Monday, August 31, 2020

Part II - Stick n Stitch!

Stick n Stitch review, Part II!

Spoiler alert!

This stuff is awesome!

Guess I just gave it away, huh?
Oh, is the stitchery just finished. All of the embroidery is done, and we are ready for the Big Experiment. 

I included this as a close up because there IS a warning that I need to give you. 
Stop hyperventilating.
It will be OK.
It's just that I noticed when I took my project outside, the product shrank a tiny bit. Now, if you don't stitch outside like I do (in the Southland, and in high humididity) then you will probably never, ever have it happen!
See the difference between the line printed on the Stick n Stitch, and the edge of the applique, underneath? It was about 95 percent humidity that day! That was the only time I ever felt the needle get a little sticky, too. So, that may never be a problem that you encounter.
See, I told you it would be OK.

Now we can get back to our review.

I trimmed the Stick n Stitch so I didn't have so much hanging loose; I don't guess that's required, but it seemed logical to me. As an ISTJ, I'm all about the logic. (Grin)

Now we are ready for a bath. No, no, I don't mean us, I mean the embroidery piece! 
I got a plastic container and put in some tap water, and floated the piece in it. It slowly sank into the tepid water, tiny bubbles twirling up from the edges like miniature divers surfacing for air. 
OK, enough drama here.

After the piece was saturated, I saw little flakes of Stick n Stitch coming up off the fabric! How exciting! I hadn't even touched it yet!! 

You can embiggen the picture and see the bits of stabilizer coming free! 

I am SO pleased with the Sulky Stick n Stitch. It was an easy process from beginning to end. 
Printing on the product was clear and clean, and so much better than tracing. Rinsing off the stablizer was fast and easy to do. 
Here is the embroidery ready to dry:

And here it is, dry and pressed flat. 

I'm giving this Sulky Stick n Stitch the Five Ribbit rating!! It's awesome! Go for it, Padsworth!

Ribbit Ribbit, Ribbit Ribbit, Ribbit!!

Whew! A workout for the froggie!

Seriously, I am truly impressed with this and I plan to use it extensively on my upcoming projects. I hope that you have enjoyed the review, and that if you have some embroidery and relaxation coming up, that you will click on one of the links and grab some Sulky Stick n Stitch for yourself! It's only a smidgeon more than one dollar per sheet! If you prefer larger sheets of product, instead of the 8 x 11, then you can click on this link, instead: Sticky Fabri-Solvy. That is a link for the 20 inch by 36 inch package. 

I know you are going to love it! (And yes, those are affiliate links, but they won't cost you a penny!)

Thanks for hanging in there and listening to my ramblings! 


Friday, August 28, 2020

Celebrate with me!!

You may remember my posts about needing a stabilizer/foundation for backing my hand embroidery. I was commenting, er, lamenting, well, OK!!! I admit it!  I was whining!!

First, I found WhisperWeft and loved its drapeyability (yes, I just made up a word) and then realized that while it WAS a wonderful option, it was definitely not easy to source here in the Northern Hemisphere. (Grin)

When I went to a box store (that shall remain nameless) all I found was a stabilizer that seemed to resemble the stiffy-starched parchment paper I use in my baking. Certainly not what I was hoping for. 

Hear those trumpets? And the drum roll, too? 

I found the answer! At least, it's the answer for me! And I hope to introduce you to a product that might help YOU, too! (This is one of those times that I need to let you know that after auditioning this product and having awesome results, I signed on to be an affiliate - if you click on a link and purchase, I will get a small commission without changing your purchase price.)

Here it is: Sulky Stick n Stitch!

Oh, my goodness, I was filled with Fear and Trepidation. I could foresee all kinds of problems -- it claims to be self-adhesive! It also says it is wash-away! They can't possibly be for real!

But I'm here to tell you -- it's for real! Cross my heart! And this post will show part one of my process so that I can show you how super this is!

Some people call this Stick n Stitch, and others call it Sticky Fabri-Solvy. 

I call it Awesome.

(You see, they are one and the same, just packaged differently, for different uses and markets! I learned this on the Sulky site!)

Fresh out of the pack (my pack had twelve sheets in it), I wanted to look it over. I was impressed by the fabric-like look.

I also was ready to try printing on it. I mean, who wouldn't like an alternative to taping the pattern to the window and tracing the design onto the fabric? How many times had I tried that, only to realize that even my taped-up fabric had shifted? Arrrggghhh! (Grin) And there's just not enough room in my sewing room for a light box. Just sayin.

There, you can see the sheen of the backing paper. It's easy to tell which side to put in towards the front of the printer!

LOOK AT THIS!!! Can you tell I'm excited? This is the Fabri-Solvy as it came out of the printer. No bleeding of ink. No smudges. Clean, clear lines. It would have taken me four hundred and seventeen minutes to trace that!

Here's a close up for your viewing pleasure!


Next, I used my glue stick to position the two small pieces of fabric that I buttonhole stitched onto the embroidery piece.


Now, I had a small problem - how to position the lovely, printed Stick n Stitch . . . (yes, I know, I switched names on you....keep up with me here). I got out my handy-dandy flashlight and held it under the glass of my table. Tada! I could see the applique AND place the printed Stick and Stitch where I wanted it.


If I had not had the applique pieces, I could have peeled away the backing paper and slapped that bad boy down on the fabric just anywhere. But I'm a masochist, I guess, so I did the applique first.

Here is how easy it is to peel the Stick n Stitch off the backing paper, before laying it on the destination fabric:

And here is the piece, with the Sulky Stick n Stitch in place, smoothed down, and ready to stitch through.

At this point, I'm feeling a little better about this Sulky Stick n Stitch wash away stabilizer. But I still have to see how it stitches. 

Does my needle get gummy? 

Does it stay in place? 

Does it wash away easily, like they say?

As they said in the old radio shows, "Tune in next time, for the exciting conclusion!" I'm going to finish the embroidery and show you the process of removing the stabilizer, and give you a final review!

If you would like to try the product for yourself, please do me the favor of clicking on one of the links in the post and zip over to Sulky to purchase!



PS. As always, I make certain to give credit where credit is due - that lovely embroidery design is by our dear friend, Jenny of Elefantz.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Pickles! (an old family recipe!)


I'm inaugurating our "Cookery" series with an old family recipe. Yes, it's true! And I'm not going to leave out any ingredients, either! (Don't ya hate it when someone protects their recipe that way!!!!) 

It's like they have (glancing around to see if anyone is listening) Intellectual Property or maybe (shhhhhhh!) State Secrets!

Nope, no secrets here - I'm sharing a bodacious recipe with you, and some tips to make it turn out just right! Fair warning -- picture-heavy post ahead, so grab a cuppa and a cookie and settle in to read!

Confidentially, I love to can and preserve things, especially when my garden runneth over with fresh veggies. And small batch, home-preserved items are WAYYYYYY better than the store-bought!

Am I right? Are you in the same boat?

So, let's learn how to make sweet cucumber pickles!

I'm assuming that you know about how to prepare your jars and lids, and have a water bath canning system ready? (If you need some refresher tips on that, holler at me in the comments, and I will post some help.)  I use old faithful Ball jars and lids; they have stood the test of time with me. The water bath canning? A huge stockpot with a flat canning rack in the bottom. No canning rack in your inventory? Fear not -- use some jar lids arranged in a circle and tied together with twisty ties or with cable ties. It works! (It's just to keep the jars from sitting right on the bottom of the pot during the processing.)

Here is our recipe (I'm posting it just as it is written out; it reads as if someone took it down, word for word!) and don't giggle about the name, OK? No, I won't tell you the story. 
Oh, OK, you bullied me into it. It seems that before I came along, the ladies in my family had a thing for NOT being called grandma. . . . me? I'm perfectly thrilled to hear a little one holler for me: "Grandmaaaaaaaa!" Tickles me pink! 
But these ladies, my ancestors, would rather be called by other names. It worked for them. Who am I to judge. (Grin) This lady who dictated the recipe was named Ruth. One grandchild apparently tried to say "Ru Ru," and it came out "Boo Boo," and the name stuck. Now stop giggling, and let's get back to our cookery!
(Aunt Charlotte's or) Booboo's Pickles

Start at 6pm.
Wash and cut in 1/4 inch thick slices. 7 pounds cucumbers.
2 gallons of water, mixed with 2 cups of slacked (sic) lime. This will not dissolve so mix with wooden spoon real well.
Add cucumber slices and soak 24 hours. (6pm one night until 6pm the next)
Then wash cucumbers good, 3 or 4 waters, then soak 3 hours in cold water.
Then drain. While draining, mix 2 quarts vinegar, 5 pounds sugar, 1 tbsp salt, 1 teaspoon pickling spices, 1 teaspoon whole cloves, 1 teaspoon celery seeds. Note: I tie mine in a muslin square so the spices don't discolor the pickles. They can easily be removed.) 
Add the cucumber slices and soak overnight.
Cook for 45 minutes the next am. Sometimes I cook mine longer, until they look clear. 
You really need a large jelly pot or soup pot. Makes six pints.
Now. . . . .  
Some tips that will clarify (and make some things easier!). Whether from the store or from your garden, you will want a mix of cucumber sizes; sometimes you want large slices to go on your hamburger, and other times you want a garnish, or to chop into salad, etc.  Usually, I have some pretty big ones and some medium -- if they are all large, about seven or eight cukes are what you need.

The cutting: I use my fav knife and block -- my Ulu! So comfortable and easy on hands with arthritis. (That's me!)  My son in law loved it so much he ordered one the very night he used mine to prep a meal with me! The rocking motion is easy and precise.

She meant "slaked" lime. It may be difficult to find this time of year, especially THIS year. (Grin) So many people have gardened and are now trying their hands at preserving and pickling! This is my go-to for the slaked lime, but you can find others and they will work just as well.

I have two buckets that I put the lime, water, and slices in. I repurposed (after super-good cleaning them) two buckets that I begged for at the bakery section of the local grocery. 

They work super! They have a gasket that enables me to seal the lids down firmly, and then come by a couple of times during their soak and move them around in circles on the counter (stirring up the lime into the water again) without making a mess on the countertop! See?

Half of the slices go in one bucket, and half in the other. 

Then each bucket gets a gallon of water and a cup of slaked lime. I don't use a wooden spoon, but instead I agitate the buckets and swirl the slices. (I found that the wooden spoon broke some of the slices, and I wanted them to stay whole.)  Do that about twice more during the soak, and it should be fine.

After the first soak in the lime water, I follow the recipe and rinse the slices really well. It usually does take three or four rinses (running the buckets full of water and then draining again) to get all of the lime from the almost-pickles. The three hour stasis in water is next, and then the overnight soak in the vinegar, with the spices nestled into the vinegar and sugar solution. I usually use pickling spice mix and whole cloves, plus white distilled vinegar. (I go overboard on both of them, and use about a tablespoon of each of the spices. I just like the flavor better than the formula listed up there. Just sayin.) I tie them into a centuries-old bandana and secure it with a rubber band. I also have learned to add about a pint extra vinegar - if I pack the pickles loosely, I find it takes a bit more vinegar to fill the jars. Usually, I'm ok because I pack them in pretty well, like people into a Volkswagen beetle. Oops, I'm showing my age there!


Now, don't tell anybody, but I have gone off and left these before and heated/packed jars the next night, because something important needed my attention in the morning. And all was well. No one was ever the wiser. So I think we can say that pickles are a pretty forgiving lot. (grin)

I usually do let mine cook for about an hour - I just feel like the finished product looks prettier, packed into the jars. I fill the jars and leave about one half inch headspace before applying hot lids and rings.  I water bath process the jars for twenty minutes, and then arrange them on a dish towel on the countertop with plenty of air circulation around them. Love to hear those "pings" as the lids seal down!
I usually end up with ten or eleven jars. Aren't they pretty?

So, tell me -- do you make pickles? What kind? Do you can or preserve at all? (If you'd like to try the recipe, let me know how it turns out!


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Reboot!! (And let's make a deal!)

Lilypadquilting has been here on the interwebs for a while. I was surprised to look back and see that we were posting almost TEN years ago! 
I feel OLD. The interwebs were so new, then. (Grin)
I've enjoyed hopping around and visiting other bloggers and making new friends. Social media? Not as much, here, although we do keep up.
You see, I really like it when someone posts some informative content, a tutorial, a review, or even pictures of their current project in the process of being created!
With pictures! (Like on our tutorial page . . . check that out for some cool projects!)
How about you? You enjoy good content, too?
I'm hoping you are nodding, yes?  

So, it's time for a REBOOT!!
Here at the Lilypad, I'm going to be posting reviews, tutorials, examples of products, and more! I'm hoping to bring you information that you can use.
I've been recruiting and auditioning some online retailers and I have found some that are unique and offer sterling customer service.
Also, I've been auditioning some products to give you some feedback on them, so you will know what works, and what doesn't!
I've also been working up some blocks and will have some tips on them, so you can make them more easily or more quickly.

And here's the new stuff -- I've noticed a tendency to add a few pounds because my office work each day keeps me chained to my desk a good bit. And then quilting, sewing, and crafting are kinda that way, too.  We creative peeps are sitting in our sewing chair, or sitting with a glue gun in our hand, or even sitting doodling a new design on a scratch pad!  So I think I shall include some posts on cookery -- specifically the low carb kind.

Mr. Snoodles was a "walking time bomb" (no kidding, the nurse said that while looking at his fasting test results) some years back, and he was able to lose a significant amount of weight and bring his "numbers" back to normal levels, using low carb diet routines. Back in the day, this wasn't so well accepted. 
Nowadays, low carb and keto diets are all the rage! 

Over the years, I have developed some killer (no, no, I mean that in a good way!!) recipes that I think may help some of us stay on the diet bandwagon and actually enjoy it! I mean, come on, it's true. I really do miss bread or muffins or whatever, sometimes! I can pass by a restaurant or bakery and smell that gorgeous yeasty baking smell and need to wipe away some drool . . . (I hear some peeps nodding their heads out there!)
So, I have plans to post some awesome recipes for pancakes, muffins, veggie pizza, and lots of other yummy things, including some buttermilk biscuits that will fool your I-refuse-to-eat-low-carb-so-don't-offer-it-to-me friends!

Now, here is the "let's make a deal" part -- I will be posting links to products, whether food or quilting related, and they WILL be affiliate links sometimes. 
I'm going to invest a good bit of time to bring you some great content -- so I HOPE you will click on my links if you are considering some purchases!
That will help make it possible for me to continue to bring you GREAT STUFF!!

What do you say? 

Will you come along for the ride? Will ya?