Friday, December 12, 2008

Week 5 Day 6

Happy Home Management!

Kitchen organization tips:

1) Use dividers and trays to store kitchen tools, like objects such as bags of coffee, etc. In addition to using dividers in drawers, you can use them on shelves, under sinks as slide-out trays, and in the refrigerator. Use dividers that are square or rectangular and deep enough to hold what you are trying to contain, but not so large that they do not fit your space. You can use inexpensive dividers you buy at the store. You can also find creative ways to turn other objects into dividers. For example, I buy family size tea bags. The boxes they come in make divider sized containers when empty. Clean dish pans also make good square storage for some itemsAdd Image. You can also find square and rectangular storage items at the dollar-type stores. Don't rely on round containers to act as dividers or storage in the kitchen. The round shape wastes space. Square and rectangular shapes fit together better.
2) Here's an example of a bare-bones way to organize a utensil drawer. Have six compartments or dividers.
a. Two paring knives, one small serrated knife
b. Can opener and potato peeler
c. Rubber spatula, tongs, wire whisk
d. Two sets of measuring spoons
e. Mixing spoons
f. Two pancake turners.
3) Be careful what you store in high cabinets in your kitchen. It's best to store large, light-weight items in those cabinets. If you store stacks of things, they are likely to tumble down on you when you try to retrieve one them. If you do store stacks of things, always use a step-ladder when trying to bring them down.
4) Ideally, baking pans should be stored in your baking center -- where you have arranged the things you need for mixing and baking. However, in most kitchens, we just have to stash them in the largest space we can find. Some cabinets have built in dividers for storing baking pans, cutting boards, etc., vertically. You might experiment with making your own dividers by using inexpensive letter trays -- the kind you might find on an office desk. Of coures, the letter tray will need to fit into your cabinet and also be sturdy enough to carry the weight of baking pans. If this works for you, you will be able to slide out one item and put it back without having to lift up a whole stack of horizontally stored pans.
5) One way to store pot lids is to place them in a plastic container, such as one made for washing dishes.



Know your fabrics!!

To determine the quality of woven (machine or hand) fabrics, hold the fabric up to the light. YOu shouldn't see knots or weak spots. There shouldn't be any yarn ends sticking out or loose yarns. Likewise, the individual yarns or threads should not be crooked or broken. The weave should be firm, close, uniform, and even. Some natural woven items may have nubs or other roughness of texture. This is find for particular types of material. However, even in these rougher fabrics, look for the signs of quality weaving.

A fabric's thread count or fabric count tells you just how tightly woven a fabric is. You'll often see this number printed on packages of sheets and other household goods. This helps you evaluate the nature and quality of the items you are considering purchasing.

The durability of a fabric depends not only on the thread count, but on the type of weave and type of thread or yarn. For example, finely woven Egyptian cotton sheets may have a high thread count, and these will have a wonderfully luxurious feel to them. But, no matter what the thread count, they will not be as durable as a woven twill material.

A fabric may have a tight weave or a loose weave. Sometimes, the thread count will give you an indication of this. For example, you might see a thread count of 64 by 60. That means that the material has 64 warp yarns and 60 filler yarns per square inch. The finer the yarns, the more that can be compressed into a one square inch space.

The weft are threads that run across a fabric, while the warp are threads that run lengthwise.

Here are some fabric types and terms. These are just a very few of the many terms associated with fabrics. These are adapted from "Home Arts" and from Dictionary.com, as well as from a sewing site and a site called, "It's a cover-up.":

Basket weave: a plain weave with two or more yarns woven together in a checkered pattern resembling that of a woven basket.

Batiste is a sheer, fine, combed cotton or cotton blend. It's in plain weave. It's used for soft dresses, shirts, infants' wear, nightgowns, lingerie, and heirloom sewing.

Boiled wool: A densely felted wool fabric; used for coats, jackets, slippers.

Broadcloth: The definition has evolved over time. Today, it generally means cotton and cotton/polyester plain weave fabrics in solid color or print.

Brocade: Heavy jacquard woven-fabric with raised floral or figured designs. Often, it's a satin-weave figure on a plain or twill woven background.

Brocatelle: A stiff upholstery fabric, similar to brocade, with raised or puffed figures. This usually comes in cotton, rayon, or silk.

Chenille: a soft, velvety feeling fabric with a gentle sheen, chenilles are suitable for upholstery, headboards, cushions and curtains.

Chintz: a plain-woven calico cloth, i.e., a fabric made from unbleached and often not fully processed cotton, commonly printed with flowers, chintz are suitable for curtains and decorative upholstery.
Linen union: a linen blended with cotton or other fiber, slightly altering the quality of the cloth but may be a wiser choice for some furnishings as it is stronger, more resistant and creases less. Suitable for bedding, tablecloths, curtains, headboards, soft furnishings and upholstery.

Nap: A one way direction of texture on a fabric such as velvet or corduroy. When using fabric with a nap all pieces must be cut with the nap in the same direction.

Ply: One of the strands twisted together to make yarn, rope, or thread. Often used in combination: three-ply cord.

Percale: a closely woven, plain-weave cotton. This is used for sheets, as well as for dresses and blouses. Percale has a thread or fabric count of 180 or higher.

Pile fabric: Examples are terry cloth, velvet, velveteen, and corduroy. Any fabric in which one set of yarns (pile yarns) stand vertical to the base fabric. May be made by weaving, knitting, or tufting.

Plain weave: A weave in which each filling yarn alternates over and under successive warp yarns, and on its return across the fabric,the yarn goes under and over alternate warp yarns. Plain weave appears identical on both sides unless it is napped or printed.

Pointelle: A ribbed knit with tiny holes or openings in a pattern.

Polished cotton: A plain-weave cotton with a glazed finish.

Poplin: Plain-weave dress goods in which the filling is heavier than the warp, producing a fine, crosswise rib surface appearance. This is usually a medium or heavyweight cotton, but you can find it in wool or synthetics or even silk.

Sailcloth: Durable, strong fabric of cotton, linen, jute, or nylon or other synthetic. Used obviously for sails. Also used for play clothes and upholstery.

Sharkskin: Medium to heavyweight sleek fabric with a slightly lustrous surface. Often in a basket-weave. Made of wool, rayon, silk, or synthetic fibers. Used for tailored suits, slacks, and sportswear.

Tattersall: A style of English plaid; usually has crossing lines in two colors forming squares on the background of a third color.

Tricot: A fine-waled, warp-knit fabric, often used for underwear, sleepwear, and gloves. It's usually made of cotton or synthetic fibers.

Twill weave: Weave with a diagonal pattern. When the diagonal is more prominent on one side than the other, this side is the obvious face of the twill. This is a highly durable weave.

Twist: The number of twists or turns per inch in a given thread or yarn. Hard-twisted yarns have a lot of twists; soft twisted ones have fewer.

Warp: the set of yarns placed lengthwise in the loom, crossed by and interlaced with the weft, and forming the lengthwise threads in a woven fabric.

Fabric terms as related to curtains
(one of the sources for the information above)
Fabric terms as related to furniture (one of the sources for the information above)



Just for fun: follow this link for step by step video instructions for sewing an easy quilted Christmas stocking -- http://www.ehow.com/video_2369514_materials-handmade-christmas-stocking.html

For your home keeping notebook: Do you have a question about fabrics or a particular fabric? See what you can find out.

for your book of days: Describe your favorite fabrics in your home. Do you have a treasured quilt? A comfy upholstered chair? A favorite blouse? What colors and textures are the fabrics? Do you have any sentimental memories attached with a fabric object? Take a photo of the fabric object and put it in your book. If the item is an heirloom -- such as a quilt -- record its history plus handling instructions for future generations.

Enjoy!
Elizabeth

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