Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hearts and Bellies

Fall has quickly come upon us here in central Missouri. The wind blows cold with a slight bite to it. The leaves are changing brilliant colors then floating down to the ground to be crunched underfoot. Stacks of wood grow higher and higher and fires have begun to be lit in fireplaces keeping fingers and toes toasty warm. And through all this is the smell of quickly approaching snow. We must keep our hearts and bellies warm through the changing of the seasons! Here are a few yummy recipes to at least keep your bellies warm and full…

Pumpkin Puree (to be used in Pumpkin Pie)

· Sugar or baking pumpkin
· Water
1. Halve pumpkin, scoop out seeds and membranes (save seeds)
2. Place face down in a deep baking pan with 1” of water
3. Bake at 400 degrees for 60-90 minutes or until shell puckers and is fork tender
4. Let cool
5. Scoop out flesh
6. Puree and use as needed

Flakey Pie Crust

· 1.5 cups flour
· 1/3 cup cold water
· ¾ to 1 cup shortening
1. Cut flour and shortening together with a pastry blender, until pea sized lumps form
2. Sprinkle the mixture with water a tablespoon at a time and mix with a fork until dough sticks together
3. Roll out the dough between 2 tea towels or wax paper pieces until it is approximately 1/8 inch thick and 1 or 2 inches wider than your pie pan
4. Place the dough in the pie pan, shape and seal any broken pieces

Pumpkin Pie (makes two 9 inch pies)

· Fresh pie crust (see recipe above)
· 1 cup brown sugar
· 1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
· 1 teaspoon ground cloves
· 1 teaspoon ground allspice
· ½ teaspoon ground ginger
· ½ teaspoon salt (optional, I don’t use any)
· 3 large eggs
· 3 cups pumpkin puree
· 1.5 cans (12 oz each) evaporated milk
1. Mix all ingredients well with a hand mixer or blender
2. Pour into the pie crust
3. Bake the pies at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, turn down the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until a clean knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
4. Cool and enjoy!


· Any number and type of apples
· Cinnamon
· Sugar
1. Peel, core and cut apples into slices/chunks
2. Place apples in a slow cooker on medium heat
3. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon
4. Cook until tender
5. Mash apples to desired consistency

Baked Apples

· Any number and type of apples
· Brown sugar
· Cinnamon
· Butter
1. Core apples ¾ of the way through, leaving the bottom closed
2. Mix enough brown sugar and cinnamon together and fill each apple center
3. Place a dab of butter on top of each apple
4. Place in a deep baking pan and bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Finishing the Edge- Binding Tutorial

This is the final addition to my binding tutorials! I hope you've all enjoyed them & learned something!! :)

Have you ever wondered how to finish off the edging of your binding? Finishing off the edge will reduce the bulk & hide your beginning and ending points. These directions will show you how! (Some sewing knowledge needed.)

When applying your binding leave a tail of 5 or so inches at the beginning and ending and a portion unsewn.

Make sure you leave enough tail at each end that they overlap at least the width of your binding.

With a pencil or other marking pen that doesn’t bleed, overlap your binding tails & mark each tail, one on top of the other.

With the top binding tail fold back at the pencil mark, creating a 45 degree angle. Finger press. With the bottom edge fold down at the pencil mark, creating a 45 degree angle that matches up with the other one. Finger press.

Carefully open the folds & pick up the binding, keeping the pressed angles together. The right sides of the binding will be together & the pencil markings will be matched up at the corner. Pin in place.

Sew down the center of angles where you finger pressed. Unpin & lay the binding down to make sure it fits nicely.

Once you know it’ll fit properly trim the edges to ¼ inch & iron open.

Pin into place & complete your binding as usual. Congratulations, check out your handiwork!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

How to Turn a Corner with Binding Tutorial

Here is the 3rd addition to my 'how-to apply binding series'! The first one shows you how to apply binding to a curved edge and the second one shows you how to apply binding to a straight edge. Don't forget to check out how to make your own biased binding. Some basic sewing knowledge is needed! :)

When applying binding to a project, have you ever wondered how to turn a corner? Did you even know it was possible? Turning a corner is very easy once you get the hang of it! It’s great as you don’t have to cut & fold your binding at the corners & you have less bulk & a beautifully finished corner!

Begin by pinning on your binding.

Pin so your binding goes off the corner. I am sewing on ¼ inch binding, so I will mark ¼ an inch from my corner with a pin. If you are sewing on a different width, say ½ inch binding, then place a pin ½ inch from the corner.

Begin sewing up to but not past your marking pin. Back stitch to keep your thread from pulling out.

Fold back the binding. The binding will create a 45 degree angle from the corner. Finger press (create a crease with your finger).

Fold the binding forward to be even with edge of your project. Don’t unfold your previous fold. Finger press.

Pin your binding in place.

Sew on the binding, for my ¼ inch binding I will sew just inside ¼ inch. Sew all the way off the corner, backstitching. Remove the pins.

Fold the binding back & iron flat. Notice how the corner has a neat fold.

Turn your project back over, wrong side facing up. Begin folding & pinning the binding over along the edges, working towards the corner.

When you get to the corner, fold one edge over & pin.

Fold the other edge over & pin. It will naturally create a 45 degree angle & sort of mimic the one on the right side.

Turn your project right side up & sew on the binding close to the inner edge on the binding trying not to sew off the edge. Remove the pins & iron flat. Congratulations, admire your handiwork!


If you have any questions, just ask! :)


Friday, October 17, 2008

Applying Binding to a Straight Edge Tutorial

This is the follow-up post to my previous post about applying binding to a curved edge. This will complete the edging on my apron pockets. :) Some basic knowledge of sewing is needed. You can see how to make biased binding here.

Applying binding to straight edges is even easier then applying it to curved edges! You don’t need biased binding for straight edges.

Begin by pinning a length of binding to the straight edge leaving plenty of overlap on each edge. I am applying ¼ inch binding so I will sew just under ¼ inch. After the binding is sewn on, unpin, flip the binding up & iron flat.

Fold each tail end back over the binding & iron flat.

Trim off the lower corner to reduce the bulk. Fold the outside raw binding edge toward the other raw edges, fold over again making sure it covers the stitching line & pin. You can see step by step directions on fold back the binding here.

On the right side of the fabric begin sewing on the binding as close to the inner edge as possible without going off the edge & on to your main fabric.

Remove your pins, flip your project around & sew along the binding as close to the edge as possible without going off the edge. This double stitching, along the top & bottom of the binding, gives your binding a finished look.

Iron flat & Viola, admire your handiwork!

If you need any help, just ask!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Applying Binding to a Curved Edge Tutorial

I just realized I should have put a rating on the tutorials, oops, sorry! This tutorial is for someone who is an intermediate sewer, some basic knowledge is needed.

This is my second post in my Binding Tutorial Series. Check out the first post in this Series here on how to make biased binding.

Applying binding to a curved edge is quiet simple! If you have biased binding, that is binding that is cut on a 45 degree angle from the selvage, turning curves is very easy. You can see how to make your own biased binding here.

For this project I am applying ¼ inch biased binding to the curve on 2 apron pockets.

Begin with biased binding that has been ironed flat.

Begin pinning at the top edge, leaving a tail that will be trimmed evenly later on. When you get to the curve your biased binding will easily curve to fit. I use lots of pins to hold it in place.

For mine, because I’m sewing a ¼ inch binding I will sew just inside ¼ inch for the seam allowance.

Remove the pins, flip the binding over & iron.

Iron the best you can around the curves. They won’t lay flat at this stage, so don’t worry about that!

I then place a pocket wrong side up & fold the outside raw edge of the binding to meet the raw edge of the pocket edge. Finger press or hold in place. This fold may need to be adjusted to fit the next fold.

Flip the folded edge back again until it covers your sewing thread. The raw edge should now be fully encased.

Fold and pin the biased binding as you go. I put lots of pins around the curve to hold it all in place.

Flip your project right side up.

On the right side begin sewing on the binding as close to the inner edge as possible without going off the edge & on to your main fabric.

Remove the pins, iron flat & trim off the top edges. Viola, admire your handiwork!

If you have any questions just let me know!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Continuous Biased Binding Tutorial

Rating: Intermediate

Have you ever wondered how to make biased binding without having to cut your fabric into a square or not waste good fabric? Or do they not have a very good selection at the store & would rather make your own? These directions will walk you through step by step how to make your own.
These directions can be used for single or double fold biased binding. A little tweaking of the math is all that is needed.

In this tutorial I am making double fold biased binding. My desired finished width (in inches) is ¼ inch. To determine my cutting width for double fold biased binding I need to take the desired finished width times 4 plus 1/8 inch to make up for the folds. (Finished width X 4 + 1/8”= cutting width) or (¼” X 4 + 1/8”= 1 1/8”) I will cut my strips 1 1/8 inch wide. If you are making single fold biased binding your formula will be (finished width X 2 + 1/8”= cutting width).

The next thing I need to figure out is how much of the biased binding I will need for my project. I measured the armholes, neck line, back & bottom edging to find I need a total of 176 inches of binding.

The last part of the math you need to figure out is how much yardage of fabric you will need. First, I know that normal fabric width is between 40 inches to 42 inches. Adjust this measurement to the width of your fabric. I will use the 40 inches to be conservative, I’d rather have more than enough then not enough. Take 40 inches & multiply it out until you get a number that is more than the total length of binding that you’ll need. For mine it took 5 times. (40” X 5= 200” more than the 176” then I need (4 wasn’t enough)). I then take my cutting width and multiply it by the number I just figured out. (1 1/8” X 5= 5.625”) I will need about 6 inches of a 40” wide cut of fabric. I decided to use ¼ yard of fabric which is 9 inches tall for my biased binding.

Phew! Did you get through all that? Now on to the fabric…

Fold down the right-hand corner to create a triangle of fabric with the long edge on the biased.
Finger press & cut along the press.
Take this triangle & put it on the left hand side, selvage to selvage.

Now you have a parallelogram.

Fold the triangle back over the new side, selvage to selvage, pin in place & sew. It doesn’t matter what kind of seam allowance you use, I always try to sew well inside the selvage so I can cut it off because it can cause the fabric to pull & pucker funny.

Trim to ¼ inch & iron the seam open.

On the wrong side of the fabric draw a ¼ inch line along the top & bottom. I use a mechanical pencil. It doesn’t matter what you use as long as it doesn’t bleed through the fabric. This will be a future sewing line & will not be seen.

On the wrong side of the fabric draw your cutting width. For mine I draw 1 1/8 inch wide all the way along on the diagonal beginning at the right side. This is the cutting line & won’t be seen so you can use anything to draw the lines as long as it doesn’t bleed through. Note how the diagonal line & top straight line form a sort of X.

This part is important! At the left side, where your triangle is sewn on you will begin numbering. Along the bottom at each X pencil intersection mark visually or physically (0, 1, 2, 3, 4…). Along the top mark each X with (1,2,3,4…). The top edge doesn’t have a zero.

Fold the fabric right sides together. Place a pin through the x at number 1 on the top edge, find number 1 on the bottom edge & poke the pin through the X at number 1. Make sure you pin through each X matching number for number all along the edges. Zero will not be matched with anything, you will leave it free & it will create a ‘tail’.

When you are done pinning you should now have a tube with the pins spiraling around & it will look something like this… Note how each end has a ‘tail’, which is what you want.

Beginning at one end, sew along the ¼ inch line you drew along the top & bottom & where it is now pinned. You will have to pull & tug a little to manipulate it so you don’t accidentally sew anything else.

You now have a sewn spiral.

Iron the seam open the best you can.

You’re nearly there now!

Beginning at 1 end where a ‘tail’ is start cutting. If you pinned correctly you will get a long string & not nice little circles.

Cut some more…

Yay! You just made continuous biased binding, but wait you can’t leave it in that heap…

Just hold an end between your thumb & palm and beginning wrapping around your fingers (or you can wrap it around a width of cardboard).

Viola! It is now ready to use in your project (& you didn’t waste any fabric or spend hours upon hours making it the old way!)

If you have any problems or have questions, just ask & I will try to clarify!


Total Pageviews