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Craft Your Stash | Fat Quarter Gift Bags

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

Welcome to the Craft Your Stash Blog Hop on Craft Critique! We’re blog hopping to celebrate the launch of my friend Lisa Fulmer’s new book, Craft Your Stash: Transforming Craft Closet Treasures into Gifts, Home Décor & More!

Craft Your Stash cover

Craft Your Stash is all about, well, crafting your stash – digging into the unused piles and turning them into something useful (and beautiful).

On page 78, there is a fun fat quarter project called “Easy-Sew Fabric Gift Bags”.

fabric gift bags

I am obsessed with fat quarters and projects for them so I have loads of fat quarters laying around. Although Lisa and I are going to have to have a little talk about my treasured horde of fat quarters being called “stash”. They aren’t stash. They just haven’t found the right project yet!

I decided that with the holidays coming up fast that what would be more timely than some Christmas bags?

Fat Quarter Gift Bags Christmas

To make the pictured assortment required five fat quarters, with two of the fat quarters being the same to make the large green bag. You can make the four bags from four fat quarters if you don’t mind the two small bags being the same fabric.

Different styles of ties can really change the look of the bags:

IMG_7363
IMG_7365

Some tips and tricks for making this project:

  • Pinking shears are a great tool for this project. Clipping your fabric edges after sewing them will help keep them from fraying so they stay neater while being used and the bags will last longer.
  • For really durable bags (and a more elegant look), consider assembling the bag using french seams that hide the raw edges completely. I did this on the small black bag and it really stepped it up. This would be a great extra touch for a really formal gift or event.
  • Be careful about fabric design direction when selecting fabric. If a design is directional, make sure it will be upright after you cut and fold the fabric in the direction called for in the instructions for the size bag you are making.

If you’ve got stash that needs to be crafted, Craft Your Stash is available on Amazon.com, and in local book and craft stores. Autographed copies are available at CraftYourStash.com.

You can also win a copy of the book to play with yourself (and other great prizes) by entering the drawing using the widget embedded below!

**giveaway closed**

Book Review | Mollie Makes Christmas: Living and Loving a Handmade Holiday

Reported by Kortney Gold

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

mollie makes christmas

I love all things Christmas! It’s the one time of the year when I can decorate my house from top to bottom in glittery goods and no one thinks I’m a crazy person. Maybe I’m just a little more festive than the average bear. I was so excited to get my paws on Mollie Makes Christmas: Living and Loving a Handmade Holiday by Mollie Makes (published by Interweave). This adorable book is so beautifully laid out with vintage Christmas charm.

Garland

Mollie Makes Christmas contains ideas from felting to paper crafts with projects for crafters of all skill levels. In  my opinion, a good holiday craft is one that can be completed pretty quickly since time is of the essence this time of year. I like how this book considers the time constraints when making holiday crafts. In fact, most of the ideas in this book can be completed in a few hours or less.

Christmas Cottages by Mollie Makes

I loved the simplicity of the projects, the variety of projects, and the clear directions in this book. Mollie Makes Christmas: Living and Loving a Handmade Holiday by Mollie Makes really is a great book that I would strongly recommend to anyone interested in homemade holiday crafts.

Pros:

  • Includes projects for beginners
  • Beautiful photos and layout

Cons:

  • Many crafts require basic sewing, knitting, or crocheting experience
  • Only 20 crafts included

Mollie Makes Christmas: Living and Loving a Handmade Holiday by Mollie Makes is available online and in store with an MSRP of $12.95. (Buy it on Amazon for $9.22).

Review | Marvy Uchida Snow Marker

Reported by Susan Reidy

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

This holiday season, I’m going to make my own winter wonderland. Since I have no place to go, I’m going to use the Marchy Uchida Snow Marker to let it snow all over my projects.

I wanted this badly last year, but could never find it. When I saw it in September at Hobby Lobby, it went right into my shopping cart.

I know it says snow marker, and I did/will use it for that purpose, but there’s so much more that can be done with its white puffy gloriousness. Think of the possibilities for Santa’s beard, ice cream, fluffy sheep, icing, clouds (which are so hot right now), and more.

The marker is super simple to use: Give it a good a few shakes, and if it’s your first use (or you haven’t used it in a while), press down on the tip until the ink starts to flow. Color it on your project, in this case I used a silk flower.

Zap it with a heat gun. The marker puffs quite nicely, making for a great snow effect. Even though the ink was absorbed some into the flower, it still had a nice lift.

According to the Marvy Uchida web site, you should let the ink dry for 20 to 30 minutes before heating it to get a uniform effect. I didn’t read this on the instructions that were on the packaging, so I didn’t wait. I still liked the results, and to me, snow is rarely uniform.

I layered two flowers together, and used it as an accent on my December Daily.

It can be used on a variety of surfaces including paper and fabric. The water-based pigmented ink is odorless, acid free and is washable when applied to fabrics, although the delicate cycle is recommended.

Marvy Uchida says not to rub it after heating it, and to avoid ironing directly on the ink.

I wanted to try it out on some fabric, so I die-cut a tree out of some Papertrey Ink wool felt. Again, I didn’t wait to let it dry; I was afraid it would absorb too much into the fabric.

It wasn’t getting quite the puff I expected so I thought I should keep heating it. Bad idea, especially with wool felt. Oops…just a few scorch marks.

I tried again, being much more careful with the heat tool. I did scorch one end, but overall, I was pleased with the results.

Here they are side by side. The snow wasn’t as puffy as it was on my flower, but it still looked like snow.

I was adding my tree to a card, and wanted my pink (yeah, pink) snow drifts to have a little lift. I like how I can get different results depending on how I apply the ink. It’s not as puffy when I use long strokes vs. dotting it on.

Here’s my finished card.

Next up, I wanted to try adding dimension to Santa’s beard and his other white fluffy parts. This time, I decided to wait. Not a good idea, at least for me. I was hardly getting any puff, so I kept heating and heating. You can guess what happened. Poor Santa got scorched (must have been a hot chimney!). Also, the snow marker ink completely flattened and turned an unsightly yellowish-tan (think Miss Havisham in Great Expectations).

So for my next attempt, I didn’t wait and I laid it on thick. I wanted lots of puff. Much better.

Here they are side by side.

Since my Santa was going to be coming down a tag chimney, I decided to add a little soot. I opted for chalk. The snow ink took the chalk well, and it didn’t flatten the puff, but I used a light hand.

And here’s my finished tag.

After playing with it some, I was curious what would happen if I added some glitter to the ink while it was wet, before heating it.

Once again, I was pleased with the results. I really, really added a lot of ink, because I wanted the glitter to stay in place.

Look how puffy it is!

I had lots of fun playing with this marker and learned a few things along the way. I personally don’t like waiting for it to dry; I like the look you get when you heat immediately. Shake that sucker between every use. If you want the ink to really puff, lay it on thick.

Pros:

  • Adds great puffy dimension to make snow, beards, clouds, etc.
  • Easy to use.
  • Works on multiple surfaces, including cardstock and fabric.
  • Possible to add chalk, glitter.

Cons:

  • Results vary on different surfaces.
  • Don’t overheat, or it will turn a nasty yellowish color and completely flatten out.

Have you used the Marvy Uchida Snow Marker to make your projects a winter wonderland? What’s your favorite way to use it?