Sunday, April 27, 2008

Frozen Potatoes


What does that have to do with Sewing you ask? Well Nothing at all! But let me explain. The other day I had asked my very helpful 9 yr old to help me clean up the kitchen. We don't have enough room in the fridge for everything, so some things like potatoes live in the garage in an old fridge which happens to be right next to the deep freezer. Do you see where this is going? So I ask my helpful son to please put the potatoes into the fridge downstairs. Get it now? Yup, he put them in the freezer instead. Ok so fast forward a day and I'm contemplating what to make for dinner which usually means I open the freezer and poke my head in, in hopes that this will spark some culinary creativity and provide me with a clue as to our dinner menu. That is when I found the aforementioned frozen spuds. OK, I think ~ better do something with those pronto. So I proceed to cook dinner knowing full well that it could turn to mush, but that's the scientist in me, always experimenting. I then proceeded to make what is in fact an old old family recipe and was always a fav dinner of mine as a kid.

Super healthful (NOT!!!) super fast and easy, kid friendly Spudly meal
(Ok that's not the catchiest title huh? )
Feeds 4 adults

3-5 potatoes (adjust to suit your family size)
1/2 pound egg noodles (again adjust if you need to)
1 can of corned beef (this is the unhealthy part, you can also used diced ham instead)
1/2 onion, diced
Shredded cheese (your choice)

Saute onion and corned beef together until onion is browned and soft, corned beef will start to brown also. Meanwhile boil potatoes, for 25min or until tender. In a separate pot, boil noodles until done, drain set aside. When potatoes are done you will have to peel them. It's super easy to peal a boiled potato, but if you prefer you can peel and then boil but i don't recommend attempting to peel a frozen potato. Chop potatoes roughly into quarters (you don't have to be precise here) and toss together w/ corned beef and noodles. Serve topped with shredded cheese. Easy peasy recipe that is done in about 30 min. Serve w/ side salad to redeem yourself somewhat.

In the end, dinner was delish and enjoyed by all. As for the potatoes? It turns out that potatoes are not ill-affected by freezing. In fact, while the texture was slightly different it was pretty marginal - had my family not known about the freezing incident, I bet they wouldn't have noticed a thing. So you can freeze potatoes if you have to - for what reason I don't know - but i'll just throw that out there as a little piece of useful - hopefully- trivia for ya'!

On to the sewing. So I have a little (not-so-much) project in the works. I'll post about it in a few days. In the meantime you can oogle my newest purse design. Amy Butler Star Paisley and coordinating stripes in lime. Michael Millers pink dots for the lining and Chocolate cut corduroy completes the ensemble. Magnetic closure, zippered inner pocket and separate cell phone pocket. Two external pockets for whatever.


Spuds courtesy Idaho Potato Commission

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Purse-onal


IMG_7171
Originally uploaded by trilliumdesign
Can we have a drumroll please? Here is my first purse of my own design. Yippee. I love this one - no modesty here. It features a zippered main pouch, interior cell phone and miscellaneous pockets and a magnetic flap closure. Fabrics are Joel Dewberry Manzanita paired with chocolate brown cut corduroy. Even my hubby thought this one looked nice. Hey that's saying something. Now off to make a few more...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Going Green


I would have to say that living in Oregon has made us pretty 'green' anyway, and while we haven't used plastic bags in awhile, I hated the random assortment of canvas ones that floated around in the back of the trunk. Time for an update! Ok I realize we are talking groceries here, but really if you saw them you would agree they needed some style added. If you are going to carry them around they may as well look nice and be functional. Enter my new grocery bags. I made my own pattern but if you want to make your own you can find a free tutorial and pattern here Burda Charlie Bag. I lined my bags to give them more support and durability since I wanted to use quilting weight cottons. However, a canvas or other sturdy fabric could be used unlined.
Urban Chiks from Moda and Michael Millers ironwork were the fabrics used for my bags. And they even have their own carry bag to keep them neat when not in use and floating around in my car. Now I need to make another pack to keep in hubby's car.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Quilt by accident...

...I stop into a little quilt shop in Sisters, OR. The Stichin' Post. We pass through Sisters all the time on our way to Bend, but Sisters happens to be a quilt mecca. Every year they have the
Sisters Outdoor Quilt show which is famous, in these parts anyway. Now I should point out that I don't really quilt, I won't say I haven't given it a go, but I prefer to stick with clothing or bags for my projects. As many times as we pass through Sisters, you would think that I would've stopped into one of the many fabric shops. Alas we are usually strapped for time and I have to put it off - again.
So this past weekend I just happened to have a little time, well not really, but I took a moments respite and walked into the Stitchin' Post. Now really I had only intended to take a peek. But that was a foolish notion on my part, since me-peeking-fabric don't really play well together. So I peek, and then after I pick my jaw up off the floor, I start wandering around the bolts. The place happens to have just about every fabric designer that I typically lust after, well their fabrics anyway and from what I could tell complete lines of everything. Yes it was fabric nirvana. They happened to have some of one of Valori Wells prints that I had on my must get list ~ So I have my modest yardage cut and then intend to leave.
Meanwhile my dear husband and kids have discovered where I have disappeared too and hubby insists I linger awhile to look around while he takes the kids to the playground nearby. He really is a sweetie. So I continue to wander and find myself hard-pressed to keep bolts from flying into my hands. Restraint is the word here. Must-use-restraint! In the end I found lots of new goodies for both girls dresses (that was around the time my daughter popped back into the store) and new purses.

So what did I add to the stash? This Kleo fabric (Alexander Henry) ~ so gorgeous in person. I paired it here with the cherry full moon polka from Amy Butler and made up this Fiona purse from Jenna Lou designs. I like how this one turned out. Hubby thinks it needs a volume knob - what does he know?

On my must get list now - this was stunning in person - Valori Wells Sole Decorator
No I didn't get it there - restraint remember?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Simple Card Wallet Tutorial

What you need to gather up beforehand:

Remnant of fabric at least 19"x10"
5/8" wide velcro
Pellon Decor Bond or similar heavyweight fusible or sew-in interfacing
Dressmakers chalk or disappearing ink pen
Thread to match fabric

NOTE: This pattern calls for a 1/4" seam allowance unless otherwise indicated.

Now for the fun part ~ how to make the wallet:

1. Start by cutting out 2 pieces of fabric, each piece should measure 5"x9.5". Also cut a piece of interfacing the same size. You can use the template below as a guide - the box is the velcro placement line.

2. Fuse the interfacing to one piece of the fabric (the one you plan to use for the outside of the wallet), taking care to fuse it to the wrong side of the fabric and follow the manufacturers directions for fusing.
3. Transfer the fold marks from the template to the back of the fabric using dressmakers chalk. On my pattern, the fold marks are 1.5" in from the end of the fabric.
4. Using the template as a guide, transfer the velcro placement markings to your fabric using a chalk pencil or disappearing ink.

5. Attach the velcro strips to both pieces of fabric. A. On the fabric with the interfacing attached, place the velcro 1" in from the short edge. B. On the other piece of fabric, attach the other piece of velcro 1/4" in from the short edge as shown.

6. Pin velcro in place and stitch close to the edge. TIP It's a good idea to stitch around the velcro twice to ensure a strong seam. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of all your seams.
7. Place the front and back fabric pieces RIGHT sides together. Make sure that the velcro placement is on the opposite side of each piece of fabric. So on the wallet outside piece it will be on one end and on the wallet lining piece it will be on the opposite end. 8. Pin and sew front and back together. Leave an opening on one of the short ends of the wallet pieces for turning. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of all your seams. 9. Clip corners and seams taking care not to clip into the stitching line.

10. Turn wallet right side out using a turning tool to push out the corners.

11. Fold the opening under 1/4 " and press. Pin or baste in place, then stitch this opening closed using a 1/8" seam. TIP use an edgestitch foot if you have one - this will make maintaining an even seam allowance a bit easier.
12. Fold the wallet up at the turning mark (use the paper template as a guide) and pin in place. Sew a 1/8" seam all the way around the wallet including the flap. This both encloses the body of the wallet and finishes the edge nicely. Side view

13. Fold it closed and ta da! You are done. Fill with business cards, ID, credits cards, sundries... This card wallet will hold up to 20 or more (depending on how much you want to stuff in there) thick plastic credit cards
Now go make a few more for your friends

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Another Iota of Baggage


Baggage in a good way! Here is the High street messenger bag ~ Finally finally this bag is done. Took awhile, had to order more fabric as I didn't purchase enough, then for some reason it was one of those projects that just seems to get stalled along the way ~ several times, you know the story. Nevertheless I think it was worth completing. The fabric is Kaufman's Another Iota Lagoon and I have to say their stock pics totally don't do it justice - it's completely vibrant and gorgeous IRL. I even took the pic outside so you too could appreciate it's colors ~ well and it happened to be daytime - a rarity when I am sewing. Lots of pockets in this one, zippered and otherwise. Great for the office and that's where she is headed tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Time to dish some boutique



Ok so I have to take a slight detour here from my usual posts and venture into the topic of boutique. I'm sure that means something different to each one of you, but for me and many other boutique devotees, it means the world of high-end children's clothing. Specifically designers such as Room 7, Oilily and Cakewalk, Jottum and Mim Pi, Deux par Deux, Catimini and Marese and... seriously I could go on all day here. These are among the elite in kids clothing. And while you might be familiar with them or not, there are legions of ladies out there scooping up these frocks. Why? A number of reasons, primarily style - they tend to represent the leading edge of fashion, that little bit extra that makes them unique and original. Then quality, if you've ever had a department store t-shirt shrink down to a size or two past wearability after the first wash for your ever- growing child, you might appreciate that there are brands out there that don't do this. Of course this is the main reason I started making my own kids duds. There are probably a few other reasons to buy boutique but those are the biggies.

So where am I going with this? Well now you are curiously wondering what this stuff looks like and where to find it right? There are scores of online boutiques out there that carry these lines and it might be a bit intimidating to navigate through them all. Robyn runs Dragonflies and Ladybugs and she carries tons of fabulous clothes. She is easy to work with and has great customer service (don't ask me how I know that). Sweet Miss Robyn paid me the biggest compliment ever by writing about this blog and my creations. If there isn't any stronger praise I don't know what it is. She is a sweetheart, and not to go all Sally Field on you, but it warms my heart to see that this site can be an inspiration to others ~ Isn't that what blogging is all about? Perfect!! So yeah to all you readers out there in blogland. You rock!! Thanks Robyn!! Go check out her blog: Dragonflies And Ladybugs And her store if you are in Reno!

A bag to call her own

et voila! The Metro bag - inspired by the city girl in me and the great Northwest. This one just screams Portland (OR) to me ~ Perfect for your laptop via morning bicycle commute ~ water bottle pocket attached ~ leaving your other hand free for the Java of course! This one happens to be a Trillium original so bear with me while I fluff my feathers out a bit.

Fabrics are natural linen and Finlandia print from Freespirit.

So now onto Midwest Modern ~ my new fabric arrived today and it had messenger bag stamped on it before it even left the factory - I bet Miss Amy didn't even know that! So onward to Metro bag part deux. Stay tuned!

In the meantime go visit Portland - that town rocks!