Yay, the other package was delivered as well! That means both the Beep beep! baby pants and bapron have safely arrived in the Netherlands :), and the crinkly toy featured in this post, and the forest quilt that I’ll post tonight or tomorrow :).

This toy is probably the fastest thing I’ve ever made! Minus selecting your fabric/ribbon, you could really make this in about 15mins (add another 5-10min for the applique). I just cut 3 squares (1 out of cotton, 1 out of minky fleece and 1 out of a crinkly plastic bag), 12 pieces of ribbon, a letter J, and appliqued/stitched it all together.

Minky material is hard to work with though, even with a walking foot. Of course I made sure the letter J would be in the middle, when I appliqued it, of course when I had sewn the cotton to the minky fleece, it wasn’t in the middle anymore (*insert short aarghh!-moment*). Oh well, oh well :).

I did learn something very important! While making this project, I stumbled upon this Youtube video, about how to stitch toys closed invisibly using a ladder stitch. I never knew and always used very visible stitches :(. From now on my little finishes will be prettier :).

An important package finally got delivered to the home of 2 Grover fans! :)

I made their 8months old daughter a Grover applique, and matching (color) pants. The onesie is store bought.

Here is how I make appliques, I never use patterns, I just make them myself out of pictures found on the internet! I used this picture.

– Print the picture (ideally a ‘flat’ picture, without any dimension) at the right size
– Cut out all individual applique parts from the paper version
– Iron on Heat N’ Bond Iron-On Adhesive interfacing (read the instructions) to the fabric pieces, you want to use
– Trace the paper shapes on the fabric and cut them out
– Iron them onto the garment or fabric you want to make your applique on
– Iron some normal fusible interfacing to the back of the garment, for extra support
– Finally, use a satin stitch and a contrasting thread color to stitch the applique to the garment!

I think the funny thing with this Grover applique is, that I actually didn’t have any solid colored fabric, except for the Mavericks blue :). I cut Grover’s mouth out of the same Lecien scrap, I used for my Xmas stocking, right between the white dots. His nose also came out of a piece of fabric which was far from being a solid color :).

Instead of cutting his eyes from fabric (I find cutting small perfect eyes really hard, hence this item on my wishlist), I have sewn them completely with the machine (without the embroidery module). That’s even harder, so not something I’ll try again!

I used Simplicity 2291 to make the pair of pants, but added the fold-over cuffs myself. It tooks me some hours of thinking it out, but I reckon, it’s still not completely successful…Also, both the onesie and the pants are for a 24months old, but I have severe doubts miss Grover will be able to wear both items at the same time! Baby sizes are hard!

As I’m still thinking about how to finish some Xmas decorations I’m making, I started a new project with a higher state of urgency; a sewing machine cover (tutorial here)!
My machine did come with a zippered cover for traveling, but it’s a pain to get it in there every night, to protect it from dust.

Making a cover for your sewing machine is just as hard as making a website or logo for yourself. Too many possibilities, all great, but which one is the best?
Well answering that question would mean, I would never actually get to making a cover, because there is no answer, really.

Recognizing the polkadot fabric? I used one strip of the wrongly cut fabric, which was almost exactly the right size. I only added a pocket to the left side of the machine, as I’m not sure how often I’ll use it.
The cover is completely lined with the gray fabric, which I also used as an accent on the bottom. To give it some more flair, I’ll make a few fabric flowers and stitch them on the front :).

So, is this the best cover (design, color, etc) I could have made for myself? Definitely not, there is always better and more beautiful, but I like it and it protects my machine!

What’s better than working on projects you’ve thought out, but still need to finish? Well, starting new ones of course, haha!

So impatient…so I decided to start with some very necessary projects ;) More Xmas decorations!

I mixed some scraps with the teal Reindeer fabric (i love that color). I’m not big into Xmas green at all, it just doesn’t appeal to me, so when I saw the teal fabric, I just had to get it. I love the red roses, polkadots and the teal together. I’ve never had a Xmas stocking before in my life (it’s not common in the Netherlands), but I think it couldn’t have been more Xmas Nienke-style! Spot on!

So…shall I finish this, or start with a new project? ;)

sally-bee-prawnI won’t share many recipes on this blog, only the ones that M and I keep eating :).
This is one we love. It’s so easy and extremely quick to prepare (10min, maybe 15, if you’re as slow as me, but definitely quicker than ordering -and waiting for- a pizza!). I mostly have these items in stock as well, so, easy indeed :) (and I just leave out the watercress, and replace pecan nuts with walnuts or pine nuts).

It’s from the book “The Secret Ingredient” by Sally Bee (UK, USA). Her story is inspiring; she is a mother of three who at the age of 36, despite a healthy lifestyle, suffered 3 major heart attacks in the space of one week, due to an unknown major heart defect. Her road to recovery astonished all doctors’ expectations. “The Secret Ingredient” is a collection of easy and heart healthy recipes.

Prawn, Avocado and Pecan Herb Salad (serves 2)

  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 salad onions or spring onions (scallions),peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove,peeled and crushed
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 uncooked king prawns (jumbo shrimp)
  • Mixed salad leaves
  • Watercress
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Handful of fresh basil, torn
  • Handful of shelled pecan nuts

Preparation

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
Add the chopped salad onions, crushed garlic, soy sauce, black pepper and raw prawns.
Sauté until the prawns have turned pink all the way through.
Arrange the salad leaves, watercress, avocado and tomatoes in a big dish, then pour over the prawns and other cooked ingredients.
Squeeze over the lemon juice, sprinkle with torn basil and pecan nuts and serve.

I’ve changed my mind a little bit, I like patchwork, the modern kind. I was always confusing it with quilting, but now I finally know the difference. I even tried my hand at quilting for the first time the past week (picture will be online, once the postman has done his work), but I don’t like it. It’s harder than I thought, stitching straight lines through 3 thick layers of fabric, even with an expensive (walking) foot!

I like patchwork, because there are so many fabric, texture, color combinations possible, in unlimited shapes etc. That’s what is making the good thing hard though! But this is what my decisions came down to:


I got the various kinds of fabric out of a scrap bag (all sorts of sizes, colors and prints of left-over fabrics in a selection of different sizes), which I bought online. A month after I started sewing, I figured I could never buy all the fabric I would need or like, so the bag was a good alternative. Perfect for appliques as well! And of course I wasn’t the only one excited about all these new ‘drool towels’ ;)… Pumpkin, no!

No drooling? What about some digging? I know you got some good stuff there, hidden from me!

Yes, he often even sits down on the chair behind the sewing machine! My true little helper :).

Btw, I keep forgetting to make pictures of finished projects and as it were presents, I no longer have them! The past few weeks I’ve also made a Mouse-fabric bapron, a Dallas Mavericks fabric flower and 6 bibs, 13 neck coolers and 3 blankets for the Red Cross. Regretfully I quit sewing to serve at the Red Cross. The distance to pick up and drop off fabric was just too great (1,5hrs both ways by public transport).

Do you remember the little incident with my automatic needle threader?

While cleaning my desk a few weeks back -I’m slow with uploading pictures- I found this tiny and thin piece I didn’t know got away. I now know for sure I would never succeed in fixing the needle threader myself!

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