Thursday, May 24, 2012

Monogrammed Pillows without an Embroidery Machine

My Bernina 830 is still in the hospital. She’s gonna make it, but it’s going to be a few more days on life support. Phew. 


And I really needed her this week to help me make some graduation and wedding gifts for some special ladies. I love giving something monogrammed as a gift—totally personal and unique. However, what’s a gal to do when she has no embroidery machine? Heaven forbid I do something with just my regular ol’ Bernina 131 and my two hands. Gulp.

I printed out some letters in bold at about a 600-700 point font size using Gill Sans Ultra Bold font, flipped them over,  and traced them on the back. You always trace the letters onto the Heat n Bond lite backwards, so that when you iron them on, they are front facing.


Follow the manufacturer’s directions for the Heat n Bond, pick a nice dark fabric in a solid (or nearly solid) that will stand out on the background fabric, and iron onto your fabric.

This next step is optional because this stuff is permanent so you don’t need to sew the letter down, but I like it super secure and I love topstitching. I went around each letter 3-4 times with a straight stitch on my sewing machine. And for heaven’s sake, please don’t sew completely straight. You want that scribbled look. My scribbled embroidery designs are my best sellers for a reason—nobody wants that perfect look, at least not all the time.


How cute are these chevron striped fabrics from Riley Blake? Yummy and oh so trendy. Premier Prints also has the same design. Click here.

After you iron/sew the letters on, you are ready to make the fabric into pillow, preferably with an invisible zipper. Follow my instructions here if you are desperate.


The hot pink damask is from Amy Butler. I need more pink in my house.


I realized as I made these pillows that it’s 2012 and I graduated from high school in 1992. Yup, 20 years ago. I’m getting to be that nice middle aged lady. Only I don’t feel so nice. Nor middle aged.

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I love these little cellophane bags from XPedx for gifts. After all, the fabric is cuter than any wrapping paper—I want them seen.

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I survived my afternoon without my embroidery machine. Sewing like a pioneer women (sort of, ok not really) makes me tired.

Monday, May 07, 2012

America’s Test Kitchen Cooking Scholarship Give Away

blog post on ATK

Hello friends! Remember my blog post a few months ago about how my never-having-won-a-dang-thing-in-my-life dry streak had finally ended?

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Well my blog post all about cooking Italian Salads and Vegetables is up on the America’s Test Kitchen blog. Click here to see that post.

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If you’d like to win a 60 day scholarship to the ATK Cooking school, leave a comment here after reading the post over at ATK and tell me what you liked. Two winners will be chosen via random number generator this weekend. Deadline is  Friday, May 12th at midnight.  If you  hate to cook, feel free to leave a comment anyway, just specify you don’t wanna win. I love all bloggy comments!

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To learn more about the cooking school, click here. I really have been a stalker to all-things ATK for at least 10 years now—their shows, books, magazines, websites. I’ve learned from the geniuses over there more than from any other cooking source. Love, love, love ATK!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Becoming a Runner

Today is a red-letter day. I ran 3 miles without stopping. Pride? You better believe it because I am no athlete.

Twelve years ago I was a runner for about a year and a half. I even ran a half marathon in 2000. I was slow, it always hurt, but I was indeed a runner. I found a 5k training chart on the internet and that’s what started it all way back then.

Well, now there are apps for that. Download them, use your headphones and listen for the cues and start your mix of running and walking. That’s exactly what I did.

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When I started two months I couldn’t even run 1 minute without gasping. I still gasp towards the end (as evidence by this photo today), I’m still slow, but I feel stronger and more fit already.

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My 14-yr old son even came with me to celebrate my final run of the app. He is young and didn’t even break a sweat. That makes me feel old.

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Turns out today was the Provo Marathon. Apparently this was mile 18 for the runners (hence the orange cones). No thanks. But I feel privileged to run this beautiful route along farmlands and the Provo River. Today was gorgeous.

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But this middle-aged woman feels good. My son said I should now go on to the 10K app. Ummm, I need a cookie first to think about that.


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