04 December, 2016

Flying Potatoes And Tutorial



Two more gifts finished.

And the extras put into the etsy shop. (Yay! me).

I still need to finish an outstanding purse order from five weeks ago. The fabrics are cut out and interfaced - there's a procrastinating slug inside me about this project. However, the 12 hour days are now scheduled and not merely an emergency. It needs to be finished today.

These microwave potato bags are a must-have if you want restaurant quality baked potatoes in a quarter of the time it takes in the oven.

Dear hubby's last one finally gave up the ghost after three years of continuous use.


It caught fire. Which is alarming. But expected.

Even though I use 100% cotton materials in these bags, this is a known hazard.
These bags produce the moistest, fluffiest baked potatoes. The minimal risk is worth taking instead of using an entire hour to bake potatoes in a traditional oven.

If you want to make your own, I've written you a tutorial at the bottom of the post.





 Look who walked into work the other day? One of Santa's elves!
Is this not the cutest outfit - she even styled her purse with a pompom.
Delicious. (fred meyer stores!)


 Canby's Light Up the Night commenced Friday night with a parade featuring Santa texting? Well, he's not driving...

They formed up the parade right outside my workplace. Since I couldn't get out of my parking lot, I enjoyed the excitement. Small town parades. Big smile


 I found some wine for gifts featuring a biplane from a local vineyard. Be still my heart.


And, finally, my son sent me this photo of his girlfriend's mom's chickies wearing their best outfits sitting on Santa's lap.


Potato Bag Tutorial:


Cut from 100% cotton fabrics;
Try to use cotton thread.

11" x 22" Main fabric

11" x 22" Lining fabric
11" x 22" Warm & Natural 100% cotton batting


Make a quilt sandwich of Lining fabric face down, batting on top, and them place Main fabric face up on top. Quilt as desired.

Trim to a rectangle of 10.5" x 21.5".

Serge(overlock) the short ends. Or, use a tight zigzag. Or, make it more work - fold under twice and stitch.

With Main Fabric face up on table, fold down top serged edge 4". Fold up bottom serged edge 7" (or so). The serged edges will overlap 1 inch.

Baste where overlap is at the side seams. This keeps the top edge even when serging in the next step.

Serge side seams. Knot off serger tails and trim.

Anything polyester has a lower melting point than cotton. Try for 100% cotton.
The bag gets old and breaks down which is why it eventually catches fire.
Do not leave microwave unattended.

Turn and enjoy:::

Wash potatoes, pat dry. Do not prick with fork. Place up to four potatoes in bag and put in microwave on Baked Potato settings.

Keep potatoes inside bag until meal is ready to stay hot.

These bags make the fluffiest baked potatoes with just the right moistness.

30 November, 2016

Random Makings












I made over 20 biplanes Saturday while watching the new Gilmore Girls special on Netflix. I need to make about ten more. Most will go to my co-workers so they remember Santa delivers in an airplane, as we all know.

 I also finished Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children.  I feel I am ready for the movie now. My DD told me the second book was so-so. I am giving myself a pass at slogging through this next book and returning to my winter reading. I am particularly into Peter James right now. He writes police detective books out of the UK. I've read two so far as it's been difficult to find at my local libraries.

Those two - Looking Good Dead & Love You Dead were good enough for me to have an ebay moment and I bought both for my mom as a Christmas gift. Powell's Book Store (might be the largest book store in the world - right here in Portland) did not have a single Peter James book.
 

 Because I also bought books through Powell's because their cyber/black friday special was free shipping plus 20% off. Deal!








 The dentist office had a few magazines - this one with two whole joke pages.
And the roses above. Blooming madly in our 50-60 degree November weather.


"Why is Cinderella so bad at Soccer? She's always running away from the ball"
I need more jokes for the kids at work. My co-workers too.





 DD with her inch of snow up in Alaska.

 In September with her cousins in Minnesota.


And the great-nieces in Singapore. They made that awesome turkey!

Lots  more randomness, but I am back working 12 hr days with a one hour lunch and I am tired. Co-worker has a dental emergency involving an IV drip, a hospital, and the eventual resolution of said crisis. Wouldn't wanna be her.

The last Christmas Bazaar in our area is the Red Mitten Bazaar. Opening tonight for a preview ($3/donation). Running two weekends -- Thursday through Sunday. All handmade wonders. No imported stuff.

28 November, 2016

Parakeet Pillows



 My friend in Japan received her Christmas present in eight days. Not only was I super on the ball, sewing these up,  but the postal service (& customs) gods were smiling too.

A month or so ago, I saw this Parakeet fabric at Fabric Depot. I immediately emailed my friend a photo and she loved the fabric. We settled on housewarming pillows for her new house she is building in kyoto.



 These are the perfect neutral color with just a hint of pizazz in the matte metallic blue budgee.
Her pillows are 15" square so I made these 14.5" square with a two-inch flange.

I added a zippered backing for easy laundering. The back fabric is the same as the front but it's not the same. The original fabric I found at Fabric Depot is a Waverly home dec fabric. When I was at Joann's Fabrics to purchase more interfacing, I was looking around and here was the same design printed onto burlap!

Instant design decision to do the fine waverly weave on the front and the coarser burlap weave on the backside. Two different looks.



 
I have it stuffed full with a 16" pillow form to take photos as we don't have 15" forms in the usa.


I still have one more gift to finish that needs to fly off to Singapore. We'll see how long it takes now that the Christmas mailing rush is on.

18 November, 2016

Artsy Fartsy Rope Bowl










 I had fun making this artsy fartsy rope bowl. This bowl took the longest at a little less than two hours - only because it involved a little hand sewing!

Those round curly ques (discs) stayed in my brain from the last bowl  and I went for it on this bowl. I wanted a small fruit bowl for my Thanksgiving table to go with my brand new vintage linen tablecloth. I picked out some purple fabric scraps, some purple shades of thread and started sewing.

I wanted to make those discs and either have them flopping randomly around or...
I put in two and didn't like the contrast thread on the one side so I elected to hand-sew them down.

I used small scraps of fabric  - about four inches long by one inch wide. Between organically thinking when to add a fabric scrap and when to add a disc, I was pretty engrossed. I guess I could have done a normal flat-side bowl and then sewn the discs and attached them later, but I am loving the totally organically placed 3-D discs and the whole vibe of this bowl.

I think if I were to sew the discs separately, there would be a temptation to place them evenly  and it wouldn't be as awesome.



I used Ace Hardware's 7/32" thick clothesline. It's got a braided cotton outer surrounding a polyester core. I used a size 14 sewing needle with zero problems. I also cleaned out two more spools of thread as well as five bobbins on this bowl.

This is the same clothesline that Pencil Girl uses to hand-dye rope for me.







This is how I worked the bowl. I used a neutral thread  on the top and colored threads in my bobbin. The great thing about these bowls is you don't really notice the stitching and they are seriously forgiving if you wander off. All I see above is the random color fabric stripes.


I also wanted a shallow bowl. Once I reached 4 inches in diameter on the circle, I tilted it as straight up against my machine as I could for about 10-15 rows. Then I let it drop a bit to make the sides be wider. If you tilt it straight up and over your machine you get straighter sides. At the end I was actually tugging it down to get those sides to widen out.

Once I decided to finish with an extra large disc, I threaded a sewing needle and hand-tacked the discs down flat. Easy peasy.



You could make a dog dish out of this. The discs really show off here.
I definitely had a preference for the discs to be inside the bowl although that was not in my dream design. I find these very freeing. And, like I've mentioned before, very satisfying to be able to finish something stunning so quickly.

I have a trick to get the wrinkles out of tablecloths. No ironing either. Wash/Rinse your cloth and let drain in washer until it's damp. Spread over your table how you like it centered overnight. A little dampness won't hurt your wood table and the cloth dries beautifully with no creases.  If you can wring water out of your cloth, it's too wet and you might damage your wood. Damp.


***To change subjects -- are you tired of these rope bowls yet?Here's a video of Canby, shot by a local resident with a drone camera.
Titled Ode To Canby
by Josh Lee Kwai
Shot October 24, 2016

It starts off with the school fields, Wait Park, Willamette River, Fairgrounds, Canby Cougars (High school sports teams), High School, Flower Farmer Train, Dahlias (Swan Island), Ferry across the Willamette River.





16 November, 2016

Holiday Candy Dish






 I had a small ball of clothesline left over from my last rope bowl. As I was sewing a medium sized gift last Saturday, I kept bumping into it. And then I saw a rope bowl online that used small strips of fabric wrapping to provide color and Voila!  --- another 20 minute gift completed.

I used one- inch strips of fabric from my scrap basket. I originally pulled whatever colors that got my eye and then as I was sitting down, ruminating on the purpose of this gift, I decided to just do red strips.

These strips are between 4 and 5 inches long - little pops of color on the neutral base.

Finishing off, I did  a little loop with the intention of doing four more. My process is very organic. As I was marking those four spots for the loops, I decided it was such a small candy dish size bowl , that it just needed two loops, which organically, ended in the spiral thingy.

While photographing the bowl for this post, the candy dish looked slightly "off". In a massive "Aha!" moment, I stitched that weird spiral down against the side and now I am very happy with my newest rope bowl.




Styled with my beautiful persimmons. I am waiting for the persimmons to become ripe which actually occurred slightly after Thanksgiving last year. The yellow will  become more orange and there will be a slight give to the fruit when you handle them.












09 November, 2016

Country Christmas Bazaar

 Cutie Mrs. Claus at the Bazaar.


 I was debating with myself if these were handmade. There's a uniformity to the stitches that screams machine made in a far-off country.




Vintage Christmas

Add caption

Clothespin lace and ribbon dolls.

 This was a very cute needlebook for people who sew.
Flip her skirt up to reveal hand-stitching tools.





Rustic wool stockings with button ornaments.

Slightly scary snowmen




Love these transfer cotton towels.

 Tutti Frutti Popcorn. I met the original owners when I moved here years ago.
I love their popcorn although I can't eat it anymore because it's not a non-gmo food (genetically modified). It makes a great gift for others.





The lone airplane spotted - a travel tic-tac-toe game.
Lots of christmas bazaars this weekend in Canby. This one is at the fairgrounds until Saturday.