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…

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.


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


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

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


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:


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.


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.


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

Sew Easy Burp Cloth Tutorial

Burp Cloth Sewing Pattern

The other evening, I was trying to pull double duty. I held the baby on one hip while tossing some vegetables in the skillet. My husband walked in the kitchen to see if I needed some help, and then it happened. The biggest, grossest projectile spit shot from the baby’s mouth to the wooden floor … in the next room!

If you’re a new mom, you may have experienced this scenario. You’ve probably even discovered your favorite kind of burp cloth for cleaning up the worst messes. A pre-fold diaper works great as a burp cloth, because it is super absorbent. Felt and minky fabrics look cute, and they can absorb pretty well, but they can also get kind of smeary.

burp cloths diy

Another great fabric (and my favorite) for absorbing baby messes is terry cloth. Feel free to cut up an old towel, like this smallish green one I’m pretty sure went with me to college. If you don’t already have a favorite burp cloth, maybe this will become your go-to burp cloth sewing tutorial!

Sew up a set of three burp cloths, or a diaper pouch and changing pad for a sweet gift idea.

Sew Easy DIY Burp Cloths

For each towel you’ll need a 10″ x 14.5″ piece of each the following:

- Terry cloth or old towel to cut up
- Fabric
- Quilt batting (perfect for scraps!) for extra absorbency

Burp Cloth DIY 1

1. To make the patchwork version, cut the following fabric cuts:

- 7.75″ x 11.75″Black
-3.25″ x 11.75″ for side strip
-3.25″ x 10.5″ for bottom strip
- 5″ x “3 for monogram

2. Stitch together the green to the black fabric along the long sides. Press seam open. Stitch the other black strip to the bottom. Press seam open. Trim to 10″ x 14.5″.

Burp Cloth DIY 2

3. Want to add a letter or picture? Here’s how to make an applique. I used Pellon Steam-a-Seam II Lite fusible and also stitched around the edge to secure.

4. In this order, stack: 1) the terry cloth, 2) cotton fabric (right side up) and 3) batting. Pin together stack at the corners.

Burp Cloth DIY 3

5. Stitch 1/2″ seam allowance around the perimeter, leaving a 4″ gap on one short side for turning.

6. Trim seam allowance to 1/4″ around the perimeter. Cut off the points on each of the four corners (being careful not to cut too close to your stitches).

7. Turn the cloth right side out.

Burp Cloth DIY 4

8. Press cloth flat, making sure to close the gap. Fold cloth into thirds and mark your folds with a pin.

9. With the quilting cotton side up, top-stitch the burp cloth around the perimeter 1/4″ from the edge. Make sure to catch the gap with your stitches, adding another row of stitches if needed for reinforcement.

10. Stitch along the marked fold lines (from step 8). This is a simple way to quilt all of your layers together while making it easier to fold the cloth into a cute, giftable stack.

Easy DIY Burp Cloth Tutorial

That’s it! These are so easy and inexpensive to make, and they are a great way to use up scraps!

Modern Eclectic

The fabric I used is Modern Eclectic by Khristian Howell for Blend Fabrics. These are a few of my favorite prints!

Knit Bess Top by Imagine Gnats

I was so excited when Rachael of Imagine Gnats e-mailed us this pattern as a “thank you” for Craft Book Month back in September. It looked really cute and flattering on any size, and it comes in sizes 2-20! And this week, Rachael is hosting Selfish Sewing Week so it’s a great time to make something for yourself!

I decided that my knit tops are the ones I wear the most, so even though this pattern isn’t technically meant for knits I went for it and I’m so glad I did! Here’s the final product and I’m so happy with how it turned out. Now I’ve got a flattering, comfortable, and stretchy shirt.

Because I was using a stretch fabric, I went down a size from what the size chart recommended. If you’re not sure on size, line up a favorite knit shirt on the pattern and mentally add a 1/2″ seam allowance to determine size.  If I were making a non-knit shirt I would have gone with the size recommended. The pattern was awesome and the way the sleeves are incorporated is genius, the pattern is just two pieces! There’s a front piece and back piece that has the sleeves incorporated that wrap around to the front. I made mine a colorblock version so it was 3 pieces, plus some strips of knit to finish off the neck, arms, and hem. The instructions and accompanying photos were easy to follow and this was a relatively fast project to sew.


As for sewing with knits, there’s definitely some things you can do to make it easier when using  a sewing machine rather than a serger. First of all, make sure to pre-wash your fabric! When sewing, I used a ballpoint needle and my Janome even feed foot to ensure that the top and bottom fabrics didn’t get stretched at different rates.You can check out this YouTube video to see the even feed foot in action (video is by Ken’s Sewing Center). When feeding in the knit fabric, I let it have just a little slack so the machine was pulling the fabric through all on it’s own without me pushing or pulling at all.

I also set my machine to use a special stretch stitch (button #6). The icon looks like a lightening bolt on my Janome QDC4120. For each seam, I started and ended with a regular straight stitch so I could reverse and lock the stitch in place. Then I switched to the stretch stitch for the length of the seam. I wanted this shirt to be durable so I did each seam at least twice (first the recommended 1/2″ seam allowance, then again at 3/8″) and then topstitched most seams. If you don’t have the lightening bolt stitch, a narrow zigzag will give you similar results.

The only thing I did that wasn’t in the pattern was to topstitch the neckline a second time closer to the neck opening after doing the intial 1/2″ seam. It helped the neck look smoother with the knit fabric, but I think it would have been fine with a single seam on a non-knit version. The method for finishing the shirt was new to me (basically sew a strip of knit fabric to the outside of the shirt with a 1/2″ seam allowance, then fold it to the inside and topstitch down) and turned out great.

And as for the fabric, I used this reversible knit from JoAnn’s in black (what I used in this post) and stocked up on orange (also shown below). One side is a tiny stripe and the other side is solid with a very subtle (almost nonexistent) sparkle effect. It looks a lot different on the JoAnn’s website so I can’t guarantee it’s a match but the item numbers match up to what’s on my receipt. After this top turned out so well I’m excited to make a few more!

If you have a serger (hopefully I’ll get one someday), this knit shirt could be made in no time! But even without the serger, it was a fast sew with the right techniques and I’d definitely recommend this pattern in a knit fabric, or woven fabric as recommended in the pattern. Happy sewing!



Frosted Easter Cookies: A Craftsy Class Review


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. 


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.


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


We ended up with a great set of bunnies…


… and carrots!


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.


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!



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. 

Four Robbins Designs Quilt Patterns + Giveaway!

Krista Robbins Did you catch the Four Robbins Designs blog hop and giveaway last month? (It was to announce a new quilt pattern, “Star Crossed.”) I first met Krista Robbins right here through the Craft Buds blog, and it’s been fun to see her move toward her creative business goals of releasing a line of quilt patterns!

Krista and her husband have two sons, Andrew and Sam (14 and 12). She used to be a bookkeeper but now she works from home, as well as homeschooling her boys. I had a chance to ask Krista some questions about getting her craft patterns business off the ground. Here’s what she had to say:


How did you start quilting? 

I was inspired by traditional quilts at Houston Museum of Fine Arts about 10 years ago. I’m self-taught through trial and error, reading books and magazines, blogs, etc. I joined bees, BOM’s and the St. Louis Modern Quilt guild as well as starting my own BOM in 2013 on my blog, and I learned even more.


What led you to your goal of turning your crafty hobby into a business?

As far as going from hobby to business, I submitted a quilt design to Quilty last year on a whim and it was accepted and published in the Nov/Dec 2013 issue.  I had another, “Twists and Turns,” published in Quilty Jan/Feb 2014.  I have four more quilts being published this year as well.

I tell my boys to follow their dreams and try to do what they love for their career since I didn’t.  I’m trying to follow my own advice because I love fabric and sewing and quilting.  I love to come up with my own patterns and to share them.  And I love to teach people to quilt.  I decided to come out with my own patterns and hope to venture into fabric design as well  So I started Four Robbins Designs and am following my dreams.


How did you go about designing your first quilt pattern?

I like history and traditional blocks and the stories behind the quilts and find a lot of inspiration there. I draw up blocks in an illustration program and then play with it until I get a design I like.  Then I import upcoming fabrics to create my designs.

To write my patterns I use a desktop publishing program. I do all the math myself. (I love math.)



Would you like to win a PDF pattern of Krista’s “Star Crossed” quilt pattern? To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post with your favorite quilt block. We’ll choose a random winner one week from the date of this post. Good luck!

Congrats to commenter #11, Tyler F.!

Pretty Petals Pillow

Flower Pillow DIY 3

In honor of National Craft Month, I took inspiration from spring trends presented by Jo-­Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. The themes include: Radiant Orchid (Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year), Floral, Nautical and Geometric. Taking my cues from the floral trend, I created this Pretty Petals Pillow Cover using a pillow form, thread and Accuquilt GO! circle cutter from Jo-Ann. You, too, can celebrate National Craft Month with a $5 off $25 or more coupon from Jo-Ann and lots of spring crafting inspiration!

Grace Fabric by Anna Griffin

This fabric line is Grace by Anna Griffin. Isn’t it pretty and perfectly girly? Let’s get started!


- 12 x 16 Pillow form
- 1/2 yard plain fabric for pillow case- (6) 1/2 yard cuts of floral fabrics for petals
- Accuquilt GO Circles die and cutting machine (or, 5″ round circle template)
- Sewing machine, thread and sewing pins

Accuquilt GO Baby Fabric Circle Cutter

To make this project, I used 7 total half-yard cuts of fabric.

From the pillow case fabric, cut one piece 12 x 16 and one piece 12 x 18. Cut the 12 x 18 piece in half so you have two pieces 12 x 9. Set aside.

Cutting Fabric Circles

From each of your floral fabrics, cut four strips 6″ x 18″. Layer two strips on top of one another, and fold into thirds, so you have a square approximately 6″ x 6″ with six total layers of fabric.

Cutting Fabric Circles 2 Run the fabric through your GO! Baby die cutting machine using the 5″ circles die, or use your favorite method for cutting fabric circles.

Folding Fabric Petals With the right side facing out, fold each circle in half. Then fold into quarters. Then fold in half again, making a small cone. Fan out the folds as pictured and pin at the base.

Pretty Petals Pillow

Pin the fabric cones to the right side of your 12″ x 16″ pillow cover (front panel), making a row. Each cone’s point should be spaced about 1″ apart. Stitch a straight line from across the entire row, catching each of the points.

Pretty Petals Pillow 3

Arrange your next row of fabric cones (in another color) over top of the stitched points, just covering them. Stitch a new row of fabric cones to the pillow front.

Pretty Petals Pillow 4

Continue in this way until you have six rows of folded flower petals. Once you are happy with the look of your pillow front, follow the directions to make a simple envelope pillow cover.

Flower Pillow DIY 4

You can choose to trap the edges of the fabric cones in the sides of the pillow case (this is what I did), or make sure to pin them away from your stitch line around the pillow cover’s edges. If you trap the edges, it will give a nice, smooth finish to the edge of the pillow.

Flower Pillow DIY 2

If you make this project, we’d love to see it in the Craft Buds Flickr group, or you can leave us a comment!

This post is part of the Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores® National Craft Month campaign. I received compensation for this review; however, this is my personal, honest opinion based on my experience.

Linking up to SewJo Saturday!

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