Last year, I made quilted C-mas stockings (from the T'berries book) and filled them with things that the reciever would like. For my quilting friends, I put in a couple fat quarters,a bag of buttons, a pack of needles, a thimble and some hand lotion. For my non quilting friends, they got little things they like and some bubble bath. Everyone liked them and they were really easy to make. It was a good chance to use up some scrap fabric and muslin.
On the Eat-L Food list, they're talking about "cake in a jar". Bake the cake just like it was a pan, and then after it comes out of the oven, put a lid on it. As it cools, let it will seal.
I'm planning to make some of those - you have to make them in wide mouth jars - and after they cool, I'm going to put something I've quilted under the ring and on top of the flat. Maybe even get a ruffle on it like you see.
The recipes include just about everything and anything. Banana bread, pumpkin bread.
The directions will tell you step by step how to do it. How they get out is - you use wide mouth jars and as the cakes cool, they pull away from the sides. Come out really easily then.
|2||CANNING JARS||wide mouth|
|1/3||cup||BUTTER -- or MARGARINE|
|3||tablespoons||UNSWEETENED COCOA POWDER|
Here's one you can start out with, it makes 2 jars. Every recipe technique
is the same, just different ingredients.
Sterilize, two 1-pint straight-sided wide-mouth canning jars (specifically made for canning jams and jellies) lids and rings by boiling for 10 minutes (keep the lids and rings in the hot water until ready to use); set aside.
In a small bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking soda and cinnamon, if desired. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan combine butter or margarine, water and cocoa powder; heat and stir until butter or margarine is melted and mixture is well blended.
Remove from heat; stir in flour mixture.
Add buttermilk, egg and vanilla; beat by hand until smooth.
Stir in nuts.
Pour mixture into the prepared canning jars; place jars onto a cookie sheet.
Preheat oven to 325-degrees.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a pick inserted deep into each cake comes out clean.
Remove cakes from the oven, one at a time. Place a lid, then a ring onto the jars and screw down tightly. USE HEAVY-DUTY MITTS, the jars ARE HOT!!
Place jars onto your counter to cool.
You'll hear a "plinking" sound. If you miss the sound, wait until the cakes are cool and press on the lids, they shouldn't move at all, that means they've sealed.
Store cakes in a cool, dark place. They should last up to a year--I don't know, they've never lasted that long around here!
If you'd like to decorate them, place a wad of cotton in the center of each lid, then place a piece of decorative cloth, about 3-inches larger in circumference than the lid, (cut with pinking shears) on top of the cotton. Screw the ring back on (by this time the rings can be removed as the lids should be sealed).
Use your imagination when decorating--a hot glue gun works wonders (dried flowers, ribbon, etc). These make WONDERFUL Christmas gifts.
Fuse fabric to heavyweight paper. Trace around Christmas cookie cutters (onto the paper, of course). Use as gift tags -- punch a hole at the top for a string (or thin strip of fabric) for tying. A good way to use up scraps!
Seminole patchwork makes nice edgings for towels (hand, bath, or kitchen) or pillowcases.
How about fusing the fabric to a heat and bond type when giving to *crafty* people. They then would have ready made appliques.You can write on the bock of the paper for the name tag and then just peel it off afterwards to be used as the recipient sees fit.
Buy the least expensive plain mouse pad you can find and then "Heat & Bond" fabric to it. You can personalize the fabric...if the person you are giving the mouse pad has a hobby or preference for a color and so on. You just use a fabric that would relate to that hobby etc. You can use cheap, vinyl placemats for mouse pads.
I make bookmarks using a 3"X3" paper-pieced block. I stitch a piece of fabric that is about 3"X6" to the bottom of the block,, and then sew on a backing fabric. I use special fabrics - either the persons favorite colors,, or something else meaningful (like I used a prairie-grass print for a friend who is a plant ecologist). You can incorporate muslin into the design and then sign the muslin or write a little message to the person.
If you're really gung-ho,, you could make up a whole bunch and have them on hand to sign or "message" when you need them.
What You Need:
It looks like a rectangle was cut 19 x 22" and it was seamed up along the long edges to make a tube. Each end was then hemmed to creat a casing for the draw string. The top one is cinched up tight and made into a loop/bow that you can use to hang it up -- the botton opening is left loose enough that you can stuff (and also remove) plastic sacks from the grocery store. I can imagine prints or even a pieced section through the middle would be darling. It is very useful. It would make a nicer gift if you gave it full of bags.
Just a hint here, the plastic sack containers can be easily made from a teas towel or dishcloth (whatever Americans call things for drying the dishes with. There are so many colours and designs to choose from. Fold over each end about 1", stitch along. This makes a thing to thread a drawstring through the top and elastic through the bottom. Sew up the long side, thread the things through each end and hey-presto, as bag to keep your bags in. I used to have one out of a tea towel but made one out of my kitchen curtain material and it looks great.
Making fabric drawstring bags to wrap foodstuffs/gifts in--this would also work with the fruitcakes all you fruitcakes are making out there, and would involve fabric scraps too! Examples: teas, food, note cards.
Make wine bottle bags as gifts, then give wine (or champagne or: seasoned oils or vinegars).
Large floor pillow (for watching tv with.) Make each with a quilt pattern. Add borders to the quilt block to make the square large einough for a 18" x 18" pillow.
You can make a lot of things for men just by using masculine fabrics. For instance, book covers, padded hangers, eyeglass cases, etc. that aren't made with pink satin and lace trimming. You might want to try your hand at making ties from holiday prints. There are commercial patterns out there...How about sports items, like belt pouches and small velcro bags made from nylon?
Try making a light attached to an elastic head band? The light would be very tiny, but also, give off a nice "pool" of light & be very bright. It could be used when you need your hands free.
Has anyone mentioned, placemats and those "Victorian drawstring pouches that were originally meant for jewelry and eveyone I know using them for sewing supplies?
And how about cookies along with the cookie cutter,that can be used to make templates for ornaments and appliques.
Those two-pocket cloth or vinyl tv controller/tv guide holders that sling over the arm of an armchair. The commercially made ones are always too small and usually in boring shades of beige, black or brown. If some little drapery weights were added in the bottoms of the pouches on both sides, they'd hang better and stay in place.
I get the big bags of ceder chips for hamsters in the pet department. I make *sacks* out of voile or thin cheap fabric, stuff them with the cedar and throw them into the winter coat closet in my upstaris hall and in my basement closet. They smell great and you just have to take them outside and shake them up a little every now and then to get the aroma going again. Fill old panty hose, old pillow cases, etc. have fun.
I also use it to make sleeping beds cat (not for dogs, it's dangerous for them: if they pee on the cedar, it can be toxic). Flea's hate it and your animals smell great.
The guys all ordered Boxer-shorts again. I made some 2 years ago and tried to match their interest, jobs or hobbies in the fabric.
I like the idea of Quilter's Candy --small scraps in plastic bags-- and may make up a few of these for our bazaar in November. Using baby food jars would show them off well.
They're found at nurseries (plants, etc)and used to mix in the soil to hold water so that plants don't dry out so quickly. Anyway, I keep mine in the refrigerator in a big tumbler of water so when I need it, it's replenished and cold. When the moisture evaporates (over several days), it is totally dry and flat. The beads replenish in a couple hours, with more water. It's great for working in the yard. Wear around the neck or around the head, like a sweatband. You could use terry cloth with a zipper, and then velcro it around your neck, and it would keep you cool.
About the "soil stuff," it's called crosslinked polyacrylamide. Trade name is "Soil Moist." It comes either with or without fertilizer in it. "Without" is better for the neck things. In the pacific northwest you can get it at Home Depot or from floral wholesalers in 2 gallon buckets.
It takes about 1 1/2 teaspoons to fill about an 18" by 1 1/2" space. Wouldn't let any go down into your plumbing, as it will continue to absorb water and cause a pretty severe blockage.
It is also possible to use those same crystals and make a visor that has them inside of the headband! You use quilter's template plastic for the brim so that the water won't dissolve it when it is wet. It should also have velcro and a good way to adjust the size. The band is longer when the crystals are dry and shorter when it is hydrated.
In the ones I made, I used a darker fabric on the underneath side of the brim so that the dark color absorbs the glare from the sun. When it is wet, the band sort of plumps up and is a touch translucent.
Glue or staple these together at the folded-up sides - put six together with the tops in the center for both the top and bottom of the circle, and the other 12 go into a strip (a band, really) in which the tops of the triangles alternately go up and down.
Kinda like this -
_____________________ /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ ---------------------
Anyway, this band becomes the center of your ball - use the sides of the triangle shapes to attach the top and bottom. You can decorate this, either with just a bit of spray-on glitter or get fancy.
Another nice idea is to punch holes in the cards (instead of using glue or staples) and crochet the pieces together.
: () : ()() : ()()() : ()()()() BABY FOOD JAR CHRISTMAS TREE : ()()()()() : ()()
I did one like this when I was a kid, except I used paper towel rolls cut into inch-long segments. I attached a tiny ornament (half-inch or so in diameter) in each, then glued the rolls together in the same configuration as the baby-food jar tree. I think I painted it green and added some glitter, too.
(25) (23)(24) (20)(21)(22) (16)(17)(18)(19) (11)(12)(13)(14)(15) (05)(06)(07)(08)(09)(10) (03)(04) (01)(02)And you'll have a tree of 25 jars to fill with little trinkets and use as an advent calendar.
Mix cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg add applesauce & glue.
Work mixture withhands until smooth and well mixed.
Divide into 4 portions roll out to 1/4 inch thickness cut with cookies cutters.
Use straw to make hole for hanging (if needed).
Put on wire rack to dry at room temp for several days.
Turn twice daily so they don't curl.
Use ribbon to hang if needed.
Pour cinnamon into bowl.
Add applesauce by the spoonful, stirring until a stiff dough forms.
Mix dough thoroughly by hand.
This recipe is for making little bear figurines, so you basiclaly roll the dough into balls for the body, head, etc and mush them together. The same recipe would probably work for other kinds of modelling or for rolling out and using cookie cutters
I use old towels as batting in potholders and quilted slippers. One layer of thick towelling or two of thin. It doesn't show - the pot-holders protect your hands really well - the slippers don't make your feet sweat - and it uses up my pitiful but too good to throw away towels.
Now find the center of one of the circles by folding in half and then into forths. Spread out the circle and place 4 of the triangles A in the center of the circle with the points all touching and tack down the points with thread. using all 8 of triangles B lay each point on top of the lines in the 4 A triangles about 1/2 inch from the center where triangles A are tacked down. Tack these points down. Repeat the layer using the rest of triangles B on top of triangles A. You may want to tack down the corners to keep the whole mess from flopping around.
Now sandwich the circles and batting and baste around. Using triple fold binding tape the same color as the solid material sew it around the pot holder and sew a loop on the back edge.
Hope this is not too complicated!! Please use 100% cotton as polyester will burn on a hot pot! The solid and print triangles can be switched to make the first four points solided then layer a row of print.
These are from Penny:
I make lots of broomstick skirts and have an easy way to ruffle, get some crochet thread or string, if you have a cording foot (the one with all the little holes) use it, otherwise just lay it under your foot. Using regular thread zig-zag over the string. Pull up the string and you are set. It wont break, you one need one and you can pull it from several places if you need to. My skirts have 8 yards of fabric so that's a lot of gathers, this is the best way I've found.
Chair cushions. Set of 4.
Recipe card holders (the ones that hold the cards, a pen, and can double as a pot holder).
A few years ago, my SIL gave each a my children what were originally plain white pillow cases that had been painted with fabric paint. They had designs such as soccer, trains and clowns and each one had the child's name, also.
Am planning to make a "gizmo" to hold thread clippings, as well as pin cushion, ripper, bobbins, etc., at the side of the machine. It will be a combination of a commercial pattern for the little trash bag and a fabric-covered box which is weighted with a ceramic tile and stores flat when not in use.
Sometimes I will but a bow at the center front or attach a wood ornament or some other little cutie type thing..............I have also used a lace with beading (spaced holes) and run a pretty ribbon through it rather than elastic.
I have also made them with the elastic at the top and only a single ruffle hanging down too.
When you make fleece or quilted slippers, dot the bottoms with fabric paint so they wont slip. It is even a good idea to do this with small childrens socks(bought) as they always seem to manage to take their shoes off to run around the house.
I've made pillowcases for my kids from fabric that matches their quilts and special fabric (like dinosaur fabric). I've also make pillowcases from 60" wide broadcloth for my teenagers. I cut a width of fabric for the case and instead of cutting the extra 6" to 8" of fabric off. I fold it over and make a flap that holds the pillow in the case. These are great pillowcases! I make them in colors that coordinate with their rooms.
You also need a large, matching or co-ordinating zipper (about 26"); 1" Wide, matching or coordinating grosgrain ribbon (2 to 2-1/2 yds); zip freezer bags (quart and gallon size, preferably the ones with zipper pull-things [Hefty brand, no affil.])
Optional: one ready-made matching/coordinating napkin and scrap of batting.
Also optional (and mostly useful if your placemat is a solid color) a few small quilt blocks to decorate the outside. These can be used as a pocket if you wish. This is easier to do than to describe, so I'll take a deep breath and give it my best shot!
Fold your placemat in half, marking the center of each long side with pins. Unfold.
If you're using a napkin (if not, skip to next section, but if it's to be used for sewing, I highly recommend the following) fold and cut it into thirds. The two outside thirds (each with a finished long edge) can be made into big pockets for the inside or outside of your bag. Sew these to your placemats. Be sure to place them so that the long finished edges face toward the short ends of the placemat, so that when the bag is finished, they will open from the top. These pieces are longer than the placemat is wide, so you'll have to make a big pleat in the middle. (Don't worry about finishing the unfinished edges if they're going on the inside- they wont be seen.) That pleat can become an extra pocket!
The pockets are big enough to hold applique or hand-pieced blocks in progress or glasses, etc. With the inner third, sew it into a tube, turn inside out, stuff with rolled up batting (any kind will do; I used old poly stuffing) and set aside (this will be a pin cushion, and should be as long as the placemat is wide.)
If you are using quilt blocks for decoration or as outside pockets, place and stich them, making sure they face toward the nearest short side of the placemat, so they'll face up when you're done. If you're making pockets, line them with coordinating fabric first.
Cut two pieces of grosgrain a bit longer than your zipper. Sew them to each side of the zipper, near the outside edge of the zipper tape, using a small zig-zag stitch. (Just lay it on the top of the zipper tape; you're not sewing a regular seam here.) Set aside. Cut two more pieces of grosgrain, 12"-15" long. Pin the ends of these to the "inside" side of the placemat to form the handles at both ends. They should be 1 or 2 inches in from the long edges, and should overlap the placemat by about 1/2". Are you still with me?
Now we attach the zipper. Remember the pins you placed in the center of the long edges of the placemat? Starting at one, sew the wrong side of the zipper-grosgrain ribbon to the inside edge of the placemat, ending at the other pin. Carefully pin in place before stitching, and place the grosgrain edge just inside the placemat edge, catching the ends of the "handles" at the same time. Now sew the other-side-of-the-zipper/grosgrain to the other side of the placemat, pin to pin.
The hardest part is done. Go eat some chocolate; you deserve it.
Select eight freezer bags (I used 6 quart and 2 gallon sized, but it doesn't
matter as long as the smaller ones are on top as you...
Stack them: Open up your placemat with the inside up, as near as possible to your sewing machine. Lay the bags on it so that the zipper sides face toward the short ends of the placemat, and alternate every other one to face opposite ways (left, right, left, right.) The closed ends (bottoms) of the plastic bags will overlap each other at the center of the placemat. They will be covered (and at the same time sewn to the placemat) by either
1) a piece of grosgrain ribbon, or
2) the pincushion you made from the napkin. Be careful here - the bags are very slippery.
For #1, simply lay the ribbon down the center of the placemat, over the bag
bottoms, and stitch along each long edge.
For #2, lay the "pincushion" seam side down, turn in the edges at the ends, and sew across it near the ends and in the middle.
Congratulations! You're done! Expect this to take 1 to 2 hours, depending on how fast a sewer you are, how many chocolate breaks you took, and your ability to decipher my attempt at explaining this process.
I have made "Table Quilts" (that's what I call them anyway!) and they are beautiful!
I use simple 9-patches that can be assembled using strip piecing techniques and I serge them!
The final border is doubled over so that the folded edge is the finished edge! The are quick and easy and since there isn't the added expense and time of using batting, backing, and quilting -- you won't hesitate to USE it!!! I had one once that I really liked and thought I might someday "quilt" it, so I was very careful -- and the one time I did eat on it, I put a clear piece of table cloth vinyl over it to protect it! I've been thinking of making one for each holiday -- a black and orange one for Halloween, red/green for Christmas etc...... I even thought one with appliqued hearts would be pretty for Valentine's Day -- Just various sizes, shapes, shades of red and pink scattered on a white cloth then bind in the dominant color.
[Cheryl modified an idea featured in Highlights Magazine for this project]
Here's the basic directions on making "Rudolph" applique items from young children's hand & feet tracings......To apply the designs, you can choose to fuse only , or fuse and stitch by machine or hand around the edges (satin stitch or buttonhole).
Be sure to use the appropriate "Heat-n-Bond" product (sewable vs. no-sew fusing). Trace the outline of your child's shoe onto Heat-n-Bond, paper side. Fuse to brown fabric for reindeer's face. Now trace both of the child's outspread hands onto Heat-n-Bond, paper side. Fuse these to antler fabric of your choice (even busy holiday prints work well here). Cut out one face and both antlers per "Rudolph", peel off paper backing, and fuse/sew to pre-cut light background fabric (can be muslin). This background fabric can be rectangular for wallhangings, or cut to suit your particular project.
Make a wide border of a matching or co-ordinating cheery Christmas print to finish the wallhanging (top). Get playful with your embellishments......tiny jingle bells for the eyes, bright red pom-poms, lame', yo-yo's or buttons for the nose, etc. String a strand of those miniature (non-working) Christmas lights among the reindeer's rack of antlers, or hang miniscule ornaments from them.
I make dolls out of soft fleece, the soft sculptured kind works the best for me. I make doll clothes from 42" dolls to fashion dolls. They all need clothes to wear! I have a lot of girls that I make gifts for, from friends to relatives. I also make vests for presents because you don't worry about the fit and their in fashion now. Vests go with anything and, Grandmothers love having their grandchilds hand prints and foot prints with fabric paint on them.
Helen L: I made placemats and matcing napkins for gifts this year. I used some of those print sqaure panels and the co-ordinating fabric. Then using those fabrics, I make tote bags to put the napkins and placemats in, instead of wrapping them. This way the person gets a "extra" gift in a tote bag.
John M: I enjoy making lingery for my wife who appreciates the better quality and the personal touch.
Joni A: I've had too many discouraging instances where vests, jackets or other items haven't fit the recipient or maybe just wasn't something that person liked. Now I just sew doll clothes for nieces, since I know they'll be appreciated!
Judy M: For a baby gift buy one yard of flannel, cut it to a one yard square and hem the sides. This makes a great reuseable gift wrap. Use daiper pins to hold the wrap together.
Kim L: Currently embroidering on towels and throws for wedding presents.
Laura : I suppose the perfect homemade gift would be tailored to that person. Say, a woman might enjoy some delicate lingerie, and a man might like some home decorating accents that aren't too girly.
Linda: Simple vest or tee shirt pattern, with doilies, or lacy appliques glued on with washable fabric glue....always gets ooohs(!) out of women. You can even use bought shirts and vests, using decorative stitches as embellishments. I'm about to tackle a box of men's ties someone gave me. Should make interesting patchwork and insets.
I put appliques on sweatshirts and then use fabric paints to outline and add embelichments. They were a big hit with family members. I was able to pick the sweatshirts up for $6.00 each and the applique kits are only a couple dollars and usually contain two or three different appliques.
Start with a small (6 inch) stocking. I fussy cut a bear and crazy quilted pieces around it onto a piece of muslin then I stuffed the bear part and put a plain green back on it, pre-made 1 inch ruffle on top with ribbon for hanging. I plan to make a bunch to use for small gifts to acquaintencnces and fill them with candy, cookies, or another hand made decoration. Just thought that it would be a good idea to make them wine bottle size.
Some of my favorite gifts have been the quilts my Mother-in-law has made for me.
For my nieces, I'm making dress-up trunks. My DH will cover some cardboard boxes with the kind of Contact paper that has a wood grain print. I'll line the inside with some nice satin. To fill up the trunk, I'm making simple gathered skirts, capes, shawls, and wraps. Consider making these out of tulle, doesuede knits, fleece, fake furs, or any of the beautiful special occassion fabrics you may have admired (or actually bought) but have no use for. It doesn't take a lot of fabric or time. To complete the trunk, look for trinkets in the toy department--"jewels", shoes, hats, etc. -Make fleece throws. These are super simple. All you have to do is blanket stitch around 2 yards of fleece. I've seen these sold for ludicrous prices. If you want to make it extra fancy, you can add webbing to make the throw portable. Just roll it up and then figure out how to sew the webbing handles on--kind of hard to explain, but if you try it, I think you'll see what I mean.
I have often found that children (and a lot of adults) love big overstuffed animals, dolls, and bean bags. They are extremely easy to make and with an imaginative mind, there is no end to the possibilities. They also make great gag gifts.
Here are some addresses for the 'virtual' gifts? These are really fun!!!
The recommendations are to change the water per color, but I never do and I love the way the residue of other paints blend in. Truly beautiful and VERY easy and cheap, plus keeps the kids busy over Xmas vacation. --ElizaBeth
Just a hint here, the plastic sack containers can be easily made from a teas
towel or dishcloth (whatever Americans call things for drying the dishes with. There are so many colours and designs to choose from.
Fold over each end about 1", stitch along. This makes a thing to thread a drawstring through the top and elastic through the bottom. Sew up the long side, thread the things through each end and hey-presto, as bag to keep your bags in. I used to have one out of a tea towel but made one out of my kitchen curtain material and it looks great. -- Helen.
Try melting crayons into the wax for color. -- Sue
I was watching tv while on vacation and they kept showing a Glade commercial where one woman sprays aerosol and the other one uses the powder dispenser (you can see I really paid attention. I can't remember the name of the product)Anyway, I noticed they changed the shape of the dispenser, but it's still mighty ugly. I got to thinking, since it is basically just a circle I could make a quilted cover for it with a hole in the top for the powder. I was thinking along the lines of animals or fruit but you could go in just about any direction and then it would be fun to leave your air freshener out and watch visiters reactions when you mash down on your quilted knick-knack and powder sprays into the room. -- Melissa J.