Monthly Archives: February 2012

As I’ve mentioned before, I got a bag of fabric scraps from freecycle a few years ago. And since I picked up that great little book Sewn By Hand, I’ve been sewing a lot more.

My sons have also done some sewing. We had a bit of a secret Santa-type valentine exchange last week with our homeschooling group (instead of every child bringing 22 cards, they each made one small gift). We went online (I love the web for creative ideas and patterns) and they selected the things they wanted to sew. My five year old chose some stuffed felt hearts (in navy, green, and red) which he and I worked on together (about 50/50) and my seven year old chose a felt rose. I can’t find the link to the instructions he used, but it was basically this here and we used a little square of felt, plus some scrap green felt (we keep all of the little bits for these wee projects), and another scrap for the bag.

felt rose and scrap fabric gift bag

I also made myself a roll-up for my circular knitting needles. It was a bit laborious for hand-sewing, and it’s a little imperfect, but that’s part of its charm, right? It’s made from a corduroy scrap from the freecycled fabric and the bottom portion of some curtains that were too long for the window.

Circular knitting needle case hand sewn using scrap fabric

I didn’t love the ribbon closure, however, so when I went to make a crayon roll-up (those cardboard boxes never last long) for the boys I looked (online) around for a better closure and found this great tutorial, which uses a couple of buttons and a hair elastic. Brilliant! The original is much fancier and uses a machine, but the boys and I are quite happy with ours.

crayon roll hand sewn from fabric scraps and a hair elastic/button closure

And lastly, we had a birthday recently, and we usually decorate with crepe streamers (they are reused but each time they get a cm or two shorter from the tape rips off the ends) and I wanted to do something a little different and reusable, so my five year old and I got up early and made a birthday banner. It’s not actually sewn (it’s glued) but I may get around to securing the letters on a bit better at some point. My son chose the colours and placement of the letters. He wanted the letters to be “jumping.” Excellent.

reusable birthday banner from scraps

We also made a monster stuffy for a story we told to our storytelling group, but I don’t have a photo and I can’t get one now since my little guy is sleeping with said monster! It came from My First Sewing Book.


We are still getting lots of beets from our CSA, so I figured I’ll share another favourite beet recipe, which comes from It’s their delicious Roasted Beet Soup with Creme Fraiche. Try it. It rocks. (The kids don’t love it, but we just don’t care.)

We also get a lot of sweet potatoes in our CSA in winter, and we love sweet potato chocolate chip muffins, as well as this Roasted Sweet Potato and Garlic Soup from (at least I think it’s from there. I got it from my sister-in-law).

We also get a lot of greens, and like our salads (even the boys – phew!), and Williams-Sonoma’s Cobb Salad is one of our favourites, as well as the Caesar they have in their Salad book. (Unfortunately, the one in the book is not listed in the web site’s recipes.) Another great fall and winter salad is that classic, the Waldorf salad.

And as a little bonus recipe, which we likely won’t use much anymore since we’re cutting the refined carbs down (no more white pasta and the husband finds the whole grain stuff too mealy), but is probably my favourite use for my home canned tomatoes (I use 1 pint jar when I don’t have fresh) since it’s so quick and absolutely delicious, is Williams-Sonoma’s Penna alla Vodka.  Try it. You won’t be disappointed.