Crafty Kitchen: Turkey Cookies

There are lots of turkey cookie recipes out there, but I wanted to come up with one that was easy and didn’t involve and baking so kids could easily be…

Fabric Corner Bookmarks

Some friends living in South Korea tipped me off to a trend they’ve seen in stores: the corner bookmark. These slide-on bookmarks can be made from fabric or paper, and…

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…

Thanksgiving Place Setting Printables

Is everyone getting ready for food and family? I know we are around here! To help dress up our Thanksgiving place settings I designed a few printables. There’s the menu:…

Broken Herringbone Quilt

My younger sister and her husband are expecting their first baby next month and it’s a girl! For their baby shower, I made them a quilt with matching pillow and…

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!

Giveaway from Kalla’s Creations

Do you love the look of custom embroidered kids clothes and baby gifts, but lack the machinery? We recently met Michaella of Kalla’s Creations, whose Etsy shop is filled with cute custom items for kids!

This is what Michaella had to say about starting her handmade business:

I am so blessed & fortunate to be a very BUSY stay at home mom. My husband is a full-time student. That is why I took up sewing to help with some of our income & to hopefully support my new crafting & sewing addiction.


I had no idea that I would fall in love with it! My mom bought me my first sewing machine just after Christmas last year. I have to admit the only reason why I even tried sewing was out of guilt (I couldn’t just leave the machine up in the closet without at least using it).

I quickly decided I needed an embroidery machine & the rest is history. I’m always looking for some fun new projects to try out. I always enjoy making something for my children & nieces & nephews.

Thanks Michaella! We love your personalized shirts and burp cloths.


Michaella is generously giving one lucky Craft Buds reader an applique shirt of their choice!

Enter to win:

1. Visit Kalla’s Creations on Etsy and tell us the name of your favorite item in her shop.

2. If you follow the Craft Buds blog, leave us another comment for a bonus entry.

Giveaway open in the U.S. and Canada. One winner will be announced on Friday, June 24 at 8pm (EST). Thanks Michaella!

Reusable Sandwich Bags

Get ready for a delightful summer picnic in the park with these reusable sandwich bags! Made from oilcloth, these bags are easy and fun to whip up in a variety of fun, summery prints.


Finding your oilcloth

Oilcloth is also called woven PUL fabric (polyurethane laminated fabric). Though it looks like a thick vinyl, you’ll notice that the back side of oilcloth fabric is woven rather than having the smooth feel of the front.

My local quilt shop sells large bolts of oilcloth for around $9 per yard, and I’ve also purchased it from Oilcloth Addict on Etsy. Fabric designers have really jumped on board with the oilcloth trend, so you’ll find laminated fabrics from Anna Maria Horner (including the new LouLouThi collection) as well as designer prints by Amy Butler, Jennifer Paganelli and others, though the prices are higher. If you shop online for project materials, just make sure you don’t order flannel-backed fabric, which is harder to clean.

For this tutorial, you can make 6 sandwich bags from a half-yard of oilcloth, making your cost as low as 75 cents per bag. Just think of how much money you could save on plastic baggies over time! Once sewn, these durable snack bags are easy to rinse out in the sink and air dry.

Oilcloth Sandwich Bags Tutorial

Finished size: 6.5″ x 7″ folded

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 yard of oilcloth (makes 6 bags) or a fat quarter (makes 3 bags)
  • Velcro, .75″ wide
  • White or coordinating thread
  • Glue stick
  • Ruler and scissors or rotary cutter
  • Sewing Machine with zig-zag and blanket stitches

Steps:

1. Each bag is made from a cut of oilcloth that is 16.25 inches x 7 inches. Using your rotary cutter and ruler, measure and cut your six pieces as shown in the diagram. The scraps can be saved for decoration or a 5-inch wide snack bag.

This is what your bag will look like unfolded, along with measurements.


2. Take your oilcloth rectangle, and place it in front of you with the pattern facing down. Fold up the bottom 6.5″ and crease with your fingers. (When folded, the bag is 9.5″ tall, including the opened flap, which is 3″.) Now, fold down the top flap like an envelope and crease.


3. Cut a 3-inch strip of velcro, and separate the fuzzy and scratchy sides. Lightly apply glue stick to adhere each velcro strip in place.

  • Attach the rough velcro .5″ down from what is now the top of the flap (attach to WRONG side of oilcloth).
  • Attach the fuzzy velcro strip 1.75″ from top of opened pocket (RIGHT side of oilcloth) with glue stick. (Refer to above diagrams above for velcro placement.)


4. Open up the folded flap and straight stitch both velcro strips on with your sewing machine, turning at the corners and sewing all the way around. Since the velcro may slip, hold with your fingers and tackle the patterned side of the oilcloth first.


5. To add a monogram, simply create a large letter in a Word document, choose your font, and print. (For the “S” and “J,” I used Arial Black, size 320, and applied an outline to the font to waste less ink.) Place your printout on top of oilcloth and cut through both layers using sharp scissors. Use a craft knife if you have a letter with small circles.


6.  Apply monogram to outside of bag with a glue stick (use sparingly). Zig-zag stitch the letter applique to what will become the outside of your bag, to either the front or the back. The applique will slide out of place on the patterned side, so stitch this piece first and hold it in place while sewing. I added long strips of oilcloth as accents.

7. Refold the sandwich bag using the creases from earlier (top flap remains open for now), and hold in place with a paper clip on the fold.


8. With the monogram and velcro now attached, it’s time to turn your oilcloth into a sandwich pouch. Set your sewing machine to a wide blanket stitch and test out on a scrap piece of fabric or paper. (If you need a guide, aim for stitches that are about 1/4″ long and 3/8″ apart. I used my sewing machine’s widest stitch.)

Begin to blanket stitch the bag together, starting where the wrong sides meet on the right side. You’ll want to stitch so close to the edge that your stitches actually fall off the side of the bag and wrap around  the raw edges. If your stitches catch on the oilcloth, adjust your needle position a bit to the right. Continue the blanket stitch around all four sides of the bag, including the opened flap. (For the flap, you’ll be sewing through a single layer of oilcloth, so this is merely decorative).


Note: If you are planning to spend all day in the sun with your picnic fare, keep your sandwich bags in the shade to avoid emitting any non-safe chemicals into your food. As a general rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t want to heat it up in a microwave, don’t let it bake in the sun. This sandwich sized bag fits pretty large slices of bread, though you can make reusable snack bags that are slightly smaller or larger, depending on your needs.

Is oilcloth food-safe?
There is a lot of discussion about oilcloth and food, and you can find more resources and a lengthy discussion on the topic at CraftStylish and Mothering. One alternative is to cover regular fabric in layers of natural beeswax. Another idea is to line fabric with thick, resealable Ziploc bags.


If you’ve enjoyed this sandwich pouch tutorial, why not whip up some bags as gifts? They are great for lunches at school, work or a summertime picnic at the park. If you make some of these reusable snack bags, please let us know with a comment. You are also welcome to add your project photos to the Craft Buds Flickr group!

#1 Dad Project and Stencil

Father’s Day is almost here but you’ve still got time to put together a customized gift for those special guys your life! I designed this No. 1 Dad stencil that I incorporated into a painting that I worked on with my toddler. It could also be used on a baseball cap or a messenger bag with fabric paints. To get the stencil, just click the link to view the PDF. If you have trouble printing it, choose the File menu in the upper left and then choose “Download original”.

I used a Silhouette SD (that I recently won, woohoo!!) to cut out the stencil out of cardstock paper. In my stencil PDF I’ve included both the more detailed image I used and a more simplified image that would be easier to cut by hand with an xacto knife. 

To make this project, start with a piece of canvas and paint the background a solid color. I used a neutral taupe color and acrylic paint.

Next, coat the back of your stencils in rubber cement and allow them to dry before positioning on your canvas.

Then paint in your image one color at a time, allowing it to dry between coats of paint.

My lettering got a little messy so after it dried I went back with a tiny brush to touch it all up.

Then I put a variety of paint colors in a pyrex dish, gave my toddler a paintbrush and let him create his masterpiece! I used a piece of paper to cover over my image while he painted to make sure it would stay readable.

The canvas is ready to go as is, or you can put it in a frame and it’s ready to give to Dad!

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