Most of the time, sewing is all about soft things, from beautiful fabrics to cushy pillow inserts. However, every so often, something hard comes along. It's not there to torment you, it's a way to inject an interesting new texture into the mix.This week, we experimented with two of Simplicity's unique metal trims from their Project Runway collection. You'll see the eye-popping results in Wednesday's and Thursday's projects. Today, you'll learn tips to make working with these trims easier, as well as techniques to give you the most professional finish.
$300 to $500 and up! That's the price range we found for similar pillows to this one at the fancy home décor companies in-store and online. And, we don't mind sayin'... we think ours is actually nicer and more interesting than the ones we saw for sale. This project is a great lesson in the right combination of fabric and trim. The drama of the pillow depends on a strong motif isolated with precise cutting to be the feature on one side of the pillow. The opposite side is created from, believe it or not, strips of soft jute webbing. The final touch: rich tasseled fringe. Eat your heart out Horchow!
Buckle up! But do it with more comfort and style with a super cute seat belt cover. Another great Scrapbusters! project, this easy wraparound cover is not only perfect for seat belts, it's also great for briefcase or suitcase straps. It even worked nicely to pad the handles of the recent heavy-duty Grocery Totes we made. Our design is reversible so you can make one side in cozy fleece for cold days and the other side in cool cotton for warm weather. Not only are seat belt covers an added comfort, they also help keep your shirt or jacket from becomming a wrinkly mess on long drives. These versatile straps would make a great gift for all the drivers your know –customize the fabric to match their moods.
One of the most important parts of sewing has nothing to do with your sewing machine at all. It's the pressing process. The better job you do pressing your project, the more professional the result. We recently discovered a specialty pressing tool that has become a new favorite: the Steady Betty pressing surfaces. Originally designed for quilters, these boards are great for all kinds of pressing tasks. Their special surface gently holds your fabric in place, which means less stretching and distortion. And, they stay cooler than a traditional ironing board surface, but still allow enough heat to be delivered to the fabric. No more "ouchie" fingers when working with tiny binding folds or opening ¼" seams. Steady Betty has a wide variety of products. We took a look at their Original pressing board, the new Press & Pin board and a Pedal Betty, which keeps your machine's foot controller from creeping away from you.
Crazy Love by Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit Fabrics just came out the end of February and it has been flying off fabric shop shelves. The jewel tone colors and almost psychedelic mix of reds with hot pinks, orange with lavender and rich chocolaty browns sing in intricate patterns. It's an interesting design blend of classic, free-flowing bohemian shapes plus a hint of the linear symmetry of 1920's art deco. Sounds almost crazy, but it's love at first sight.
If you are new to sewing, some of the terminology can be confusing. Doesn't "bolt" mean to run away? Cutting something on the "bias" just sounds mean. And, "feed dogs" seems more like a command than a sewing machine part. Trying to understand the various terms, exactly what they mean, how they work, and especially when to use them may seem daunting. But, as you learn each one, they'll become commonplace, and soon "nap" will mean more than dropping off for a little snooze. Today, we meet: understitching, which is not a seam done in a sneaky or under-handed manner and/or by Underdog. Read on to find out what it really is.
As a little girl, I liked to watch my mother get dressed up to go someplace special. On the top shelf of her closet, she kept a round, paper-covered hatbox. Inside were a half dozen lovely millinery-quality flower pins, each carefully wrapped in tissue. The finishing touch was pinning a flower to her dress or the lapel of her jacket. My favorite was a big rose-colored peony flower made of woven fabric with several pale green, ribbon-wrapped stems.
Tomorrow is the first day of spring. Celebrate by wearing a flower on your jacket, in your hair, or pin one to your bag. Not only are they trendy, they brighten your day and help turn winter into spring.
Remember those "Baby on Board" placards that used to be so popular? They spawned an entire line of bizarre copycats; I remember seeing everything from "Mother-in-Law on Board" to "Alien on Board"! The original baby idea as a warning sign was a good one, and is similar to today's ScrapBusters project. When baby is finally asleep, gently shut the nursery door, then slip this sweet door hanger over the knob to warn the rest of your noisy family it's time to tip-toe because, "Baby's Sleeping!" This project is fast and easy to make and uses just a few tiny bits of fabric, batting and trim. It would make a wonderful shower gift.
The world of Modern Quilting is a "wonky" world. If something is "wonky" it means angles, sides and points are not necessarily straight and true. For years, "wonky" was the worst thing your quilt could be. It meant all those carefully cut squares and triangles and strips were not precise. But like coloring outside the lines, this imperfection is what gives a modern quilt its free-form creativity. "Cut until it fits" is a mantra followed by many a modern quilter. One of our favorite modern quilters is Heather Jones, who was our guest yesterday with a tutorial on Straight Line Quilting. Today, Heather's back with a Guest Project from the wonky world: the wonky log cabin block. Take it away, Heather!
One of the very first people we profiled in our Creative People We Love series was Ms. Heather Jones. Ours is a long lasting love! When we originally met Heather, we knew her as the beauty and brains behind Olive & Ollie, a site specializing in some of the most adorable children's clothing we'd ever seen. And although O&O is still a creative outlet for Heather, most recently, she has been making quite a name for herself in the world of Modern Quilting: winning numerous contests, getting ready to debut her own line of Modern Quilting patterns, becoming a member of the Riley Blake Design Team, and just last week, doing another guest appearance on Quilting Arts TV. We feel very, very special and lucky that Heather found the time to create today's awesome Guest Tutorial on one of her specialties: Straight Line Quilting. Enjoy... and be watching this woman; there are certainly more amazing things to come!