I love those little emergency sewing kits they have at hotels. They're a life saver if you lose a button right before an important meeting or have another kind of "wardrobe malfunction." But I wouldn't dream of using them for my regular sewing – anymore than I'd open a hair salon that used only cute little hotel shampoos. However, for some sewers, especially beginning sewers, their set of tools is about at the same level as the free repair kit. If that's the case with you sewing basket, you have some shopping to do. Having better quality accessories and notions actually helps you achieve better results on your projects. It can make the difference between a project that was fun to create and you're proud to display, and one you feel like hurling out the window.
String style backpacks are everywhere for Fall, from ripstop athletic gear to high-end leather bags. They're compact and lightweight but can hold plenty. Ours is made in two bright fabrics from Ann Kelle's Beatbox collection for Robert Kaufman fabrics, which we found at Fabric.com. To give our design even more functionality, we added unique front crossover pockets, which create four individual sections to hold smaller items.
Decorative stitches are tiny pieces of thread art. Sometimes when I look at them, I can't believe a single threaded needle made such an intricate design. But even though I love them, I often forget to use them. We get so caught up in the seams of a project's construction, decorative stitches can get overlooked. We wanted a way to keep some of our favorite stitches top-of-mind, so we did a little decorative stitch sampler then framed it as sewing room artwork. Super fast, super simple, and the prefect colorful reminder.
The curved design of this toiletries travel bag reminds us of the classic Airstream trailers. It's an efficient a size and shape to hold all your bath necessities. We were inspired by the adorable postage theme ribbons by Jessica Jones for Renaissance Ribbons. The classic blue, crisp white and vivid red of the ribbons are echoed in the turquoise canvas we chose for the bag's base and the scarlet piping that outlines the front and back. And the fun metallic dots of the top cotton are like shiny round postmarks. This bag is bold, bright and brimming with personality. We can just hear it saying, "Take me traveling!"
When we're brainstorming on projects for our popular ScrapBusters series, we like to give you ideas for various sizes and shapes. That's the beauty of scraps: some are tall and narrow, some are short and squat, some are simply chunks and hunks of great color and design. They're all so pretty, and we saved them for a reason, right? Because we want to use them again! Dig down for the tall and narrow pieces in your scrap stash, fussy cut them to center the prettiest possible vertical motifs, then stitch them together into this striking table runner with a subtle ruffled edge.
"If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are heated, it will cool you; if you are depressed, it will cheer you; if you are excited, it will calm you."
–William Gladstone, British Prime Minister 1868-1894.
Mr. Gladstone had it right, tea time is always a good time. That's why we chose it as the theme for this pretty half apron with its elegant appliqué accents of a teapot, teacups and saucers, and teaspoons... everything you need for a lovely tea party. So fun to do, you'll want to make tea for two!
My brother made me laugh out loud when he said a "mug rug" sounded like a bad toupee for an ugly guy. Although a great guess, a mug rug is really a mini placemat designed to hold your coffee mug or tea cup and maybe an extra little treat, or... when placed by your sewing machine, a handy place to jab a few pins and needles as you sew. Originally, they came onto the scene as a fun excuse to use up some scraps by making an itty-bitty quilt. We took the mug rug concept a step further by turning it into a hand-sewn greeting card with the addition of our Salutation Strip through the center. Cards are a nice thought, but most eventually end up in the garbage can. Instead, create a Happy Birthday, Congratulations, Thank You or I Love You message with a purpose; an every day reminder to the recipient that they have a friend in you!
Mustangs are the beautiful wild horses of western North America. They are such a dramatic icon, in 1971 the United States Congress recognized the herds of mustangs as "living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West." We selected Melody Miller's striking Mustang collection as the feature fabric in today's handsome slim-style messenger bag. The collection is from the brand new Cotton + Steel company, a division of RJR Fabrics. Cotton + Steel hit the fabric world with a bang this Spring as one of the most anticipated collaborations in years. The company brings together the talents of Miller along with Rashida Coleman-Hale, Alexia Abegg, Kim Kight and Sarah Watts. Our thanks to Fabric.com for providing the Mustang fabric as well as the coordinating Cotton & Steel cotton for lining and the crisp navy twill of the exterior. It's a combo that's ready to hit the trail for back-to-school, back-to-work, or anywhere those wild horses pull your heart.
We've all seen this popular little clasp. It's the go-to closure on everything from casual backpacks to high-end handbags. As with anything that includes moving parts, and may involve tools to install, it can seem intimidating. You might opt instead for a simple button closure, a snap, or simply hope a flap stays put on its own. Here's the secret about this two-part lock: it's actually quite easy to put in. The key is confirming the placement of both halves, but that's just a matter of careful measuring and double-checking. So what are you waiting for? On the next project that features a flap or strap to secure – go pro with a tuck lock.
Someone told me the other day he believed money would soon become completely digital and we'd be trading electronic credits online. It's happening already to a limited extent with Bitcoins, but it still seems so sci-fi to me. I think I'll hold on to a wallet for now, like today's pretty version with multiple compartments for cash, coins and cards. I like having physical money with me; a couple paper dollars and some coins just makes me feel happy. I think it goes back to being a kid, when every hoarded dime and nickel put you that much closer to a giant gum ball from the shiny red dispenser. I still get a little thrill when I find a quarter in my coat pocket, although I worry what a gum ball would do now to my dental work.