We love the idea of concealing a cutting-edge electronic device inside a vintage wrapper. Our Double Zipper Device Sleeve combines three nostaligic prints from the wonderful Eclectic Elements series by Tim Holtz for Coats. There's a great old-fashioned ticking stripe together with a print made up of old-school rulers and tapes. The lining print is a cool collage of vintage labels and pen and ink illustrations. Three generous pockets can hold a selection of devices. The inner sleeve is sized to easily accommodate a Nook®, Kindle® or iPad® Mini. Two 7" x 7" outer pockets can fit the smaller Nook® or your smart phone. The front pocket can be completely sealed with a zipper, so it could also hold a wallet and keys. Or... go ahead and push against the electronic grain by tucking an actual printed book or notepad into one of the compartments! Fusible fleece between the layers keeps everything soft yet stable. So many options in one convenient bag.
What does a throw pillow want to be when it grows up? Probably a super soft body pillow that offers four and a half feet of huggability. These tall pillows are popular for crashing on the family room floor, relaxing (I mean studying) in a dorm room, and are well known for providing sleep support for pregnant moms. We loved the blanket style fleece patterns we found at Fabric.com from Windham fabrics, which have the look of the famous Pendleton® wool blankets... but for a fraction of the price.
Wreaths are always a popular decorating accent, whether for a special holiday or to brighten up every day. We just reviewed the fun you can have making poms with the Clover Pom Pom Makers. But now... what to do with all our pretty little poms? A colorful wreath was just the ticket. This is a great weekend project to do with the kids. The poms are fun to make for all ages. Put those nimble little fingers to work wrapping, fluffing and stringing a mini pom garland. Remember to review our how-to tutorial before you start for hints and tips to make the perfect pom.
Fluffy poms are great for any number of projects. We've used them to add extra whimsy to an already fun project, as well as to juxtapose a bit of casualness against the elegance of fine cotton or velvet - kind of like wearing Converse® high-tops with a tuxedo. A little bit of levity can add just the right touch. Whether you need one great pom or dozens, a Clover Pom-Pom Maker simplifies the task, and each one will be as perfectly puffy as the next. Fabric Depot carries a full selection of Clover Pom-Pom makers and provided them for our tutorial. Find some yarn and get ready to get fluffy.
Just like a fresh coat of paint can transform a room, brand new fabric can completely change the look of a project. These adorable heart sachets were originally done in sweet quilting cottons, using the traditional soft pinks, reds and greens of dainty Valentine prints. 5" x 5" charm pack squares made it very easy to mix and match each beautiful blend. For our R&R version, we decided on a rustic theme, using a collection of heavier scraps in linen, ticking, muslin and twill. Maybe the S4H super-fans out there can ID the past projects from which the scraps came! Faux mother-of-pearl buttons centered on wool felt flowers add just the right texture as the sachet's center embellishment.
Two hearts are always better than one, and our heart shaped oven mitts are the perfect pair. Designed to complement the recent Re-imagine & Renovate version of our pretty Heart & Ruffle Apron, these mitts slip on to your hands to give you a protected yet flexible grip for hot pots and pans. Patterns are offered for both the full heart shape as well as the unique curved pockets. A diamond quilting pattern secures the insulating layers of fabric, thermal batting, and regular batting, but you could alter the quilting pattern to best suit your fabric's motif and your personal style.
Some projects debut in such pretty fabric combinations, it can be a quite awhile before we come across another option we think can give the original a run for its money. But that's the whole idea behind our ongoing Re-imagine & Renovate series: to bring forward a favorite classic project for another look, in new fabric and with a new spin. Today we went from a bold damask in bright orange sherbet and candy pink to a delicate, lacy design in soft, chalky pastels. Recollection by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics is an eclectic collection with hints of artisanal techniques, like lacework, embroidery, stenciling, and tapestry.
Remember how scary it was to raise your hand in school and ask what you feared would be a "stupid" question? Hopefully we've moved beyond that childhood fear. Questions are great because they lead to answers, and answers are meant to be shared. Today's quick measuring tip came from a question in a visitor's email. Someone needed help figuring out what all those tiny marks are on a standard tape measure. We deal in fractions every day and are forever measuring quarters and eighths and sixteenths and whatnot. It all seems second nature to us! But when we stepped back and looked at our trusty tape with the eyes of someone brand new to sewing, we saw this question was indeed quite valid... there are a lot of marks with no identification. We came up with three handy charts to help decipher those little black lines. Download them to keep handy at your sewing station as quick reference tools.
On the quilting "Easy-ness Scale," the rag quilt ranks right at the top. It's sewn with the seams exposed, and the whole idea is to create a softly rumpled, very cuddly, wrap-me-up-now result. There are several rag quilts in our archives, but for this Re-imagine & Renovate version, we chose a full size, 60" x 60" version. We found a perfect fabric to create the rustic look of a traditional rag quilt: the Handcrafted collection by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics. Very different from most traditional quilting cottons, it's created entirely by hand. The process is a new interpretation of the ancient wax resist, fabric dying art form of batik. We felt the result gave the fabric the look of hand silk-screened fabrics: looser, more free-form and with deeply saturated pigments. It was absolutely spot-on for a colorful rag quilt.
I still remember the first sewing machine I bought with a full compliment of decorative stitches. I was in seventh heaven. It felt like the same unbridled choice as when you open a fresh box of 64 crayons. Variety unleashed! But we often get so busy with the construction process, we forget about all those great stitches. Not today! Most machines have at least some decorative stitches, many of them, like our wonderful Janome studio machines, have hundreds! This pillow project gives you three different decorative stitching options to try, and we've included three template downloads to re-create our exact designs. There are random intersecting lines, which allow you to mix and match a variety of stitches. Our starburst showcases the option to program stitches, creating what appears to be individual dots. And finally, we give you the steps to stitch a spiral, using a padded satin stitch in variegated thread. It's all to encourage you to take advantage of your patiently-waiting decorative stitches... or maybe it's time to look for a new model with even more selection.