Old Soccer Shirt Tote Bag

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 2 comments
My friend, Yolanda's daughter has played soccer since she was a little girl.  She graduates in a few days, and I was tasked with the assignment of putting all those sweet little uniforms from 5-18 into a gift.  I made a larger gift I posted about yesterday, but I had one shirt left over that I wanted to include in some way. 
 I cut out the pieces I wanted out of each shirt using this square, quilt thingie so everything is exact.  I ironed on a piece light weight fusible interfacing to the back (you can buy it by the yard at fabric stores).  This prevented the squares from stretching when you sew. 
For the bag I just added a border of fabric, then sewed this onto the bag using this process from a bag I made in the past.   I added an  initial tag to the bag for Alyse.  I saw the idea for the tags at The Autocrat.  She shared her find of vertical name tags in the office section at Walmart.  Decorate a square of scrapbook paper for the innard., I jazzed mine up with cricut monogram, rhinestones, and ribbon. 
This is the perfect size to house the gift Alyse's Mom and I put together. 

T-Shirt Quilt

Monday, May 30, 2011 15 comments
My friend, Yolanda's daugter graduates in a few days.  She's been playing soccer since the beginning of her school career, and Yolanda has saved her shirts throughout the years.  She asked me if I could put these together into a quilt she can take to college.  Absolutely!  I've been wanting to try out this concept for awhile (I've seen all sorts of versions at quilt shows, and through friends).  In fact, I've got a stack of my own shirts from softball, high school events, travel, college shirts, and work shirts. 
She brought me her stack of shirts, and I bought a 9.5x9.5 inch grid to make exact cuts. 
 I centered the grid over the part I wanted to highlight, and used a rotary cutter to pull out my square.  For the most part I pulled out the front with the logo, and the back with the number, but in a few case, I also snagged a sleeve with a fun design, or patches indicating Alyse's successes at the goalie box. 
 I laid them out to make sure no like colors/numbers were touching. 
I bought some light weight fusible fabric from the fabric store (they sell it by the yard) and cut these into squares and ironed the 'rough/sticky' side to the back of the shirt square.  This prevents the shirts from stretching as you sew, and makes it a little less of a flimsy material. 
 You can cut this a little larger, and trim the edges to make sure the entire back is covered, but I just made sure my hem was far enough in to snag all the edges. 
I decided to add a 2.5 inch border to each so I didn't have to try to match the corners exactly, and to make this quilt a little larger so she can snuggle under it while watching TV....I mean, studying, in college.
 I sewed each row together, and ironed (just a side note, don't iron the numbers from the front, iron them from the back or they might pull up). 
 I added one long strip of 2.5 inch fabric to the top of each row. 
 I sewed all the rows together, making sure I matched the lines both horizontally and vertically as much as possible. 
 I then added a row to both sides so it was completely framed. 
She selected some flannel fabric for the back that's really soft to help with the comfort factor. 
I left it with a lady to quilt the soccer ball pattern. 
I made a bag to house the blanket I'll post about tomorrow. 
I'm motivated to get a quilt going for my own shirt collection now, it was much easier than I thought it would be, and it makes me feel less guilt about slicing up those old memories. 

Linking To: Be Different Act Normal  Fun to Craft 504 Main Show and Share  Sassy Sites Night Owl Crafting Free Pretty Things Tea Rose House Sugarbee Cherished Bliss Blackberry Vine Running with Glitter Today's Creative Blog Crafty Soiree HOH Gluesticks Shabby Chic Cottage Remodelaholics Tatortots and Jello Funky Junk Gingersnap

Regan's Macaronni and Cheese

Sunday, May 29, 2011 3 comments
My friend Regan shared her favorite Mac and Cheese recipe when me when she came to visit over Thanksgiving.  I haven't met too many Mac and Cheeses I don't like, BUT this was is definitely a keeper.  The biggest complement I can give is that my Mom even likes it...and she's not big on the cheese and noodle dishes.  Evidence 3,456,766 that proves I'm adopted. 
Regan's Mac and Cheese Recipe 
2 c. dry macaroni, 2 eggs, 1/3 c. buttered (melted), 2 t. salt, 1/2 t. salt, 1 can evaporated milk (12 oz), 3 c. cheddar cheese (shredded). 
1.  Preheat oven 350.  Grease a 9x13 baking dish. 
2.  Cook pasta with 2 t. salt to al dente.  Drain and set aside. 
3.  In a bowl, beat eggs, and whisk in evaporated milk until well blended. 
4.  Add 2 c. of cheese, 1/2 t. salt, melted butter, and finally cooked pasta. 
5.  Pour the mix into a baking dish.  Top evenly with remaining cup of cheddar. 
6.  Bake about 40 minutes (until custard has set, and cheese on top is golden brown). 
7.  Devour.

Mom's Vintage Beach Frame

Saturday, May 28, 2011 1 comment
This is my fourth of 4 magnetic/wooden something projects I've done.  I bought a piece of sheet metal last spring, and tried to put together a frame I saw at a craft fair.  I wrote about the whole process here.  I've made 3 versions of picture holders, and one magnetic recipe holder.  I orignally had 4 pieces of wood, and four pieces of metal.  One piece of wood ruined, BUT I found a piece of wood floating on the shores of the Great Lakes on Mackinaw, MI. 
I'm sure it came from a lumber yard, but I decided I needed to freecycle this scrap, it makes it more meaningful, AND it was the perfect size.  I found this scrapbook paper and it screamed my Mom's name.  All that screaming paper makes scrapbook stores a rather loud place!  I painted the sides of the frame red, cut out the portions of the paper I liked for the rest, used a Making Memories circle punch for the magnets, glued on the metal sheet, added some mod podge, and then wrapped 'er up for Christmas with a beach photo.  Considering how often Mom and I head to the water for Mother/Daughter vacations, the magnets are a good thing.  :O) 

Diaper Wreath

Friday, May 27, 2011 5 comments
 I've made many a diaper cake many a time.  I have about 13,456 examples of them on my blog.  Here's a tutorial....OK...maybe five or six, but that's still a lot.  Recently, some friends at work threw a Diaper Party for a gal at works second baby.  How cute are these invites?
Sarah and Amber told me they found a free template online. 
 Complete with a 'stamp.' 
 My team was assigned size three.  I knew they were planning on making a cake for the shower, and I wanted to do something fun.  A few years back I remember someone giving the mother-to-be a diaper wreath.  I decided to get it a go.  This is actually even easier than a cake.  It would be fun at the entrance to a party or  welcome to a new baby. 
I grabbed a foam wreath from the dollar store. 

 I wrapped the diapers around the wreath and tied them to it (a rubber band would work too). 
 I overlapped the diapers (about 14) so no wreath would show beneath. 
 I bought a bunch of little odds and ends (teething rings, baby products etc) for diaper toting moms, and these little Sneaky Feet at a boutique.  I was originally going for green and blue, but after I found these, I just went with bright colors. 
 I tied the socks and toys to the wreath, alternating sizes, and items. 
I added a tag.  Usually, I'd add a bow, but I thought the larger frog ring did a good job of tying it all together. 
It was a fun way to deliver a package of diapers. 

Crockpot BBQ

Thursday, May 26, 2011 No comments
In Texas, BBQ is not a process of cooking meat, it's an actual meat...that is cooked using a certain process.  This has confused me over the years when I've visited other states and they asked if I wanted BBQ...and I get chicken.  I'm OK with chicken,  but I just felt the need to iron out some confusion.
Despite my unusual love of BBQ (I'm not much on meat), I've never been able to conquer the flavor on my own, and I've tried over grills, slow roasted in ovens, but who knew-the crockpot was the key! 
Awhile back, the Dallas Morning News ran a recipe for slow-cooker Barbeque Beef. 
This is really easy, and really delicious.  I added some smokey BBQ to my sandwich, and it was pretty darn close to restaurant good! 
3 1/2 lb eye-of-round roast cut in half length wise
2 t. salt
2 garlic cloves, pressed
10 oz can condensed beef broth
1 c. ketchup
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. lemon juice
3 T. steak sauce
1 t. coarse ground pepper
1 t. Worcestershire
12 onion rolls
dill pickles
Instructions:  Sprinkle beef with 1/2 of salt.  Stir together all ingredients.  Pour half of the mix in the pot, add the beef, and cover the rest of the meat with the sauce.  Cook on high for 7 hours.  (I put this together the night before, and threw it on in the morning so it was ready at dinner).

Blueberry Oat Streusel Muffins...Or...The Best Muffins EVER

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 2 comments
If you try no other recipes I ever try....try this one.  Serioulsy, these...are...so...good.  I've tried out blueberry muffins in the past from rather well known bakers, and I've always been just a little disappointed, but I ran across this recipe in a cookbook I checked out from the library called Light and Luscious by Oxmoor House.  They have obviously never been to a WW meeting becauses it's not light, BUT all this great lusciousness makes up for it! 
Here's the recipe...go make some....and send me a half dozen, thanks. 
Blueberry Oat Streusel Muffin Recipe
Ingredients for Streusel Topping:  1/3 c. oats, 3 T. brown sugar, 1 T. flour, 1 T. butter, 2 T. chopped almonds
Instructions for Streusel Topping:  Blend with a food processor until consistancy of coarse meal, or cut with a pastry cutter.  Set aside.
Ingredients for Blueberry Muffins:  2 c. flour, 2 t. baking powder, 1/4 t. baking soda, 1/4 t. salt, 1/2 c. sugar, 2 t. lemon rinds (I left this out b/c I didn't have it), 1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries, 3/4 c. buttermilk, 1/4 c. vegetable oil, 1 egg.
Instructions for Blueberry Muffins:  Mix together dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl mix wet ingredients.  Make a well in dry ingredients, pour in wet ingredients.  Stir until dry ingredients are moist.  Spoon into 12 muffin cups.  Top with streusel mix. 
Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes.  Remove immedietely from pan.