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Rotary Cutting Large Panels in One Fell Swoop

Wednesday, 24 February 2010 10:00

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We have several projects coming up that require cutting large panels of fabrics for curtains. When you're short on space, this can be a bit of a challenge. So here's a little folding-and-cutting trick to make it easier, faster, more compact ... and actually, more precise. Remember making paper snowflakes as a kid? You fold, fold, fold, and then cut, cut, cut. Same basic concept, but without the swiss cheese effect. Grab your rotary cutter and mat and let's slice!

Embroidered Seed Packet Placemats

Tuesday, 23 February 2010 9:00

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These beautiful placemats are perfect for your big National Embroidery Month family dinner. The seed packet print is ‘fussy cut' to take advantage of the cool striped pattern, then paired with wonderful botanical embroidery designs from Westminster Fibers new collection of embroidery design CDs digitized to coordinate with fabrics from some of the industry's leading fabric designers. We choose two designs from the Anna Maria Horner CD.

Nature Brights Kitchen: Cool & Cozy Pet Bed

Monday, 22 February 2010 9:00

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If you're hanging out in the kitchen, chances are your favorite pet is hanging with you. Shouldn't he (or she) have a matching cushion? Pet psychologists have long warned that forcing your furry friend to sleep on a ratty old bedspread can lead to deep-seated resentments ... and hair-balls. I have no idea if that's true, but I liked pretending to be a pet psychologist. Back to the Pet Bed... ours flips over: one side is a cool cotton, the other side is cozy fleece. There's an easy-to-insert zipper in one side so you can remove the cover and toss it in the wash. Its finished size is about 18" x 24", which makes it good for a smallish dog or a giant cat... like our sweet Ollie. You can expand, or reduce, the dimensions as needed to best fit your best friend.

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Embroidered Boudoir Pillows

Friday, 19 February 2010 9:00

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The idea for this project came about from a set of embroidery CDs we received from Westminster Fibers. They have a new series of machine embroidery designs, which have been digitized to coordinate with the fabrics from some of the industry's leading fabric designers. What a great idea ... and perfect as a project to celebrate National Embroidery Month. These two beautiful boudoir pillows each feature a large scale medallion print from Free Spirit fabrics with a featured embroidery design artfully positioned. The print is ‘fussy cut' and positioned over matching plain fabric, using a raw edge appliqué technique. Easy to make and beautiful to display.

CHA Show: Liz & Jackie's Made-in-the-Booth Pillow-Covers-in-a-Flash

Wednesday, 17 February 2010 9:00

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Here's another fun project we did in our booth at the recent CHA Craft Super Show in Anaheim. Again, this completely proves neither lack of space nor limited time are sufficient excuses for not making your own home décor. The other lesson from this tutorial is how a clever bit of geometry can transform a plain square pillow into a much more interesting pieced pillow. Start with a square and slice it into pieces, then put it all back together again. The only thing to remember is to add ½" to each piece anywhere there's going to be a seam. As I always say, after all the time I spent hating math in school, Mrs. Martinsen was right, I do use it all the time!

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Nature Brights Kitchen: Daisy Dot Apron

Monday, 15 February 2010 9:00

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The design for this apron came about because we loved the Daisy Dot border prints in Patty Young's Flora & Fauna collection. We were very happy with the sample when it was finished, but were thrilled to earn the, 'Hey-this-is-really-cute Award' from our teenage model. Praise like this is hard-won, and we are now clinging to the awesome coolness of our Daisy Dot Apron. We won't, however, be wearing it to the mall. We do understand where coolness ends.

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Nature Brights Kitchen: Quilted Hot Pads

Friday, 12 February 2010 10:00

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I ♥ hot pads! I have tons of them. In fact, I'm zany enough that when I throw a dinner party, I actually coordinate my hot pads with my table setting. Yes... I need professional help. These awesome quilted hot pads are super simple, and each one uses just a 10" x 10" square for the front and back. You might have some scraps laying around that would be perfect. Our design is reversible, which is a two-for-one deal, and the insulating batting between the layers makes them functional as well as fabulous.

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Hot Hot Hot - Thermal Fabrics

Thursday, 11 February 2010 9:00

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It's a good thing Sew4Home doesn't feature any audio feeds or you'd have to put up with me singing Katy Perry's Hot N Cold while you read this article. Lucky for you ... and most of the planet, we'll skip the singing and instead concentrate on a few facts about the available thermal material options for home décor.

Nature Brights Kitchen: Insulated Shopping Tote

Monday, 08 February 2010 10:00

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I live a ways out of town, so transporting home frozen food before it thaws can be a challenge. Canvas grocery totes are a great alternative to the standard store plastic bags, but they don't help with my frozen food dilemma. This insulated shopping bag with its Velcro closure was the answer. I can load up all the food I need to keep cold (or hot for that matter), seal up the top, and everything stays the right temp for the ride home. As an added bonus, by using the Flora & Fauna fabric, I solve my problem and look cool doing it. Several people at the store asked me where I got my bag. Of course, I told them I made it, and then proceeded to block the dairy aisle while I explained how THEY could go to sew4home.com and learn to make one too!

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Nature Brights Kitchen: Triple Border Dish Towels

Thursday, 04 February 2010 10:00

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If you want to jump start a project, start with something off-the-shelf and add your own sewn touches to make it unique. That's what we did with this set of clever dish towels. We started with plain white towels from Crate and Barrel, then added three fabric bands with contrasting topstitching. The color and pattern really pops off the crisp white background. I can't guarantee folks will be fighting to help you dry the dishes, but I can promise the towels will look fabulous hanging on the rack.

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