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Simply Color by Vanessa Christenson for Moda: Foldaway Shopping Bag with Carrying Case

Thursday, 13 September 2012 3:00

Reusable shopping bags are everywhere these days. In fact, in many towns and cities, plastic and even paper bags are simply no longer available in the check-out line. I love the sturdy fabric grocery totes you normally come across, and we've made a number of them here at Sew4Home (I've included links below). The only problem with the larger, heavier bags is remembering to bring them with you to the store! Today's final project in our Simply Color series with Vanessa Christenson and Moda Fabrics is a set of foldaway bags in their own carrying case. It's compact enough (just 5" x 7" x 2") to throw in your purse or keep in the car's glove box. But it still holds two generously-sized shopping duffles that will carry an amazing amount of stuff! The carrying case even has a handy front pocket to hold a shopping list, cards, keys and more.

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Simply Color by Vanessa Christenson for Moda: Pretty Pinboard

Wednesday, 12 September 2012 3:00

People in general, and kids in particular, generate lots of bits and pieces of stuff: important forms, special coupons, lucky tickets, keys to long forgotten locks... there really isn't another word for it. If you look up "stuff" in the dictionary, there's probably a picture of the top of your desk! Keep your counters and other work surfaces tidier and your stuff more organized with a pretty framed pinboard. We found our simple white frame at a local craft store, however, you could also look at second hand shops or garage sales for old framed art; remove the art and replace it with your cool pinboard. The project uses just four Fat Quarters to create the front panels and pockets, and thanks to the variety within the Simply Color Collection by Vanessa Christenson for Moda, we had plenty of colors and patterns to choose from to perfectly match our décor. 

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Simply Color by Vanessa Christenson for Moda: How to Fussy Cut Fabric Motifs & More

Tuesday, 11 September 2012 3:00

There’s something about the word fussy that sounds negative. We assume it means someone or something is being difficult, like a toddler turning up her nose at broccoli or the lawnmower that won't start unless you first pull the cord halfway and stand on one foot. But, words mean different things depending on the occasion, and in the world of sewing, fussy can be a compliment and a fussy cut is a beautiful thing. 

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Simply Color by Vanessa Christenson for Moda: Coin Purse

Monday, 10 September 2012 3:00

If we must say so ourselves (and sometimes we must), these little coin purses are about as adorable as they come! Not only do they get five stars on the cuteness chart, they are super easy to make. Make one for yourself (because you deserve it!), then make a bundle for your friends. They are the perfect fast and fun gift. Fill them with coins and gift cards, tasty treats or other little goodies. The happy colors and patterns of Simply Color by Vanessa Christenson for Moda Fabrics are mix-and-match heaven. We selected motifs in Sweet Tangerine, Eggplant and Lime green for our coin purse trio. We have eye-poppin' colors and patterns for the exteriors and an awesome matching chevron stripe on the inside of all three to tie them together as a set. Spare change just got a whole lot more fun!

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Simply Color by Vanessa Christenson for Moda: Vanessa's Pretty Petals Guest Tutorial

Thursday, 06 September 2012 3:00
Vanessa does beautiful appliqué work (take a look at that gorgeous bag above!), and knowing how busy she is... I figured she'd have a few tips and tricks up her sleeve that allow her to speed up the process. "You betcha!" she said! Well.... she might not have said, "you betcha," she might have just said, "okay," but, she was hap-hap-happy to help. So, today, we are very pleased to bring you a wonderful appliqué guest tutorial from Vanessa herself. She gives you step-by-step instructions to create fast-and-easy, finished-edge appliqué elements you can use to build into your own wonderful designs, like the dramatic dahlia above or whatever else your creativity imagines. 

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Simply Color by Vanessa Christenson for Moda: Kid's Laundry Duffle

Wednesday, 05 September 2012 3:00

Just like that crafty Mary Poppins, sometimes you need to sweeten the pot to get chores done. We scaled down our laundry duffle to kid size, making it easy to fill and carry into the laundry room. Plus, the super-cute appliqué on the front leaves no doubt about what needs to be done with the bag's contents! Inside is an easy-care mesh lining, so odors and dampness stay at a minimum. And the bright green baby pom pom trim is the perfect finishing touch. But wait... there's more: we've included both a free downloadable appliqué template as well as a special bonus design download for our S4H friends with embroidery machines. Whip one up in the favorite colors of each little mess-maker in your life. The Simply Color collection by Vanessa Christenson for Moda is filled with bright and beautiful choices, from Spicy Hot Pink to Eggplant - Sweet Tangerine to Lime Green.

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Simply Color by Vanessa Christenson: Preshrinking 101

Tuesday, 04 September 2012 3:00

Here's a common scenario: you buy a new garment, wear it once, wash it once, and... it is now two sizes too small! Some of us also use this phenomenon to explain why our once-favorite pants no longer fit. Although extra bowls of ice cream are likely the culprit in scenario #2, the guilty party behind scenario #1 is: improper preshrinking! Garment manufacturers often cut corners by skipping the preshrinking step in their construction process. You shouldn't make the same mistake. In the world of sewing and quilting, the ongoing great debate is: "Do you preshrink (or prewash) fabric before sewing with it or not?!" We’ve done our famous S4H research on the subject, and the resounding advice from professionals, and those who have learned the hard way (yes... we're in that bunch) is YES! Read on for the details, methods and best products to try. 

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Simply Color by Vanessa Christenson for Moda: Garment Covers

Monday, 03 September 2012 3:00

Welcome to our latest series with Moda Fabrics, celebrating the new Simply Color collection by Vanessa Christenson. I was excited to get to meet Vanessa at Spring Quilt Market in Kansas City, and talk with her about our plans for this series. Even though she was getting over a bad head cold, she was just delightful. I would caption her photo, "Bundle o' Creative Energy." As the doting mama to four little darlings, Vanessa somehow also finds time to be a designer, author, quilter, sewer... oh for goodness sakes, let's just say: doer of many things. One of Vanessa's passions is organizing. She admits she doesn't always win the clutter war, but she loves to do battle. So, we decided our Simply Color series would have an organizational theme. We kick off two weeks of colorful inspiration today with our easy Garment Covers. These are a great way to keep clothes clean and dust-free in your closet. Many folks leave dry cleaning bags on garments, but watch out... these plastic bags can cause fabrics to yellow and many emit unhealthy chemical fumes. Plus, they've long been known to be a hazard to children and pets. Our covers are reusable and washable. They finish at approximately 32", but you could certainly extend or shorten the length of the skirt to best match the items in your wardrobe. 

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Pillow Personality with Fairfield Processing: Secret Pocket Pillow

Friday, 24 August 2012 3:00

All our projects here at Sew4Home focus on the fabric, because the right combination of color and design makes all the difference between a project that turns out so-so and one that is decidedly so-cool. But every so often, a fabric arrives in our hands that demands to be made into something particularly unique. Such was the case when we received a Layer Cake of Moda's collection, Get A Clue With Nancy Drew®. Senior Designer, Alicia Thommas took one look at this collection, and memories flooded back of hiding under the covers with a flashlight to read just one more chapter of The Secret of the Old Clock or The Clue of the Velvet Mask. And so... today's Secret Pocket Pillow was born. Hidden in the pillow's four patchwork quadrants are four pockets to hold your most secret treasures.

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Pillow Personality with Fairfield Processing: Playful Stuffed Crocodile

Wednesday, 22 August 2012 3:00

"Tick Tock, Cap'n... Tick, Tock... someone is coming!" I don't know about you, but I spent a good chunk of my childhood hoping, wishing, dreaming I could fly like Peter Pan. I never actually jumped off the roof of the garden shed, but... I climbed up there and thought about it! Today, our Pillow Personality is: Playful. We've created a wonderfully sneaky crocodile, our homage to the creepy croc in Peter Pan who was forever stalking Captain Hook. Minky Dot and low nap fleece are the perfect pair for the top and bottom of Mr. Croc. Two widths of rick rack form his teeth and spine. And, we chose Fairfield's luxuriously silky Poly-Fil® Supreme Fiberfill as our stuffing. The texture is wonderful for toys, plus it's washable and non-allergenic. Although he looks complex, our crocodile takes just a little while. And, the pattern is a free download! "I was never to see Peter Pan again. Now I tell his story to my children and they will tell it to their children, and so it will go on - for all children grow up... Except one."

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