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Nature's Palette by Marjolein Bastin for FreeSpirit Fabrics: Basket-weave Quilted Tote

Thursday, 04 July 2013 1:00

When Vera Bradley's quilted bags hit the fashion spotlight in recent years, suddenly quilted bags were all the rage. But those of us in sewing and craft have been quilting bags for years. We already knew it was beautiful and practical. Now, it's still beautiful, still practical, and... very trendy. Our Nature's Palette tote mixes a quilted top with a plain base. We added sleek piping accents, a striking antler toggle button as a closure, and pretty over-the-shoulder straps. Fashion forward and uniquely you!


Nature's Palette by Marjolein Bastin for FreeSpirit: Lace Edged Pillowcases

Wednesday, 03 July 2013 1:00

Kittens sleep curled in a ball, horses sleep standing up, sea otters float on the surface of the water while they sleep. There are a lot of ways to catch a few ZZs. For humans, I think we'd all agree, the best way to doze is to sink down into a crisp, clean, beautiful pillowcase. We love making pillowcases at Sew4Home. They're fast and easy, and they're a great way to add some delightful color and design to your bed linens. We used two coordinated prints from the Nature's Palette collection for each of our pillowcases.


Nature's Palette by Marjolein Bastin for FreeSpirit: Lumbar Panel Pillow

Tuesday, 02 July 2013 1:00

Whenever we do a Series Collection for one of our great Sew4Home sponsors, we like to make sure we have a good mixture of projects – from elegant and intricate to fast and easy. Today's article falls in the second camp. This little lumbar pillow is a snap to make, especially since we used designs from the pre-printed panel included in Marjolein's Nature's Palette collection. Simply trim the panel designs to size and stitch together. We'll go through all the steps below, but... really, it's almost as simple as that!


Nature's Palette by Marjolein Bastin for FreeSpirit: Patchwork Bed Topper

Monday, 01 July 2013 1:00

A bed topper brings a blast of color to your bed linens. It's designed to go across the foot of your bed like a narrow quilt. We felt it would be the perfect canvas to highlight some of the designs from the pre-printed panel available in Marjolein's Nature's Palette collection. Pre-printed panels are becoming a more and more common part of fabric collections. Marjolein's style is perfect for them, because the individual panels become like miniature paintings. Traditionally, you may have seen these panels used to create cheater quilts. But the newest trend is to produce a panel with ready-to-cut pieces, which can be assembled into a simple project. Nature's Palette has two quick and easy pillow designs. However, always ones to color outside the lines, we chose instead to use half of the panel designs as part of today's Bed Topper project, saving the second half for a matching lumbar pillow coming up tomorrow.  


Nature's Palette by Marjolein Bastin for FreeSpirit: Cafe Curtains with Accent Bands

Friday, 28 June 2013 1:00

Mom always said, "Never do things halfway." But I don't think she was talking about curtains, because you can do curtains halfway with very beautiful results. The cafe curtain is designed to be hung at a window's halfway point, covering up the bottom but letting in light from above. It's a great solution that gives you privacy while still letting the sun shine in. The Nature's Palette collection by Marjolein Bastin is delightful for this type of curtain. Her gorgeous prints bring summer's bright blooms inside. Curtain panels are a perfect beginner project. They're fast, super simple, and give the new sewer a great sense of satisfaction when she/he hangs them up and instantly transforms a window from plain and boring to pretty and bright.


Nature's Palette by Marjolein Bastin for FreeSpirit: Gift Bags with Eyelet Drawstring

Thursday, 27 June 2013 1:00

Growing up, we reused our wrapping paper. We were trained from a young age to never tear into our presents. Instead, we were to carefully remove the tape and gently pull away the wrap. The pretty paper was then smoothed, folded, and stored for its next use. I guess this means we were recycling long before it was cool. We had one particular piece of Christmas wrap that made an appearance every year for as long as I can remember. It got a little smaller with each use, but we were always anxious to see who's present would be wrapped in the pretty blue Silent Night paper. Maybe it's this background of recycling and re-use that has led to our recent string of gift bag tutorials. They're a perfect way to avoid wrapping paper entirely, instead creating a reusable bag that's almost as much fun as the present inside - especially when made with fabrics as lovely as Marjolein Bastin's Nature's Palette for FreeSprit. 


Nature's Palette by Marjolein Bastin for FreeSpirit: Fold-over, Zipper Top Purse

Wednesday, 26 June 2013 1:00

Big bags and totes are great for big jobs, but when I'm out and about, I like a compact purse. I want to be able to sling it over my shoulder with enough room to hold the necessities, plus just a little extra. If things are too big and bulky, I spend the entire outing looking for somewhere to stash my bag. Or... I invariably knock over something breakable in the store! Today's cute little fold-over bag is a perfect size and shape. Standing up straight, it's a generous 9" x 9"; folded down, it becomes just 6" x 9". We loved Marjolein's unique chevron design, which made from blades of grass!


Nature's Palette by Marjolein Bastin for FreeSpirit: Button Top Apron

Tuesday, 25 June 2013 1:00

When we moved to the country a few years ago, one of the first differences we noticed were the birds. In the city, there wasn't much in the way of bird diversity. You have pigeons, starlings and crows - not much else. But out here, we're surrounded by a variety of feathered friends singing, swooping and scattering as we drive down the narrow country lanes. The first project in our Nature's Palette series, a sweet apron with accent buttons and a wraparound pocket, uses one of the most beautiful prints in Marjolein's collection: Gathered in Blue is criss-crossed by birds and flowers and set against the beautiful clarity of a summer sky.


Nature's Palette by Marjolein Bastin for FreeSpirit: Meet the Designer

Monday, 24 June 2013 1:00

Greeting cards, ornaments, stationery, journals, children's books, bedding, dinnerware, calendars, cross stitch, home accessories... and now fabric! Marjolein Bastin is a talented and prolific designer who is entranced by the natural world. FreeSpirit Fabrics is thrilled to be bringing her talent to the world of fabric with the debut collection, Nature's Palette. Although her work is recognized and loved by millions around the world, Marjolein's focus remains simple and true: to spend each day behind her desk painting, capturing the floral and fauna the rest of us encounter - yet overlook - every day, transforming it into something wistful and beautiful. "It's the details in nature I want others to appreciate." We're pleased to introduce you to Marjolein today, and then to bring you eight lovely projects made in the beautiful colors and motifs of her new Nature's Palette collection


Super Fast & Super Cute: Cheater Quilt with Piping

Friday, 21 June 2013 1:00

Cheating! Didn't Mom always say, "Cheaters never prosper?!" This is one kind of cheating she would totally approve of, possibly giving you a cookie for figuring it out. A cheater quilt is one in which the quilt top is pre-printed with a patchwork design, allowing you to skip the piecing and instead, simply layer front, batting and back, bind and add your quilting stitches. It's super fast and easy, and you have to get up close and personal before you realize the design is printed rather than pieced. We decided to cheat even more by assembling our layers with a piped edge rather than traditional quilt binding. Mom knew she raised some rebels.


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