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How to Apply Metal Snaps to Fabric

Wednesday, 16 June 2010 10:00

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For some sewing applications, there's nothing that works quite as well as a metal snap. They're easier to use than buttons and more durable than Velcro. That's why they're used in everything from mountain climbing jackets, to yacht covers, to baby clothes. Just think how long it would take an NBA player to jump up from the bench and get into the game, if he didn't have "quick release" sweat pants with snaps running up both sides. He'd probably fall into the stands trying to pull his sweats off over those big shoes. Installing snaps is pretty simple. You just take a series of tiny metal rings (which can be set up twenty wrong ways and only one right way) line them up within a millimeter of perfection, and then crush the whole assemblage together as hard as you can through several layers of fabric. What could possibly go wrong?

Father's Day: Pendleton Wool Spirit of the Peoples Messenger Bag

Monday, 14 June 2010 9:00

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Do you have a dapper-dad-on-the-go? Then he'll love this wool messenger bag made from the classic Pendleton Indian design: Spirit of the Peoples. There are tons of messenger bags and casual briefcases out there, but we bet none are as unique or fashionable as this one. Besides, we have it on good authority that if you get him another tie this year, he's writing you out of the will! This project is more complex that most of the tutorials here at Sew4Home. But don't let it scare you away. We've written very detailed instructions and included lots of great pictures. I'm confident YOU are up to the task, but one word of warning: make sure your machine is up to the task as well.

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Whimsy: EZ Pre-Quilted Baby Blanket

Friday, 11 June 2010 9:00

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Love, love, love this double-faced, pre-quilted fabric from Joanna Figueroa's Whimsy collection for Moda Fabrics. There are two, reversible patterns to choose from. We selected the option with Whimsy Vintage Flash Cards in Milk on the front and Whimsy Dot in Milk on the back. Then we trimmed the whole thing with coordinating Whimsy Ric Rac Stitching in Multi. I used a fancy decorative stitch to attach my binding, which takes a little longer to stitch, but adds an extra-special touch. Since all you do for the center of the blanket is cut a square, and the binding is a faux-mitered technique, this blanket is SO easy, I even simplified the name to: EZ!

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Love That Fabric: June

Thursday, 10 June 2010 9:00

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This month's selection of fabrics is very summery, warm and luxurious. Right after Quilt Market, we see so many gorgeous new collections that narrowing our picks is not easy. It's a terrific time to look for lovely new fabrics like the ones we've chosen. These collections are either fresh in inventory at your favorite fabric shops or will be very soon. We're always interested to know what new fabrics are catching your eye.

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Donna Babylon: Quick Tip – Joining Fabric Widths to Make an Extra Wide Panel

Wednesday, 09 June 2010 9:00

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I call it, 'The Great Divide.' Your window valance needs to be 82" wide, but your home decor fabric is only 54" wide. If you just sew an additional 28" onto one side, that'll make the fabric's design repeat look totally wacky. So... do you put off sewing the valance until they come out with 82" wide fabric? No, because then you'd also have to give up sewing duvet covers, curtains, slip covers and anything else requiring fabric wider than what comes off the bolt. It's time to ask our friend, and home décor expert, Donna Babylon. She explains that when you join fabric widths to make an extra wide panel, you need to make sure it's added to either side of the center fabric piece and it's done symmetrically – the same on both sides of the center point.

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What To Look For In A Quilting Thread

Tuesday, 08 June 2010 9:00

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If you ask traditional quilters about quilt finishing or quilting (finishing is the fancy term for creating stitches all over the quilt top to keep the layers together), they will most likely tell you the threads used for finishing should match the fibers used in the quilt itself. So, if your quilt is made of cotton fabric, all of the thread used to hold it together should also be cotton. This is good advice if you're planning to make a quilt that can stand up to a large amount of wear and tear. There are, however, a wide range of really fun textures and colors of thread available, and part of the fun of sewing is trying new things!

Father's Day: Pendleton Wool Chinook Stadium Blanket with Canvas Tote

Monday, 07 June 2010 9:00

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Dad will love this big, warm Pendleton wool blanket with its own handy canvas tote. It's the perfect compact companion to take to his favorite sporting event. The Chinook pattern is a Pendleton classic, an authentic Indian design adapted from petroglyphs found in the Columbia Gorge. When the weather breaks or the game is over, roll up the blanket, wrap it and latch it, and he's good to go. Dad could even use it to wave over his head when celebrating a touchdown or goal... in the event he's left his giant foam finger at home.

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Whimsy: Charm Pack Baby Quilt

Friday, 04 June 2010 9:00

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We've had quite a few requests for more quilts and have a number of them planned in the coming weeks. Today's uses Fig Tree's nostalgic Whimsy fabric collection by Joanna Figueroa for Moda in a handy pre-cut Charm Pack. Coordinating Whimsy yardage and Bella Solids make up the back, sashing and binding. Even if you've never quilted before, you'll find this to be a very simple design in a very manageable baby size. One tiny disclaimer: quilting is known to be addictive and an adorable baby quilt like this could easily be a 'gateway project.' We take no responsibility for turning you or a family member into a wild-eyed quilting maniac with boxes of scraps hidden all over the house.

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How To Work With And Select Outdoor-Safe Fabrics

Thursday, 03 June 2010 9:00

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When I was first introduced to outdoor sewing, I have to admit I wasn't very enthusiastic about it. (And, no, I didn't think it meant taking my sewing machine outside.) Why would I want to put all the time and effort into sewing home décor items and then leave them outside in the weather? I'd seen what happens to cloth items that get left out on the deck overnight. I was missing an important piece of information. There is a whole array of great looking fabric designed to be left outside. They're called... wait for it... outdoor fabrics. If we can put a man on the moon, we can make great looking fabric that doesn't mind being outside.

Summer Fun: Babylon Flip Flop Pillows

Wednesday, 02 June 2010 9:00

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You can't welcome the arrival of spring and summer weather without flip flops! Bring the fun inside with one of these super cute flip flop pillows from our friend, Donna Babylon. Ya know, I just gotta say... back in the day, we called this particular type of footwear: 'thongs.' I can't tell you the gales of laughter this brings from my kids when I accidentally slip and still call them this. It's similar to the reaction I get talking about records and/or rotary dial phones. Read on to learn Donna's secrets for a smooth, full and fabulous pillow.

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