Holiday Vacation Update: Handmade Gifts, Quilting, Baking, Noshing

Currently I am on vacation, and can happily say I’m getting the most out of this limited time experience.

Starting with logging in some serious sewing time in the craft room!

Moore Approved Monogram Applique Letter M Towel Sewing Machine Janome 7700The past few months I must confess that I have been neglecting my sewing machine, besides working on my Scrappy Hunter’s Star quilt blocks

Fabric Amy Butler Violette Alison Glass Sunprint layer cake scrappy Hunters Star quilt block Carolyn Friedlander ArchitexturesI’ve decided to make a more manageable size – only 48 blocks versus the originally planned 80. (What was I thinking???) Only ten more to go!

Moore Approved Monogram Applique Waffle Weave Towel SetsThis year, I got the idea to do some handmade gifts for family members. Ordered a 12 pack of these Waffle Weave Terry Kitchen Towels in white from Amazon. (AFFILIATE LINK) They were $24.99 for six sets of two each.

Using scrap fabric and Heat’n Bond Lite, I printed out monogram initials in the font Arial Black size 350 on our printer.  Then I outlined the letters backward on tracing paper – then moved them to the Heat’n Bond (still backward).

Following the ironing instructions, I fused the scrap fabric pieces to each letter. The fabric should be slightly larger than the monogram. Using a sharp pair of scissors, I cut out all the letters and fused the applique pieces onto each towel.

Moore Approved Monogram Applique Waffle Weave Towel Mint Green M InitialUsing a tight and narrow zigzag stitch, I covered all of the raw fabric edges to prevent fraying. One tip: use a bobbin thread the same/similar color as the towel so the stitching isn’t noticeable on the back.

The towel sets turned out so cute! I enclosed them into care packages I sent out to family members for Christmas.

Fabrics used were Cotton + Steel Netorious in Goldilocks and Art Gallery Fabrics Triangularity Topaz from the Urban Mod collection.

Moore Approved Monogram Applique M Towel Set Gold Mint Green MetallicFor another gift, I started making a Poolside Tote by Noodlehead. I’ve got the pattern pieces cut out and taped together, and am in the process of selecting fabrics.

For a while now, I’ve been using clear packing tape to connect the pattern pieces. Regular Scotch tape just wasn’t staying, and I don’t like using painter’s tape because it’s not transparent.

Moore Approved Noodlehead Poolside Tote Pattern Print Paper Pieces Tape

One challenge has been that while attempting to secure the pieces with the tape, they will shift and the tape ends up permanently affixed with the pieces all out of sorts.

I learned something while assembling my Poolside Tote pieces. Before taping, I cut one side all the way to the edge of the pattern line, and left the connecting side uncut. Using my ever trusty Elmer’s Washable School Glue, I dabbed some glue onto the excess paper and placed the corresponding side correctly.

Doing this eliminated the shifting problem while laying down the packing tape, which is HUGE for me!

Moore Approved Sugar Cookie Mix Sheet Pan Baked SpatulaAlso getting my bake on this holiday season!

Recently, I stumbled upon this Betty Crocker recipe for Sugar Cookie Truffles. It seemed up my alley, as I do love sugar cookies.

Sorry Betty, but instead of your brand, I used equivalent products from my favorite grocery store Aldi’s.

Since the recipe called for crushing the sugar cookies in a food processor, I thought I’d save myself some headache and make one huge cookie. This totally worked!

Moore Approved Sugar Cookie Pieces Ninja Kitchen System Food Processor Crumbs BakingWe’ve had the Ninja Kitchen System for several months now, and it’s still going strong. I use the blender to make smoothies frequently, and the food processor bowl works well. Initially, James and I were interested in a Vitamix – but they are so expensive. Glad we took a gamble on the $150 Ninja equipment instead.

Moore Approved Sugar Cookie Truffles Baking Crumbs Frosting Cream Cheese Kitchenaid Stand MixerThis truffle recipe was easier than I expected, and pretty much just involves making sugar cookies, crushing them, then mixing the crumbs with canned frosting and cream cheese.

Moore Approved Sugar Cookie Truffles Rolled Balls Baking BowlI rolled the mixture into balls, and let them chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.

Moore Approved Baking Sugar Cookie Truffles Melting Double Boiler White Chocolate Bark Pieces AldiIn the meantime, I melted white chocolate bark in a makeshift double boiler on the stove. It consisted of water in a saucepan, and a metal bowl on top. MUCH better results than using the microwave.

Moore Approved White Chocolate Blue Sugar Cookie Truffles BakingA couple years ago, I had a disastrous attempt at making cake pops. I was honestly afraid to try these, but they turned out decently. I do wish the white chocolate had cooled slightly before I rolled the balls, as the coating isn’t as thick as I would have preferred.

But whatever – I’ll have no trouble eating these!

Moore Approved Bota Box Merlot Wine Aldi Port Wine Cheese Log Garlic Pita Crackers…Or having wine with a cheese and cracker tray.

After all, it IS the holidays!

Hope you are also enjoying this special time!


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