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Nature's Palette by Marjolein Bastin for FreeSpirit: Button Top Apron

Tuesday, 25 June 2013 1:00

When we moved to the country a few years ago, one of the first differences we noticed were the birds. In the city, there wasn't much in the way of bird diversity. You have pigeons, starlings and crows - not much else. But out here, we're surrounded by a variety of feathered friends singing, swooping and scattering as we drive down the narrow country lanes. The first project in our Nature's Palette series, a sweet apron with accent buttons and a wraparound pocket, uses one of the most beautiful prints in Marjolein's collection: Gathered in Blue is criss-crossed by birds and flowers and set against the beautiful clarity of a summer sky.

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Nature's Palette by Marjolein Bastin for FreeSpirit: Meet the Designer

Monday, 24 June 2013 1:00

Greeting cards, ornaments, stationery, journals, children's books, bedding, dinnerware, calendars, cross stitch, home accessories... and now fabric! Marjolein Bastin is a talented and prolific designer who is entranced by the natural world. FreeSpirit Fabrics is thrilled to be bringing her talent to the world of fabric with the debut collection, Nature's Palette. Although her work is recognized and loved by millions around the world, Marjolein's focus remains simple and true: to spend each day behind her desk painting, capturing the floral and fauna the rest of us encounter - yet overlook - every day, transforming it into something wistful and beautiful. "It's the details in nature I want others to appreciate." We're pleased to introduce you to Marjolein today, and then to bring you eight lovely projects made in the beautiful colors and motifs of her new Nature's Palette collection

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Super Fast & Super Cute: Cheater Quilt with Piping

Friday, 21 June 2013 1:00

Cheating! Didn't Mom always say, "Cheaters never prosper?!" This is one kind of cheating she would totally approve of, possibly giving you a cookie for figuring it out. A cheater quilt is one in which the quilt top is pre-printed with a patchwork design, allowing you to skip the piecing and instead, simply layer front, batting and back, bind and add your quilting stitches. It's super fast and easy, and you have to get up close and personal before you realize the design is printed rather than pieced. We decided to cheat even more by assembling our layers with a piped edge rather than traditional quilt binding. Mom knew she raised some rebels.

Super Fast & Super Cute: Lavender Sachets

Thursday, 20 June 2013 1:00

There are so many ads on TV for those wacky room fresheners. Everything from candles to plastic things you plug into a wall outlet to ones that even squirt a mist into the air when you walk by. Now that would be disarming! It's all very weird if you ask me. Seems like it would be so much nicer to smell a batch of cookies in the oven or a bowl or potpourri on the table or ... to tuck one of these lovely lavender sachets into your drawer or closet. Very retro, very green, very easy to make. Wrap up a color coordinated bundle for a sweet smelling gift.

Super Fast & Super Cute: Hello Kitty Pincushion

Tuesday, 18 June 2013 1:00

Ready to send the cute factor through the roof... at least in your sewing room? Make our adorable Hello Kitty® pincushion. Embroider eyes and a nose for her face and the pins become her whiskers. This would make a great gift for the beginning sewer, but everybody loves Hello Kitty®, so it's really perfect for anyone... including YOU! We provide a free downloadable pattern so you can easily make a whole litter of pretty kitties.

Super Fast & Super Cute: Fashionista Baby Burp Cloths

Monday, 17 June 2013 1:00

Drool. Spit up. Food smears. There's a lot of stuff that comes out of babies' mouths. It's a darn good thing a sweet little coo or heart-melting smile comes out once in awhile too. That makes it all worthwhile. But... a burp cloth is still a must! Ours are so quick and easy to make, you can whip out of slew of them in an afternoon. Absorbent terry cloth on the back makes them functional. Sassy print fabric on the front makes them fabulous.

ScrapBusters: Patchwork Trivets with Circular Quilting

Friday, 14 June 2013 1:00

I remember having a drawer full of trivets growing up. There were elaborate crocheted ones my grandmother had made as well as tacky souvenir versions from one or more family vacations. I inherited a few, but when I decided I wanted more, I discovered they must have fallen out of favor as a kitchen accessory because they were rather hard to find. Perhaps the hot pad is supposed to be a stand in, but their square shape and smaller size just isn't as functional. A generous round trivet is by far the winner when it comes to providing an easy, effective way to protect your table's finish from hot serving dishes. Today's ScrapBuster project is our personal mission to revive the terrific trivet! Ours is a pretty patchwork pattern with pie-shaped wedges in a full circle. We provide free downloadable patterns for the front wedges and the back circle. The project takes just a few little pieces from your scrap bag, and gives you a chance to do some pretty circular quilting. We used the Janome Circular Sewing Attachment, an easy way to make perfect concentric circles.

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ScrapBusters: Patchwork Strip Belt

Thursday, 13 June 2013 1:00

I tend to end up with quite a few little pieces in my scrap bag. It can be hard to figure out what to do with them, but it's just as hard to think about throwing away these itty bitty pieces of loveliness. Today's darling patchwork belt is a ScrapBuster dream project for small random scraps or leftover charm squares. The finished accessory is a great way to add a zing of color to a plain summer sheath. Our design features a double ring buckle. We used a set of faux bamboo rings, but you could use just about anything. One alternate idea we had was to re-purpose an old circular broach. Remove the pin from the back and use the bejeweled ring as the front with a plain flat ring at the back.

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ScrapBusters: Pinwheel Coaster Set

Wednesday, 12 June 2013 1:00

What's the hallmark image of summertime entertaining? A tall glistening glass of lemonade filled with clinking ice cubes. And what is that wonderfully refreshing glass doing? It's sweating. The condensation is pouring down the sides. It's making a little puddle. This beautiful summertime image needs a beautiful summertime coaster. That's what we have today, a set of fast and easy ScrapBuster coasters. We've mixed bright prints with solid summer white in a classic pinwheel pattern. Make sure that gorgeous glass of lemonade doesn't leave behind a less-than-lovely ring.

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ScrapBusters: Drawstring Gift Bags

Tuesday, 11 June 2013 1:00

Last week during our June is 4... series, we highlighted projects to make for the many gift-giving occasions during this busy month. Today, we're reminding you a handmade and personalized gift bag is often as fun as the present on the inside. A beautiful fabric bag can be re-used for so many things: additional gifts, to hold jewelry or lingerie when you travel, as a mini carryall in a bigger tote or bag. Our ScrapBuster design is very simple, and has the added benefit of a built-in drawstring that cinches the bag closed and creates a pretty ruffle along the top. What really makes a gift bag special is when you go to the trouble to customize it for the gift recipient. Does he or she have a favorite color or hobby? Reflect that in the fabric. Or match the outside fabric to the gift inside. Is it filled with homemade edibles? Choose a fabric with a yummy food motif. Housewarming gift? Find a sweet print with vintage cottages.

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