June 2008 Archives
A great start is the centerpiece. Since we will be eating on the patio, I grabbed an old watering can and filled it with white daisies, red zinnias and blue salvia. Tuck in some miniature flags. This will make a very pretty flower arrangement. Toss some red and blue pillows on the furniture. This makes a great start to creating the mood.
I have created some easy placemats to make. This is a great way to use some fabrics from your stash or some novelty fabrics. Everyone one has some leftover batting. I used patriotic novelty fabrics to make napkins.
Old Glory Placemats:
Rotary Cutter and mat
Batting or flannel
For each placemat:
You will need a total of 7- 2 ½ "strips of fabric and 1- 6 ½ "blue square
1 backing measuring 19 inches wide and 14 inches high
1 batting measuring 19 inches wide and 14 inches high
- Cut two red and white strips 2 ½" wide and 19 inches long.
- Cut one white strip and two red strips 2 ½" wide and 12 ½ inches long.
- Cut one 6 1/2 "square of blue fabric.
- Cut batting and backing to measure 19 inches wide and 14 inches wide.
- Seam allowance is ¼".
Beginning with the red strip from #1, sew a white strip to the red right sides together. Press the strip to the dark side. Keeping the red on the bottom, add a red strip to the white strip. Continue until you have a strip set of 4 strips of fabric- red, white, red, white. Sew a 2nd strip set of 3 strips measuring 12 ½" wide beginning with red and ending with a red. Press to the dark side of fabric.
Sew the 6 ½" blue square to the left side of the strip set. Sew the 1st strip set and 2 strip set right sides together on the long side. This is your top.
Layer the backing and top right sides together. Add batting to the top of the sandwich. The batting will be on the top when you sew the sandwich together. Sew around the edges ¼ "leaving an opening for turning right side out. Turn and press. Slipstitch opening together. You may quilt top as desired. This is very fast and easy.
If you wish to make napkins- cut 2 squares of patriotic fabric in 19" square. With wrong sides together, sew in 1" from the sides. Trim edges with pinking shears or wave rotary cutter. You are done. When is that cobbler going to be done?
Ladies, I have sent the Fabric Maverick to the grocery store and I have Victoria working on some projects. It's time to be planning our Fourth of July celebration! Next to Christmas, this is my favorite holiday. This recipe is not for dieters or the calorie conscious. Just step away from the table, this is a down right delicious, calorie packed, true Southern cobbler from my great grandmother! I do not even think the calorie had been invented yet. For our Northern brethren, a cobbler is the South's fruit pie only better.
11/2 cup all purpose flour (not self rising)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup lard less 1 Tb.
1 stick butter
1 package frozen strawberries, thawed
1 package blueberries, thawed
Lemon juice- splash to taste
Now, understand my great grandmammy did not use measuring spoons. It was all tasting and touch and feel. Some of you out there have passed out from the mere mention of the word "lard"! Lard still makes the flakiest crust. You may substitute shortening but it will not be the same.
13 x 9 baking dish
Medium size mixing bowl
Medium size sauce pan
Instructions: Heat oven to 375 degrees
1. In medium size mixing bowl, add flour and salt. Cut in the lard until the lard is well mixed with the flour. Add enough water to make into a ball. Place in refrigerator, until ready to roll out.
2. Place thawed berries in saucepan. Add 1 cup of sugar. Heat until sugar is melted and fruit completely thawed. Add a splash of lemon to bring our the flavors of the fruit. Taste and add more sugar if needed for your taste buds.
3. Prepare your 13 x 9 baking dish by spray of Pam or you may use butter. I am trying to save a couple of calories for you. This is to make clean up easier, but someone will probably scrape the pan for you any way.
4. Pour 1/2 of the berries in your pan.
5. Bring our your crust- divide into 2 balls.
6.Using wax paper with a sprinkling of flour, roll one of the balls into a pie crust no thicker than 1/4 inch. Cut to the size of your baking dish.
7. Place crust on top of berries.
8. Add rest of berries on top of crust.
9. Cut butter into small pieces and sprinkle over fruit reserving some for the top crust.
10. Roll out remaining pie crust and place on top of fruit.
11. Sprinkle crust with sugar and rest of butter. May add more butter if you wish.
12. Place in hot oven. Cook 35 to 45 minutes. Crust will be golden brown and you will be salivating.
I have sold many houses by cooking this recipe at open houses!
Cobblers are best when served warm! Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have red, white and blue cobbler!
Put the scale away and Bon Appetit!
There is no denying that our customers are the best! They are cheerful, creative and willing to share their ideas with us. Even though many of us at Fabric.com sew or craft, no one person has expertise in everything. While we are talented, I am constantly amazed at what our customers make. I enjoy their emails telling me of special events going on in their lives. One of our most creative customers is Eileen N who lives in New Mexico. I do not know how Eileen finds the time to sew because she has six children. She is also involved in many activites and makes her own bread. I have accused her of churning her own butter! She denies this. It is not unusual for Eileen to be directing a group of young men on the art of making 200 burritos for a school event and sewing all of the outfits for a formal wedding! I do not know where she finds the energy!
During the summer, Eileen contacted me about some camouflage knit fabric. She wanted to make curtains for an ROTC unit. Since this was a knit fabric I tried to discourage Eileen from this project because after a few months I believed they would stretch out of shape. Being the inventive person she is, she departed from the "normal" way of making curtains. She made several small curtains, used no weights in the bottom, no buckram in the top. In her own words, it was 'Quick and Dirty". The commander and the ROTC were thrilled with the curtains. Here is the picture for her "knit" curtains.
Currently, Eileen is sewing outfits for a wedding that is scheduled on July 27, 2008. Hopefully she will be able to finish the Mother of the Groom's dress in time of the wedding. I helped her pick a lovely fabric with embroidered dragonflies on it.
While Eileen is preparing for this wedding, I received an email last year from Kate whose mother made her wedding dress. I was thrilled that she had the time to share her thoughts with us. I kept her email because I wanted to share her thoughts with you!
"Hello, I purchased some of your silk shantung fabric for my
> wedding dress last spring. My mother made the dress
> - it was fabulous! The
> fabric was so beautiful, my simple design never would have turned out
> had it not been such perfect quality, thank you! Everyone loved the
> dress, and our photographer thought it was the best she'd seen all
> year. You can see a picture of the dress online, as our wedding was
> recently featured in a Seattle bridal magazine. The link is below.
> Thank you! Kate Kappel Haba
I was unable to download the pictures, but if you would like to see the lovely pictures you may check at Bride & Groom. Kate's wedding was absolutely joyful. It was a beautiful dress and wedding!
As you can see, all of our customers are talented people and we learn a great deal from them. If you would like to see more, please check out the photo gallery!
Notions are the unsung heroes of sewing. Notions are tools or aids to make sewing easier or more efficient. I am constantly amazed at how many there are. For every type of sewing, some clever person has developed a tool to help you. I tried to find where the word "notion" came into existence but could not. What a strange word to use!
Think about thread for a moment. There are embroidery thread, machine quilting thread, dual purpose thread, invisible thread, upholstery thread and more.
There are books devoted to interfacing. Interfacing can make or break a project. If you are using the right interfacing, no one will notice. If you are using the wrong interfacing, your project will somehow just not turn out like you thought it would. There is interfacing for clothes and crafts. We have recently added three new interfacings to our store. For the apparel sewer, we have added a hair canvas (NR-497) to use in more tailored outfits. For the craft sewer, we have added a mid weight interfacing (NR-498) and a heavier weight (NR-499) comparable to TimTex, TimTex was used to give a rigid construction to weekender bags and totes. I was surprised when Timtex was no longer available.
I must confess to a secret fetish. I love rulers! Big rulers, little rulers; I have them. I think sometimes about people who design rulers. Are they closet mathematicians? All I know is that anything that takes the math out of the equation works for me. We have added a new ruler called the Strip Tube Ruler (NR-506). It is used primarily with strips of fabric such as the 2 ½ inch Jelly Rolls. I have become addicted to Jelly Rolls, but that is a subject for another day.
We will some be adding Best Press to our notions section. If you have never used this, you are in for a treat. This is a light starch which brings back the body to quilting fabric after it has been prewashed. It is not for cotton only. The beauty of it is that when you spray it on a dark fabric, it does not flake. It also comes in several scents such as lavender.
As you can see, we are adding notions everyday. If there is something you feel we are missing, please let the Fabric Maverick know.
Well, I have a new ruler to test so have a happy sewing day!
Well, it's awfully hot already down here in the Beautiful South. Outdoor activities like picnicking or outdoor concerts are done in the shade or while the sun sets. I will say the dinners I serve at dusk are the most fun. With mosquito repellent at hand, we brave the outdoors. The smoke from the BBQ helps a little, too.
I have an easy project for you that will spruce up your outdoor dining or your patio. I love our oil cloth. I'm always trying to think of things to do with it. Since it cuts cleanly and is water repellent, I have made some tropical
coasters I'd like to share with you.
One yard of floral oil cloth and ½ yard of solid oil cloth
Sharp and pointed scissors
A heavy book or other weight
Choose the flowers you like on the floral oil cloth and carefully cut them out. You can decide whether you like the leaves on yours or not. The pointed scissors will help you get into the tight spots.
Lay out your solid oil cloth with the back of the oil cloth facing up. Lay your flower
with the front of the floral oil cloth facing up. In other words, wrong sides together. Carefully trace your flower on to the back of the solid oil cloth with a Sharpie. Don't worry if it looks like the backing will be a little bigger. You will do a final trim after the Fabri-Tac dries.
Cut out your solid piece that you just traced. Repeat for all the coasters you want to make.
Working on a piece of wax paper to protect your work surface, put a bead of
Fabric-Tac around the edges of the solid oil cloth cut out. Match your floral oil cloth cut out with the solid one and press the edges. Wipe away and excess Fabri-Tac as you adhere the two pieces together.
Take a couple of pieces of wax paper and sandwich your newly glued coaster between them. Lay a heavy book on top (I used the Joy of Cooking), and let them dry about 30 minutes.
Trim the coasters neatly, removing any of the backing that shows from the front.
Enjoy your new colorful coasters!
Oil Cloth and cotton laminates are fun to work with once you have a few tips to make it easier. Oil cloth and cotton laminates are different. Oil cloth is 100% vinyl which has been screen printed and can have a cotton mesh or flannel backing. Cotton laminate is 100% cotton which has been heat bonded to a laminate or vinyl base. These fabrics have several common denominators:
1. Not machine washable
2. Cannot fold -should be rolled
3. Require special sewing methods
1. Use a Teflon presser foot or masking tape when sewing. If you are using masking tape, apply it to the presser foot. If you place on the fabric, the residue will be hard to remove.
2. Use binder clips or tape to hold fabric in position. If you pin it, make sure it is within the seam allowance. Otherwise the holes will show on the finished side.
3. If using an interfacing, you might want to use a temporary spray adhesive to hold the fabric and interfacing together. I have used this method and found it works really well. You can also reposition the fabric on the interfacing easily. It does not gum up your needle. I used NR-369 with great success.
4. Use a size 16 needle if sewing 2 pieces of oil cloth together. If you are working with cotton laminate, you may use a size 14 or less.
5. You may use a regular cotton/polyester thread in most applications.
6. Fabri-tac is a good adhesive for most projects.
1. Sew one time- if you have to remove stitches they will show
2. Do not use pins
3. Do not fold
4. Do not apply heat or iron.
5. Do not put in the washing machine- wipe clean with a sponge and mild detergent
If your fabric is wrinkled or is showing a fold mark, lay out in the sun or warm room. Give the fabric the chance to remove the wrinkles. Fabric.com mails all of these types of fabrics on a roll to minimize that problem.
These fabrics are waterproof, but where you create seams are not. If you wish to have a completely waterproof product, you will need to apply a seam sealant.
Finishing raw edges:
Since this fabric does not ravel, nothing needs to be done. If you want a more finished look, you can use double sided bias tape or sew a hem. Sewing a hen will be easier with cotton laminate than oil cloth.
Look out for Thursday- Kristl is back with a great sew or no-sew project for oil cloth.
School has only been out a few days, but soon mothers will be looking for ideas to occupy their children. I agree with the Fabric Maverick that the flip-flop is a staple of summertime. This humble shoe can be bought as cheaply as $1.99. It has no ambitions of lasting a long time not even through the summer. Everyone wants to personalize their flip-flops. This is perhaps the first time a young girl begins to think of accessories! The good thing about flip-flops is that they are not gender specific. My 6 year old consultant was not available to test these projects but I believe these would rate 2 thumbs up!
The first project can be done by anyone who can tie a knot.
1 pair of flips-flops
3. Fabric scraps
4. Rotary cutter (wave is nice) and mat
An adult should cut the fabric into 1/2 inch fabric widths.
1 The fabric strips should measure about 7 1/2 inches long x 1/2 inch wide. These can be estimated. Only adults should use a rotary cutter and mat.
2. Divide strips into colors.
3. Tie each strip around the thong center and knot.
4. Trim the strips to the length that you want.
Voila! You are done. Repeat with the second flip-flop.
Different size yo-yos
Fabric measuring at least 5 inches square
Using 5 inch squares create yo-yos according to instructions.
Layer yo-yos in a pleasing pattern (See picture)
Attach with Fabri-tac (Adult should handle glue)
Attach each yo-yo to thong section of flip-flop in a pleasing manner using a glue suitable to attach fabric to plastic.
For full instructions for the second project, I refer you to the Michael Miller website.
The robin is considered the first sign of Spring. Lest anyone think I do not know when summer starts, it is June 21st officially. The true harbinger of summer is the sound of flip-flops going by my office. Even now I hear an army slapping by my office! That familiar slap slap on the carpet tells me summer has arrived! To me that means school is out, pool parties are in, working in my garden is in, working overtime is out. The days are longer and calling me to enjoy outdoor fun. Heat up the grill! Chef Bubba get ready!
Of course, we are going to make somethings easier for you. If you are wearing flip-flops, you must be wearing T shirts. We have new selections of knits both poly cotton knits and cotton jersey knits. We have some great patterns for casual wear shirts- one of my favorites is CJP-002 Christine Jonson Shirred Top and Princess Wrap Pattern. Make several using different fabrics. Of course if you are in a designing kind of mood, add a flip flop pillow to your decor. Would this pillow not be perfect for a young person in your life?
Blend 1 cup of plain yogurt with 1 cup of pineapple juice. Add spears of pineapple, maraschino cherries, bananas, grapes, mandarin orange to set it off. Those little umbrellas are a perfect touch. Of course, you may use any flavor of juice that you like. Now lean back in your lounge chair and say "Ahh!"