Mug Bag-Mug Rug as Easter Gift

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Red Brolly is offering a free pattern for a really cute, easy-to-make mug carrier and mug rug.  http://www.red-brolly.com/2015/03/butterfly-mug-bag-have-you-made-yours/

Update 9/20/15 – A reader let me know that there is a problem with the above link and sent me some alternate ones for the pattern itself.  She said these links are intermittent but she was able to get a printout of the pattern.

The bag is designed to hold a medium sized mug about 6 inches tall x 3 inches diameter …

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and has a pocket for some teabags.

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There is an accompanying mug rug which folds up in back of the mug bag.

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I have made four versions of the bag to use as gifts.  I made this one as an Easter gift for my granddaughter.

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The fabric is from scraps of an Easter dress I made for her in 2011, back before she became a sophisticated going-on-12 lady who doesn’t wear pretty lace-trimmed dresses any more.

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Instead of a mug, I’m using an 8-oz jar of jelly beans in the bag and will be putting a gift card in the pocket.

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For my two daughters, I’ll have the mugs filled with candy and will have gift cards in the pocket.
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I made one bag/rug to have ready to give to a good friend from Chicago who visits during the summer.
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In her case, I made an embroidered mug rug that shows a painter because she’s a gifted artist.

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I enjoyed making these bags and rugs out of scraps, including using up a lot of small batting pieces.  I included a snap and vintage button on each one.  It’s a pleasant afternoon’s project with just a bit of hand sewing.

Red Brolly’s post has some beautiful bags made from her pattern by other readers.

Click on pictures to enlarge.

A Biscornu Pincushion from Darlene

Today, I found in my mailbox an Easter gift from my blogger friend, Darlene.  She sent me a pretty card and a biscornu pincushion she had made.  I was familiar with this type of work only because Darlene had blogged about it with this web site as reference:

http://www.prettyimpressivestuff.com/biscornu.htm

I learned from this web site that a biscornu is an interesting 8-sided little pincushion.  The word “biscornu” (sometimes written “biscournu”) is derived from the French adjective meaning skewed, quirky or irregular.

Darlene’s tiny cross-stitch work is so beautiful.  What a nice surprise!

Miniature Pyramid Easter Tree

An Early Easter Gift

Look what I found on the kitchen table when I got up this morning – an early Easter gift from my oldest daughter.  She made a miniature pyramid Easter tree, constructing the shelves and arranging/gluing all the tiny figures.  The piece stands just 9 inches tall with German metal figures about 1-1/2 inches tall.  I love the rabbit ringing the bell on the top shelf.

The middle shelf holds some more German rabbits with colored eggs in a wheelbarrow, a basket and a backpack.

On the bottom shelf is an assortment of miniature Easter figures…chicks, rabbits, a lamb, an egg…

….a unique and beautiful treasure to enjoy for years to come.

An Easter Gift Bag from Scraps

I wanted to make up a small gift bag to hold Easter candy for the grandchildren and I’m always looking for ways to use up fabric scraps.  This little bag fit the bill in both cases and ties securely to keep all the treats from falling out.

This is how I made the bag:

I used 1/4 inch seams throughout.

For the bottom of the bag A:

  • Cut two pieces of fabric 6 inches wide x 6-1/2 inches long.  I chose to use a cute vintage bunny print.  Notice the direction of the print before cutting so that you have the look you want on the front and back of the bag.
  • Draw a 3/4 inch square at the two corners at the bottom of bag A.  This measurement will make the bag 2 inches deep.

  • Cut out the squares

  • Place the front and back of bag A right sides together and stitch along the sides and across the bottom.
  • Spread the side of the bag and bring raw edges together at the corner, matching seams

  • Stitch 1/4 inch straight across for corner

  • Repeat with other corner.  Turn and press.

For top of bag – B

  • Cut 2 pieces of contrasting fabric 6 inches wide x 6-1/2 inches long.  I wanted to use some blue and white scraps for this portion of the bag and cut 6 strips of white and 6 strips of blue, 1-1/2 x 6 inches.  Sew 6 strips, alternating colors, to form two 6×6-1/2 pieces for the top of the bag.

  • Join front and back of B together and stitch down sides.
  • At the top of B, turn down 1/4 inch and then another 1/4 inch and stitch for the hem.

Joining top and bottom – A and B

  • Place the top of the bag over the bottom, matching raw edges at the top and side seams.  Stitch to join these pieces.

  • Turn top A inside of bottom B and press.  Measure down 1/2 inch from seam and pin on an 11-1/2 piece of trim which has been joined with a 1/4 inch seam.

  • Stitch through the center of the trim, catching all 3 layers of trim, bottom and top of bag.
  • Press and assemble bag so that top portion comes out of bottom of bag.
  • Fill with Easter treats and tie with a pretty ribbon.

Bag measures about 5 x 8-1/2 inches x 2 inches deep – just the right size for a stash of jellybeans.

I also made a larger version, using a 6-1/2 inch unfinished quilt block and added borders to make the piece 8-1/2 inches wide x 9-1/2 inches long for the front bottom of the bag.  I added 3 pieces of fabric the same size  for the top and back bottom pieces.  I cut 1-1/2 inch squares for the corners.  On this one, I sewed a piece of lace with eyelets near the top and threaded the ribbon through the eyelets.  You can adjust the fabric size to suit your purposes.  The blocks cut out for the corners gives the depth for the bag.  This bag measures 8 inches wide x 14 inches long x 3 inches deep.

Creamy Ham Tetrazzini

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We had a delicious Honey Baked Spiral Ham for Easter and by the time I sent home slices with each family, I just had scraps to work with for tonight’s supper.  I turned to one of my favorite dishes, Creamy Ham Tetrazzini – easy to make, very tasty and very satisfying.

CREAMY HAM TETRAZZINI

  • 1 Tblsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet pepper (green, red or yellow)
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup chopped cooked ham
  • Grating of black pepper
  • 1 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 oz. dry spaghetti or fettuccine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

In a large oven–proof skillet, heat the olive oil.  Add onion, sweet pepper and garlic – cook over medium low heat until vegetables are softened but not browned.  Sprinkle with salt.

In a two-cup glass measure, place 1-1/4 cups chicken broth and the cream cheese, cut into small cubes.  Heat in the microwave (or over low heat in a small saucepan) until broth is hot and cheese is melted.  Whisk mixture until smooth and pour into the skillet with the vegetables.  Add the chopped ham and grate black pepper over the top.  Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese.

Bake uncovered  in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes.

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While the ham mixture is baking, cook the pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente.  Serve the ham mixture over the cooked, drained spaghetti or fettuccine.  Makes 6 servings.

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The better flavored the ham is, the better this dish will be.