Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas Gifts (outgoing) 2017

Got a note from a friend this morning reminding me that I was overdue for a post. Well now that all handmade gifts have been received I can do Christmas holiday gifts in view. Warning - picture heavy.

One of my quilty friends celebrates Hanukkah so I made her a Hanukkah version of the #berrymerrywreath  , a free pattern from Spring Leaf Studios.  The original pattern by Anne is done in Greens and Reds.

And what Christmas goes by when a bottle of cheer isn't gifted.  I always have holiday scraps enough to whip up a gift bag to give a gift a little personal touch.

Following is a string of pictures of the most fun sewing project I did this holiday season.  They are actual candy bags turned into lined zip pouches.  

The idea started when my sister and I saw a few of these pouches at a craft show.  My sister's daughter gave her a mothers day gift of monthly treat boxes from around the world.  

She decided that it would be a great thank you if I  turned  a bag from one of these boxes into a pouch for my niece.

Before I would risk ruining her bag I did a  couple of experimental bags.

The bags are carefully cut open and cut into 2 pieces.

Then covered with iron on vinyl carefully following package directions and sewn into a simple lined zip pouch.

I then made a couple more to add to other gifts for my quilty crowd.

The finished pouch was a super place to use up the candy from the pouches.  The first couple of bags I used had unwrapped candy in them. Not good for rebagging.  Glad I was making the samples at a quilt chapter sew in so I had help in eating the unwrapped goodies.

I made a few more but forgot to take pictures. I tried one without lining and it worked out fine. That was from a Famous Amos individual bag. Washed the bag inside with Windex and a paper towel before adding the vinyl. It was a bit difficult to turn a bag that small right side out as the vinyl makes the bag rather stiff.  Need to try again with a wide mouth zip and see how that works.

And then there were my gifts made with fused glass.  Don't see this craft taking up much more of my crafting time.  Yes, I enjoyed the outcome but glass makes fabric look cheap. We're talking $11 plus for a 12 inch square. The glass doesn't always cut nicely either. It also is a project that makes an almost invisible mess to clean up with teeny, tiny pieces of glass that are really hard to see and are a potential hazard to my noosey dogs. I do have a tiny stash to use up so there will be future posts.

Earlier this week I saw an IG request for 12" Perliomen Valley quilt blocks for the  Venture Modern Quilt guild.  They are collecting blocks to make into quilts for the victims of The Thomas Fire in Ca.
Details can be found HERE

A really easy quick block to make for such a great cause.

And last but not least are these adorable little crocheted stockings that I found after most of my presents were in the mail or delivered.

The free pattern for these cuties are HERE. They are by Melanie Ham.

Pretty sure I won't be back here before year end so wishing you one and all a 
Very Happy and Healthy New Year.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Virtual Cookie Exchange 2018

First and foremost - Thank you Carol of Just Let Me Quilt for coordinating this wonderful annual event. And thank you fellow hoppers for sharing your cookies, quilts and traditions at this fun filled time of year.

Ok, I need to start with the fact that I don't bake.  I can cook anything but I lack baking skills. I Quilt.

This cookie recipe is short and sweet (and gluten free).  I got it from my sister who bakes and was confident that I could do it.

I am writing this portion of the blog on November 10.  Today I made my trial batch of easy Peanut Butter cookies.  I did photograph the entire process just in case it was a perfect outcome. In the past hour I have taste tested at least 5 of the cookies, and can report that they taste wonderful.

The recipe is
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

That's it.

Who knew you didn't have to put flour in a cookie mixture.

Mix the 3 ingredients together and using a 1 inch scoop drop on a cookie sheet,  press down with a fork in 2 directions and bake for 12 minutes (see the edit below) in a 350 degree oven.

I don't know what a 1 inch scoop is so I used  a heaping 1/2 a tablespoon full.

I have taken a picture of my uncooked cookies with a KCup on the pan so you could see the size of my pre baked cookies.   I got about 24 cookies from this batch.  You can also see in the pictures that I added a chocolate chip or two to a few of the cookies.  I can not leave well enough alone.

I thought that my sister got way fewer cookies so I cut the cooking time back to 11 minutes.

I took another picture with the KCup to show how much they grew.

Yes, these are very small cookie sheets, they measure in at 9 x 12

I guessed that I was supposed to cool on a wire rack, it's what's done right?  Well I don't own a wire rack so I used the rack that goes in the pan to hold your roasts with parchment paper so the cookies wouldn't fall through.

The cookies came out very tasty but very close to, but not burned.  I guess 10 minutes would have been better.  Good thing I like crisp cookies.

So next week I will try again baking for only 10 minutes and maybe adding a pecan or something else to the top.

Edit for retrial Dec. 5 

I know this is a last minute retry.  I forgot I needed to retry this process with different timing. 

I checked with my sister and she did make much bigger cookies.  Hers were actually thicker, so that explains the need for a change to the cooking time.

I made my cookies the same size as my originals.

This group got M&M Christmas Trees.  I know that M&M melt in your mouth not in your hand.  I needed to find out if they melted in the oven.

I made basically no changes in the recipe or the size of my cookies with the exception of replacing the chocolate chips with the M&M's.

Also found that I had these mesh racks that came with my little cookie sheets that made pretty decent cooling trays.

I baked today's batch for 10 minutes and that seemed perfect.  I did notice that I needed to let them sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes to set.

You can see the cookie on the top right got a bit broken up because I moved it a little too soon.

If you look closely you will see that some of the M&M's cracked but none actually melted.

I took this batch of cookies (both the M&M's and plain) to today's Guild Meeting.  Didn't have to bring any of them home.
I think that says it all.

So if you got this far you have a chance at winning a Christmas Goodie bag.  I have a few small Christmas goodies that need to be given to someone to help brighten their holidays.  To have a chance just leave a comment.  I'll pick a name after midnight Friday (bright and early Saturday) December 9.

These are the links to all of the great participants in this fun hop.  Stop by and get some super ideas for the holidays and chances to win things and get free patterns and wonderful cookie recipes.  You have nothing to lose and so much to gain (couldn't resist).

Thanks for stopping by for the holiday visit.  Enjoy

December 5 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The latest crafting adventure

A couple of months ago I saw a sign for classes for beginner Fused Glass.  I truly had no idea what that meant but curiosity got the best of me. Well actually it got the better of us.  I was running errands with my sister at the time and she got dragged along on the adventure.

The class was broken down into 4, 3 hour sessions.  Going in I thought this was overkill but it turned out to be a great system to get exposure to several different elements of the craft.

We did jewelry,  picture frames, dishes and on the last day we made a fish with some of our left over bits and pieces. This is my fish and it is very boring in contrast to most of the fish in my class.

If we had only done jewelry  I would have dropped the whole glass experience.  While what we did was lovely, I'm not a jewelry person.   My sister on the other hand liked the jewelry and wasn't big on the dishes. 

These are some of my pieces of Jewelry.

My dishes. ( about 5 in across)

My sushi type dish (3.5 x 12 in)

This craft will not take over my quilting obsession.  Glass isn't predictable enough for me and it is very expensive.  I see me doing birthday gifts this year for my crafty friends and then making small pieces for Christmas presents.  I have been experimenting with ornaments and like where that is going,

This is a photo of a couple of the pieces of jewelry I gave a friend for her birthday.  Timing is everything, her birthday was the week I finished up the class.

Another buddies birthday was 2 weeks later.  I had her send me a photo with no explaination.  This is what she got back  for her present.

My most fun creation so far is the birthday cake. One of these went with the picture frame. It is about 1 1/2 x 3 inches.  I added a little frame stand so it can be propped up for display.

Another crafty friends birthday is in December and we decided to move it up so I could surprise her with my new adventure.  This went in the mail to her yesterday. Oops forgot to take  a picture. She did receive them yesterday and she will send pictures for me to add here at a later date. She got a frame, a piece of jewelry and some cake.

It really is fun venturing out of ones comfort zone and trying new things.  You just don't know where the process will lead.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Mainly Mug Rugs

It's been less than 3 weeks since my last post.  I'm aiming for about 2 weeks apart so that the posts are shorter and therefore less stressful to put together.  I know it's all in my head.

Anyway, I started a new quilt. The pattern Ladder Leap is by Amanda Jean from  Crazy mom quilts 

I started it but got waylaid  by the #mugrugparade on IG coordinated by @tinkerellen 
One mug rug a day for 10 days.  Some of my contributions were new for the parade but others are from the distant and not to distant past.

And then there were a few requests for some more badly needed Small Animal Kennel Quilts

I also did a little bit of my new crafting adventure.  I've moved up the birthday celebrations of a couple of friends so they can have their gifts as a surprise before I start adding the output to my blog. Two other friends have received their gifts and seemed really happy.  They are good friends so they would do the happy dance for me just because they are nice people.

Lets see if this photo helps them guess what's in store for their celebrations.