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Scrap It: The Angela Shoulder Bag

Thursday, 13 January 2011 9:00

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This cute tall and narrow tote is named after my very favorite Angela, my oldest daughter. She designed the bag with a bit o' help from her very favorite aunt. Together they created a simple yet stylish shoulder bag, using Angela's own stash of fave fabric scraps and cotton webbing for the strap. We thought it turned out so well, we asked the designer's permission to share it with you. She graciously agreed to let us re-create the bag, and even let us pick our own fabric. I guess the whole 'designer thing' hasn't gone to her head yet, causing her to throw scissors across the room and shriek, "Tell that Klum woman and Tim what's-his-name to get me some fabric I can work with!!! " If you want to make your very own Angela Bag, you get to pick your own fabric too... and no one will throw scissors at you – I promise.

Quick Tip: Deciphering The Marks on a Measuring Tape

Thursday, 06 January 2011 9:00

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A few weeks back, we got an interesting email that kind of knocked us for a loop. It was someone needing help figuring out what all those tiny marks are on a standard tape measure. What?!?! We deal in fractions every day and are forever measuring quarters and eighths and sixteenths and whatnot. It's completely second nature to me, but when I stepped back and looked at my trusty tape with the eyes of someone brand new to sewing, I saw she was right... there are a lot of marks with no identification. So, we came up with a handy chart to help decipher those little black lines, and thought it would be a good tip to share with everyone.

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Scrap It: Patchwork Pillow

Wednesday, 05 January 2011 9:00

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One easy way to use up odd-sized scraps of pretty fabric is to patchwork them together into an interesting pillow. Our Scrap It Patchwork Pillow is an example of one made using a grid. The design is the same on both the front and back, however, we turned one grid panel 90º to create an interesting effect when the pillow is viewed from the side. Our pillow shows off the fabulous new Central Park collection by Kate Spain for Moda, but the concept will work with any pile of scraps you think look good together. Just goes to show there is almost no cute little scrap without a future in one of your creations.

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Scrap It: Ruffled Hot Cup Jacket

Monday, 03 January 2011 9:00

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What's the number one sewing resolution for 2011? Get organized! We thought a great place to start would be to use up some of our scraps we can't bear to throw away, but which are starting to take up almost as much room as the new stuff. We have a series of fun projects this month called, 'Scap It' - the first one is our girly-girl reusable hot cup jacket for your morning coffee or tea. There are lots of patterns out there for this type of thing, but none with our signature touch: the ruffle! Skip that boring ol' cardboard sleeve and wake up your cup with a fun and frilly custom jacket.

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Liz's "Blissful" Triangle Mantle Cloth

Wednesday, 29 December 2010 9:00

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Life is not always square. Other geometric shapes sometimes waft through to give our brains a design challenge. I have a corner fireplace in one bedroom, which means the mantle is... a triangle. In addition, all the moldings in the house are very Arts & Crafts, so ruffles and frou-frou need not apply. After staring into the triangle corner for awhile, Alicia came up with a simple yet striking solution: a simple bound triangle with two drop panels to accentuate the heavy vertical design of the fireplace surround. Proving once again that, a) Alicia is smarter than me, and b) there's always a solution to your home décor challenge.

Love That Fabric: December

Tuesday, 28 December 2010 9:00

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I got my first peek at Amy Butler's newest collection, Soul Blossoms, in early May and have been drumming my fingers waiting for the day when I could get my hands on it. I've been dreaming of exotic billowy curtains for the master bedroom, an eclectic patchwork quilt for the bed where my two little kitties could snooze against a pile of throw pillows blooming in colorways of Bliss, Joy and Passion. Amy says she was influenced by her travels to India. "It's impossible to spend time in such a soulful place and not be inspired by the culture, rich colors, amazing textiles, and ornate architecture. I was instantly consumed by the heartbeat of everyday life and smitten with the beautiful way people expressed themselves. This collection is my interpretation of an enchanted, modern passage through the floral delights of India. Dreamy jewel toned prints in multi-hued flowers and designs - uplifting and passionate - weave together my ethnic inspired story."

Accessories We Love: The Clear View Quilting Foot and Guide Set

Monday, 27 December 2010 9:00

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If a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, I'm guessing this three-in-one presser foot is easily worth a bird, a hand and a bush... if you're in to collecting bushes and birds. Me? I just like to find a cool accessory that does several things. The Janome Clear View Quilting Foot and Guide Set comes with two guides: the Quarter Inch Guide and the Ditch Stitch Guide. The foot itself is clearly marked with red guide lines for 1/8" and 1/4" seam allowances, as well as cornering marks for both 1/8" and 1/4" seams in front and behind the needle drop. The foot is super easy to use and very lightweight. But be careful, the little guides are the Barbie® shoes of sewing; they could very easily get lost. So, keep everything together in a little plastic bag, or even the original packaging.

Noel Home: Comfy PJ Pants for the Whole Family

Monday, 20 December 2010 10:00

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Our thanks to our creative friends at our Signature Sponsor, Janome for sharing this project with us. It was created last year for a special New Sewists Series they put together, and the instructions show you how to make pajama pants without a pattern; simply grab your favorite current pair and use them as a template. We added a jazzy bottom accent cuff to ours so we could mix and match our beautiful Michael Miller Bonnes Amies fabrics. This is a perfect project for beginners: super fast, easy and instantly gratifying. We thought it would be great fun to surprise the whole family on Christmas morning with matching PJ pants. I recruited one of the cutest families I know to be our models, and the rest is dreamy history.

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Noel Home: Color-Popping Pom-Pom Garland

Thursday, 16 December 2010 9:00

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Poms away! Our Noel Home projects feature a plethora of poms. They were so fun to make and such bouncy and happy little fellas when done, we simply couldn't stop with only the snowball poms on our holiday projects. Back to the craft store we went for an armful of jewel tone yarn. This project is done completely by hand; no need to turn on the sewing machine. In fact, it's a great activity to do in front of the TV or while waiting for the kids to finish practice.

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