Thursday, August 28, 2014

I'm so far behind on blog posts....

Today will be the beginning of catching up! Here is a boxy pouch I made recently Both the outside and the lining are made of laminated cotton. Would you buy it if I were selling? How much would you pay for it? Inching closer to opening an Etsy shop.

(I wrote the note above many months ago. In the interest of catching up, I am publishing as part of my catch up and start again plan for blogging in 2015!)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Welcome Home Banner

When the kids were much younger, Scott usually traveled to China and other parts of Asia once a year to buy merchandise, and he was usually gone for 10-14 days. One year I had the idea of making a Welcome Home banner for him. The kids and I drew on it and wrote notes and colored in the letters. It was 18" wide and probably 6-8 feet long, and it was the first thing he saw when he came in the door upon arriving home. We did this several times over the years, until they outgrew the idea and were busy with their own activities.

I guess that memory stuck with my daughter Dana longer than I expected.

Dana asked me before she left NYU Paris if I was going to make her a Welcome Home banner. I was surprised by the request, but thought it would be fun to make some sort of banner for her. This is the banner I made recently to welcome her home after her freshman year of college.  I think it turned out to be very cute, and it is still hanging in her room 2 weeks after she arrived home.

I have seen tutorials for banners like this all over the web for a few years, and I have always wanted to make one, and a sign to welcome Dana home was the perfect excuse. The pennant triangles are 2 pieces of fabric sewn together, and are approximately 7" wide x 8" long. The letters and other motifs were handmade by me from felt and then glued on to the triangles. (That thing that looks like a modified letter A is supposed to be the Eiffel Tower.) Here is a closer look at the banner:

These are not my best photos, but they will have to do.

I want to make more of these! They are fun and easy, and I have a few ideas I want to try. Here is a link to the tutorial I used: pennant-banner-tutorial (Riley Blake Designs)

Trust me, you haven't seen the last of the custom pennant banner on this blog.

And here she is at the airport with her dad, and with the signs we made to greet her there.
Her flight from NY-LA was delayed, and she arrived home about 12:30 am on a Saturday night.
The signs were the first thing she saw when she got to baggage claim.

Welcome home, Dana!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Handmade Napkins

A set of 8 handmade napkins that I made for a friend.

Here is another look at the 4 different fabrics.

They are about 17" square, reversible, and washable. I have a huge stack of my own that we use all of the time, and no two are alike. I thought the friend who received these might like something a little bit more matched, so I made these in various blue prints.  I don't like things to be too matchy though....I like a lot of mixed pattern and color.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Quilt for Brian and Patrick

My first finished quilt of 2014 is a riot of colorful batik fabric rectangles.

Patrick requested a colorful quilt. It took me a long time to finish this quilt, and I am very satisfied with the beautiful result. It measures about 75 x 90 after washing. 
I quilted this with straight lines and diagonals (the diagonal quilting lines are visible in the picture if you look carefully).
They were surprised and (I think) delighted.

A few more photos (below) taken in the sunshine in my backyard, make the quilt look more faded. In person it looks more like the above image.

A bit of the multicolor batik backing fabric is visible in this photo.

I'm not sure what to sew next. I have been interested in sewing clothes for myself this spring, but I have been too busy, and probably too impatient, to slowly learn how to do what I want to do. I need time to make mistakes with patterns and fabric and then try again. I have quilts I want to make, and hope to make some for my nieces before September.

Maybe I should move my sewing machine outside?!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Heirloom Carrot Soup

Cooking with Diane

    In March, I went to a cooking class hosted by Diane Mohilef at her home in Encino. She calls her series of classes "A Day in the Kitchen". Attendees watch her prepare a full menu, including dessert, while taking notes on a handout with recipes and notes.

Vegetables ready to cook in one of my new pots! Finally, after 25+ years, I bought new pots and pans!

Diane in her kitchen
She has a full demonstration kitchen in a guest house on her property, with a counter and stools for 16 people. The Heirloom Carrot and Celery Soup recipe (below) is from the first class I took with her. It was a wonderful wednesday morning of  learning, eating, and making new friends. My friend Karmi told me about the class and I plan to be a regular student!

Diane attended culinary school when her children were grown, then cooked with Michel Richard at Citrus for many years. She is entertaining and energetic, and the class is fun and educational in so many ways.

Delicious carrot soup-add a few croutons, or maybe a grilled cheese sandwich on the side?

Heirloom Carrot and Celery Soup

Adapted from a recipe by Diane Mohilef. Yield 8-9 cups


1 TBSP  Butter
2 TBSP  Seasoned oil**
1  Sweet onion, peeled and chopped small
2 Lbs  Heirloom carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
8  Carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
       **(You will need a total of about 3 LBS of carrots)
1  Celery root, cleaned/peeled and chopped small
       (I have also used a celery heart, chopped)
1  Apple (with skin) seeded and chopped
1  Rutabaga, peeled and chopped
2  TBSP Honey
1/4 cup  Brown sugar (I use only about 2 TBSP)
8 cups  Chicken stock, or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Fresh Rosemary sprig (about 6 inches long)
Optional--add up to 1 tsp cumin with the honey, etc.


In a large pot heat butter and oil. Add onion, carrots, celery root, apple, and rutabaga. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all vegetables are softened. Add honey, brown sugar, chicken stock, seasonings (start with 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper) and rosemary. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove rosemary sprig (any leaves that have fallen off can stay in the soup) and cool. Puree soup. Warm to serve.
I like to serve this with homemade croutons  (stale bread cut into pieces and tossed with a little olive oil/seasoned oil and salt and pepper, then toasted in a 400 degree oven until crispy).

**For the seasoned oil, you can use a purchased oil seasoned with rosemary, or basil, or garlic, or make your own.

Seasoned oil:
½ cup canola oil
½ cup olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, smashed
rosemary sprig,  and/or thyme sprig

Place all ingredients in a bottle  and let stand 2 days on counter. After 2 days, remove herbs and garlic, strain, and use. Keeps for about 1 month.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Catching up

First batch of strawberry jam this year, and it is organic!

I have not made a quilt yet this year, though I have done a bunch of other sewing.

And, I have gone back to the Batik quilt I started for Brian and Patrick.  I want to finish it within the next two weeks and start a new one. I bought a multicolor batik for the back, and want to get it ready to quilt by tonight. 

We had a wonderful spring break trip to visit Dana in Paris. I could have stayed for another week and still not seen everything I wanted to see. 

Spring break is over. Back to regular, scheduled blog posts!

More boxy pouches

So much fun to make, and so quick and easy with the serger!