Sunday, February 27, 2011

Nursing Flannel Nightgown

A dear friend of mine is due soon with a baby, and she asked me a while ago to make a couple of nursing nightgowns for her. She decided on one flannel, and one more summery.

I used a modified Elizabeth Lee pattern for the flannel. I have to say I am quite pleased with it, but I hope, Shellee, you don't plan on swimming in it. You'll sink like a rock!

Close up of the fabric:

It is a nursing nightgown!

I have the next one cut out in a multicolored seersucker gingham. These nightgowns do go together quite quickly, thankfully!

Meanwhile, Dale has been busy repainting the upstairs bathroom, making some minor repairs, and installing a new medicine cabinet. I need to make a new curtain for the window. I will be using fabric from my stash, and hopefully I can come up with something quick and creative.

Have a blessed day!

Friday, February 25, 2011

On My Needles

I've been sewing A LOT. However, in the evenings, during that time when I like to curl up and let the busyness of the day just fall off my shoulders, I knit. I like to knit because I can curl up anywhere in the house. If we are watching a movie, it is a simple thing to bring it with me to the other room. Quilting is wonderful, and I LOVE To sew, but hauling the sewing machine around really isn't all that convenient. ;)

Anyway, I've decided this year that I'm going to master making socks. Well, maybe not "master", as much as "get proficient" at it. I started a sock last summer. It was light weight, and easy to work with in the heat. I only worked on it a wee little bit, so when I recently picked it up again, I was determined to do what I could to get these done ASAP. I am using DPN's, but have already decided that the next pair will be done two at a time, using the Magic Loop method. Why? Because, as I finished that first sock, all these little people that live here suddenly asked, "Mama, will you make me a pair?". That is a lot of socks! I have book I got on sale about making socks two at a time, so that will be put to use in the near future.

The pair I am working on will go to Esther. She fell in the love with the color of the yarn, and is the only one who doesn't roll her eyes at me when I take on yet another knitting or sewing project. So, she gets first dibs. :) Here is her foot, modelling my very first sock!

I'm really enjoying making socks. I love fingering weight yarn. There are so many great colors and types to choose from! I am well on my way on the second one. Esther asks me almost every time I am knitting "Is it done yet?". I think I may have passed the sock bug on to her, because now she want me to teach how how to knit them! I told her I would as soon as I got a handle on it myself.

Meanwhile, I have set aside my Seaweed Cardigan to finish Esther's socks. This is a pretty, light weight, short sleeved cardigan knitted in an easy lace pattern. I am most of the way up the back. I work on it here and there, but right now I am totally engrossed in finishing Esther's socks.

Monday I was out and about... BY MYSELF. A strange experience, for sure! I stopped at a local yarn store and totally drooled over their wonderful yarns. And yes, I bought some that was on sale. I plan on making fingerless gloves with it. I love the color! I think it is a "shrimp" colored heather, if that makes any sense.

I just saw last night that has some new lovely lace yarn. It is a mohair and silk blend... gorgeous! I almost asked Dale if I could buy some and make a shawl, but remember the list of projects I already have going. Oh well, another time perhaps. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy knitting up what I have!

No Fry Donut Recipe

I got this recipe from my Amish Cooking book. Seriously, that is what it is called. It is compiled by a group of Amish ladies into one edition.

2 Packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
Cinnamon sugar or sugar or glaze

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Add milk, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Blend these ingredients for 1/2 minute with an egg beater, scraping the bowl constantly (I used an electric hand beater). Then beat the mixture hard for 2 more minutes, scraping the bowl only occasionally.

Stir in remaining flour until the batter is smooth, scraping the side of the bowl.

Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size ( 50 to 60 minutes).

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and roll it around lightly to coat it with flour. The dough should be soft to handle.

With flour-covered rolling pin, roll out dough to 1/2 inch thick. With a 2 1/2 inch donut cutter, cut out doughnuts and place on greased baking sheet, 2 inches apart.

Brush them with melted butter, then let them rise until about doubled in size, 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425, then bake the doughnuts 8 to 10 minutes or until they are golden in color.

Immediately brush them with melted butter and shake on cinnamon sugar or sugar. If you are glazing them, let them cool before glazing.

This recipe makes about 1 1/2 to 2 dozen doughnuts.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Time To Make the Donuts

Any one remember that commercial? That is what I felt like last Friday. Esther was in the mood for some baking and was going to make cookies. Then she remembered that I had just bought a little donut/biscuit cutter, and decided to do that. I found my recipe for No Fry donuts, and handed it to her one afternoon, while orchestrating the post-lunch clean up routine.

She was working away, when I heard... "oops!".

Apparently she had miscalculated a measurement for doubling the recipe (in a family our size you ALWAYS at least double a recipe. Usually more.). Finally after some quick figuring, she ended up quadrupling the recipe. She got it all mixed up , and set the dough to raise while she finished her schoolwork and I went to lay down for a nap.

It seemed like I had just drifted off to sleep when Dale came in and whispered, "Honey, are you awake?"

That question always puzzles me. It is daylight, so if you have to ask if I am awake, then assume I'm not!

Anyway.... he went on to say that Esther and Elizabeth were trying to roll out the dough and needed my help.

I went out to the kitchen all squinty eyed mumbling to myself... "time to make the donuts...".

I took one look at the kitchen and shook the cobwebs out of my sluggish brains. I squinted some more. Surely there couldn't be that big of a mess. Must be a figment of my half asleep imagination.

Nope. Afraid not.

Flour and sugar and cinnamon and cookie sheets were everywhere. I was glad I had supper in the crock pot because there was no way I would be able to cook a meal any time soon in the kitchen!

I rolled up my sleeves and organized an assembly line. I rolled and cut out. Esther baked, and Elizabeth brushed with butter and did the toppings. We had vanilla glaze, chocolate glaze, and cinnamon sugar. Jerusha helped too, after she was up from her nap (I notice Dale didn't wake her up!) She tested the glaze. Especially the chocolate.

When I say, we had a kazillion donuts, I am not kidding. We worked on rolling out and baking donuts for a couple of hours. I told Esther, no more quadrupling the donut recipe! The bright side is that we haven't had to make dessert in almost 4 days. We still have enough left for several more helpings. We put some in the freezer, unfrosted or anything, for later, too.

You'd think that with the kazillion donuts we would have a corresponding number of donut holes. I made the mistake of letting children come and go and just pop one or two into their mouths willy nilly. All we had left was enough to fill this container about half full.

Of course, the end product was well worth all the effort. I'm not a fan of deep fat frying in the least, so I really have enjoyed our No Fry Donuts over the years.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Still Here!

I know, the blog has been quiet for a bit. Part of it is because there really isn't much new to share. We are plugging away at homeschooling, church work, chores, the usual ebb and flow of life. We have been enjoying some gorgeous wintry days, playing in the snow, hiking the snow mobile paths, and cuddling up in front of the wood stove with hot chocolate and a movie. Dale is still on layoff, and won't be going back until around the middle of March. Our missions conference is set for March 9th through the 13th, and we are pleased to be hosting the Zimmerman family, who will be going to France.

I have been getting some sewing done. I started one wedding quilt, but then got sidetracked by helping the girls finish their jumpers, and making a flannel dress for Jerusha. I cut it out last fall, and it somehow got down to the bottom of my sewing pile, and I just rediscovered it the other day. It was all cut out and ready to go, so I whipped it up. I used a pretty blue floral flannel I had in my stash. Jerusha loves it but did comment "It should have been pink!". Of course.

The pics didn't come out that great, sorry about that! The twins did a lot of the work on their jumpers, and I helped over the harder parts.

Esther's Fabric and jumper:

Elizabeth's fabric and jumper:

Here is Jerusha's "It Should Have Been Pink" dress:

Since I set up sewing headquarters in the guest room for now, the cat has taken up my sewing chair as HIS SPOT. When I need it I evict him, and he tends to get a little peeved.

One day I was pinning a border on a throw quilt, my feet up, and Pumpkin came in, chirped at me in that funny cat way, then jumped up on my lap with a look that only cats can give. It was like, "Excuse me... but what do you think you are doing in MY seat?"

Today I hope to assemble about a bazillion half square triangle units. I have them ready from two different quilts. One is a gorgeous batik, and other is from some Moda fabric I got on sale late last summer.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Under Construction

You probably already noticed the cosmetic changes on my blog. Not too sure I like it yet, so I may end up tinkering some more at a later time. I ran out of time and patience to mess with it. Anyway, if you check back and things look strange, that is why. :)

Dale has been home on lay off and so I've been distracted, which is why I haven't been posting much. I have been trying to get some quilting done and get a chunk of my sewing list going while he is around, but somehow we are just as busy as we normally are when he is at work. Probably because we are still doing school and a couple of needed projects and our days are still full.

We have been having some wonderful snowy days, warm enough to enjoy some outdoor activities like pulling kids around in sleds, riding the neighbors snow mobile, snowball fights, and a little hiking up in the hills in the snow. All very good workouts for me, to be sure! Thanks to my heart rate monitor, I am finding that an hour of playing in the snow with the kids burns over 400 calories! Yay!

This morning we awoke to a lovely new snow fall, and Elizabeth couldn't resist taking a few pictures. With the sun shining on it, it really is quite beautiful.

Meanwhile, I've been trying to get some sewing done. I finally finished the overdue wedding quilt for a nephew that got married in December. I have to say, that I LOVE The fabrics in this disappearing 9 patch, and I was very tempted to keep it to myself. If I had enough fabric leftover to do another one, I would whip it up, but I only have a few little remnants left. Maybe enough for a doll quilt, but not enough for a throw quilt.



Close up of the back:


I am not overly happy about the quilting. The design was supposed to be a free motion leaf pattern, and my leaves look like hearts. Gag me. Oh well, too late now, and a professional quilting friend of mine told me it looked fine, not to worry about it, so I'm not. But obviously, Josiah didn't get his artistic abilities from me.

Have a blessed day!