All posts by Laura

Laura's Sage Country Quilts became an official business in 1994. Owned and operated by Laura and her husband Pat, and supervised by their glossy black cat, Blackjack (B.J.), the company specializes in dimensional appliqué designs. In 1997 Laura began designing quilting stencils for Quilting Creations International and Piecing Pal, Coin Ruching Guides.

Mini Charm Coin Ruched flowers

Coin Ruched Flower made From Mini Charms
I will be using the 2 inch side of the TR700 Jumbo coin Ruching Guide to mark each square for stitching.
There are enough charms in most packets to make two flowers. Here I have sorted them into two rows, mixing up the darks and lights.
Be fore I mark the pieces I fold each in half and baste the raw edges together in the longest side.
I keep them stung together like in chain piecing.
Use the TR700 Coin Ruching Guide and a fabric marking tool of your choice to mark a scallop line to follow for stitching on each charm. Keep the charms together, do not cut apart.
Use strong thread like hand quilting thread and a milliners needle the sew a 1/4 inch running stitch along the scallop line, gathering up the fabric into petals as you go. The strip will be 10 to 12 inches long when gathered.
Starting at one end of the gathered strip of petals, roll the strip up like a cinnamon roll, and using whip stitches along the raw edges, whip stitch the rounds together, keeping the rounds even with the previous round. The package of the TR700 Jumbo Coin Ruching Guide has complete instructions for you to follow.

You can find the TR700 Jumbo Coin Ruching Guide at many fine quilt shops, instore or online. Check my Website for a list of shops I know carry all the Coin Ruching Tools.

Help In The Studio

Don’t laugh, trying to work with a new photo sizing program. So far can’t get pictures to load correctly, but my webmaster will get it figured out now that I am giving her something to work with.
I get a lot of help in the studio, not all of it exactly what is needed.

What is the most helpful hint, tip, hack you have learned for making your studio or sewing space your happy place.

I know for me, when I practice a 15 minute “Fire Drill” once a day, usually before I leave my studio at night, I get so much more real sewing and designing done.

Share your hints in the comments.

Happy Stitchin’

Which Way is Up?

Have you every played that game with King and Queen fitted sheets, Which Way is the Top?

top label
Label from leftover binding or 2 1/2 strip.

Cut light colored strip into 5 inch pieces.

Fold in half, right sides together and sew side seams.

Turn right side out, press, then use a permanent laundry marker to write TOP or other notation.

Sew or safety pin to the top seam of fitted sheets or any item you want to easily identify the top edge.

Pig in a Blanket

Pigs in Blankets
Pig in a Blanket is an easy recipe.
Ask for help heating the oven to 375 degrees, and maybe with opening packages.
dry hot dogs
Open the package of hot-dogs and place then on a paper towel.
Roll them back and forth to dry them off.
This will make the “blanket” stick better.
Place the Pigs in Blankets on the large baking pan.
Place pan in Pre-heated 375 degree oven.
Bake 12-13 minutes until the blankets are golden brown.
Pigs in Blankets
While the Pigs are baking, let’s clean up.
Carefully fold up the parchment you were working on and put in the garbage. You should have only the table knife to wash.
When Pigs are baked, use pot holders or oven mitts to remove the pan from the oven.
Let them stand 5 minutes before eating.
You don’t want to burn your tongue.
Use a spatula or pancake turner to remove the Pigs in blankets from the pan.
Remember to turn the oven off.
If you bake these,and mom makes a salad, you will have teamed up to make lunch or dinner.
Serve with catsup, mustard or ranch dressing.

Individual Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler
Individual Peach Cobbler
Fresh peaches make yummy cobbler, fruit on the bottom with a sweet biscuit on top.
Peach Cobbler
And there you have one serving size Peach Cobbler.
Let it stand about 10 minutes before eating. You don’t want to burn your tongue.
If you have whipped cream of vanilla ice cream, they go very well with Peach Cobbler.
I hope you are all having fun trying new recipes and learning cooking skills.
Next week, Pigs in a Blanket.

Pizza Pockets

baked pizza pockets
Six Pizza Pockets is any easy number to bake at one time,
but you may make any number you like.
Let’s get started!
raised rolls
After about 4 hours, the dough will have raised
until they are very puffy and about 3 inches across.
If your mom or dad make bread dough, you can turn some of the dough into pizza pockets using the size piece you would use for a dinner roll.
ready to bake
Ask a parent, older sibling or baby sitter to help you with this part if you are not supposed to be using the oven by yourself.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
When oven is heated, carefully open the oven door and place pan on center rack.
Close the oven door.
Set a kitchen timer for 18 minutes.
Don’t keep opening the oven door to peak or baking take longer.
If your oven has a window, turn on the oven light and watch through the window.
wash the dishes
While the Pizza Pockets bake, lets clean up.
In the sink or dish pan, put a small amount of dish soap and fill with warm water.
Wash, then rinse off the soap, all the utensils you used, rolling pin, measuring spoons, small dishes, even the ruler you used to measure.
Place them in a dish drainer or on a drying mat to air dry.
Wipe any spills from the kitchen counter.
Mom will appreciate the clean kitchen.
baked pocket
Ready to eat!
You don’t have to cut them in half to eat, I just wanted you to see what they look like inside.
Now that you have the basic recipe down, you can experiment with additional ingredients.
Cooked Sausage
Cheddar or American Cheese
Just be careful to not over fill or they will pop open while baking.
Leftover Pizza Pockets may be reheated in a toaster or toaster oven.
Microwave…..not so much.

Summer Cooking-Rice Krispies Treats

Now we are ready to start. You need 1/4 cup butter or margarine. That equals half of the cube.
butter in pan
Put the 1/4 cup butter in the large kettle.
butter dish
Slice a few thin pieces from the rest of butter and put them in the
9 x 13 inch pan.
grease pan
Use a plastic sandwich bag to spread the butter all around in the pan. The butter will keep the Treats from sticking to the pan.
The sandwich bag will keep you from getting to greasy.
add marshmallows
Now count exactly 40 large marshmallows into the kettle with the butter. Place pan on stove top burner and turn heat to medium. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon.
stir constantly
The butter will melt before the marshmallows
Keep stirring.
starting to melt
The marshmallows take a little while to melt.
Keep stirring.
melted mixture
When the mixture is smooth and creamy it is time to add the 6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal.
pour in pan
You may need help with the next step.
The heavy kettle will be hot, so use potholders to hold the pot.
Quickly scoop all the Rice Krispies mixture into the buttered 9 x 13 inch pan.
cover pan
Cover the pan with plastic wrap or the lid if your pan has one and let stand 1 hour.
I know, it is hard to wait.

Tie On Emergency Face Mask

Tie on Mask
Emergency Tie On Face Mask
You will need 1 Fat Quarter close-weave, all cotton fabric (18 x 22 inches) and a spool of sewing thread, scissors, and rotary cutting equipment is very helpful
Fat Quarter
Cut Fat Quarter
From the Fat Quarter, cut 2 strips, 6 inches by 22 inches
and 4 strips, 1 1/4 inches by 22 inches
Or, if you happen to have some pre-made folded binding on hand, you can skip the strips and cut a third 6 x 22 inch strip.
Sub-cut Fat Quarter
Then cut the two, 6 inch by 22 inch strips into four, 6 inch by 9 inch rectangles. Pin two together with right sides facing.
Sewing seams
Sew along each 9 inch edge use a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Turn and Press
Turn the tube you have made right side out and press sewn edge even and smooth. I know…..where is that iron anyway?!?
Seriously, pressing will make your life easier in this project.
Top Stitching
Top stitch along each 9 inch edge (example on right) Thread that matches camouflages sewing imperfections, but hey! This is an emergency so any color will do.
Place Three Pinch Pleats and pin to hold.
Pleats completed
Do the same at both ends, making sure the pleats go the same way on both ends. We don’t want any smirky looking masks scaring patients.
Now for the fussy part. Take the 1 1/4 x 22 inch strips to the ironing surface and press each in half lengthwise like the top example. Then fold in 1/4 inch on each side and press toward the center crease, bottom example
finished binding
Now, press the strip so raw edges are tucked inside and the piece is a little over 1/4 inch wide. Then fold it in half to mark the center of the strip, like the top example.
Binding Pinned in Place
We are getting there.
Place the center fold at the center of a pleated edge and pin in place through all layers. then use two more pins to secure at the edges of the mask.
Sewing Tie
Make life easier, don’t mess with trying to hem the end of the tie.
This is not a wedding dress!
Just stitch across the tiny end, turn and sew down the open side of the tie, close to the edge. Your machine may be finicky about this step, but go slow and talk sweetly to it, and it should cooperate.
Sewing on the ends
When you get up to the mask piece, take a moment to check and adjust pieces so all is going under the presser foot as you want. Sew as close to the mask piece as you can, then finish up by sewing the edge and end closed on the other part of the tie.
Safety rectangle
To make sure the tie stays securely sewn to the mask, top stitch this “safety rectangle” as shown. We don’t want any masks flying apart in a healthcare professionals haste to “gown up” to attend to the ill.
Tie on Mask
Repeat for the other side of the mask and there you have it.

Basted Freezer Paper Applique Tips

Basting the Seam Allowance to the Freezer Paper.
Applique shapes are cut from freezer paper and pressed to the wrong side of desired fabric with a dry iron (no steam). Then using needle and thread and a long running stitch, fold the seam allowance around the papers cut edge, creating a smooth fold and sew in place.
Basted Pieces
Using a contrasting color of thread for basting, makes removal after applique easier. These leaves are ready to be appliqued.
Basting Curved Edges
Most applique shapes have curved edges. Convex curves like the piece to the left, gather in easily. Concave curves on the piece to the right, require some clipping to lay flat. Note the clip at the point of the scissors. This clip was made after sewing the basting stitch. Clips should go only half way to the edge in the seam allowance.
Clipped and Basted
Leaves Ready to Applique
Use fine pins or a basting glue to secure to background of applique piece. Applique with matching thread. When done, remove basting then on the back of piece cut a small slit in the background fabric and pull out freezer paper.