Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Mythconceptions of Silk

5 Myths About Silk

     * Silk is a fragile & delicate fabric.  Actually it's the opposite, silk is extraordinarily strong & resilient for it's diameter.  In fact, just one silk fiber has the strength equal to that of a steel wire of the same diameter!  

     * Silk is not safe to wear.  Absolutely not true, in fact silk is one of the safest of fabrics a person can wear.  Synthetics & even synthetic blends, can and most often will, melt, and be assured, THEY BURN HOT, which can not only be extraordinarily painful, but often will yield a higher chance of permanent scarring.  Sew what does silk do for us?  Silk just burns to harmless ash.  Yes!  The news about silk just got better yet again, because silk is even more resistant to heat than wool!

     * Silk is unpleasant to wear. This fascinating organic textile releases energy as heat when absorbing moisture (in other words, silk is known to be exothermic).  What does this  mean?  It means that even when the silk you're wearing is wet, you will still be warm!  This is totally fascinating to me!  I'll bet it is for you as well!  In addition to that, since silk is capable of absorbing at least 1/3 of it's weight in moisture, WITHOUT feeling damp...which results in keeping our skin dry!

     * Silk is too challenging to take care.  Quite the contrary!  In fact, silk is resistant to soiling & even staining.  When you do wash your silk pretties, hand wash in a suitable detergent, such as Woolite, do not wring (it will impress crinkles) just press out all the water you can, shake out and let dry naturally, but NOT in the sun.  Diffused light will be fine though, just not direct sunlight.

     * Silk shrinks after washing.  This isn't entirely true, particularly if you're laundering an item that is more loosely woven.  Since silk thread, in and of itself, does not shrink, what you're really witnessing is a more loosely woven item, that while being washed and dried, is having it's weave tightened through the laundering process, so once the item is completely dried, because the weave has just been tightened, the item *appears* smaller.  Sew by learning these facts and myths about silk, we will all be able to take better care of our special & beloved silk items, using the information we're learning together.  This automatically guarantees that our silk lovelies will be in near perfect condition for years to come!

     Sew let's get busy with silk!  You'll love the look, the way it drapes and the way it feels!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fun Silk Facts

8 Silk Production Facts of Thailand

     * The production of silk (a.k.a. Sericulture) or silk farming, has been practiced in Thailand for more than 3 millenia.

     * A single silkworm moth lays about 500 eggs, over a 4-6 day time frame.

     * Silkworm caterpillars are fed an exclusive diet of fresh mulberry leaves, in order too produce the finest, quality silk.

     * Silkworm caterpillars take about 1 month before they are large enough to spin their cocoons, the process of which takes approximately 3-5 days.

     * Within each Thai silk cocoon, there is an amazing 400-900 meters of silk filament!  But since a single filament is too thin for weaving, the majority of silk thread processed in Thailand, incorporates 4-8 filaments, using a hand-reel method, which are reeled together on a wooden spindle, to produce a resultant strand of silk thread (this occupation is almost always performed by women).  It takes up to 12 hours to hand-reel a mere 0.25 kg of silk thread, depending on the experience of the worker.

     * It takes approximately 5,500 silkworms (or 8kg of cocoons) to produce just 1kg of raw silk!

     * While some cultures tend to dye the resultant woven fabrics, in Thailand, the silk thread is dyed before the weaving process.  It is not uncommon for the warp and weft threads to differ, this creates more depth and enriches the aesthetic quality of the the resultant fabric. 

     * Of the resultant silk fabric produced in Thailand, about 60%  of that is still handwoven;  The width of this handwoven silk, typically 1 meter or less, is often smaller than that of machine woven silk, being limited to the size of the loom the worker is using;  An experienced weaver can weave up to 4 meters of silk fabric per day!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Taco Salad

Taco Salad sounds really good to me right now, so I decided to go look for a taco salad I could make very easy and look what I came across over at!  I would personally leave out the dressing, but other than that these look temptingly delicious! Simple and tasty, and fast to boot!

Positively the Best Taco Salad. Photo by Lori Mama

1 head lettuce, washed & drained well
1 (8 ounce) container grape tomatoes
1 (12 ounce) bag Doritos (I prefer Pepper Jack or Extra Nacho)
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 (8 ounce) bottle fat-free Catalina dressing (regular makes it way too greasy!!)
1/2 lb ground beef
taco seasoning


1 Brown ground beef and drain. Add taco seasoning - follow package directions. Alow to cool slightly or put in refrigerator if you don't want to use the salad right away.

2 TEAR lettuce into bite size pieces, but into bowl. Cut tomatoes in half, and spread out on top of lettuce. Put cheese on top of tomatoes. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Just before serving, add Doritos, meat (if refrigerated, use microwave to take chill off of meat), and salad dressing. Toss well!

3 Don't skimp on the cheese or doritos, the more the better! I use the whole bag of Doritos. Not snack size, or Extra large, just the regular size bag -- .

Monday, July 25, 2011


 Let's talk about silk!  Silk embroidery is some of the most beautiful art you will every find, needle or otherwise! We all owe the Chinese a great debt for their innovation and skill with needle and thread as it was the domestication of the silk worm that gave them the ability to invent this ancient art.
     Lets try to get to know the original 'silk inventor' though. The Silkworm holds the distinct honor of being the single most important bug to textiles.  They can form colonies that are nearly uncountable in number, as can be seen below,  which is a good thing, because for centuries, the only way to collect the silk was terminal to the forming pupa within the cocoon!  There are a few companies today that collect silk from hatched cocoons, but the process is far more arduous on an already labor intensive industry.  A single sari can take up to 50,000 cocoons to create.  To gather the silk, cocoons are boiled and then slowly the thread is unwound in a single strand that can be 1,600 yards long!  Multiple cocoons are unwound at once, so that individual strands from each can be twisted together to form thread. Isn't that amazing?  So today, we honor the silk worm.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Superior Rainbows!

Come on in and take a look at these amazing variegated threads with only a one-inch color change interval! Think of all the amazing designs you could embroider or quilt with these lovely spools.

#804 AUTUMN LEAVES - Rainbows 500 yds #809 KAILUA - Rainbows 500 yds #812 WESTERN SUNSET- Rainbows 500 yds #835 MONTEGO BAY - Rainbows 500 yds
#838 CROWN JEWELS - Rainbows 500 yds #840 MANGO MANGO - Rainbows 500 yds #853 GOLDEN GLORY - Rainbows 500 yds #863 CHRISTMAS - Rainbows 500 yds

Make your next project as fun as it is beautiful!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Polyester Shines!

To get luster in your embroidery, do you always have to use Rayon embroidery thread?  Absolutely not…there are many great Polyester embroidery threads that offer plenty of sheen.
Many people love Rayon, but sometimes Polyester is a better choice for durability, particularly on kid’s clothes, uniforms, jeans, cushions, and the sorts of projects that are not going to be just something pretty to look at.
You’ll also find that:
* Polyester thread breaks less when stitching at high speeds, stitching denser designs, or stitching on thicker fabrics or base materials such as leather and vinyl.
* Polyester will rarely take on the ‘fuzzy’ look, that Rayon sometimes takes on when stitched on items that must endure heavier wear or more frequent washings.
But what if you really, really, really like Rayon?  Okay, that’s fine, you can still enjoy your Rayon on such projects, but I do suggest picking just one part of the design, even if it’s just an outline for your Rayon choice as that added bit of shine you crave, then do the balance of the design work in Polyester for the durability you need.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fun Quilting Facts

Thanks to an article by Laura Evans at we can bring you these fun facts about quilting!

By: Laura Evans
Like to know some fun quilting facts? You can share these gems with your friends as you work together on a quilting project.
Interesting Quilting Facts
Hawaiians were introduced to quilting when missionaries came calling during the early 19th century. By the 1870s, Hawaiians had developed their own unique style of quilting using appliquéd designs.
Have you ever heard the story that quilts were used along the Underground Railroad as signals to escaping slaves who were traveling from the South to the North towards freedom? Unfortunately, this story doesn't seem to have any foundation in fact. However, the durability of this myth attests to its appeal.
This doesn't mean that quilters didn't contribute to the Civil War effort. Northern women donated quilts and other crafts to raise money for the Union to buy supplies. In addition, women quilted bedding for Union soldiers. Southern women did much the same for the Confederates by making quilts such as the "Gunboat Quilts" to raise money for their Navy. However, it became increasingly difficult for Southern ladies to make quilts, whether to raise money or for their soldiers to keep warm, due to material shortages as the Civil War progressed.
Crazy quilts derived from a Japanese exhibit of ceramics and art in the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. Early crazy quilt pieces were for show and were planned carefully, despite their appearances. The wealthy used fine silks and expensive fabrics for their quilts. The craze eventually passed on to women who were less fortunate, who used less expensive fabrics such as denims and cottons in their designs. The fad started to die out about 1910.
Quilting wasn't considered to be an art form until the 1960s. Abstract art was the rage during this time. Two art collectors, Johnathan Holstein and Gale van der Hoof, made the connection between contemporary modern art and quilting. This led to an exhibit at the Whitney Museum in New York, "Abstract Design in American Quilts," which went on to tour throughout the United States and Europe

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Dippy Dogs!

Corn dogs are a staple during the Summer in countries around the world!  Thanks to "A Little Bird Told Me" blog we can show you are great recipe for the deep fried golden nuggets.  Mmmm, I can almost smell them now!  Click here!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Threadbangers holiday project

Threadbangers, an Internet show about everything needle art, has many videos that teach how to create great projects, and is aimed at a younger audience.  They try to make their shows very energetic, but the project videos are very informative and easy to follow along with.  Today we are going to keep your Christmas in July going with these easy, fun hats and stockings!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Knoxville, TN

I have spent the past week in Knoxville TN for the AQS Quilt show.  The weather has been WONDERFUL!  I sure wish I could take some of this rain back to Texas with me.  But alas, back to over 100 degree temps tomorrow.  Arrived in Knoxville on Monday, promptly got the booth set up and then it was time to play with friends!  Brint Fanizza and Sebastian Rivera of  (AWESOME scissors!!),
Cheri Meineke-Johnson and her niece of  (SUPER crystals!!) and I headed over to Pigeon Forge for some fun.  First we went to a winery and stocked up on some wonderful wines:

After the winery we went and road Go Karts, Bumper Cars and played at the arcade.  Yep, we were just being big kids and it was a blast!

From there we went and had Thai food.  YUM!!  Talk about a perfect day!

After the show was over I wanted to take Jamie Walden of (REALLY cool blocks for stamping fabric!!) for some good traditional American food.  We found a super restaurant on the river.  Calhouns on the Tennessee River has delicious BBQ ribs!  With sides of Tennessee Corn Pudding and Spinach Loraine, it was pretty cold to the perfect meal.  Oh, and for appetizers, an array of different breads.  Can you say YUM???!!!!  Ok, I'm drooling now.  =)  If you are ever in Knoxville, you HAVE to put Calhouns on your list of MUSTS.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Autumn Leaves with Crystals

One of the fastest, and most sophisticated, embroidery designs on the market today, these Fall leaves are designed with crystals in mind.  Whether you use clear crystals to simulate dew, or affix color that compliment your thread choices, these designs are going to blow you away.  Fall is only a couple short months away, get a jump on the season this year!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Well, I was going to put a nice crafty post in got distracted while browsing the net.  It's summer and time for picnics.  What better to take on a picnic than fried chicken and watermelon.  I found a recipe for a delicious looking, crunchy recipe.  If you try it out post a review here, or at  To sink your teeth into this juicy recipe click here!

Triple Dipped Fried Chicken Recipe

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Free Bed Size Quilt Pattern at BHG!

Better Homes and Gardens website has this quilt pattern available for free!  Many users are using different color combinations to achieve beautiful modern style quilts!  Check it out, you may fall in love with it.  Click Here!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kids Will Grin Ear to Ear With This Fun Snack

Can you believe the fun foods kids love to eat?!  This modern mud pie dish will have the kids laughing in pleasure as they dig dirt and mud covered worms from the container.  The Kaboose website is filled with fun recipes and projects perfect for adventurous children!  Go on and check them out!  Click Here!

Monday, July 11, 2011

4 Free Project Ideas for Men

"Creative Machine Embroidery" has a few very good ideas to make the man in your life smile.  These machine embroidery project ideas work with any designs, so you can personalize the project specifically to your recipient!  Go take a look and see just what you can do!  Click here to see the projects!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

GREAT tutorials

So, as I sit here, doing everything but what I NEED to be doing, I ran across some super tutorials.


Jaybird quilts has lots of tutorials. Be sure and sign up for the feed so that you get notified when she makes new posts. It's definitely a blog that you don't want to miss.

Don't sweat the small stuff?

I fly out Monday to Knoxville for AQS quilt show.  I've shipped out all my boxes with the display racks and my table drapes.  Oh, I sure hope they are there.  I pray that the car that I rented is big enough to hold everything that I need it to hold to transport it from hotel to convention center and then back to the hotel after it's over.  Why am I losing sleep over this??  Good grief.  It's so easy to say "Don't sweat the small stuff" but it's that small stuff that when it's missing or messed up that it adds up and effects the big stuff.  One thing I have found is that when it's chaotic getting ready for the show, I usually end up doing good.  So in the end it all works out.  I just need to remind myself to take the time and thank God for everything he has brought.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Cozy Adult Bath Wraps

One of the most refreshing things in the Summer is taking a shower to cool off, but why finish such a joy off with an everyday towel.  Imagine wrapping one of these plush, comfortable and beautiful Minky Wraps around yourself, and take in the luxury.  Pamper your self a bit!  Come on in and take a peek at what you could be snuggling into.  Many styles are available so you can be sure to get one that matches your likes!  Click Here!

Minky Wrap by mint™ - Hot Pink Zebra - Large AdultMinky Wrap by mint™ - Chocolate Giraffe - Large AdultMinky Wrap by mint™ - Black Sequins - Large AdultMinky Wrap by mint™ - Black Polka - Large Adult

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fun and Free Quilting Projects

Brought to you by Quilting Treasures, there are over 100 fantastic quilts with extensive directions that you can even print out!  Fun theme quilts are in the mix as well! With this many projects at the click of a mouse, one may be tempted to fit in some time to play!  Take a look at a few examples and then head on over, and find one or two projects, and start planning for a great time!  Click Here!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

This Just In!!!

Did you know that McCall's has a free download page? They do, and you can find it right HERE!!  You will have to sign up for their newsletter, but that is a small price to pay, free, for tons of great projects!  Take a look at a few here and then go get them!

Acorn Pillow & Coasters Patchwork Teddy Bear Chair Seat Organizer

Hibiscus Tea with Lime

ow wow!  Doesn't this sound divine??

A Refreshing Drink Recipe

There’s no better way to cool off on a hot summer day than with a flavorful, refreshing drink. This cooling beverage features a delicious blend of hibiscus tea and sugar-free lime-flavored seltzer water, which will keep you hydrated without the empty calories usually found in store-bought soft drinks.
Hibiscus Tea Spritzers With Lime (Phase 1)
Hibiscus is a tropical flower that is often used to make delicious herbal teas. Its fruity, lightly floral taste and stunning red color are reminiscent of cranberries. Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, hibiscus has also been found to be a natural relaxant. In this recipe, you can use 100% hibiscus tea or one of the many herbal blends containing hibiscus.
Makes 4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Steep time: 6 minutes
Chill time: 10 minutes
2 cups water
4 hibiscus tea bags
Ice cubes
1 1/2 cups chilled sugar-free lime seltzer water
Granular sugar substitute to taste (optional)
1 small lime, sliced
In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add tea bags, and steep for 6 minutes. Stir in 1 cup ice cubes and refrigerate until cooled, about 10 minutes.
Fill 4 (10-ounce) glasses with ice. Pour tea over ice, top with seltzer, add sugar substitute, if using, and stir gently. Garnish with lime slices and serve.
Nutritional information
Per (1-cup) serving:
0 calories
0 g fat (0 g sat)
0 g carbohydrate
0 g protein
0 g fiber
0 mg sodium

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Marshmallow People, Pretzel Cabins and Pudding Paint!

Want a fun way to pass the day with the kids or grand kids?  Mama, from the Everyday Mama website, has put together a wonderful way to do crafting projects with common snack foods kids love!  An afternoon spent in this manner, is both exciting and tasty!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Sewing on Laminated Fabric, Really this time!

Well, I have to apologize for yesterday's entry.  I confused two web pages and placed the wrong title and information about the project.  Sorry for any inconvenience on that.  Here is the correct project directions for Sewing on Laminated Fabric! Brought to you by The Quilt Show!