Dear ol' Dad, his special day is coming up, and there are so many things you love him for. But, he can be so dang hard to shop for, let alone sew for. Most projects tend to lean more to the feminine than the masculine... unless you landed here at Sew4Home where we have whipped up four fantastic Father's Day gifts to delight Dad. We start our gift-giving ideas with today's sleek iPad case; it features a bike-bag style crossover strap in cotton webbing, tough pockets front and back, and a soft fleece lining.
Just ONE seam is all the sewing required to make a Cattail Catnip Toy. Fill with catnip and tie into segments. Your kitty will lick it and pummel it with rapid-fire kicks in appreciation. Not every cat is into catnip, and kittens ignore it; but in a lifetime of living with cats, I've never had one who didn't enjoy catnip playtime. The trick is to limit use to about once a week to avoid desensitization. Our Cattails also make a great fundraiser for animal shelters. A volunteer can make a dozen in a couple hours, and it takes very little sewing skill.
We have a saying at our house we call, "Mexican Hot Plate Syndrome." It refers to doing something you know is bad, but you just can't help yourself. I'm sure you've encountered the syndrome at your local Mexican restaurant. It occurs when they deliver a hot-out-of-the-oven plate to your table. The waiter is wearing huge oven mitts and implores you, "Don't touch the plate; it is very hot." So what do you do as soon as he sets it down and turns his back? You sneak out one finger and touch the edge of plate. Yikes! He was right! Dang! This story was all to set up our pretty Tea Time oven mitts project. They contain a hidden layer of Insul-Bright thermal batting between their linen front and lining, so they could certainly pick up a hot plate of enchiladas. However, they would be even more perfect to lift a whistling tea kettle from the stove.
No tea party is complete without tea towels. Ours are made of a beautiful natural linen, keeping true to the tea towel's heritage, which comes to us by way of Great Britain where it originated as a special drying cloth for expensive tea services. Linen was the fabric of choice because its smooth, simple weave was unlikely to scratch fine china or glass. Our towel set is a perfect match for the other appliquéd members of our Tea Time team. And although quite similar to our napkins project, we show you a slightly different method for hemming and applying the bottom border accent.
We love placemats, because they are such a versatile table setting option. You don't need nearly as much fabric as you do for an entire tablecloth. In fact, with their smaller proportions, they're a great way to bring together a number of colors, patterns and textures. Our table for two includes lovely quilted and appliquéd placemats. Their accent bands feature a diamond quilting pattern, while the main place-setting panels have repeating rows of parallel quilted stitch lines. Picking different styles of quilting within one project is a simple yet striking way to add a little spice. As with our other Tea Time projects, this one has a bold, double-layer appliqué highlight.
Do you remember the first cup of tea you had as a child? I do, and I recall how charmed I was by the little cups and saucers, how delighted I was with the tiny sandwiches and pretty cookies. What a wonderful world of grace and gentility. That's the world of our S4H Tea Time Collection. Today, we're making napkins, which are a perfect beginner project and a great way to practice hemming and corners. Our Tea Time set finishes at a generous 20" x 20" and includes both a lovely border accent and a sweet appliquéd teacup. We made just two napkins, but you could whip up a whole tea party's worth in an afternoon. It's fun to choose mix-and-match fabrics for the appliqués so each guest gets his/her own unique teacup and saucer.
"If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are heated, it will cool you; if you are depressed, it will cheer you; if you are excited, it will calm you."
–William Gladstone, British Prime Minister 1868-1894.
Mr. Gladstone has it right, tea time is always a good time. That's why we chose it as the theme of our latest kitchen series; a beautiful set of five projects with elegant teapot, teacup and teaspoon appliqué accents... everything you need for a lovely tea party. Linen base fabric ties everything together as do the delicate prints from Bunny Hill by Lily & Will and the splash of bright contrast fabric from Riley Blake Designs. So easy to do; let's make tea for two!
Give Mom a pillow duo that will add an instant splash of spring to her favorite sofa, chair or bed. Our side-by-side design sets off the the pretty Parisville prints with bold designer linen colors. And we love these double-ruffle ribbons from The Ribbon Retreat, which remind us a bit of lasagna. We used them as a lovely embellishment that not only ties into ruffly bow accents, it also ties the two pillows together into a perfect pair.