Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Meatloaf, Valentines & Flat Stanley

Meatloaf in the oven.... mmmmm, smells pretty good in here and now I have a little time to
plop down and write a quick post! I love Valentines Day, a sweet little day to break up the winter doldrums. A day filled with hearts and candy, cute little cards that say I Love You.... :)
Do you decorate for Valentines Day? I found darling Valentine kitties to scatter about my sewing room. Add a stack of Robert Kaufman polka dot fat quarters, how purrfect would that be for a Valentine project! 

Valentine kitties tacked to the bulletin board in my sewing room and a strand of vintage Valentines, my sewing room is a happy place to be.

This past week was very busy here and enjoyably so. Friends of ours from Buffalo NY flew in to visit, 
friends of 35 plus years, so special to have such a long lasting friendship. We had the BEST time and did a little bit of everything, their time with us flew by way too fast! 
We had another "guest" during their visit. This little guy flew up in an envelope from Oklahoma City,
meet my "Grandson" Alexander lol! Perhaps you may be familiar with a school project called "flat Stanley". If not, a school age child mails a paper image to you with a request to show "them" around your city and provide information (postcards, maps, pictures etc) telling the class about your city. You then mail all the info you gathered back to the school for their class to learn from. I did one for another Grandson last year. His flat Stanley was only envelope size. This one is actual size and more cumbersome to drag around.
Here he is having tea and pastries with my friend Kathy and I at a local favorite chocolate shop!

Perfect timing, the oven buzzer is going off, time to put dinner on the table. 
Bon appetit!

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Sweet Child's Apron Tutorial

Happy Valentines Day To You!
Child's Half Apron Tutorial

When I 1st saw Pam Kitty Mornings sweet Love line of Valentine fabric I just knew I would have to design something special integrating that cute Valentine block panel in my project. Cleo and I chose two blocks for our pockets and used that darling heart selvage for our waistband. 

Ties were made simple by using satin ribbon!

To get started you will need: 
1/2 yard fabric for apron skirt
1 Pam Kitty Love Valentine Block panel for waistband and pockets
1 fat quarter white fabric for pocket and waistband linings
1/8 yard lightweight fusible interfacing for the waistband
2 yards 1-1/2- inch wide washable red satin double faced ribbon
white thread, quilters rotary cutter, acrylic ruler and cutting mat

Cutting directions:
From fabric for skirt cut 1 rectangle 15" long x 30" wide.
Pockets- choose 2 quilt blocks from the panel,
carefully center the design and trim each block to 6-1/2 inches square.
Waistband- cut selvage from end of the Valentine block panel to measure 2-1/2" wide. 
Trim selvage to 16-1/2" long centering the heart designs you wish to feature on your waistband.
Cut 1 fusible interfacing 2-1/2" x 16-1/2" for waistband.
From white fabric cut: two 6-1/2" squares for pocket linings and
one 2-1/2" x 16-1/2" strip for waistband lining.

Use 1/2 inch seams unless otherwise noted.
Lets get started! 
To hem the bottom 30" edge of skirt: fold fabric 1/4" to the wrong side and press. Fold over 
1 inch and press again. Stitch hem close to the 1st fold line through all layers.

To hem side edges: fold fabric 1/4" to the wrong side and press. Fold over
1/2 inch and press again. Stitch hem close to 1st fold line through all layers.

Here is your cute pocket block, design all centered and trimmed to 6-1/2" square.

With right sides facing, pin block to pocket lining. Sew around the pocket leaving approximately 
3 inches open at the bottom edge for turning. Clip corners close to stitch lines. Turn pocket right side out and press. Make a 2nd pocket in the same manor.

Pin pockets to apron, placement is 1-1/2" from side and bottom edges. 
Stitch pocket to apron on all sides except the top edge. 

Gather the waist: using your longest straight stitch setting, sew two gathering lines along the top edge of your apron approximately 1/4 inch apart. Pull bobbin threads to gather top to measure 15-1/2".

Here are your 3 waistband pieces all laid out: heart selvage, lining and fusible interfacing. 

Fuse interfacing to wrong side of the heart selvage strip. With right sides facing, pin and sew lining to selvage along the top raw edge. Press seam towards lining.

Attach waistband to skirt: right sides facing pin gathered edge of skirt to remaining selvage edge of waistband. Waistband should extend 1/2" on either side of the skirt. Adjust gathers making sure they are spaced evenly, sew skirt to waistband. 

Remove gathering stitches, press seam towards the apron waistband which
should now look like this!

Press long edge of waistband lining under 1/2 inch to the wrong side. 
Right sides facing flip lining on top of waistband as pictured below.

Cut ribbon in half to make two 36" pieces. Cut one end of each ribbon tie diagonally,  this will keep the cut edge from fraying besides adding a pretty finish.

Sandwich ribbon ties in between waistband and lining matching straight raw edges and pin.
Stitch across the waistband 1/2" side seams encasing the ties within. 
Trim seams, turn waistband and ties right side out.

Pin and slip stitch folded edge of waistband in place on wrong side of apron.

All finished, now go make some cupcakes with your little darlings!
Barbie Jo and Cleo
PS: if you make an apron using our tutorial, feel free to email Cleo a picture of your finished project, we would love to see and include you in a special Valentine LOVE post! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ushering in the New Year

Another Christmas come and gone in the blink of an eye. Were you good? Of course you were, what did Santa bring you? Amongst the bubble baths, chocolates and book gift cards, all things that I love, I opened a gift from my sister on Christmas morning that made me smile :) She crocheted this adorable kitty scarf for me, I was so surprised! I had "pinned" this scarf on Pinterest, I just can't believe she found time to make it, gifts from the heart are so special. Santa also brought me an Intuous Pen Tablet for my computer, a very thoughtful gift for any designer, artist,  illustrator, it is used with Mac Photoshop and Design programs. I am very excited about this and will be burning some midnight oil while trying to learn new techniques.

Christmas here was quiet and laid back. Dinner with our son and his girlfriend. After the dinner mess is quickly put away I start whipping up appetizers for the after party. Several of our sons friends always join us for games, Jerry and I always look forward to it and enjoy these young people so much. This year we played Apples To Apples. The cream cheese penguins are a hit as always! 

New Years Eve was quiet here as well. It snowed all weekend and we just settled in. New Years Day I made our Pennsylvania good luck dinner of Pork Roast, Sauerkraut and mashed potatoes.. yum! 
Temperatures have dropped to the teens and Cleo hops from fleece to fleece keeping warm. My pretty girl! Every evening she hops up on the couch in between Jerry and I and watches TV with us. I think we are going to need a set of 3 recliners, one for each of us!

This Year is going to be one of many changes for Hubby and I. Jerry retired the end of December after a lifetime of work. I think it is going to take some time for him to adjust, right now it seems like he is still on vacation, a very long vacation lol! Wish us luck as we start this new journey together!