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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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Mother's Day: Quick Gift - Tattered Flower Headband

Tuesday, 04 May 2010 9:00

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You're late, you're late for a very important date! Stumped for a quick gift for Mother's Day? Our Tattered Flower headband saves the day. I made this in about 30 minutes. But, it looks like I slaved for hours over the intricate triptych design, button embellishment and chic frayed-edge flowers. If asked, you're welcome to use any of those big words to describe how hard you worked on this gift as well.

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Mother's Day: Pretty Pleated Travel Pouch

Monday, 03 May 2010 9:00

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Mom's have stuff. Lots of stuff. It's a rule. Sometimes, we need to take our stuff from one place to another, in which case, we need a stuff-carrier... and we do not want to use a plastic baggie. This lovely pleated travel pouch is an elegant answer to a pressing need. It uses just tiny bits of fabric, so it's a great project to try out little fabric cuts or perhaps use up some scraps. Our design has an easy-to-insert top zipper, generous pleats on both sides and a luxurious satin charmeuse lining. I'm thinking... perhaps one for you AND one for Mom. I bet you have a bit o' stuff, too.

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Mother's Day: Spa Wrap

Friday, 30 April 2010 9:00

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This cozy terry cloth wrap will make Mom feel like she's at a luxury spa every time she steps out of the shower. We used extra-thirsty 100% cotton terry velour in a soft pink. The polka dot binding, flower accent and ribbon-edged pocket add the elements of style that make this such a perfect gift. Velcro as well as pretty ribbon straps keep everything in place... there'll be no awkward slipping, sliding, hiking and tugging with this wrap. Tuck in some pretty soaps or bath beads and you have a present that Mom will enjoy every day.

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Beyond the Basics: Specialty Rulers To Make Your Sewing Faster & More Accurate

Wednesday, 28 April 2010 9:00

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How many sewing rulers should you own? If you had asked me that when I first started sewing, I might have answered, "I dunno... maybe three." After you get a yardstick, a basic metal ruler and a tape measure, what else do you need? I have a sewing friend who probably owns more than 20 sewing rulers. I say "probably" because I lost count, and I don't think she really knows how many she has. Before you conclude she's either obsessive-compulsive or a shoplifter, you should know her projects turn out beautifully. The rulers are the reason.

Mother's Day: Charmeuse Satin Pillowcases with Velvet & Lace Trim

Tuesday, 27 April 2010 9:00

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They say sleeping on satin pillowcases helps keep wrinkles away. I say, "Sign me up for that one!" We thought these would make a perfect Mother's Day gift. They're quick to make, but look like the fancy cases that cost BIG bucks at the store. Mom will think you slaved away for days to create these just for her. She'll adore the luxurious feel of the satin charmeuse, and when you tell her that little tip about the wrinkles, I bet they become her favorite bedding faster than you can say "forty winks." And... no doubt you'll retain your title as Mom's Favorite!

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Retro Fun: Vintage Style Apron

Monday, 26 April 2010 9:00

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This apron is another Sew4Home design original, complete with a free downloadable pattern. Love, love, love the sweetheart neckline and matching mini-sweet pockets. And the happy bottom flounce will have you skipping around your kitchen, just like when you used to twirl in your big-girl-fancy-party-dress... oh, don't even try to tell me you didn't do that! The Simply Sweet floral fabric has the perfect vintage feel, while the big polka dot accents add a modern zing. Clever knotted ties allow infinite adjustability for the neck and waist so you can make a Retro Fun: Vintage Style Apron for every shape and size of family member and friend.

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Retro Fun: Reversible Breakfast Tablecloth

Friday, 23 April 2010 9:00

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'Gee, Mrs. Cleaver, I love your tablecloth.' 'Thank you, Eddie. But you'll still need to drop that waffle and back away.' (No, Leave It to Beaver fans, I made that up!) This delightful reversible tablecloth is two-two-two tablecloths in one. The top is created with three fabrics from Barbara Jones' Simply Sweet collection. The back is a soft egg-yolk yellow with an accent kick of Simply Sweet for the flounces. Each corner comes together like a perfect four-way intersection... without the stop sign, of course. The blend of vintage patterns and colors makes me want a bowl of Maypo or, at the very least, some Ovaltine .

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