Saturday, July 23, 2011

Casserole Carrier for ANY Size Dish, Pan, Bowl or WHATEVER!


Covered Dish Dinner (mistyped that's Sinner, which might be more fitting!). Pot Luck Lunch. Pitch In. Carry In. 5th Sunday Lunch. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Funeral meals.

We've all had times we needed to take food to an event and we wanted an easy way to carry it without burning ourselves. Or we had a salad that we put in our Tupperware super jumbo bowl and it wouldn't fit in a cooler. Enter the Casserole Carrier!

I saw an idea last year & decided to try it out. I've tweaked it to make it "my own" but the idea is still the same. I've bought patterns for casserole carriers before, but they had a million pieces and once made, would only fit ONE size dish. As most my readers know, I am a former Pampered Chef consultant, so I have WAY more than one size dish! LOL! If PC makes it in a certain size, I very likely own something in that size!

I realized that just looking at one picture of this it might not make sense, so I decided to do a "tutorial" of how to use one of these casserole carriers. I'll also put the measurements at the end and a short "how to make" tutorial. I can't reprint the original design (and I've seen it more than one place) but I can give you my spin on it.

First, the coolest thing about this carrier is that it is a "multi-tasker." Yes, I did borrow that line from Alton Brown. I suspect he finds some PC items useless since they appear to be single-taskers, but I can find more than one use for almost any kitchen tool. : ) Besides toting your dish to those dinners, you can use the decorative side for a table quilt/runner. Also, because I line these with cotton batting or insulated batting, they are also hot pads for your dishes to protect your table. With this batting, it means they carry cold foods as well as hot. Another fun idea: load up your picnic items that don't need to go in the cooler into the middle, pull up the straps, carry the items to the park and you have a tablecloth AND all your goodies to go along with the food!

On to the tutorial! First, lay out your carrier with the strap side up. Lay your dish on that side UNDER the strap.
Next, pull up one of the corners with the loop or ring (I've done these with both metal loops and rings) and insert the strap through this.
Pull up the opposite loop/ring and put the strap through that.
Pull the strap and VOILA! You now have an easy to carry dish!
 I took pictures using 3 different size pans so you could see it works with different sizes.

Deep Covered Baker
Large Round Stone (AKA Pizza Stone)
Metal Sheet Pan

If you'd like to buy one of these, I have a couple on my Etsy site, but I also can make one in the colors and prints of your choice. Just send me a message and we'll get started!

For those who would like to make your own, here are my VERY basic directions. I use about a yard of two different fabrics to make 2 carriers, or if you want the front & back to be the same, just get 1 yard of one fabric. If you don't want to add a border, you can probably use just 3/4 of a yard. 2/3 might even work. Since most fabric is ABOUT 44" wide, half of this is 22" wide. I cut 2 squares 22" w & l. I use the extra bit of fabric to make a strap (I put batting in my strap, make a tube, sew & turn). If you want to make a border, cut the square smaller than 22" and add the border to make the finished piece about 22" on all sides. Cut a piece of cotton batting or Insul-Bright 22" also.

Make your strap the diagonal of the square: Measure from one corner diagonally to the opposite corner. Make your straps slightly longer than this. Just make a tube as mentioned above, about 2" wide finished, so you'll want the fabric to be about 4 1/4" wide to start and use 1/4" seam. Lay the finished strap diagonally on the square from corner to corner. You can baste this on or pin it on at this point.

Layer your fabrics: One fabric right side up, the other fabric right side down, then the batting. The straps should be sandwiched between the 2 right sides of fabric. Sew around the edges and turn. I quilt it after I've turned it. You could do this like a real quilt and just layer the fabric right sides out, quilt, then add a binding. Your choice. I just do the easiest way!

If I make loops I make them about 8" long, I think. I just sew them on by topstitching VERY well. If I add metal rings, I make a short strip tube about 4" long. I insert the loops and again topstitch these on. I add these to the quilted carrier so the stitches go through all layers. You could add these before you sew the layers together if you don't want stitches showing, but I think it adds stability to the carrier to do this through all layers.

Ta-Da! You're done! Enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2011

To be 2 again---a Twirly Skirt!

Have you ever heard the story about the man who asked his wife what she wanted for her birthday and, looking longingly into a mirror, she answered: To be 8 again. He took his wife to the amusement park and they rode all the kiddy rides. They ate cotton candy and candy apples. He took her to the park where they played hopscotch and swung on the swings. When they got home he asked his wife, "Did you have a good time today dear?" She said, "Yes, but when I said I wanted to be 8 again, I meant my SIZE!"

While I wouldn't mind being 8 again in size, I'd rather be a two in age. Have you see the darling clothes for little girls? My girls were too active for me to have time to sew when they were young, so I'm finding all kinds of cute stuff I can make my great nieces. If I find time! We are in the middle of making a big gift for my older great niece who turned two yesterday. Her party is tomorrow. The present won't get finished. We wanted her to have a little something to open at her party. When we saw this top at the store, I told the girls, "I'm going to make her a skirt tonight and we're getting this top!" I used my phone camera to take the picture and it doesn't do justice to the colors. I'll take some with my camera later. I was too lazy to run upstairs and grab the real camera! Pictures updated!
I had these fabrics in my stash, so I knew I could make something to match that top. We ran by Hobby Lobby and found the ribbon. One lesson learned: as I ironed the skirt, the dots on the ribbon started to come off. If you use a printed ribbon, I guess you need to iron from the back of the garment so it doesn't cause the ink to come off on the design.
I still need to sew the elastic into place, but wanted to show you this sweet little set. It looks big enough for my girls to wear it, but it is really only a size 24 mos. Just the camera angle makes it look big.

 Doesn't this little skirt make you want to have another baby? NO??? Well, honestly, me neither. Having babies in the family is enough to make me happy. Since one of my kids woke me up during the night this week, and she's 12 (ear infection), I'll happily let others do the all night shift. I will, however, keep making cute clothes and might have to make some to sell!

Thanks for stopping by. Guess I need to create a birthday card tonight! Do I still know how to stamp? I'll find out!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New Loribelle Bags!

I've just listed 2 bags on my etsy site ( and have one more I'll list tomorrow. I have several bags waiting for me to love on them (ie sew them together) so they can have a spotlight in the Etsy shop.

How fun are these triangle bags? Natalie says, "Well, they are different." Yes, they are! But they are SO roomy. I used the same method as I did when making my chicken pincushions, but lined them and put in a zipper instead of filling with sand. Of course, if you WANT sand in your bag....

The blue and green one is quilted, which makes it stand up better than the black one. The black one, though, is soft and foldable. Both are fully lined and roomy. I even put a mason jar inside to show how much room is inside of them!
I've also made up a cute little clutch in the blue and green floral. It's on my Etsy site now.
Phew, no spaghetti sauce or pudding stains on my cabinet! This is the cabinet that did have paint on it once, or maybe twice, when the girls painted our kitchen floor red. I am SO glad they are big now and don't paint the floors any more!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Quilted and BRIGHT with silly on the side

Thanks to all who answered my question about to sash or not to sash. I went with the majority and sashed this one. I'm sure I'll do others which I won't sash. Here it is with the sashing. I still need to put borders in the teal, then add a final border around that. Maybe something, um, not so bright! LOL!
Now let me show you how much fun it is taking pictures with my kids. I asked them to hold the quilt, as pictured above. First, Bethany tried standing in FRONT of the quilt. We solved that problem. Then, as I was about to click, this is what I got:
Goofball holding the quilt; sister wondering what just happened. Notice her hand in mid-air!

I tell them to be serious & let me take a picture. Or not:
Bethany, still wearing her cow costume from Chick-fil-A's Cow Appreciation Day, is not A-MOOZED!

I took the serious picture, then said, "You can be silly now." Obstinate children:

I'll share the finished product, well, when it's finished!

Laptop, Netbook or I-pad/Tablet bags

How would you like a one of a kind bag or envelope cover for your portable computer? Here are some I've made and can custom design in your colors to fit your electronic device.
Fun stitching and applique!

Back of bag

Loops for removable strap

Pretty flowers inside!

Fun Curvy striped Bag for my friend Emily!
Just some fun little touches---ribbon to match! Love Hobby Lobby!

Back with loops for removable strap (made out of the matching ribbon)
Fun little make-up bag Emily ordered. Love this! Pockets inside, too!

 Contact me for more info if you'd like to order a custom designed bag! I'll be adding more bags to my Etsy site as they become available.

I made this!

If you haven't visited my Etsy shop in awhile, I've listed several items and hope to get some more listed soon! Here's a sampling:
Casserole Carrier/Table Quilt in One!

Fun Pink Purse

Another Fun Pink Purse!
And here's a project Phil & I started about 13 years ago. It's an ongoing piece of work. And, yes, there is a story for this, but that will have to wait!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My Latest Creation

I'll have pictures for you of my lastest sewing creation soon. We are going to my Mom-in-law's & will retrieve our camera so my phone cam can take a break!

My latest creation, however, has nothing to do with sewing. I also don't think you'd want to see pictures of it. You see, I've "birthed" yet another kidney stone. This one was the most painful of the 5 I've had in my life (4 of those being this year). I landed in the ER once, had a stent put in and had to wait a week to have the surgery to remove the stone because I'd taken ibuprofen for pain. Trust me, I would have taken anything for pain at that point! Surgery was on June 30th and today, July 3, I am finally feeling well enough to drive to my MIL's house to celebrate the holiday. Freedom. FREEDOM---from kidney stones! There are no more inside of me! Praise the Lord!

Now, if I can keep from CREATING any more stones, I'll be one happy camper!

Have a BLESSED 4th of July celebrating the freedom we have in America. For those outside the US, and for my American friends, I pray we will celebrate a freedom that is far bigger and greater: the freedom from a life spent separated from God through Jesus paying the price for our sin.