Monday, November 9, 2015

Now why didn't I think of that?

OK - so maybe I do cook from time to time.  If you read my blog yesterday, I made it sound like I never cook and well - I do from time to time.  I just don't get any pleasure in cooking and little in eating (unless it's chocolate or candy!). It's just one of those things that has never interested me and likely never will.  I eat well - don't get me wrong - I just don't cook anything other than very basic stuff.

I would NOT cope well in our US office - they have cook offs every week.  They pick a dish and everyone brings in their variation of the dish.  Now because there is fun involved and I know they would appreciate all the dishes -I think I could get into that. But when you have a family that doesn't like this, doesn't like that - doesn't eat this - no one appreciates what you do - so why bother.

However yesterday I did actually start some soup from scratch!  Yep - I've put myself down to bring squash soup for one of the lunches at the upcoming retreat and I had put that task off long enough.   Normally when I make squash soup - the one time per year! I cut the squash open and take out the innards and then bake it.  I was researching on the internet for recipes - god forbid that I use the same one twice!  And someone mentioned that they baked the squash first and then took the innards out.

I've now tried it both ways and although it is HARD to cut that darn squash open when it is raw - I think it is much less messy to cut it open, remove the innards and then bake it and remove the skin than to do it the other way around.  Well - it was worth a try, nothing lost and my squash got baked.  Now to whip up the soup tonight.

I have taught a LOT of bag classes and I've fused a LOT of Decor-bond and Fusible Fleece in my day.  Sometimes the fusing process works well and sometimes it doesn't.  When I was in Sara Lawson's camera bag class at Market, this subject came up. One of the store owners said that she uses her big Elna Press.  NO WAY!!!!!   I have one and the thought never occurred to me to use it for fusing interfacing and other products.

When I got home, I found a nice simple pattern on the internet and thought - here is a great fast project to experiment with.

Now to dig the Elna Press out.  Can you see it hiding in the middle of the picture - right beside the sewing machine cover just above the orange throw that still has the wrappings on!  But we are not here for that - we want that press.

Can you spot the Elna press????
 Oh my - it has sat for a little bit - look at the coating of dust on it!!!!

A tad dusty!
Now to plug it in and remember how to use it. Look at that nice pressing surface!

Pressing surface of the Elna press

I cut the pieces of the bag, cut the fusible fleece (this smaller bag is a great way to use up those smaller pieces that I've been hanging onto!)

And it didn't take too long to figure out how to heat up the press.

Fusing with the Elna press

It did take a bit of experimenting for how long to fuse and what temperature to use.  And my decorator fabric is very hard to fuse at the best of times.  This is that outdoor fabric so very coarse and not nice, but again - using up scraps to make cute bags.  Didn't cost a penny!

Fusible fleece fused to the outer bag parts

Oh shoot - that's the end of the pictures!   I prepped all the pieces and then took it to Monday last week.  I'll get the camera card into the computer tonight and edit some more pictures so I can show you.  The bottom line, the Elna Press is now sitting on one of the work tables.  I love it and I will definitely use it again!!!!

Amazing how many times we buy a tool because we think it is going to be great. This press was actually purchased for DH so he could iron his shirts.  He used it for a while, but prefers a regular iron. So I inherited it and never really used it.  I'm thinking it will be awesome for fusible applique as well. Got some of that to play with later this week.

Speaking of fusibles, I have several fusible applique projects on the go.  I am good to get the first block or two done and then - POOF!  The project gets shelved.  But I am NOT going to let that happen to this new one.  So the other day when Sharon was so early for Misty Pines class - I dug out some fusible web (the NEW Steam a Seam) and proceeded to trace the designs.  Seriously????   (now I do believe this problem has already been solved),  but the product comes sandwiched between TWO papers - one is mat and one is shiny.  You would think you would trace on the mat side - which I did. Only to realize that the mat side was not really adhered to the fusible webbing and in fact, I needed to trace on the shiny side.

Sure - with what??????  I tried (and knew they wouldn't work - but tried anyway) - pencils, pens, and other various tools.  The only thing that worked was a Sharpie and the only one I had handy was a big one.  Thank goodness none of these pieces are small and detailed.

Tracing designs onto the fusible web with a Sharpie
You can barely see the lines once it is ironed to the fabric. Shiny side??????   Seriously????

You can barely see the lines
 There is enough of a line that you can see - but I believe that problem was fixed.  I hope someone got fired for that mistake.  They were having issues with the product and then you screw up again?????   Fortuantely I didn't buy much of the "new" version to try.

Remember the other day when we were sewing Misty Pines and I was telling everyone to label????   Well - I would just like to add that when labelling - it is a good idea to make sure the label is meaningful. I found this label on my sewing table the other day and what exactly does it mean?????

What is the meaning of this label???

Out of context - it is meaningless.  But I remembered that it came from my Misty Pines kit where the bag with fabric number 3 was missing.  I had removed it to find another scrap (that I got from Mary) and in order to remind myself that number 3 was missing -I wrote this note. But I must have removed the note when I replaced Bag number 3.

On that note - I am out of here.  Got loads to do at work today and I must get the day started.

Have an awesome day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  1. You aren't using the Newest Steam a Seam Elaine. The one you have was a 'test' product that was rejected. The final one has 2 release papers to protect the fusible (not shiny) and there is a grid on the side you trace on. Best part is that you can print on it in your inkjet printer. I posted a review on my blog here:

    1. Thanks Daphne - I was pretty sure that what I was using was not the final version - there were so many stories flying around. And I wasn't sure what the final product was. I shall be looking at your review - thanks for updating me on that. Elaine

  2. Oh those squash are terribly hard to cut. I don't know how my Mom did it, but she always did. I tried something long, long ago with the Butternut Squash, which seem to be THE hardest thing to try and cut. I put one on a long platter and poke it a few times with a fork, or knife and stick it into my microwave oven to cook for about 7-10 minutes depending on the size. Then when I pull it out, the messy, sticky liquid that came out while cooking is on the platter. I then take a knife, sliced down the center, use a spoon to get the seeds out and the scoop out the squash yumminess. Super quick and easy. Much faster than baking and SO much easier than thinking you are related to Superman and have some of the family powers to cut that thing up raw. LOL

    1. Vicki - what a GREAT tip. I know how I am cooking my squash in the future. Now where were you with this awesomet tip three days ago???