What Fabric is Best for Sewing Rag Quilts

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I couldn't even count how many rag quilts I have made in the last 4 years for my Etsy Shop But there have been a few things that I have learned about which fabrics work best in a rag quilt.

I think the question that I receive the most about rag quilts is: What type of fabrics do you use?

Elephant Rag Quilt by A Vision to Remember

The answer is: basically anything that will fray....

Your next question I know is: How do I know if a fabric will fray?

Answer: on the bolt of fabric it will say something like 100% cotton or quilters or flannel.

Square Dance Rag Quilt by A Vision to Remember

I like to use 100% cotton fabrics because they fray the best. Some of the solid fabrics that I use do have polyester in them. The polyester in fabrics will keep the fabric from fraying.

Minky is a favorite fabric for baby blankets because it is so soft. Go ahead and use it in rag quilts if you want the softness. Just keep in mind that it will not fray. The same thing with fleece. It makes a blanket really soft but it will not fray.

Instead of cutting the minky down into the same sizes as your rag quilt pieces I like to make the rag quilt and then add a solid piece of minky backing onto the quilt.  Here is a little tutorial for that

Here is the lowdown on the fabric I use for the tops of the quilts:
I mix and match fabrics. I basically use anything that is quilt worthy for the blankets. I use mostly quilters cotton, flannel (be careful of the quality because some of the flannel from the big box quilt stores and walmart is very poor and will get those little bumps on the top), home decor fabric (it isn't the softest but sometimes its the only fabric in a certain style/color that I can find), and any other 100% cotton fabric.

For the back of my quilts I use solid flannel.  You can use the same fabric on the front and the back of the quilt if you would prefer.

Fabric at avisiontoremember.etsy.com

Where do I purchase my fabric? I personally purchase the majority of my fabric from wholesale fabric companies.  But when I don't need 10-15 yards of a single fabric then I purchase from 4 places for the rest. They are Home Fabrics which is a discount fabric store for fabrics that were overprinted or have problems with it), Joanns, Hobby Lobby, Etsy, and my local quilt shops.

Often times when we travel for the weekend or whatever I like to stop at the local quilt shops.  They have the best eye candy!  Seriously! 

A note about quilt shops: their fabric is pricey compared to the big stores. Their fabric is to die for. So when I find fabric at these shops that I just have to have, I try and find coordinating fabrics from the other stores. That I don't break the bank so to say.

Another thing to keep in mind about your small quilt shops is the fabric quality is above and beyond anything you can get at your big box stores.  If you are going to invest a lot of your time to sew a quilt then it will probably be worth the investment to buy a little more expensive fabric.  

Let me know if you have any questions.

  Where are your favorite places to shop for fabric online and off? I would love to know!

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Best Elk Steak Marinade Ever

My husband loves to hunt.  Elk mostly.  This is the best marinade that I have come up with for our Elk Steaks.  It makes the elk nice and tender, and covers up most of the gamey flavor. 
When my husband brings home an elk, most of the elk gets ground up into hamburger (with some bacon instead of cow fat...yummm!)  But we still have lots of Elk Steak. (amazon links below on recipe)

So here is the marinade recipe (and really I just squirt the condiment into the pan or bowl that I am marinading the steak in and eyeball it):
1/4 c ketchup
1/4 c bbq sauce
1Tbsp mustard (I used spicy this time, but you can use whatever kind you want :)
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp garlic salt (or 2 chopped garlic cloves)
1 tsp onion salt (or 1/2 of medium onion)
1 Tbsp A1 Cracked Peppercorn Dry Rub (if you don't have this I would just use pepper)

Stir all the ingredients (without the steak) together in your marinade bowl.

Then take your steaks and put them in your marinade.

Now this is the part that really makes the steak yummy and tender: Poke the crap out of each steak with a fork. Make sure that each steak is evenly coated in the marinade. 

The more you poke the steak the more flavor/tender the steak.


After letting your steak sit for awhile (at least 2 hours, but 24 hours would be even better), grill it to your desired doneness. 

PS.  A little tip someone told me when my husband first started to hunt...Onions take out the gamey flavor.  

MMMM yumm!

Best Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe EVER!

Pizza is one of my family's all time favorite foods, but we live far enough from town that no delivery boy is gonna show up at my door!  Nor will I be quickly picking up pizza from the store 2 blocks down. 
So after many years of working on getting a decent pizza recipe this is the one that is my family's favorite!

This pizza's toppings: 
ranch dressing (instead of tomato sauce)
canadian bacon
cheddar cheese
mozzarella cheese

I personally like to use my Bosch when I make bread dough, cause its quick and easy!  Plus, I wouldn't know how to without it!

Pizza Dough Recipe:
2 cups Warm Water
2 Tbsp Quick Rise Yeast
1 Tbsp Sugar (or honey if you prefer)
2 Tbsp Oil
5 Cups Flour (you might need more or less depending on the age of your flour and your humidity)

Put the yeast and sugar in your warm water.  Let the yeast grow a little bit.  Then combine it with your oil and flour.  I start out with putting 3 cups of flour with the liquid mixture in my mixer and then slowly adding more flour until the mixer cleans off the sides and bottom of the bowl like in the picture. 

Let dough rise until its about doubled in size.

This recipe makes 2 cookie sheet pans of thinner crust pizza.  I will sometimes make my crust thicker and make only 1 pan of pizza and then do a smaller pan of cinnamon roll pizza for dessert.   (for the cinnamon roll desert pizza I sprinkle on brown sugar,  cinnamon, and sometimes chocolate chips, then top with frosting when it is still warm and just removed from the oven)

Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes.  I always put the cheese on in the last couple minutes of baking. 

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Half Square Triangle Pillow from Kona Charm Squares

I always love to learn something new, and this was no exception.  I have seen half square triangle quilts all over the webosphere, but I hadn't attempted one of my own.  I was able to complete this Half Square Triangle Pillow with the help of +Amy Smart!
half square triangle pillow
 A couple weeks ago I attended +Tauni Everett Event for bloggers called Snap!  It was held in SLC.  At the conference they had a sewing room.  It was Awe-Some!  I pretty much hung out there the whole time.  Mingling with fellow sewers, sewing away on +Baby Lock sewing machines.
half square triangle pillow
It was tons of fun! 

So here are the basics.  
  1. We took 8 charms from a Kona solid fabric stack.  Each stack only has 1 of each color so I bartered and traded until I had enough of the pink and turquoise bluish fabrics.  Then you will also need 8 solid white 5" squares.
  2. Then take a pen and something straight that is stiff and mark down the middle of the squares going from 1 point to the opposite point (you will only need to mark down the colored squares or down the white squares, not both)
  3. Stack 1 colored square on top of 1 white square, with right sides together. 
  4. Sew down each square 1/4" away from the line that you just marked, on both sides of the mark.
  5. Cut each square down the marked line and you will now have 2 new squares from each of the 2 squares you sewed together.  They will be made up of 2 triangles, 1 white and 1 colored
  6. Figure out the layout you would like with all the squares.
  7. Sew your squares into 4 strips (made up of 4 squares)
  8. Then sew your strips into a square
  9. For the back you will need 1 fat quarter.  You can finish the pillow however you would like.  I finished mine with an envelop back because that is what is easiest for me.  Plus when I need to wash the cover then I can just pull the pillow out and give it a quick wash.

I hope you enjoy making your very own Half Square Triangle Pillow

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Teacher Appreciation Embroidered Frame

If you are like me, you didn't think about Teacher Appreciation week until your School Aged Child came home and insisted on taking a gift to her teacher.

So I needed something quick and easy to make for her teacher.  This is what we came up with:

A simple frame from +Family Dollar (plus it was only $3) and a piece of fabric embroidered with her name on it.  The flowers came from my bucket of random flowers that I have gathered over the last few years.  They were lovingly placed and glued by my 8 year old that wanted NO help!

Of course we had to use purple, cause its her teachers FAV-OR-ITE color. 

If you don't have an embroidery machine, don't fret!  You can just use paper, and write the name and glue a couple embellishments on it, or use stickers for the name.  Use what you have at your disposal! 

This was embroidered on my +Brother Sewing Machine (PE 770)

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Mother Day Gifts Roundup (Perfect for Grandma Too!)

I don't know why, but Mothers day and Fathers day Gifts are so HARD for me to figure out.  Maybe it is because I procrastinate, or maybe it is because I worry that the gift will never be good enough, or maybe I can't decide between having my kids do something for Grandma or if I should do something (or both).  GAH!

 So I thought I would share with you all some fun, quick, and easy Mothers Day Gift Ideas that will work for Grandma too:

Make a button flower arrangement:
vintage button flower arrangement

Make a breakfast serving tray:
breakfast serving tray for mothers day

Make a cute little vase with fabric tape and your child's picture:
handmade vase for mothers day

Make an Apron:
handmade apron for mothers day gift

 Make an embroidery hoop with your childs hand print:
Mothers day gift ideas

Make a Card that looks like a tulip:
Mothers day gift ideas

Make beautiful vases with epsom salt:

Make a hand stamped necklace:
Mothers day gift ideas

Make some cute Handprint Tote Bags:
Mothers day gift ideas

A handstamped bracelet (this goes to an Etsy Seller that I LOVE!)
Mothers day gift ideas

For more Mothers Day Gift Ideas head on over to HERE, HERE, or HERE

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