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 need: Twizzlers Pull and Peel licorice, M&Ms, Double Stuf Oreos, and chocolate candy melts or 1 cup chocolate chips + 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening, sprinkles (optional)

First, peel apart your Twizzlers and cut the strings in half or in thirds (I wanted short legs so they’d be easier to stack on a plate, so I did thirds). Then, open up your Oreos and gently press four pieces of licorice into the white filling.

Melt your chocolate candy melts or your chocolate chips + vegetable shortening (1 cup chips and 1 Tbsp. shortening). You can find tips on melting chocolate chips for dipping here. Then use a spoon to flip and cover both sides of the Oreo top with chocolate.

Then use the spoon to remove the cookie from the chocolate, tap off any excess chocolate, and slide the chocolate covered cookie on top of your Oreo bottom with the legs. While the chocolate is wet, press two M&Ms in for eyes and if you choose to use sprinkles, sprinkle them on top. Dip a toothpick into the melted bowl of chocolate and use it to form the center of the eyes.

Depending on how much chocolate you use, you can get around 20 spiders from 1 cup chocolate chips and if you divide the licorice into thirds, you can get 6 sets of legs from each piece of pre-separated licorice. You can also offset the top Oreo a bit so it looks like your spider has a friendly white smile like the center one below.

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Patchwork Scarf Tutorial + Giveaway

Hello, and welcome to visitors of the 12 Gifts of Christmas blog hop! Twelve sewing and quilting bloggers have joined together to share handmade holiday gift tutorials to get you ready for the season of giving. I’m very honored to be one of them! And in case you’ve been following along, you probably know that there’s a fabric giveaway at the end of this post. It’s sponsored by Mountain of the Dragon, one of my favorite online shops to browse for Echino and other designer fabrics.

Today, I’m going to be sharing how to make a reversible patchwork scarf in a zig-zag or chevron design. You’ll need a charm pack (I used Hometown by Sweetwater) and 5/8 yard of Kona white fabric.  You’ll have leftovers of both. Also, you’ll want a rotary cutter and cutting mat, your sewing machine and matching thread.

To start, open your charm pack and sort by color family. For this scarf, my strongest color groups were the reds and blues, so these are the 18 charms I used for my scarf. You could easily make two of these scarves from one charm pack, in which case you’ll want to use 1 and 1/4 yard of Kona white.

DSC_0001

Next, you’ll want to chain piece your charm squares by sewing them directly onto the white fabric, right sides together. (Use a 1/4-inch seam allowance for all stitching.) The wrong side of the charm squares will face up as you stitch, and you’ll arrange them on the white one right after the other. You’ll cut these units apart later, but chain piecing these blocks is quick and uses minimal thread.

Chain Piecing the Charm Squares
Once you have stitched along one long side of all the charm squares, flip the long white piece of fabric around and stitch the other side down to the white, so that two opposite sides of each charm are sewn down to the white, and the other sides are free. (This is where you will later cut between each charm.) After this step is completed, you’ll have a long strip of charm squares facing the white fabric, right sides together.

Note: If you’d rather not chain piece, you can still complete this step by cutting out 18 five-inch white charms squares, and sewing the left and right edges of one white square to each of your colored charm squares, with the right sides touching.

Next, you’ll cut around the perimeter of each charm square backed in white, to set it free. Measure and cut each quilt-block sandwich into two 2.5-inch halves, making sure the stitched sides are to the left and right of your cut line (not top and bottom).

Cut Apart the Blocks

Open up the new charms, which are half-and-half. Bring them to your ironing board and press the seams open.

Trim and Arrange Blocks

Trim up the blocks to 4.5-inch squares with your rotary cutter. Arrange blocks in a zig zag (keeping the color groups of blue and reds together) like the photo. Pair darker with lighter values until you get an effect you like.

Next, you’ll want to cut twelve 4.5-inch squares from white fabric. Slice these blocks diagonally, from corner to corner as shown, to make triangular inserts. These will fill in the holes around your zig zags. For two of the scarf corners (top left and bottom right), you will cut one triangle in half again (from the top point to the center of the straight edge) to create even smaller triangles.

Cut triangles, piece rows

Piece the tiny corner triangle to the corner block, and then piece the side triangles to create your first row. You will join each diagonal row in the same way (see below). Take the pieces for the next row and line them up to sew. I used my cutting mat to accurately transport the blocks from the floor to my sewing machine, making sure to keep each block facing the right way.

Piece rows together
Once all of your diagonal rows are pieced together, join the rows, making sure to iron your seams open. Iron the scarf and trim off the fabric peaks along each edge.

Next, fold the scarf in half width-wise, so that the red and blue layers are touching. Stitch around the three loose sides, leaving a 2-inch gap in both the top and bottom. Use these gaps to help you turn the long scarf right-side out.

Finish Scarf

Press scarf flat and stitch 1/8-inch from the edge of the entire perimeter to close up the gaps from earlier. This will give a nice, finished edge to your scarf.

Patchwork Scarf

Voila! Flip it to either side to coordinate with your outfit. I think this lightweight scarf would make a great gift for a parent or grandparent. As a variation, you could use yardage of any fabric, instead of using a charm pack! How fun would this design be in solids, for a Charlie Brown effect?

Fabric lovers: How about a 15% off discount at Fabricworm? Use the coupon code fw12days through the end of the blog hop!

Here’s the rest of the blog hop schedule, and each stop contains a giveaway! Winners will be announced starting Wednesday, October 26. Also, if you make any of these handmade gifts, be sure to add your photos to the 12 Gifts of Christmas Flickr Group. There’s also a $250 Fabricworm grand prize giveaway over at Ellison Lane Quilts!

Friday, October 14- Jennifer/Ellison Lane Quilts
Saturday, October 15- Ayumi/Pink Penguin
Sunday, October 16- Amy/ Lots of Pink Here
Monday, October 17- Faith/Fresh Lemons Quilts
Tuesday, October 18- Penny/Sew Take a Hike
Wednesday, October 19- Kati/From the Blue Chair
Thursday, October 20- Lee/Freshly Pieced
Friday, October 21- Elizabeth/Don’t Call Me Betsy
Saturday, October 22- Melanie/Texas Freckles
Sunday, October 23- Lindsay/Craft Buds
Monday, October 24- Amanda/A Crafty Fox
Tuesday, October 25-Vanessa/Little Big Girl Studio

Giveaway!

Giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Cori!

Ready to win some fabric? Enter to win a $50 gift certificate to Mountain of the Dragon fabric shop by leaving one comment on this post! You can get one extra entry if you “Like” this post on Facebook and leave a second comment.

mountain of the dragon

They have some great Japanese prints and a great Echino selection! We will choose one winner via Random.org on Wednesday, October 26. Good luck!

Free Pattern Features: Candy Corn

Lots of tutorials have been popping up lately for all things candy corn including accessories, decorations, clothing, and lots and lots of recipes! Here are some of my candy corn finds:

The Purl Bee shares a pattern for these cute treat bags.

Candy Corn Treat Bags at the Purl Bee

 

You can find the tutorial for this hat, dress and treat bag at So You Think You’re Crafty.

Candy Corn Costume at So You Think You're Crafty

 

At Ideas Materialized, you can find the pattern to knit these candy corn hats.

Knit Candy Corn Hat at Ideas Materialized

 

At Tatertots and Jello is the tutorial for Candy Corn Bunting.

Candy Corn Bunting at Tatertots and Jello

 

And I couldn’t help but include one recipe! The recipe for these Candy Corn Macarons is at Barbara Bakes.

Candy Corn Macarons at Barbara Bakes

 

Don’t forget to check out our Giveaways Roundup and enter one of the many current giveaways listed!

 

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 a kid’s Halloween party!

I’ve put together a free 2-page PDF you can download here. It includes a variety of eyes, mouths and noses that you can print onto cardstock and cut apart and use as stencils. Kids can rearrange the parts to create a unique jack-o’-lantern face.

After the face is picked out cut out the image with an Xacto knife (or you can cut them all ahead of time if it’s for a party).

Place your stencil either directly on a shirt or on a scrap of orange fabric. For a scrap of fabric, orange knit would be ideal since you can leave the raw edges and it won’t fray. I couldn’t find orange knit so I used cotton and then hemmed under the edges. Paint the face onto the fabric with fabric paint.

If you stenciled onto a piece of fabric, after the paint dries you can either hand stitch or machine stitch the fabric to a shirt. I like to use loose stitches so I can easily pull out the threads and remove the pumpkin face after Halloween so my son can keep wearing the shirt. Here he is in the final product, being bribed with some candy to sit still for a minute!

For more information about stencils, visit this post I did in the past.

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Etsy Tips: Inspiration, Giving Back + Holiday Prep

Ashley Carter is the Etsypreneur behind two shops, a handmade store and a modern fabric shop. She also blogs about the creative life at My Little Sunshine. Let’s learn a little more about Ashley and her handmade business!

Lace Rosette Headband

Ashley, when did you start blogging and selling from your Etsy stores? Did one of these inspire the other?

I started blogging and selling on Etsy around the same time…about 2.5 years ago, however, I kept them very separate from each other for a long time, blogging was kind of my family updated and Etsy was my crafty outlet.  It wasn’t until 6 months ago that I finally let them come together under the same name and root of inspiration, and renamed my shop and blog, My Little Sunshine.

Do you have a particular way to find inspiration for new products handmade store?

I don’t have a system or way of being inspired. It mostly happens organically.  I see something pretty in a shop window or magazine, I see the seasons changing and want to capture it’s beauty, or my eye is drawn to a particular fabric or object and my mind just shoots off with ideas from there!

Windswept Bag in Fields of Green

I read that part of your profits go to a non-profit organization. Can you tell me a little more about this and how you decided to get involved?

Gladly!  15% off the profits from My Little Sunshine goes to a ministry called Heartline in Haiti. This organization does so much to support women and children in Haiti, but the aspect that I am involved with is one that for obvious reasons is near to my heart.  My Little Sunshine supports a program at Heartline that teaches women to sew.  The idea is to teach them a skill and business practices in order to equip them to be able to make a living for themselves and their families.  For many women it is a second chance, a new beginning.

Heartline Haiti collage

Do you have any tips for other Etsy sellers on preparing for the holiday season?

Be uniquely YOU!  Take time to sit and brainstorm fun gift ideas for the holidays, what are things that you would be buying for the holiday season?  Colorways for the holidays? Affordability always goes a long way, especially during this time of year.  Brainstorm ways to offer attractive pricing, but don’t sell yourself and your skills short!

Scalloped Lace Clutch

What do you do when you’re not sewing or blogging?
My husband and I are always on the go, being a military family there is never a dull moment!  I enjoy long walks with my hubby and our pup, Bob.  We do a lot of traveling and exploring of new places and things and like to entertain friends and family-we get lots of visitors!

Ashley Carter, My Little Sunshine

Thanks Ashley! Make sure to check out her blog My Little Sunshine and her shops here and a here.

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