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Love That Fabric: Halloween

Friday, 27 August 2010 6:00

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Eeeek! Thinking about Halloween in August! But, when it comes to seasonal fabrics... you snooze, you lose. By the time October rolls around, the most bootiful and ghoulish fabrics mysteriously disappear off shelves in a puff of smoke only to be replaced with holiday fabric. If you like it, snag it now, and put it in the crypt until you're ready to sew your frightful creations.

Back to School: Drawstring Dorm Laundry Bag

Wednesday, 25 August 2010 9:00

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If you're sending someone off to college for the first time this Fall, you're in for a lot of new experiences. There'll be stories of all-night 'study sessions,' complaints about the new roommate who hogs all the closet space, whining about the food or lack thereof. And then... there's the laundry. You will learn The Lesson of Laundry-Deferral. Or, exactly how long one person can go without doing the wash. Often, this can stretch all the way to winter break. So, send your collegian off with this heavy-duty, jumbo laundry duffle. It's nearly three feet tall with a drawstring top that allows for easy stuffing. Then, with its sturdy strap slung over-the-shoulder, he or she can arrive home for the holidays with nearly his or her entire wardrobe in tow. Stock up now on detergent.

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Back to School: Zippered Pencil & School Supplies Case

Friday, 20 August 2010 9:00

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I have a wooden pencil box that has been a fixture on my desk since grade school. I believe my sister gave it to me... or perhaps I stole it from her; my memory is a little hazy when it comes to how things once hers came into my possession. A new pencil box instantly sends me back to crisp fall days dressed in even-crisper white shell-button blouses, itchy wool skirts and droopy knee socks. What does all this have to do with our cool little corduroy zippered pencil case with the cute front-buttoned pocket? Nothing really. But it was a sweet story, wasn't it?

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Back to School: The Perfect Slouchy Book Bag

Thursday, 19 August 2010 9:00

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What should you use to carry your school stuff this year? Well, if you're all about form and structure, the venerable back pack is your friend. But if you want something comfortably soft and slouchy, then go with the book bag: the wild child of school totes. Ours uses no stabilizer, only a lining. The exterior fabric is a velvety corduroy from Valori Wells with the thinnest of wales. Wooden beads, stone buttons and waxed cording create the closures. And, tiny golden rivets attach the strap. So cute... maybe you should keep it as your everyday bag!

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Quick Tip: Tiny Tube Turning With A Hemostat

Wednesday, 18 August 2010 9:00

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I used to watch the TV show, ER and think, "I could do that." Not be an actual, real-life doctor. But I could wear a white coat and stethoscope and yell, "Get me a C-Spine, Chem 7, and a V-Fib!" I have no idea what any of those terms mean. They're just fun to say. Well, now I've discovered one of the medical devices I saw Dr. Greene use every week can be a big help in my sewing room. It's called a hemostat, and it's basically a locking clamp shaped like a long pair of scissors. (Probably what Dr. Greene wanted when he yelled, "Clamp!") A hemostat is extremely useful when you need to turn long, narrow tubes right side out.

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Fat Quarter Apron

Friday, 13 August 2010 9:00

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Awhile back, with no project in mind, I picked up five fat quarters from Amy Butler's Love collection while browsing at Bolt Fabric Boutique here in Portland, OR. What to do with five fat quarters? I challenged myself to create an apron where there would be virtually no wasted fabric. What remains from this pretty flower garden apron would fit in a teacup.

Accessories We Love: The Janome Ultimate Ruffler Attachment

Tuesday, 10 August 2010 9:00

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Ruffles. Bet you can't use them just once. We've added ruffles to a number of recent projects, and so thought we'd take the time to talk about the accessory that makes our ruffling easier and faster: the Ultimate Ruffler from Janome. This attachment is designed to work with any machine that can accept a snap-on presser foot, which means you don't have to have a Janome. Other machine manufacturers make similar attachments, which work in the same way. It's time to go from flat to frilly.

Festive Fall Ruffled Pillows in Three Big Sizes

Monday, 09 August 2010 9:00

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Mix and match! That's what these big, fun pillows are all about. One fabric on the front, another on the back, a third for the ruffles and ties. Put them all together for a cornucopia of color. We've blended some great greens, oranges and browns to create an updated take on the late '60s - early '70s mod palette. With a cute bow closure on the back, this set of 18", 20" and 24" pillows looks great from either side. Plop them against a plain sofa and watch the room go from boring to beautiful in the blink of an eye.

Liz's Hiding Curtain

Friday, 06 August 2010 9:00

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I had a personal decorating challenge I recently overcame, which I thought would be a dandy one to share. Chances are slim that you will have this exact same challenge, but you just might face something similar. We made the decision to move our bed into the center of our bedroom, allowing us a lovely view out the front windows. Yikes! The back of the bed's headboard was definitely not meant to be seen by anyone other than the wall. What to do? A lovely flat fabric curtain panel buttoned on to a row of simple drawer pulls allowed me to hide the unsightly frame and mattress and add a great blast of color and pattern to the room. I bet you have something you might want to hide.

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