Fat Quarters were the first specialty pre-cut on the market, and are still the most common. At 18" high x 22" wide, their format makes them a quilter's best fabric friend. Our friends at It's Sew Emma Patterns are here to prove it once again with a brand new book: Fat Quarter Style – 12 Quilts That Never Go Out of Style. We were excited to get two early copies – one to read, enjoy and keep; and one to give away to a lucky Sew4Home visitor. Read on to find out what makes a Fat Quarter "fat," why it makes cutting so much more flexible, and glimpse some of the great quilt patterns this book has to offer.
My brother made me laugh out loud when he said a "mug rug" sounded like a bad toupee for an ugly guy. Although a great guess, a mug rug is really a mini placemat designed to hold your coffee mug or tea cup and maybe an extra little treat, or... when placed by your sewing machine, a handy place to jab a few pins and needles as you sew. Originally, they came onto the scene as a fun excuse to use up some scraps by making an itty-bitty quilt. We took the mug rug concept a step further by turning it into a hand-sewn greeting card with the addition of our Salutation Strip through the center. Cards are a nice thought, but most eventually end up in the garbage can. Instead, create a Happy Birthday, Congratulations, Thank You or I Love You message with a purpose; an every day reminder to the recipient that they have a friend in you!
Mustangs are the beautiful wild horses of western North America. They are such a dramatic icon, in 1971 the United States Congress recognized the herds of mustangs as "living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West." We selected Melody Miller's striking Mustang collection as the feature fabric in today's handsome slim-style messenger bag. The collection is from the brand new Cotton + Steel company, a division of RJR Fabrics. Cotton + Steel hit the fabric world with a bang this Spring as one of the most anticipated collaborations in years. The company brings together the talents of Miller along with Rashida Coleman-Hale, Alexia Abegg, Kim Kight and Sarah Watts. Our thanks to Fabric.com for providing the Mustang fabric as well as the coordinating Cotton & Steel cotton for lining and the crisp navy twill of the exterior. It's a combo that's ready to hit the trail for back-to-school, back-to-work, or anywhere those wild horses pull your heart.
We've all seen this popular little clasp. It's the go-to closure on everything from casual backpacks to high-end handbags. As with anything that includes moving parts, and may involve tools to install, it can seem intimidating. You might opt instead for a simple button closure, a snap, or simply hope a flap stays put on its own. Here's the secret about this two-part lock: it's actually quite easy to put in. The key is confirming the placement of both halves, but that's just a matter of careful measuring and double-checking. So what are you waiting for? On the next project that features a flap or strap to secure – go pro with a tuck lock.
Someone told me the other day he believed money would soon become completely digital and we'd be trading electronic credits online. It's happening already to a limited extent with Bitcoins, but it still seems so sci-fi to me. I think I'll hold on to a wallet for now, like today's pretty version with multiple compartments for cash, coins and cards. I like having physical money with me; a couple paper dollars and some coins just makes me feel happy. I think it goes back to being a kid, when every hoarded dime and nickel put you that much closer to a giant gum ball from the shiny red dispenser. I still get a little thrill when I find a quarter in my coat pocket, although I worry what a gum ball would do now to my dental work.
Years ago the Thermos® company had the slogan, "Keeps hot things hot and cold things cold." You can't say it much better than that. Did you know there are fabrics that help you do the same thing? These aren't the heavy industrial materials that keep steelworkers, astronauts, and firefighters safe, but honest-to-goodness fabrics you can actually sew with.
Our extra-large tote is ready for a road trip, and thanks to the great Eclectic Elements fabric by Tim Holtz for Coats, it comes complete with great destinations built right in to the design, like Times Square and Coney Island. Fussy cutting is the name of the game in creating this bag's special look. If you're new to the technique, we offer a great step-by-step tutorial, but the concept is simple: carefully cut each of the fabrics to center and feature a particular motif, such as the subway stop names, clock faces and butterflies we selected from the dozens of interesting options within this wonderfully unique collection from paper-crafting guru, Tim Holtz. The front of the bag features a fabric flower as an optional embellishment, and decorative metal rivets help hold the strap ends in place and add a subtle dash of dimension.
Our fast and fun little ties remind me of the classic 40s and early 50s shots of movie stars relaxing. Still ultra glamorous in the supposedly "candid" photos, casual hairstyles often featured pretty hair ties just like these to hold back their silky curls. Not only is this a delightful way to put some favorite fabric scraps to work, it's also a great trick to extinguish a potential bad hair day.
Most of us understand how to sew on a button. If not, we have tutorials on sewing them on by hand as well as by machine. Pretty darn easy either way, and not scary at all. But buttonholes are a whole different matter. At the end of your project, after you've put in so much work, it's time to put in the buttonholes. You should be happy you're almost done. But for many of us, beads of sweat start to form across our brows and we wonder, "Am I about to ruin everything by botching the buttonholes?" Well, you can stop sweating, because it's really not that hard once you break it down into individual steps.
When you're on the road, doesn't it always seems to be the ordinary, everyday things you are suddenly in desperate need of: gum, nail clippers, your headphones? I get a little panicky, certain I've left behind the most obvious items... as if perhaps I'm on an arctic expedition and won't see civilization for weeks. But the opportunity for replenishment doesn't matter; I want my stuff close at hand. That's the theory behind our handsome travel tote: plenty o' pockets to stash all your stuff. There are four big outside pockets that wrap front and back plus a deep inside compartment (exactly deep enough for a magazine, I might add!) with its own generous interior pocket. I'm still likely to forget something, which is why after my current travels, I now own six pairs of sunglasses and a dozen tubes of lip balm.