Oreo 'Turkeys'

Oreos - regular/original
malted milk balls
chocolate icing
candy corn
red hots

Twist the Oreos apart.  Coat each half with chocolate icing.  Place 3-4 candy corns in a fan-like design in one, then stick into the other half for the "turkey tail".  Nestle a malted milk ball in front of 'the tail'.  You may need to add more icing for "glue".  Put a dab of icing on one red hot, then place on the malted milk ball for the "gobbler". 

We've made them for cupcake toppers, but they're also good just as they are!  We won't talk calorie count.  :)

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Alabama quilt in progress

Slowed down by some sort of stomach virus this past week, means I'm not as far along on the quilt for Alabama as I'd like to be.  This is for the Quilt Angels Project for a children's home in Alabama.  Halfway through I ran out of the light blue fabric.  Holding my breath as I made a quick run to Wal-Mart, the sun was shining on me that day as they STILL carry the exact same fabric!  I bought mine probably 10 years ago or so.  It was a happy day!  While I was there, picked up a twin size white flat sheet to be the back that cost $4.99 - couldn't buy fabric for that.  Already have Warm & Natural cotton batting on hand.  This will measure @45" x 60" when complete.
The top is done and now it needs to be 'sandwiched' and quilted.... and yes, the stripes are supposed to be random and a little wonky. 
My poor husband thought I'd misaligned the stripes when he saw this hanging in my sewing room and sought to comfort me.  He's a great guy!  I told him it's 'art' and 'supposed' to be wonky and random.  He said, then you definitely created wonky and random!

Garment sewing is on hold to get a little more done on this.  I'm chomping at the bit to get going on my plans!

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Garment Plans for November 2013

New to the garment-sewing-world, I recently came across some ladies' beautiful computer-generated images of their sewing plans for a SWAP.  Confused, I couldn't understand why they would want to make a garment to 'swap' with someone else's garment, until somewhere down the line it was spelled out for me as 'SWAP - Sewing With A Plan'!  Oh, 'now that makes sense' was my first thought, then 'wow, what a great idea - sew with a plan' was the next!  This inspired me to draw a collage of 'My Daily Life' thoughts in pencil, photo below.  This little collage of thoughts-on-paper has helped me focus in on what my clothing needs might be.....
....because this week time has been set aside to ponder..... to consciously think about my lifestyle..... the type of clothes  I need for the lifestyle I live.... the clothes I enjoy wearing..... the fabrics..... colors....

Living a rural, country life where most days are spent in enjoyable time tending the garden, cooking from scratch, taking care of my family and running the odd errand or two, I have become tired of the 'jeans-every-single-day' that seems to have become my unofficial 'uniform' and want to look nice and presentable but still wear clothes that will meet the practical needs of my daily living.  We also enjoy attending plays and concerts and 'city life' at our nearby large city, but right now it's my 'daily' needs I'm thinking of.

Being a part of the Make a Garment a Month Challenge and having made a personal pledge to only sew complete outfits I have come up with a plan for the month of November 2013.
Straight legged pants with a side zip will be sewn from Simplicity 7131, view D, in a chocolate brown twillish fabric that has a little stretch and a top from light/medium weight rustish colored knit from NEWLOOK 6735, view B.  The knit has brownish marks through it that will pair well with the chocolate brown.  This will be my first pair of fitted pants.  Until now, my pant-making experience has been limited to pajamas with elastic waists and shorts with elastic waists for my girls when they were little.  :)
A poncho is also in the plans and was cut out the other day from McCalls 6209, view B, no scarf and will add hood from view D.  This fabric is a dark olive green nubby woven that I'm hoping will make a great poncho for our South Carolina (usually!) mild winter.  I want something fun to simply throw on to go for a walk in the woods or run to town.  This was inspired by remembering a poncho I had years and years ago and how much fun it was to wear.  I drew my sketch before the pattern was purchased based on my previous poncho.  Will probably try to add pockets.
These are my plans for November and I am ready to begin!

UPDATE:  You can see the completed garments here
 and here.


Quilt for Alabama

The last few days have been spent on a charity project that will be going to Alabama.
As you know, Alabama is my home state and though I may happily and contentedly live in South Carolina, Alabama will always remain in my heart.

Earlier this week I came across Gene Black ~ an Alabama Artist and Quilter's blog and while admiring some of his beautiful work noticed he spoke of sewing a label in one of his recent quilts where he'd printed his name, state and the words "Remember that you are loved".    After reading a little more, I realized he is leading a 'Quilt Angels' project, that was begun in 2011, and is asking for donations of quilts at least 45" x 60" that he will take to a children's home a week or so before Christmas.  This is a home for kids who need a safe place to live - maybe recently left an abusive home situation - not 'troubled' kids, per se.  He needs the quilts delivered to him by Dec. 12.  You can click here to read more about this project.

Soooooooooo, like I need another project on my plate, particularly so close to the holidays..... the browser was closed and logged off.  But as the day wore on, my thoughts kept returning to this project.  The next morning Gene was e-mailed that I was 'in', with the caveat that I've NEVER completed an 'official' quilt, particularly in the 45" x 60" size!  He kindly encouraged me to think about straight strip quilting and that I could do it. 

In short time my stash of quilting cottons was pulled out going with a 'blue and white' theme because that could be for either a girl or a boy.  But because I seem to not ever be able to journey down the 'easier' path, a diagonal strip quilt pattern was drawn out.  Figured it would add visual interest and I seem to always gravitate more to 'diagonals'. 

So here is where I am this afternoon... almost through with a 23 1/2" x 60" piece.  My idea is to sew random sized strips of random colors from the chosen fabrics and make 2 panels each @23 1/2" x 60" so when they are joined, it will look like a 'chevron' with all sorts of randomness.  :)
Something sort of like this, below, made through the collage feature of Picasa, gives a nice visual of my idea.
Thought if I started this project now, I'd be through in plenty of time to send by Dec. 12.  So, you quilters out there, please consider helping out with this most worthy project.  I think Gene also has some sponsors for those who participate.... something like that....

Meantime, it's a nice feeling thinking about the child who may receive this simple quilt that might brighten his or her day at Christmas. 

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an in process 'vest' experiment in fabric draping fun!

I'm a big fan of the lovely Carolyn of Handmade by Carolyn, and earlier this spring enjoyed reading her back posts and 'catching up' with her style of sewing.    Everything she makes is fabulous, but one item that caught my attention is when she made this vest from the Japanese pattern book 'Unique Clothes Any Way You Like It' out of a single piece of fabric with 2 armholes cut out.   
 On a recent trip to Charleston, that always involves a stop at the local bookstore, I ran across the 'ShapeShape:  Sewing Clothing Patterns to Wear Multiple Ways' by Natsuno Hiraiwa book and was drawn in.  One vest caught my eye and it reminded me of Carolyn's.  We were pressed for time, so the book was closed and put back on the shelf, but at lunch I drew a little diagram to remind me of how the fabric should drape depending if one wears the vest with the curve at the back, or with the curve at the front.  I re-drew my little drawing on graph paper when I got home.  This probably means nothing to anyone but me.  :)

At this point I had not connected my little vest, and this book, to Carolyn's, so it never occurred to me to check her blog for more info.  But that's okay, that's what made it so much fun!  Turns out both books are the same book, just different titles and different book cover photos, but same author. 
I had nothing else to go on, but this little drawing... a piece of curved fabric on one side, straight on the other with 2 armholes cut out.  I decided to sacrifice a piece of pink-ish knit fabric that was another one of those 'what was I thinking' purchases, so there was absolutely no emotional connection if it should be destroyed in process.  A note was made of every single thing I did, so if it should turn out to be wearable, I'd know how to cut the 'real' fabric I really wanted to use.  Those circles, photo below, became the armholes.  Friday's entire afternoon was spent in joyous 'playing with fabric' with complete abandonment of any worry of 'ruining' my fabric - and the stress relief of that added to the fun factor!  Many adjustments were made before the photos of today.  And even now, a little more adjustments will be made before it is considered 'done'.
In the meantime, I'm enjoying wearing it to get the 'feel' of what needs to be changed up.  Mine is worn with the curve worn 'round the neck, and as you can see in the photo below, I think I still have too much fabric layering a little too much on the shoulders, so that will probably be reduced.
Also, I kept mine long and lightly curved the edges, that in my diagram was shown as 'straight'. 
What's happened along the way is that now I've become very attached to my new garment and am worried that I'm going to mess it up, so I'm taking my time to think what I want/need to do.  :)

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