Saturday, February 22, 2014

Another Winter that Won't Quit!

Another Winter That Won't Quit!

When I saw both of these recycled gorgeous creations I decided to get together a couple of things I've been working on and post them all.  It's still cold, wet, dreary and depressing but these photos are very inspiring and I hope they help some of you get through the rest of this month. 

My friend Diane from Quilt/Craft group sent me this photo of her latest fashion creation.  Her description is below.  Diane is a gifted, talented artist.  I'm not sure any of us could "see" what she sees but I'd certainly like to try!

" I found a skirt in tiers at Goodwill and there were some squares that were damaged, so I took them out. Then there were the squares with yellow in them - they didn't fit in my vision, so I took them out, too. I put it all back together again in a shirt. Materials - velvet and rayon.  Pattern - Vogue. Very time consuming. Makes me tired just thinking about it.


This is a pillow Jen made.  Her work is always amazing.  She also has the visual eye.  I'm still waiting for it.  I hope it comes soon!  Her description is below...

"I made a pillow for my Mother from some of my Dad's ties and it came out good.  I took the ties apart and then  sewed them onto a muslin backing because they are silk. Then I used a nice weighty cotton for the back."

The skirt below belonged to my mom.  It's from the 70's and was long with a slit up the side.  I remember so vividly the night she wore it.  It was for one of my dad's Christmas parties.  She wore it with a black knit "shell" which is our equivalent of a tank top.  Her accessories were a beautiful chunky gold necklace and gold sandals with a pretty heel.  I didn't think my mom was stylish at the time because the only thing young people wore in the 70's to be "in" were jeans.  Now that I look back I know she was. I wish I could tell her that but that goes with all the things through the years I would have liked to tell her and loved her to see.

I'm so glad I kept some beautiful things of my mom's.  Through the years I've had many plans for this skirt.  It was going to be pillows.  But it never matched anything.  I was going to line it and make a rug but nothing in my house matched it.  Then I forgot all about it.  I don't know if this winter just got to me or I feel like I'm getting so old I might die before I do anything with it, but I decided to shorten it and make it into a skirt I could leave the house wearing.  It has an elastic waist and I had to take out the old elastic and put in a longer piece.  I think everyone was thinner in those days-at least that's what I'm told myself!

The fabric is chenille.  I haven't seen this in years but it's got so much texture.  I know you think it must be bulky and look awful but it's just the opposite.  It's lightweight and hangs beautifully.  I wore it with a black turtleneck sweater and long gold necklace and I've never gotten so many compliments.  Someone could make a fortune if they brought this fabric back.  One of my co-workers said she thinks it's something "Loft" might have.  Now I'm so happy I took a chance and just did something with it!  I still have the remnant.  I'm thinking of making a matching scarf or small pillows!  I'll see if it "talks" to me again.  If this winter doesn't end soon it probably will...


Here's a recycled project I just finished.  It's supposed to be a Civil War mini quilt.  It's really pretty.  Can you tell why it had to be recycled?  Probably not-but because I can it can't be a quilt!!

Look carefully below and see how the diamond points don't match!  It's not noticeable to someone who doesn't sew or quilt but to a quilter it's a very bad mistake.  I had never worked with a diamond border before so I didn't realize the points have to match. And I didn't know I needed to fudge all the seams to make them match.  Unfortunately I trimmed the blocks so sewing them together would be easier. By doing that I didn't have a chance to play around with what little seam allowance I had.

The best part about belonging to a quilt/craft group is if you ever get stuck and need help there is always someone there who is smarter, more experienced and knows exactly what you're going through.  I asked my guru Donna what I should do.  She is a really calm, sweet person and gives great common sense advice. She said don't waste any more time on it.  Make it into a tablecloth and move on.  So I did take her advice but I modified it to make the "loss" of this quilt a little easier to take.  I got some very thin muslin and sewed the right sides together and then turned it to the right side.  After a really good pressing, I tied the solid squares with pearlized cotton so the two layers of fabric would stay together.  Then I thought I should secure the ends more because after it's washed  maybe the ends will get funny and no longer lay flat.  I got the idea to buttonhole stitch around the edges.  I'm not sure if this is a good idea.  I'll show it to Donna next time we meet to find out!  Now I love it so much I'm not sure I want to use it as a tablecloth because it might get dirty!!  Another problem to solve!  I spend way too much time on thinking about my projects!  I'm beginning to wonder if that's a good thing or a bad thing...


I can't leave another bleak weather forecast without a great recipe for a "snowed in" night.  This is my family's favorite pork chop dinner.  Spray a big pan with vegetable spray. Put the pork chops in the pan.  Put BBQ sauce on them.  We like Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet n' Spicy.  Drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle pepper on the chops.  Open a can of pineapple slices and place one on each pork chop.  Add the juice to the bottom of the pan.  The pineapple is acidic and automatically tenderizes the meat.  This is a no fail recipe for pork and chicken.  Place in a 350 degree oven and bake until done.  The time depends on how thick the chops are.  Just before you take them out of the oven turn the broiler on.  Leave them in until they are browned and crispy,  Serve with the juice.

 When I put the pork in the oven I wrap some small yukon gold potatoes and baby sweet potatoes in foil and put them alongside the baking pan.  

My family's all time vegetable side dish is peas and corn.  This is a recipe from my mom.  I make it when we have a special dinner.  It's always on the Thanksgiving menu.  It's so easy and it's tastes so good.  Spray a large frying pan with vegetable spray. Open a can of peas and a can of corn.  I sometimes use the large cans if we want leftovers.  Rinse the peas with cold water in a hand held colander.  Then rinse the corn the same way.  That's to get all of the salt out.  Dump them in the frying pan.  I use Bummel and Brown all the time as a butter substitute.  I might use real butter for Thanksgiving dinner but it's really not necessary with this recipe.  Put a few heaping tablespoons of Bummel and Brown in the mix.  Then drizzle some olive oil over it.  Add pepper.  You will know how much you need as you see the mixture start to brown.  You can add as much or as little as you like.  It's the crispiness and crunchiness of the dish that is so delicious.  It gets caramelized the more you let it cook.

Special occasions always get a little bread along with dinner.  I sliced and froze the pumpkin and cranberry bread I made from scratch from Thanksgiving.  Once in a while I'll take them out, wrap a couple of slices in foil and put them in the oven while dinner's cooking.  Then I cut the slices in half so everyone gets a little square.


Flip couldn't hold out.  He finally had go out!  But he's not happy!  

Here's hoping for spring soon!

1 comment:

  1. Some really nice ideas in this blog -- feasts for the eyes and the palate!