Saturday, December 13, 2014

New: The Basic 4 Knit Hat Patterns!

Hello!

I've updated my Etsy shop with 4 brand new hat knitting patterns! They're an instant download PDF, so you can start knitting right away. They're great for beginning knitters; nice easy patterns that enable you to whip up a quick last minute Christmas present or three. :) Enjoy!!



You can also find my knitwear designs in my Ravelry shop and on Craftsy.!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Handmade Christmas Patterns and Tutorials

Now that Halloween (and Thanksgiving in Canada!) are over, it's time to really start thinking about and planning for Christmas, especially if you're like me and want to give handmade gifts!! Please share below as many Christmas patterns/tutorials as you'd like, or post in the comments with a link to your Handmade Christmas board on Pinterest!

I'll start by sharing my tutorial for a potholder ($4.50 on Etsy), otherwise known as Hexi Trivet! In this tutorial, you'll learn how to do foundation piecing and how to bind a hexagon shaped quilt.

Join my Hexi Trivet Swap on instagram (@creatingathome)!
I'll post the details later today.

Salted Caramel Shortbread

Salted Caramel Shortbread

Bottom Layer:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups flour
1 cup icing sugar

Middle Layer:
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Top Layer:
1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tbsp whipping cream

Course sea salt



Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).

In a bowl, mix together 1 cup butter, 1 cup icing sugar and 2 cups flour until evenly crumbly. Use a pastry blender. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper to aid in removing the squares from the pan later. Press mixture into the pan. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes.

In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, combine 1 cup butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 4 tbsp corn syrup and 1 can sweetened condensed milk. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil for 5 minutes over low heat. Don't take your eyes off it! Remove from heat and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes. Pour over baked crust (warm or cool).  Cool until it begins to firm.

Melt chocolate with whipping cream and pour over caramel layer. Sprinkle sparingly with course sea salt.  Cut into squares once cooled and set. Enjoy!!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

$5 Pattern Sale!!

Hello!

Now that it's getting to be fall-ish weather for most of us, I'm wondering if you're spending more time in the sewing room? Yesterday I was out there for the first time in awhile quilting a quilt for my aunt. She made a cute, bright and colorful quilt top and backed it with soft, cozy flannel. I quilted a spiral design starting in the center and working out. I find I'm posting over on instagram daily (more than once a day, as much as my kids think that's weird/overkill - they can always unfollow me. lol). You can find pics of yesterday's quilt here. My username is creatingathome, if you'd like to look me up. :)

After taking a few weeks off in the busy summer, I'm happy to be back playing around with my Brother DreamWeaver sewing machine again. One thing I really want to experiment more with is the embroidery feature. I really really want to make monogrammed pillows for my house and personalized baby goodies for my new baby niece/nephew who's on the way! (So exciting!!)

... And, speaking of Brother Canada, my daughters and I will be working with them again this fall. We will be participating in the launch of some upcoming sewing machines, including reviewing the top of the line Dream Machine!! I have no idea how they could improve upon the DreamWeaver, because I still see it as sewing and quilting perfection, but I am really interested and eager to find out.

Once the new machines arrive, I'll be posting constant updates on Instagram, of course, and also some more helpful and in depth stuff here on the blog.

I hope you're enjoying the end of summer as much as I am. Talk to you soon. Oh, by the way, my 2 quilt patterns are now on sale for $5 each over on Craftsy!! Take a look.

-Cindy

 $5 Sale!! Chevron Accent Quilt
Buy on Craftsy for $5

 $5 Pattern Sale!! Ombre Baby Dot
Buy on Craftsy for $5

Monday, June 09, 2014

Firmoo Glasses Review

Firmoo.ca, an online glasses company, recently asked me if I'd like a free pair of stylish prescription glasses in exchange for a blog post. Sure, why not!

I've had the glasses a little over a week now and couldn't be happier with them. They are comfortable, fit perfectly and the prescription and coatings are just right. 

Firmoo is based in China, so the glasses are made there and shipped from there. They still arrived within two weeks of placing the order and came by UPS. 

I would definitely order Firmoo glasses again. The prices and quality are excellent. 


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Primrose Satchel with a Mockingjay

Hello,

Aren't you glad it's the weekend? We woke up to snow here today. Thankfully it's not sticking to the road. It looks pretty coming down and covering the trees. 

I spent the morning in the studio whipping up this cute bag for a friend of my daughter's. She's having a Hunger Games themed party! So, I think this bag should be a big hit. 


I used my Primrose Satchel pattern, which is a free messenger bag PDF that I posted a few weeks ago. Then for the embroidery, I downloaded a free machine embroidery mockingjay pattern from Apex Embroidery. For this bag, I didn't use any interfacing. In the strap there is some quilt batting. 

Have you tried my pattern yet? I want to see your bag!! :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Recipe Box: Beef and Bean Burritos

Here's a quick and delicious weeknight dinner that you and your teens can make together. 


Beef and Bean Burritos

Filling
1 lb lean ground beef
1 can refried beans
1 diced orange pepper
4 tbsp taco seasoning
1 cup water
3/4 cup sour cream
1 can rotel

Brown ground beef in large frying pan. Add orange pepper and cook until slightly soft. Add taco seasoning and water. Cook until water is gone. Add the rest of the filling ingredients and heat through. 

6 flour tortillas
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 diced tomato
3 sliced green onions

Assemble burritos by placing a generous scoop of filling on a flour tortilla. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Roll up. Sprinkle top with cheese. Bake at 350° until cheese is bubbly. Serve with fresh diced tomato, green onions and guacamole. 

Guacamole
3 ripe avocados
1 clove minced garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt to taste

Mash all ingredients together with a fork. Serve immediately or keep tightly wrapped with plastic wrap. I mush it right against the guacamole to prevent browning. 



Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Cookies

Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies
Secret Ingredient: Sour Cream


Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
1-1/2 cups sugar (I keep my used vanilla beans in my sugar jar for extra vanilla-y cookies)
1 cup butter
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract (or vanilla scraped from one vanilla bean)
1 cup sour cream
4-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1. Cream together sugar and butter. Add egg, vanilla, and sour cream. Add dry ingredients. Mix well, but only until flour is incorporated.
2. Refrigerate and shape.
3. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 5 minutes (or longer if they're a bit thicker... just watch the first batch and then adjust the cooking time accordingly).

Martha Stewart's Royal Icing
Makes 2 1/3 cups
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 5 tablespoons meringue powder, or 2 large egg whites
  • water
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar and meringue powder. Mixing on low speed, add a scant 1/2 cup water. For a thinner consistency, usually used for flooding, add more water. A thicker consistency is generally used for outlining and adding details. Mix until icing holds a ribbon-like trail on the surface of the mixture for 5 seconds when you raise the paddle.

Full credit for baking and decorating these cookies goes to my youngest daughter!! I just made the dough this time. She's such an awesome pastry chef already.

First blogged here in 2007.
Original recipe sources:
Sour Cream Sugar Cookies (can no longer find the recipe on her blog, but that's where I got it)
Martha Stewart Royal Icing


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Technique Tuesday :: 10/10 Brother DreamWeaver Sewing Tutorials!!!

Hooray!! The V-Series DreamWeaver™ XE Innov-is VM6200D that I received from Brother Canada last April is officially here to stay now that I've completed tutorial number 10! Hooray!! (Did I say that already?)

This Pinwheel Doll Quilt tutorial is number 10 in a series of 10 that I've been working on for the past 10 months for Brother Canada!! They have so generously provided me with an amazing Brother DreamWeaver sewing/embroidery machine combo. You can find all the tutorials below. Just click each link to download the PDF.
  1. Perfect Half Square Triangles
  2. Pretty Perfect Pinwheels
  3. Quilting Chevrons
  4. Flawless Machine Binding
  5. Handmade Ruffle Curtains
  6. Primrose Satchel
  7. Super Simple Quilted Table Runner
  8. Designing Unique Quilt Stitches
  9. Machine Embroidery Quilting
  10. Pinwheel Doll Quilt Pattern 
You can also find me on Etsy to purchase my other patterns or place an order for a custom made quilt or bag!

Thanks so much for following along this fun and interesting journey since last April. I hope you've learned something and have been inspired to try some new projects. If you're considering purchasing a new machine, I cannot recommend a Brother highly enough. I've had no problems at all with my machine. It's been a dream to work with since day 1. I've also had the pleasure of being a part of a yahoogroup for Brother DreamWeaver owners and the members of the group are extremely happy with their machines as well! The only "complaint" I've noticed recently is some were wishing it came with the PE-Design Software. It is available for purchase, though. There's also a free trial so you can test it out to see if it's something you'd enjoy. I played around with the trial and found it easy to navigate and really cool. It gives you so many options for designing your own totally unique machine embroidery patterns.

Next up: I'm hoping to get new Simplicity Brother sewing machines for my girls. We've recently renovated my previous hair salon (before that it was the garage!! Who needs a garage anyway, right?) into such a cute sewing studio for my girls (and their friends) and I. My youngest is starting sewing class at school now, so it'll be really nice for her to have somewhere at home to work on her projects, too!

Thank you, Brother Canada! And, thank you to my friend, Madelyn, who encouraged me every step of the way!


Featured on SewCanShe.com's Friday Spotlight

Technique Tuesday :: 9/10 Brother DreamWeaver Sewing Tutorials!!

This tutorial is number 9 in a series of 10 that I am working on for Brother Canada!! They have so generously provided me with an amazing Brother DreamWeaver sewing/embroidery machine combo. You can find all the tutorials below. Just click each link to download the PDF. 
  1. Perfect Half Square Triangles
  2. Pretty Perfect Pinwheels
  3. Quilting Chevrons
  4. Flawless Machine Binding
  5. Handmade Ruffle Curtains
  6. Primrose Satchel
  7. Super Simple Quilted Table Runner
  8. Designing Unique Quilt Stitches
  9. Machine Embroidery Quilting
  10. Pinwheel Doll Quilt Pattern (coming soon!)

Technique Tuesday :: 8/10 Brother DreamWeaver Sewing Tutorials

This tutorial is number 8 in a series of 10 that I am working on for Brother Canada. They have so generously provided me with an amazing Brother DreamWeaver sewing/embroidery machine combo. You can find all the tutorials below. Just click each link to download the PDF. 
  1. Perfect Half Square Triangles
  2. Pretty Perfect Pinwheels
  3. Quilting Chevrons
  4. Flawless Machine Binding
  5. Handmade Ruffle Curtains
  6. Primrose Satchel
  7. Super Simple Quilted Table Runner
  8. Designing Unique Quilt Stitches
  9. Machine Embroidery Quilting (coming soon!)
  10. Pinwheel Doll Quilt Pattern (coming soon!)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Etsy Shop Updates

Hello!

Have you visited my Etsy shop lately? I have 2 lovely modern quilt PDF patterns listed, plus would love to take on some orders for custom made-to-order quilts!

I'm also looking for a couple of quilters (who are active on social media)  who may be interested in reviewing my latest pattern. It's the Ombré Baby Dot one. If that looks like something that would be right up your alley, please email me: creatingathome@shaw.ca. There's no compensation for doing the review, other than you get the pattern for free and the joy of making a gorgeous baby quilt.



Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Technique Tuesday :: 7/8 Brother DreamWeaver Sewing Tutorials

Super Simple Quilted Table Runner
This week's tutorial is a quick + easy table runner. It's a great project to try if you've recently purchased a Brother DreamWeaver machine, but have never really quilted before. Maybe you're mostly into machine embroidery or sewing garments. Your wonderful new machine is excellent at quilting, too!! Why not give it a try? :)

Click here to Download PDF

This tutorial is number 7 in a series of 10 that I am working on for Brother Canada. They have so generously provided me with an amazing Brother DreamWeaver sewing/embroidery machine combo. You can find all the tutorials here:
  1. Perfect Half Square Triangles
  2. Pretty Perfect Pinwheels
  3. Quilting Chevrons
  4. Flawless Machine Binding
  5. Handmade Ruffle Curtains
  6. Primrose Satchel
  7. Super Simple Quilted Table Runner

Monday, February 03, 2014

Introducing Ombre Baby Dot Quilt! $5 SALE!!

Hello,

I'm so happy to be introducing my latest quilt pattern and custom made-to-order Ombré Baby Dot Quilt! Today only, I`m offering an introductory price of $5 USD (regular $9.50) for the instant download PDF pattern on both Etsy and Craftsy.

I have a favour to ask you... would you please pin this, tweet it, share it? I'm trying to get the word out. Thank you so much!!






Linked up at:
Pretty Bobbins
I Should Be Mopping the Floor
Craft-O-Maniac
Keeping it Simple
Serger Pepper
Skip to My Lou
C.R.A.F.T.
Sew Can Do
Creating my way to Success
The Blackberry Vine
HomeWork
Funky Polkadot Giraffe
Cornerstone Confessions
Kathe with an E
Polkadot on Parade
The DIY Dreamer
The NY Melrose Family
Savvy Southern Style
And Sew We Craft

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Technique Tuesday :: 6/10 Brother DreamWeaver Sewing Tutorials


 Click to download free PDF for the Primrose Satchel Messenger Bag Tutorial.



Hello!

As you know, for the past several months I've been working on 10 tutorials for Brother Canada featuring the DreamWeaver sewing machine. My sewing projects and tutorials have been a little slow lately due to a big renovation in my studio. Now that it's nearing completion, I am back at it and loving every minute of it!! 

A lot of hours went into this tutorial, so I hope you find it useful/helpful! Please leave a comment to let me know if you made the bag. I would LOVE to see it. You can also catch me on instagram (@creatingathome) to show me your bag there. So, here's how the Primrose Satchel came about...

First I had agreed to write a tutorial for Brother featuring the MuVit Digital Dual Feed and, second my sister needed a new messenger bag because the one I made her a few years ago has completely worn out, which is always a good thing! I love it when the gifts I make are well used and well loved.

I designed this bag around what my sister was looking for. She asked for a dark color, not a print, a medium sized bag with a cross body strap, a closure (magnetic snap), and pockets. It is fully lined with inside pockets, plus a neat pocket on the back that would work well for an e-reader, iPad mini, or a water bottle. She didn't want it to be too flimsy, so I made a nicely structured bag by using upholstery decor fabric as well as medium weight interfacing. It's such a nice bag! I think I'll make one for myself next.

This tutorial is number 6 in a series of 10 that I am working on for Brother Canada. They have so generously
provided me with an amazing Brother DreamWeaver sewing/embroidery machine combo. You can find all the tutorials here:
  1. Perfect Half Square Triangles
  2. Pretty Perfect Pinwheels
  3. Quilting Chevrons
  4. Flawless Machine Binding
  5. Handmade Ruffle Curtains
  6. Primrose Satchel


Linked up here:
PatternPile.com
Sew Many Ways
Sew Can Do
Mad in Crafts
The Blackberry Vine
HomeWork
Funky Polkadot Giraffe
Cornerstone Confessions
Kathe with an E
Polkadot on Parade
The DIY Dreamer

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Knitwear and handmade interior design

Guest post by Aimee Claire.

Knitwear and handmade interior design
The economic climate has lately been so bad that it has created a new fad for those who are craft inclined. Many individuals have become interested in creating their own soft-furnishing accessories to save themselves some cash and to introduce some truly bespoke, one-of-a-kind items. It’s about individuality instead of keeping up with the neighbors, and it’s easy.

It doesn't have to be knitting. People who do what they’re good at, whether it’s quilting, sewing, sticking, or crocheting, will always produce beautiful things; the love, time and dedication taken always shines through. There are lots of simple, lovely ways to add to the home.

What to make?
Luckily a few designers have leapt on the home-creation bandwagon, and they've come up with some amazing ideas.

Knitted poufs for quick-knitting joy
For those who get bored easily, something that knits up quickly is best, and choosing a thick yarn, big needles, and a smallish project is the best way to go. Knitted poufs are all the rage now, and these are made using a super-super-super-chunky yarn, and a circular needle. They can be made any size; suitable for the kids or big ones for the adults, and the choice of colors is amazing.

Bedspreads can be made in all crafts
Those people with a lot of patience, but not as much confidence, could go for a knitted bedspread, to practice lots of different stitches. Make it in squares, for a fabric with a busy texture, or create sections of stitches. Quilted bedspreads can be made from either one piece of fabric, or for those who want to really work the economy, they can be patch-worked using strips of old clothing. Crocheting is also a great way to make a bedspread or a blanket – these items lend themselves to many crafts.

Curtain screen that doesn't look homemade
Similarly, for the slightly more advanced beginner, who wants to produce something a bit more professional looking, try knitting or crocheting a curtain screen for your home; square sections of a repeating pattern should work very well, and something about 4 ft. x 3 ft. should be able to carry any weight of yarn you want.

Cushions and beanbags for understated individuality
Cushions and beanbags are a great way to show off your individuality without going wild; try knitting the Stars and Stripes, or again, practice some Aran kitting, using cable needles. Cushions look lovely with cable knitting or they can be quilted instead, using scraps of fabric for a fun, crazy look; beanbags can hold very heavy yarn, and knit up very quickly.

Upholstery and furniture clothing for more advanced crafters
The most advanced interior knitters can make upholstery for chairs and stools; I’ve even seen a modular cornersofa with the corner dressed in a crocheted outfit! Clothing for lamps and tables can be designed in knitwear, actual lampshades, and even art for the walls! 

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Brother P-Touch Label Maker


Eden Luymes has graciously written this guest post reviewing the new Brother PTD200 Home and Office Labeler. Eden is 16 and attends the same high school as my daughter. Thanks, Eden! Sounds like you had a lot of fun with the label maker. :)

I am what some might call, a perfectionist. Everything must have a place, be organized and done so perfectly. For this reason, the Brother P-Touch Label Maker and I quickly became the best of friends. This portable, handy and remarkably easy to use machine is great for organizing, as well as personalizing your life.
The Brother P-Touch Label Maker caters to even the ‘technology un-inclined,’ with a very informative manual, complete with a list of all the possible animations one can add to their labels to personalize them. I found the manual very handy in figuring out how to use the label maker, and soon became well acquainted with the controls and options available for various labels. The fun and creative styles and sizing of font, as well as the cute and large variety of pictures and symbols available make it easy to have fun while organizing, as well as personalize everything from binders to bike helmets. Brother also sells different colours of tape, and it’s very easy to remove and replace the cartridges. I particularly liked the pink label paper.

Brother PTD200 Home and Office Labeler

With this label maker, one has lots of freedom to tailor and change each label, and give specific orders to make each label unique, such as label size, font (it even includes upside-down and vertical options), etc. There are many options to explore, and I found myself enjoying learning how to use the various capabilities of the machine. The labels themselves are of high quality, and stick very securely to many surfaces from paper to plastic and even leather. I did however find that often if one is not specific with the sizing used in his or her labels, the label maker automatically creates a larger, more ‘roomy’ label, and I often found myself cutting it down to size and wasting some of the label paper. But, once I learned how to specify the label sizes, these problems dispersed. Another handy thing about this label maker is that when the labels are dispensed at the top of the machine, there is a tab one can press that easily cuts the label paper, so one doesn't need to have a pair of scissors handy at all times.

With this label maker, I found myself labeling everything from my clarinet case to my Bible to my thermos, and each time I was very satisfied with the result. Easy to use and with very few drawbacks, this label maker is very handy and fun as well. It is safe to say that it’s on next years Christmas wish list for me!

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