Mary

Frosted Easter Cookies: A Craftsy Class Review

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I’ve always been so impressed by the frosted cookies I’ve seen online, but I never thought I’d be able to make them! So when I had the opportunity to take the Craftsy class, Decorating Essentials: Designer Cookies with Autumn Carpenter, I jumped at the chance. With this class there are 9 online sessions. They cover the dough, royal icing, run-sugar, fondant, painting & flocking, designs and displays. The class teacher, Autumn Carpenter, also gives some cookie templates and shows you how to decorate those specific shapes. 

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Autumn does a great job explaining each topic thoroughly. By the time I had watched all the videos I was ready to try my hand at some cookies! I was a little apprehensive but it turns out I had no reason to be. I made these cookies with my mom and we were both surprised and excited as each step turned out perfectly. Autumn supplies all of her recipes and they worked great. First we made our cookies in the shapes of bunnies and carrots.

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Next we followed Autumn’s techniques to outline our shapes then fill them with color.

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We ended up with a great set of bunnies…

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… and carrots!

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After the cookies dried we packaged them up into Easter gift bags with jelly beans and one of each cookie. For both my mom and I, these were our first cookies using this techniques and we couldn’t be more pleased! The class taught me everything I needed to know for great results.

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If you’ve never taken a Craftsy class, now’s a great time to try! It’s free to sign up and they even have some free classes. You can find cooking, baking, sewing and quilting classes and more on their site. The website is easy to navigate and new classes are being added all the time. Besides classes, you can also find supplies and there’s even an Easter sale going on right now!

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I was provided with this class for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own. The links to Craftsy and the Designer Cookies class are our affiliate links. 

Swedish Fish Valentine Printables

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Happy Almost Valentines Day! I designed these cute and quick valentines for my son earlier this week and thought I’d share. I’ve seen other variations of this idea, but they tend to use candy fish that have been opened and repackaged in clear bags. Of course you can do that with this printable, or if your school requires original unopened packaging for food use the mini bags of Swedish fish like I did.

To get started, download the free printable here: Swedish Fish Valentine The file is a pdf that will open in a new web browser window and you can save or print it using the buttons in the lower right corner of the page.

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Next, use the back of a butter knife to score along the dotted lines on the sides.

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Then cut along the solid black lines.

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Fold along your score lines, then wrap the paper around the Swedish fish bag so the Swedish Fish logo is showing. Attach with clear packing tape.

 

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Have your child write the “To” and “From” and names and you’re done!

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Book Review + Giveaway! Quilting with a Modern Slant

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Today we’re excited to be a part of the Quilting with a Modern Slant blog book tour! This book was just released on January 28 by Storey publishing. It was authored by Rachel May and is 224 pages long. That includes 7 chapters covering different aspects of modern quilting including techniques, color, scale, pattern, improv designs and more.

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Whether you’re a beginning quilter or one with years of experience, this book is a great resource for anyone interested in learning more about the modern quilting movement. On every spread in the book you’ll find beautiful color photographs of quilts and techniques. It’s inspiring to look at just the photos alone.

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Inside you’ll find 9 projects with patterns and instructions and 13 tutorials. There is helpful information for new quilters like supply lists and quilt binding techniques. There’s more advanced patterns for experienced quilters and new techniques like making natural fabric dye with avocado pits.

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While the patterns and tutorials are interesting, the real strength of this book is in the stories and contributions of over 70 modern quilters. There were some names that were familiar to me (Rashide Coleman-Hale, Angela Walters, Denyse Schmidt, Anna Maria Horner and more) and some new ones. I’ve seen many pattern books but this is one of the few quilting books I’ve read that focuses less on patterns and more on the people behind them. 

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It’s fascinating to read their stories, how they became involved in quilting, their tips and tricks and more. The stories touch on other areas of quilting like creating fabric or opening a shop. While those sections are brief, they are interesting and may help you find a new area of interest to pursue.

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Overall, this book is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the makers of quilts. The patterns and tutorials are a bonus but the personal stories from modern quilters are what really make this book shine and bring the modern quilting community to life.

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If you’d like to purchase a copy of the book, visit the Quilting With a Modern Slant website for a list of online sellers.

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Giveaway

Just leave a comment below telling us what you’d like to learn about quilting (one comment per person please) to be entered to win your own copy of the book. Contest is open through Saturday, Feb. 8 at 11:59 pm EST to US and Canada residents. The winner will receive a copy of Quilting with a Modern Slant from Storey Publishing.

The winner chosen by random.org was #24, Fenna from Fabulous Home Sewn Products! Fenna, I’ve sent you an e-mail with more information!

Disclaimer: Storey publishing sent me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

 

January’s Baby Quilt: Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along

Today’s guest poster is January from Sew Sew Go with her take on the Mosaic Tiles quilt block! Here’s what she had to say:

My sweet friend Lindsay from Lindsay Sews got her first book published and is doing a blog hop. I hope you guys have been following along.  The book is amazing and has beautiful quilts in it. I met Lindsay at Sewing Summit a couple of years ago in her creative journey class.

 She was such a sweet person and so easy to talk to. I really enjoyed hearing her story and the journey she had been on with wanting to publish a book. At that moment her book wasn’t green lighted yet. I got to hang out with her again last Feb. at QuiltCon and heard the exciting news that she was being published!!! You can order your own copy here.

 

 

I’m so happy and proud of her and her accomplishments. I was honored when she asked me to join her hop. She asked us to make anything we wanted out of the Mosaic Tiles Pattern. I chose to make a baby quilt because it seems like everyone I know is having babies. I picked a bunch of blues/turquoise and gray fabrics and got right to work.  It was such an easy patten and the directions were great. I had so much fun sewing this up.

 

On the design wall trying to randomize the prints.  


I liked using the 2 different grays. I really thought it made the blocks pop out. 

I love the back just as much. Simple, clean and modern. It was really fun being apart of her hop and I can’t wait to make this quilt again. Go check out her book and join a bee.

 

~January~
Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along
This post is part of the Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along, which you can read about here! You can enter your project any time between now and February 14, 2014 for a chance to win some great prizes. We hope you’ll join us in this beginner-friendly and stress-free quilt along.

Katy’s Teeny Tiny Mosaic Tiles Quilt Pillow: : Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along

Hello! I am Katy, better known as LethargicLass, and I am excited to be a part of this quilt along. I met Lindsay last fall at Sewing Summit, and I bought my copy of Modern Bee directly from her. Sadly, I didn’t think of asking her to sign it though lol. When Lindsay asked if I would like to be a part of this blog hop quilt along I was thrilled! I immediately started thinking of what I could make. I wanted to keep the look of the quilt, but without the size. I am a very slow quilt maker, and I knew I wouldn’t have the time. So I went small. Really small.

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I drew my plan up in my trusty little graph book, and then attempted the math. Several times.

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Finally I figured out that I needed to start with 2” centers and one inch borders to create my original block before cutting into fours.

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I like to work at different stages of things at one time so I don’t get bored by something like a huge pile of trimming. You can see what I mean below.

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I finally finished the pillow at 20”x20”. That is when I realised that my 20” pillow form was actually 18” lol

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It most certainly isn’t perfect, but I love it :) Here is the backside. I used one of my favourite prints from Connecting Threads and I don’t have much left.

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I hope you enjoyed seeing what I made, and I would love to know if anyone else attempts one this small :)  Please check out the rest of the Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along!

 

 

Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along
This post is part of the Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along, which you can read about here! You can enter your project any time between now and February 14, 2014 for a chance to win some great prizes. We hope you’ll join us in this beginner-friendly and stress-free quilt along.

Kim’s Sew Sweetness Aeroplane Bag: Mosaic Tiles QAL

Good Day Folks! 

So happy to be here helping out Lindsay promote her book. I absolutely love it and there are a couple of quilts I can’t wait to make!
 
When I first heard about this I knew it would be fun to make part of the quilt top and turn it into a bag. But what bag? I have a long list of bags I want to make (much to my husbands disgust!) so I thought it would be a good time to try one out. I am absolutely in love with anything SewSweetness so I decided to try out her Aeroplane bag pattern. This is a larger bag perfect for an overnight trip or getaway weekend!!
 
The next step was deciding on the fabric. Never an easy job. I finally decided on a charm pack of Bluebird Park by Kate and Birdie for Moda. Who can resist some cute squirrels and hedgehogs??

The next step was to figure out how many blocks I needed to make for the bag. I got out my trusty graph paper and worked out the numbers. I decided to use the blue background on the top and the green on the bottom. I made them a little bigger so that I wouldn’t have too small pieces.  

Once I had the blocks made and assembled I decided to quilt the panel pieces. I wanted a little more thickness so I put a layer of leftover batting between the fabric and the Soft & Stable. The Soft & Stable was cut to the appropriate size and the batting and fabric were a little bigger. 

I recently got this amazing book by Angela Walters:

so I used this opportunity to try something different on the top- which I loved!

Not perfect but definitely fun to try! I kept the bottom a little simpler.

I was thinking about turning it into diamonds but I really liked this look.

The bag pattern calls for zippered pockets inside but I had some extra strips of the blocks left over so I used these to make normal pockets on the inside and I partitioned them. 

As you can also see I used some bright yellow for the lining. I love bright colors inside so that you can see what is lurking in your bag!

I also added feet to the bag. Feet are super easy to do- if you can use brads you can use these! I went with silver and used 8 of them. I always use some extra batting- or in this case Soft & Stable when attaching them to make it a little more secure. 

Here’s what it looked like on the outside.

Once that was done I finished the bag as directed and it came out great!!
 

 

It was super fun trying out a new quilt pattern and a bag pattern! I am super stoked that I got to be apart of this quilt along with Lindsay and wish her the best of luck with her book as well as her new little guy!!

Take care and Sew on!

~Kim from Kim’s Krafts

 

Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along
This post is part of the Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along, which you can read about here! You can enter your project any time between now and February 14, 2014 for a chance to win some great prizes. We hope you’ll join us in this beginner-friendly and stress-free quilt along.

Quilt Top with Darcy of Modern Cozy: Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along

Hi everyone! Today is my day on the Craft Buds Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along and I’m so happy that you’re here. After seeing all the fabulous projects that everyone has been contributing I felt like I wanted to do something a little different and make Amy’s great design more of a “grown-up” quilt. I’m thrilled with how it turned out – let me share how I did it.

I doubled the size of the original block measurements and I inverted the color scheme, using Kona Snow for my centers and a variety of greens for my outer blocks. This method takes either a FQ or a regular qtr. yard of fabric and one 10″ square PER block.

To make the new, re-pieced blocks you need 2.25 of the original blocks. So starting with this size original block I needed 21 to make my 9 larger re-pieced blocks. (I hope this makes sense as I am in NO way a math whiz. Or math competent most days. If you need clarification please let me know!).

So doubling the original individual block measurements gave me a new block size of 17″.

Then I cut in half vertically at 8.5″…

and again horizontally at 8.5″. Then the fun began of re-assembling the cut up blocks to make the new larger re-pieced blocks. I played around with using three fabrics per new block or using all different fabrics and honestly I liked them both! Using both in my design allowed me to use the all the pieces without “wasting” any.

The new blocks finished at a whopping 24″ square. I love big blocks! They make a big visual impact and they go together super quickly. I finished this top in 3 nights of a couple hours cutting/sewing each night, which made it very doable for a busy schedule. This finished at a generous 73″ square – one more row and I think it would be a queen size-ish quilt!

Of course after traipsing around in the mud and the cold, looking like a crazy woman to all the people out for lunch the shot I like best came from my phone. Murphy’s law ;-)

If you try this version I’d love to see it! Thanks to Lindsay of Craft Buds for writing this awesome book and hosting this quilt along and to Amy for designing such a fun and versatile pattern. You can find all the other posts HERE as well as entering your own Mosaic Tiles project in this great giveaway!

Darcy of Modern Cozy

Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along
This post is part of the Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along, which you can read about here! You can enter your project any time between now and February 14, 2014 for a chance to win some great prizes. We hope you’ll join us in this beginner-friendly and stress-free quilt along.

Homemade Peppermint Ice Cream Cake + Hot Fudge

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Mom’s Hot Fudge

Hands down, this is my favorite hot fudge. Maybe it’s because it’s what my mom has made all my life for special occasions and it still feels special when I make it in my own kitchen. Or maybe, it’s because it’s rich, thick, intensely chocolate flavored and I’ve never had a better hot fudge! It’s also easy to make.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (I prefer salted)
  • 1 cup Hershey’s cocoa (I’ve tried other brands, but they don’t always result in the same consistency in the final product)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions: Melt, but don’t boil, the butter over medium-low heat. Add cocoa and stir with a heat safe spatula until it’s incorporated with no cocoa chunks.

Stir in whipping cream and sugar. If it’s lumpy, remove from heat and use a blender to break up any lumps. Heat it on a medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. The vanilla may hiss or steam a bit. When partially cooled, pour into a container with a good seal. When serving, spoon some out and only heat that portion. If the whole batch is heated and cooled over and over the sugar will begin to crystallize.

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And now that you know how to make hot fudge, let’s make an ice cream cake to serve it with!

 

Ice Cream Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 quart container peppermint (or your favorite flavor) ice cream
  • 1/2 package double stuff oreos, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted

First, get your ice cream out of the freezer and let it sit on the counter to thaw a bit. Crush the oreos into small bits and chunks. I like to put them in a ziploc freezer gallon bag and hit them with the side of a hammer. Stir the melted butter in with the oreos until they’re semi moistened. It’s just enough butter to hold the crust together, since too much better makes the frozen crust hard to cut and serve.

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Using your hands or a piece of wax paper, press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9×9 pan. Now, take large spoonfuls of the ice cream and drop them as evenly as possible on top of the crust.

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When finished, use your clean hands to smooth the ice cream and press it down. Put it back in the freezer to harden. After an hour or two, you can pour a 1/4″ layer of hot fudge on top then return it to the freezer.

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To serve, you may have to let it sit out for a few minutes so the outside softens and removes from the pan easier. Use a strong knife heated in warm water to cut. Serve with a pitcher of heated hot fudge and whipped cream! Serves 9 people generously (cut 3×3 for 3″ square pieces) or 16 smaller pieces (cut 4×4 for 2.25″ square pieces).

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Craftsy

If you really enjoy cooking and baking, now is a great time to check out Craftsy’s online classes (and there’s sewing and craft classes too!). You can get 25% off food classes (affiliate link) during the month of November! I’ve taken their free Perfect Pizza class (affiliate link) and it was definitely worth it. It includes a variety of crust recipes and techniques (including gluten free) along with different sauces and toppings. My family has really enjoyed the pizzas I’ve made with the recipes. A friend even told me it was the best pizza he’s ever had! Below is one of my pizzas from the class, before and after baking.

Crafty also has a contest going right now! Just submit your recipe for a chance to win a free food class using the form here.

perfect-pizza-before-and-after

Repurposing a Baby Onesie for an Older Child

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My younger son had this train onesie that my older son loved. Every time the baby wore it, older son asked when he’d have his own train shirt. So I promised him I’d turn it into a shirt for him when baby outgrew it. To make it work for an older child, I made the onesie into a pouch pocket on a long-sleeved t-shirt. To do this, first I cut off the front of the onesie. Then I trimmed off all the edges so it was square. On this particular design, I trimmed around the old armholes and left those curves in to get the entire train design.

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After trimming the sides straight, fold it in half and make sure the arm hole curves match up and trim if they don’t.

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Then line it up on the new shirt to make sure it fits. Your new shirt needs to be at least a few sizes larger than the onesie if you need to use the entire width like I did with this design. (My onesie is a 12m and the shirt is a 4T.) 

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After checking that the pocket will fit, cut out a second piece of knit fabric to back the front design piece. Line up the two pieces back to back, right side out and iron them flat.

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Then stitch the two sides together close to the edge. This will help in keeping it from stretching too much when you add the bias tape. (If you don’t want to use bias tape, instead turn your two pieces right sides together and sew a 1/2″ seam all the way around, leaving a few inches open at the bottom. Turn right side out. Iron the opening flat with the raw edges folded inside.)

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Then, use 1/2″ double fold bias tape to sew around the edges.You can use store bought bias tape (what I did) or make your own.

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Lastly just line it up on the shirt, pin well to make sure the shirt doesn’t stretch and sew! I sewed two seams, one each on the inside and outside of bias tape and leaving the sides open. You can see the seams here.

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And my son finally gets his train shirt!

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Ways to Follow Craft Buds (Feedly, Bloglovin’, More!)

 

As you’ve probably heard, Google Reader is going away as of July 1. If you’ve been putting off transferring your account, now’s the time to act! We’ve added two new options to follow Craft Buds. You can choose between Bloglovin’ or Feedly, or use your own preferred RSS Feed or an e-mail subscription. We’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr if you want to follow us there! Details on each option are below.

 

Follow on Bloglovin

Bloglovin: Follow my blog with Bloglovin by clicking the link here or by using the new button in our “Follow” sidebar to the left or the one above. When you sign up you can automatically import all the blogs you are following in Google Reader. Quick and easy as long as you are logged into YOUR google account. I made the mistake of importing while my husband was logged in, but was able to fix the problem without much hassle! Here’s a screen shot of my Bloglovin if you’re curious how it looks. It displays each blog article with a the first few sentences and a photo. To the right is a list of all blogs being followed. Mobile apps are available. If you’re a blogger, Bloglovin’ currently has more ways to track your followers and stats than Feedly does.

 

follow us in feedly

Feedly: After trying both Bloglovin and Feedly, Feedly is my personal preference. Sign up for an account or use your Google account to sign in and import the blogs you are following in Google Reader. Quick and easy, just like Bloglovin (again make sure you are signed into your own Google account and not someone else’s). What I prefer about Feedly is the ability to customize how I view the blog posts. The Bloglovin view for both the computer version and mobile phone version can’t be customized. Feedly gives me 4 different feed options (see the screen shots below). On my phone I can change fonts, the transition between screens, font size and more. Sign up or start following us by using the button above or in our “Follow” sidebar to the left.

 

 

Option 1: RSS Feed

Just click the RSS button to subscribe through your favorite reader.

 

Option 2: Twitter

When we publish a new post on Craft Buds we put a link on our Twitter page. Click the link or Twitter button to go to our Twitter page and click “Follow” in the upper right corner (you must be logged in first).

 

Option 3: Facebook

Just like Twitter, when we publish a new post on Craft Buds we put a link on our Facebook page. We also use Facebook to post links to giveaways or let you know about special events or sales! You can click the link or the Facebook button on our site to subscribe by hitting the “Like” button, or you can hit “Like” in the handy Facebook box on the upper left side of our website.

 

Option 4: E-mail

Subscribe to receive our posts in your e-mail. Just click the link or the E-mail button and enter your e-mail to subscribe.

 

Option 5: Flickr

Although you can’t use Flickr to stay updated with our blog posts, you can view photos of our projects and reader projects, or submit your own. Just click on the “Join This Group” option shown by the orange star below to be a part of the Craft Buds Flickr group.

 

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