Saturday, December 16, 2017

Microwave Bowl Cozy Tutorial

Do you have one?  I made myself one a couple years ago and can't find it since I moved here.  I thought I needed one.  I was tired of burning my fingers taking a hot bowl out of the microwave.
Place your bowl of soup, chili or whatever leftovers in the microwave on the bowl cozy.  Its made all in cotton so won't catch fire.

Removing the hot bowl isn't a problem.  Its not too hot to handle with a cozy.

2 Cotton fabric pieces cut 10 inches square
2 Cotton Batting pieces cut 9 3/4" square (or the heat-proof batting that is microwave safe)
Cotton coordinating thread

Be sure its all Cotton.  Polyester will flame out in the microwave.  Be safe, use Cotton only.

Lay a batting piece on the wrong side of each fabric square.  Center it as much as possible.

Pin the batting to the fabric.
Draw lines from corner to corner to form an "X" in the middle.

Sew a straight stitch from corner to corner.  You can use a decorative stitch if you like.  Just sew from one fabric point to the other fabric point.
Do this in both directions.

Now you need to make your darts.  Draw a straight line across the middle from one side to the other.  Do this both ways (make 2 lines total).  

To mark your darts, make a mark one inch on either side of the center line you just drew.

Place another mark right on the drawn line, 2 inches in from the outer edge.

Draw a line from the single point on the line, to both outer edge markings.  You should have a "V" shape drawn.  You will do this for all 4 sides.

Cut out the "V" about a quarter inch inside the line.  You do not need to be exact.  As long as you sew along the drawn lines later, its fine if you are a bit off.

Your piece should look like this above.  Do this for BOTH pieces.

Fold the darts together so that the fabric is on the inside.  

Sew your dart from point to edge on the lines which you have aligned evenly on both sides.  Being a bit off won't hurt your project so don't worry too much.

Your piece will look like this after sewing the 4 darts.  A little pooched out for the bowl shape to come.

The fabric side will look like this after the darts are sewn.

Holding both pieces, right sides together, pin them evenly across.  Be sure to push the dart seams in opposite directions so you don't get a large bump in the middle.  

Sew a 3/8" seam from the fabric edge all around all 4 sides, leaving about a 4" opening for turning.

Turn your cozy right-side out.  Smooth it out.  It will have a hollow shape for the bowl.   Use a point turner or sharp object to get the corners pushed out neatly.

At the opening, tuck the fabric inside evenly and smooth it out.  Pin into place.

Top stitch all around all 4 sides, being sure your turning area is neatly tucked inside and pinned in place.
I like to use my Walking Foot for this whole project.  The foot is the perfect width for sewing a 3/8" seam.  It rides smoothly over the thick fabric.  You can use a decorative stitch with a Walking Foot if desired.

Here is the finished article.  

Note:  You can use two coordinating fabrics if you like.  Both being the same is not a given.

To make a larger cozy for wider bowls and plates:
2 Fabric pieces 14 inches square
2 Batting pieces 13 3/4" square
Dart distance will remain the same at 1 inch from center line, BUT
mark the length of darts at 2 1/2" from the outer edge.

I hope you enjoy this pattern.  They are very useful and easy gifts to make.

Have a good day.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

I Got a Free Wine Carryall

I had to buy a few last minute gifts of wine today.  I brought along my own tote plus 3 towels to wrap the bottles in so they would not break so I mentioned to the cashier I would like her to wrap the bottles in the towels.  Imagine my surprise when the cashier offered me a 6-bottle carryall, for FREE, with my purchase so the wine would stay safe in their travels home.

Its made from a good quality dense fabric that will last years and I can shop for my soda bottles with this in future.  I love it.  Thank you dear grocery chain, Hannaford's.

When giving wine I like to have a wine gift bag and the store had them for 99 cents each which is cheaper than the Dollar Tree or Dollar Stores around here which charge a dollar.  I like them.  So I think I did good with my shopping today.  Thank you Hannaford's once again.

My list is all checked off and complete.  Now I can just think about making sweets; peanut butter balls a.k.a. Buckeyes, fudge, fudgy wreaths, Italian wine cookies, and maybe some walnut clusters.  I, alas, am not a pie nor a cake maker so I resort to the candy making for my good things for the Holidays.

Merry Christmas my friends.  Happy New Year.  Hugs, S

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

"Christmas Mouse" Wall Hanging is started.

I began the steps to making my Christmas Mouse wall hanging today.   I have so been looking forward to getting him done.
For this one I will be adding a border to give it a bit more pizzazz.    There's still the satin-stitching to do around all the objects and the eyes I will add at the very end.    I am undecided on what fabric to use as my border but I think I can make that decision this time without too much trouble.

Its snowing out today.  They say to expect an inch but there's more of it on the ground than that already.

I was going to grocery shop Wednesday as usual but they moved our catered Christmas Party originally scheduled Tuesday,  to Wednesday due to the snow today  That meant no party for me.  I wouldn't be back in time.  But I went to Coffee Morning today and when they talked about the party I mentioned I would have to miss it and why.
A few minutes ago one of the residents here, Bob, came to tell me he would take me and another gal who I go with on Wednesdays, but on Thursday.  He did not want us to miss the party and the choir singing Christmas Carols afterwards.  I think that was very nice of him.  This is the 2nd time he has volunteered to take us two gals without cars to shop.  We use the local Parks and Rec bus once a week instead and have to go when they are scheduled.

So everything is in train.  Things are scheduled to happen and party this month and I plan to enjoy myself.

Have a Nice Day.

Monday, December 11, 2017

"Santa" and "Frosty's Winter Frolic" Wall Hangings Finished Today.

I worked at it, and got two of them finished today.
Santa is ready to hang on my door tonite.
This guy is small, but suits his purpose.  Santa measures 11.5 Inches Wide by 12 inches Long finished.  His eyes, though they look a bit off-color, are fine.  Its the lighting when I took the photo.

Frosty's Winter Frolic I made in bright background so he would show up clearly.   White snow flakes for winter, on a red background, fits my idea of bright.  He measures 13.5 inches Wide by 11.5 inches Long.

A quilter friend of mine suggested I add ornaments for Christmas Time to make him a bit different and only for the Holidays.  I agreed.  Thank you dear friend.
I bought these Christmas balls, shown above, which I can add during December only, and remove for after Christmas.  Frosty's Winter Frolic is now a Two-Fer.  I love it when I can get more use from a seasonal item.

My next project, dear to my heart, is a Christmas Mouse hanging onto a tree ornament.  I have all the fabric chosen and the background.  I just need time to start it.

I have a Christmas Party to go to tomorrow afternoon.  A catered affair by the apartment's owners and managers.  We have a Yankee Gift Swap, too, so I have a gift ready for that but not yet wrapped.   Our resident Christmas Party doesn't take place until Dec. 21st so there is time to get another gift for the Yankee Gift Swap with that one.  Its a Pot Luck so I'm bringing homemade candy and fudge.  There's also a 50/50 which is a money gift, the amount depending on how many buy how many tickets for the drawing.

We (the residents in our senior building) have a special gift box for our local volunteer Firemen and Women who are always there when they are needed, from a smoke alarm going off, to a resident falling ill.  In minutes they are here to help us.  They include EMTs and an ambulance so we are well taken care of in this small town.  This year 'the box' consists of 3 large shopping  bags which are nearly full already.  I like to add something sweet, something sugarless, and something salt-free as well, and a non-food item, so my items are all packed and ready to go to the Fire Barn along with all the rest of the gifts on Dec. 15th.

I hear snow is arriving again tonite.  We had 3-4" of the white stuff  this week and no power outages, which is always a good thing.  We can expect snow all thru the winter here in Southwestern Maine, so its something we all prepare ourselves for ahead of time.

Have a Good Day.  Hugs, S

Friday, December 8, 2017

I Have 2 Wall Hangings Pinned and Ready to Quilt

I did a bit of sewing today and got two winter wall hangings stitched and pinned so they are ready for the next step.....quilting.  Decisions, decisions, how shall I quilt them.  That will happen on another day.
This one is Frosty's Winter Frolic which I can use for Xmas and winter, too, because I bought some small ornaments I will pin to the tree so it will look more like Christmas for those few weeks, but remove the ornaments for after Christmas passes.  This was an idea floated to me by one of my quilter buddies.  Thank you very much.  Its a great idea.

Santa's Face naturally, can only be hung during the Christmas season so I'd better get this one finished first so I can exchange Pengilly on my front door for Santa.

I hear they are having snow in the south, like Texas and Florida and the Carolinas.  This snow is unexpected during this early in the season for them.
For ourselves, here in Maine, our 2nd snow will be arriving tomorrow they predict.  Its early for us as well, but we are more used to it, having driven on snowy and icy roads every winter.  We also have enough plows and sand trucks to alleviate dangerous driving.

Have a good day.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

I Started Sant's Face Wall Hanging Today

I have a Santa Face that I added fuzzies to all the appropriate places; mustache, beard, eyebrows and tassel on his hat.
It won't be very big when its done, but it will work fine for my front door.

If I'm lucky I will have both this one and Frosty's Winter Frolic finished this weekend.

A lovely day today as it turned out.  This morning was gray and overcast after pouring rain last nite, but as the day wore on, the sun came out and though a stiff breeze kept the nip in the air, it has been a nice day.

Have a good evening.

Monday, December 4, 2017

"Penguin with Gifts" is Finished.

I adore him.  I named him Pengilly because it just seems to fit.
He's 15.5 inches wide and 18 inches long with a festive border and the binding is from the backing.
I have posted pictures and directions for doing both the cross hatching with painter's tape and folding the backing to the front to use as the binding.  Easy Peasy is my middle name.

Here he is, my Pengilly....  Penguin with Gifts
Pengilly is there on my front door ready to receive my friends and neighbors.  He's festive enough for greeting them and bringing a smile.

Have a good day.