Robot Appliqué Pillowcases – Part 2

Appliqué – a decorative design made of one material sewn over another.  It is pronounced “APP-lee-KAY“, and not “uh-PLEEK” for those of you who are dumb enough to think the latter (e.g., yours truly).  I made the mistake of saying it as such at the office a couple of years ago, and I have yet to live that one down.

Continuing where I left off on the Robot Applique Pillowcases, I cut out the robots and ironed on the fusible interfacing to the backside of the green cut-out.

Applique with Interfacing Fused

I had done everything to make the pillowcases using the purple cloth, except for sewing them shut to make it easier to apply the robots.  I pinned the ‘bots into place and then used small straight stitches to secure them, and then went over them again using zigzag stitches for aesthetics.

I cut out a “T”-shaped piece of green cloth to make the antenna and stitched it on top of the robot’s head as an afterthought.  A robot just isn’t a robot without an antenna, right?  I bought small heart patches and sewed them on by hand.  Unfortunately, the patches were backed with a thick wax backing, and I managed to shove a needle into my thumb during the process.  Thankfully, the hearts were already red, so Kevin couldn’t tell if I bled on his gift.  KIDDING.

Robot Appliqué Pillowcases – Part 1

Disclaimer:  The “everywhere” in “AT-AT Everywhere” applies to several things – one of them being my attention span.  That being said, this project is getting divvied up into multiple entries and probably interspersed between other posts .  I will (try to) give a pseudo how-to, since I didn’t pull this project from any of my nifty sewing books.  As mentioned previously, my grandma taught me how to make pillowcases in high school, and I learned the proper steps and supplies needed for appliqueing by harassing the same poor lady at Jo-Ann’s three days in a row.

What gift do you get for the “Resourceful Has-It-All”?  We’re talking about someone who already has everything (that a normal person could afford to buy), and can find anything you buy for half the price somewhere online.  And if you thought you were clever already finding it for half off, they’d probably be to find it for free somehow.  You now know a little bit about Kevin.  So as you can imagine, I had quite the dilemma when brainstorming birthday gifts for him this past summer.

I conceded that handmade was the way to go.  Why robots?  I have a not-so-secret obsession with robots that Kevin is aware of, and to an extent perhaps even shares.  The shape of the robot applique was inspired by the below necklace I saw (and have been pining over) on a random Google image search a few months prior.

I will find out where to buy this one of these days…

I made the applique stencils by drawing them on a manila folder and cutting out the pair.  One thing to remember when creating appliques is to keep the shapes relatively simple, because complicated shapes are really difficult to stitch on.  After starting the appliqueing process, I quickly began to regret not choosing a simpler silhouette.  Like a square.

Robot Love

Next, I traced the outline of the stencil onto the green applique fabric.  I was worried that the green wouldn’t look as vibrant against the dark purple pillowcase, so I purchased some fusible midweight interfacing and made another set of robots a bit smaller than the ones made from the green cloth.  This semi-opaque white backing for the applique kept the green bright, and also prevented holes from forming when I stitched it to the pillowcase.

Click on the thumbnails below to view them larger.  More to come next time!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes

I would have to say my love of food is probably more fervent than the average person.  There is nothing I enjoy more than ordering 1.5 entrees when eating out, making enough food to last me a couple days and then eating it all in one sitting instead, talking about eating while I’m eating, stuffing my face til I can no longer formulate complete sentences . . . you get the picture.  I cook and eat mostly healthy fare, but I unfortunately inherited my dad’s sweet tooth and will probably inherit his diabetes as well.  I’ve learned by trial-and-error to only bake for other people and/or special occasions, because I end up eating the whole batch when I bake something just for myself.

I made these for a birthday dinner this past August, and the birthday boy was an avid cheesecake and peanut butter lover.  I had never made cheesecake before nor really eaten much of it, so this project was a bit of a challenge in that I didn’t know how to adjust cheesecake texture and flavor during the baking process like I know with cookies or regular cake.

I got the recipe for the Peanut Butter Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes from Food Network, courtesy of Paula Deen.  Click on the photos below for a larger view!

I had no idea how to make cheesecake fluffy, so I thought perhaps just beating the cheesecake mixture extra long with would do the trick.  I think it paid off – when I had my first bite, my favorite line from Despicable Me came to mind.  Big thanks to baking/cooking connoisseur Jay Liu for letting me borrow his electric mixer!

Again, I’m not an avid fan of cheesecake, but I have to admit these were pretty tasty.  The birthday boy liked them too, so that’s all that matters in the end.  Thanks, Paula Deen!