Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Happy December! The stockings are finished!

It's hard to believe, but December is already underway!

I have several projects on the go right now. I'm trying to decide exactly which project to gift each person.

I finished the third and fourth of four stockings for my family. This one is for me:

I'm unsure of the fibres in the gold fabric; I got a scrap of it from the thrift store. It was a thin, sheer material that frayed greatly. (I don't care to use it again and so will be re-donating it.) I wanted my stocking to be a bit "blingy," and was pleased with the results.

Here is stocking number four, made out of fleece:

I've seen store stockings and none of them were made with the same quality and love as the handmade ones. <3

The stocking template used is available for free here.

Happy crafting,

Val :)

Thursday, 28 November 2019

A small, homemade gift to sew - microwave popcorn bag

I watched one YouTuber make a popcorn bag and thought that it was a brilliant idea to give as a hostess gift or small gift for a friend.

I'm making a small care package to send off to a friend soon. She's someone who, like most of us, has everything that they could possibly need. In it I want to include a few homemade items, including one of these and a theatre gift card.

These popcorn bags come the instructions in Scrappy Patch's video.

You will need:

100% cotton fabric, two pieces measuring 18 x 22"

100% cotton thread

Seam allowance: 1/4 inch

Place fabric right sides together, leaving turning space on long side of bag. Clip corners, turn, roll out seams, and press.

On the lining fabric, fold down 2 inches on one short side and press. Fold bottom to meet with top part. Sew up sides.

Stick your finger inside bag, making box corners 1 inch from point. Sew and clip to remove bulk.

Turn your bag to the right side and press out corners.

The first that I sewed I neglected to check that my thread was 100% cotton. It wasn't, and so I had to rip the seams of the whole body. Luckily, I found one thread that was 100% cotton. You do not see the thread, so any colour will suffice. (Anything other than 100% cotton thread and fabric will not fare well in the microwave.)

This was a simple project and the results are quick.

Insert 1/2 cup unpopped corn kernels in bag. Place bag on plate. Cook for 2 1/2 minutes (could take longer, depending on the power of your microwave). Do not leave unattended while cooking. NOTE: Plate and popcorn in bag will be very hot - handle with care.

Happy crafting!

Val :)

Monday, 25 November 2019

Stockings, continued

I posted a photo of my sewn reindeer-print stocking online, a friend asked that I make her two stockings.

I sent her a photo of my available fabrics to choose from. I think that they turned out quite well.

Since I found the first stocking that I made kind of small, I used the larger stocking template from this page instead.

I also finished another family stocking. The fabric is "Don't Feed the Bears" from Patrick Lose Fabrics, topped with some snowflake fabric found at the thrift store. So cute!

Happy crafting!

Val :)

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Finishing up projects - charm pack tote bag

I found some cute woodland fabric at Walmart in 5" squares and later found the same patterns in a pack of fat quarters. (Only select Walmart stores here in Canada carry fabric, and only a few of them carry these designs. I have four(!) Walmarts within a relatively short drive; two sell fabric, and only one had this fabric.)

A few months ago I began a project using this fabric, and today I found some time to sit down and finish it.

I am so thrilled with the results!

This is the inside of the bag. I didn't have a single piece of fabric large enough to match the outside of the bag, so had to sew pieces together to fit.

The instructions in the video called for longer straps of 40+". I only had fabric 12 x 18" so made straps by sewing pieces together to my desired length. The straps were sewn in 2" from each outside seam, making sure that they matched.

I also top-stitched the final bag about 1/2" from the top.

The tutorial from The Missouri Quilt Company is here.

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Christmas baking favourites

I'm sure everyone has their core list of sweet treats to bake for Christmas. This is mine.

The source of this recipe is unknown, but it's been my favourite cookie since childhood:

BUTTER BALLS

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Icing sugar

Stir flour and salt together. Cream butter; add sugar gradually, beating between additions. Add eggs; mix well. Blend in flour and form dough into 1" balls.

Place on cookie sheets and bake at 375F. for 20 to 25 minutes.

Roll in icing sugar when fresh from oven (before they've cooled).

Cookies best served chilled, in my opinion.

* * *

DELICIOUS BUTTER TARTS (most likely from Edith Adams of The Vancouver Sun newspaper)

1 1/2 cup raisins

4 tablespoons butter

2 eggs

2 cups brown sugar

Tart shells

Soak raisins in boiling water until plump.

Cream butter. Add eggs and brown sugar and beat until frothy.

Bake at 350F for 15 to 20 minutes.

* * *

BUBBLE LOAF

3/4 cup skim milk

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup warm water

1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast

1 egg, beaten

4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup candied cherries

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup icing sugar

4 whole candied cherries, chopped finely

Melted butter

Icing sugar

1. Scald milk. Stir in sugar, salt and shortening and mix until sugar is completely dissolved.

2. In another bowl, measure warm water and sprinkle in the yeast; stir until dissolved. Add lukewarm milk mixture to dissolved yeast. Add egg and mix well. Add flour and beat until smooth. Gradually add, while beating, flour and beat until mixed. Turn out on lightly floured board. Knead until smooth and velvety - about 10 minutes.

3. Place in a greased bowl; brush top with oil. Cover; let rise in a warm place, free from draft for about one hour, or until double in bulk. Punch down. Knead again until soft and velvety - about 5 minutes.

4. Cut dough in small pieces, the size of walnuts. Form into balls. Roll in melted butter. Place buttered balls, so that they are almost touching, in a well-greased 10" tube pan to cover bottom. Top with candied cherries and raisins. Place the remainder of the balls over cherries and raisins. Cover and let rise again, in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until double in bulk.

5. Bake at 375F. for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven. Let stand for 5 minutes.

6. Remove from pan and frost with icing sugar. Sprinkle with chopped candied cherries.

Serves 10.

Enjoy! :)

Friday, 22 November 2019

Stocking stuffer idea for my teens

Christmas shopping for teen boys can be difficult.

These ear bud holders make the perfect stocking stuffer. Add in a pair of ear buds to make your loved one happy.

This craft is found in different spaces online, but I found this site the most useful. There is the template and the step-by-step instructions included on the same page. For a video tutorial, try this YouTube video.

If you choose to add in a tab, wedge your finger or other implement into the ring to open wider.

Douglas Day "Be A Man" fabric found at a local thrift store.

Happy crafting,

Val :)

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Zippered triangle pouch

I sewed a few items before starting my stocking-making venture.

This little triangle pouch was from Vanessa of The Crafty Gemini. You only need two 5x10" pieces of fabric, a 7" zipper and thin batting. It was a quick and fun project.

I've ordered a knockoff version of Wonder Clips from Amazon (50 of them for $5). I think that they're coming from the UK, so I just used dollar store fabric clamps. I'll do a review of the clips once I receive them.

The zipper is from Amazon. One YouTuber mentioned buying zippers in bulk - smart!

I'm not a fan of pink, but I love this fabric.

Of course, pouch can be made larger or smaller.

Happy crafting!

Val :)