Madebypin.com

I haven’t posted in a week or so because ….I’ve been making a new website.  You can now find me at www.madebypin.com.  I hope you enjoy the new look – my first post on the new site will be how to make some delicious Vanilla Extract.

I’ve been looking for a way to transfer my followers to the new site but this apparently is not possible so, if you’ve been following me here or you would like to start following me, then please make your way over to http://www.madebypin.com and sign up for emails – look for the ‘subscribe’ button on the right of the screen.

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April 5, 2012. Tags: , , , . Food & Drink. Leave a comment.

No Fat Tea Bread – Bara Brith

My mum made this the other day – it is really delicious.

For conversion to cups please click here

350g mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, dried apricot, mango, mixed peel whatever you have)

140g light muscovado sugar

300ml hot black tea

300g self raising (all purpose) flour

1 egg

Put all the mixed fruit and sugar in a mixing bowl and stir in the hot tea.

Cover and leave for 24 hours.

Next day: Heat oven to /150c/300 f/gas mark 2

Grease and line a large loaf tin with baking parchment.

Beat the egg and stir it and the flour into the fruit and tea.

Pour into tin and bake for 90 – 100 mins.  It is ready when it is well risen.(If you put a skewer into the centre it will come out clean.)

Allow to cool slightly then remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

March 21, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Food & Drink. 2 comments.

‘Stack and Whack’ Quilt – guest post by CraftyRoo!

hello!

Crafty Roo bringing you this week’s make – a stack and whack play quilt for a baby.

I have been making quilts for some time and wanted to try a new method.  I had a birthday last week and received many crafty books, one of which was Kirstie Allsop’s Craft.  In this book, one of the first projects is a stack and whack quilt.  It looked quite easy and interested and I wanted to see if I could use this technique as opposed to cutting blocks or strips which is how I usually piece my quilts.

Anyway, the book suggested making a template. I didn’t do this and wanted to get straight on with my cutting.  I made a stack of five fabrics.  I then cut two squares through all five layers, each six inches by six inches.  Then I made four cuts into each square, giving five smaller piles of fabric for each square (10 in total).  I labelled these carefully.  Each pile of fabric was cut slighly differently, giving different shapes.


You then leave pile one as it is, take one piece the top of from pile two and put it on the bottom, take two from pile three and put it on the bottom, take three from pile four and put them on the bottom, put four from pile five on the bottom.  Do this carefully and you will end up with five unique squares. Sew these together so you end up with ten complete squares.

Lay these out so that no two of the same  fabrics are next to each other.  You will have one square left over, which you can use on the back, if you like, or to make a matching cushion.

If I was going to do it again, I would cut bigger squares to start off with.  Using only six by six squares made it very fiddly!

That is as far as I’ve got! I’ll try to update this with my next steps.

March 14, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Fabric. 1 comment.

59. Another Birthday Card

It is my friend Julia’s birthday on Monday.  She loves dogs, so I thought I’d make her a personalised card.

Those of you who followed this blog in its first year will recognise the method – it is a papercut.  I drew a design in pencil then cut it out with a craft knife. I then stuck the design on to a contrasting backing paper with Spray Mount.

It would probably have been better to have drawn the design on the reverse of the paper so I didn’t have to erase the pencil marks; but being no Leonardo Da Vinci, my brain power does not stretch to mirror writing.

March 2, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Paper. Leave a comment.

58. Fabric Mice

Before I start this make, I’d like to say hello to the 1st Tunstall Brownies.  Their  leaders have been in touch to say that they have managed to work out nearly the whole of next term’s programme from ‘makes’ on this blog.  Please send me pictures of how you get on and I’ll post them here.

This week’s make was just too cute for me to resist.  It is featured in this month’s ‘Mollie Makes’ magazine, which our library subscribes to.

All the instructions of how to make are in issue 11 and a pdf pattern is free to download at the magazine link above.

I had a lot of fun making these two.  They will be raffled off at our next library bake sale to raise funds.  I’m calling them ‘The Library Mice’

Here are some pictures of them. The first one before clothing and the second after they were dressed.

They were a fantastic way to use up bits of scrap fabric and wool.  You will see my first attempt at knitting something in a long, long time above too.

February 22, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Fabric. Leave a comment.

52. Hopes and Wishes Chest

And here we are at the last post of the made by pin year.  I’ve made it…or rather, I’ve made a year’s worth.

This last make is a Hope and Wishes Chest for the new year.

I bought some blank chest shaped boxes.  (I learned my lesson from the very first make – an attempt at making a box!)


I found that it if you aren’t going to paint these, it is best to cover them with very thin paper.

I used specially bought paper for the middle one above and it was too thick to stick down smoothly, especially over the curves.  The left hand one is covered with used stamps from around the world and the one on the right is covered in a replica of the very first copy of the Times of London.  ( I think this one is the most effective).

I then covered all of the paper with acrylic medium gel and left to dry.

After 24 hours, I printed, cut out and stuck on some words to the outside and a map to the inside of the lid.

This is when I discovered that the layer of paper had made the lids too thick to close over the bases easily. I remedied this by rubbing a candle over the parts that close which allowed them to open and close a lot easier.

I used them as gift boxes and hope they might be used to store the recipients hopes and dreams for the year ahead.

Happy New Year everyone!

January 2, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Paper, recycled. 4 comments.

51. Fabric Bag With Lots of Pockets

I cleared out my fabric stash cupboard this week and found quite a few projects that were started but not finished. Fortunately, not as many as there were at the beginning of the year and not all of them are mine. However, when I tried to give them back to their creators, they were all returned with, ‘oh, you can finish it or make it into something’ Some even denied having anything to do with them. (Could this be next year’s blog?)

This week’s make was a project I started ages ago.  I was going to make a matching cushion for some curtains I had made. You can tell how long ago this project was started by the fact that the curtains were put on freecycle last year and are long gone.

I still like the fabric and as I’d already quilted a huge piece of it, I decided to make it into a bag with lots of pockets.  It might be useful as a diaper/nappy bag or for lugging around crafting bits and pieces. The piece I’ve started with is a rectangle measuring 92cm x 41cm.

So, I finished the quilting off then added a pocket to the inside.  For this I folded a piece of contrasting fabric 25cm x 25cm in half, and sewed it to the inside of the bag along 3 sides. I then made this into 2 pockets by stitching along its height with contrasting thread.

Then I started to make the pockets on the outside.  This turned out to be a bit trial and error as I was making up how to do it as I went along.

For a large front pocket, the yellow one below, I used 2 squares of fabric 25cm x 25cm.  Sewed them right sides together on 3 sides, turned them right side out and sewed the top closed with contrasting stitching.

Then I made a run of pockets around the bottom of the bag using  a strip of the main fabric, 106cm x 40cm. I folded the strip in half lengthwise and placed the open edges along the bottom of the bag.  As this strip is slightly wider than the bag, I pinned it in place so that the pockets stuck out a bit like pouches. Hopefully this will mean that it will hold bulky items. At the front, I made a pleat in the strip in the hope that it might lie flat when nothing is in that pocket.

I then sewed the strip to the main part of the bag attaching it at the sides and bottom.

(The pocket didn’t lie flat so I slipped a piece of elastic into the top fold.)

I made the straps by using two strips of fabric folded over some batting and then stitching along the length.

I also used an old duffle coat toggle to the front and crocheted a strip of yarn as a loop fastening.

I was going to add this to the blog as make number 46 but have decided to give it to one of my lovely daughters so will save this make and publish it after Christmas.  As it is now Friday, I’m going to have to make something very quickly to get it in for this week.

December 29, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Fabric. Leave a comment.

48. The Best Fudge Ever

I think all the makes from now until the end will be suitable as gifts as I’m busy, busy, busy making things for friends and family for Christmas.

This week I’ve made fudge.

This recipe uses:

  • 125g butter
  • 1 can evaporated milk (410g)
  • 4 tablespoons double cream
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 250g soft brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.

1. Heat butter, milk and cream together in a large, heavy saucepan until it just starts to boil.

2. Turn the heat right down while you stir in the two sugars.

3. Turn the heat up again and bring the mixture to a rolling boil.  Keep stirring or it will stick and burn to the pan.  Boil it for about 25 minutes until it is roughly this colour:

4. You can test if it is ready to set in two ways.  (There may be more but these are the ones I use.) Either pull the spoon across the bottom of the pan and if it makes the mixture part so you can see the bottom of the pan it is done. Or, drop a small amount into a dish of cold water.  If it forms a soft ball that, if you push with your finger and it wrinkles, it is ready.  I’ve tried to take some pictures of this below.

Sorry, the second one is a little out of focus.

5. When it is ready, take it off the heat and beat in the vanilla essence.

6. Pour into the baking tray and leave to set.


7. After about 30 mins, cut the fudge into small squares – this is easy done when the fudge is still not completely set.

8. When it is set, remove from the tray, place into small cellophane bags and tie with a pretty ribbon.

December 8, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Food & Drink. 2 comments.

46. Gift box made from Used Stamps

I’ve just got in under the wire with this week’s make.  All will become clear in a couple of weeks time.

I’ve collected stamps since I was a little girl. I had stamp albums that I inherited from my mum and dad and also collected used stamps for Blue Peter Christmas Appeals.  Old habits die hard.  I still can’t throw and envelope with a stamp away.  Nowadays the stamps go to whatever charity is collecting them.  The batch I used for this make included some that were damaged and of no use to collectors.

I started by taking the paper off the back of the stamp.  To do this, soak the stamp in a container of water.

This takes a few minutes.  When you can peel the paper off the stamp easily, dry the stamp by placing it face down on a towel, J cloth or paper towel.

While the stamps are drying find a suitable container that you can use to stick the stamps to.  I used a plastic container that had contained frosting.

When the stamps are dry fix them to the container one at a time. I used acrylic gel medium but you could use PVA glue or varnish.

When you have covered the whole container.  Paint over the stamps with a layer of your fixative.  Again, I used acrylic gel medium.

And here it is.  I’ll probably use it as a Christmas gift box.

November 25, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Paper, recycled. Leave a comment.

44. Quilt label

This week’s make has been a bit of a mission.  Our good friends, R & A have been made proud grandparents and I wanted to give new baby Samantha a specially made quilt.  The quilt was no problem, after all, you will have seen from previous posts, I’ve made these before.  This time, I decided that I’d like to label it as I’ve read some articles saying that labelling is important so future generations know where and when the quilt was made.  I did some research and found that I could print directly onto fabric from my ink jet printer.  This sounded ideal, I could design a beautiful label, print it and sew it to the back of the quilt and hopefully it would last the life of the quilt.

Some websites suggested that  in order to print successfully on to fabric, the best thing to do is to soak the fabric first in ‘Bubble Jet Set’ .

This I did:

I left the fabric to dry, then ironed it to some printer sized freezer paper. (Common in the US but not so easy to get in the UK – try ebay)

I then designed the label:

Unfortunately, when I tried to print the fabric on the freezer paper, my printer didn’t cooperate. I tried an old printer – still no luck. Very disappointing.

Trying again, I decided to write directly onto the fabric.  Once again, I ironed the fabric onto freezer paper.  This holds it and makes it easier to write on.  I found a fun font and then copied it directly onto the fabric using a Copic Multiliner SP 0.25.

Then I cut it out and sewed it to the back of the quilt.

Not quite what I had intended but it works and I hope it will last as long as the quilt.

November 11, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Fabric. Leave a comment.

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