Saturday, December 11, 2010


The following blog is for a Microwave Bag.  You can cook potatoes, winter squash, corn on the cob, heat dinner rolls, tortillas, biscuits, etc.  This bag I have given over and over and my family wants more of them.
Below is how to make the pattern for this Microwave Bag
The following pictures are of the Square Microwave Bag that I make as a gift and use myself.
The finished bag will be 9"X10".
The pattern piece is 21"x10".  This includes 1/2" seam allowance

Wax Paper
Permanent Marking Pen
Yard Stick
Cutting board  (is useful but not necessary)


1.  Pull out a piece of wax paper longer than 21" so as to have room to work with.
2.  Mark out the measurements on this piece of wax paper of 21"x10"
3.  Mark the pattern with top and bottom for reference.
4.  Measure down at the top edge 2", and mark across the width with a permanent marker. Label this the fold line.
5.  Label your pattern for further reference.  Add name of pattern, seam allowance, fold line and anything else that will help you.


 6.  As you can see I have 1 1/2 marked, but found I liked the 2" better.

7.  You are now done with the Square Microwave  Bag Pattern.  Cut out your pattern.

Sewing Instructions for Microwave Bags


One of the simple gifts I make is a Microwave Potato Bag.  These bags I have used to warm up roll and tortillas.  Have thawed and warmed up frozen waffles and pancakes also.  I especially like it for dinner rolls from the freezer to the microwave bag to my plate.  Of course I bake potatoes in the microwave bag.

A pattern-to create pattern click here.  Microwave Pattern
5/8 yard of fabric.
5/8 yard fabric for lining.  
5/8 yard high loft batting  
Sewing Pins
Matching Thread
Trim of your choice - optional

NOTE: Make sure you use a good brand of high loft batting.  I did get one that burnt on me.    So now I try to make sure it is not from China.  I have used non-cotton quilt batting with no problem also.
1.  Cut out your fabric of choice, fabric lining, batting of choice using your pattern. 
PICTURE ABOVE -Rooster is the main fabric.  Red is the lining and then the Batting

I have used the 100% cotton batting but prefer the synthetic type it fluffs more and works better.  I do like to use the cotton fabric.
You can fold your pattern in half lengthwise and cut on the fold if you prefer.
2.  Now stack your fabric right sides together.   Fabric lining, fabric of choice, and batting of choice.  As you see in the picture above.
3.  Pin either ends of your material (top and bottom)

4.  If you have problems getting the batting through the feed dogs - Cut out a piece of wax paper. Place the wax paper under the batting where you will be sewing.  This will allow the batting to run smoothly through the feed dogs of the sewing machine.  You can just tear the wax paper off your bag when finishing your seams
5.  So that I can clearly see the 1/2" mark for my seam through the wax paper I have placed a "post it note" on my sewing machine.
6.  Using your post it note as a guide and your wax paper placed under your batting, sew the top and bottom seam, as shown above.
turn right side out
Your  bag should look like this after the seams are sewn.
Your batting will be in the middle when turned right side out.
8.  Press both of your seams on each end with a medium heated iron . Make sure to not leave your iron on the seam too long if using synthetic batting.  
rick rack
9.  Top stitch on the top and bottom edge of bag.  AT THIS TIME ADD YOUR RICK-RACK OR TRIM OF CHOICE. On the top I placed a piece of rick rack for fun. The bottom edge  1/2" seam from end of bag, and then another seam down approximately 1/4" from edge.  The second seam is optional.
11.  Turn down the top edge 2".    SEE IMPORTANT NOTE BELOW.

NOTE:  When working with a one way design you must lay your material in the direction that will come right side up when finished.  As you can see in step 11 and the picture above the material looks as if it is laid upside down.  It will end up in the right side up position when turned right side out.
prepare side seams
12. Bring the bottom edge up and place the bottom edge OVER THE TOP that has been turned down 2". 

13.  Pin both sides of your square potato bag and sew from bottom to the top 1/2".
sewed side seams
Potato bag should look like picture above.
completed side seam
14.  Trim your seams and zig-zag the edge or use your serger to prevent raveling.
finished sq pot bag
14.  Just turn your bag (picture above) right side out and you are finished.

The steam in the bag helps the food to not get too done on one side and not on the other and gives it a more in oven texture and taste.

DO NOT use POTATO CYCLE or OTHER CYCLES on your microwave!
Your microwave sensors the steam and because the steam is trapped in the bag it cannot do its normal function.  The steam in the bag helps the food to not get to dried out or over done in spots. 


Wash your bag in the washing machine and dry in your dryer before using. (this will fluff up the batting).

1.  Place 2 to 3 NON PRICKED with A fork  potatoes In your bag.
2.  Place bag in the middle of your microwave and bake for 2-3 minutes. 
3.  Open Microwave door and pull your bag out.   Carefully open bag for a few seconds and allow some steam out.  Then replace you bag back in the  microwave on the opposite side for additional 1 minute increments.  Checking after each minute till potatoes are softened. 

Dinner Roll (approximately 15 seconds)
Tortilla (approximately 15 seconds)
Biscuit (approximately 15 seconds) 
Corn on the cob (approximately 3 minutes). 
Winter squash (approximately 4-5 minutes) 
As with all microwaves anything can burn.  Make sure you test your bag out by less time in the microwave until you know how much is needed to cook your food safetly.



Friday, October 29, 2010


Upon seeing the cost of pajamas for little girls my daughter bought a package of 5 little boy T-shirt and fleece bottoms. 
She was coming for a 2 week visit and knew her mother would come up with something to turn them into cute little girl PJ tops.
I went to the Internet and my documents of copied embellishments for ideas. The Internet is a great way to get your creative juices going.   
The following pictures will be the other PJ's tops I designed and a few instructions.

This shirt was a little more detailed than some of the other shirts I did, but it was fun and turned out nicely. 
I chose a flower to design and used scraps of fabric.  This is a great way to use up those scraps of fabric we just cannot bear to throw away. 
Under the center of the flower I used a piece of pink fabric that would fray easily.  It was cut in a square and I removed the strings around all four sides to fray it. 
Using "Wonder-Under" I ironed on the flower piece and appliqued it. All of the designed material pieces were done this way. "Wonder-Under" has easy instructions for using. 
Wax paper was used under these fabric pieces to give them stability as I stitched and appliqued. 
The square frayed piece was appliqued and then the round center piece on top of the flower piece. 
I used homemade binding as the stem and sewed on either side of it. To learn how to make your own binding click below  on my Bias Tape Instructions.

Binding was used on the bottom and the sleeves.  The hems of the sleeve and bottom of shirt were cut off  this shirt before attaching the homemade binding. 
The binding was not going on a good as I had wanted.  I determined it was the cotton fabric going on knit fabric.  I used wax paper under the fabric as stability while I sewed and appliqued. This worked so well that I used it under all the appliques and sewing I applied.
Wax paper is the most inexpensive versatile tool in the kitchen and crafting.  I have used it as patterns, appliqueing, tracing and then printing on the printer my designs.  I just keep on finding new ways of using wax paper.

On this shirt I applied three hearts in different sizes. My cutting board had hearts diagrams on it.  I copied the large one and increased it to the desired size I wanted.  I decreased this heart size twice by 70% and then 60%.  This gave me the sizes for the smaller hearts.

I used a ribbon from a scrap of ribbon and then sewed the knotted part down so that it will not come undone in the wash. 
The hems of the sleeves and bottoms were cut off.  Using a smaller zig-zag length and width I stretched the knit as I sewed and this created the curly edge.  The thread used for curly edge matched the fleece bottoms.

This was the finished outfit for the hearts. If I had more time I may have added a ruffle to the bottom of the fleece bottoms.

This shirt I used adorable sleeping stars.  I applied the same method as the hearts for increasing and decreasing  the size of the stars. 
Mark the eyes and nose with a Disappearing Ink, Mark-Be-Gone pen.  This gives you a guide line for appliqueing the eyes and nose on the fabric.


To create the cereal bowls I used wax paper and copied a small design on some fabric I had.  Using my printer I enlarged the bowls till I got it the size I wanted for the shirt.
The Disappearing Ink pen was used to draw in the stem and divisions on the fabric bowls and leaves to give it depth.  
The stem was applied with the smaller adjusted width and length zig-zag stitch and it extended down into the leaf.
If you look close you can see the words cereal stitched by my sewing machine on the top lighter green bowl. 
If you do not have the ability to do this with your machine, you can use some permanent coloring fabric pens.
There you have it.   Have some fun and feel free to use any of my designs.

Monday, May 10, 2010



Hi everyone.  I am in sunny California, only it is not sunny today.  The weather is nice and cool.  
Enjoying family and basically resting.
The picture above is a white blouse that I embellished to take on vacation with the new colors to match my ear rings.
I just replaced the buttons and used a blanket stitch for the embellishment around the front of the blouse.
I am really enjoying this blouse as it goes with many outfits.
This was an easy way to dress up an otherwise ordinary white blouse.
Enjoy your day-Nana

Monday, February 1, 2010


This week-end I set out my supplies and started scrap-booking again.
I have been doing some on line with Heritage Makers, but decided I would do some the old fashioned way.
Scrap-booking is a great way to preserve your memories.  My grandchildren love looking at my scrapbooks, especially of themselves when they come over and visit.
I have collected supplies over the years for doing this.  When my oldest daughter was working at a craft store she introduced me to it.  She had always scrap booked her pictures, newspaper articles, etc as a child.  She said Mom, "THIS IS GOING TO BE BIG", and she was right.
We had very few supplies.  I remember when we first started taking material and scanning it on the printer to have decorated paper.  Who would have imagined just how BIG it did get.
I now even scan stickers, magazine pictures, news articles, etc.  That way I can reuse some of the stickers without having to buy them. I use the computer to journal and print and paste.  I pick up a little here and a little there so that it does not cost so much all at once.  When I am ready I have supplies to do my scrap-booking.

You can decorate them as much as you like or just make them very simple.
I use Scrap-booking magazines to get inspiration or I will actually use the lay out of my choice using my colors and embellishments.
I use to tell Susan (my sister-in-law) you are so talented, and she says "no I just take my ideas from scrapbook magazine articles". That way you do not even have to figure it out yourself.
In Picture above is one of the pages I did this week-end.

Not bad for two afternoons this week-end.  I now have the motivation to get more done.

When I was living in California all the Mothers, Wives, Cousins, Kids, etc would get together and scrapbook.  The ones that did not scrapbook came to watch and talk.  It was kind of like a quilting bee.
So whenever I go and visit we try and get together and have a scrapbook party that may be more than one day.

I have come all the way from Arizona to do this, I am ready to start.
We are going to have to put up more tables when everyone gets here!
Susan says what do I want to do with this one.

I think it is time for a chocolate break as that will get rid of my scrap book block!
My sister came to say hi and join in on some of the fun, even though she does not scrapbook.
Mom says now this is fun, having all my family come and be together sharing memories!

Even grandmothers, great grandmothers come.
Susan's mother (in the picture above) is no longer with us anymore, but that makes our scrap booking even more precious, and when the pain of loss dulls some, we can look at our scrapbooks and fondly remember the time we had with them, with a smile on our face, that they shared their lives with us!