Today's pretty pouch is created in a wonderful textured fabric trio of twill, faux suede, and brushed cotton gingham. Darts in the bottom give the pouch a roomy base, and the zippered top opens wide so you can easily load it up with all the extras you need for a weekend getaway, a trip to the gym, or simply drop into your favorite handbag. The faux suede stripe through the middle adds to both style and texture and is the perfect background for our snazzy monogram.
You may be familiar with darts as those pointy things you throw at a dartboard on the wall of your favorite pub. Although they don't fly, darts in sewing are still vital components of the overall sewn project. For the most part, sewing darts look quite similar to their gaming counterpart. They are wide on one end and pointy on the other. Pub darts are all about a smooth trajectory and pinpoint accuracy. Sewing darts are also big on smooth lines and precise points, but their function is all about shape. No matter what kind of sewing you do, sooner or later, you will likely have to sew a dart. Throwing darts... you can do on your own time.
You never know when or where you'll be when a nap needs to happen. Our clever portable "sleep set" is a great way to always be ready. We've created a lightweight drawstring bag that holds a matching pillow and bound fleece blanket. Toss the bag in the car for longer road trips. Send it off to pre-school for daily rest time. Keep one at Grandma's for napping emergencies. Better still... make one for yourself, because we all know naps are wasted on the young!
Everyone loves a fast and easy project, and these pretty pillowcases fit the bill! A new pillowcase is a great way to freshen a set of bed linens. Kids are especially happy to rest their sleepy heads on pillows covered in fun fabric. We used the Playful collection by Melody Miller for Cotton + Steel Fabrics, which has a sweetly nostalgic theme. How many of you out there still remember how to play pick-up-sticks or jacks? These classic games require absolutely no button pushing or candy crushing. Just good, clean fun - kind of like making a set of pillowcases.
It's time for a spot of tea. Did you know to properly brew a pot o' tea, you should first warm the teapot by swooshing a bit of boiling water inside it. Then, pour the water into your teacups to warm them. Add teabags for your preferred strength (from two to four for a standard four-cup pot). Fill the pot with boiling water, stir, and let the tea steep for about 4-5 minutes. It's during this steeping time when you can run into trouble with the tea cooling too fast. So, pop on a cozy to keep things toasty while the tea is brewing. It will also help keep your tea warm between cups. We have pattern downloads for the cozy itself as well as the cute teapot appliqué.
One of the great things about the sewing and quilting community is just that: community. The connections we make with others who love to create are always inspirational and fun. Heather Jones is someone we met years ago, and who we've been thrilled to watch develop into one of the brightest stars in the world of Modern Quilting. Heather has a great love and respect for the traditional art of quilting, is an avid collector of vintage quilts, and loves to bring a modern twist to traditional patterns. We feel very special and lucky that she found the time to create this awesome Guest Tutorial on one of her specialties: Straight Line Quilting.
We're continuing our fun working with the beautiful fabric options in Tula Pink's latest collection for FreeSpirit Fabrics: Elizabeth. Owing to the collection's name, our apron has a certain Elizabethan flair. In researching the best elements to add the flavor of this dramatic era, we came across an interesting tidbit. In 1574, the Parliament of England passed separate laws called "sumptuary laws" to govern the ways of dressing. Clothes with gold were reserved for the Queen and her relations. Only the royals were allowed to wear clothes trimmed with ermine. And you had to have some level of nobility to sport clothes constructed from velvet, satin and silk or trimmed with fox and otter. Peasants were restricted to dresses made of cotton, leather and wool. Today, you can make your outfits from anything you'd like. With this apron, we of course recommend the quality cottons of FreeSpirt Fabrics. We also suggest whipping up some hot cross buns whilst wearing it.
Monogrammed towels are one of life's little luxuries, but for a bit more playful option, try appliqué. The letter(s) can be larger than a traditional monogram and the colors and patterns brighter. It's a great use for some of those pretty scraps hiding in your stash bin. Make a set for your family to help distinguish which towel belongs to which dripping wet person. Bath linens also make an excellent gift for showers, weddings and housewarmings – especially when you can not only personalize the colors, but also the fabric to fit the recipient's decorating theme, hobby or even a favorite sport's team.
It's the classic special touch: adding a little something on top. For instance, pie is great. Pie with whipped cream is awesome. A beautiful blend of fabrics in a simple patchwork pattern is always good. Overlaying that patchwork with embroidery can be great. It's a simple way to make a stunning statement.
Beads are a wonderful embellishment. They add dimension and texture and color in one fell swoop. But my-oh-my, putting them on can be a struggle and a half. Hand sewing in an option, if you have a few spare days. And machine sewing can be like trying to ride your bike over a field of BBs (no... I haven't actually done that, but I know it would be tricky and very slippery). Luckily for me (and my bicycle), our friends at Janome have a cool set of presser feet made exactly for what we want to do: quickly attach strands of beads of various widths. Can a glittering gown for next year's Oscars be far behind?!