Monday, May 21, 2007

The Winners

I know I was supposed to post this yesterday but I was just too sick to remember to post.

Here are the winners of the two Quilt Blocks

Block #1
MA 3
... goes to ..... kaathy

Block #2
MA 2
... goes to .... bethany

E-mail me and I will get these blocks off to you.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Pork Tacos

Taco
I have to share this recipe with you. My sister, Mary, shared this with our family and I had to give it a try. She calls it Cuban Pork Roast. It is so full of flavor and not too salty. I like that.
For my Tacos, I use only plain corn tortillas. They are so much better for you than the wheat flour ones. I opt for the plain tortillas over fried shells too for health reasons.
What I do is take the corn tortillas and heat them in a cast iron pan (that has NO oil in it). This will soften up the tortillas so they don't just break on you.
Then we layer on the goodies we like,
And they are:
Pork Roast
green onions
chopped tomatoes
cheese
avocados
etc.

Here is the Pork Recipe:
2 to 3 pound boneless pork roast
1 Tablespoon minced garlic (I use 3+ Cloves)
2 Tablespoons minced parsley
1 Tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Directions:
Mix all together except the pork. Rub the mixture over all surfaces of the pork. Cover well, and refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours.
Roast the pork in the oven at 425 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. (that seems a little short to me)
My sister (and I did too) put it into the crock pot and cooked in for 10 hours on low.
I then took it out of the pot and shredded it with a fork.

Chopped tomatoes:
Chop up Roma tomatoes
Add some chopped fresh Basil
Add a pinch of salt
Let it set for a couple of minutes to bring all the flavors together. This gave a really nice kick to the tomatoes.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Spring Craftiness

My girls and I had a crafting fix this week. I just have to post the fun things we made.
Sarah came to me and begged me to teach her how to make a Not So Sock Monkey. She loved little Ivan and wanted one she could have (sorry Ivan is mine). So I worked out the pattern for her and she did 99% of it by herself. I was very pleased with her work. Sarah is 9 now.
Well Hannah was so excited about what Sarah was doing so she begged me to let her make one too. I did and she did 75% of it all by herself. Keep in mind that Hannah is 4.
Here are their Monkey Sisters.
Monkey Sisters
Here are their little curly tails.
Monkey sisters 2
Caroline started a monkey too but got tired of waiting for help and went off to play. She did make this for me this spring so I figured I would share it with you. I just love it. It is so like her.
Caroline
Well I got bitten by the Crafty bug and had to make this little doll. Her name is Alice.
Alice 1
Oops.

Alice 2
She is just too cute. I had a Raggedy Anne Doll when I was really little that one of my sisters made. I don't know what happened to it. I have always wanted another one. Now I have one.
I bought the pattern from Christine Zorn's Etsy Store HERE. She sells the pattern and finished dolls. I love the dolls with petals. You can also get her dolls at her Ebay store HERE.
Go check them out.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

May Apron Tutorial - Quilt Block Apron

MA 19
I have really been debating what to do this month. There were several options and I decided to go with this in the end. In our quilt guild my niece, Rebecca, has issued a challenge to get rid of your UFO's (unfinished objects). So I decided to make a pattern for an apron that can use up stray quilt blocks. The blocks in these 3 aprons are all from my UFO stash. The first block is a flower done in Cave Man Quilting style that I learned from watching Ricky Tims over a year ago. It has been kicking around my sewing room just waiting for a project. The second apron is a left over block from winning the Block of the month drawing in my Quilt Guild, the Newtonia Battlefield Quilters Guild. The third block is one from a pattern my mom introduced to the guild over a year ago called Scrappy Around the World Block. I love that block and it just needed a project. Also in keeping with the theme of recycling or finishing. The orange skirts are part of a very old project. I hand dyed a sheet a while back and used some of it for a project. I saved the hemmed ends of the sheet and used them for the skirt of the apron because they were already hemmed. This apron pattern came from the first apron my mother gave me a long time ago. It is now falling apart and I wanted to preserve the pattern and keep it in memory.
Well...... on to the Tute.....
Fabric Requirements:
MA 1
2 Neck ties - 2 2/5" x 22" (or half the width of your fabric from salvage to salvage)
2 Waist ties - 3" x 44" (or the width of your fabric from salvage to salvage)
1 Waist Band - 3 1/4" x 22" (half the width of the fabric)
1 Skirt - 25" x 44" (the width of your fabric)
1 quilt block (about 12" remember that an unfinished quilt block will measure 1/2" wider than the finished block will be)
1 Bib back - cut the exact same size as the quilt block
Always use 1/4" seam allowance
1- Make yourself a quilt block. There are tons of free on-line quilt block patterns to choose from. My favorite place to go is Marcia Hohn's Quilter's Cache. If you like the Tulip I have up in Apron 1 you can get the instructions from Ricky Tims.
OR.... if you are lucky enough to inherit one or get one at a flea market, Use it.
***NOTE*** If you get a block and it is stained, do NOT wash unfinished. Finish the project you are making with it and then wash it.
A good size for a block is about 12". If the block you have chosen isn't 12", you can add boarders to the sides as needed.

2. Cut a backing piece for your bib the exact size of your quilt block.
MA 4

3. Now make your neck and waist ties. Fold your ties in half lengthwise. Stitch along the long side and one end.
MA 8
Clip corners, turn right side out and press the ties. I use a long chop stick to turn skinny things like ties and doll arms.
MA 9

4. Attach the neck ties. Place the neck ties at the top of your quilt block right side up. Place them where you would like them. I like them at the outside corners. Remember to place them at least 1/2" in from each side to leave space fro the seam allowance. You don't want to sew them into the side of your bib.
MA 5 MA 6
Now place the bib back piece on top of this with right sides together. Stitch around the sides and top of the bib. Leave the bottom open. Clip the corners and turn it right side out and press.

5. The Skirt. Hem the bottom of the apron skirt and the sides. I do this by folding the bottom edge down 1/4" and pressing it. I then turn it under again about 1-2" and press again. I top stitch the edge to finish the bottom hem.
MA 7
For the sides I fold them in 1/4" and then fold them in again and stitch it down.

6. Gather the skirt. To draw the skirt in to fit the waist band you can gather it or pleat it. To gather it, run 2 parallel rows of stitching across the top of the apron. then gather it in to fit the waist band OR... you can pleat it. I cheated on this. I took the waistband and the skirt and folded them into 16ths and pressed them really well with the iron. (if you do this make sure that you leave room for the seam allowance on the waist band part. I hope you can see that in the photo.
MA 10
Now to pleat the skirt. Take the bib and place the back of the bib on the face of the apron. Center it in place a pin it there. Now take the skirt and match up the fold marks with those of the waist band. In them in place where the folds are. Now flatten your pleats in what ever direction makes you happy. (make sure that you put the apron and bib right sides together.
MA 12
Sew the bib, band, and skirt together.
Now on the top edge of the waist band, fold it under 1/4" and press. Fold the band over, right sides together and press. Now slip the apron ties into the band and pin in place. I know that my wording is confusing but look at the photo. I hope it makes sense.
MA 13
Stitch each end of the band, clip corners, turn and press. Top stitch the bottom of the band to close it or you can hand whip stitch it together.
MA 14

7. Place the pocket. Now put the apron on and tie it in place. Put your hand on the apron where you would like the pocket and pin the pocket in place.
MA 16 MA 17
Oops we need to make the pocket. Take your 6" square and the accent band and place them right sides together and sew them along the top. Fold the seam open and press.
Now take the top edge of the accent piece and fold it under 1/4" and press. Fold the piece in half and stitch in place.
MA 15
Now go and pin it where you like it and stitch it in place. Remember to re-enforce the tops of the pocket to keep it from ripping off.

NOW you are done.
MA 18
This is my mom wearing her new Mother's Day Apron. :o) I have to say it is my favorite.

Now I have 2 extra quilt blocks that need a home.
MA 3 MA 2
I would like to give them to 2 of you. So, I will do a drawing of the names of people that add a comment on this post. I your comment I would like you to share something quick about your earliest Apron Memory. (a quick description, who wore it or something like that). I will put the names of all the commenter into a hat and draw out 2 of them next Sunday (May 20th).

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Twirly Whirly Tie Dye Dresses

All 1 I did tie dye this week. I love to tie dye. I made up these 15 little dresses (12 mos to 4T) for fun this week. Kara asked me to make 2 new ones for my niece Emily because she wore her other one out. I also needed to make one for baby Claire so I just had fun making a bunch to choose from.
I considered doing a tutorial for these but that is really complicated and I just didn't have time this week. I also had to dye fabric for and sew up a quilt top to display at a local quilt store for a class I will be teaching there. If anyone is in the area and is interested, I am teaching Low Immersion Dying at The Country Store on I 44-Exit 18A- Outer Road West Carthage, Missouri.
The Class is $45 and that includes 10 fat quarters of fabric that you will dye in 10 colors, all the supplies, and a fun lesson in dyeing. If you are interested, e-mail me.
Enough of that !!
Here are some more pictures of the dresses.
D 1 D 4a D 5a
These are some of my favorites.
G 6
I can send you to the instructions I used to make these. I have made these in the past but this time I followed Rowena's instructions.
The dyeing is my own thing. I have been tie dyeing for about 20 years now and have come up with this method based on many trials and experiments. The colors in these dresses are bright but softened in the lines. To me it is an impression of little girls. The colors are almost dancing and twirling on their own.
I have put some of the dresses in my Etsy Shop. If you want to see more of them, go take a look.
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