Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Zucchini Tomato Casserole

This year our garden has proven to be quite successful despite the dry summer we have had. This morning I picked a few beautiful zucchinis and several tomatoes, just perfect for this casserole! I love to serve zucchini tomato casserole as the main dish with other garden fresh veggies on the side, however this would be terrific as a side dish too.

Zucchini Tomato Casserole
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  •   2-3 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup butter, divided
  • 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
  •   1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  1. In a bowl, combine the first seven ingredients; set aside. In a large skillet, saute zucchini and some of the chopped onion in 1 tablespoon of butter until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Arrange the zucchini in a greased deep dish pie plate; sprinkle with half of the cheese mixture. Top with tomatoes and remaining cheese mixture.
  2. In a saucepan, saute rest onion in remaining butter until tender; add bread crumbs and toss to combine. Sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Yield: 6 servings   
 *Note I usually use my food processor to slice the zucchini and shred the cheese and onion, making this a super quick and easy recipe.
My ideal summer dinner- zucchini, tomatoes, cucumber and green beans all fresh from the garden! The LORD is so good!

I hope you are enjoying a beautiful and bountiful August. If you too have a lot of zucchini and are running out of recipes that call for zucchinis here is another family favorite: zucchini pancakes. What are your favorite zucchini recipes?


Monday, August 1, 2016

McCall's 1105

Back in June I shared with you the beautiful collection of vintage apron patterns I found at an estate sale. Finally I have found the time to share some pictures of the first aprons I sewed using my favorite apron pattern from that collection!
"Slimming Apron for Stout Women" is the caption printed on this apron package. I have to agree the style is very flattering. The bodice features vertical darts and a slightly curved waist line. The option to add bias trim or ric-rac to this curved seam adds extra waist definition.
When my mom first saw the pattern package she exclaimed "This reminds me of an apron my great grandma wore!". One of my customers said the same thing when she purchased an apron I sewed from this pattern. I love how aprons evoke so many happy memories of grandmothers and days gone by.
I was so happy to discover that all of the original pieces were included, and it went together quite easily. Sometime vintage patterns can prove to be a puzzle since directions are minimal.
McCall's 1105 has definitely made it's way into my little box of favorite apron patterns I will use time and again. In fact I already have three more cut-out just waiting to be sewn up!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Pillowcases with Crocheted Edging

Ever since I can remember I have loved crocheted edging on pillowcases. When I was a child my mom had a couple very soft, old white cases with white crocheted edging that her great grandma had made. As a teenager I was an avid crocheter. I spent many summer afternoons sitting on our front porch crocheting doilies for my hope chest. I even made a set of pillowcases with embroidery and crocheted edging. Admittedly that particular set of pillowcases has yet to be taken from my hope chest. Some thing are just too pretty to use! ; )

I have seen several ideas for making calico pillowcases with coordinating crocheted edging, and have long wanted to make my own set. This summer while enjoying a sunny afternoon outside under our maple tree, I crocheted the edging on this set of pillowcases.
I was hoping to have time to provide a step by step tutorial on how I made my pillowcases, but it didn't work out that way. I hope these brief instructions may help anyone who would like to create their own crocheted edging for pillowcases.

To start I cut two pieces of fabric 32" long by 22" wide. I stitched the edges and top leaving the bottom open. I then hemmed the bottom edge by pressing the raw edge under by 1/4" and then folding up 1 3/4" and pressing. I stitched my hem and was ready to start my edging!
 Using a large embroidery needle I stitched a blanket stitch along the creased edge of my pillow case. I used crochet cotton in size 10 and doubled my thread, however doubling your thread isn't entirely necessary. Each stitch is approximately 1/4" apart.

Once my base of blanket stitches was complete I began my crocheted border. Once again I used size 10 crochet cotton thread, and a size 6 crochet hook.

Row 1: Slip stitch thread to one blanket stitch space, chain 2 *half double crochet in next space* repeat between * until you come to your original chain 2. Slip stitch into top of chain two.

Row 2: Single crochet in next stitch, skip next stitch, 5 double crochet in next stitch, skip next stitch... and continue on with the sequence of direction. When you reach the end you may not have an even amount of stitches left to complete the pattern properly, so I just single crochet in the last stitch and fasten off my thread.

"I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me." Psalm 3:5

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Vintage Apron Patterns

Springtime is a great season to visit estate sales. It seems each weekend there are signs positioned at the end of streets pointing the way to another sale of some sort. Recently we were pleasantly surprised to discover a terrific sale right in our own town. 

While rummaging through fabric and other crafting supplies I noticed a shoe box containing patterns. Much to my surprise there were eight vintage apron patterns! Some of which I had pinned on Pinterest and had hoped to someday add to my vintage apron pattern collection.

Now if you have ever searched for vintage apron patterns on Ebay or Etsy you know how expensive they can be. I was astonished when I asked the price and was told 50 cents!!! It was truly a blessing and gift from the Lord!  : )
I think these two patterns are from the late 1950's or early 1960's. They offer some cute ideas for embellishing a simple apron.
 Aren't the illustrations on the 1940's apron patterns charming?! The pattern to the left includes transfers to create pansy appliques.
I really liked the pattern to the left in the picture above, but was a bit disappointed to find that all of the pattern pieces were missing. The instructions are there, as are the applique transfers. I am hoping to replicate the style using other apron patterns I have.
The last two patterns are my favorites! I had long admired these two patterns on Pinterest. The pattern to the right is so simple, but classic; I have already sewn two. The pattern to the left reminds me of an apron worn by Lucille Ball on "I Love Lucy". This past winter we watched "I Love Lucy" a lot, and whenever Lucy wore her apron, similar in style to this pattern, I would think  how I would love to sew one! Now I can. : )

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Lily of the Valley

                                                               I have found a friend in Jesus, He's ev'rything to me,
                                                               He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;
                                                               The Lily of the Valley, in Him alone I see
                                                               All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole:
                                                               In sorrow He's my comfort, in trouble He's my stay;
                                                               He tells me ev'ry care on Him to roll;
                                                               He's the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star,
                                                               He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.

                                                                    He's the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star,
                                                                    He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.

                                                                    He all my grief has taken, and all my sorrows borne,
                                                                    In temptation He's my strong and mighty tow'r;
                                                                    I've all for Him forsaken; I've all my idols torn
                                                                    From my heart, and now He keeps me by His pow'r.
                                                                   Though all the world forsake me, and Satan tempt me sore,
                                                                   Through Jesus I shall safely reach the goal;
                                                                    He's the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star,
                                                                    He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.

                                                                   He will never, never leave me, nor yet forsake me here,
                                                                   While I live by faith and do His blessed will;
                                                                   A wall of fire about me, I've nothing now to fear,
                                                                  With His manna He my hungry soul shall fill;
                                                                  Then sweeping up to glory I'll see His blessed face,
                                                                  Where rivers of delight shall ever flow;
                                                                 He's the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star,
                                                                  He's the fairest of of thousand ten to my my soul.
                                                                 -Charles W. Fry

Whenever I see a Lily of the Valley I cannot help but think of this song! I am so pleased we have Lily of the Valley growing at our home.

"I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys." Song of Solomon 2:1

Friday, May 27, 2016

Springtime and Chickens

The past week has been absolutely beautiful here! The flowers are blossoming, as are the lilacs. The air is filled with the fragrances of spring! What a blessing to be able to smell lily of the valleys through my windows when the breeze is just right.
Adam and I have spent our evenings and weekends working in the flower beds and vegetable garden. With the warm weather, sunshine and watering everything is flourishing! I planted hens and chicks last year and they have come back, so I thought I would plant more this year, but in a hen planter.
 Last year my mom gave me some of her forget-me-nots to plant here. They are one of my favorite springtime flowers.
I also planted columbine last year. They didn't blossomed then, but this spring both plants are filled with flowers. My grandma always grew columbines. I remember visiting her on spring evenings when her flowers were beginning to bloom. Grandma would take us to each of her flower beds and point out  her favorite plants to us with great pleasure.
Adam has planted black and red raspberries! His strawberries from last year are looking quite vibrant, so we are hoping we might have enough for strawberry jam. : )
Our little hens have moved out to their coop. It is positioned right under the crab apple tree.
You can't see it in this picture, but the branch right above the coop is home to a robin's nest. Jemimah and I have been scolded by the momma robin a couple times now for coming to close to her nest.
Our happy hens! Haven't they grown a lot?
And springtime wouldn't be complete without rhubarb pie! Adam and I have both agreed rhubarb is one of our favorite pies, if not our favorite. I used the same recipe I tried last year, and it is delicious.

I hope you are all enjoying a lovely springtime where you live too! What special plants have you added to your garden this year? Do you have a favorite springtime flower?

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork."
Psalm 19:1

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Mother's Day Dress

This year we were truly blessed with a beautiful weekend to celebrate Mother's Day. During the week the weather had been overcast and rainy but Mother's Day morning was filled with sunshine.

The day before I sewed a new dress for Jemimah. I have been busily sewing her some new spring clothes in between my sewing orders. This dress is my new favorite. I used a pattern I have used many time before. It is very simple and basic. This time I added two rows of tucks above the hem and trim to the neckline. I think what I really love about this dress is the fabric! The pale blue and tiny yellow flowers are the perfect combination.

In the past when I have shared pictures of dresses I have sewn using this pattern I have received comments requesting the name of the pattern. I was able to find a website still offering this pattern here. This is the same pattern I have used to sew smocked baby dresses.
One of Jemimah's greatest pleasures is to run in our back yard. Each day she is anxious to spend time outdoors. After a winter of spending all of our time inside the sunshine and flowers of spring are such a treat to us both!
Here she is in the little "tulip garden" we planted last fall. In September Wal-Mart marked all of the bulbs down to half price. At that time I purchased a variety of tulips, daffodils, crocuses and miniature irises. It has been fun to watch the flowers blossom, and it has also been a surprise to see the variety of colors, since I couldn't quite remember all that I had planted. : )
I hope you all enjoyed a lovely Mother's Day, and that you are being blessed with some beautiful springtime sunshine too!

"I will praise You, O Lord , with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works." Psalm 9:1