Finally a new addition to my wardrobe! It’s been a quick minute since I’ve made any clothing for myself and I thought it was about time. The latest piece to my closet is a duster cardigan in a salt and pepper knit fabric. This cardigan has been on my mind since I saw blogger Mimi G make it and I’m so stoked to have one of my own now!
This duster was made with pattern New Look #6735. The pattern is for a regular cardigan but, I altered it to add length.I decided that I wanted my duster to fall to my ankles so it wouldn’t have a chance to drag. The duster has three buttons down the front, belt loops and a black canvas belt. The knit fabric was 6$ a yard, which I got 2 of, and the black canvas was 8$ a yard which I used only a small piece of. The New Look pattern I got for 4$ downtown at Michael Levine a year ago and it most likely is still just as cheap.
I absolutely love this piece. It’s so stylish and dramatic; a great addition to my fall wardrobe. I urge you to check out Mimi G’s video for a great tutorial on this custom duster cardigan and sew what’s in your wardrobe. I look forward to wearing mine more as the weather gets cooler and in the meantime I’ll just use it as my morning robe! 😀 ❤
The latest episode of Let’s Sew is up. More live streaming of tracing, cutting, and sewing to be had for all! Once I complete this bag I will continue with the video series but, not only live stream. That way for those who prefer videos that aren’t hours long will have something as well. Check it out and subscribe to my Youtube channel for updates on when I go live and post! ❤
Let’s Sew – Episode 2 – Making a Handbag
Video series where I share my projects and progress with you! ❤ Watch as I continue making a handbag out of teenage mutant ninja turtles cotton fabric!
Catch me live streaming Episode 3 tomorrow on Youtube! And check out my past projects here on MachineLove.
The beginning of my new series “Let’s Sew”, where I live stream projects and share my progress.
Watch me make a handbag and show you how it’s done! Part 1 is here. Check it out and catch me tomorrow May 22nd, live streaming part 2 @ 1:30 pm pacific time on youtube. Link below!
Using TMNT fabric. I got that turtle power!!
Hello Machine Lovers! Today’s February 14th and as many of you may know, it’s Valentine’s Day here in the states. Now, while I prefer to show my love to those that matter most all year long ::wink:: , I thought I’d do a special post for all those hopeless romantics out there that love celebrating Valentine’s Day. After all, it can be a really fun holiday if you enjoy crafting or in this case, baking! Lately, I’ve been obsessed with making white chocolate macadamia nut cookies (as they are my favorite) and have been cooking batches non-stop. Usually when making something I’ve never attempted before, I like to do my research first and check out different recipes. Allrecipes.com is one of my favorite sites and after lurking from page to page comparing and contrasting a few selected recipes, I decided on a great one. I tweaked a few ingredients, methods, and measurements to my taste and now have a delicious recipe for heart-shaped cookies you can try, for your family or Valentine! ❤
What You’ll Need
Above is the recipe with my special touch. I’ve tried this recipe 3 times now and it really is tasty! If you’d like to see the original recipe I found on Allrecipes.com though, follow the link here: YUM!
Great, now do you have all of your ingredients for these delicious white chocolate macadamia nut cookies? Here they are again pictured below, in case you need to do a mental check list.
Besides the ingredients you’ll also need a few tools.
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Cup
- Heart Shaped Cookie Cutter – the size of the cutter is up to you, mine’s about 2 x 2.5 inches.
- Measuring Spoons
- A cutting board or some surface you can shape the cookie dough on.
- Non-Stick Cookie or Regular Cookie Pan with Slip Mat (pictured below)
OK, so I want to take a quick moment and talk a bit about the Slip Mat here. I was just recently introduced to this little tool and it has made such a big difference in the way I cook. I’ve never used Non-Stick Pans, so before I would have to vigorously butter the pan or spray it down with PAM in between batches. With the Slip Mat there’s no need to butter pans or get a non-stick one any more. Just lay this bad boy down on your pan and you’re ready to go. The brand I use is Sil-Eco and it’s incredibly easy to wash as well, just wipe clean. I believe this is an essential tool for any baker. If you don’t have a Slip Mat or a Non-Stick Pan, no worries. Just butter those pans!
Now that we have ALL of our tools and ingredients, let’s make these heart-shaped white chocolate macadamia nut cookies!
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Melt the Butter (3/4 of a stick) in your microwave or over the stove top, then pour the melted Butter into the large mixing bowl. I put my butter in the measuring cup then nuked it in the microwave for a minute.
Once you have your melted Butter in the bowl, now it’s time to add your White Sugar and Light Brown Sugar. First, throw the 1/2 cup of White Sugar into the bowl.
Now throw in the 3/4 cup of Light Brown Sugar.
Mix all three of these together with your whisk.
Our next step will be to add the 2 Eggs.
Beat each egg, one at a time, into the mix until you have a nice creamy texture. Something like this:
It’s time for the Vanilla Extract! Measure out 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract.
Add the Vanilla Extract to the mixing bowl.
We’re ready to add the rest of the ingredients! Measure out 2 1/2 cups of Flour and add to the mixing bowl. Then follow that with 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Whisk a bit.
Here comes the fun part! Now with your hands, mix all the ingredients until you get a nice thick cookie dough.
I rolled mine into a ball but, it should look something like this when it’s fully mixed:
Let’s add the White Chocolate Chips! Measure out 1 cup of White Chocolate Chips. I used Ghirardelli chips.
Add the 1 cup of White Chocolate Chips to the cookie dough.
Measure out 1 cup of Chopped Macadamia Nuts. They’re a bit pricey but well worth it. The macadamia nuts I found were already chopped and package by the 1/2 cup, so I got two of these packages.
Add the 1 cup of Chopped Macadamia Nuts to the cookie dough.
Now it’s time to mix again. With your hands, mix the Chips and Nuts into the cookie dough. This is how my finished dough looked!
Yay! We now have our cookie dough and we’re ready to shape it! Grab your Cutting Board, or whatever surface you choose to work on. Take a good amount of the cookie dough, if not all, and shape it into a nice block. Depending on how thick you want your cookies to be, smash the cookie dough to a height you’re happy with. I made my block about a centimeter high.
Now it’s time to cookie cut! Grab you heart-shaped cookie cutter and beginning at a corner, stamp your cutter into the dough, staying as close to each cut as you can.
Continue to do this until you have cookie cut the entire surface of your block of dough.
Remove the excess dough from around your cookie cuts.
Continue to do this, putting the extra dough to the side or back into the bowl with the rest of the dough, until you have your individual heart- shaped cookies. Beautiful!
Repeat Steps 11 – 13 until you have used all of your cookie dough. I was able to make 18 cookies with my 2 x 2.5 cookie cutter from this dough.
Time for the oven! We have finally completed making and shaping our cookie dough, now let’s cook ’em up! Arrange your cookies about two inches apart from each other on your Non-Stick Cookie Pan or Regular Cookie Pan with Slip Mat. Pop your Pan and cookies into the 350 degree oven for about 10 – 12 min. Depending on how thick you made the cookies you may need them to cook a min or two longer. You want them to be golden brown, so make sure you watch them during the 10 – 12 min. Repeat this step until all cookies are baked!
Viola! We’re done! You now have some delicious homemade heart-shaped White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies for you and your Valentine. ❤
Share them with anyone and everyone! You now can give your heart away to whom ever you please and more than once, since you have a whole batch of them! For a cute gift idea, wrap your cookies in cellophane and tie a bow of string or ribbon around it. This is a wonderful treat your loved ones will surely appreciate. Who doesn’t love sweets made with love and care? This year, don’t shower your Valentine with sweet nothings, give them sweet somethings. 😉
I really hope you all get to try this recipe and if not, I hope you still enjoyed my Step by Step how to on this fantastic treat. These really are my favorite cookies and they’re so much fun to make but, after this week I’m going to need a break from all the sweets, hahaa! I’ll be coming back next post with some sewing projects I still have in the works. I’d like this blog to be more sewing/ quilting oriented but, as the title description says, “all things crafty” and I just couldn’t resist posting about this recipe! With that said, whatever your plans are this February 14th, remember to continue spreading the love all year long Machine Lovers. You’re never alone here @ Machine Love. I’ll speak to you soon. ❤
:: Athena ::
Hello Machine Lovers! I’ve been away for a while but, I’m glad to say I’m back with some awesome stories to share with you! It’s officially February and the last time we were together I shared some of my favorite places in the fashion district to buy fabric. Well, what I didn’t mention was that I was also gearing up for a trip to Virginia! Specifically, West Point and Newport News, Virginia. Gilbert grew up in Virginia, so we were heading to the east coast to visit his family. While there I was able to get in some quilting and it was so much fun! Between all the snow, drumming, martini parties, and Big Bang Theory, I was able to start and finish the baby quilt I had planned to make for my baby niece! ❤
Virginia is such a beautiful state. The pine trees alone are a wonder. All of them so tall and the pine cones! Hahaa, there were so many scattered on the ground, I was tempted twice to carry some home, sprinkle glitter on them and make a wreath! I was also lucky enough to experience the awesome Virginia snow. The second day we were there it snowed an inch, just enough to cover the trees and ground in a lovely white coat. Being from southern California, I don’t get to experience snow often. While I had seen snow once before when I was younger on a trip to Big Bear, the Virginia snow was a real treat! I made a few snowballs and enjoyed playing in the snow with the pugs. The following days’ sun dried up most of it by the time we left.
One of the highlights of the trip was the family drum session we participated in. Gilbert’s mother, Madonna, is Lakota and she has this huge, gorgeous leather drum. At one point we all gathered around it. She shared with us some drum techniques and the significance of the different beats and drum. We all drummed together and listened to her share a song. It was a really fun experience!
By the end of our trip, I was itching for some creative time and Gilbert’s sister, Felicity, suggested we start the quilt we had discussed making together when I had first arrived. I told her about the quilt I wanted to make for my baby niece and we decided to make one for her. Luckily, Madonna, a quilter herself, had fabric and a sewing machine with all the fix-ins. I knew I didn’t want the quilt to be very large, as I wanted to finish it within a few hours and it was for a baby after all!
How to Make a Fast and Easy Baby Quilt
What You’ll Need:
- Assorted Fabric; enough for a 25.5 x 25.5 inch quilt top and back, including some for 100+ inches of bias tape or pre-made bias tape.
- Rotary Cutter & Mat or Scissors
- Your sewing machine
Awesome, now that we have our tools, we’re ready to rock!
1) Quilt Top
Let’s make our quilt top! I decided on a size of 25 x 25 inches. We picked out 5 different fabrics we both liked, then proceeded to cut 5 squares out of each fabric. For this project, since we were working on a small-scale and at a fast pace, I didn’t plan for a seam allowance as it wouldn’t affect the quality of the quilt. Of course when making yours, add half an inch to each square for a 1/4 seam allowance. Cut your squares 5.5 x 5.5 inches. This way, the finished quilt will be exactly 25 x 25 inches. Using your ruler, rotary cutter and mat, or scissors, cut a total of 25 squares. These 25 squares will be your quilt top. Arrange them as you wish. This is how we arranged our squares, along with the strips of flannel we will use to make the bias tape:
Pin the squares together, 5 at a time. Using your machine, sew these squares together, minding the 1/4 seam allowance. Iron seams. When you have 5 strips of 5 squares each, pin the strips together and using your machine, sew these together, minding the 1/4 seam allowance. Continue until all strips are sewn, ironing seams as you go along. Now you have your quilt top! Let’s talk about the back of the quilt.
2) Quilt Back
For the back of the quilt I picked my favorite fabric from the ones we chose and cut out a large square from it. Cut a 25.5 x 25.5 square from your choice of fabric, this includes the 1/4 seam allowance.
3) Sew Quilt Top & Back Together
Now we have the two sides of our quilt. With the wrong sides facing each other, pin your quilt top and back together. Using your machine, sew the two sides together, minding the 1/4 seam allowance. We’re almost done! Now we’re ready to take care of those raw edges with our bias tape.
4) Bias Tape
OK, so bias tape. I’ve just learned how to make bias tape, as I finished my first quilt only a few months ago, but already I’ve grown a strong love for it and believe it’s essential to a beautifully finished quilt. Also, once you get the hang of it, bias tape is really fun to make! Bias tape is used as the finished edges of the quilt and it’s easy to go around corners with it. If you don’t know how to make bias tape, check out my tutorial on how to make it here. I really enjoy making bias tape and I make it without a bias tape maker too. For the bias tape on this quilt we picked a blue flannel with a cute pattern of monkeys on it, shown here below:
5) Sew Bias Tape To Quilt For Finish
You’ll need a little over 100 inches of bias. Once you have your bias tape made, or you have your store-bought pre made bias tape, line the bias along the front of the quilt’s raw edge, pin. Continue to pin tape along the front of the quilt, turning corners until you reach where you began. Cut off excess.
Using you machine, sew the bias tape and quilt together along the tape’s ironed crease, the one that’s closest to the raw edge. Continue to sew the tape around the quilt, pinning and sewing corners accordingly.
Once done with sewing the top, turn the quilt over and fold the bias tape over to the side now facing up. Pin in place. Now, using your machine, sew this side of the tape around the quilt.
We’re done! A cute quilt for a newborn baby. It’s simple and a great gift idea with heart. When I got back to Los Angeles, I gave my brother and his girlfriend this quilt for my niece and they loved it!
We started our quilt at 5:00 pm and after taking a few breaks in between, finished it by 8:30. So it only took about 3 hours for us to complete the quilt including making our own bias tape. If you’re working alone and use pre-made bias tape, you can finish just as soon. I really had such a wonderful time in Virginia with the family and am happy for the great experience I had out there. I’m glad I got the chance to make the quilt for my niece while in Virginia. Since I did, that means the fabric I had originally bought for this quilt can now be used for something else. I’m thinking pillows, maybe! Hahaa, so many projects to do!
I hope this how to on making a baby quilt was helpful and has inspired you to make your own. I know in my last post I promised a tutorial on how to make simple curtains. I will still be posting this. I was in the middle of making them and then took off to Virginia but, I will be finishing them soon and sharing. So stay tuned Machine Lovers! There’s much more to come here at Machine Love. Share with me your projects in the mean time! ❤
:: Athena ::
Welcome to Machine Love! I’m especially excited today because not only will this be my first post but, I also get to share with you some of my favorite places to buy fabric! Being from southern California myself, I had the chance to live in downtown Los Angeles for about two years. While living there I absolutely fell in love with the place; the architect, the history, the culture, the art, the people. The big pay off of living downtown though was the close proximity I was to the fashion district. Just a short skip from my studio and I would be amid the most beautiful colors and fabrics, all at my finger tips. It was like heaven. Now that I live in Hollywood I don’t get down to the district as much as I’d want to but, heaven is still just a train ride away. ; )
Earlier today I made the trip downtown to pick up some fabric for a quilt I’m planning. My brother is having a baby, (his first!) so I thought it would be a wonderful idea to make a quilt for my new baby niece. Like many, I like to make things on a cheap budget and the fashion district has many beautiful inexpensive fabrics. I like to begin my search on 9th and Los Angeles, right by the California Mart. This is because the first store I love checking out is Lady Fabric, located on the corner of 9th and Maple. This is the infamous $1.99 a yard store. Mind you, when I lived downtown it was the infamous $1.00 a yard store but, times change of course. Lady Fabric has a nice selection of satin, cotton, lace, flannel, and polyester… and the price, right in my budget!
The next stop on my fabric hunt is usually Michael Levine Inc., also located on Maple. I really like this store because they have everything you could want for a project in one place. They have a huge selection of McCall and Vogue patterns as well, the biggest I’ve seen downtown. For thread I go to L.A. Alex Inc. however. In between Wall and Maple on 9th, they have cheap thread usually for .50 to a $1.00. A great bargain!
There is so much to explore in the fashion district alone, that one could spend an entire day there and still not see half of what downtown has to offer. So I’m pretty sure by this point you’re anxious to see the wonderful fabric I bought today. Five yards of fabric only cost me $10.90. I purchased a yard of this gorgeous lemon wedge/ flower print. I loved it so much that I bought two more yards of it, each with a different color scheme. These I will use for the quilt I plan to make for my baby niece. I also couldn’t resist buying this eye popping tropical pattern I found near the front of Lady Fabric. I bought two yards of this and I plan on making a summer dress or tank top… not sure yet. I’ll see where my creativity takes me!
I plan on making some bedroom curtains in the next few days so stay tuned for a “How To” tutorial on that. This is the start of a glorious sewing adventure, speak to you soon Machine Lovers. ❤