickens from the roost. The chickens would be making all kind of noises and her Papa would go out with a gun. But she said he never shot at anyone, just went out to investigate.

I asked her what the chickens ate and she said they had plenty of corn and that they would take corn to the mill nearby and have cornmeal made. Then her mother would use the cornmeal and make some kind of concoction that the chickens loved.

She said that she would take a big dishpan full of her Mama's eggs to the store down the road and trade them in for things like sugar. Usually there would be a little change leftover, which her Mama would put away and save for Christmas. I hope the store keeper was nicer than Ms. Olson!!!

I think I want some chickens, but I'm not sure they would be profitable, since we would need to purchase food for them. A dozen eggs probably costs less than the food to feed them!

Then she told me about how much meat they had in their smokehouse. It was a nice smokehouse with lots of places to hang all kinds of hams, shoulders and sausage, etc.

Her Papa always had a cow so that all the children (11!) would have plenty of milk.

Don't get me wrong, I know they did not have the modern conveniences that we now have such as electric heat, air conditioning, indoor bathrooms and the like, but it sounds like a great childhood that my Mama had!

I think we all need to let our parents talk about their childhoods and make a record of these things.

Have your parents told you stories that make you yearn for those simpler times?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Laundry in my Home

Its Works For Me Wednesday again and I thought I'd share a few laundry tips that work for me.

1. I am always utilizing the air conditioning/heat vents in my house for drying laundry. I often put my drying rack over a vent. If I wash any shoes I just put each one upside down on top of two different vents and the next day they are dry.

This week I washed my black dress pants and black blazer on the delicate cycle, hung them on hangers and in order to expedite their drying I hung them on the end of the ironing board, you guessed it, over a vent.

Our heat has been running at night so these clothes dried pretty quickly. Heck, here in North Carolina the heat was running one night and the air conditioning the next day. So, there's usually some kind of air coming out of there. Why not make more use of those energy dollars?

2. My ironing board is up all the time in my little sewing room which is located right beside the laundry room. I don't always get it done, but its really convenient to iron hubby's shirts straight out of the dryer. My iron is usually on for sewing purposes all day on Saturday anyway.

3. I recently set up a drying rack in our bedroom. This is a picture of the drying rack and laundry basket located in an out of the way place outside the door of our bathroom. The bathroom we use is very small and we don't have too many towel racks. Since there are three of us using this bathroom on a regular basis, hanging the towels over the shower rod to dry gets complicated. Who ever is taking the next shower might not be the person who wants to reuse those towels. So I have started hanging mine and hubby's towels on the drying rack. Its also nice to hang some laundry on to save electricity, especially if its something that doesn't really need to go in the dryer. I hung several pairs of black trouser socks on there this week that were washed with the above pants and blazer.

4. I learned from experience to always wash whites/lights that are going to get bleach LAST. That way I don't have to worry about a little tiny speck of bleach that splashed on the side of the washer getting onto an article of colored clothing.

5. I'm still cutting my dryer sheets in half. Honestly, this works and saves a little money. The main thing to me is that I don't have to worry about running out as soon. They last a really long time when you double the number of sheets.

6. I saw on the "A Home With a Smile" blog that Rhonda is making her own fabric softener and I want to try her recipe soon. Here's the post about the recipe. She also did an update here.
7. A lot of our towels are white and this is good because a little bleach in the water occasionally keeps them smelling fresh.

8. I do a few loads of laundry during the week, but to be honest, its less stressful to me to just wait until Saturday to do the majority of it. I don't necessarily like to be pressured to keep the laundry going ALL the time. Also on Saturday if the weather's nice I can hang some of it outside on the line.

9. I almost always stock up Purex Laundry Detergent because its often on sale at a good price and there are usually coupons available to combine with the sale. It just so happens to be on sale this week at Food Lion for Buy One Get One Free and I'm using my last bottle. I hope we have coupons! FH (Frugal Hubby) is checking as I type!

For more Works For Me tips, go to Rocks in My Dryer!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday Sewing - Christmas Sewing

Today I have done quite a bit of sewing and thoroughly enjoyed myself. The day started out cloudy and drizzly and slowly cleared as the day went on. I haven't left the house except one trip out to the mailbox. I kept my jammies on until mid afternoon! I cooked Spaghetti for supper. That's the kind of day I need every now and then, but it was a little too quiet.

This is a Christmas Wallet I made to match the Christmas pocketbook I made a couple of weeks ago:

Click here to see the Christmas Pocketbook, in case you didn't see it when posted before.

I also put together three more bags for my Etsy Shop, one of which was my first Christmas Reusable tote. I think they would be great to use as gift bags. I am planning to use them for gifts that I'll be giving this year. The bags can be reused by the recipient and are much nicer than paper gift bags. One way to reuse them would be to store Christmas decorations, etc. and then the next Christmas give someone a gift in the same bag. Unless you buy paper gift bags at the Dollar Tree they are very expensive and most people just throw them away. I keep every one I get to reuse as many times as possible.

This is the Christmas Gift/Grocery/Tote Bag I made today. Isn't the ric rac cute?

Don't forget that you can make your own bags using my tutorial on the right or one of the many other tutorials on the web. But, if you are interested in buying some bags, the above bag and the other two bags I made today can be seen in my Etsy Shop on the right side bar.

I hope your Saturday was good too!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sew Crafty Friday - Bags, Bags, Bags!

I made my first attempt at making a Mini Laptop Bag using denim for the outside and brown cotton fabric for the lining:

I used Velcro for the closure. When I looked online I saw that the new Mini Laptops are made in many sizes from 7 inches to 10 inches and up. That that's just the screen size. I plan to make the bags the size that would fit more than one size.

Also today, Tori, who is a missionary wife in Croatia, made a shopping bag using my tutorial! Please click HERE to see how great it turned out. She made my day, just to know someone benefited from and actually understood my tutorial!

The name of her blog is "A Home Away From Home". Where she lives the grocery stores do not furnish plastic grocery bags, so being able to make your own comes in handy. I think those days are coming here in the USA also. We have got to stop putting all that plastic in our landfills.

I really enjoy making these shopping bags because they are so easy and there are so many combinations you can come up with. This week I made my first two with denim and really like them. I've already sold them in my Etsy Shop.

They are reversible. Here is one using black denim and some Mary Engelbreit fabric showing it each way:

Happy Friday

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Small Town America

Happy Thursday everyone!

Yesterday I made a little trip to one of our local Food Lion stores in the small town I work in. There were lots of things going on there on what would normally have been a quiet morning.

I was looking through the meat counter and noticed there were lots of meat with 2 days left til they expired that had been marked down. I often purchase these if I can cook them the same day or will freeze them the same day.

I felt a presence near me and when I looked up a teenage boy was standing there looking into my pocketbook and he nicely asked, "Can I borrow $10.00". Well, I didn't have ten bucks on me, as I seldom have much cash on me since the advent of the debit card. So I said no, I don't have $10.00 and he went on. I then watched to see where he went, as it kind of startled me and I wanted to keep an eye on him. He just went on to the next lady with the same question. She seemed as startled as I was.

I proceeded on to the bread isle where I overheard two store clerks who were very upset that someone had stolen a bunch of bacon earlier that morning. One stated that she has seen a couple go to the bathroom that morning, but didn't really pay attention to them. The other one said, "I hope they choke on it!".

Finally I proceeded to the checkout where three ladies in front of me in line were excitedly telling the checkout clerk about the boy in the store begging for money. Lo and behold he walked right by me and questioned another startled shopper about $10.00. The checkout clerk confronted him and told him he couldn't be in the store doing that and he very innocently said, "Oh no mam, I wouldn't ever do that".

By this time it was obvious to me that he was mentally handicapped and had slipped away from home or school or something. He was obviously well cared for, well dressed and well fed. He was just being a little mischievious that morning! LOL

Then as I proceeded in the checkout line, I overheard the same ladies discussing the fact that Ms. Mamie, a long time Food Lion clerk, had lost her son the night before to a sudden illness. Ms. Mamie had lost a daughter just a couple of years ago. The clerk was getting customers to sign a sympathy card and we could donate money if we wanted to. I thought that was so sweet. I'm sure many customers knew Ms. Mamie well and were sorry for her loss. I don't even know Ms. Mamie, but feel so sad for her.

So there's my 15 minutes of Small Town America for today!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Convenient Home Set Up - Works For Me!

I saw that Rhonda and Susan showed their sewing areas and called it "KEEPING IT REAL" so here's my version:


Today is "WORKS FOR ME WEDNESDAY" and I thought and thought about what works for me. Well, it seemed that nothing works for me a lot of the time. Do you ever feel that way. Sometimes I'm just carried along with the waves of work, home, family, etc.

BUT, I did come up with something that really does work for me!

I love to sew and do so for pleasure and am trying to build up a small side business with the ultimate dream of a full time business. Let me tell you that's a long way off! Since I work full time outside of the home and try to be a good house keeper, cook and chief bottle washer :o), it gets pretty crazy sometimes!

I always dreamed of having a fancy sewing room with all the latest equipment. There are two obstacles to this: 1. No room; and 2. No money for fancy equipment. :o)

I finally realized that the little front room at my front door was just wasted space and turned it into a sewing room. Its the perfect size and the best thing about it is that its convenient to the rooms that I am in and out of all the time doing laundry, cooking and spending time with my family.

From my seat at the sewing machine I can see the tv, the computer desk and the washer and dryer, as you can see from the picture. Also, I can hear whats going on all over the house. Its only a few feet away from the kitchen too. While I am waiting for the water to boil I can sew a few seams. As soon as one load of clothes is through washing I can jump up from my sewing and go move the laundry along its merry way.

So when I am sewing I am located in just the right place to keep the laundry going, to check on whats cooking and am never too far away from those guys in there watching football when they want me to come watch a great NC State or Carolina Panthers replay!

So I ask you, what is your passion or hobby? If you can locate your work (or play) area conveniently in your home, you can get more done in both your home and with your passion or hobby.

So please go to Rocks in My Dryer for more Works For Me Tips!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday Sewing

First of all I want to thank my blogger friend, Elizabeth, of Elizabeth's Simple Day, for the box of sewing supplies she sent me! She has cleaned out her sewing area and I was the lucky recipient. There were also some great sewing books that I have already removed from the box. They went with me to my mother's last night.:o)

Look at all the thread, ribbon and other notions!

I've been sewing lots of little things today:

This week my son asked me to sew a project for him. He has a GPS and he wanted a bag or something like that so that he could just slip it into the bag and put in the glove compartment in his truck. A light bulb went off in my head and I remembered the mini snap wallets I first started making about a year ago.

I made them in various sizes and had one in my current pocketbook that was EXACTLY the right size. Here is a picture of my mini wallet and the one I made for his GPS. He wanted just plain black. I offered camo and all kinds of other fabric, but black was what he wanted. The GPS wallet is lined and has quilt batting between the outer and inner fabrics which gives it little body and makes it soft. Sounds like a new Etsy Shop Item to me!

This is a new clothespin bag for my Etsy Shop. Its lined with a soft denim and I love the way it turned out. The opening is trimmed with red "ric rac" that was in the box of sewing supplies Elizabeth sent.

I am going to make a grocery/tote bag from the same fabric. It will be reversible, so it can be used with denim on the outside or the inside:

I also made a new grocery/tote/gift bag for my Etsy Shop

Friday, October 17, 2008

My Husband Rocks!

My hubby last Spring as he was leaving to go to work:

Every Friday Katy Lin at The Great Adventure Blog hosts "My Husband Rocks Friday". This really appealed to me because my husband really rocks!

I have a wonderful husband! He does so many things for me all the time and these are just a few of the things he did this week:

1. Clipped, filed and organized coupons
2. Went to a local grocery store and stocked up on meats at an unbeatable sale price
3. Brought the meat home and repackaged it into freezer bags for the freezer
4. Made coffee this morning, poured mine into my favorite cup and added my flavored
5. Went home from work at lunch and started our supper in the crock pot
6. Emptied and loaded the dishwasher for ALL the dishes at every meal
7. Cooked supper after getting home from work one night
8. I never have to pick up anything after him
9. He calls me at work to say hi at least once a day
10. He supports me in every way he can while I help take care of my mother
11. Made me laugh countless times

This is the crock pot cooking away when I got home from work yesterday!

Thanks for everything honey!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Giving Generously During Tough Times

Sarah Mae of the "Like a Warm Cup of Coffee" blog is hosting a Mr. Linky today requesting ideas for "Giving Generously During Tough Times"

As you know, times are tough right not for most people, so just think how things are for the less fortunate all over the world. I've read that donations are down dramatically to food pantries, thrift stores and other needy organizations.

I would like to be more generous and a big giver and am working on that.

Here are a few ways to give even if you don't have a lot of surplus.

1. Use coupons and sales to buy food for food pantries. My church has a food pantry for the poor and there is often a desperate plea in our church bulletin to help by donating food. Lately, the pantry is pretty bare. I try to donate some things every week. Some examples are: Cheerios are often buy one get one free at Food Lion and there are almost always coupons available for that. When giving to a food pantry I think we need to give foods that can be eaten without having to buy additional ingredients. The needy person who gets the food may not even have a way of cooking. Sometimes I buy 5 bags of rice, but what if that person doesn't have a pot, water or a stove, not to mention salt. So I am going to start buying things like tuna, canned soup, beenie weenies, vienna sausages, crackers, etc.

2. Pay Pal. When I sell something in my Etsy Shop or on Ebay and a person pays with PayPal, the money goes into my paypal account and I have a PayPal Debit Card. Most charitable organizations accept Debit Cards and Credit Cards on line. Just go to their website and use the paypal debit card or your credit card. So if you could sell something on line, whether it be Ebay, Etsy or some other way, a portion of your sales could easily be donated with the click of a computer key.

One organization that I like to donate to is "Food For The Poor". $12.00 will feed a family in Haiti for a month", or that's what they tell me. $12.00 will hardly feed a family here for a couple of days!

It just hit me that I could also use the PayPal debit card to buy groceries for the food pantry, with coupons and on sale of course! A Home Run!!!

3. Donate to Thrift Stores that help the needy. In my area we have a Crisis Center that will help anyone in a crisis situation. Clean out your closets and attics and you can help the needy without spending any money out of pocket, and declutter your home at the same time.

Do you have ideas for giving during tough times?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Quick, Easy and Delicious

Today is KITCHEN TIP TUESDAY and you can read LOTS of other kitchen tips at the Tammy's Recipes Blog. I am always amazed that its only 6:00 A.M. and there are already 30 tips on there!!!

My tip of the week is that there really are always new things to try. No matter how long you've been cooking or how bad the cooking rut you are in, out of the blue something different will come to your attention.

This past week I made two more new dishes, at least they are new to me.

My husband played in a golf tournament sponsored by his job, called "The Greater Goodness Grows Open" a couple of weeks ago. It was put on by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and the motto for the items grown or manufactured in North Carolina is "GOODNESS GROWS". He brought home all kinds of things that are made in North Carolina, like Lance products, House Autry Mills products, Carolina Treet BBQ sauce, etc.

One of the items was "In Your Oven Pork" by House Autry Mills. The box comes with two shaker bags and two packets of the coating mix. I purchased a package of pork chops and used one of the bags and a packet of coating mix. All you do is bake the coated chops on a cookie sheet in your oven for 20 minutes!!! These were the BEST pork chops I have ever eaten! Not only did it go together fast, all I had to do was come up with a couple of easy sides and we had a great meal. This is a Southern thing, but we had the pork chops, banana sandwiches and baked beans. YUM!!!

You might not be able to find this exact product in your area, but there may be a similar product in the stores. I would love to make my own if I could come up with the right ingredients and spices. I also think you could sprinkle Ms. Dash on both sides of the chop and dip it in crushed bread crumbs or some combination like that and get good results. The amazing thing to me is that the chops cook so fast in the oven.

The other new to me recipe I made Sunday afternoon was Butterscotch Brownies. I was rummaging around in my cabinets trying to come up with an easy "sweet" recipe. I didn't want to get into a big mess like making cookies and didn't have the ingredients on hand anyway. I came across this recipe in my Betty Crocker Cookbook and it was very good! It makes a small 8 X 8 pan, which is good since we don't need to eat brownies all week and usually you would have all the ingredients on hand. My husband and I loved it. Here's the recipe:

Butterscotch Brownies

1/4 cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I threw in a small packet of peanuts we had laying around)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

(If using self rising flour, omit the baking powder and salt)

Heat oven to 350. Grease bottom and sides of square pan, 8 X 8 X 2 inches, with shortening. Melt shortening in 1 1/2 quart saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in brown sugar, vanilla and egg. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread in pan. Bake 25 minutes. Cool slightly in pan on wire rack. Cut into about 2 inch squares while warm.

(Note to MLJW, is the same recipe that you call Blondies?)

Any recipes that are as good as these two, definitely earn many repeats at my house!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Debbie Mumm Fabric Bags!!!

Debbie Mumm Christmas Fabric Pocketbook/tote bag!

I don't know what's happened to me, but I'm really on a roll in my sewing room! For the last week I've been getting so much done in there. Maybe its the time of year, because I always feel more like sewing in the fall and winter.

Anyway, I've been planning to make Christmas Pocketbooks/totebags all year and made one yesterday. I have lots of other Christmas fabric that I plan to make more pocketbooks from also.

Ladies, now's the time to get those Christmas projects done! Believe it or not its only about 6 weeks until Thanksgiving and that will the date I would want to start carrying my Christmas pocketbook.

I also got this Debbie Mumm Crafter's fabric tote bag done:

Both of these bags had directional designs on them that required me to match up the side seams and they both worked out beautifully! The crafter's bag is in my Etsy Shop. This first Christmas Pocketbook may be a gift for someone, not sure yet. Anyway, look for more in my Etsy Shop soon!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I don't mean to air my dirty laundry.....


There were 2 or 3 more loads besides these that had already been done when I took the picture.


I have been doing my usual Saturday routines today which include laundry, sewing, cleaning and cooking.

Cooking: I boiled a whole chicken, deboned him and made a large bowl of chicken salad. We enjoyed chicken salad sandwiches for lunch along with some homemade french fries.

Sewing: Last night I made the Fall grocery bag and "Jesus Loves You" child's pillow that I posted the beginnings of yesterday. I was up sewing until 11:00 P.M. That's unheard of for me. I'm usually asleep by 9:00!

Today I have made a set of Fall coasters and plan to make one more grocery bag and start cutting out a Christmas Pocketbook. The finished items are in my Etsy Shop.

I think the pillow turned out sweet!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

In my Sewing Room This Week

Hi everyone. Happy Friday!

Frugal Friday and Sew Crafty Friday are on break for a while, so I thought I'd just show you what's laying on my sewing machine table this morning:

I'm not sure how I'm going to use The "Jesus Loves You" crosstitch. My original plan was to make a child's pillow or totebag, but this crosstitch turned out a little smaller than I intended. I think it would make a cute hanging door pillow for a child's room or a small totebag or small pillow. I hope to work on this this weekend.

The Fall fabric laying beneath everything is going to be another reusable grocery bag for my Etsy Shop. I made two more clothespin bags and two more grocery bags last weekend which are in my Etsy Shop on the right side bar if you want to see them.

Also, I got out my box of Christmas fabric this week and have plans to start making Christmas projects. I bought some beautiful Debbie Mumm Christmas fabric at the after Christmas sales this past January and hope to make Christmas Pocketbooks to sell.

Whew!!! I just have too many sewing projects and too little time!!!

I'm looking forward to a great Autumn weekend. Can't wait!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Heart Strings Post - The Coat that Mama Made

I saw this post over at the Sew Chic Blog and it reminded me of this coat:

This is a red corduroy coat my mother made for my daughter when she was about five years old. It has a soft feminine lining and fold up cuffs on the sleeves. My mother did a professional job on this project. I loved this coat when my daughter was small and have kept it all these years. Its one of those things you keep forever. I might even have a granddaughter to wear it some day.

Unfortunately, I couldn't lay my hands on a picture of my daughter wearing the coat. I'm not sure if we have one, but if I find one, I'll post it.

I have a couple of other items my mother made for my children and myself that I plan to post at a later date.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Kitchen Tip Tuesday - Copy Restaurant Meals

In our family we seldom eat out any more because of the expense and the way the economy is going these days. But, we love restaurant food. So I thought why not copy the restaurant food we love.

One example is to have a "Sub Night". I thought of all the things I would ask for on my sub if I were at Subway and then tried to copy that. I would get turkey, ham, shredded lettuce, tomato, cheese, mayo and sweet onion sauce.


I purchased a package of ham and turkey, some shredded lettuce and some nice sub rolls. I already had some Ken's Sweet Onion Dressing I had purchased earlier with a $1.00 coupon when they were on sale at Food Lion for Buy One Get one Free. Just a little bit of this is exactly like the sweet onion sauce at Subway. We still have some tomatoes from the garden, so we sliced those. We already had plenty of cheese, mayo, mustard's and pickles, etc. on hand.

My sub was delicious!

As a side note, we now have lots of sandwich makings left for this week for everyone's lunch and perhaps another sub or two. I plan to make tacos tonight to use up some more of the shredded lettuce. The lettuce will go bad quickly, so I'm trying to use it up as soon as possible.

You could save even more money if you made your own sub rolls. Maybe next time I'll tackle that one!

So if you want to eat out, but can't afford it, think of a restaurant meal you can copy. There are also sites on the Internet that copy restaurant recipes. I have made the Pizza Hut pizza crust recipe before by finding it on the Internet. Just "google" your favorite restaurant food and see what comes up!

For more kitchen tips, please visit Tammy's Recipes!

Monday, October 6, 2008

An Autumn Weekend

Our weekend was wonderful and busy! I love Autumn Weekends.

When I got ready to do this post I thought to myself, those people don't want to hear the boring details of your weekend. You do about the same thing every weekend. But, its in the day to day little things we all do that make up our lives. I might not go on a big trip or spend a lot of money, but I truly enjoy myself just doing those little day to day things.

Some little things from my weekend:

1. I got some sewing for my Etsy Shop done. I made two more cloth reusable grocery/storage bags and two more clothespin bags. Every time I finished one I thought "this is the prettiest one yet". LOL My goal is to use up some of the fabric I have on hand. I have lots of pretty fabric, but need to buy coordinating fabric for linings, etc. I was able to do all four of the bags I did this weekend with fabric I already had and they turned out great. You can see them on my right side bar.

2. I've realized... well I already knew this, as long as I keep moving at night, I can get more accomplished. When I stop to watch the news, etc., I soon reach the point of no return. I don't mean that I keep going really late, just an hour or so longer than usual. I can get some good sewing or cleaning done in an hour!

3. I made a big pot of chili and a big pan of lasagna Saturday. Sunday we had bbq chicken, sweet potato casserole, zucchini squash cooked with onions, field peas and noodles cooked in chicken broth. My sweetie made most of our Sunday dinner and it was good!

4. My daughter is sewing! She's using her grandmother's sewing machine and has a couple of things in her etsy shop. You can see them on my right side bar. You can also read her special sewing machine story here.

5. Church: I learned this a long time ago, but was reminded of the ACTS way of praying: Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving and Supplication. Notice that supplication is last. I tend to have a list of "please Lord do this" items before anything else. Would you meet a friend and immediately start asking for things? No! I also was reminded through our Bible readings that we should not be anxious about any thing. That's really hard! If we pray the ACTS way, we won't be as anxious about things going on in our life.

6. A fall scene: The corn pickers came and picked all those acres of corn behind my house. The privacy screen is gone, but now I can see acres of fields, woods and ponds and it looks so Fall-like back there. The leaves are beginning to fall and everything, including weeds :o), are turning gold and brown.

7. I'm trying to "suffer cheerfully". When I'm doing something I don't really want to do, but know God wants me to do, I am trying to not complain and even hum a little song while doing it. Makes it so much easier. After all, nothing I have to do is all that bad. I have it so easy compared to so many people, especially in other countries. Its really a sin to complain when we have it so good!

8. Coffee and hot chocolate: We are enjoying coffee so much this time of year. I love the flavored creamers, especially hazel nut. My sweetie has learned how to make coffee, which comes in handy the mornings I'm not home when I have spent the night at Mama's. (every third night) I am even having a cup of hot chocolate after I get to work, made in the microwave oven.

Do you have any special Fall day to day things to share? I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Quilt Binding Tutorial - Part Two

Begin attaching the binding along the bottom lower left side about 2 inches from the diagonal cut end using a 3/8 inch seam. My quilting foot was still on my sewing machine, so I left it on long enough to finish attaching the binding. It makes it a little easier, but is not necessary.

When you get to a corner, stop stitching about 3/8 inch from the corner. Clip the thread and remove the quilt from the machine. Fold the binding up and away from the corner of the quilt, forming a 45 degree angle. Refold the binding down so it is even with the raw edge of the quilt. Resume sewing at the upper edge. Do all 4 corners the same way.

When you get back around to the beginning, trim the end of the binding, leaving it long enough to tuck inside the beginning of the binding. I have been known to make my binding strip too short and then would have to attach another strip to the end while its all attached to the quilt. So make sure yours is long enough before starting.

After you tuck the end in, continue sewing until you reach your beginning stitches. Tucking the strip into the part of the binding that you made the 45 degree angle on makes a smooth finish where the beginning and ending edges of the binding strip meet.

The last thing you do is fold the binding over to the back, covering the stitching line and hand stitch it down all the way around. The corners will be mitered on the front and the back.

I hope this will be helpful!

Quilt Binding Tutorial

As I've stated before, I'm NOT A SEWING EXPERT! :O)

But, this is how I make my quilt bindings. These directions are straight out of my Thimbleberries quilt books. Every time I make another quilt I have to go back to the books and refresh myself, so I'm putting this tutorial on my blog so that I can look at it myself for future projects and also in the hope that this tutorial will help someone out there in the blog world.

The first thing you have to do is decide how wide you want your finished binding to be. These pictures show the binding I made for the recent baby quilt I made shown here. I wanted a 1/2 inch binding, so I multiplied that times 6. Therefore, I cut the strips 3 inches wide. Measure around your quilt to see how long the binding needs to be to get a good idea of how many strips to cut. I cut mine the width of the fabric so each strip is 45 inches long.

Then you lay two of your strips right sides together like this, pin together and draw a line from point to point. I just use a ruler and a pen.

Then just stitch along the line you made.

After stitching, cut the excess triangle off leaving about a 1/4 inch seam

When you open it you'll see that you've attached your two strips together perfectly.

After you have sewn together all the strips you need to get the length you need to go around your quilt, fold the entire thing in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press like this.

Then unfold and cut the beginning end at a 45 degree angle like this.

Press the edge under 1/4 inch and refold the strip like this.

Part Two of this tutorial will show you how I attach the binding to the quilt and finish it.

****** PART TWO:

Begin attaching the binding along the bottom lower left side about 2 inches from the diagonal cut end using a 3/8 inch seam. My quilting foot was still on my sewing machine, so I left it on long enough to finish attaching the binding. It makes it a little easier, but is not necessary.

When you get to a corner, stop stitching about 3/8 inch from the corner. Clip the thread and remove the quilt from the machine. Fold the binding up and away from the corner of the quilt, forming a 45 degree angle. Refold the binding down so it is even with the raw edge of the quilt. Resume sewing at the upper edge. Do all 4 corners the same way.

When you get back around to the beginning, trim the end of the binding, leaving it long enough to tuck inside the beginning of the binding. I have been known to make my binding strip too short and then would have to attach another strip to the end while its all attached to the quilt. So make sure yours is long enough before starting.

After you tuck the end in, continue sewing until you reach your beginning stitches. Tucking the strip into the part of the binding that you made the 45 degree angle on makes a smooth finish where the beginning and ending edges of the binding strip meet.

The last thing you do is fold the binding over to the back, covering the stitching line and hand stitch it down all the way around. The corners will be mitered on the front and the back.

I hope this will be helpful!

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