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Archive for December, 2008

Christmas Sewing

Now that all the presents have been opened, I can show pictures of  the needlecase and handbag that I made for M.

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This is the same fabric as the totebag I made for my sister last year, and I had plenty left over to  make both items for M this year.  M really likes this fabric, which is a heavy decorator cotton.  The lining was made of some canvas I had on hand.

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The pattern did not call for a lining, but I just cut out the same pieces and made another purse in the lining canvas, then put it wrong sides together inside the outer fabric shell.  The lining is held down by some stitching at the bottom and by the topstitching at the very top.

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Here’s the outside of the needlecase.  It has a top flap to keep the sock needles from falling out and an attached elastic band to hold it closed during transit.  There is a large piece of velcro under the flap and at the bottom right corner.

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The left side of the interior has a knitted surface to hold implements and notions.  It is a leftover knitting gauge swatch I had in the sewing room.  It was a total accident that the scissors I ended up with were also purple to match.  I was looking for a pair of scissors that did not have tips that were too pointy, to avoid poking a hole in the fabric.  There are two levels of pockets on the right to hold sock needles, scissors, and other things.  I think this needlecase turned out much better than the prototype one I made for myself.

Now I need to start fixing up a blouse pattern for A, and maybe make another tote bag in a different fabric.

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Cheese Zombies

Those of us who went to school in Northern California counties back in the onsite-food-preparation days think back fondly to those giant, warm, cheese-stuffed rolls sold for a quarter by the snack shack or food service at our schools.  You can tell right away who is a local kid by bringing zombies to a potluck and seeing who recognizes them.   This year I have decided to make the zombies for Christmas Eve.  The girls have requested that I use velveeta this year instead of the sharp cheddar (Tillamook) that I prefer, so I decided to give it a try.  This year is a banner year in that not one of my zombies leaked cheese all over the cookie sheets.  I must say that the velveeta melts in the roll into a molten, lip-searing golden puddle of goodness, so it is best to let the rolls cool somewhat.

I make my roll dough in the bread machine, but I have also bought frozen roll dough and used it with excellent results. 

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In the picture above is my prep area ready to start the zombie assembly.  I use a regular cafeteria-type tray that I got for a few dollars at the restaurant supply store.  The textured surface holds the flour making it great for shaping dough or rolling out tortillas.  Plus, it keeps the mess off your counters.  I have cut the cheese into about 1″ cubes, and I have ready a little bowl of flour and one with a bit of oil or butter to grease up my hands.

I take little blobs of dough about the size of a golf ball or slightly larger, and make a flat disk, then put the cube of cheese in the center and form the dough around it, sealing it up well.  The trick is to put the seam on the top so that the melted cheese can’t leak out.  After another rising period, the rolls are baked for about 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees.

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Here the finished zombies are waiting to be eaten.  After they cool down to a non-lethal level, that is.

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