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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.

Felt Travel Sewing Kitty

Thursday, 05 August 2010 9:00

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I tend to have wardrobe malfunctions at the most inconvenient times. Just before making an important presentation, a strategic button will fall off or a seam opens up. I can't even think how many stapler and Scotch Tape repairs I've made over the years. I finally created a small sewing kit that contains just what I need to fix almost any disaster – contained in a cute felt kit with a built-in pincushion kitty.

Kid's Birthday Party: "Something's Fishy" Game Curtain

Wednesday, 04 August 2010 9:00

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"Here Fishy, Fishy." Make your own colorful curtain for this classic kid's party game. Johnny (or Janie) stands in front of the curtain with a pole; mom or dad is on the other side with a bowl of prizes to clip to the end, guaranteeing the day's friendliest catch. It's a fun game they'll fall for, 'hook, line and sinker.' As an added benefit, you can use the curtain to cover a real window after the party's over.

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Kid's Birthday Party: Color Me Happy Placemats

Monday, 02 August 2010 9:00

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It's a reversible placemat. No, it's a party activity. Wait... you're both right! Our party placemats feature fun and festive fabric from Patty Young's new Playdate collection on one side, and Über cool chalk cloth on the other. Similar to oilcloth, chalk cloth is heavy yet pliable and waterproof. You can write on it with regular or liquid chalk and then wipe it clean with a damp cloth or baby wipe. We gave each party guest his/her own box of chalk to play with, keeping little hands busy while we set up for more fun and games.

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Kid's Birthday Party: Tasseled Fabric Party Banner

Friday, 30 July 2010 9:00

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Use up your scraps on this festive bit of fun for a special birthday or everyday room décor. Our party banner turned out to be so colorful and cute, I'm tempted to leave it up year 'round. It adds a super splash of color and the extra-long tassels shimmer in the sun.

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Summer Fun: Terry Towel Coverup & Matching Beach Pillow

Thursday, 29 July 2010 9:00

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Back in the day, your 'beach towel' was simply a ratty bath towel that had seen better days and which Mom allowed you to drag outside. Today's beach towels are colorful terry cloth works of art in jumbo sizes. We used one to make our simple summer beach wrap. A clever cut allows you to make optimum use of the towel's bound edges, and leaves you the perfect scrap to create a matching pillow. To add a splash of summer fun, we braided three colors of polka dot knit to create the wrap's wonderful ties. It's all super quick to make, so you can be lounging by the shore in style before all the good spots are gone.

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Love That Fabric: July

Wednesday, 28 July 2010 9:00

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With our focus on kids and birthdays this week, I found myself dwelling on fabric designed for children. Kids have an amazing, and often vivid memory for details of clothing, bedding, curtains, books and wallpaper. Ever try to skip a page when reading a book to a child? I can still visualize the circus wallpaper in my room that my mother tells me was gone by the time I was three. The light aqua background and colorful tents and animals left its mark, and I'm still partial to the mix of pale aqua with brights. It makes me realize that choosing fabrics your child likes may create a life-long happy memory.

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