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Kid's Birthday Party: Setting the Scene for Fun

Monday, 26 July 2010 9:00

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What's the biggest day of the year for any kid? His or her birthday! It's the one day of the year to be the center-of-attention... no questions asked. Our summertime birthday celebration has a colorful, Day At The Beach theme and is a perfect choice for either a boy or a girl turning about four, five or even six. It seems everywhere you turn these days, you find those paper and plastic sets of cheesy decorations and party favors with grinning television and movie characters to tempt your little one. Enough already! We found our initial inspiration in the vivid designs of Patty Young's new Playdate collection from Michael Miller Fabrics. When you create your own decorations and take-home gifts, you throw a party that is more memorable, more unique, and more green, because nearly all the elements are reusable.

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Organic Cotton Box-Pleat Pillows

Thursday, 22 July 2010 9:00

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This is the first time I have used an organic cotton fabric. Organics are a still a small percentage of the quilting weight cottons available, and almost twice the cost. But, I figure organic fabric will grow in the marketplace similarly to organic food. Remember how difficult it was to reliably find organic groceries? And they were almost prohibitively expensive. A decade later, it's how I shop. There's a great selection and milk is no longer $8 for a half gallon. So, I was pretty thrilled to find emerging organic fabric companies debuting high-quality and colorful fabrics as well as some pretty edgy designs. These summery box-pleat pillows made from organic cotton make a powerful statement: We are pesticide free!

Quick Tip: Working With PUL (Polyurethane Laminate)

Tuesday, 20 July 2010 9:00

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What is soft, pliable, and waterproof; can withstand fairly high temperatures; and holds up to a lot of use? Like me, your first guess might have been those dang swimming pool noodles you always buy too many of and then never know what to do with once summer is over. But... the real answer is: PUL, polyurethane laminate if you wish to be formal. The broad category refers to any fabric with a polyurethane laminated to a base fabric. Most common is a polyester knit fabric laminated to a thin waterproof, non-breathable polyurethane backing. Originally developed for use in the medical industry, it's very durable and very popular right now for folks making diapers, diaper covers, changing pads, bibs, training pants, and outside the world of babies, it's often used to create reusable sandwich, snack and lunch bags. As with most man-made fabrics, there are some tips and techniques that make sewing with PUL easier.

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Summer Fun: Dog Collar & Leash

Monday, 19 July 2010 9:00

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Webbing, ribbon, hardware, a couple of hours, and you can make your very own boutique style dog collar and leash. This is such a fun and easy project, you'll be offering to make them for all your canine friends. Of course, it's not just for dogs! That's Dexter, one of our French Alpine goats, stylin' our collar, and I think he's saying, "I HEART Sew4Home." Ahhhhh, thanks, Dex.

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Summer Fun: BBQ Apron with Rivet Accents

Friday, 16 July 2010 9:00

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Fire up the grill and pull out the spatula; it's barbeque time! Summer Fun means something should be sizzling on the ol' outdoor grill. This tough canvas BBQ apron is a serious sizzle shield with its handsome rivet accents and extra-large pockets for grill tongs, tools and those giant hot pad mitts.

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How To Attach Metal Rivets On Sewing Projects

Thursday, 15 July 2010 9:00

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They're everywhere. Airliners have rivets. The pockets of your Levis® have rivets. Frogs make the sound, "rrriiiiiivvvet." That last example probably isn't applicable, but it kinda makes you wonder, doesn't it? Not only are rivets ubiquitous, they look super professional when used on a sewing project. Rivets also have a very logical purpose: they hold loads of thick layers together at points where it would be impossible to stitch with a sewing machine.

Baby Gifts: Pretty Bird Quick Trip Diaper Bag

Wednesday, 14 July 2010 9:00

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Our smaller (and cuter) diaper bag isn't meant to supplant the full-size, workhorse of a diaper bag; you know the one I mean... the one that holds enough stuff to open your own nursery school. Nope. This one is perfect to grab and go for short jaunts out and about. It's still big enough, with pockets inside and outside, to hold the essentials: several diapers, wipes, a couple bottles, a special blankie or toy, even your own wallet and keys. The outside fabric is our fave Pretty Bird from Pillow & Maxfield for Michael Miller Fabrics; the inside is the popular PUL waterproof fabric.

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Fresh Linens: Fig Tree Threads' Amelia & Me Sun Hat

Friday, 09 July 2010 9:00

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My husband has freckles, which means my kids have freckles, which means if left out in the sun for any length of time, the whole lot of them looks like a carton of speckled eggs. We have all learned the benefit of good summer head coverings! This adorable floppy sun hat is a pattern from Joanna Figureoa's Fig Tree Threads collection. It uses very little fabric, and so is a perfect way to use up some of your favorite scraps.

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Baby Gifts: Pretty Bird Snap-on Baby Bibs

Thursday, 08 July 2010 10:00

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The baby bib's number one job is to be a stain force field. It is often the only line of defense between that adorable handmade white sweater from Aunt Lisa and a favorite bottle of fruit punch. The best bib should: fit snuggly around baby's chinny-chin-chin, be absorbent, easy to launder, fast to get on and off, and in my book, super cute. When you're under 24 months, the bib is your primary fashion statement... ya gotta work it. We offer a free, downloadable pattern for our Snap-On Baby Bib.

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Fresh Linens: Ruffled Lumbar Pillow from Fat Quarters and Layer Cake

Wednesday, 07 July 2010 9:00

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A lumbar pillow is the common term for just about any long and narrow bed pillow. It can be large or small, soft or firm. Though we've seen them in all shapes and sizes, we'd never seen one with ruffles and covered buttons, like the one we designed for our Fresh Linens guest bedroom. The deep pleat-like ruffles add a romantic touch and soften the geometric edges of the squares and points on the other pillows in our pile. That's the secret of an effective grouping of throw pillows: mix shapes and sizes and subtly blend textures and styles.

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