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Patio Party: Festive Pennant Banner

Tuesday, 14 July 2009 9:00

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We always like to have at least one project that makes use of leftover fabric scraps. For our Patio Party, we created this fun party banner. Just print out the provided pennant shapes and cut out as many as you'd like from your available scraps. All you'll need to buy is a length of cording, and, if you want, colorful beads to string in between the pennants. It's a great green alternative to traditional crepe paper.

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Patio Party: Sitting Pretty Chair Cushions

Monday, 13 July 2009 9:00

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Your Patio Party guests will stay longer if they have somewhere soft and pretty to sit. Give your chairs comfort and style with a set of custom seat cushions. Outdoor furniture often comes with a set of basic cushions, but the standard colors are pretty bland and boring. It's much more fun to mix and match colorful fabrics to create a unique seating experience.

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Crazy Patch Pillow with Bow

Friday, 10 July 2009 9:00

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Crazy patch quilting incorporates small scraps of many different fabrics into one block. It came into vogue in Victorian times as a way for ladies to show off their needlework skills whilst passing the time in their parlors. The parlor went out of style along with the bustle (and the word "whilst"), but crazy patch quilting remains a terrific way to use lots of different fabric scraps in one project. This is a great project for incorporating old silk ties or bits of worn-out corduroy pants.

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How to Create a Fabric Palette

Thursday, 09 July 2009 10:00

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I can't even begin to guess how many different fabrics there are in the world. Of course, any fabric can be used by itself, but fantastic results can be achieved by mixing different patterns and colors together. Now, if that seems out of your comfort zone, here's a tip: the easiest way to start mixing patterns is to choose from a fabric designer's collection made specifically for mixing. You'll look like a pro on day one!

Patio Party: Round-Table Wedge Placemats

Wednesday, 08 July 2009 10:00

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Rectangular placemats fit great on a square or rectangular table. But a lot of outdoor furniture sets feature round tables. This is one of those "square peg in a round hole" problems. Our project will help you make trapezoidal placemats, which fit nicely together when placed around a circular table. The sewing is the same as a rectangular placemat, but the shape gives a beautiful effect for each place setting. Your guests will be impressed – especially your seventh grade math teacher.

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Patio Party: Strips & Stripes Tablecloth

Tuesday, 07 July 2009 10:00

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The book of Classic Picnic Decorating says one must always default to the red and white checked tablecloth. We say, 'to heck with that.' Besides, there's no such book! Instead, we invite you to create your own vibrant and stylish table covering. Our instructions will help you make a banded tablecloth that uses three different printed fabrics. The unique ties at the corners look great and foil the wind by helping secure the table cloth to the table.

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Understanding Interfacings

Friday, 03 July 2009 9:00

Click to EnlargeIt’s tempting to skip it, but it’s a lot like the difference between a nicely toned body and one that isn’t. Just like you can skip exercising, you can skip interfacing. But, it won’t be a secret. Which reminds me... I need to go for a jog!

Interfacing is a textile that is either sewn in or fused on using a steam iron, between layers of fabric, to give it structure and body. Interfacing in itself is not very exciting, but it is one of the keys to achieving a professional look to your project. If you are new to sewing, you may never have run across interfacing because it’s not something that shows when your project is done. Most familiar to people is the way a dress shirt has a more substantial collar, placket and cuff. That smooth crispness comes from the interfacing hidden inside. Without interfacing, collars and cuffs would be limp and buttons and buttonholes would rip.

How to Make a Simple Hem

Thursday, 02 July 2009 9:00

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Every athlete knows it all comes down to the finish. It's the same with sewing – just not as sweaty. A smooth, beautiful hem makes everything look better and more professional. The simplest of hems is the double-turn hem, which you can use on almost any edge where you want an easy, clean finish.

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