11.19.2007

82. Little Peeps Baby Blanket



MATERIALS:
    5 fat quarters of lilac calico
    4 fat quarters of lime calico
    1 fat quarter of orange calico
    1/2 yard of yellow chenille
    1-1/2 yards of lavender flannel for backing
    4 yards of 3/8" lavender ribbon
    Black beads
    2 packages of Heat 'n Bond® fusible web
    Crib-size quilt batting
    Peep Pattern (PDF)

    Scissors
    iron and ironing board
    sewing machine
    rotary cutter and mat
    safety pins
    needle and matching thread
    invisible thread.


INSTRUCTIONS:
    (Note: all seams are 1/4")

  1. Cut five 14" squares of lilac calico. Cut four 14" squares of lime calico. Cut eleven 2-1/2" strips for binding; strips should measure 2-1/2" x 18". Set aside.

  2. For each square, enlarge chick body, feet, and beak pattern 200% and trace on paper side of Heat 'n Bond®. Follow manufacturer's directions to fuse body tracing to chenille, and feet and beak to orange calico. Cut and fuse to squares.

  3. Machine appliqué as desired, using zigzag, button-hole, or straight stitch.

  4. With colors alternating, sew blocks together in rows of three. Sew rows together.

  5. Cut one 44" x 44" square of flannel for backing. Cut one 44" x 44" square of batting.

  6. To layer, place backing right side down and lay batting over backing. Place quilt top right side up on top of the batting. Beginning at the center of the quilt top, pin the layers together every 4” to 6", smoothing the fabric as you work toward the edges.

  7. Quilt as desired, or use photo for reference. If machine quilting, use a quilting foot. Adjust stitch length to 6 to 12 stitches per inch, and loosen upper tension if using invisible thread. Begin in the center of the quilt top and quilt outward in all directions.

  8. Sew the eleven 2-1/2" x 18" strips together end-to-end in alternating colors to form the binding. Press all seams open. With wrong sides together, fold and press the binding strip in half lengthwise. Turn the short raw edge of the binding strip to the inside.

  9. Beginning at the center of one side, match the raw edges of the binding strip and the quilt top. Begin sewing the binding to the quilt top through all layers. Stop sewing 1/4" from the corner of the quilt top; backstitch and clip threads. To sew the corners, remove quilt top from under presser foot. Fold the binding strip up, creating a diagonal fold. Hold this fold in place with a finger. Fold the binding down to create a fold at the top edge and align with the adjacent quilt edge. Sew through the top fold, stitching through all layers. Continue around quilt, repeating diagonal fold at each corner.

  10. When the binding meets at the start point, insert end of the binding into the folded binding and continue stitching. Clip threads and remove quilt from the sewing machine.

  11. Trim excess batting and backing even with the quilt top. Fold binding over the seam to the back of the quilt. Hand-stitch the binding to the backing fabric to cover machine stitching.

  12. Make small bows and attach at each chick neck. Sew black beads in place for eyes. Double stitch bows and beads to secure firmly. Alternate eye option: use DMC® black floss or pearl cotton to create a French knot.

    Approximate Crafting Time: 8 hours
    Skill Level: Intermediate


RESOURCE: Sewing.org




11.13.2007

81. Bird House



MATERIALS
    Gourd
    Spoon (to hollow out Gourd)
    Drill
    1 1/2" diam. drill bit (for entrance)
    Drill bit matching the diameter of your perch
    smaller drill bit (for hanging hole)
    small twig or branch for perch (optional)
    Twine, leather, or wire (for hanging)
    glue
    No VOC paint


INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Using your 1 1/2" dril bit, drill a hole in the middle of your gourd.
  2. using your spoon or other tool, scoop out the gourd interior. (you can skip this step by purchasing a ready-made Gourd from your craft store)
  3. allow to dry
  4. measure the diameter of your perch material, using the same/similar diameter drill bit, drill a hole one inch below your entry hole.
  5. with the smallest drill bit, drill a hole in the top 1/2" on the gourd. This will be for your hanging wire.
  6. If you so choose, paint your gourd (exterior only), and allow to dry
  7. once dry, glue your perch into it's hole.
  8. thread your wire (or other material) through the top holes

Resource: Two Straight Lines





80. Altoid iPod Speakers



MATERIALS:
    Pair of old headphones
    2 playing cards
    Glue
    2 Altoids tins
    Electrical tape
    X-acto knife
    Pin
    Awl
    Lighter
    Wire cutters


INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Dismantle the headphones and remove the speakers.
  2. Use a pin to poke a small hole in each of two playing cards, then glue the speakers to the cards, lining up each speaker with the hole.
  3. Use the awl to poke a hole in the back of each tin, then thread the speaker wire through the holes.
  4. Reconnect the wires by twisting them together and burning the plastic coating off with a lighter. Then tape them off.
  5. Place the foam padding from the headphones inside the tins, open side up, to cushion the speakers.
  6. Trim the cards to fit inside the tins, place them inside (use glue if necessary). Note: The sound will be a little tinny.

Resource: Readymade





79. Going Green T-Shirt Shopping Bags



Turning an old T-shirt into a reusable shopping or grocery bag is a simple, clever craft to help everyone be "green." It's a Good Thing that will help protect the environment.

MATERIALS
    Heavy-weight cotton T-shirt
    Pins
    Sewing machine
    Medium-size bowl
    Water-erasable marking pen
    Scissors


INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Turn T-shirt inside out and pin bottom of the T-shirt along the hem. Using a sewing machine, sew bottom of T-shirt closed. Flip shirt right side out and lay flat on table, making sure all seams are lined up.

  2. Place medium-size bowl about half-way over the neck hole. Using a water-erasable marking pen, trace along the edge of the bowl. Cut along the outline, making sure to go through the front and back sides of the shirt, in order to create an opening for the bag that's larger than what the neck hole allows.

  3. Line up the hems on the front and back side of the sleeve and cut, making sure to go through both sides of the shirt. Repeat on the other sleeve. Tip: A jersey shirt would also work well for this craft, as it is already sleeveless, and it's made of a great mesh material.

Resource: Martha Stewart





78. Bath Mits



For a generous source of lather and to put an end to searching for the soap on the bottom of the tub, slip a soap bar into a pocket made from a luxurious terry washcloth.

MATERIALS
    wash cloth
    cotton cord
    needle & thread
    scissors


INSTRUCTIONS
  1. fold the washcloth in half, and cut it to the desired length.
  2. Tape a 2 1/2-inch loop of cotton cord inside the folded cloth.
  3. Stitch along the bottom and side edges, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance (make sure to catch the ends of the loop).
  4. Turn the pocket right side out.
  5. After each use, hang the washcloth mitt by its loop to dry.




Resource: Martha Stewart





1.22.2007

77. Mock Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars



CAKE INGREDIENTS:
    1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
    1 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
    3 eggs
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon powdered ginger
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    3/4 cups diced dried cranberries
    6 ounces white chocolate, cut into chunks


LEMON FROSTING:
    4 ounces cream cheese, softened
    3 cups powdered sugar
    4 teaspoons lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1/4 cup diced dried cranberries


DRIZZLED ICING:
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon milk
    2 teaspoons vegetable shortening


INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  2. Make the cake by beating the softened butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, powdered ginger, salt and beat well. Gradually mix in flour until smooth. Mix the 3/4 cup dried cranberries and white chocolate into the batter by hand. Pour batter into a well greased 9x13 inch baking pan and use a spatula to spread the batter evenly across the pan.

  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until cake is light brown on edges. Allow cake to cool.

  4. Make the lemon frosting by combining the softened cream cheese, 3 cups of powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. When the cake has fully cooled, use a spatula to spread the frosting over the top of the cake. Then sprinkle the 1/4 cup of diced dried cranberries onto the frosting.

  5. For the drizzled icing, whisk together 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, and shortening. Drizzle the icing over the cranberries and lemon frosting in a sweeping motion or with a pastry bag.

  6. Allow cake to sit for several hours and then cut into bars.

Resource: My Little Mochi

1.17.2007

76. Gourmet Treats



CHOCOLATE COVERED PRETZELS


MATERIALS
    10 ounces pretzel sticks (Pretzel RODS)
    12 ounces milk chocolate chips (or melting disks)
    1/2 cup white chocolate chips (optional)
    candy sprinkles (optional)
    miniature M&M chocolate candies (optional)
    mini Reese's pieces (optional)
    chopped peanuts (optional)
    Waxed Paper
    Baking sheets
    Double Boiler


INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Melt milk chocolate chips in double boiler or in microwave (be careful not to burn in the micro).
  2. If you are using the white chocolate, wait until later before melting unless you can keep it over warm water.
  3. Dip each pretzel rod about 2/3 of the way up in chocolate.
  4. Lay on wax paper lined baking sheets, lining up the rods but leave a bit of space between them.
  5. Allow to set a little, but not completely dry (while waiting, make sure your white chocolate is ready).
  6. Dip a fork into the white chocolate and drizzle over the milk chocolate by gently swishing the fork back and forth over the rods but not touching them.
  7. Place your sprinkles or candies on a paper plate and roll each pretzel rod in desired topping (or just sprinkle on).
  8. Lay back on wax paper to set completely.
    These look great displayed in, or given in, a unique glass or mug.

Resource: Recipe Zaar






CHOCOLATE COVERED CARAMEL CORN


MATERIALS
    2 cups brown sugar
    1 cup butter
    1/2 cup corn syrup
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    7 quarts popped corn
    1 Roasting pan
    Waxed Paper

    1 cup Hershey's semi-sweet chocolate chips
    12 large marshmallows, cut in quarters
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons warm water
    1 cup peanuts (optional)


INSTRUCTIONS
    Prepare Caramel Corn:
  1. Combine brown sugar, butter, syrup and salt in a saucepan.
  2. Boil 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and add the baking soda and vanilla.
  4. Stir well and then pour over popped corn in a large roaster. (If you have to put into two large tinfoil buttered roasters, it will be easier to stir in two pans.)
  5. Bake in oven at 250 degrees for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  6. Pour onto waxed paper and cool.
  7. Break up into pieces.

    Chocolate Coating:.
  1. Melt chips, marshmallows, butter and water for about four minutes in the microwave, stirring until smooth. (You can do this on the stove top too, just melt until very smooth.)
  2. Place the cooled caramel corn and peanuts, if using, in a large roasting pan.
  3. Toss chocolate over the caramel corn and toss well.
  4. Spread out again onto the waxed paper to cool, separating the pieces.

Resource: Recipe Zaar