Showing posts from November, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers 1-- Thanksgiving Pie

From Alice Johnston's Thanksgiving Pie
Serves 4 to 6 Leftover gravy, heated
Leftover turkey, chopped
Leftover stuffing/dressing (whatever you call it at your house)
Leftover mashed potatoes
Leftover veggies
Leftover cranberries Preheat 375 degrees. In an 8 to 9 inch pie pan, press the leftover stuffing into a bottom to make a pie shell of sorts. Next, make a layer of potatoes, then veggies. Add the chopped turkey to the heated gravy and mix well. Pour that turkey mixture into the middle of your pie and put it in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or so until completely heated through. Serve with leftover cranberries.
Coming Soon!
A Haunted Halloween Blog Tour
Lena Austin

Quilting 101: Cutting Four


Quilting 101: Cutting Part Three


Quilting 101: Cutting Two


Quilting 101: Cutting Part one

Quilting 101-- Cutting

Commentary: There's a certain amount of repetition in all of this as far as preparing to cut. There's a reason. Get into the habit now of taking your new fabric out of your shopping bag and throwing it directly into the apprpriate laundry hamper. Yeah, take a moment to gloat over your loot, but wash the fabric now. When it's dry again, iron it. Fold selvage to selvage. Put it and all the other stuff (pattern, thread, notions, etc) into one project bag. (Remember I mentioned those 2 gallon Ziploc bags?)

The first few patterns in the Super Quilter and Reader's Digest books await us, and cutting is very simple. We're talking straight lines, okay? What few special stuff is cut with scissors, like a paper heart pattern. So just read the next few lessons and just learn. Easy!

However, I would like some feedback. This stuff is work, and I'd rather know someone is actually interested and learning.

A side note on applique quilting

Never ask an advanced quilter how to do applique. You'll get a non-answer of, "Oh, there's hundreds of ways. I really can't begin to tell you all the various techniques." Then you get a discourse of on the various kinds of appliques most favored by that quilter that may or may not be for the beginning quilter, except you don't even understand the terms. After beating my head against a wall, I gave up. Today I just watched the second in a three-part series about applique from the tv show, Sewing With Nancy ( and I was really impressed. Finally, I got to see a demonstration I not only understood, but was equipped to do. Amazing! Between that show (I want the book and DVD set) and some very patient instruction from Ruth Brittain and Sandy Hamilton of my guild, I get it at long last. I more than get it. I wan…

Quilting 101-General Marking and Cutting Instructions

Quilting 101- General Marking and Cutting Instructions (Chapter One of Super Quilter referenced)
Boy-oh-boy! I'm changing a lot of this chapter. Some of the basic info is good, but much has changed since the early 1980's.
Squares are the fundamental basis of piecework. This is like learning your ABC's for all the stuff you learn later, so don't think you can skip this. If you like, you can do a tooth fairy pillow to practice. It's easy, and a nice gift for your kids. (Yeah, Susan. Make it now and put it away for later.) An alternate might be a hot pad for placing your hot pans on the counter. You won't need special heat resistant fabric for this. It's just a trivet-like barrier, but by the same token don't use it to take hot stuff out of the oven. You don't want to burn your hand.
General Instructions
Wash all fabric immediately upon purchase. Get into this habit now. It's highly important to get all the harsh chemicals and sizing out as well as m…

Supplies and Demand-- Part Two

Supplies and Demands Part Two

Okay, back to the supplies. I remind you that I’m drawing info from the Super Quilter book. However, I hope to have the "Patchwork, quilting, & appliqué (Reader's Digest)" by Jenni Dobson. Believe it or not, I just bought it from for a mere fifty cents. No, that’s not a typo; a hard cover book that gives excellent lessons and projects for a mere fifty cents. The shipping costs more.

I may pull projects and lessons from both books. I’m really impressed with both, and I think both have value.


1. For piecing and appliqué, common sewing thread is fine. She does recommend acquiring the basic colors: black, white, natural, red, yellow, blue, and green.

2. Quilting thread had also become readily available. Threads are designated by weight, so 12 weight is what you want. There are almost as many colors in quilting thread as the more common all-purposed threads.

3. You may wish to acquire 40-weight rayon for “pretty shiny”…

Supplies and Demand-- Part One

Supplies and Demands for Quilting

As I read this chapter of Super Quilter by Carla J Hassel, I’m struck by how much has changed in the past 20+ years since she sat down to write it. My amusement has faded to awe. I’m now wondering how my grandmothers managed with a cigar box as a sewing box, a set of hand-sewing needles, pins, scissors, thread, beeswax, chalk, a ruler, tape measure, pin cushion, thimble, seam ripper, and fabric. They made do or did without.

Now I admire my lovely computerized sewing machine, my collection of rulers and templates, stabilizers, Heat-n-Bond, glues, and myriad of gadgets available. Am I the one deprived because I’m not sitting around a frame with other women, learning from those who came before me? Maybe I am. They fearlessly attacked their ignorance and knew they had a lifetime to perfect their skills.

So I use a plastic tote and a photo box instead of a cigar box. It’s not a crime. I made my own pincushions from my early experiments with different blo…

Magickal Needlework-- Quilting 101

If you haven't read Magical Needlework by Dorothy Morrison, you might wish to borrow it or buy. This book covers all the reasons to do magic through the juxtaposition of needle, thread and cloth to create magical items. I see no reason to reinvent the wheel when Dorothy did it so well.

For the purposes of this series, I'll deal with the pioneering art of quilting since it is versatile and practical. I'm teaching my daughters with this blog, so you'll see me refer to them as Merri, Susan, Tuesday (TJ), Jenny Elf, and Desi. Two are the daughters of my body, and the rest are adoptees, but who cares? I love them all.

I'll refer to several books, but most commonly I'll refer to You Can Be a Super Quilter! by Carla J. Hassel. This book, written when the girls were infants or before they were born, focuses on the simplest aspect of quilting--hand piecing and hand-quilting. I'll refer to more modern books or give my own comments as we go, as needed. However, the mo…

Thanksgiving 5 Things

Thanksgiving Five Things
Doing these five things ahead will save you time, stress, and money. Do it now, and write them down. If you don't have the FlyLady Holiday Control Journal, go get one. Search "Control Journal" and you'll find it.
1) Guest List. Pretty basic, but seriously, make your list; check it twice and start making those all-important phone calls. Knowing how many to plan for is an integral part of successful holiday planning.
2) The Menu. What are you having besides turkey? Make your menu and appropriate grocery list and get everything purchased except the perishables (do that a few days before). If you have stuff that might get mistakenly eaten before the big day, put it in a box and stash it in the linen closet or label it instructing your loved ones to stay far, far away from this Thanksgiving food item.

3) The Turkey. If you're going to order a fresh one, time's running out. Make that phone call now. Make sure you get a c…

A great gift idea for the holidays--Stick it Right on the Money Stickers This has to be the most innovative way to give a plain old monetary gift some pizzazz to show you really did think about  what gift would suit the recipient. My mother in law used to say that giving money, gift certificates, and gift cards were in a way a cop out and borderline rude. They require very little thought, and while "one size does fit all" it does show a certain casual disregard for the likes and dislikes of the recipient or even little more than a nod to the occasion. However in today's busy world, sometimes giving cash can mean a whole lot more, especially when friends and family can be many miles apart. Cash spends well without having to worry.   Now, with Stick It Right On the Money stickers, you can do more than give a nod to the occasion! Each frame and sticker are "Post-it" sticky, so the money isn't damaged. (That's illegal.) See the video at the website. What a great gift idea. Lena Austin