do your pins: banana cake & better piping

There’s been a running joke for a while now that, as awesome as Pinterest can be, a lot of us are spending time there drooling over beautiful, creative projects, rather than spending time making beautiful, creative projects. Some links, I pin with no intention whatsoever to attempt them, but just because I love the idea, or the photo, or colors, or something else about it. But there are many pins that I do want to try or that have given me ideas for similar projects (like that pincushion). So, I’ve decided to challenge myself with a recurring feature called “Do Your Pins,” where I’ll discuss the ones I’ve tried and the experiences I had with them.

screenshot from one of my Pinterest boards
I am not a terribly prolific pinner. I bookmark lots of ideas in places besides Pinterest. I generally pin things that are either 1) beautifully photographed, or 2) brilliant and need to be tried and shared. However, since Pinterest is its own phenomenon and I am not hearing water cooler jokes about my list in Pocket, I’ll start with just what I’ve seen or posted there.

banana cake with cream cheese frosting
I am always looking for more banana baking recipes. I have several treasured favorites, but clearly that isn’t enough — my for-baking-only bananas are threatening to take over my freezer. I’ve tried a couple of banana cake or cupcake recipes in the past, but they have typically smacked more of a quick bread or muffin to me, despite what the recipe called them. So when I saw this banana cake post pinned this week, it jumped to the top of my queue, because I’ve tried Jen’s recipes before and loved them. (Though apparently I missed when it was posted in December.) The verdict: LOVE. Awesome flavor and texture! I used toasted sliced almonds on top:

banana cake with cream cheese frosting


a better way to make custom piping
I have to do a sewing-related pin, too. :-) I was excited to see Anna’s tutorial on Noodlehead about how she makes piping. I almost always prefer to make my own with the fabric of my choosing, but the basting has gone wonky on me at times. This method created piles of perfect piping, some of which you’ll see again in an upcoming post.


A couple of notes from my experience with this:

  • I didn’t piece bias strips or use starch. As I always do, I used the continuous bias method to make one long strip. Like Anna, I too found this perplexing and frustrating the first few times I tried it, but it seemed as if it would be much less tedious so I really wanted to figure it out! It finally clicked for me and I haven’t pieced strips again since. Here are some tutorials for this method. Each of these posts has its strengths, and choices are good, especially for a technique that can be difficult to get your mind around.
  • I used the 1/2″ version of Steam-a-Seam, rather than the 1/4″ that Anna used. I actually started with the 1/4″, but I found that with the 1/2″ I didn’t need to be as precise with where I placed the strips. I was using 4/32″ cording and 1½” bias strips.
  • I don’t know that this was a faster approach to making piping, but it was unquestionably a better one. The cord was tightly enclosed inside the bias strip, and the edges of the fabric stayed straight, unlike they do when I machine baste. And it still went quickly enough.

How good are you about doing your pins?

Comments 1

  • I somehow missed that piping tutorial – thank you for pointing it out! I finally made a “Did It!” board to remind myself that I do actually sometimes use Pinterest for something other than wasting time. I think it would be fantastic if they added a “did it” button so you could look at which pins people are actually *doing* as opposed to just drooling over.

    I love that idea! It adds validity, too — I know there are ones I’d be more likely to try if I saw that others did it rather than just pinned it. ~Susan

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