Archive for January 2009


January 28, 2009

Thanks to Sandi for her welcome to BYOB–Bake Your Own Bread.   You can learn about it at her blogbread

These are from the master recipe in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a DayDoes anyone know why my dough turns gray on top after a few days in the fridge?  Could it be my water?  Or the kind of salt I use?  (I use regular table salt; I read that I can use it by reducing the amount from 1 and 1/2 tablespoons to 1 tablespoon.  It’s iodized.  Does that matter?)   The gray part gets mixed into the boule and forms gray streaks–not attractive.

Wow!  I pasted this question into the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day blog and had an answer from Zoe within minutes!  She says it’s probably due to my sealing the keeping bowl too tightly so that alcohol builds up and causes the gray stuff–als0 that sprinkling flour on top of the dough helps prevent the build-up. 


Yet another creative outlet

January 27, 2009

Sometimes I’m here:


Recently some other musicians and I played and sang this song , written by Charles Wesley.  To my mind, it is a perfect combination of clear theology and heart-felt passion:

And can it be that I should gain 
An interest in the Savior’s blood!
Died he for me? who caused his pain!
For me? who him to death pursued? 

Amazing love! How can it be 
That thou, my God, shouldst die for me? 

He left his Father’s throne above
(So free, so infinite his grace!), 
Emptied himself of all but love, 
And bled for Adam’s helpless race.

 ‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, 
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay, 
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night; 
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; 

 My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee. 

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in him, is mine; 
Alive in him, my living Head, 
And clothed in righteousness divine,

Bold I approach th’ eternal throne, 
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Dressed up for church

January 27, 2009

Here is the project which, partly due to its improvisational nature, gave me lots of practice ripping, straightening, trimming and re-sewing.



This is a casserole cozy-caddy.  It is custom-made to carry and insulate a 9×14 glass casserole dish with a thick, sturdy lid.  It’s all dressed up for church, which is where its recipient often totes such dishes.  The outer fabric is from the Michael Miller Farmers’ Market collection, designed by Sandi Henderson.  When you open the handles, you find this:caddy2The caddy is padded with both cotton batting and Insul-Bright, to keep those baked beans warm for a long time.  Here’s a close-up of the button, which is really a light green stacked on a dark green one:caddy11And when you unbutton it, you find … caddy4a red thick sturdy plastic casserole lid that clashes awfully with those cute apple-green prints!

Outdoing Others

January 18, 2009

I’ve done a lot of learning at the machine over the weekend (i.e., I’ve done a lot of seam ripping), and I’ll post about that soon (since I have Monday off–yayyyyyyy).

But just now I’m thinking about something I read recently on C. J. Mahaneys blog.  This man is a joyful, transparent lover of God and His people, and I always enjoy listening to and reading his work. mahaney

 A few days ago he wrote about serving and “surprising” others:

I think most of us understand the priority Scripture places on serving the needs of others. I don’t think I need to convince you of its importance.

But what about surprising others? What’s up with that?

Granted, surprising others is not always distinct from serving them. But while we often think of serving as limited to meeting obvious needs, there is more to it than that. Paul writes, “Outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10, ESV). The intentionality and the intensity of this statement are hard to miss. God commands a holy competition in showing honor to others.

This is a worthy and practical way to think of my relationship with others–especially those closest to me, whom serving can sometimes become kind of mundane and–well, thankless (literally).  I’m intrigued by the thought of surprising them with how much I’m doing for their good.

May the Lord bless you on His day!

It Works!

January 16, 2009

This is my first try at free motion quilting!  It works!  (Of course, I still need to practice.)


And the reason it works is because of these:


A free-motion embroidery/quilting foot and a cover plate for the feed dogs!  (Can you see them, even though they are clear plastic?)  My wonderful husband gave them to me for Christmas.  How could he know that my email with the very specific Web link to those two machine attachments would lead him to exactly what I wanted?

Tea-Dyed Mystery Project

January 12, 2009

My next project must remain a mystery so that it will duly surprise the giftee.  However, I can share some of the preparatory steps in very general terms.

I have purchased half the fabric I’ll need, and, being in a very small town with no fabric shops, I bought it on the Web from these nice folks.  The rest of the fabric needs to come from my stash.  But I don’t have the right stuff.  So I decided to experiment with this minty-fresh 100% cotton scrap that in no way matches or coordinates with the purchased fabric.minty-fresh1I originally bought the fabric to make scrub pants for a scrub top made from this print. 


Notice the motifs:  sight-seeing venues from around the world.  The scrubs were a Christmas gift for a daughter in nursing school.  She spent last June in Italy, and when I saw the Roman Coliseum in this print, I knew it was for her!  (The fabric is from a line called “Journeys” manufactured by this Mississippi-based company.)


So the minty-fresh fabric was a nice match–but I have no further need for something quite so, um, minty fresh.

In fact, my next project requires rather subdued colors, and I thought that tea-dying some of my stash might produce the effect I need. 

This is how I tea-dyed my minty-fresh fabric:  I placed ten regular-sized tea bags in a large stock pot about 1/3 full of water, boiled it for a few minutes and let it steep until the color was quite dark.  I removed the tea bags while the water was still hot and placed the minty-fresh fabric in, submerging it completely and swishing it around until I liked the color.  (The scraps probably equaled 3/4 of a yard.  For more fabric, more liquid would be required and possibly more tea bags.)

I squeezed some of the liquid out of the fabric and dumped it in the washing machine for a cold rinse and a spin.  Then I dried it on “hot – cotton” until dry to set the color.  Here it is, fresh out of the dryer (i.e., unironed):


Now I have this lovely subdued sage in place of the minty fresh.  And it goes very nicely with my purchased fabrics.

Experiment:  successful!

January 7, 2009

gedc0200Patching these jeans with Amy Butler scraps was way fun.