All your Christmas Cats and Holiday Hounds can have their own sweet dreams of sugar plums (or jerky treats) in our ultra comfy pet bed. We selected two cozy coordinates: a bright Christmas green and a rich leopard print. The design incorporates four bolster pillows sewn onto a flat base with a separate tufted pillow insert. We noodled on this one for quite awhile to come up with instructions that yielded a cool finished design that was also easy to assemble. So although any three-dimensional project is a bit more complex than a flat item, this cozy pet bed is something we know you can do!
In my mind, Michele Muska is the Kevin Bacon of the sewing, quilting and craft world. If you're around this industry for any length of time, chances are good just seven degrees of separation will connect you in some way to Michele: you've heard of her, know someone else who knows her, or if you are very lucky, count her among your own friends. We are fortunate to fall into the third group, so we were thrilled and proud to watch the debut of her new book: Quilting the New Classics from Sixth & Spring Books. It's a unique approach to a quilting title, profiling ten classic quilt patterns, then showing how various quilters spun that classic into both a new traditional design and a modern interpretation. Read on to get a preview of the 20 projects, and enter to win your own copy.
Looking for a huggable holiday gift idea? Try one of our plush toy projects. Each one is more adorable than the next and downloadable patterns are available for all of them. We chose Fairfield's luxuriously silky Poly-Fil® Supreme Fiberfill as our stuffing. The texture of this fiber filling is wonderful for soft toys, plus it's washable and non-allergenic. Please note that several of the items shown have button eyes. They should be very securely stitched in place, but if you want to make one for a very young child, you may want to consider using appliquéd fabric circles instead of buttons.
It's time for a "can-you-believe-it" moment. Can you believe this fabulous tote is made from faux leather and designer vinyl? It is! Our friends at Fabric Depot wanted a project to show off the Clover Wonder Clips. One of the most common uses of the clips is as a substitute for pins when sewing with speciality fabrics. Pins can leave permanent holes in vinyl and faux leather, so clips are a better alternative. We found our beautiful fabrics from within the amazing selection available from Fabric Depot. Today's designer vinyls and faux leathers come in an incredible array of realistic textures, and in colors from the natural neutrals of real leathers to vibrant fashion tones, like bubblegum pink crocodile and tooled southwestern turqouise. If you haven't shopped for or worked with these substrates lately, you're in for a treat. The variety is amazing, it's soft, flexible and easy to sew, and that strong smell of the old-school vinyls is gone.
These days, when you can see six amazing things on YouTube before breakfast, it’s bold to use the word "wonder" in a product name. So when we got our hands on a set of Clover Wonder Clips from our friends at Fabric Depot, we wondered what could be so special about a little plastic clip to merit the W word in its name. Then we used them. Within minutes, we had to come up with a revised title for our review: To Have And To Hold: How Clover Wonder Clips Beat Pins And Make Sewing Easier.
"The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful." Problem is, you can only sing if you have enough wood to keep the fire burning bright. That's where our holiday firewood tote comes in... literally. Use it to haul in a generous load of wood. We used a double layer of tough indoor/outdoor fabric, which is not only sturdy, but also stain and water resistant. And those dowel-pocket handles look fancy, but are super easy to sew. This would be a great gift for all the lumberjacks on your list.
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.
This is a You Asked 4 It project that has been on our list for quite awhile. We finally found the perfect fabric to make it happen: Mod Pods in Mineral from the Home Décor Jacquard collection by Waverly Fabrics. It's soft yet stable in a great neutral with a subtle texture. The French Mattress Edge is actually a hand-stitching technique. It's not at all difficult, but you do need a longer, stronger needle and extra-strong upholstery thread for the best results.
We just finished putting the new Janome Skyline S5 through its paces. Make sure you check out our full review. But, of course, the very best way to find out if a machine is the new love of your life is to use it to make a full project. We chose a bold oversize clutch that could test a number of our favorite features, such as: layers, precision topstitching, tight corners, and decorative stitching.