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Re-make & Re-use: Napkins to Go from Dad's Old Shirts

Tuesday, 18 May 2010 9:00

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This very unique Re-make & Re-use project comes to us from Julia Chapman, a new member of our Sew4Home seamstress team. She developed the idea for a benefit in which all the items for sale had to be an ‘upcycle' product of one kind or another. We love cloth napkins here at S4H, but had never seen any made from old shirts, let alone with their own handy carrying case. There are racks and racks of men's short sleeve shirts at thrift and second hand stores... and probably in your own closets. Colors and patterns that might be too wild to wear would be perfect as napkins.

Moda's Ruffled Jelly Roll Table Runner

Monday, 17 May 2010 9:00

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This terrific table runner combines two of 2010's top trends: the color turquoise and ruffles. Hats off to our new friend, Angela Yosten; a web developer for Moda Fabrics, United Notions and Moda Bake Shop... as well as a very creative blogger under the name, Moda Home Mom. We met Angela recently while setting up our designer relationship with Moda Fabrics. She was very enthusiastic about our Turquoise 2010 series and had a great idea for a table runner, using a Moda pre-cut Jelly Roll. Angela's designs have been featured on many popular blogs and sites, and we are thrilled she wanted to share one with us. We'll be returning the favor very soon – be looking for a Sew4Home pre-cut project to be featured on Moda Bake Shop.

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Black & White Pillow Pile: Six-Cornered Tassel Treat

Friday, 14 May 2010 9:00

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You know what's cool about pillows? You can take one design, and by simply changing up the fabric, get a completely different look. That's what we've done with this stunning hexagonal pillow. We've used this style of pillow a couple times before, but you'd never know it. Our black and white version features a coordinating linen back and Extreme Fussy Cutting (similar to what those daring skateboarders do, but you're less likely to fall) to create a beautiful flower in the center of the pillow... complete with a contrasting linen covered button as the flower's center point. Pretty tassels finish the high-end designer look.

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Black & White Pillow Pile: Eiffel Tower Pom-Pom

Thursday, 13 May 2010 9:00

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Did you know the Eiffel Tower was built as the entrance arch for the 1889 World's Fair? Its graceful lattice ironwork has attracted visitors for 121 years. I wonder if our beautiful Eiffel Tower Pom Pom Pillow with its tufted center and covered buttons will last that long? This is a super-simple pillow, but the finished look is one that would go for BIG bucks at stores and in catalogs. You can make one for a fraction of retail, and it will be unique to you. Vive l'Pillow!

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Black & White Pillow Pile: Double-Flange Bolster

Wednesday, 12 May 2010 9:00

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To ‘bolster' means to uphold or add support, as in, 'They bolstered morale by serving large pieces of free cake to everyone.' The etymology originates in the world of pillows (a very, cushy world), where a bolster is a long, narrow pillow, often used to support the back or neck. Our black, white and linen version finishes at over 30" long and makes a dramatic statement across a bed or against the back of a couch. The flanged ends are an intricate-looking detail, but our step-by-step instructions make them easy to create.

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Black & White Pillow Pile: Lovely Pleated Lumbar

Tuesday, 11 May 2010 9:00

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Patty thought pleats were pleasing and so put plenty on her projects. I think pleats are one of the coolest ways to add a bit o' pizazz. I still have to pause and really think them through every time I start, but as soon as they're pinned in place, I look again and it's like, 'Duh! That was easy.' So don't you be put off by pleats. We have easy step-by-step directions, and throw in a few diagrams and plenty of pictures for good measure. The combination of the pleats with the natural linen and Michael Miller's bold black and white accent fabric makes a very elegant statement. I think the statement would be, 'Good gracious that's a lovely pillow. I think I'll make one for me.'

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Black & White Pillow Pile: Squares & Stripes

Monday, 10 May 2010 9:00

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One of the most classic decorating palettes is black and white. It never goes out of style and is anything but 'basic.' The combination can look crisp and casual or sophisticated and stylish. Black is a color that anchors and grounds; in fact, any room will benefit with a bit of black to add definition to its focal point color. We have a whole week of beautiful black and white pillows for you, starting today with our extra-large Squares & Stripes. Its dramatic pinwheel center is achieved with clever cutting and careful seaming.

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Retro Fun: Fancy Border Tea Towels

Friday, 07 May 2010 9:00

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As with so many things ‘tea related,' the Tea Towel comes to us by way of Great Britain where it originated as a special drying cloth for expensive tea services. Linen was the fabric of choice because its smooth, simple weave was unlikely to scratch fine china or glass. Servants were usually charged with hand hemming and embroidering the tea towels. Their embellishment ranged from simple hand stitching to extremely intricate embroidery. Besides drying, the towels were also often used as a cozy – wrapped around a tea pot, or as a basket warmer – wrapped around or laid on top of a serving bowl to keep scones, cakes and biscuits warm. Our Retro Fun Tea Towels with their fancy Simply Sweet fabric borders are more casual than their noble ancestors, but are still a wonderful addition to any kitchen and a perfect gift for a wedding shower or house warming.

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An Interview with Fabric Designer, Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts

Thursday, 06 May 2010 9:00

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The Sew4Home community (that's you!) has really enjoyed the designer profiles we've done so far with Patty Young and Paula Prass. We love them too. It lets us a peek into some very creative worlds. This time, we turn the tables a bit, and instead of talking with someone whose fabric we've already used in our S4H projects, we introduce you to Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts. We have a number of awesome projects upcoming with fabrics from two of her collections, Fresh Cottons and Whimsy. Joanna took time out of her VERY busy schedule to chat with us, and you, about home décor sewing, the inspiration behind her fabric design, her books on quilts and vintage sewing, and how, as a very little girl, she once sewed buttons on the the clothes of all her fellow passengers on an International flight. She'd never get the needle on board today!

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Retro Fun: Kitchen Curtains with Gingham Bows

Wednesday, 05 May 2010 9:00

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Curtain panels are a perfect beginner project. They're fast, super simple, and you get a great sense of satisfaction when you hang them up and instantly transform your window from plain and boring to pretty and bright. Our Retro Fun curtains combine two great vintage fabrics from Barbara Jones' Simply Sweet collection plus the ultimate retro touch: red gingham bows. Gingham and polka dots and pretty flowers... it's such a happy combination, I feel like breaking into a few stanzas of Perry Como's 1951 classic Zing Zing Zoom Zoom . Who wants to sing along??

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