Giftbags, Sweatshirts, Chocolate Cake and Shortbread Cookies

Lots of fun happening around here these days! Making, baking, getting outside and spending time with family have taken the bulk of my time lately. I couldn’t remember what I had shared lately but after taking a look at my photos on my phone, I found several projects to write about.

Let’s start with these cute matching sweatshirts. I wanted to play with the serger machine my sister gave me a while back. It is really useful for finishing a seam when making clothing. A couple of years back, I picked up about two yards of extra wide pink fleece at a thrift shop. I am not one for this color so I didn’t make anything with it. With cooler weather coming, I decided to make my grand daughters matching pullover tops. When they were here a couple of weeks ago, I tried them on the girls. I had made the necklines with the fleece fabric and there wasn’t nearly enough stretch. I could hardly get them over the girls’ heads. Back up to the sewing room to unpick the stitches and replace the necklines with a ribbed knit (also thrifted!). I haven’t tried them on yet but the neck is quite stretchy so I think they will fit well now.

A fresh new apron for me!

This next project is long overdue. I don’t wear an apron too often but if I am doing something messy in the kitchen I like to have one on. This (thrifted) fabric is so cool. It is a very lightweight denim with a print that looks embroidered on it.

To give it some body, I lined it with a piece of yardage off my shelf. The pattern called for hemming the edges but really, lining the full apron is better. It gives the apron some heft and takes much less time than rolling the hem all the way around the entire apron. I think it provides a nicer finish overall plus it is reversible.

I wasn’t in need of another sewing machine but when I saw this at an estate sale, I couldn’t pass it up. It works so well and has the basics – different speeds for sewing, needle up/down, and a nice selection of stitches. It will be great if I have someone over to sew with, for teaching my girls to sew (this machine is less complicated than the Bernina), and for a back up if the Bernina is getting serviced. It is also much lighter in weight which is nice when taking a machine to a class. Totally worth the $28 I paid for it!!

Holiday Gift bags.

I make these on a regular basis. Wrapping gifts at holiday time uses lots of paper which isn’t terribly ecological. Since I have quite a collection of Christmas fabric, I made four more gift bags. These are lined and have ribbon drawstrings. I tend to make them in a variety of sizes and fabrics so they fit different size gifts. I tried for a better photo but honestly, I got lazy and didn’t want to stuff them. Hahaha.

What do think? This is just a peek at a project I am working on now. It will be a wall quilt for our bedroom. More on this as it progresses. I am really thrilled with it thus far.

These cookies were so yummy. I wanted to make some non-dairy cookies for last weekend. My son and his wife came for a weekend of visiting, beach walks and some fishing. Anyway, I chose to try these Tahini Cookies from The Mediterranean Dish. Wow! Soooo good. Tahini is a sesame seed paste and has a different flavor. My DIL didn’t really like them but the rest of us sure did. I made a few substitutions with the recipe – mainly using vegetable shortening instead of butter and rolling them in confectioners sugar after they cooled a bit. I will surely make these again.

Birthday Cake for Ian

My son turns 32 years next week. Since we won’t see him on his birthday, I made a cake for him last weekend. Again, dairy free. This bundt cake is based on a cake mix but I added chocolate chips (dairy free), dairy free yogurt, an extra egg, and a splash of Kahlua. For the frosting, I heated one cup of oat milk and poured it over one cup of dairy free chocolate chips. When they melted completely, I whipped the mixture with powdered sugar until I got the consistency I wanted. It was sort of mousse like? I had to keep it in the refrigerator because it doesn’t really set up. Really yummy though. Ian took a chunk home with him and we finished the rest this week.

Shar and Isla

I had the pleasure of hanging out on the beach with my DIL, Shar, and their dog Isla while the guys fished. Shar actually likes fishing as well but didn’t have a license so we were on puppy care duty. It was a beautiful day out.

I saved the best for last in this post! Shar loves to embroider and made this for me for my birthday. I love it so much. The quilt is adorable and each square has a different stitch. Look at the clothes pins holding it to the line – the detail work in this piece is just awesome. It is so special to me and I am really touched that she made this for me.

OK – I think I have caught you up for now. This weekend is a local quilt show. The featured quilter is actually someone from Grass Valley (where I used to live). She was in the guild there and is now President of the guild up here. I am looking forward to seeing her work.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!! Is fall weather starting where you live? The days are getting shorter and the leaves are just beginning to change here.

Linking to my favorites – see the list at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

24 thoughts on “Giftbags, Sweatshirts, Chocolate Cake and Shortbread Cookies

    1. Bernie Post author

      Yum, they were both very good. Since my husband and son both can’t have dairy, I have worked on baking without butter. The biggest problem with eating non-dairy is the cheese factory. There really aren’t any decent cheese substitutions – we have tried many of them and so far they have tasted pretty terrible. Unfortunate because so many good meals have cheese in them!

  1. Kathy

    The embroidery birthday gift is adorable. Your pink sweatshirts make me miss those days I use to make my grandkids shirts and pjs. Have fun at the quilt show. That will be interesting for you meeting up with her.

    1. Bernie Post author

      Thanks Kathy. I really love the hoop and have it hanging right by my sewing machine. It is so special to receive it – she has made some beautiful hangings lately and now I have one of them!

  2. Tracie

    Bernie, I especially love your apron! I made a lined apron for myself and have fabric for another. Now that autumn’s cold (and snow!) have arrived in Minnesota, my oven will get a workout.

    1. Bernie Post author

      I saw it was cold and snowy in Minnesota! So early this year! We have had a dry month so far and – weird to say this for Washington state – but we need some rain. I know I will be sick of it before the season’s end but for now we need the moisture!

  3. Kathleen McCormick

    What a lot of fun things you have been doing. I am glad you were able to fix the neckline on the sweatshirts – I am sure the girls will love them. The dairy free goodies look yummy! Thank goodness I just had lunch…or I would be looking for some cake. The little gift bags are great ideas and very handy to have around. Love that print on the apron, too! I bet that sewing machine gets quite a bit of use.

    1. Bernie Post author

      After the weekend with the chocolate cake and the cookies, I had a sugar hangover. So much eating!! Hope all is well Kathleen!

    1. Bernie Post author

      Well – I hope the girls like the sweatshirts – I never know. These don’t have any bling on them, no princesses or unicorns etc. But maybe the pink will win them over! I get to see them next weekend and am looking forward to it! Take care Diann!

  4. Kathleen Kingsbury

    Those pink tops are adorable! They will make the girls even more huggable :o)
    That embroidery is just lovely too! Lots of work went into it.
    That sewing machine was a great find too.

  5. Wendy

    I have a similar apron pattern and dislike making it because it is a bit flimsy. I hadn’t thought of lining it. I should make another one to hang with my current one in my closet.- I forget to put them on when I bake! Haha. You’ve been busy with fun things; I like those colors in your bedroom project. (And I loved seeing Julia’s pictures with the piglets on FB!!)

    1. Bernie Post author

      Those pictures are pretty fun aren’t they? I also forget to put an apron on – or like the other day, I put it on and splattered grease on my t-shirt RIGHT ABOVE the line of the apron. No kidding – got my shirt and not the apron. Sigh.

  6. Judy B

    I’m sure the girls will love the pink fleece tops. I guess you could always bling them up with something! Probably won’t be necessary. Dairy free cheese is problematic. Some are just only ok. Your DIL ‘s embroidery is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Rebecca Grace

    How wonderful, ALL of this!! I love the idea of the lined apron, I am drooling all over my keyboard from looking at your baked goodies, and those fabrics for your bedroom wall hanging look absolutely tantalizing. But I was especially excited to see those little pink sweatshirts for the girls! I bought a new serger and coverstitch machine a couple months ago, hoping to sew myself some casual knitwear, and you are inspiring me to get to that sooner rather than later!

  8. Alycia Quiltygirl

    Looks like you have been having too much fun!! the sweatshirts and apron are so cute. The colors for yuo new project – LOVE!!!!! and the beach and the puppy!!! Glad you are enjoying things!!!


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