Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I planted this rose bush in my front flower bed a few years ago, about two weeks before that big ice storm that we had here in Missouri that knocked all the power out for several weeks.
I planted a Japanese Maple at the same time. Well, I thought the ice storm had killed them, it did kill the Maple, but the rose bush came back. The name of the Rose bush is Ingrid Bergman, I cant remember the name of the company that produces them. I chose this one because Ingrid Bergman was always one of my favorites, and it is such a beautiful red. When I first planted it, I didn't know much about growing roses, I am learning as I go. This particular variety is pretty hardy, I haven't had much trouble.
This plant is called Salvia. I got three 6" pots of them last year along with three pots of Blue Fescue ornamental grass. I planted two Salvia and all the Blue fescue by my mail box and the other Salvia in my front flower bed. The Blue fescue didn't do good at all. I guess it was too hot for it in direct sun. It burned right up, but the Salvia did good last year in both locations. Last winter when it died back I cut it down pretty low to the ground and this spring it came in big and full. I get a lot of compliments on it.
I also have Day Lilies and Allison False Heather in my yard. The Heather is at its prettiest in the early spring and I didn't think to take a picture of it then. I will take a picture of the day lilies when they are in full bloom.

Monday, May 24, 2010


My Husband and I went to Arkansas this past weekend to visit my Daughter and her family. While we were there she told me that her church was going to have a pioneer day on the last Sunday of the month and everybody in the choir was supposed to wear something old fashioned looking for the event.
She didn't have anything so we decided to make something. She had a costume pattern but it was in the wrong size, and kind of complicated to whip together in one weekend so we decided against that idea, however she did use the pattern for the sun bonnet. For the skirt and bonnet, she had a bolt of fabric that was purchased from a garage sale for a dollar. The fabric is 3/8 inch green and white gingham check.
We wanted to make as few seams as possible so the fabric could be reused later for something else, and the fabric was thin enough that she needed a long slip (which she didn't have) so we decided to make a lining using the same materiel. For the outer skirt she cut a length of fabric two times her hip measurement, and for the lining, her hip measurement plus 10 inches, for the elastic casing, her hip measurement plus 3 inches.
While she was doing the sewing on the skirt and bonnet, I altered a shirt. The shirt she had to use originally had long sleeves with cuffs, and a collar. I cut the sleeves off half way between the elbow and the cuff and I cut the collar off just below the neck band, and then rounded the front down a little bit more so the finished edge would be right above the first button and hole. I then crocheted around the edges of the neck and both sleeves first with white, then with green to match the colors of the skirt. The apron was one that I made for her vacuum cleaner doll that I had made several years ago. Over all, I think it looks like what pioneer women wore.
This is my sweet little angel Emily. She just had to try the bonnet on and show Grandma. The funny thing about it is that the bonnet is not too big for her. For a tiny little girl, she has a big head. I think she is adorable.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


My husband and I both love cheesecake. It used to be that every time we went out to eat we would order cheesecake for desert. When we stopped going out to eat I would buy cheesecake from the bakery. Sometimes they were good and sometimes not so good.

I had never tried making one myself until a few years ago. I used the recipe that came on the flap of a package of Best Choice cream cheese called Old Fashion Cheesecake. I mixed the cheesecake with my Kitchen Aide stand mixer with the wire whip. The cheesecake came out so light and fluffy that it would melt in your mouth. I didn't use their topping though, I just topped it with a can of cherry pie filling.

Well, for this one I didn't have a can of pie filling, but I did have quart bags of blueberries in my freezer that I picked last year. I used 1 bag of blueberries, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 tsp lemon juice. I cooked it in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat for about 15 minutes. And of course, let the cheesecake and the blueberries cool before topping the cake.

WARNING: Once you have had this cheesecake you will never want store bought cheesecake again.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Log Cabin Table Runner

This is a table runner that I made using upholstery sample scraps that were left over from making valences for the windows at my daughters house (She is doing the lodge look at her house).
I made 7 log cabin blocks and cut 3 of them in half diagonally. I used the one's that I cut in half to set the others on point. When it came time for finishing, I had to do the quilting on the machine since upholstery fabric is just too thick to quilt through by hand. It has one layer of batting, and is backed with a pant weight twill fabric. I think it turned out nice. I will use it for dinners when all the family gets together and there is a lot of food on the table. The thickness of the table runner will protect my table from any damage.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Re-Cycled Baby Clothes

Here is a couple of baby quilts that I made using old baby clothes, mostly t-shirts, onezy's, and PJ's, all were cotton single knit. For the Top quilt, I cut the cloths up into squares and sewed them together. For the bottom quilt I used all different sizes and pieced them together using as much of the fabric as possible. There is less waste this way, but it is more time consuming.
I used two layers of high loft batting on both of them. Then I tied them using pink, yellow, and blue pearl cotton. The knit on the top, and the extra layer of batting makes these quilts so soft you just want to sink into them. I did not use a stabilizer on the back of the knit, because I wanted it to have a plush soft feel. I backed the quilts with a woven fabric to give the quilts stability.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Re-Cycled Jeans Pillow

Another way to use old jeans is to make decorative throw pillows. You know what they say "jeans go with everything". Well I believe the same is true for these throw pillows made from recycled jeans. I cut 16 squares and layered them 4 deep with all right sides facing up, sew across in 1/2 inch increments on the diagonal, cut thru three layers in between seams and then run them thru the washer and dryer to make them poof up. Then sew the blocks together so that the sewn lines form a concentric design. I put a denim back on mine to make a pillow, but the same idea could be used to make a tote or beach bag.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Infant Shoes

I seem to have misplaced the pattern for these little shoes (I am not very organized, I'm creative) but I believe it was a Retro Simplicity pattern. Supposedly it was originally printed in the 50"s. They are made from craft felt. The pattern has a floral design layout on it, but I didn't use it. I just did free hand embroidery on the floral design, blanket stitch around the top and the tie is a piece of coordinating ribbon.

The socks are infant size 0-3 months that I purchased in a bag of 10. I single crocheted directly onto the top of the socks, then a row of half double crochet, then chain 2, attach bead by chaining through the bead, chain 2, skip 3 half double crochets and single crochet in the next half double crochet.

For this pair of socks, I didn't add the beads, and then I put 7 single crochets in each chain 5 loop. Any edging can be used though. Also, this pair of shoes I used silk ribbon instead of embroidery floss for the embroidery. They make a nice baby shower gift.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lone Star Baby Quilt

I think this is my favorite quilt design. This one happens to be a baby quilt that I made to enter in the Boone County Fair, but it will ultimately go to my Granddaughter Lucy. The theme for her nursery is Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. What better way to illustrate that than diamond shapes put together to form a star. I tried to pick colors that are present in flames so it would look like a flaming star. It is quilted by hand, and I made the binding out of the same colors as the star cut on the bias.
When I was a kid I used to watch my Grandma quilt. She had a quilting frame that my Grandpa made for her out of 2x4's that he split and it was held up with tomato cages that he also built. I grew up thinking that you had to have a frame to quilt. Since I didn't have one, or the room to put one up, I had resigned myself to thinking I couldn't quilt by hand. Then one day (I think it was in 1998) I say an episode of Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson where she talked about lap quilting and the techniques of hand quilting. It was like a light bulb came on over my head. I got some scrap pieces of fabric and batting, layered them together and started practicing her techniques. OK, at first I was terrible, but it didn't take long before I got the hang of it. I made only small projects at first, and gradually worked my way up to larger and larger ones. The first Queen sized quilt I finished by hand was my chicken quilt that took over 2 years (half of that time was spent embroidering the chickens). With practice I got a lot faster and now I can complete a King sized quilt from start to finish in about 45 days. I know a lot of people don't want to invest that much time into a single project, but the feeling of accomplishment you get when you are finally finished is out of this world. Thanks to Alex Anderson, where ever you are.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Re-Cycled Jeans Hand Bags

What can you do with your favorite pair of jeans once they are too worn to wear, or just out grown? I hate throwing things away. I am like those hoarders that they are making TV shows about that have piles and piles of stuff that they just can't get rid of. My husband and I live in a three bedroom house and two of those bedrooms that are supposed to be for guest rooms are in fact rooms to hold all the things that I keep, thinking someday I will find a use for that and I will be glad I kept it.
A few years ago I decided to try to use up all the things that I have kept over the years to cut down on the clutter, and maybe make money in the process. I started making these handbags out of the old jeans that I will never get small enough to wear anymore. I sell them for $15.oo each, or give them as Christmas or birthday presents (which saves money too because I am not out any cash for the present).
I use scraps of fabric left over from other projects to make the lining. Pockets can be put on the inside if you like, but I usually don't because there are plenty of pockets already on the jeans. On the two bags shown in these pictures, I decorated them by felting flowers, scrolls, and hearts using loose wool (that I carded and dyed myself) and a felting needle. The belts and shoulder straps can be done in a variety of ways. Sometimes I use old belts of mine and sometimes I make them using the pant legs that were cut off. Macrame shoulder straps (not shown) also look nice and sell pretty well.
Use pants size 12 or smaller, anything bigger just looks like you are carrying around a duffel bag. Children's and baby jeans work great. The larger ones can even be used for diaper bags. Bottles slide down in the front pockets for easy access.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Clown Fish Baby Quilt

For this quilt, I cut nine 12 inch squares of white fabric. I drew the templates for the fish from looking at a coloring book that one of my Grand kids left here. Of course they aren't meant to look like actual species of fish so imagination is the only limit. I had quite a few scraps of brightly colored polka-dot fabric to make the fish. After appliqueing the fish, I embroidered around the edges to give more definition to the details. I also embroidered their eyes, mouth, fish hooks and worms.
I sewed the blocks together, and used a small bowl to mark and cut scallops around the outside edges. Then I appliqued it to the top of the background fabric. The background fabric shows thru just enough to make it look like water. On the white portion, I quilted in wavy lines, and on the background I mimicked the scalloped edge.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mother Goose Baby Quilt

Old Mother Goose, when she decided to wander, would ride through the air on the back of a Gander
This is my version of Mother Goose. I saw an old iron on transfer (I think from Aunt Martha's Transfers) on EBay that said it was first printed in the 50's. Well, they wanted $16.00 for it and I didn't want to pay that so I enlarged the image on the screen so I could see the details, and drew one that I could turn into a applique pattern.

After getting all the pieces appliqued in place, I used embroidery thread to fill in the details such as the facial features on Mother Goose and the Gander, the hand details, the waives on the skirt and the wings of the Gander.
Her hair is loose wool that I carded myself and felted in place with a felting needle.
The ribbon on the hat, at her neck, and around the gander's neck is silk ribbon.

I tried to applique the shoes and socks, but the pieces were just too small for these big clumsy fingers of mine, so I wound up doing them totally in embroidery.

I cut clouds out of blue and white in various sizes. To give the picture some dimension, I placed the smaller clouds in the background underneath the top layer of fabric, and the larger clouds in the foreground appliqued in place.
I used the edge of a plate to make the scalloped edge of the border fabric.
I quilted wavy lines, closer together in the background and slightly further apart in the foreground to make it look like she was flying in the jet stream.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Carosel Horse

I drew the pattern for this horse myself by looking at horses on TV. It was a lengthy process of trial and error. All four legs are different, I was trying to make it look like the horse was in a high gallop, and still be level enough to hold a rider if I ever get one made to put on him.
The body is made of suede upholstery fabric. The mane and the tail are loose wool that I carded myself. The eyes, nostrils, and the tufts of hair above each hoof are wool that I felted on using a felting needle. The bridle and saddle are made of craft felt and decorated with studs and wool that I felted to shape the seat on the saddle. The reigns is macrame.
The saddle blanket is a piece of velveteen with fringe sewn on.
I covered the dowel rod with suede and wrapped ribbon around it to give it a swirl effect. The base is covered with strips of suede woven with ribbon.
These make great decorations at Christmas time, for a childs nursery, or for anytime for someone who likes carosel horses.