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Quick Tip: Bias Tape Cheat Sheet

Thursday, 11 November 2010 9:00

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There you stand in the fabric store, that giant display of bias tapes and bindings in front of you, its shiny cellophane packages glinting in their neat, color coordinated rows. Single fold, double fold, blanket, quilt. Geeze! What's what? Do you just throw a dart and hope for the best? No! You bring your Sew4Home Cheat Sheet with you and get exactly what you really need.

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Thanksgiving Elegance: How To Create Cornucopia Napkins

Wednesday, 10 November 2010 9:00

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While the cornucopia dates back to Greek Mythology, its graceful shape and overflowing harvest is now most commonly associated with Thanksgiving. A cornucopia looks especially festive on the Thanksgiving table, but takes up more room than most Thanksgiving dinners allow – especially with Aunt Grace's enormous Tropicana Orange Jello mold. You can get a similar horn-of-plenty essence with a simple yet elegant napkin fold. Fill your napkin cornucopia with fresh flowers or greens, a small gift, candy, nuts and fruits or pretty much anything that strikes your fancy and suits your guests.

Creative People We Love: Tammy Hensley

Tuesday, 09 November 2010 9:00

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We're back with another fantastic installment of Sew4Home's "Creative People We Love" series. A new feature here, and already a favorite of fans, it's our way of supporting some of the wonderfully clever and inspiring folks we've met in our travels. Today's profile is Tammy Hensley, who we met at The Creative Connection in Minneapolis this past September. While chatting during one of the classes, Tammy demurely mentioned how she had dabbled a little bit in fabric design. She then proceeded to pull out a swatch book with dozens and dozens... and dozens of the most amazing fabric designs she'd produced at Spoonflower. Whoa! We were floored by her creativity and imagination and knew we had to find out more.

Thanksgiving Elegance: "Conversational" Bound Napkins

Monday, 08 November 2010 9:00

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We love cloth napkins, and this bound-edge variety is another of our easy yet elegant designs. It got us wondering about the ubiquitous napkin. Turns out the modern day table linen has quite a history, dating back as far as the Romans, who used a larger cloth called a mappae, which was spread over the edge of a couch to protect it while dining in typical Roman reclining position. Jump forward to France in the 1700s; the napkin had evolved to an important part of the formal table, and the French court's elaborate codes of etiquette included such important social rules as: "It is ungentlemanly to use a napkin for wiping the face or scraping the teeth, and it is a most vulgar error to wipe one's nose with it." I think this still holds true today!

Thanksgiving Elegance: Sparkling Crown Placemats

Friday, 05 November 2010 9:00

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Maybe we chose this Michael Miller fabric for its name: Send in the Crowns. Maybe we were captivated by the metallic sparkle of those rows and rows of crowns in their beautiful and unique shade of platinum. Maybe we wanted a clean, cosmopolitan design to blend with our Thanksgiving Elegance table. Actually... it was all those things, and the result is our lovely tri-panel placemats. A super simple project to make, an ultra sophisticated look on your table.

Quick Tip: Hanging A Large Picture

Thursday, 04 November 2010 9:00

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Remember back in the day, when hanging a picture meant sticking a thumb tack in each corner of your favorite poster and calling it good? Although still a valid method if you prefer walls like swiss cheese, most of us have graduated to framing our favorite works of art, and so need a better way to hang a large picture. We're not worrying here about the random collages of small framed photos. We're talking about the big stuff that needs to be placed with care. How high should it hang? How do I place the hook at the right height? Do I need to hang in a stud? All valid questions for which we have easy answers.

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Thanksgiving Elegance: Antiquities Tasseled Table Runner

Wednesday, 03 November 2010 9:00

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Although I have no proof, I feel certain that somewhere in my past there is an ancestor of regal bearing. Perhaps a Baltic princess or a brooding prince from the moors of Scotland. I have a deep affection for well-appointed luxury. For a formal occasion, I love the look of a table runner with place mats. The rich dark wood of the dining table sets off the fabric, and the individual linens act like beautiful little frames for the china and silver. This very elegant table runner in a sparkling platinum damask with rich mahogany accents is from Michael Miller's Antiquity collection. It's certainly fit for a king or a queen or... for your own royal family this Thanksgiving.

Products We Love: Simplicity Bias Tape Maker

Tuesday, 02 November 2010 9:00

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You know how they are always comparing cool new things to sliced bread and mouse traps? To me, neither of these items rank very high on the cool-o-meter on their own, so I don't quite understand their intrinsic comparison value. Even so, they are easily blown away by the product we just finished testing here at S4H: the Simplicity Bias Tape Maker . It's cooler than a piece of sliced bread caught in a better mouse trap, which ranks it at the very tip-top of the cool-o-meter. As those of you who are frequent visitors know, we love using binding on our projects, especially custom binding in great coordinating fabrics. However, we don't love the rather tedious process of actually making that beautiful custom binding. So, when we got the opportunity to give this automatic binding maker a try, we were thrilled... and a little bit giggly with anticipation.

Thanksgiving Elegance: Handsome Half Apron

Monday, 01 November 2010 9:00

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This fabric, from Michel Miller's Antiquity Collection, is so lovely, you don't want or need any distractions. We chose to design a classic half apron with clean, simple lines to showcase the stunning motifs with their sparkling gold metallic accents. Kathy Miller, co-owner of Michael Miller Fabrics and the designer of this fabulous collection, described it as 'Dr. Zhivago meets Anthropologie.' A perfect image... although now I'm tempted to wear it with one of those giant Russian fur hats. Faux fur, of course.

Italiano Kitchen: Bistro Placemats

Thursday, 28 October 2010 9:00

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Without a spare month to spend learning Italian in Rome from a handsome young man over plates of spaghetti and glasses of wine, perhaps these placemats can serve a starting point. We used the signature Mutli Blocks Italino fabric from the new Michael Miller collection, Alfabeto Italiano Collezione. The fabric features elaborately illustrated 4" x 4" alphabet blocks in wonderful vintage colors. Why in just the short time it took to make two placemats, I've already learned that "L" is for lanterna (lantern), lepre (rabbit) and libri (books). My impressive vocabulary will undoubtedly come in handy as soon as I step off the plane in Italy and need to locate 'books on hunting rabbits by lantern light.'

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