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Topstitching: Tips for a Professional Finishing Touch

Thursday, 12 November 2015 1:00

By definition, topstitching is seam that appears on the right side of a project, usually running ¼" from another seam or along a folded edge. It can be done in a coordinating thread color for decoration or a matching thread color for construction and/or stabilization. A sub-set of topstitching is edgestitching. The technique is the same, but edgestitching is generally ⅛" or less from another seam or an edge. Whether for embellishment or assembly, topstitching is an important detail and its precision can make or break the final outcome of your project. We've collected our favorite tools and techniques to help you achieve tip-top topstitching.

Double-sided Plaid Flannel Fringed Scarves: Fabric Depot

Wednesday, 11 November 2015 1:00

There's power in plaid! It's a fashion staple that never goes out of style. Dress it up or dress it down - it's fabulous in every way. We used a double layer of cozy plaid flannel for our fringed scarves. It's a great alternative to wool plaids, which can be itchy to wear around your face and neck. Here's a bit of fun flannel history: it was originally made of carded wool or worsted yarn. Today, the coziness comes from cotton. 100% cotton flannel is super soft; with two layers, it's super-duper soft. We picked out our flannels from the great selection at Fabric Depot. It was mix and match heaven. Below we give you direct links to our two featured combinations as well as nine additional options to consider. And that's just a drop in the bucket. Fabric Depot offers enough choices to put together dozens of powerful plaid pairs. 


Color Wheel Patchwork Tree Skirt

Tuesday, 10 November 2015 1:00

This is one of our favorite holiday projects. Maybe because the tree skirt is a Christmas classic. Maybe because we love the vibrant patchwork of fabrics set-off with bold binding and bows. Maybe because the triangle wedges secretly remind us of pie, and we love pie. In fact, now that we've mentioned it, we wish we had a slice or two of pie. Mmmmmmmm.... pie.

Embroidered Floral Poppy Placemats & Napkins: Janome Memory Craft 500E

Monday, 09 November 2015 1:00

The word "only" gets kind of a bad rap. It can seem a little too close to "lonely," but the flip side is the heart of its true meaning: to focus on one thing. If you do one thing very, very well, then you are likely an expert. So it is with the Janome Memory Craft embroidery-only machines. Yes, they only do embroidery, but they do it expertly and with Janome's trademark ease-of-use. The newest member of this family is the Memory Craft 500E, which just debuted last month at authorized Janome America dealers. We got the opportunity to try the new model and used it to create this beautiful set of embroidered placemats and napkins. We selected two built-in florals, stitching them against a shear ribbon lattice on a 100% linen background.


Badge Style Secret Pocket with Lanyard

Friday, 06 November 2015 1:00

For the next several Fridays, we've collected some S4H classic gift ideas for you. Each one is especially fast and fun, and can easily be made with fabric from your stash. So when you hear yourself screaming, "I gotta getta gift!!!" We're here to help. This handy little carrying case is modeled after the lanyards you often get at conferences or other events. In fact, you could certainly use it for that or to hold small travel documents and ID. It's also a perfect size for credit cards, cash, even your keys... all on a removable lanyard. Use it without the lanyard as a mini wallet inside a larger handbag or tote. The secret back pocket is held together with Velcro® so nothing will tumble out. This is a great ScrapBusters project; you can mix and match the three fabrics needed to create just the right look. Choose a fabric combo that highlights the recipient's hobby or just his/her favorite colors. 

How to Install Metal Grommets for Sewing Projects

Thursday, 05 November 2015 1:00

Sometimes, you cross something off your "give-it-a-go" list simply because it looks too hard. But once you do finally try, maybe with someone’s help the first time out, you often discover it wasn’t at all as hard as you thought! Such is the case with the phobia many sewers have when it comes to inserting metal grommets. Since these are usually installed with large machines or grommet presses in commercial production, people think they can’t replicate the professional look at home. It's one of those sewing applications many simply refuse to attempt. Whether it’s the actual installation process, getting the spacing just right, cutting the holes in the fabric to the exact size, or all of the above, we're here to prove you can do this at home and get a professional result. We’ve installed a grommet or two (or 100) here in the Sew4Home studios and will share with you all we've learned. Besides... getting to use a hammer in the sewing process can be very therapeutic!

Soft Cross Body Bag with Decorative Stitch Strap: Janome Skyline S7

Wednesday, 04 November 2015 1:00

Sometimes you want structure and sometimes you want soft. With slicing winds, hammering rain, and sheets of ice, winter serves up enough hard edges. Treat yourself or a friend to this easy-going sling bag. Canvas and cotton with fusible fleece in between creates a durable yet flexible tote. A solid strap lets you wear it cross-body so your hands are free, and the bag is snug to your side when that wind kicks up. We used the decorative stitches on our Janome Skyline S7 to make a super stylish strap from simple twill tape.


Quilt Local by Heather Jones: Book Review & Giveaway

Tuesday, 03 November 2015 1:00


Quilting is all about personal style, and in this brand new book by our friend, Heather Jones, we see how that translates into "local" style. Quilt Local: Finding Inspiration in the Everyday is a beautiful book showing how ordinary items can become the spark for and basis of incredible quilt designs. Take a closer look at the crumbling brick wall you pass each morning on the way to school. Consider the intersecting lines of your neighbor's wrought iron fence. Glance up at the panes of glass that interlock to form the side of a skyscraper. Then... capture it in a quilt! As Heather says, "I truly believe that there is beauty everywhere, no matter the surroundings." We have a review of some of our favorite parts of the book, a few photos of local Portland, Oregon inspiration, and a chance for you to enter to win your own copy of Quilt Local.

Quilt Market 2015: Three Days of Overwhelming

Monday, 02 November 2015 1:00

O-ver-whelm-ing / adjective / to have a strong emotional effect. See also: dumbfounded, bowled over, left speechless. We've been to Quilt Markets in the past, but mostly the Spring Market that moves around the country to various venues. It had been quite a number of years since we'd been able to attend the big dog: the International Quilt Market, which takes place each October in Houston, Texas. We got to preview the latest fabric collections, try new products, reconnect with old friends, and meet new creative powerhouses. We've put together a quick tour-in-pictures of some highlights from our Three Days of O-ver-whelm-ing.

Happy Halloween Mystery Great Giveaway

Friday, 30 October 2015 1:00


Attention Sew4Home ghosts and goblins, our spooky Halloween Great Giveaway is back! We've put together a mystery treat box full of fabric, notions, and more. Who knows what may lurk inside?! Why all these treats and no tricks? It's our way of saying thanks for spreading the word about Sew4Home to your friends and families, encouraging them to become S4H followers. You are doing that, right? Because we'd hate to have to go back to tricks. 


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