Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas Pillows

I wanted a couple of graphic pillows as a seasonal decoration for my couch. I have seen them for sale online, but decided they would be easy enough to make.
I referred back to my craftsy.com Sewing Studio class as a reminder of how they are constructed.
They turned out just as I had hoped.
Simple and festive! Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Reversible Sun Hat

My best friend, her sisters and I went to a humungous arts and crafts fair over Veteran's Day weekend. We walked for miles and saw many beautiful things created by very talented people. My friend saw some reversible sun hats for sale and thought they were great. However, they cost $36! I told her I thought I could make one. Here is my first attempt.
I found a pattern on aprilcobbdesigns.com and watched the accompanying YouTube video. It is a simple and elegant design that produces fun results.
The pattern has sizes small to extra-large. The smallest size should fit a toddler. In the picture above, I am wearing the extra-large. I could probably have gotten away with a large.
I love the fact that it is reversible.
Living in the southwest, we know the value of a sun hat.
If they are fun and funky, so much the better.
 Shall I give this one to my friend? Or keep it for myself?


Friday, November 29, 2013

Reversible Tie Handle Bag

I found the pattern for this bag at Joann. It is a Barbara Huber Design. Published by QuiltWoman.com.  She calls it a Knot Handle Reversible Tote.
It is roomy and so easy to sew. I made two of them in one day.
The one above and directly below is made from an old pair of my son's jeans and a remnant piece I had in my stash. I did some decorative stitching on the denim side to add a little creative touch.
I used two pieces from my stash to make the other one. My mom had sent me a big box of random pieces a few years ago and I have been slowly using them up in different projects.
I think these totes would be great for a beach tote, or as a purse for a hip young (or old) woman. These totes give you a chance to use up some odd pieces of fabric. It's like getting 2 bags for the effort of one.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Ultimate Fruit Tart




  Have you tried the fruit tarts available in the bakery at Safeway? They are so yummy! I wanted to purchase one for a barbecue at our friends house, but when I saw the price, I decided I could make two of them for the price of one at Safeway.

First, I searched the Internet for a recipe that looked close to the ones at Safeway. I found what I was looking for from Betty Crocker. It's a recipe called Ultimate Fresh Fruit Tart.
I gathered the ingredients.



Refrigerator pie crusts, baker's chocolate, whipping cream, apricot jam, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries
The crusts are baked and then cooled.

 You even get to see my not-too-clean oven.
Next, the baker's chocolate is melted and mixed with whipping cream.
The melted mixture is then spread into the bottom and up the sides of the crusts.



The chocolate coated crusts are then put into the refrigerator to cool.
The best part of these tarts is the custard filling that comes next. The custard is a typical egg yolk custard, made with corn starch and butter.



After 3 hours in the fridge, the custard is ready to be mixed with whipped cream and added to the chocolate coated crusts.
Then it is just a matter of putting the fruit on top of the custard and coating the whole thing with melted apricot jam.



An hour and a half in the refrigerator makes these ready to slice and enjoy. Soooo good!
Here is a link to the recipe: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/the-ultimate-fresh-fruit-tart/549f8418-8b2b-48b5-86ee-8ee21bf1e2c8

Friday, July 26, 2013

An Evelyn Bag for My Mom



 This is another Evelyn Bag from ChrisW Designs. I made this one for my mom for her birthday.
It is only 2 weeks late, but I had to find the right hardware for it.

I really love how it turned out. I used decorator samples that I got from Joanne's for $1 a piece.

I used 4 different samples, and some faux leather for the handles and accents.


One of the things I like about it is how autumny it looks. I don't think that's a word, but I do like anything that reminds me of autumn. The colors in this bag are very reminiscent of autumn leaves.

This bag pattern is wonderful. It is the perfect sized bag and the instructions are super easy to follow.
With all the different pieces and sections, it is fun to try out different fabric combinations.



I even put a tag in to let my mom know I made it especially for her. 


Friday, July 5, 2013

Evelyn Handbag

The Evelyn Handbag is sewn from a pattern designed by ChrisW Designs at http://www.chriswdesigns.com.
The fabric is from the Hobby Lobby clearance bin. This is the most structured bag I have made to this point. It has feet and a hard bottom insert.
The directions provided with this pattern were great. Very easy to follow, and the pictures helped immensely.
The back zipper pocket installation was especially well described and I will use those directions to install other zipper pockets on other bags.
The inside pockets are great for carrying all the little necessities of life that are carried in all women's purses.
 
 








The side pockets have elastic and are the perfect size for an iPhone or other smart phone.
Some ideas for variations using this basic pattern have been bouncing around in my head, but I have to make a couple of bags as gifts for some dear friends, so those ideas will have to wait. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cedar Chest

Yesterday, my husband and I went to a city, about 150 miles from where we live, to see our best friends' son in a college production of Pride and Prejudice. Our daughter lives in the same city, and as we had some time prior to the performance, my daughter, my husband and myself dropped into the local Goodwill to check out the goodies.
This is what I found:
A beautiful (though somewhat worse for wear) Lane cedar chest. It has real cedar inside!

After some shrewd wheeling and dealing, I was able to purchase it for $100. Not too bad. My husband, and a helpful store worker, loaded into the back seat of our car, and we drove around the remainder of the weekend with a cedar chest filling the back seat of our Hyundai.
We arrived home today in the early afternoon. I washed the grime off the chest and removed the old handles and upholstery fabric.
After searching through my fabric stash, I found a piece of upholstery fabric I had purchased on clearance at Hobby Lobby. I used this to recover the upholstered top. My son helped me pick out some new handles for the chest at our local Home Depot.
A little 0000 steel wool and a can of Restore-a-Finish later, and we now have a beautiful heirloom sitting at the end of our bed.
I am extremely pleased with how it turned out.

Not only does it look lovely, and provide woodsy smelling storage; it also serves as a stepping stool for our older dog who is beginning to have a hard time jumping up onto the bed.
It is very gratifying to go from this:
 To this...in an afternoon!