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…

Fresh Picks for Wednesday, 6.29.11

Summer Sponge Bombs at A Little Tipsy

Bombs Away! Heather from Whipperberry blogs this tutorial for summer sponge bombs at A Little Tipsy, and shares her family’s tradition of staying cool in the sweltering summer heat.

Happy Birthday Bunting

Dressed Up: Make a vintage-chic Happy Birthday banner with this tutorial from Lisa! It’s part of  a series, so scroll down the page when you get there for 10 more tutorials.

Lavendar and Peppermint Foot Cream

Soothing Salve: I know this looks delicious, but just don’t eat it. Learn how to make Lavender and Peppermint Foot cream from Rebecca at Soap Deli News!

Shabby Roses Pillow @ Shannon Sews

White Jersey: It’s fresh and crisp for summer. Meet the Shabby Roses Pillow from Shannon Sews.

Indie Business Blog

Business in the Front: Have you checked out the Indie Business blog? We love this article on Marketing Your Handmade Business Online and this post called How to Increase Traffic to Your Blog. Thanks again, Rebecca!

Pippa and Rascal- A Free Softie Pattern!

The Other Pippa: Meet Pippa and Rascal, the adorable softies at Ruffles and Stuff. There’s a free sewing pattern for these cuties, which would make a great softies project for plush-sewing beginners!

Giveaway! Win an Accuquilt GO! Baby Fabric Cutter

*** This giveaway is now closed. Make sure to check out all the current handmade giveaways around the web in our Giveaway Roundup! ***

Accuquilt Go Baby Would you like to win an Accuquilt GO! Baby fabric cutter and three dies of your choice?! Yes, we thought so. Accuquilt is generously giving away a new-in-box portable fabric cutter and 3 dies to one Craft Buds reader! (Read our review of the GO! Baby here.)

To enter:

1. Follow the Craft Buds blog via Google Friend Connect, RSS, or e-mail subscription and leave a comment. (one entry)

2.  Tweet, Facebook or blog about this giveaway and leave another comment. You can copy this tweet! (one entry)

Fabric lovers rejoice! #Win an Accuquilt GO! Baby and 3 dies by entering the craft / sewing #giveaway @CraftBuds. http://tinyurl.com/6gsqx4h

That’s 2 possible entries! This giveaway will close on Monday, July 4 at 11:59 p.m. EST, and we’ll choose one winner using Random.org. Contest is open to U.S. only worldwide! (Edit: international readers can now enter!)

22 Free Patterns - Download Now If you’d like to get some free quilt patterns from Accuquilt, you can sign up for their e-mails here. And there are some sales going on at Accuquilt through next Tuesday, if you’ve been waiting to buy one for yourself or as a gift.


Already have the machine? Check out these dies that are on sale, (through 7/5) and get an extra 10% off when you purchase 4 or more!

Free Pattern Feature: Aprons

Wearing an apron always makes me feel like I’m getting ready to do something special. As an added bonus, I can look extra cute and protect my clothes all at the same time! I’ve found the following apron patterns for both kids and adults that look like they’d make cooking or gardening even more fun.

 

Maureen Cracknell Handmade shares this beautiful apron. She used 5 coordinating fabrics and the final result is so flirty and colorful!

Fabric Lover's Apron from Maureen Cracknell Handmade

 

Making it Fun shows off this cute kid’s apron and chef hat with PDF patterns to download for each. The PDF also includes measurements for an adult apron. This is a nice, basic apron pattern so you could even update it for a guy.

Kid's Apron and Chef Hat at Making it Fun

 

This fun and functional garden apron at Make it Do would make a great gift and could be perfect for some small tools or craft supplies too.

Garden Apron at Make it Do

Garden Apron at Make it Do



And lastly, if you’d like to try your hand at an authentic vintage apron, Tip Nut offers this pattern. It’s from a 1945 pattern booklet from The Spool Cotton Company and even includes a matching cap!

Vintage Apron and Cap at Tip Nut

Accuquilt GO! Baby Fabric Cutter Review


Yesterday, I got a GO! Baby fabric cutter in the mail, sent by Accuquilt for me to review! It came with three dies of my choice (hexagons, 2.5″ strips, and half-square triangles), and two cutting mats (one long for the strips, one short for the squares and hexagons).

One of the perks of this machine is the portability. Pulling it out of the box, I could totally see myself taking this with me to quilt guild meetings. It is nothing like lugging around a sewing machine, or even my heavy Cricut.

When I told my non-sewing friends I was getting a GO! Baby, I compared it to a pasta machine. The cutting dies have sharp blades stored deep in a dense layer of foam, so there is little to no chance of cutting yourself. You put the fabric on top of that, then stack the cutting mat on top like a sandwich, which weighs down your fabric if it’s a little wrinkly. When you line up the edge of the cutting die and mat to the GO! Baby and turn the crank, it rolls through like pasta, and the pressure from the machine cuts the fabric inside against the shape of your die.

My first adventure was cutting hexagons from scrap fabric. If you are using scraps, Accuquilt suggests pulling the fabric taut to find the correct grain. Even after reading the instructions thoroughly, I wasn’t sure which way to orient the fabric, so I watched this video to be sure. I cut up to 4 hexagons at a time, in less than 30 seconds. I’d say the accuracy of cuts is definitely not possible with scissors or a rotary cutter. Winner: Accuquilt!

Next, I was excited to try out the 2.5″ strip cutter. I pulled out a yard of Jennifer Paganelli fabric that I will use for quilt binding.

In order to cut strips of any length, I folded the fabric back on itself for one continuous cut. The ends of the die are open so the only cuts are lengthwise. It was true that I could cut up to 6 layers of cotton fabric at a time! If you are still not picturing how this works, here’s another great video showing how to cut fabric strips with the Accuquilt GO! (the larger machine).

From start to finish, I cut my fabric into 6″ sections, and ran them through to GO! Baby to create all of my 2.5″ strips in less than 10 minutes. Most of the time was spent with me lining up my fabric to make sure I was doing it correctly. It’s so easy to use, but I was a little nervous that I might mess up my fabric. Needless to say, this didn’t happen, and I’ve never had such accurate cuts before!

Here you can see my mountain of strips (bottom left) and the waste for an entire yard of fabric (bottom right). In person, it’s not much more than a handful, and I will probably use these for some other kind of craft, like card making.

I actually had fun ironing these strips into binding, because they was cut so perfectly straight. I could see how useful this machine will be for making strip quilts or homemade jelly rolls. The 2.5 inch die is the only strip size offered for the GO! Baby machine, however. If you want other sizes of strips (starting as small as 1 inch), you’d have to upgrade to the larger Accuquilt GO!

A tip from Accuquilt: You can use the strip die to cut 2.5 inch squares. Just turn your strips perpendicular to the die, fold the fabric back onto itself, and run through the machine to turn strips into squares. Turn the strips at an angle, and you’ve got diamonds instead.

Accuquilt Half Square Triangles Here’s are some Kona Bone scraps that I used to make half-square triangles. As you can see, the corners are already clipped or dog-eared to save you from trimming later. Although the cutter says to run a maximum of 6 layers through the machine, I cut 8 at the same time. Though the cuts came out perfect, I wouldn’t recommend any more than 6 layers because the “fabric sandwich” is so thick you can hardly get it through the Accuquilt.

My mom asked me if the dies ever need sharpened. Accuquilt says no, the die blades will never need to be sharpened, but you will need to replace your cutting mat after it has been sliced and diced enough times. I’d estimate that one mat would probably last me 6 months to a year with average use, if I used both sides (recommended). One thing I can confirm is that fabric threads do stick inside the die blades, so you should keep a pair of tweezers nearby to pick out stray threads.

Easy quilt binding with the Accuquilt GO! Baby
Can you tell I’m going to love this machine? I can see myself using the half-square triangles and strips dies all the time. I think my next die to try out will be the circles and maybe the equilateral triangles, which coordinate with the hexagons.

22 Free Patterns - Download Now Quilters and sewists can sign up for 22 free patterns when they sign up for Accuquilt’s e-mail list. Thank you Accuquilt!

Enter the Accuquilt Giveaway here! (Ended July 4, 2011)

Speaking of giveaways . . . out of 68 comments, the winner of the giveaway form Kalla’s Creations is #11 lisa, who said “I follow via email.” Congrats Lisa, and thanks Michaella for sharing the goodies from your cute shop!

The Creative Process: Q&A with Stoney Creek + Giveaway

When it comes to everyday life, what does it look like to take that jump from crafter to entrepreneur?

I am so happy to share this Q&A with Beth Shepherd, the creative mind behind Stoney Creek Shops! Besides antiquing and mastering shabby chic decor, Beth also dabbles in handmade rustic wood items like her awesome berry baskets, which are fabric-lined and perfect for storing sewing notions, beauty supplies, and more!

Beth, how did you get the idea for Stoney Creek and what kinds of crafts do you do?

The idea for Stoney Creek Mercantile was pretty simple one. We live in Stoney Creek Township (Indiana) and the Mercantiles of yesteryear sold or bartered for a variety of goods. We thought it had a nice ring to it and having the title of a Mercantile allowed us to not be tied down to one particular product or art form. We make handmade sewn goods, handmade rustic wood items, homemade baked goods, catering and we also collect vintage items and architectural salvage to sell.

Shabby Quilt Berry Baskets

Describe what you do to create and promote your work on a typical day.

The process of creating is definitely what I enjoy the most! I have a routine of finding my favorite spot with a cup of coffee and my sketchbook, when it’s time to start brainstorming a new project. Then once I have settled on an idea I usually run it past my husband and my partner (aka Grandma, aka my mom). My mom is a significant player in the process of establishing our business! The actual development of our handmade products happens in our “shop” which is actually a “shed” behind the house. It’s probably a bigger space than what you’re envisioning right now. Our homemade baked goods are made by my husband in an industrial kitchen in a nearby town.

Storage Solutions - Wooden Key Hook

What is the most time-consuming part of running the business?

Promoting is probably what I enjoy the least, but I don’t mind it as much as I thought I was going to. Promoting is actually what I have spent the most time on. You really have to put a lot of energy into promoting, if you don’t have the funds to pay someone to do it for you. So, I have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a blog and a Flickr account. Then  I plan to spend some time looking for any sites that will allow me to list my business for free or at a relatively low cost. I have also paid to advertise on Facebook. Since our main outlet for our goods is an Etsy shop, at least one item is relisted daily on Etsy.

Upcycled vintage berry basket with vintage quilt liner

What are some of the rewarding and challenging aspects of running a crafts business?

The most rewarding aspect of running your own business for me, is being able to have an outlet for my creativity. Then right under creativity is the spectacular feeling of the possibility of this business being a real success someday! We aren’t there yet though. On average it takes 1 year for an Etsy shop to get established and have return customers. The most challenging aspect is balancing my time between work and family, as I have a little one at home with me through the day. I try to make it a priority to put quality time with her before getting work done and in the evenings when the husband is home, and quality time with him is also very important. Being a stay-at-home mom is no joke! Add trying to get a small business off the ground on top of that and you have quite the challenge in front you.

Giveaway!

Beth is hosting a berry basket giveaway on her blog, and you can enter now through Sunday, July 3. Go here to enter!

A Winner and Fresh Picks for Wednesday, 6.22.11

Out of 233 comments, the winner of the Fabric Seeds giveaway is #7 Pat V. , who said:

My favorite thing on Fabric Seeds?  Wow, hard to choose.  The first thing I saw was the Love Letters BOM, just GORGEOUS!  And then there’s Lost and Found, I definitely need some of that.  AND there are Julie Herman patterns!  Oh man, this is a dangerous website to send me to.  I’m lovin’ it, tho…

Congrats Pat! If you didn’t win this time,  why not head over to the giveaway roundup and see what else is going on! Or, you could stop by Fabric Seeds and buy yourself a little treat.

Without futher ado, here are this week’s Fresh Picks!

How to Baste your Quilts!!

Stick it to Me: Baste your quilts like a pro with this course at Chasing Cottons.

Birds of a Feather: Elsie shares a unique twist on wedding attire with her DIY feather boutonnieres at A Beautiful Mess.



Vintage Vogue: Kelly at Blue Bird Sews shares photos and memories of this Vogue pattern children’s busy book.

Swimsuit Redo: Christie added a little flair to her beach gear. Check it out at A Lemon Squeezy Home!

Skillshare @ CraftyPod

Community Crafter: Skillshare is a website that networks people with crafty skills and classes with those who’d love to learn. Read more about teaching a crafting course in your community at CraftyPod. Thanks Sister Diane!

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