Saturday, June 30, 2012

more baby shower fun with a diy pendant banner, burp cloths, and recipe for peanut butter buckeyes

Thanks again to Leslee for letting me participate in a small way in this baby shower. I really was fortunate to help a talented bunch of girls and cannot take credit for half of this adorableness!

Pendant banner

Adapted from Craftiness is Not Optional

Materials: Fabric (I purchased a charm package and muslin for back, bias tape, thread, pinking shears, etc.

1. Decide on a triangle size and make a template. I didn't have a great rotary cutter so just cut them out by hand in a 4.5 x 5 inch triangle.
2. With wrong sides together, pin and stitch a muslin and colored triangle together on two sides, leaving the top open.
3. Pin and stitch bias tape to top of the triangles after making sure to measure the size of the space and draping required.

DIY burp cloths Adapted from Petite Lemon

Materials: cloth diapers, fabric, notions (ribbon or bias tape), thread, etc.

1. Pre-wash all fabrics. Measure each cloth diapers middle tri fold section then cut fabric an inch bigger in width and length.

2. Fold and pen fabric to middle section with a 1/2 inch fold. I found the edges of the burp cloths to be very uneven and rustic looking just to warn you!
3. Stitch and press burp cloth.
4. Add any notions and stitch them down as desired.

Peanut Butter Buckeyes
Courtesy of smitten kitchen

Oh how I could wax and wane on the attributes of peanut butter and chocolate combined. It is a serious affront to me that my husband doesn't really love either! Fortunately other circumstances continue to arise that give me opportunities to make concoctions involving both. My most recent being making baby shower favors for a couple who are Ohio state fans. The baby shower also had a nest theme so I chose to pack them in my leftover pots with crinkled paper and paper bows.

Adapted, just a little, from Baked Explorations

Yield: 64

1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (I used smooth)
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (from about 14 graham crackers)
Salt (optional, see note up top)
3 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks or 5 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
12 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped (I cheated and used chips)

Make the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter together until combined. Add the graham cracker crumbs and beat for 10 seconds. Add the sugar and butter, and mix on the lowest speed until it stops floating off everywhere, then increase the speed until the ingredients are combined. Scrape down the whole bowl well, then mix again. The mixture will be quite sturdy and a little dry — perfect for shaping. Set it aside while you prepare the coating.

Make the coating: Melt the chocolate either over a double boiler, stirring until it is completely smooth or in a microwave in 30 then 10 second increments, stirring before you start it again until it is completely smooth. Let it cool to tepid (about 100 degrees, though I’d go a little cooler next time for a thicker coating; I had a few ounces of chocolate leftover) while you shape the peanut butter centers. [Alternately, you can temper the chocolate (fairly simply instructions here) for a perfect showy finish.]

Assemble the candies: Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Scoop out slightly more than one tablespoon’s worth of filling (their suggestion; I used a scoop that made them a little smaller) and use your hands to form it into a ball. Place the ball on the prepared sheet and repeat the process until all of the candies have been shaped. They can sit close to each other but make sure they are not touching.

Using a fork or large skewer, dip each ball into the chocolate and roll it about so that almost the entire candy is coating, leaving a small circle uncoated. Play around with a few practice pieces; I found it easiest to stick the skewer in the side, angle the bowl I was using towards it and make sure it became submerged as I rolled the candy around. But don’t fuss too much; even the “ugly” ones won’t go to waste. **I had far too many ugly ones and was completely terrible at this!

Chill the buckeyes until they are set, about 30 minutes.

Do ahead: Buckeyes will keep in the fridge for what the book says is 3 days, but I’d say at least a week, should you keep them in a lockbox and hide the key.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

burlap Christmas tree skirt tutorial

Materials:                                                               a square of muslin fabric (44x44), a square of contrast cotton fabric (44x44), a yard of burlap, 10 yards of trim, 1 yard of ribbon, 1 yard of heavy weight iron-on adhesive if same width as burlap, otherwise compensate, thread and other sewing notions 
1. Wash and dry cotton fabrics. Iron if necessary to ensure accurate measurements. 2. First iron adhesive onto burlap to stabilize and prevent burlap from stretching as you sew it later. I would also recommend requesting that your burlap is cut into an even square at the the cutting counter by having them pull a strand from both ends to create a straight line, as burlap is not rolled evenly onto the bolt. 3. Fold your burlap into quarters. Using a pin, pin the end of your measuring tape to the center of the burlap. Draw a circle evenly using the measuring tape (my radius was approximately 17).

4. Repeat this process with the muslin and coordinating fabric, but make larger (mine was approximately 21).  

5. Cut coordinating fabric to have a one inch overlap with burlap then pin with wrong sides together and sew with a quarter or half inch seam. 6. Trim seams and press open if necessary to reduce bulkiness.  
7. Pin muslin and tree skirt top with wrong sides together with trim in between. 8. When full circle has been stitched, cut radius of circle on one side and cut a small circle from the center (mine was 4 inches across and a measured once again with tape measure).              
9. Pin sides and center circle together, leaving a small whole half way up one side spanning at least 4 inches. *Don't forget to pin ribbon to tie tree skirt closed I chose to make ties at 3 different spots (you can vaguely see their shadow in picture) evenly spaced. My ribbon measured approximately 6- 6 inches pieces. I also made sure to not place the whole where one of the ribbons was so that they would be neatly locked in place.  10. Turn tree skirt right side out, then whip stitch opening closed. I cheated and stitched with the machine really close to the edge.

I am so obsessed with brown craft paper and its many uses. Not to mention this ribbon was leftover from my DIY picnic blanket projects.