Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Christmas Bags 2019: Drawstring Bags

   If any of you follow my blog each year, you know that most every year I sew my own gift bags.  Here is this year's gift bag for the ladies.

Tuesday Tutorial

I look all year for the bundle of fabric I will use.
Some years it's found at yard sales.
Some times at used stores.
 It might be a roll of fabric, a bundle, a large piece of clothing, curtain or in this case this year
 it was a fitted sheet.
The flat sheet wasn't available or I could have made the men bags too.
This sheet almost had a silky feel.
I cut the fabric to fit the size of the gift.
I always try to find the quickest way.
First I ironed down 1/4 inch.
Then folded and iron creased 1 inch.
Placed both back to back (right sides together),
and started stitching from top with no worries about back stitching.
However I did back stitch when I got to the crease and cut threads.
Skip about 5/8 inch, start and back stitch and proceed to bottom.
Turn over to keep seam to the right and do same to other side.
When you reach the bottom, pivot and sew across bottom.
Press open just the area at the top
where the casing will be folding over.
Fold casing along crease line ironed in at the beginning.
Stitch along folded edge.
I made my own string (cords) from the fabric.
Thread through the opening made when stitches were skipped sewing the seam.
You can use only one string. 
I used 2 in most of mine.
Thread each one from opposite sides so you can pull the strings to close.

I try to tie the ends inside the knot.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas Postcards 2019

        Our church is a growing small church.  Small enough that one can still give Christmas cards to most every family.  It helps when all the families have a mail box in the church building.
        I have been making the cards and envelopes. This year I had an idea that got me out of making the envelopes.  I'd like to say I saved the earth some paper.  I made POSTCARDS.
        Last year I used my embroidery machine & enjoyed the technique.  It's hard to find single stitch line designs which is what is needed for card stock. So I used my embroidery software to digitally design the Holly & Berries.  I'll try to share the PES file at the end.

Tuesday Tutorial

 I started by cutting 8.5 X 11 buff colored card stock in half.
Three pieces of painter's tape (low tack) are wrapped around the 5x4 frame.
 The hoop is laid on top of the stack of card stock.
 Tape is pressed to stick to card stock.
 The frame is then picked up and attached to the machine.
My machine had a hard time not skipping the first 6 stitches.
Most of the the time I held the thread to help it catch the bobbin.
I used my cheap spools of sewing thread & a 14 needle 
(which I've labeled "paper" like my scissors.) 
Embroidery thread would not work for me.
 The digital file stops when the green (leaves) are finished
to allow a free hand cut from scraps circle to be placed
so about 5 stitches can tack it down.
 Use tweezers or chop stick to hold berry in place.
You might find it easier to skip that step 
and just later used some zero length zig zag stitches.
I do like the green better than red thread to tack the berries.

 Release from tape and repeat.
 By folding card in half,
you'll be hiding these stitches.

Sew about a quarter inch from the edge all around the card.
I first tried the quarter inch foot,
but found I liked using the general foot better.
More surface from the general foot to hold down the card stock.

 No 2 are really alike because the little berries are free hand cut.
 Write what you like on the back of the post card.
I understand these can be mailed.
I haven't tried so I don't know the postage. 

 I made 30 & signed them in about 3 hours which felt more like an hour.

So for next year,
you might get out your embroidery machine
and give it a try?

Maybe you can tweek the first few stitches to stay.
Here is a BLF file for those with software that works with Babylock.
When the first stitches skipped,
I just let it go around again.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Memory Monday 111 ~ What I was Making: Scrunchies

 Last Monday I challenged you to guess what I was making.
 Did you guess these?
I really don't know how far back we can go with this memory.
 They should be super easy to make, 
but instead they are rather fiddling for my arthritic type hands.
 I tried about 3 different techniques to find the fastest way.
 Hand stitching them closed looked a bit better.
 But I really wondered if you'd noticed machine stitching
after wrapping them a couple of times?
 I think it was 19 I made in one day.
 What did I learn from this experience of memory?
Apparently I was calling them the wrong name.
I always called them Scrungies.
All the You Tube and Internet posts call them Scrunchies!
Certainly a great way to recycle old clothing.
Just look on the internet for directions.
*Think about it.*

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Low Carb Strawberry Dessert UPDATE

   The first update for this Low Carb Strawberry Dessert I posted back in 2012 recipe is the name.  Mr. G has started calling it "Strawberry Surprise" because it's surprising that he's allowed to eat something that tastes so delicious.  It has been a very popular post. Pinterest folks really seem to be interested.
    About a month before Thanksgiving, I found out I had to go even a step further in the complex carb, no white stuff diet I've followed for about 15 years and even cut out the complex high fiber whole grain carbs or take an outrageously priced medication. Since I like to do more fun things with my money, I decided to eliminate whole grain breads and some veggies like sweet potatoes.
    For our Thanksgiving feast, I checked the numbers again on some ingredients and foods and came up with a revision for this dessert to go just a bit lower carb.
Tuesday Tasty Tutorial

The first change was to use full fat sour cream instead of Greek Yogurt.
Even though I used the lowest sugared yogurt I could find,
none of them beat the carb count in sour cream.
Note that low fat sour cream has more carbs than full fat.
Same for the cream cheese. Low fat cream cheese has more carbs than full fat.
You might even check different brands.
Study those labels.
That's why I'm not giving a carb count here
and we all sometimes can't find the same brand names.
I've also switched to Swerve (erythritol). (not an advertisement)
which some claim studies say is healthier than Splenda (sucralose).
Erythritol doesn't have any side effects for us
and doesn't seem to raise our blood sugar like sucralose.
Swerve makes a confectioners (powdered) sweetner
which keeps the cream mixture smooth. 
Above you see ingredients for a small recipe for 2 people
to place in an 8x8 dish.

Strawberry Surprise (Low Carb)
by Joy
Blend well-- I used my standing mixer.
A food processor works great for silky smooth texture.
1 small carton sour cream
1 package of cream cheese
Approx 1 cup of confectioners sweetener or adjust to sweeten sour cream. 
Place in container and chill well

Use 1 cup of water to dissolve
1 small box of strawberry gelatin (raspberry is ok)
After gelatin is dissolved, add about 1/2 Cup cold water
and 16 oz of frozen chopped strawberries.

Pour gelatin mixture on top of very chilled cream mixture.
Chill till set.

The reason you see bits of cream cheese in the picture above
is the cream was not chilled well.
Tasted great anyway.

 So while on Thanksgiving day most had my favorite pecan pie and pumpkin pie,
we had "Strawberry Surprise."
If you check out the original recipe, you'll see this recipe came about from
what folks call the Pretzel Salad recipe.
We also had carb free Super Simple Deviled Eggs and mashed cauliflower 
with the green beans and meatloaf.
We were stuffed.


Monday, December 16, 2019

Memory Monday 110 ~ Guess What Memory I'm Making?

I'm so glad these have come back into style.
I loved wearing them because they didn't break my hair so bad.
However, now I don't have long hair anymore,
but all the grand daughters do!
Can you guess what I'm making?
They went out of style only for about 5 years it seems.
I refused to stop wearing them.
Now, the way some on You Tube act
you'd think it was the best invention ever.
You can buy them cheaper than make them,
but you certainly can't have the same variety.
Find the answer here next Monday.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Fun or Funny Friday~ More Card Making Fun

Been making a lot of cards using fabric scraps
and an old song book.
Stitched on card stock with a sewing machine.


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Sun Best ~ Fall from Chris Jones in Harlan County

Camp Blanton
Harlan County, Kentucky

While our trees are now blank and gray,
(remind me again why people love winter)
I just had to share these shots taken by my 
good friend, Chris Jones of Harlan, KY.
I just received them last week.
His shots always take my breath away.
Thank you Chris for letting me share.