Crafty Kitchen: Oreo Spiders

I’ve had a lot of fun coming up with Halloween related goodies like our Owl S’mores and now these spiders! These are an easy treat to make. For ingredients you’ll…

Fabric Pumpkins Tutorial

Looking for an easy DIY pumpkin? Look no further! Here’s a cute way to make them out of fabric. You could even have an older child make or help make…

Free Pattern Features: Halloween Pillows

Looking for ways to add some Halloween fun to your decor? On Craft Buds we’ve featured Halloween printables, fabric pumpkins, and owl smores. Lots of other crafty sites have been…

Jack-o’-Lantern Shirt Stencils

Looking to add some Halloween fun to your family’s wardrobe? Here’s a shirt idea for either you or your kids to make. It would also be a fun project for…

Baby Gift Idea: Personalized Wooden Blocks

Are you looking for a personalized gift idea that’s handmade and unique to the recipient? Then you’ll love a new handmade shopping site I discovered called Hatch.co.

If you are a handmade artist specializing in custom embroidery, quilts or any other handmade product, you may want to check out becoming a vendor at Hatch. It’s a marketplace of hundreds of hand-selected innovative makers and artisans who create customizable products.

Personalized Wooden Blocks Baby Gift Idea

It’s simple and fun to customize or personalize an order on Hatch, and there are some really fun and unique handmade gift ideas! Think made-to-order jewelry, custom decor, beautifully designed gifts, and fashion and wedding accessories.

Little Saplling Toys Personalized Wooden Blocks

I ordered 8 personalized wooden blocks for Elliot from a vendor called Little Sapling Toys. (You can also order 5 wooden letter blocks or 11 blocks (or any combination of the sets) depending on the length of the child’s name.) Aren’t they fun?

Little Saplling Toys Personalized Wooden Blocks

Each of the letter blocks has a photo on the back with a word that starts with the same letter. You can order extra blocks with a star or heart on them to use as spacers.

Elliot and Personalized Wooden Blocks

I really enjoyed browsing the selection of customized gifts at Hatch.co. This concept is unique among handmade marketplaces because every product can be customized in some way! With a name, with a photo, with a date or a location. I was this close to ordering a fun Instagram photo pillow!

Father’s Day Special: Free Shipping

If you’re looking to try out Hatch, here’s a special offer for Craft Buds readers! Hatch wants you to try out their site, and they will reimburse your shipping cost up to $10.

To get your discount, just e-mail discount@hatch.co with code ‘DAD14′ in the subject line and Hatch will reimburse the shipping cost (up to $10) to your credit or debit card. This offer is valid for up to 3 separate orders and expires June 14, 2014.

Disclaimer: I received this product free in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Fast Teacher Appreciation Gift! (+ Free Printable)

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Last night I realized I hadn’t gotten anything for my son’s preschool teachers and their last day was today. So, we had to do some quick thinking. I love new scissors and I figured it’s something teachers could use so we ran to the store and picked out a few pairs of Fiskars designer scissors in different colors. They also have some fun prints like zebra print or a blue and white design (my favorite!) but those weren’t available at our local store.

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I designed and printed tags, then we cut them out, glued them to cardstock, taped them to the front of the scissors and tied a big bow around the top. After these photos my son signed his name in the white space and I wrote a little note on the back. Fast and easy and the teachers were excited to get new scissors!

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You can download the free printable Thanks for making me so sharp! and/or the You’re a cut above the rest! and there are 4 per page. Happy summer!

printables

 

Non-Slip Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial from sewVery

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Do you have problems with your sewing machine or serger sliding around on the table while you work? I do! I even broke a water glass the other day because it fell off my sewing table while my work station was bumping all around.

I love this smart solution from my friend Veronica, who blogs at sewVery! It features some pretty Maisie by Maude Asbury fabric from Anna Griffin.

Head over to sewVery to see the non-slip machine mat tutorial!

Patchwork Potholder Tutorial with Sewing Mama RaeAnna

My friend RaeAnna, who I have the pleasure of seeing in real life as well as following her sewing blog, has whipped up a fun tutorial for Craft Buds readers today! It’s a pretty patchwork hot pad featuring the Clementine line of fabrics in the Anna Griffin shop. You can make this project with fat quarters or scraps, and it makes a great housewarming gift!

Head over to Sewing Mama RaeAnna for the tutorial!

Panasonic Cordless Iron Review

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A couple months ago I was ironing some pieces for a quilt. The best place for me to set up our iron has the plug on my left and I iron with my right hand. I’m constantly trying to get the cord out of the way so I don’t accidentally iron and burn up the cord. I needed a break from ironing so I checked my e-mail and had literally just received an e-mail asking if I’d like to try out a Panasonic Cordless Iron. My answer was YES!

panasonic iron and case

I’ve had the iron for awhile now and have been able to give it a good test run. I will definitely be using this iron now to replace my old one! It comes in a pretty carrying case with handle that has worked well just for carrying it around the house. It would be especially great for someone taking it to quilting or sewing groups. There’s also a charging base with a retractable cord. The iron has a lot of great features. One of my favorites is that the water tank is detachable so I can just take the tank over to the sink and fill it up. No more trying to pour water into a hot iron! The water tank also has a lid to seal it shut.

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There are 3 steam settings to choose from; off, low or high. The steam also works vertically so you can use it to steam a hanging garment. Just push the steam button! I tried to take a photo but it turns out it’s difficult to steam a shirt and take photos at the same time. You’ll have to take my word for it that lots of steam comes out! There’s also a spray mist button which works great on stubborn wrinkles. I found the steam to be nice and steady while ironing and I didn’t get any water spots on my fabric.

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The iron is just a few ounces heavier than my old Black and Decker. It heats up using the charging base so there are no batteries or anything to worry about in the iron. It heats up in less than 2 minutes and it’s ready to go. You do have to get used to putting the iron back in the charging base so it can stay hot. After using it once or twice I got used to putting it back in the base rather than setting it down on the side of the ironing board. Every couple minutes I’m moving my fabric or clothing around and putting the iron back in the base to re-charge so for me it works really well. It might be an issue for someone that doesn’t set their iron down for long periods of time.

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I’m used to a non-stick sole plate but I was pleasantly surprised with how smoothly the stainless steel sole plate worked. There are 3 temperature settings for high, medium and low. There’s a chart to help you choose the correct setting for each type of fabric.

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So to sum it up, you get lots of great features along with no cord to deal with! Ironing is so much easier now that I don’t have a cord in the way. Because the only cord is the base that plugs into the wall, it keeps everything out of reach from my kids so I appreciate the extra safety too.

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If you want to get your own Panasonic NI-L70SRW (just in time for Mother’s Day!) you can order it directly from Panasonic for $59.95 with free shipping. You can also use that link to get more details on the iron and see more photos, or visit here to see a 1 minute demo video.

Disclaimer: I was provided with this iron free of charge in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Quick Quilting Tips: Pinning Alternatives

Welcome to readers of Amy Smart’s Fabulously Fast Quilts blog hop! I’m happy to visit today to share my favorite quick quilting tip, along with the other bloggers on the tour.

If you are like me, you appreciate shortcuts in quilting, like using pre-cut fabrics and chain piecing blocks. If you are familiar with her blog Diary of a Quilter, you already know that Amy Smart is a talented quilter who loves to teach fast and efficient quilting techniques.

I’m here to share with you my favorite quick quilting technique, which has to do with pinning. Actually, it has to do with not pinning! While I do frequently use sewing pins to piece curves, I tend to ignore them when it comes to many other patchwork shapes.

Quick Quilting Tips Pinning Alternatives

 

Tiny Stitches Method

Okay, hear me out. This is my favorite pinning alternative, and I like to call it the “tiny stitches” method.

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First off, I press all of my seams open. This is a great way to ensure accuracy when joining patchwork blocks.

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Next, sew a few stitches back and forth (think of them as small “tacks”) over just the intersecting seams.

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Open up the block, and check your work for accuracy.

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See how accurate this is? Once you’re satisfied with your tiny stitches, you can fold the right sides of the fabric back together and sew along the entire length of the seam. And no pins are required!

I like this method for two main reasons:

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1. Pinned fabric still shifts. See how the seam is off? I prefer to hold the fabric in place with my fingers when it is directly under the presser foot.

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2. I find that these tiny stitches are more accurate than pins, and they save me time in the long run. If I find that the seam doesn’t quite line up just right, it’s easier to pull out just these tiny stitches than to pick apart an entire seam.

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Fewer Pins

If you simply must use sewing pins, an alternative to heavy pinning is to use just a few pins at the seams where patchwork pieces meet. I often use this method if I’m piecing squares, where accuracy is important, but not as critical as when I am trying to achieve precise, triangular points.

Use two, four or six pins. Pin as much as you’d like, and if you are still not getting the accuracy that you desire, you may wish to try this next method.

Basting Glue

Another pinning alternative is to use basting glue instead of pins. My friend Alyssa of Pile O’ Fabric has a great video tutorial sharing her glue basting technique, which will save you from having to stick yourself with pins ever again!

For more time-saving quilting tips, make sure to check out the rest of the posts on the Fabulously Fast Quilts and Quilting Tips blog hop!


Monday, April 28
Sachiko Aldous of Tea Rose Home
April Rosenthal of April Rosenthal Designs
Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane
Tuesday, April 29
Jen Wilding Cardon of Stitch This! Martingale Blog
Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side
Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet
Wednesday, April 30
Faith Jones of Fresh Lemons Quilts
Melissa Mortenson of PolkaDot Chair
Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock
Thursday, May 1
Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced
Lynne Goldsworthy of Lily’s Quilts
Jeni Baker of In Color Order
Friday, May 2
Katie Blakesley of Swim Bike Quilt
Lindsay Conner of Craft Buds
Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life
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