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