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We use binding on many projects here at Sew4Home, and we always get lots of compliments about how nice it looks. We also get lots of questions about how we managed to pull that off! So, we decided to write a comprehensive binding tutorial you can refer to over and over. We cover how to cut your binding fabric, which way to press it, how to join it at the ends, and how to actually sew it to your project. If you're an "old hand" at the binding biz, this will be a nice refresher. If you're brand new, we encourage you to take each part of the process step by step. Before you know it, you'll be an "old hand" too.
One of the common areas of sewing frustration, especially if you're new, is the corner. Those pesky four corners create any square or rectangular item, like the home décor standard: the pillow! In reality, any time you sew two pieces together then turn them right side out, that turned-out seam becomes the clean, finished edge you ( and everyone else) will see. The number one goal when sewing a corner is to be precise. You must stop and pivot at the exact point where the seam allowances on the two sides intersect. This precision stitching, when combined with proper trimming of the excess fabric from the seam allowance, will create a beautiful sharp point and smooth edge every time.
We recently ran a Great Giveaway in which we asked our S4H friends and fans to come up with unique ways to use Moda's toweling: 16" wide, pre-hemmed panels in 100% cotton. There were some really fun ideas from kitchen linens to totes to garments, and it got our own wheels turning. We pushed our thinking out of the box and dreamed BIG. What if we looked at the toweling as long finished panels rather than little, bitty cuts? Bingo! We designed a twin duvet cover and bed skirt combo that makes full use of those wonderful pre-hemmed sides. If you're a regular visitor to Sew4Home you might be surprised by our all-natural color theme. We needed the neutral palette so the duvet and skirt could act as a backdrop for piles of pillows and stacks of throws as we got my home studio ready for a photo shoot with Where Women Create magazine!
If you hang out with us here at Sew4Home on a regular basis, you know we love aprons! We've done retro aprons, hostess aprons, mom and daughter matching aprons, BBQ aprons and more, but when we received a recent email from a S4H fan, we realized we'd left someone out! You Asked 4 It ... and today, we have a great boy's apron for the little chefs in your kitchen. Of course, you're welcome to make it for any culinary kid, but we styled it to be boy-friendly. It's modeled on the classic long French Chef's apron, and we used a trio of fun 5 Funky Monkeys fabric from Moda, courtesy of our friends at Fat Quarter Shop.
You see their logos every day on our site, but who are the people behind those sponsor icons? We thought it was high time our Sew4Home friends and fans got to know a little bit about the great people and companies who support us, and make it possible for us to continue to bring you projects, techniques, giveaways and more all FREE of charge! Janome America is a charter sponsor of Sew4Home, which means they have been here from the get-go. This has been an incredible advantage for us; being able to create all our projects on Janome machines makes everything faster and easier, with incredible stitch quality every time. One of my favorite Janome slogans is: "The easier the tools, the more creative you become." It's so true! When you know you don't have to worry about a machine's precision or power, sewing is frustration-free. We were fortunate to get some time to talk with the head of Janome America, Toshi Takayasu. With 20+ years at Janome, in Japan and around the globe, Toshi is very serious about the sewing industry, yet he is also a delightful man with many interesting stories. He opened up to us about the differences and similarities he has observed in the many different countries in which he's lived, the new opportunities he sees for blending sewing with the world of crafting, and a particularly wild dinner menu in the Northern Territory of Australia.
One of our very favorite Storage Solutions patterns gets a update as the world's cutest sewing basket. We designed this version with shorter sides for easy access to the inside, then added pockets all around for tools and notions. The Hello Kitty® cotton canvas fabric came to us courtesy of our good friends at CityCraft . It's the perfect weight of fabric for the job and absolutely adorable. To really send the cute factor through the roof, we created a matching Hello Kitty® pincushion that can be made for your leftover scraps. Embroider eyes and a nose for her face and the pins become her whiskers. This would make the perfect organizer for your beginning sewer, but everybody loves Hello Kitty®, so it's really perfect for anyone... including YOU! Stay tuned this week, because there's a BIG Hello Kitty® surprise coming this Friday from our friends and sponsoring partners: Janome America .
This clever idea of how to strengthen and 'makeover' existing cloth grocery bags came to us from a member of our own creative sample-sewing team: Julia Chapman. Julia developed this idea during the recent holiday season and made a few as gifts for friends. She now has folks clamoring for more, and she generously shared the idea with us so we could share it with you. The idea is to double up bags, resulting in a new bag strong enough to carry very heavy loads. Pretty accent panels and handy pockets (wallet and keys on the inside, shopping list on the outside) are icing on the functional and fashionable cakes. I bought new bags, but you could certainly up-cycle your existing bags to give them a needed boost of capacity and cuteness.
THIS CONTEST ENDED 03/02/12. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO ENTERED!
I was first introduced to Angela Walters at Spring Quilt Market last year, but not before the person I was with started pointing wildly in all directions to quilts Angela had done. Her amazing free-motion quilting work seemed to be proudly on display in every booth in the near vicinity. I was bowled over. In fact, I think my mouth literally dropped open. Then, up walked Angela. How did this cute young woman standing in front of me finish all these different quilts?! She shrugged and smiled, as if not understanding that the speed, skill and style of her free-motion work was keeping my mouth hanging open. Once I regained my composure, we stayed in touch, and I was thrilled to hear she has a book coming out soon, Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters. It was the perfect time to introduce our Sew4Home friends to her, so you can learn a little more about that signature speed, skill and style, pick up a few tips in a free-motion mini-tutorial from Angela herself and enter to win a fun Kona Cotton giveaway from Angela and her pals at Robert Kaufman (Angela does all the quilting for Kaufman's quilt samples and used their beautiful solids for many of the samples in her book).