Slow Sunday Stitching 4

Another Hatchett Job, applique, hand applique, applique fail, hand stitchingHand stitching did happen at our cabin this weekend, but it didn’t all turn out as expected.  After pinning and preparing the dresden plate blocks, they shifted during stitching.  While I was fretting over making sure that my stitches were small and hidden, my block started sliding in a bit of a spiral pattern.  Some un-stitching is definitely in order so that I can try a different technique next time.  I really didn’t see that coming.  I am used to pinned fabric staying in place.

After I posted the above photo to the Celebrate Hand Quilting forum on Facebook, I got several helpful tips to help me in moving forward.  I think I will try to fuse the blocks down with some Wonder Under (stopping a half inch or so before the ends so I can still hand applique the blocks).  I am hopeful that it will hold the blocks firmly in place while allowing me to practice the tiny, hidden stitches that looked so nice (before I noticed the shifted blocks).  Oh well, it’s all part of the ol’ live and learn philosophy that I have and that I will continue to have until it becomes a major time crunch–then it’s time to panic!  For now, time is not an issue, so I will soldier on for another week and see how things go.

I hope that all of my American friends were able to celebrate Thanksgiving this year with an open heart and a stuffed tummy!  For my international friends, I hope you were able to spend some time with family this week also!  Love to all the stitchers out there!

What are you working on this week?  Are you a Slow Sunday Stitcher?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett


Happy Thanksgiving

Today is the day that is set aside in the United States for thankfulness.  Often, families get together and spend time over a feast that commemorates how the Indians helped European settlers during their first year on this continent.   Without such help (for which the Pilgrims were quite grateful, we are told) none of them would have survived.

I hope that wherever you are, you are finding reasons to be content and thankful for all that you have and that you are either with those you love or will have a chance to be with them soon.

Another Hatchett Job, creative commons, Happy Thanksgiving, autumn leaves

From our family to yours, may your heart always be thankful.

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett

10 Christmas Ornaments to Make, Part 1

Some of the most fun I have during the holiday season is browsing the internet for ideas for Christmas ornaments that I can make for our tree or for gifting.  I really enjoy the creativity and inspiration that I find online.  There are just so many truly creative people in the world and they are sharing their wonderful ideas.  I am not certain which ones I will get around to making this year, but here are a few (a very few) of the ones that have caught my eye this year…

Because it is photo heavy, I have decided to offer this post in 2 parts.  I hope you find something to tickle your fancy this year and have fun making an ornament or two!  These are listed in no particular order.

Another Hatchett Job, photo shared on Facebook, star ornament, crafts, sewing, holidays1.  These cute little stars are made with folded fabric.  How cool is that?  You start with a pentagon shape and then you fold the points in on the lines of a smaller pentagon and you get a cute, little star ornament!  Look how cute they are even without relying on actual Christmas fabrics.  The instructions for making these ornaments can be found here.Another Hatchett Job, photo shared on Pinterest, Georgia Snowman, melted snowman, diy ornaments, Christmas ornaments.

2.  I just adore this ornament.  I have seen it called several different things, but I like to call it the “Georgia Snowman.”  It’s a great and simple idea for an ornament that even a kid could put together.  Add a cute stamped tag and this is a winner!  Directions for this ornament (and several others) can be found here.

Another Hatchett Job, photo shared on Pinterest, Paper Roses Ornament, DIY Christmas ornaments, recycled ornament3.  The next ornament is made from unreadable or damaged book pages, although I imagine that sheet music or any other kind of paper of a similar weight would be equally workable.  It makes a lovely and delicate ornament with very low cost.  If pages are yellowed a bit, I think it would be even lovelier.  The only drawback that I could see to making this ornament is that a paper ornament must be cared for differently, and is far more fragile, than fabric ornaments.  The blog that originally posted this ornament gives great directions and even includes a video to help you.  The post can be found here.Another Hatchett Job, vintage Christmas ornament, crafts, DIY Christmas ornaments, holidays

4.  This elegant ornament comes from a site that offers no tutorial (it is here, if you want to check this out).  Fortunately, it appears simple to recreate without detailed instructions.  My guess is that they covered an existing ornament (either an older one or a clear one) with paper strips (mod podge, perhaps) and sprinkled glitter on.  The ornament top and hanger were covered with silver glitter paint and hung with twine.  Love the French vibe of this one.  Of course, if you are loathe to use parts of damaged books, you can always print out pages in any language you choose on your computer and use them for your ornaments.

Another Hatchett Job, DIY Christmas ornaments, button ornament, buttons, crafts, holidays5.  This lovely little button ornament.  Some sewists have buttons in a small box or bin that have been passed down.  Perhaps they were cut off of shirts or dresses and used over and over again.  Perhaps they are one of a kind buttons, left over from a button card when the others were used.  This is a great way to get some buttons out of your stash where they can be used and enjoyed.  Multi-colored or metallic buttons could work really well for this also!  You could use glue to affix them to a styrofoam ball or even some straight pins.  The “pearl” topped pins could be very nice here, too.  Mixing shades of white from bright white to pale creams will also add interest and charm.

All of these ornaments would be lovely on any tree, but these ideas are just scratching the top of the pile.  We will have more to come in a few days with Part 2!

What ornaments have YOU made?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett

Life as a Writer

Another Hatchett Job, creative commons, Just Write ItThis “writing life” takes a bit of getting used to.  As a stay at home Mom to two sons (one has graduated from homeschool, the other will graduate from his college certificate program in December), I don’t really get to live by a totally set schedule.  Life gets bumpy sometimes and I am needed to perform various tasks that can change quite quickly sometimes.

Often, writing will seem to take a back seat.  Not that I am ignoring my blog or articles deliberately, as I always seem to have lots of ideas formenting around in my brain.  But, when I sit down to actually write, I often need to get several blog posts written, articles, and/or work on my new project of creating some e-books on DIY topics for Molly Green Magazine.  Some of these things have set deadlines, others are a bit more open ended, but all need to happen.

Not to mention that my oldest son is epileptic and can’t drive.  Younger son doesn’t have his drivers license yet, either, so I am a part time chauffeur.  My father also had a seizure and he is also needing rides to various places as well.  His time of needing rides from my Mother and me will end in a week or so, but we often support each other in various ways, which can be time consuming.

But, I need some creative time in my life to feel balanced.  I need to write.  I need to sew and craft.  It’s truly a NEED for me.

Now off to write….

How do you indulge your creative spirit?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett

Sneak Peek!

Another Hatchett Job, photo by Jan Hatchett, fat quarters, sneak peek fabricsOkay, my crafting friends.  I have some serious crafting vibes going on.  And it isn’t all for gifting purposes.  Some is because I have gotten a serious redecorate the upstairs of the house vibes going on simultaneously.

If you remember from this post, I am no longer going to not post about anything crafty during the holidays because there is just too much good stuff going on and, well, I can’t stand it!  So, while I can’t give everything away, I am seriously going to show what I have going on as much as possible.

This past Friday, I picked up some fat quarters from my local (well, local-ish) quilt shop.  Aren’t they just beautiful, natural tones?  Personally, I think a nice, long skirt with the paisley on the right would be fabulous!  But, these are for a mystery project that a few of my barn girlfriends and I will be doing together.  Ooooooh!  Good friends, lots of fun, and crafts.  Can’t go wrong with that combination!

I am getting particularly happy with the projects I have picked for this year and I usually am plagued with self doubt during this time of year.  Hmmmm.  Not sure what is going on, but I am digging these happy vibes!

What are YOU crafting for this Christmas?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett

Slow Sunday Stitching 3

Another Hatchett Job, photo by Jan Hatchett, Christmas ornaments, frugal life, frugal gifts, frugal holidays, star ornaments, diy ornaments, hand sewingHello friends,

This week, I haven’t worked a single stitch on the quilt.  The wonderful (steal of a deal, many years ago) lamp that sits just behind and beside my rocking chair has blown its ballast.  Hubby will have to order a new part for it, so with the holidays impending, it will be a week or more before we can get back into full quilting mode.  Sigh.  I do realize that I am very, very lucky to have a handy hubby as opposed to spending money on a new lamp.

As for actual hand stitching, I have done a little bit.  I sewed some trim and buttons on some homemade fabric Christmas ornaments.  They turned out very cute, but, unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of them.  I plan to use them as little gifts, or as gift tags.  The best part is when they are fun to actually make and you smile while you stitch!  That is success in my book!

I worked on some star ornaments that are being hand sewn together.  They are a little wonky, but cute and cheerful.  In the photo, the one on the left is partially sewn (it’s really kind of tough to not sew through all of the layers with every stitch and only catch the top fabrics).  The ones on the right are just pinned down.  I have no idea why I purchased these fabrics.  I got them on super sale (I found the receipt) at my LQS.  I don’t think I had a particular project in mind for them at the time.  So, this made for a rather frugal way to use up some bright, holiday fabrics into Another Hatchett Job, photo by Jan Hatchett, dresden plate quilt block, hand applique, frugal life, frugal gift, quilting, hand sewingornaments.

My biggest project is getting some things ready for Christmas projects.  Some are for gifts and some are for my home, but I spent a fair bit of time getting some dresden plate blocks ready for hand applique over the holiday weekend.  The only hand applique that I have ever done has been the raw edge, blanket stitched version.  I have never done any where the edge is turned under and the stitches are hidden before.  This could be interesting!

I like to do some hand work while watching movies or binge watching on Netflix and this appears to be a good weekend for that.  So, next week, I may have even more progress to show for my hand sewing.

Of course, I am linking up again at Slow Stitching Sundays at Kathy’s Quilts.

If you missed my other Slow Stitching Sunday posts:  #1 is here and #2 is here.

What wonderful projects are YOU working on?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett


Thanksgiving Cactus

Lots of people have Christmas Cactus plants.  They are downright common.  I thought that I was purchasing a Christmas cactus, years ago, when I bought a small, spindly sprig from my local WalMart and hoped I could keep it alive.

But, alas…  I did NOT obtain a Christmas cactus.  This plant has consistently bloomed, every Thanksgiving, without fail.  Weather is unseasonably warm; cactus blooms Thanksgiving week.  Weather is unseasonably cold; cactus blooms Thanksgiving week.  Weather is incredibly different from anything ever seen in human history… you guessed it!

Another Hatchett Job, photo by Jan Hatchett, Thanksgiving cactus, houseplants

I guess if I am not exactly normal, I can’t expect my houseplants to be.

Do you have any quirky plants?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett


Almost Pinterest Pasta, Take Two

Another Hatchett Job, creative commons, pasta, bow ties, recipesOkay, here’s where the story got interesting.  At the store, I forgot all about the Rotel Tomatoes and thought I remembered a creamy sauce.  Plus, I thought I would sneak in a vegetable to this one pot wonder of a meal.  I told hubby what I was making for dinner that night and came home and got to fixing….

Imagine hubby’s surprise when the meal he was anticipating wasn’t the actual meal on the table at all.  Imagine my surprise when the meal that I prepared wasn’t at all the meal that I thought I was preparing.   We had a good laugh.  I resolved to start writing things down. But, we tried it and the whole family really liked it.  Hence, it is ALMOST the Pinterest Pasta that I had intended.

I recently took this to a family game night and it went over terribly well.  Several asked for the recipe, so I figured in an effort of full disclosure, I would post both recipes because we enjoy them both so very much.  This is my version….

Almost Pinterest Pasta

1 quart chicken broth

1 pound chicken meat, shredded or chunked

1 pound pasta (any will do, we use penne most of the time, but I love the bowties for the cute factor.  Lately, I have been eating whole wheat, but the hubby and kids aren’t convinced yet)

One package of frozen leaf spinach (preferably not chopped)

1 cup of heavy cream

1-2 cups mozzarella cheese

Gluten Free option:  use only Gluten Free pasta of any type and grate your own cheese to avoid any flour used to dust pre-shredded cheese).Another Hatchett Job, creative commons, pasta, spaghetti, recipes

Other options:  this is a very forgiving recipe.  Any meat can be used.  If the meat needs to be browned, use 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil in pot to brown and add ingredients to it per the instructions.  Any veggie that is good in a casserole could be good in this.  Use what you have on hand.  Think leftovers.  We will be using this on Thanksgiving weekend to give left over turkey a new lease on life. You can substitute some evaporated milk, half and half, fat free half and half or whatever you like to make the cheese sauce.  It just needs to be thicker than milk.  I might even try mixing some dry milk powder with milk to thicken it a bit.  The sky is the limit with this one!

Add chicken broth to large pan with lid (we use a 5 quart dutch oven).  Add chicken meat and bring to a boil.

Add pasta and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add frozen spinach and return to boil for about 5 more minutes or until pasta is just done.

Remove from heat and add cream and cheese.  Mix to combine and melt cheese.

Serve and enjoy.

Please share in the comments if you have tried this recipe or a variation and let us know how it turned out!

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett

Disappearing 4 Patch Baby Quilt

Another Hatchett Job, photo by Jan Hatchett, disappearing 4 patch quilt block, quilting,
Washed, dried, and ready to deliver!

It is just too stinking much fun to make baby items and my favorite baby item to make is a cuddly quilt.  I have crocheted sets and quilted sets.  I love doing them both.  This time, I was able to make a baby quilt for a lovely family at church who is expecting a baby girl any time now.

This is my first real experience with any of the “disappearing” block ideas, but it really is an interesting technique to learn.  I can see this block being very versatile in various sizes and in a wide range of fabric goodies, from depression reproductions, to civil war, to red, white, and blues, to a good ol’ scrappy one.  It’s geometric without being plain and stodgy.  These fabrics just made me smile at their bright colors as I worked.

I used white muslin and a charm pack of 5 inch squares that I picked up.  The backing and binding are made from a purple muslin that feels just a tad heavier than theAnother Hatchett Job, photo by Jan Hatchett, quilting, quilt back, baby quilt white muslin.  All in all, it came together pretty well.

This is the first time I have tried to use “organic” quilting, which is basically machine quilting unstructured wavy lines across the quilt top.  I didn’t mark anything and just kind of followed the lines of the piecing, working my way around pins as I went.  I like how it turned out, even if I did have to frog out (rip-it!  rip-it!) 3 rows and try again.  On the whole, it was rather easy once I got the hang of being fluid with it.  My youngest son thinks that the quilting looks like waves across the quilt top and that makes me like the idea of doing it on a predominately blue quilt some time.

I really think that this pattern and quilting style will be useful on many future projects.

What have YOU been working on lately?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett

Sneak Peek

I just love having projects to work on! In fact, I often have many going at once with a long term project interrupted a few times for quicker gifts and projects along the way.

I also have a love/hate thing with Christmas crafting. I simply adore all the projects and fun things I can make, but I feel like I must keep them all a secret until after the holiday, for fear a recipient might see them on my blog. So, this year, I have a new plan. I am just showing everything I am working on. Some will be for me, some for gifts, some just for fun. No one will know until Christmas if any of it may be headed their way.

And, as usual, I am keeping an online log of ideas that just might be useful one of these years. Who knows, one of these fun items may become gifts one of these years. Hopefully, this will keep me from forgetting good ideas and keep you full of new ideas to try also.Another Hatchett Job, photo by Jan Hatchett, Dresden plate quilt block, sneak peek, moda fabric, crafts, sewing

This is my latest fun project!  I am attempting a dresden block…or two…or three.  Love these rich, Autumn fabrics.  These are from a Moda layer cake, but I didn’t keep the wrapping, so I am unsure of the name.  I am certain that these blocks would be fabulous in any fabric combination.

What projects have you got in the works?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett