Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I love traditional quilts but just don't have the patience to make multiples of anything so I have made my own version of the Dresden Plate, Grandmother's Fan and my fave, the log cabin. Now I have tried to get into doing things as others do but my all white log cabin is all strip cut and still in the basket it was put in so it can sit by my chair just in case I have a yen to do some hand piecing. I have picked up some strips from time to time and even sewn some blocks on my machine. It will be gorgeous one day, it has its own name since it is all white-"My Mansion In The Sky, Crystal River Running By". It has some watery looking fabrics that helped with the name. I gathered all whites for a time for the quilt, there are even some laces. Maybe, just maybe, one day.

I can make my 90" translations of the old favorites in not much longer than it takes to make one traditional 12" or 14" block then accessorize the quilt with a couple of blocks in the traditional version on a pillow sham or covering.  

I make the Dresden Plate Quilt for wedding gifts and they make wonderful memory quilts as my Hawaii quilt that I made with some fabrics that I picked up while in Hawaii. Now I can look at my quilt and remember my trip. It is one of the first that I quilted on my long arm quilter.

My patterns are available @ and in My Pattern Store . The Dresden and Grandmother's Fan patterns with instructions for 2 enlarged sizes will be available soon along with the traditional 14" pattern for each. The dresden plate quilt featured is 90"  with the border.  

The matching pillow scarf will follow soon. I prefer a pillow scarf over a sham because it just has to be thrown over my pillows rather than wrestling the pillows into and then out of a sham. 

The fabrics in the Dresden Plate were purchased a while back and squirreled away for just the right project and this was it. I love the border all around. The quilt looked better to me by cutting the border's width in half but would have made a king size if the full width had been added. 

Cutting the border also allows the quilt to hang to the bottom of my mattress and just overlap the bedskirt that is in the works to complete the look I like for my bedroom. 

 A video tutorial for the bedskirt is also in the works and will be available @ along with the Dresden Plate Quilt and the pillow scarf.   Check out that site for all sorts of quilt patterns, tutorials, techniques and videos.



I hope you find these videos helpful.

God bless you,
Carolyn Wainscott
You can find my Dresden Plate pattern along with my other designs in My Pattern Store @

--Socksy Monkey Baby Quilt Pattern--

--Carrousel Baby Quilt Pattern-

--Hoodie Pattern for American Girl Dolls-

--Matching Separates for American Girl Dolls--

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Time flies when you're having fun, doesn't it? The only thing is, time flies when you are not having so much fun, also. Recently, while making preparations for a group to put together  my Nativity Kit, I noticed the copywright date is 1986. Unreal, it was hard to realize that I designed this set that long ago.

It has been some time since I have done much fabric painting and my paints are getting rather decrepit and need updating. I have been looking for  dyes that I can use as paints without having to do a lot of mixing, rubber gloves-the whole nine yards. I think I have found the solution and this is the method we would be using with the group at the nursing home where my sister, Jackie, is the Activities Director in the Altzheimers Section. 

It was National Nursing Home Week and special activities had been planned for all week and it happened to be Hat Day. Jackie is one of those special people who thinks that just because a person has dementia or alzheimer's doesn't mean you should sit in a corner and vegetate. As you will see in the video, she has her people as active as possible, participating in as much as they can. There were art pieces in different media all around the walls that "her people" had created.   

You will meet Orville, Sarah, Ray, Gary and Mary who had a great time painting their figures. They were very diligent and determined to finish. They were also very particular in choosing the colors they wanted to use. Each  piece was truly their own from start to finish.

The fantastix painting tools that I decided to use worked really well. They are to be used with dyes, not paints. I didn't want to use paint brushes because they can get messy.  The fantastix tools need to be refilled from time to time using an eyedropper or by simply dipping into the dye as Mary loved doing as she painted Joseph. 

Magic Markers and fabric markers had been considered to use this day but Magic Markers have a tendency to bleed  and fabric markers don't last long when working on larger surfaces and neither is as economical as  dyes or paints.

The Nativity Kit is printed on muslin. Just cut apart and color in whatever method you choose. 

The pattern for The Nativity set is now available in My Pattern Store @  

Sew together all around leaving an opening for stuffing on the top side of each figure. Sew on bottom. 

Fill bottom with those plastic beads. [You can use rice or beans or whatever but those attract grimblies and grumblies] Stuff top tightly with fiberfill, batting or old nylon hose [I have told you I don't throw anything away!] Sew together opening.

The set can be used as puppets. Kids can use them.

A wall hanging, quilt or soft book can also be made using them.

Now, let's go watch Orville, Mary, Gary, Sarah and Ray create their masterpieces.


For my favorite recipe today, I have chosen to share my fresh spinach salad. Now I do not like cooked spinach, no how-no way but love fresh spinach, so here goes.


1 head of lettuce
equal amount of fresh spinach
1 medium onion
1/2 pound bacon, fried crisp, broken
2 or 3 boiled eggs

1 cup salad oil
1/3 cup catsup
1 tbsp Worchestershire Sauce
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar

may make dressing the day before and store in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving. 

Thank you for joining me, I hope you enjoy the salad and crafting as much as I do.
Happy Homemaking and may God bless you
Carolyn Wainscott 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


God has given me the talent to work with children so for more than 50 years, I have taught Sunday School, Bible School and participated with other kids' groups-Girl Scouts, summer programs for inner city children, sports teams.
It is my opinion that making something that is associated with the lesson of the day helps the children retain more and longer so most of the time I tried to have a hands on craft for the child to take home.
Since there has been little budget for any of these groups, we have done a lot of scrap crafting and believe me, at times it has been a real challenge but always fun to take practically nothing and create. My friend, Mary, can't understand sometimes why I save so much stuff but that "stuff" has become a treasure on occasion. 
In case you didn't know, the secret life of an Altoid box is a sewing box or personal treasure chest, crushed up egg shells are mosaics when glued onto a wood box and painted or a 2 litre bottle is a bird feeder or yarn holder or acorn caps make dandy picture frames when glued onto cardboard or hats for stick people-almost everything has its own secret life waiting for someone to uncover. 
So before you throw something away, play sleuth to discover what it really truly wants to be.

I have used what I call "glass globs" for several projects and there will be more. Bible verses and pictures have been printed and glued on. They are economical and easy to work with.
I made pins with Bible verses for our church's Mother's Day presentation a couple of years ago. Our young people did the honors of reading Bible verses and pinning one on each lady there. The pins turned out well.
This video shows how to make a similar pin.


Now, get into those old greeting cards, look at all that wrapping paper or scrapbooking paper or magazines and look at them with a new eye. What stories can they tell on those "glass globs"? Would  they look good as a grouping for a gift, perhaps?
I hope the following video gives you more ideas and gives you a jump start to look at things in a new way.


[This thought just ran through my mind since we are talking kids- there always needed to be a treat on hand, one that was easy to transport and not so messy to eat and no cleanup. Have you ever tried baking cupcakes in those flat bottomed ice cream cones? Easy made with easy cleanup, easily transported, easy to eat/not too messy! I have made many, many. Just prepare cake mix as per instructions, fill cones 2/3 full, place on large baking sheet, bake 15-18 minutes.]

The older I get, the less I want to be in the kitchen but I still love good food. I cook in quantity and we eat leftovers or freeze meals so they can be popped into the microwave on days I reeeaallly don't want to cook or when company comes. 
I used to clip and collect recipes that I liked from everyone. No more. If we are at a gathering, I'll just wait til the next gathering for that dish. I am retired. In fact, I would unlearn cooking if I could. That's bad, isn't it?
I am at the age that I want to do what I want to do and  most of the time, it is not cooking-really-none of the time.
Well, anyway, here is a dish that is made ahead and is a really different macaroni salad. The macaroni is kept in a sweet-n-sour brine so it is ready whenever you need a quick salad.

8 ounces macaroni

2 cups cider vinegar
3 cups sugar

salad ingredients:
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 medium cucumber, diced
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon basil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook macaroni until al dente [not quite done-fairly firm]. Drain well and rinse with cold water to prevent further cooking.

In a small saucepan, bring vinegar and sugar to a simmer. Stir to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Place cooked macaroni in a bowl and pour brine over. Allow macaroni to marinate in the brine, refrigerated for at least 24 hours. Pasta will keep for up to 2 weeks in the brine.

To serve:
Drain the macaroni from the brine. In a large bowl combine:drained macaroni, diced tomatoes, green pepper, cucumber and onion. Toss to combine. Add the mayonnaise, basil, salt and pepper.
Yield-6 to 8 servings.

This is the best macaroni salad I ever ate. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Happy Homemaking and God bless you,
Carolyn Wainscott


check out my craft & quilting patterns in My Craftsy Pattern Store @

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


This bandanna neck piece is really cute and only takes a little while to make. Just add some coordinating pony beads and stuff with, of all things, cotton balls, and you are good to go. I have always made these with left over batting or pillow stuffing but thought I would try cotton balls and they work really well and are all uniform in size. 
Just cut the bandanna according to instructions in the video, string on the beads and fill space with cotton ball to create fabric bead. 
Have fun with this one, the possibilities are endless. 


The next piece is put together the same way as the bandanna neckpiece but uses lace ribbon. It has a Victorian look and feel and looks great with little summer dresses.


These neck pieces are popular bizarre items, don't take long to make and are not expensive to make.
[they have to be quick, easy and really good]
To continue sharing my favorite, quick recipes that are favorites with my family and friends, I am including the following "Impossible Cheesecake" that, again, I have been making for years. I have never had a failure with this recipe. Mixed in one container-my blender, pour into a baking dish and that's it.
I had my first cheesecake at my friend's house when I was in grade school and thought it was the best ever but until I found this recipe by Bisquick in a magazine, none ever compared with my first cheesecake and it fits right into my criteria of quick and easy. I have the original little booklet that is dog eared it has been used. It has other "impossible" recipes that I have tried also and like every one. Each recipe makes its own crust.
If you like cheesecake, you need to try this one:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease pie plate, 9x1 1/4 inches.
Place all ingredients except topping in blender container. Blend on high speed, stopping blender occasionally to stir, until smooth, about 3 minutes. 
[Or beat in large bowl on high speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl constantly, 2 minutes.]
Pour into plate.
Bake until just puffed and center is dry, about 30 minutes. [Do not overbake.]
Spread Cheesecake Topping carefully over top as soon as it comes out of oven. Cool.
Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours. Serve with sweetened fresh fruit if desired. 
 1 cup dairy sour cream 
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

I have taken this cheesecake to all kinds of gatherings and it is always a hit.

Happy Homemaking and God bless each of you
Carolyn Wainscott


 I guess at heart I am a true, dyed in the wool, southwestern style, feathers and bead loving old hippie and the hatband with matching earrings that I have made prove it.

I wanted something patriotic with feathers and beads and as the hatband began to take shape the song "Yankee Doodle" started going through what mind I have left.
 "Yankee Doodle went to town
riding on a pony
stuck a feather in his hat
and called it macaroni"
So that is how the Yankee Doodle Hat Band got its name. It is easy and quick to make.
I have yet to figure out what macaroni has to do with a feather or his hat, or his pony.


Surely, every self respecting Yankee Doodle Hat Band needs matching Yankee Doodle Earrings, don't you think?
Making jewelry is not one of my best ventures. I use beads to embellish my quilts and wallhangings so I do pick beads and findings that are of interest whenever I see them. You never know when you might have need for a spectacular focal point. Of course, that is the justification for all those lovely things squirreled away for future use and you never know, one bead could be the inspiration for a whole design.

At any rate, I hope you have fun with these if you decide to make them. 

Check out these and many other craft videos and tutorials @

Blog Hop Button Finished on the 15th: FaveCrafts Blog Hop for June
Since my maid has not showed up for work for quite some time now, I cannot spend all my time in my sewing room. For some reason, husband dear thinks there should be meals on the table and the house reasonably kept- not to mention a few clean clothes every now and again.  I keep telling him he can turn his underwear inside out and wear them another week but that doesn't work any more. 
As I've told you before, my domestic divadom does include cooking and am sharing some of my favorite recipes. The Hot Fudge Topping was in yesterday's post and today I am including my next fave, my Butterscotch Topping,  which is just as easy and quick. As with the Hot Fudge Topping, this recipe is doubled or tripled every time I make it-might as well get more done in the same amount of time!

1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/4 cup butter or margarine
dash of nutmeg [optional]
makes about 1 1/2 cups
In 1 1/2 quart mixing bowl, combine brown sugar and flour. Stir in milk and syrup, then butter. Microwave at high 2 to 4 minutes, or until mixture boils; stir well. Microwave 3 1/2 minutes. Stir in nutmeg. Serve warm.
Since we eat a lot of ice cream around here, we have a lot of those nice plastic containers. I use them for storing leftover soups, chilis and beans in the freezer and also for sending them home with the kids-my good containers would never be seen again if they went out the door. I also use them as organizers for my craft paints and things. You can see those in a former post where I show how to make a "Repurposed Organizer". 
Happy Homemaking
Carolyn Wainscott

Monday, June 6, 2011


It seems as though I spend half my life looking for something-a certain fabric, or pattern, or thread or whatever. I could get so much more done if things were where I thought I put them and if my tools didn't keep disappearing. I just laid my scissors right there beside the fabric, now where are they? Is it just me? 
So, I am trying to be more organized, to keep things handy and I am hoping the organizers I have made will help me to be more productive, less aggravated.

I made this original sewing chair organizer several years ago. It has kept my bobbins and presser feet near for my machines along with other supplies that I didn't want to have to jump and run for or to keep on the sewing table taking up precious space. It has held my machine manuals since I use the same chair for all my sewing. 
At the time, I was participating in workshops having to carry various tools, supplies and notions so the chair organizer was designed with zippers so I wouldn't lose anything. It had a carrying handle which slips over the back of the chair to keep it from sliding and it has a thick cushion because I was having back issues.
The organizer has done me well so I decided to show in the following video how to make a similar one.
My work table is rather high so I don't have to bend so much while working with my fabrics. My intention has been for some time to get things within easy reach but not in the way so the work table organizer was done on the same day as the chair organizer. Now my cutting rulers are handy along with scissors, rotary cutters, rotary blades, pins, etc.

Now that I am so organized, I know that I will get all those planned projects done in zip time, oh, yeah.

Many other craft tutorials along with the sewing chair and work table organizers can be seen on 
Since I am on the subject of sewing, I must tell you one on my mother. Now Mom is an extremely bright woman but being a domestic diva has not been her area of expertise. She taught herself to read when she was 3 or so from her older brother's "primer". In fact, you can read a little about her in my post "NO CALICO, NO SLIVERS OF SOAP".
Mom always worked and helped Dad support our family but it still sticks in her "craw" that her snide sisters-in-law poked fun when she didn't have a "button box". It seems they always had one at the ready with needle and thread for those button missing emergencies and my Dad thought that was the ultimate in domestic divadom for some reason.
One Sunday morning, Dad decided he would wear a certain sportcoat to church but it had a button missing on the sleeve. It wasn't as though he didn't have other suits or coats- no- he had many but that was the one he was going to wear and he wanted a button sewn on.
Now what do you do when you don't have a button box, why, you just do what a devious, non button box owner does. Why, you cut a button off another of the many sport coats in the closet and sew it on this one that this stubborn person insists on wearing this morning. Mom still chuckles to herself over pulling this on Dad and he never knew how out of fashion he was by wearing a button from another jacket. 
Of course, Mom has a lot of explaining to do when she gets to heaven and he asks her about her button box. Poor Dad, he had such burdens to bear. 
 I think I can claim the title of "Domestic Diva" because I have not just a box of buttons but jars of buttons with a thimble, needles and spool of thread always at the ready in case of a button emergency. Now I know that a button box is not the only criteria to be a true diva. Being a good cook is another and I am a good cook also but I like plain, quick, easy recipes and I am a chocoholic. 
The following recipe is the best Hot Fudge Topping I have ever eaten and it is quick and easy. I have made this one for over 20 years. The recipe is given as I have it written but I always at least double it, usually triple so I don't run out so soon.

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons flour
1/8 teasoon salt
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

In 4 cup measure or small bowl, combine sugars, cocoa, flour and salt. Stir in milk and syrup, then butter. Microwave at high 2 to 4 minutes or until mixture boils; stir well.
Microwave 2 to 5 minutes or until desired thickness and a rich chocolate color, stirring every 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Happy Homemaking
Carolyn Wainscott