Meal Time Organizing

March 22, 2010

Why is it that some days, the hardest part of writing a blog post is coming up with a title? I swear, I spent 25 minutes going back and forth on what to title this post, and the above is the best I could come up with???

:: :: :: ::

It was snowy and cold on Saturday, and my husband and boys spent most of their day out skiing, or inside playing backgammon, and I had a chance to go down to my sewing room to put together some ideas for around our house.

One of my favorite things to do is to sit with my design book and just sketch ideas that come into my head. Some of them work out, some of them completely bomb, but either way it is still a great time. I had really wanted, and needed, a weekend at home to play with fabric, and experiment with different ideas, so it was nice to have a small bout of cold weather to keep us indoors.

I love spending Sundays going through cookbooks, magazines, the Food Network, and my old recipe box to get ready for my week ahead. Meal planning has always been such a fun part of cooking and baking, and I wanted to try and create something that would allow me to have not only my week’s daily menu organized, but the recipes, grocery lists, etc. that I need for each week’s meals in one.


The Weekly Recipe Organizer

Materials

Fat quarter of fun fabric
Fat Quarter of heavyweight natural muslin
Lettered stamps
Ink stamp pad
Ribbon cut to desired length

Cut 2 pieces of your print fabric, and 2 of your muslin fabric 22 1/2″ x 6 1/2″

* I chose to make the organizer for only Monday – Friday. I like to keep our weekends unplanned, so this works for us. If you would like to make this for all seven days, you will need to add in an extra 10″ in length to your piece.

Cut two pieces of heavy weight fusible interfacing 22 1/2″ x 6 1/2″, and fuse according to manufacturer’s instructions to one piece of your patterned fabric, and one to your muslin (one to your front fabric, one to your back)

Using your second piece of patterned fabric, cut five pockets 6 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ (Cut seven if doing the entire week)

Using your second piece of muslin fabric, cut two of your back pockets 7″ x 6 1/2″

Press both long ends of each pocket down by 1/4″, then again 1/4″. Top stitch one end ( this will be the top of each pocket).

Using the rest of your muslin, cut 1″ cubes of fabric, and hand stamp the letters for each day onto each (you will have to use a larger cube for Thursday).

In the bottom right hand corner of each of your pockets, mark 1 1/2″ in from the corner, and pin your lettered muslin cube. Using a zig zag stitch, sew to each pocket

Pin each pocket to your front fabric, making sure that the distance between each pocket is uniform.

Using a 1/4″ seam, sew a seam down each side of your main front fabric, then sew the bottom edges of each pocket in place.

Do the same for both back pockets as well.

With right sides together, pin your ribbon in place, and pin all sides. Beginning in the middle of one side, with a 1/2″ seam allowance, sew around the entire piece, leaving a three inch opening.

Clip corners, being careful not to cut your stitches, and turn right side out. Using a blind hem stitch, sew your opening closed. Iron, and fill with recipes, grocery lists, etc.


This is a project that can be used for a lot more than just recipes or grocery lists, and can certainly be made larger to accommodate a week’s worth of just about anything.


Every recipe holder deserves a yummy homemade recipe to go with it. Here is the quiche recipe that I made to celebrate the beautiful Spring Equinox with family and friends on Saturday evening. Enjoy

Spring Quiche

1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
9 eggs
1/2 cup of chopped grilled asparagus
1/2 apple, diced
1/2 cup of sliced roasted turkey breast
1/2 cup of sauteed mushrooms
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
Salt
Pepper
1 pie crust (I used the gluten free pie shell from Whole Foods Bakery)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place unbaked pie shell, pricked with a fork, into oven and bake for 8 minutes

Combine all ingredients (add in cheese, salt and pepper to taste), and mix well. Pour into pie shell, and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until set.

Enjoy!

The above project photography is yet another great example of white balance with a camera. You can see that the first and last photo of the project do not look, color wise, anything like the pictures in the tutorial itself. I forgot to change the WB in my camera when I moved the project from the table to the refrigerator, hence the difference. I could have color corrected it in Photoshop, but I thought it would be fun to explore the differences. It always amazes me how different things can look, even with one small “mistake” like this. The pictures of the tutorial are more representative of the actual color of the fabric itself

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

jessica March 22, 2010 at 11:09 am

I have really gotten into meal planning lately– I think the somewhat Spring-like weather is inspiring me a bit. I am loving going through and discovering recipes I printed and forgot about. I could also see myself doing something like this to make a hanging to-do list with notes, bills, coupons in pockets for certain days. I can't wait to see what comes out of your sketch journal next!

Reply

Hannah March 22, 2010 at 11:21 am

Your pie looks great! I'm terrible at thinking of blog titles too

Reply

Kellyi March 22, 2010 at 11:32 am

Interesting what you say about White Balance. I've just got a new DLSR camera (my first, ever) and although I am at times overwhelmed with the possibilities, the great shots I've managed to take make it a worthwhile investment. I've asked a photographer friend to spend a day tutoring me, and in return I will teach her to use a sewing machine, a good trade off, I think :)

Reply

bright and blithe March 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm

What a great tutorial! Thanks, Heather.

Reply

Emilie March 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Very cool! Thanks for the pattern and idea!

Reply

AdirondackMama March 22, 2010 at 12:37 pm

OK, this is ingenious. I am totally going to make one of these…with all of the cooking and baking I've been doing lately, I need something to keep it all in line.

And the quiche, WOW. Right up my alley. I think you just answered my question for what to bring to work to share for tomorrow.

PS, I emailed you back, not sure whether you got it. It all sounds great. Let me know.

Reply

Audra March 22, 2010 at 1:21 pm

What a great idea! So much prettier than a scribbled on piece of notebook paper on the side of the fridge. Very inspiring!!!

Reply

Mary--YDP March 22, 2010 at 1:38 pm

O my, what a great tutorial. And that quiche, looks beautiful!

Reply

Ivy March 22, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Ok, at the risk of sounding dumb — where do the back pockets go. Are you sewing them to the back of the back piece of fabric (muslin)? Sometimes I have a hard time conceptualizing how something is really supposed to go. Otherwise I love this idea.

Thanks.

Reply

erin March 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm

oooo….now this could get my excited about meal-planning!!! absolutely beautiful!!!!

Reply

Meryl March 22, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Yummy, yummy looking pie there!

Reply

5orangepotatoes March 22, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Such a great way to organize, I just have my recipes clipped to the fridge and I'm constantly misplacing them. You have the greatest collection of fabric. I'm lacking in that department, unless you're looking for sweaters or felt. thanks for the tutorial!
lisa

Reply

maeghan March 22, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Love the planner. My favorite Pie Crust is that one, you just can't beat it! Happy Spring!

Reply

Valarie March 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Yum that quiche looks great. That's what I'm having for dinner tonight. I love to watch the foodnetwork on Sunday mornings too. It's me, my coffee, and Giada. Your meal planner is so cute, birght and colorful. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Reply

GinnySheller March 22, 2010 at 3:36 pm

I hate naming my blog posts and have thought of just going to naming them based on the date. I am just not clever in that regard. Sometimes I find that I love planning meals, and some weeks it is hard to think of what to make the following week. It is a weekend tradition though because I have to plan, not a fly by the seat of my pants cook.
And white balance: I keep mine set to auto when I am indoors-I have yet to find a good setting for indoor natural light as in daytime, no electric lights on. What do you use in that circumstance? I also find that I have my own idea of what looks good, so not necessarily correct white balance, and play with it in Lightroom. But gosh, I am finding that I just don't have time for it all lately.

Reply

SugarMama March 22, 2010 at 3:59 pm

I love today's tutorial! Especially the little stamped labels. We would have to be way more organized to actually plan meals, but I am sure going to try to think of something to modify this for.

Reply

Kelly March 22, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Heather – this is so cool! Love it, great job. Yum, that quiche looks great too.

Reply

Francesca March 22, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Another beautiful patterned fabric! I don't plan meals, partly because I never know what I'll find in the stores, and partly because I'm not that organized. I plan a meal when I open the fridge and take a look at what we have:)! About post titles, what a nightmare! I often end up asking my boys to come up with something. But I noticed some blogs don't use titles at all, and I'm tempted to consider that.

Reply

Casey March 22, 2010 at 6:07 pm

I love this idea. I was trying to find a good way to organize meals while I'm at school so I know the kids are getting decent meals and my husband or mother can follow a recipe. I"m going to have give this a try over the weekend.

Reply

Sarah Jane March 22, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Ooo…that quiche looks so great. I don't believe you when you said you didn't used to be organized, Heather.

Reply

denise March 22, 2010 at 12:36 pm

this is great. do all your recipe cards have pictures like the ones shown? if so, wow!

Reply

marina March 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Oh my gosh, Heather! I was JUST thinking about googling a recipe for a springtime quiche! Thank you for posting that and the wonderful tutorial on making such a lovely weekly food organizer! It inspires me to be better at planning our meals!

Reply

allison March 22, 2010 at 6:54 pm

this is such a cool idea for keeping organized! we always plan out meals a week in advance, but i often forget what we've decided as the list gets tucked in a drawer. i'm definitely bookmarking this. thanks!

Reply

Lisa Q March 22, 2010 at 1:02 pm

love this little pocket holder organizer…you're right, it is so great for so many things…thanks again heather for another great tutorial. (and I agree the title is often the stumper for me when doing a blog post!)

Reply

Jodi March 22, 2010 at 8:06 pm

This is wonderful….Seeing your project progress through pictures is a treat. And what a great idea. In my mind, our meals are organized, but nothing's on paper. Such inspiration.

Reply

angela March 22, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Heather,
I love this idea. Meal planning is one of my favorite weekly rituals, having a beautiful display to hang on the fridge will make it that much sweeter. I have never tried a quiche before your recipe sounds delicious I will give it a try.

Reply

Childhood Magic March 22, 2010 at 11:46 pm

This is fabulous! Organizing our mealtimes is the next piece of the puzzle for me. I needed this post—so perfect, thanks!

Reply

Jennifer March 23, 2010 at 12:43 am

Beautiful tutorial. I love the fabrics and I really like the letter stamps on the muslin fabric. You're really inspiring me to try painting on fabrics. I loved the spring banner that you made so much! Also, this post made me think maybe I should start putting my favorite recipes on cards. Right now I have piles of books, magazines, papers, cards and I have to sort through them every weekend when I plan.

Reply

eliz~ so wabi sabi March 23, 2010 at 12:48 am

that quiche looks great…my mouth is watering and I have already eaten dinner!

Reply

Marianna March 23, 2010 at 2:56 am

May I put the Rhythm of the Home button on my blog?? I absolutely love your publication and want to share it with everyone!

Reply

larissa March 23, 2010 at 3:32 am

Such a great pocket organizer and i LOVE the letters stamped on muslin – what an awesome design element! I just realized that i haven't made quiche in over a year but i will this week – thanks for all the inspiration!

got your email – i'll have the photos out to you tomorrow.

Reply

nicola March 23, 2010 at 4:45 am

oh my god. you are so creatively organized heather. i almost can't stand it. meal planning is my last food fault. (ok, not my last, but i am horrid at it.) that is incredibly clever and beautifully executed. and as for your post title, i changed mine for today at least 5 times. my titles are never creative, but i aim to sometimes get them to be somewhat descriptive!
nicola
Which Name?

Reply

Imene March 23, 2010 at 12:29 am

It's either the title or the picture in my case ;o)
I love this idea for meal planning!

Reply

rae March 23, 2010 at 11:12 am

fun project! i love that fabric and that quiche looks amazing! ;) gluten free pie crusts from whole foods sound handy…wish we had one near us.

p.s. i am still struggling with intense debate. it only works on certain posts. how's it going for you?

Reply

MamaBird March 23, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Heather – I am so happy I found your blog. I love your ideas… and I feel like I should know you! I, too, love planning out my meals for the week ahead on Sundays. It's a process that has become a comforting rhythm for me. I tend to organize obsessively (are you a Virgo too, by chance?) and so I love your handmade organizer ideas. I really must learn to sew, quick, if you keep posting such great projects!

Reply

suzanne March 23, 2010 at 5:31 pm

i LOVE this!

Reply

Andrea March 23, 2010 at 8:06 pm

This is so lovely! I might actually be inspired to plan our meals if I had something so pretty to keep them in!

Reply

patty-jean March 24, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Perfect – I was planning on making Quiche tonight – sadly I don't have any asparagus, I'll have to settle for dried tomato and fresh homemade dried cottage cheese…Thanks!

Reply

Shivayamama March 24, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Well that sounds super yummy. I would love to know how you like it :)
________________________________________

Reply

SeekingMama March 25, 2010 at 2:09 am

What a clever idea! The organizer is beautiful! And what a yummy recipe…I am all about quiches and fritattas right now….Thanks for sharing!

Reply

patty-jean March 27, 2010 at 5:41 pm

so i did make the quiche, but it turned into quite a different creature – i shied away from mixing apples with dried tomatoes…but it was good anyhow! thanks for asking!

Reply

Jennifer March 28, 2010 at 3:48 am

What an awesome idea for meal organization! Thanks!

Reply

Melissa May 26, 2010 at 7:24 pm

I'm always buying ingredients and then completely forgetting what I had planned to make. This is so perfect, I think I'll make one for every one I know! Thank you1

Reply

liz September 17, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Thanks for sharing this great idea! I can't wait to get started on mine. I so need one of those. Also, I am going to link you to my blog. ziggycrafts.blogspot.com if that's okay.

Reply

thekirakollection October 11, 2010 at 4:04 am

Love the fabrics you used and a nice project and idea. I like the planning out the week. Thanks!

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: