March 2009 Archives

Chef Bubba invites us to Spring and Easter

March 31, 2009

Even though in many areas of the North and Midwest there is a resurgence of winter, spring is forging ahead in the South. The old saying is April showers bring May flowers. We have gotten a head start with rain for the last week of March. Daffodils and pear trees won't be stopped from blooming. If you are suffering from SADS, Chef Bubba is here to get you in the mood for Easter and spring with an Easter cheesecake.

Preparation time: 40 min., Bake 1.5 hr.

Cool: 45 min., Chill: 4hr. Oven: 325 degrees F.


1 pkg 2-layer-size carrot cake

1 c. water

1/2 c cooking oil

6 eggs

3 8-oz pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 c. granulated sugar

2 tsp vanilla

Non stick cooking spray



1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit. Grease and flour a 10'' springform pan; set aside. In a large bowl, mix cake mix, 1 c. water, oil, and 3 of the eggs at low speed with an electric mixer until completely combined. About 3 minutes. Pour into pan.

2. In another large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add remaining 3 eggs until combined. Pour mixture slowly over the carrot cake layer. Place cheesecake pan on a baking sheet.

3. Bake for 1 1/2 hrs. to 1 3/4 hrs. until the center is set. Top will be uneven and will settle somewhat as it cools. Cool 30 minutes. Loosen cake carefully from the sides of the pan. . Remove sides of the pan and refrigerate 4 hrs.

Optional: You may drizzle a mix of 2 Tbs. water with confectioners sugar to a consistency suitable for drizzling across the top for a slightly sweeter taste.

Makes 12-16 servings at approximately 500 calories per serving.


Enjoy, mes amis.


Chef Bubba

The Fabric Maverick says... Thank you, Ruth Nelson

March 19, 2009

Every once and awhile, I receive a great email from one of our customers. Last week I received an email from Ruth Nelson who commented on my tips to make swimsuits. Now Ruth makes a bazillion swimsuits and has offered some tips of her own. These are extremely good tips and I want to share them with you. I have not changed anything in Ruth's email because she has this great attitude which can only uplift us all.

Here's Ruth:

 I do water aerobics and make a bazillion basic swimsuits.  Everything you said is good but there are a couple more tips:

1)  Line the entire suit - not just the front - and use regular weight swimsuit fabric instead of "swimsuit lining" fabric.  Lining the whole suit means no seams touch your skin, the weight and support are extremely comfortable and the suit lasts longer and stays in shape better.

2)  NEVER put your suit in the washer or (god forbid!) the dryer.  No soap whatsoever - not even "swimsuit" soap.  Rinse carefully after each use and hang to dry.  (How dirty can it get anyway!!)

3)  If you swim in a chlorine pool, don't worry about the type of elastic you use.  The swimsuit fabric will wear out before the elastic does.  If you can't manage the serger insertion as suggested, just use a zigzag stitch. 

4) I would rather use a zigzag to sew it down than a double needle.  It is faster and easier to manage the tension.  Cover or double needle does look nicer, but I've never had anyone even notice the type of stitching unless I pointed it out.

5) Don't bother with the "bra".  Too much work and does absolutely NO good whatsoever.  If you fully line with regular swimsuit fabric you'll get all the support you need and it will be more comfy.  I write this speaking as as 48DD.

6)  Too heck with dark, dreary, sensible colors.  If you are heavy, love your body and get whatever fabric that strikes your fancy.  I am a great big woman and was self-conscious 16 years ago when I started doing water aerobics at a gym full of the young and fit.  I learned to my joy that no-one cares what you like like if you are happy and having a good time.  Most people are too worried about themselves to worry about you and think you look perfectly fine.  It's confidence that makes you look good so get that striking floral pink and orange if that's what you secretly crave.


Special Tip for elastic insertion:

ELASTIC INSERTION:  Everyone tells you to sew elastic by cutting the measurement (usually swimsuit patterns tell you what measurement to cut), sewing it into a circle, quarter marking it and quarter marking the fabric and matching the marks stretching as you go.


This is all well and good but it is very frustrating to manage especially as you get to the end of the circle.  A better, easier way is to either not cut the elastic or cut it about and inch longer than it needs to be.  Leave it straight and make your first mark at the true end point measurement.  Put in the other 2 quarter marks.  (I use a pen instead of pins - easy to see, hidden in the final product and doesn't fall out or need to be removed.) Quarter mark the fabric as usual. 


This way you have a "tail" to hold onto as you are stretching and sewing.

How do you join the circle of elastic at the end?  Simple:  you don't.  You don't need to.  The elastic is firmly fixed down and will NOT come out.

(Just try removing it if you don't believe me!)


Ruth also thinks the swimsuit patterns from Kwik Sew and Stretch and Sew have a great variety of styles for those looking for patterns.


 This is very timely advice from Ruth as we are all standing in front of our mirrors and saying "Oh, No!"

I agree with Ruth that we need to go with those nice bright colors if that is what we really want. Check our our swimsuit fabric before it is all sold out. Ruth, I love your style. I hope that we will hear from you again. If anyone has comments about anything we write, please contact us. We love to hear from all of you! You may contact us through the blog or or




The Fabric Maverick says... Have you got the right stuff?

March 17, 2009

My husband used to die when I would go to Home Depot or Lowes and drag home something that needed to be assembled.  " I'm not putting this together!" he would say. It was never my intention for him to assemble my book case or whatever. I like to assemble things and I did assemble them!  Except for the barbecue grill. What I did learn from all my assembly work was that using the right tools make things go much easier and faster. Sewers soon learn that lesson also.

A beginning quilter soon realizes that having the right equioment will make her sewing so much more enjoyable!  From my experience I would suggest the following tools:

1. Rotary cutter

2. Rotary mat

3. Fabric

4, Thread

5. Seam ripper

6. Sewing machine

7. Scissors

8. Iron

9. 6'' x 24'' ruler

With these simple tools, you are ready to begin quilting.

Good Luck and Happy St. Patrick's Day


Fabric Maverick


The Fabric Maverick says... Here is how to scratch that itch!

March 10, 2009

You have been infected by the quilting bug! You have seen beautiful quilts in magazines, in movies or a friend is having a baby. You want to give it a try, but where do you start?

There are several ways to begin. Quilt shops offer classes on learning to quilt. When I first decided I wanted to learn to quilt, quilt shops were my first resource. Unfortunately I soon discovered that I could not find a quilt class that fit into my working schedule. My next step was to find a good, basic book with lots of pictures so I could teach myself. What I didn't understand I asked questions about from the ladies at quilt shop. These are some of the nicest people in the world. They are very willing to help someone with a problem.

Today there are many choices to fit anyone's schedule. I think that you could be stationed in the Antartica and still be able to find a way to learn. You can learn by:

1. Quilt shop classes

2. Online

3. Books

4, DVDs

When I was learning, there were no internet classes or DVDs. Now you can log onto several websites to take classes. One of those websites is  I still like books because you have a resource at your fingertips whenver you need to find an answer to a question.

As you may have noticed, has started to carry books for your particular passion. For the beginning quilter, I recommend "Start Quilting with Alex Anderson".   Start Quilting with Alex Anderson.jpgSome people may think the book is simplistic, but the author goes into great detail describing all the basics of quilting:

1. Explanations of common sewing terms

2. Tools needed

3. Proper preparation of fabric

4. How to cut fabric with a rotary cutter and mat.

5. How to sew the fabric

6. How to press the fabric

7, How to prepare the backing

8. How to assemble the quilt

9. How to quilt the quilt

10. How to prepare the binding.

Then Alex provides 6 beginners projects for you to master your new found skills. Once you have made your first quilt, prepare to be hooked for life.

Go Sew!

 Fabric Maverick 


Today's Snippet

March 9, 2009

When using a cutting tool such as a rotary cutter or scissors, cut away from the body. I say this as I am bandaging my finger once again as I disregarded my own advice. After using your rotary cutter, immediately close the cover. I have on several occasions dropped my rotarty cutter on my foot. Having the cutter closed has saved me from causing severe damage to my feet. Of course, I am always barefoot.

Trivia of the day- Who is 50 years old today?


Answer- Barbie


Did you know that Barbie had a middle and last name?


Answer: Barbie Millicent Roberts


Hope these snippets will get you off to a good day!


Fabric Maverick

The Fabric Maverick...Get ready for Spring and prime sewing time!

March 3, 2009

March is one of my favorite months! The daffodils are coming up; winter is having its last fling. I was going to write an article on Sunday but my computer would not cooperate. I just looked out the window at the snow coming down and my just blooming pear tree. Nature will have the last laugh!

March is just a breath of spring to come. This is also national craft month, but best of all National Quilting Day is coming! I plan to fill your days with tips on quilting and side trips to craft projects. Hope you are willing to go with me.

To get you started here is a tip from the Gadget Corner:

What do you do with old, cracked rotary cutter mats? You cut them into appropriate sizes to use in handbag/tote patterns instead of the very heavy interfacing. Very durable and thrifty too! More money to buy fabric.

Get ready to sew this summer!

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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