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1  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Any coffee roasters here? on: March 03, 2008 10:48:03 PM
I used the instructions I found at www.sweetmarias.com and www.coffeegeek.com to pan roast a batch of coffee Sunday morning.  Here's what the coffee looks like (yeah, I know, it looks like most coffee, but I'm proud of it!):

You basically throw the green coffee bean in a pan, stir like crazy, then cool the beans down.  There's way more to it than that, but the two sites I listed will give you detailed instructions.

I tried it this morning, but I think it needs to rest more.  I'll try it again the morning...

Fresh roasted coffee, yum!

2  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Foundation Pieced Crazy-Quilt Ornament on: February 28, 2008 01:39:25 AM
My sister, her sister-in-law and I did our own Christmas ornament swap last year and this is what I made:

Here are some basic instructions:

1. Download a pattern for a cloth ball- my pattern was a pointy oval shape (what is that shape called?!)  There're lots of free ball patterns on the 'net.
2. Draw the shape onto foundation paper 6 times
3. Sew a square of fabric face-up onto the middle of the piece, as narrow or wide as you want.  Make sure it overhangs the shape you drew
4. Place a strip of fabric on the middle square, right sides together, matching the edges on one side, sew with 1/4" seam.  Press seam open.
5. Repeat step 4 on both sides of the middle square until you've covered the whole shape.
6. Using the paper as a guide, cut out the shapes.  (At this point, I used different stitches to embellish directly over the seams like you would with a crazy quilt- I used glow in the dark string, which actually shows up pretty well)
7. Use the instructions on the pattern for best results, but basically, sew the pieces together on the long side-except for the first and last 1/4" at the points.  When you get to the last seam, leave an opening wide enough to turn the ball right side out.
8. Stuff and sew the opening closed.

I embellished with beads after this, and made the string to hang from with beads as well.

I think I'll make more of these this year for other family members, they were so easy!
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Goddess Butterfly Doll on: February 28, 2008 01:25:57 AM
I made this doll using a free Goddess doll pattern I found on the internet, but turning the arms up instead of down.  The wings were made by printing a picture of butterfly wings on printable fabric and sandwiching it with double sided fusible and a piece of purple fabric on the back.  After I cut out the wings, I sewed eyelash yarn around the edges with a zigzag stitch on my machine.  I embellished the fabric before sewing the body together with some metallic thread.  After I sewed and stuffed the body, I added the beads and sprayed the doll with some glitter spray stuff.

I originally made this for a local craft group challenge, but then I sent it in a package I sent to my sister for Christmas- she was supposed to give it to my mom since she lives near her.  But she forgot that when she opened the package and thought this was the angel ornament I made her for Christmas last year! (we exchange angel ornaments every year but I actually hadn't made one to send yet).  She wrote on her blog that this was the best angel ornament either one of us has ever made since we started swapping them and she never gave it to our mom, lol!  I never told mom I was giving it to her, so what she doesn't know won't hurt her, eh? 

Funny how I never thought of this as an angel- it was always a Goddess Doll to me until then... I'm glad she liked it!

4  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Clothes for my doll.. uh, Niece! PIC HEAVY on: February 28, 2008 01:12:57 AM
I love making things for my doll niece to wear or play with!  Here are a few things I've made her in the last year:

A pink poncho made with pre=appliqud fleece

A white silk dupioni dress for a special occasion:

Some close ups:

The close ups show the vertical rows of swiss lace stitched together on the bodice (the lase is stitched together row by row then attached to the bodice at the seams).  You can also see (hopefully) the vertical lace insertion on the sleeves and a few inches above the hem.  This dress took over 20 hours!

A pink microdot corduroy jumper & scarf:


(Sorry about the shadow on that last one; I used the flash and forgot to retake it)
I don't have action shots of the jumper yet.  I just put it in the mail Tuesday, so she should get it today or Friday.  I'm excited for her to get it!  I think I made it too big, but if so she can probably just wear it this summer or maybe now with a thick long sleeve shirt under it so no biggie.

Next I'm going to make her some actual doll clothes Smiley
5  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Ready Teddy? on: March 19, 2007 08:46:47 PM
I made this teddy bear for my neighbors little girl.  I accidently put the head on so it's looking over its left shoulder, but it still works, right?   Grin

Thanks for looking,

6  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / A couple purses, a wallet & a pouch I made- Image Heavy on: March 19, 2007 08:14:11 PM
I made these purses months ago, but I've never posted the pictures.  I know the pattern I used for the first one was Vogue 8100.  I used a pattern for the 2nd one as well, but I'd have to search for it (I will if anyone's interested).  The wallet that matches the second purse was made from this Craftster tutorial: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=20925.0 (thanks to the original poster!)

Anyway, here they are:

(the pouch was just simply made from scraps with no pattern)

Neither of the bags have inside pockets, but the second one has 2 outside pockets built in.  Also, the second one was made using kitchen towels from WalMart.
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Help me! Heirloom sewing? on: February 20, 2007 10:24:58 PM
 My sister is adopting a 16 month old girl and will be having her blessed in July once the adoption is final (just waiting on the court system!) So, she has asked me if I would make the blessing gown for my new neice- eep! She sent me a link for the basis of the dress that she wants, but has some things she wants to change. Here is the link:


She saw a dress similar to this, but the top of the dress from the waist up to the shoulders in the front is all horizontal rows of lace and the bottom edge of the dress is scalloped underneath the layer of lace.

Does anyone know of a dress pattern that looks like this? I could probably just modify this pattern, but I'm so new to apparel sewing that I would feel much better with an existing pattern. Keep in mind that she will be 21 or 22 months old by the time she will wear this, so baby patterns won't work.

If you don't know of a pattern, do you have any hints for me on working with lace and/or making scalloped edges?

*Any* help will be appreciated very much!!!


8  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / How to go about making a quilt from suits? on: January 08, 2007 10:54:36 AM
Hello everyone~

I bought a bunch of men's suits from Savers for 99 cents (!) with making a quilt (and messenger bags but that's another topic) out of them.  I also have a couple thousand ties to incorporate into the quilt.

Here is my question:  Do I need to worry about cutting the fabric in the same direction like I would if I were making clothes?  I want to use the technique where you sew the fabric onto paper in strips and tear the paper off (is that paper piecing or strip quilting or what?)

Any tips would be appreciated!

9  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Quilt from men's ties- how to do it?? on: August 09, 2006 10:35:01 AM
I recently came into possesion of a few thousand men's ties (found a great source!)  I want to make a quilt, among other things- probably a few quilts actually.  I don't want to follow any particular pattern, I just want to sew them together in the easiest fastest way to make the top-I've never made a quilt before so it needs to be easy at least for the first few quilts until I learn).  Basically, I was thinking about making this quilt:


Is is necessary to open the ties, take out the interfacing and re-interface it with fusible?  I've read about others doing that and wondered why you would do that if it's already interfaced?  Seems like an unnecessary step that would take a very long time (especially with my iron- it stinks!)

I'm thinking all they did (or how I would do this quilt) is they butted the ties up next to each other and sewed with a zigzag stitch just like in the tie purse tutorial.  Then I would make wide strips out of them then sew strips of fabric in the same width between the strips of ties to make the top.  My neighbors' mil has a quilting machine so I would probably have her quilt it to the batting and bottom in either a stripe or crazy line pattern.

Does this sound like it would work and the quilt would last a while?  If it's really necessary to use fusible interfacing, do you have any hints on how to do it faster?  I want to sell these quilts, so I want them to be quality, but I don't want them to take so long that I wouldn't be able to charge enough to get my times worth, you know what I mean?

Also, what are the standard quilt sizes, in inches?  Meaning, how long and wide is a standard lap, twin, queen or king quilt?

Thank you so much for any help you can give me! 

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