Bessie Bunny debuts in Sew-a-Softie 2018

Meet Bessie Bunny. She is having her big debut today on Sew-a-Softie.

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Sew-a-Softie is an annual month-long event in July that expands all forms of social media. It was created by Trixi at Coloured Buttons. Please go to Trixi's website for a link to all the wonderful people who are participating in this blog hop. Wait until you see all the free patterns and tutorials. They will be awesome. Just use the tag #sewasoftie to find them. There will also be lots of fun prizes. We would love to see your creations, so please post them on facebook. 

Thank you to Shannon Fabrics for donating Bessie's sweet fabric for her body and tail. Thank you to Fairfield World for donating her soft stuffing. By the way, on the back of all the Fairfield World bags of poly-fil there is always a cute pattern and now they even include a stuffing stick to assist in the process of stuffing. 

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Bessie is so easy to sew by machine or by hand. She only requires scrap fabric about the size of a piece of paper and a handful of poly-fil stuffing. I used Shannon Fabrics Cuddle 3 in Baby Pink for the body and their Monkey Shag Fur in Baby Pink for the tail which is only 4" wide. I also used a teeny-tiny piece of Liberty London tawn fabric for the inside of the ears. 

Here are some links to tutorials on hand sewing stitches. You basically only need the backstitch for constructing Bessie and then a french knot for her eyes. The ears and tail are put on with a whip stitch and the running stitch is for basting the tail. 

Click here for Bessie Bunny's template

NOTE: This project uses a 1/4" seam allowance and it is included in the template.

STEP ONE

Print the template twice. Cut out the templates. 

STEP TWO

Following the instructions on the template cut the fabric with the nap of the fabric going in the downward position.

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STEP THREE

Sew the two body pieces together along the sides and top with right sides together. Leave the bottom open. 

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STEP FOUR

With the body still inside out, attach the bottom to the body with right sides together. Leave a two inch opening.

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STEP FIVE

Turn right side out.

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STEP SIX

Fill the body with poly-fil.

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STEP SEVEN

Close the bottom with a hand whip stitch.

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STEP EIGHT

Sew the ears with right sides together, leaving the bottom open.

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Turn right side out.

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STEP NINE

Fold the bottom of the ears up and inside.

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Then attach to the head with a hand whip stitch and pinching the ear a little in the middle for a simple pleat.

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STEP TEN

Baste around the edge of the tail leaving two long lengths of thread.

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Pull the lengths of thread to form the tail into a ball leaving a very small opening to fill the the tail ball.

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STEP ELEVEN

Stuff the tail ball with poly-fil.

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STEP TWELVE

Sew the tail ball closed with a whip stitch. Use something thin like a bamboo stick to pull the long pile from out of the sitches.

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STEP THIRTEEN

Attach the tail to the body of the bunny.

STEP FOURTEEN

Add the eyes with the french knot stitch.
 

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Hoppy trails to you and your bunny!

 

 

Having Fun with OlyFun Ornaments

OlyFun is a techy fabric that is so cool to work with. It does not fray, has no grain, and is water-repellent. It comes in 18 different colors so it is a perfect match for making in-the-hoop machine embroidered ornaments. I had so much fun playing with it, but I decided to step it up a notch and  I did three ornaments as a test using "Support Soft Foam Stabilizer" with the OlyFun. 

Machine Embroidery Designs by "Embroidery Library" -Gingerbread Cookies in-the-hoop

Machine Embroidery Designs by "Embroidery Library" -Gingerbread Cookies in-the-hoop

Thank you to Fairfield World for supplying the OlyFun, the "Support Soft Foam Stabilizer"  used for these ornaments, and the inspiration. 

OlyFun is readily available at many of the big chain stores. In my area in the Connecticut shoreline, the best place is Hobby Lobby. There is a whole display at the end of an aisle where the home decorating fabrics are. I have seen the "Support Soft Foam Stabilizer" at Joann's. 

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OlyFun did not require anything special and it stitched like a dream.  Because it does not fray I could use it in the designs that left the edges raw. It is thinner, so I did not need to worry that it would catch in the feed-dogs or in the foot. I wanted to see what the different colors looked like in these gingerbread cookie designs so I tested with green, red, and sand. 

The first design was the Christmas tree in green. The project instructions call for leaving it open and stuffing it with a poly-fil then closing it by hand.

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 I had done many ornaments that way and to be honest, I wanted to see what an ornament looked like that was flat. So here it is...the flat Christmas tree. It turned out pretty well if you ask me. I know that if I am ever in a pinch, I will feel comfortable leaving out the poly-fil.

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On to test two - OlyFun with Support Soft Foam Stabilizer" (I'm just going to call it Support herein) in the gingerbread man in sand. Support is a foam stabilizer that I found out about this summer. It takes a bag from looking sewn to looking store-bought.  It helps anything keep its shape, which Is why I thought I would use it here. One layer of Support on the back just before the back was tacked down made it a wonderful ornament with depth.  

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It was so quick and easy that I plan on using this from now on to fill my ornaments. It gave the ornament just the right amount of loft and texture. 

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Last but not least, I used two pieces of Support in the bell ornament in red. The first piece was added just before I put the red OlyFun on the top. This allowed the design to stitch through both the OlyFun and the Support.  The second was at the same place as the one above.

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I was not sure if my machine would think it was too thick, but it did not have any problems. The only issue I found was that when I cut away the ornament, the foam could be seen on the edges because the OlyFun was popping up. This could be rectified with trimming it before or after the final stitching.

The testing was so much fun and helped me to venture into new fillings for Christmas ornaments in the future. I think you will be seeing more of that Support in this blog as my overall favorite was the gingerbread man in sand with one layer of Support. It seemed to have all the chemistry for these designs.  

They will be cute as a whole set of gingerbread cookies in sand with Support. 

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Hope you have time to stitch out a few for yourself. Happy Holidays!

Leftover Batting Tags

Over the holidays we get so many leftovers from food to fabric scraps. If you are a quilter or use batting for other projects, you probably have a lot of leftover batting. We cut off those wide portions and save them for just the right project.  Well, the right project is here.  It is so quick and so easy to use leftover batting for tags. 

Machine Embroidery Design X3580 by "Embroidery Library"

Machine Embroidery Design X3580 by "Embroidery Library"

Thank you to Fairfield World for supplying the black batting used for these tags and the inspiration. 

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Gift tags are the perfect way to make a gift extra special and with leftover batting, there is no added expense involved. It only took 30 minutes to stitch three gift tags - super easy. 

These tags are machine embroidered in-the-hoop tags from Embroidery Libraryyou could use this same concept with a sewing design for gift tags. 

Some tips for machine embroidering with batting:

  • You do not need to cut each piece of batting and line it up before the stitch down, merely cut a piece of batting larger than the area and place it on top before the normal placement step.
  • Press the batting before placing it over or under the hoop. 
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  • Use a black "No Show Mesh Nylon Cutaway Stabilizer." 
  • Use a water-soluble topper on the top as well as the bottom of the batting.  Batting has loose fibers and they can get caught in the feed dogs especially.
  • Do not use a heat activated topper as I did. The loose fibers of the batting will stretch and make permanent rolls of the topper that must be cut loose. 
  • Remember to use the same colored thread in the bobbin as in the top thread.
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  • Do not use a spray adhesive to keep the parts together as it will leave a sticky residue on the batting.
  • Use a basting stitch to keep the top pieces together.
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  • Use painter's tape to keep the bottom pieces together. First apply it to the batting and then apply it to the topper. 
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  • Remove as much topper as possible by hand. 
  • Cut the tags with a rotary cutter or scissors after it has been removed from the hoop.  This step alone makes using batting so much easier than other fabrics. 
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These gift tags are so easy that you can make lots of them for those last minute gifts. Happy Holidays!

Oly-Fun™ Metallic Piping

Thank you to "Fairfield Processing" for providing the Oly-Fun™ Metallic for this blog post. I am so grateful that you donated some, as I have now fallen in love with it.

Oly-Fun™ Metallic is an innovative craft material that in every way resembles fabric.  It even comes on a bolt. If you love bling, you will love this. It is ideal in a cutting machine or in crafts that you do not want to sew. It is easy to sew and does not fray. It can be spot cleaned. It is available at local craft/sewing stores. The place I see it the most is at the end of an aisle at Hobby Lobby.  They have all the wonderful array of the basic colors as well as the four metallics in gold, silver, red, and a gorgeous rose gold.

Oly-Fun™ Metallic  in luscious colors of gold, rose gold, silver, and red

Oly-Fun™ Metallic in luscious colors of gold, rose gold, silver, and red

Since Oly-Fun™ Metallic is so similar to fabric I wanted to put it to the test and see how well it would do under pressure. I made piping out of Oly-Fun™ Metallic for a project that is upcoming. It worked beautifully and because it does not fray, I decided to try making a longer piece without a seam. It was great! Instead of sewing the two ends together like traditional fabric, you pick up one end and slide the other end underneath, pull it tight under the binding foot and continue sewing.  It was a breeze to sew and saved some time by not having to seam it first. I have instructions below on how to makes piping with Oly-Fun™ Metallic with both methods – traditional method of sewing the seams and the Oly-Fun™ way that does not need sewing.

Traditional piping with a sewn seam

Traditional piping with a sewn seam

Easy piping with  Oly-Fun™ Metallic  does not need a seam

Easy piping with Oly-Fun™ Metallic does not need a seam

No seam on the left and with a seam on the right

No seam on the left and with a seam on the right

Some things to keep in mind when using Oly-Fun™ Metallic in general:

·      Use “Wonder Clips” instead of pins so that marks are not left in the material

·      Be careful sewing as marks will be left if a seam must be ripped out

·      Be careful that the feed dogs do not leave a mark when the right side will be down against the feed dogs

·      If using it with a stretch fabric, consider placing the piping under the fabric when attaching to avoid puckers

·      While Oly-Fun™ Metallic does not have a grain, it does have a slight texture that should be kept in mind when planning your project

Texture of  Oly-Fun™ Metallic

Texture of Oly-Fun™ Metallic

·      Do not bend or fold the material as it will leave permanent creases

Oly-Fun™ Metallic  with permanent creases

Oly-Fun™ Metallic with permanent creases

·      Use a sharp needle that is as small as possible so that marks are not seen from the needle

·      Do not use it on a project that will require washing

INSTRUCTIONS

MATERIALS

·      Cording for piping the width and length necessary for your project (pictures are 3/8” cording and 12” long)

3/8" cording used for this tutorial

3/8" cording used for this tutorial

·      Oly-Fun™ Metallic - cut the width to be the circumference of the cording plus 2” if you are using a ½” seam allowance and the length the perimeter of your project

·      A Piping/Cording foot for your machine is very helpful, but a zipper foot can also be used

A piping foot has a groove to hold the piping

A piping foot has a groove to hold the piping

The piping foot holds the piping/cord in place while you stitch

The piping foot holds the piping/cord in place while you stitch

 

·      Rotary Cutter

·      Self-healing Cutting Mat

·      A “Piping Magic Tool” is a great help in trimming the piping (www.NancyNotions.com)

STEP 1

Cut your cording and Oly-Fun™ Metallic to the desired length and width. The width of the Oly-Fun™ Metallic should be the circumference of the cording plus 2” if you are using a ½” seam allowance, otherwise, adjust accordingly. This allows for the material to go around the cording and create a margin of fabric on both sides that accommodates a ½” seam allowance. For example, I used 3/8” cording and cut the width to be 2” (the pictures show 3”, but my actual project used 2”).

STEP 2

If you would like to connect your pieces of Oly-Fun™ Metallic the traditional method before piping then, sew the two ends right sides together with ¼” seam allowance (it does not need the bulk and will not fray so a small seam allowance can be used).

Only a 1/4" seam is necessary with  Oly-Fun™ Metallic

Only a 1/4" seam is necessary with Oly-Fun™ Metallic

STEP 3

Replace your standard foot with a piping/cording foot.  This foot has a groove that allows the cord to stay in place while you are sewing close to the cord. It is important to adjust the placement of the needle so that the needle lands just to the right of the cord, but does not catch the material wrapped around the cord.

Adjust the needle placement so that it is just to the right of the cord

Adjust the needle placement so that it is just to the right of the cord

STEP 4

Wrap the width of the Oly-Fun™ Metallic tightly around the cord and match the raw edges with wrong sides together.

STEP 5

Slip the cording with the Oly-Fun™ Metallic under the piping foot, pulling the material tight around the cord. Sew with a regular stitch length.

Place the piping foot over the cord and the needle to the right of the cord

Place the piping foot over the cord and the needle to the right of the cord

STEP 6

Stop 2” before you reach the end of the material. Lift the material up and slide the next piece under the first piece about ½”. Place the sewn piece on top and pull tight. Align the raw edges.

Stop sewing 2" before the end of the material and slide the next piece inside

Stop sewing 2" before the end of the material and slide the next piece inside

The material should overlap 1/2" and be tight

The material should overlap 1/2" and be tight

STEP 7

Continue sewing the piping until you reach the end.

STEP 8

At the cutting mat, trim the raw edges of the piping to ½” (or wider if needed for your project). A “Piping Magic Tool” slips over the cording and gives you an automatic ½” seam allowance to allow for easy straight cutting.

Trim easily with a special grooved acrylic ruler

Trim easily with a special grooved acrylic ruler

Trim to 1/2"

Trim to 1/2"

STEP 9

Now you are ready to add it to your project. Follow the pattern guidelines. In general, you place the raw edge of the piping on the edge of the right side of the fabric and using the piping foot, you place the piping under the foot and sew in exactly the same place as before.

Place the piping on the raw edge and stitch with the piping foot

Place the piping on the raw edge and stitch with the piping foot

Then you add the second piece of fabric on top with right sides together. You place the piping under the foot and sew in exactly the same place as before. Fold the fabric back and the piping will be on the edge sandwiched between two pieces of fabric. If your project uses it in a different method, please refer to those instructions.

Add the second piece to the top and stitch again with the piping foot

Add the second piece to the top and stitch again with the piping foot

Finished piping inserted into two pieces of fabric

Finished piping inserted into two pieces of fabric

5 yards of gold piping ready for a great project

5 yards of gold piping ready for a great project

Fairfield Processing has many projects on their website using Oly-Fun™ Metallic. A tray to keep food warm or cold while serving will be posted on their website that includes using Oly-Fun™ Metallic piping. Hope you enjoy it!

Domed Dish Cover with Thermal Protection

Summer time is such a wonderful time to entertain.  It starts off with Memorial Day and Labor Day with July 4th tucked in the middle.  Of course, those winter months are pretty awesome for entertaining. They start with Thanksgiving and end with New Years with that big Christmas Day in between. Wow! We do love our holidays.

Thank you to Fairfield Processing for graciously donating the Aluminor Fabric used in this project and sponsoring this blog post. While they provided the impetus, all the opinions, comments and designs are mine.  They did not influence me.

This project is great no matter when you entertain, or if you are just serving everyday food for your family.  It is sure to bring a little festivity to the table. This project is perfect for keeping food warm or cold.  It uses this glitzy fabric from Fairfield called “Aluminor.”

It can cover a 12” round dish that is heaped full of food or even a bowl. I plan on using it for those high domed pies this summer. Here are two blueberry recipes from our favorite cookbook “Spices of the World Cookbook” by McCormick.

Spices of the World Cookbook  by McCormick

Spices of the World Cookbook by McCormick

Blueberry Cobbler and Blueberry Crumble Recipes from  Spices of the World Cookbook  by McCormick

Blueberry Cobbler and Blueberry Crumble Recipes from Spices of the World Cookbook by McCormick

While this project is domed and looks difficult to make, it actually was amazingly easy.  I designed it, sewed it, took pictures of it, and wrote the instructions all in one afternoon.  But I must confess that it would not have been that easy if I had not found an awesome website on the Internet.  It calculated the exact dimensions of the gores and how many gores.  All I had to do was put in the diameter that I wanted and push the enter button.  I have been going around for the past few days feeling like a mathematical genius, when all I really did was find a great website with Google. If you want to make yours a different size just use this awesome site to calculate the size of your gores and add ½” seam allowance and I promise you, you will feel like an Einstein. http://www.domerama.com/calculators/cover-pattern/ But don’t feel intimidated.  I copied my gore, so is all you have to do is download it and cut it out. 

You might want to note that there are seven gores – an odd number, so when I made my alternating silver and gold Aluminor I had 2 colors next to each other.  To offset this I decided to highlight it by putting a label on it.  This will eliminate everyone lifting the lid to see what is underneath since they cannot see through it.  So it accomplished more than I anticipated. Of course, this label is optional and you are welcome to make yours all one color.

For this project, I decided not to use machine embroidery since it is not lined and the Aluminor is on the outside.  I did not want it to lose any of it thermal properties through the needle holes. It is not lined, but there is no worry if it touches food because of it also being food-safe.

My family is starting to think that Fairfield paid me to test these fabrics, but they did not. I just decided to conduct my own unscientific experiment to see how well Aluminor really worked. Here is how I conducted this experiment:

·      3:22 PM - At the same time, I placed 10 ice cubes in a glass container and put them on the table with another 10 ice cubes in the same style glass container, but this one I put under the domed Aluminor dish cover.
·      4:29 PM - After 37 minutes the ice cubes without the cover were already melting and the ice cubes under the cover were starting to melt.
·      5:16 PM – It has been almost two hours since I started the experiment and the ice cubes without the cover are completely melted. The ice cubes under the cover are more than halfway melted.

Conclusion: The Aluminor definitely showed that it was able to keep the ice cubes cold longer when it was used.

DISCLAIMER: While this test showed that the ice cubes stayed frozen longer with Aluminor, it does not mean that all foods would be safe for extended periods of time, so please always be food-safe and follow the USDA Basics for Handling Food Safely.

INSTRUCTIONS

TEMPLATE:

Click here to download circle template

MATERIALS:

12”  piece of gold Aluminor

12” piece of silver Aluminor

Neutral color of good quality thread

Large shank button

Medium sized 2-hole button (strength underneath the shank button)

Coordinating upholstery thread (for the buttons since it is used as a handle)

OPTIONAL: Self-adhesive chalkboard label

SUPPLIES:

Sewing machine and related supplies

Rotary cutter and mat are helpful, but not necessary

Shears & Trimming Scissors

Ruler

Wonder Clips® are preferred, but pins are acceptable

Point turner or some other blunt, but pointed object

Pen or pencil

 

STEP ONE

NOTE:

This project uses ½” seam allowances.

Do not press this fabric.  Finger pressing is sufficient.  Please see Fairfield’s website for tips on using this fabric. (Please note that there is no longer a sale on the fabric.)

Please read the instructions below before beginning. Gather the materials and supplies. Pre-wash the main fabric, press, and starch. Do not wash the Aluminor.

STEP TWO

Download the template and cut it out.

STEP THREE

Cut the fabrics as follows:

·      Using the template cut four (4) pieces of gold Aluminor

·      Using the template cut three (3) pieces of silver Aluminor

STEP FOUR

With a pen or pencil mark a ½” line at the top of each gore where it comes to a point.

STEP FIVE

With right sides together, sew one gold gore to one silver gore. Start sewing at the bottom of the gore and stop sewing about 2 stitches after the ½” mark at the top of the gore.

Stop sewing about 2 stitches after the ½” mark at the top of the gore

Stop sewing about 2 stitches after the ½” mark at the top of the gore

STEP SIX

Continue sewing the gores together, alternating between silver and gold, until all the gores are connected.

STEP SEVEN

Finger press the seams open. With the wrong side up, zig zag each each seam along the stitched seam. This will keep the seams open.

STEP EIGHT

Place the first and the last gore right sides together and sew in the same manner as above. Zig zag as before.

STEP NINE

Fold the bottom of the dish cover up ½” and edge stitch.

STEP TEN

Sew the button on by hand using upholstery thread so it is stronger since it will be used as a handle. Reinforce the button by simultaneously sewing a 2-holed button on the inside.

STEP ELEVEN

Follow the manufacturer's guidelines and place the chalkboard label in the center of the two gold gores.

Please do not put Aluminor in the washing machine. Please wash by hand and do not crinkle, keep flat while washing and storing.

(Have fun wearing your new hat. LOL! This will definitely need a Clorox wipe as all my children keep wearing it.)

Enjoy your holidays and travel safe!

 

Dish Cover with Thermal Protection

It is so much fun to entertain during the summer.  Maybe because you can be outside and barbeque. One of my favorite summer dishes is “Deviled Eggs.”  I have this scrumptious recipe for which everyone asks. It is so good that I serve them all year round.

Thank you to Fairfield Processing for graciously donating the Solarize Liner Fabric and Stiffen 2 used in this project and sponsoring this blog post. While they provided the impetus, all the opinions, comments and designs are mine.  They did not influence me.

Deviled Eggs are the type of food that you can prepare the day before, so when it comes time to set the table, I like to put them out early and inevitably there is one or two that do not get eaten, so they wind up sitting on the table for longer than they probably should.  This project is just the solution to solve that problem.

Machine Embroidery Design by  Embroidery Library :  Delft Blue Floral Medallion I  ( F8541 )

Machine Embroidery Design by Embroidery LibraryDelft Blue Floral Medallion I (F8541)

My deviled egg dish is quite large – 14” diameter, so it is not easy to cover and if I use aluminum foil or plastic wrap, it has a tendency to flatten my nicely piped centers, so I thought a self-standing dish cover was just the trick. The best part is that this project uses Solarize Liner Fabric from Fairfield Processing.  Not only do I now have a dish cover that will not touch my deviled eggs, but they will also be kept cool while they sit on the table.

While I created this dish cover for my deviled eggs, it is extremely versatile.  The Solarize Liner Fabric maintains both cold and hot temperatures and is food-safe.  When my children are home, I make 3-5 pounds of bacon each morning (there are 11 of us and their spouses) and this cover will be great to keep that platter warm while I am serving up the other dishes.

Here is the deviled egg recipe from our family’s absolute favorite cookbook, Spices of the World Cookbook by McCormick. I have not found a recipe in that book that I did not love.

Spices of the World Cookbook  by McCormick

Spices of the World Cookbook by McCormick

Deviled Egg Recipe from  Spices of the World Cookbook  by McCormick

Deviled Egg Recipe from Spices of the World Cookbook by McCormick

Here is my own unscientific experiment to see how well Solarize Liner Fabric actually works. This is how I conducted the experiment:

·      11:123 AM - At the same time, I placed 10 ice cubes in a glass container and put them on the table with another 10 ice cubes in the same style glass container, but this one I put under the Solarize Liner Fabric dish cover.
·      11:53 AM - After 30 minutes the ice cubes without the cover were already starting to melt and the ice cubes under the cover were still whole. (I took off the cover just for the picture.)
·      1:29 AM – It has been two hours and 6 minutes since I started the experiment, and the ice cubes without the cover are completely melted. The ice cubes under the cover are more than halfway melted.
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Conclusion: The Solarize Liner Fabric definitely showed that it was able to keep the ice cubes cold longer when it was used.

DISCLAIMER: While this test showed that the ice cubes stayed frozen longer using Solarize Liner Fabric, it does not mean that all foods would be safe for extended periods of time, so please always be food-safe and follow the USDA Basics for Handling Food Safely.

INSTRUCTIONS

TEMPLATE:

Click here to download circle template

MATERIALS:

15”  piece of Solarize Liner Fabric

14”  piece of Stiffen 2 by Fairfield (a double-sided fusible, rigid material that is similar to cardboard)

½ to 1  yard of main fabric (I used 100% linen. Amount varies depending on if you want to piece your bias strip or have one continuous piece.)

Coordinating good quality thread

OPTIONAL: 2 Dritz 1” Rectangle Rings in Copper

SUPPLIES:

Sewing machine and related supplies

Rotary cutter and mat are helpful, but not necessary

Shears & Trimming Scissors

Ruler

Wonder Clips® are preferred, but pins are acceptable

Point turner or some other blunt, but pointed object

Iron & ironing board

Pressing cloth

Teflon or Applique Pressing Sheet

Painter’s tape

OPTIONAL: Tailor’s ham

 

STEP ONE

NOTE:

This project uses ½” seam allowances.

Use a pressing cloth and test all fabrics before pressing.

Please read the instructions below before beginning. Gather the materials and supplies. Pre-wash the main fabric, press, and starch. Do not wash the Solarize Liner Fabric. Also, please read the manufacturer's guidelines on how to use their products.

STEP TWO

Download the template. Print it twice. Cut one for a 15” circle.  For the second circle, fold ½” under on both the straight edges. Now cut. This will be a 14” circle template.

STEP THREE

Cut the fabrics as follows:

·      Using the template, cut one 15” circle from the main fabric (this is the top)

·      Using the template, cut one 15” circle from the Solarize Liner Fabric (this is the lining)

·      Using the second template, cut one 14” circle from the Stiffen 2 (this is the center support)

·      Cut 1 band from the main fabric measuring 4” by 47”

·      Cut 1 band from the Solarize Liner Fabric measuring 4” by 47”

·      Cut 1 band from the Stiffen 2 measuring 3” by 46”

      OR to be cost effective ... use 1 strip measuring 3" by 20" and 2 strips measuring 3" by 13"

·      Cut a strip of the main fabric on the bias measuring 48” (or join several pieces to form this length)

·      Cut 2 pieces of the main fabric to measure 2” by 7”

STEP FOUR

If you are hand or machine embroidering the main fabric of this cover, please do it now; otherwise, any other type of embellishment can be done at the end. I used a machine embroidery design by Embroidery LibraryDelft Blue Floral Medallion I (F8541)

STEP FIVE

Adhere both pieces of the Stiffen 2 to both pieces of the Solarize Liner Fabric in the following manner. Place a Teflon mat on a flat ironing surface. Place the Stiffen 2 on the mat (either side, as both sides are fusible). Now place the Solarize Liner Fabric right side up on top of the Stiffen 2, making sure that it is centered. NOTE: the two pieces stick nicely together, so you can align them facing up and then turn them upside down to verify correct placement.

Place a pressing cloth on top of the Solarize Liner Fabric press to adhere the two fabrics together, following the manufacturer’s guidelines. Do this for the circle and the band. Set both pieces aside.

Please note that if you are using the three strips instead of one continuous piece of Stiffen 2 for the band that you should center the larger in the middle and put the two on each side.  Also, I zig zagged mine twice on the seams to stiffen the seams.

STEP SIX

With right sides together, sew the seam of the band of the main fabric.  It will now form a circle. Press seam open. Do this for the lining as well. Finger press the lining.

STEP SEVEN

To create the two handles, use the two short pieces of the main fabric (2” by 7”) and with right sides together sew each long side, then turn right side out and press.

STEP EIGHT

Fold each strip in half and slip the copper rectangle into the center. Pin each handle on each side of the circle with the raw edges matching raw edges and on the right side of the circle. Tape the handles in place with painters tape to keep them from getting sewn into a seam.

STEP NINE

With right sides together pin the band and the main fabric circle together along the edge.

STEP TEN

Stitch in place, easing for a smooth seam. Using a tailor’s ham, press the seam down towards the band.

STEP ELEVEN

With right sides together pin the Solarize Liner Fabric band and the Solarize Liner Fabric circle together along the edge.

(It looks like a birthday cake.)

(It looks like a birthday cake.)

STEP TWELVE

Stitch in place, easing for a smooth seam. Do not press seams

STEP THIRTEEN

Slip the main fabric over the Solarize Liner Fabric and pin in place.

Turn inside out. Press the main fabric to adhere it to the Stiffen 2, being careful to smooth out any wrinkles. Turn right side out.

STEP FOURTEEN

Fold the bias strip in half. With the raw edge of the bias strip against the raw of the bottom of the band, pin in place leaving three inches of each side. Sew in place, but do not sew the last three inches on each side.

STEP FIFTEEN

Fold the edge of one bias end a ½”. Place the other end of the bias inside this fold piece. Cut it on an angle if necessary. 

Now stitch in place

STEP SIXTEEN

Fold the bias completely to the inside. Press.

Edge stitch and topstitch on each edge. Press.

Please do not put Solarize Fabric Liner or Stiffen 2, in the washing machine, please wash by hand and do not crinkle, keep flat while washing and storing.

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Enjoy your summer holidays and travel safe!

 

Cold Trivet for Entertaining

July 4th weekend is here! Are you entertaining? Maybe it is a BBQ with friends and family. Inevitably you will be serving something cold. In just an hour, you can make this easy trivet to keep things cool while your BBQ is heating up.

Thank you to Fairfield Processing for graciously donating the Solarize Liner Fabric and sponsoring this blog post. While they provided the impetus, all the opinions, comments and designs are mine.  They did not influence me.  

Solarize Liner Fabric was totally new to me, but I am in love with this product. It is fantastic for entertaining.  I plan on making several of this project for when I entertain over the winter holidays. 

The unique part of this project is that the cold trivet has five tunnels and the tunnels are filled with frozen freezer pops – the long plastic kind that children love to eat. The Solarize Liner Fabric is under the freezer pops so the properties of the fabric allow the cold to rise. I used thin linen so the coldness would radiate through the fabric on the top.

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My family thought I was a little crazy, but I conducted my own unscientific experiment to see how well Solarize Liner Fabric really worked. Here is how I conducted the experiment:

·      11:15 AM - At the same time, I placed 10 ice cubes in a glass container and put them on the table with another 10 ice cubes in the same style glass container, but this one I put on top of the cold trivet that was lined with Solarize Liner Fabric and filled with five freezer pops. I also placed a freezer pop in the center because I wanted to see when it melted compared to the ones inside the cold trivet. 

·      11:30 AM - After 15 minutes the ice cubes without the trivet were already starting to melt and the ice cubes on the trivet were still whole.  The freezer pop is still whole.

·      1:01 PM – It has been an hour and 46 minutes since I started the experiment and the ice cubes without the trivet are almost completely melted.  The freezer pop in the middle is completely melted compared to the freezer pop on the right which I pulled out of the trivet. The ice cubes on the cold trivet are halfway melted and the freezer pops inside are starting to melt a little. 

This experiment proved that this simple cold trivet lined with Solarize Liner Fabric and filled with five freezer pops, could keep food longer for at least two hours. I will definitely be using this for all my entertaining whether indoor or outdoor.

DISCLAIMER: While this test showed that the ice cubes stayed frozen longer, it does not mean that all foods would be safe for extended periods of time. For example, if it is a large bowl of potato salad, the salad on the top may not be cold enough, so please always be food-safe and follow the USDA Basics for Handling Food Safely.

The good part is that the trivet can be used for anything cold.  Originally, I had a bowl of potato salad in mind, but then I realized it was great for cold drinks, salad dressings, condiments, and dips – anything that you would want to keep cold while you are entertaining.  Also, it can be used for hot items as a trivet.  Keep it handy in a drawer by your stovetop and when you need to pull that pan off, grab it to put in under the pan. It will keep the pan warm. Double duty!

INSTRUCTIONS

MATERIALS:

12”  piece of Solarize Liner Fabric

1/3 yard of fabric (I used linen)

Frixion Earsable Pen by Pilot (or some other temporary marking pen)

5 freezer pops

Coordinating good quality thread

SUPPLIES:

Sewing machine and related supplies

Rotary cutter and mat are helpful, but not necessary

Shears & Trimming Scissors

Ruler

Wonder Clips® are preferred, but pins are acceptable

Point turner or some other blunt, but pointed object 

STEP ONE

NOTE:

  1. This project uses ½” seam allowances.
  2. Use a pressing cloth and test all fabrics before pressing.

Please read the instructions below before beginning. Gather the materials and supplies. Pre-wash the main fabric and press. Do not wash the Solarize Liner Fabric. 

STEP TWO

Cut the fabrics as follows:

·      Cut one piece of Solarize Liner Fabric to measure 12.25” by 11”

·      Cut one piece of the main fabric to measure 12.25” by 11” (this is the bottom)

·      Cut one piece of the main fabric to measure 12.25” by 13.5” (this is the top)

STEP THREE

Place the top fabric (12.25” by 13.5” ) face up on a flat surface with 12.5” on the sides and the 13.5” is on the top and bottom. Draw the following lines with the Frixion Earsable Pen: (see the picture below for a guideline)

·      a vertical line ½” from the right side

·      a vertical line 2” from the ½” line

·      a horizontal line ½” from the top that runs from the left side to the last vertical line

·      a horizontal line ½” from the bottom that runs from the left side to the last vertical line

·      space four horizontal lines 2.25” from the last horizontal line that runs from the left side to the last vertical line (these are the tunnels for the freezer pops)

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If you are hand or machine embroidering this trivet, please do it now; otherwise, any other type of embellishment can be done at the end. Please note that the horizontal lines are where it will be sewn and this could affect the embroidery.

Machine embroidery Design:  Delft Blue Floral Medallion  I ( F8541 ) by  Embroidery Library   Built-in Font on the  Baby Lock Ellisimo Gold

Machine embroidery Design: Delft Blue Floral Medallion I (F8541) by Embroidery Library

Built-in Font on the Baby Lock Ellisimo Gold

Place this fabric aside and do not iron until the project is complete or you will lose the markings.

STEP FOUR

Find the long side of the back piece of the main fabric (12.25”). With right sides together, sew the Solarize Liner Fabric to the back piece of the main fabric at one of the long sides. Turn right side out. Press. Topstitch.

STEP FIVE

Baste the other 3 sides of the back piece and Solarize Liner Fabric.

Solarize Liner fabric topstitched at the top and basted on the 3 sides with linen on the other side

Solarize Liner fabric topstitched at the top and basted on the 3 sides with linen on the other side

STEP SIX

Fold the front fabric along the ½” mark that runs vertically on the right. Now fold it under ¼” towards the wrong side. This will be a ¼” hem on the opening. Stitch along the edge.

STEP SEVEN

Fold the flap back along the 2” horizontal line. It will be right side against right side. Pin the flap in place. 

Machine embroidery Design:  Delft Blue Floral Border  ( D7039 )) by  Embroidery Library   Built-in Font on the  Baby Lock Ellisimo Gold

Machine embroidery Design: Delft Blue Floral Border (D7039)) by Embroidery Library

Built-in Font on the Baby Lock Ellisimo Gold

STEP EIGHT

With right sides together and using Wonder Clips®, clip the front piece to the back piece. The flap will be on the inside facing the right side of the back.

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STEP NINE

Sew the three sides with a straight stitch. Do not sew the flap. Clip the 2 inside corners only. Then finish the edges with a zig zag stitch.

 

STEP TEN

Turn right side out and push the corners out with a pointer. Do not press with an iron (or you will lose the markings). Finger press. Make sure the flap is still on the same side as the front.

Machine embroidery Design:  Delft Blue Floral Border  ( D7039 ) by  Embroidery Library   Built-in Font on the  Baby Lock Ellisimo Gold

Machine embroidery Design: Delft Blue Floral Border (D7039) by Embroidery Library

Built-in Font on the Baby Lock Ellisimo Gold

STEP ELEVEN

Starting at the bottom of the trivet sew along the horizontal lines with a straight stitch.  When you reach the end of the drawn line stop and backstitch three times. Sew all four lines.

STEP TWELVE

Press to remove the markings. Insert freezer pops and flip the flap to close the opening. A small Velcro dot could be added if this is needed. Add any decorative embellishments. 

Please do not put Solarize Fabric Liner in the washing machine, please wash by hand and do not crinkle, keep flat while washing and storing.

By the way, they do sell tubular ice sticks on Amazon if you are interested in those instead.  This is just a short version.

Here is a BBQ recipe from our favorite Dutch cookbook.

Enjoy your holidays and travel safe!

ANNOUNCEMENT - Now a Designer for Fairfield™ Processing Corporation

This blog post is sponsored by Fairfield™ Processing Corporation. Not because they asked me to write it or that I am getting paid by them, or even though I have received generous boxes of products from them, but because I am now on their Design Team; however, all the opinions are mine.  I assure you that they have had no influence on me.

So many exciting things have been happening around here. I am so happy to announce that I am now officially on the Design Team for Fairfield™ Processing Corporation.  You may have guessed something was up when I blogged about visiting Fairfield in May.

When I first started this blog, I had deliberated on whether I would accept any products or money from sponsors.  Originally, I was going just blog and not accept anything after reading several other bloggers who were purists and felt that sponsorship was not the way to go. To be perfectly honest, I loved Fairfield products way before I ever became a designer so it was an easy decision for me. 

They have so many products and I was amazed to see all of them when I visited. They are a company that is behind the scenes of crafters and sewers.  They make gorgeous batting for quilts, volumes of different pillow forms, interfacings, foam, and many different specialty products.  Basically - Fillers. Their logo is "at the heart of your project." That just captures it! Three products that I was not aware of before I joined, I have come to adore - Shield, Aluminor, and Solarize.  

Shield Liner Fabric is the coolest fabric ever.  I know that if this had been around when my children were young, I would have purchased a bolt of it. Well, with nine children, I am sure it would have been more than one. You can plan on me using this in my designs even though I do not have young children. It is for adults too and besides, I am starting a grandma's hope chest, but do not tell my children. You could just use this product straight with no other fabrics and it would be fabulous for protection.

Fairfield's Shield Fabric Liner

Fairfield's Shield Fabric Liner

The awesome part is that it truly was designed for use everywhere as it is food safe and microwavable. Let Fairfield tell you in their words exactly what it is...

Shield, a moisture & allergen barrier fabric, is a PUL fabric that creates moisture and allergen barrier for improved health and comfort. Sew a layer to the top or inside of your project to create a shield against moisture, grease, pollens, dustmites and dander.

Aluminor is the one that caught my eye. It is a gold or silver quilted thermal fabric that can keep things cold or warm, basically maintaining temperature. This has so many potentials in the kitchen and on the body. The most obvious project would be a fashionable tote to carry food.  Of course, Fairfield  already thought of that.  Here is a link to their project: https://www.fairfieldworld.com/project/aluminor-tote-bag/

Fairfield Project using Aluminor for a Tote Bag

Fairfield Project using Aluminor for a Tote Bag

The next product is very similar but yet very different, It is Solarize. It is used like an interfacing and has the same thermal principles as Aluminor, but is used on the inside. Of course, this product is perfect around food and it is food safe. This product would also be wonderful as a liner in children's boots, and clothing in the winter harsh cold months when they go out to play. Put it in a pair of mittens with a liner of Shield and those children will be making snowmen and snowballs all afternoon. 

Fairfield has a resource center of projects using their products. They have recently started a back-to-school theme of which I have had the privilege to contribute three projects.  You will see those on the blog soon. I am in love with their new indigo dying technique for home decor. All the projects are just gorgeous and their dying technique is so clever. Personally, my favorite is the alpaca tuffet. I had the opportunity to see it in person and I know first hand that the pictures do not do it justice. It is the cutest thing ever.  

Fairfield Project for a Alpaca Tuffet

Fairfield Project for a Alpaca Tuffet

Their website has so many projects to keep you going for a long time. It is link that you will want to bookmark for a resource for projects. By the way, the website is not just for sewers.  There are many projects that do not require sewing.

Many of my readers are beginning sewers, so I know you will be able to use many of the upcoming projects that I have planned. The best part for me is that I have the freedom to even use machine embroidery on the projects I design. So if you have a project in mind that you would love to see come to fruition, send me an email. I would love to hear your ideas.

Happy sewing!

 

Behind the Scenes – Fairfield™ Processing Corporation

As sewists, we cannot take anything for granted.  When we sew those projects we know completely how they are constructed, but for most people, those projects are a complete unknown to them. Take a simple stuffed animal. People may know that it is filled with a poly-fil since on some occasion they have probably seen one fall apart, but they do not know all the choices that it could have been filled with and if any stiffener was used to keep its shape.  So much goes into the construction of a sewn project and these fillers truly are “at the heart of your project.”

Fairfield Processing Corporation www.FairfieldWorld.com is “at the heart of your project” as a leader in manufacturing quality fillers.  Fairfield is located in Danbury, CT, and being a resident of CT, I had the privilege to have a behind the scenes tour with them.

The company is 77 years old and began as a manufacturer of natural fillers for hats and clothing. It is no wonder that they would be located in Danbury as at one time Danbury, CT, was the “Hat City of the World,” with 56 hat shops in Danbury by 1809. [https://connecticuthistory.org/the-danbury-hatters/ ]

I would surmise that the company name was derived from the name of the county which they resided, Fairfield. 

One could spend a whole day just reading the captions of the historical pictures that line the halls of Fairfield™ . It looks like a museum with its pictures of hat manufacturing and hat memorabilia. What an inspiring place to work with such a rich history.

History is not the only thing that lines the halls.  Gorgeous quilts and fiber art are everywhere.  Each office is a showcase. I wanted to know about the creator and history of each one, but there was not time – business must go on, and I did not want to impose.

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Down at the end of the hall, is where all the magic happens. All those wonderful fillers are magically turned into creative, fun-filled projects. The door opens to the spectacular showroom that showcases most of their products. There are completed projects everywhere and there were even a few that they allowed me a sneak-peek.  They did not say, but I think they will be revealed this week at Quilt Market. I have been searching my Instagram account for them. 

Robin Dann and Tricia Santamaria, are the driving forces behind this creative “Design Team,” which is also comprised of sewists and crafters nationwide that create using Fairfield products. [I apologize that none of my pictures came out well of these ladies.  Next time I will have to check for blinking before I leave.]

As you would imagine they have a sewing room tucked in the midst of all this. Adilia Duarte has the wonderful privilege to be the sewist for Fairfield.

She has been with them for the past 29 years.  She started out in manufacturing and knew her first day on the job that she was not meant to be in manufacturing.  She told her supervisor and husband that she was not returning, but she did return, and I know she is glad she did, because just a few months later she found her way into a lifetime career of a sewist at Fairfield. When someone has an idea, she is the person that brings it to life. She creates simple stuffed friends, as well as beautiful ball gowns. Her closet is her inspiration. She knows what it has and what it can become. This Juki sewing machine has been her life-long friend.

She was so gracious to tell me all about her sewing adventure at Fairfield™, and as you would expect, she also provided me with tips along the way.

Here is one tip... be careful with your foam.  Do not take it out of its packaging too soon, as the oxygen turns the foam a different color.  It does not affect the integrity of the foam, but it can be an eye-sore.

Each one of the projects sitting out, she knows who made them and why they were made.  She is the Fairfield historian as well.

A sincere thank you to everyone at Fairfield who allowed me this wonderful behind the scenes tour and who have asked me to join the Fairfield “Design Team.” Followers will benefit from this relationship, as you can expect to be seeing many free sewing projects posted on this blog. A special thank you also to Abby Glassenberg at www.whileshenaps.com.  It was the article in her newsletter that lead me to Fairfield™.

Behind the truck in front, are several eighteen wheelers that are being loaded for a store near you.