Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spring is Close - and we start Our Casserole Carrier

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter.  It was Finally Semi-Warm (60) at North of Nowhere but we have more cold and rain/snow (snain) predicted in the next week.  Ah yes, spring in Wyoming.   You wear your snow boots, mittens and a Coat.  And Think about Summer.

Our Easter was low-key as Hubby had to work. I had a ham, baked sweet potatoes, asparagus, and a Lemon Merigue pie ready for supper when he got home.  No Easter Bunny appearance for us old fogies. We did have a new calf though and Momma and baby are doing just fine.  Hubby thinks it may be the last calf as he doesn't think the other two cows left will calve at all.  They are both getting up there in years.  It's Good to be Livestock 60 miles North of Nowhere.  You don't go to the Canner when you get old -- you get to RETIRE!  Gadzook, I hope I have it that good.


This casserole carrier came about as a project for a wedding gift.  I could not  find a pattern I liked -neither commercial nor a freebie on the web.  So I made my own.  This will easily fit a 9 x 14 pan, and maybe a little larger one.  And We're Off....

Freezer paper for your pattern or some other big sheet of paper, or scotch tape some together.
1 1/3 yards of 45" wide material  - (need a length 48" x 45")
insulating material like quilt batting (I like Thermolam because it insulates better)
pencil, ruler, scissors
fat quarter of contrasting fabric to make binding or a package of binding.
thread, sewing machine, pins


We are going to make a pattern in a FAT L shape.  Fold it width wise so it's at least 18" tall and 13" wide.
The fold is on the LEFT side -- opposite the scissors, not the scissors side.

The L is 17 inches tall, 8 inches wide at the top, and 12 inches wide at the bottom.  The bottom of the L is 6" tall.

17 inches tall -  the left edge of the paper is folded.

Dimensions again: 8" at the top, 12" at the bottom, the bottom L part is 6" tall.

Now you have your pattern and we are ready to cut our fabric.
Unfold your pattern so it looks like the above and place the bottom of the L on the fold of the fabric.
Cut out - repeat.

Your cut-out fabric will look like this:
The long top strip will become our handles and the two rectangles could become matching pot-holders if you like.  ZERO waste!!! Am I good or what! :)
Our Handle Strip

Now cut one out of your insulation material - again on a folded edge. If you really want to re-purpose,
you could use an old blanket or towels as the insulation layer.
Now make a sandwich - fabric, insulation, fabric.  At this point I will pin so I can quilt them together.  Raw edges remain all the way around if you are not a quilter.  Just so you know.
I pin through all 3 layers with regular old safety pins.  And I close them.  Some people like the curved quilting pins and leave them open.  I use 3" regular safety pins and find them easier to use.

Okay -- all for today.  We'll continue in a few days with the quilting together (and you could probably skip this step) and then sewing and binding the project.

Oh and why the red bandanna material you ask?  Because I have 15 YARDS of the stuff.  Have to use it for something!!  How did I come to have 15 yards.  Don't ask - had something to do with ebay.........

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Its a Conspiracy or the Unraveling of America!

I think it is a plan, an evil devious plan.  It's being pushed on the American Consumer by the Asian Fashion Manufacturers.   Have you every noticed, you need to sew back on every button before you can wear your new shirt?  Or sew this or sew that?

The other day, I was getting dressed at my gym and I stuck my foot into my office dress pants.  It felt weird, just a little too much resistance so I tugged a little more.....AND UNZIPPED THE ENTIRE SIDE SEAM of my pants!!!!!! I had snagged a thread from the continuous style sewing on the seam and pulled the threading completely out of the leg of the pants!  Sheesh.......fortunately, there was still an inner seam holding it together on the very edges of the material, the overlap seaming.  Otherwise, my reappearance in public would have had to have been in sweatpants!  I think it's a conspiracy by foreign powers to make sure Americans wind up buck-naked in the cold! Somewhere in the Indo-China Map Area, a little wizened citizen sits at his home sweat shop sewing continuous seams on women's pants bound for America laughing manically at the thought of us running around with flapping open pant legs.  It's his only amusement in a bleak world, but it does amuse him greatly. Consider this fair warning.

But really!!!!!!  Is this a good plan to sew a seam on a pair of pants like this??? I say NO!  But I can sew them back up.

Wyoming spring has hit the past week, green is slowly peaking up through the winter browns, rearing it's head inspite of cold, windy, rainy days....and it feels good.  Mud feels GOOD.  The snow stick is buried in the mud now. We have several calves on the ground.  No foals this year though and I haven't replaced my chickens after the raccoon killed them all. So no baby chicks either.

I did start the casserole carrier so will post how to make one in the next few blogs.

Till then I hope to see a LOT more clouds that look like these!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Springing into Wyoming

I think this guy was Under Our Bed
(You can find this here at
Been busy 'spring' cleaning and had every intention to walk on my treadmill over the weekends but after I'm done moving furniture so I can clean under it, I'm too pooped!  Well maybe when I am done cleaning.....

Spring has almost sprung - snow in the am today but that will help the green stuff just barely peeking out of the ground.
These have returned to raise their young down at the ponds: the Canadian Geese.  All of our dogs have learned that Mr. and Mrs. Goose are not to be trifled with and have short fuse with those of the canine persuasion.  Each new dog had to have the lesson impressed upon them, which Mr. Goose has quickly supplied.  We have about two nesting pairs that return each year.  Did you know geese mate for life?

Yesterday, Hubby spied a Sandhill Crane in the pond.  They pass through twice a year on their migrations north and south.  Another sure sign of spring.  And he saw an otter that day also, but they are year around residents of our pond.  Sandhill Cranes are very common along the North Platte River which runs 60 miles south of us into Nebraska.  The Oregon Trail followed the North Platte through Nebraska into Wyoming until just west of Casper, Wyoming where they left it near Independence Rock.

One of the perks living north of nowhere is definitely seeing the wildlife.  These guys are so used to seeing me open our gate in and out to the house, they will stand within 30 feet and not move - just watch me to make sure I'm not going to do anything else.
This large bunch of pronghorn antelope are a 'winter' bunch.  They group together in the fall to form large herds, but then scatter in the spring to have their fawns and you see them in groups of three or even less through the summer.  This is the hill they watch me from near our gate.

I have promised myself TODAY I will start sewing my casserole carriers...I'll try to remember to take pictures and post in a blogpost so you can make one too!  I find them fun to make.