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Nap in a Bag: Blanket & Pillow in a Matching Bag

Monday, 13 April 2015 1:00

You never know when or where you'll be when a nap needs to happen. Our clever portable "sleep set" is a great way to always be ready. We've created a lightweight drawstring bag that holds a matching pillow and bound fleece blanket.  Toss the bag in the car for longer road trips. Send it off to pre-school for daily rest time. Keep one at Grandma's for napping emergencies. Better still... make one for yourself, because we all know naps are wasted on the young! 

EZ Playful Kids Pillowcases

Thursday, 09 April 2015 1:00

Everyone loves a fast and easy project, and these pretty pillowcases fit the bill! A new pillowcase is a great way to freshen a set of bed linens. Kids are especially happy to rest their sleepy heads on pillows covered in fun fabric. We used the Playful collection by Melody Miller for Cotton + Steel Fabrics, which has a sweetly nostalgic theme. How many of you out there still remember how to play pick-up-sticks or jacks? These classic games require absolutely no button pushing or candy crushing. Just good, clean fun - kind of like making a set of pillowcases.

Pretty Tea Cozy

Wednesday, 08 April 2015 1:00

It's time for a spot of tea. Did you know to properly brew a pot o' tea, you should first warm the teapot by swooshing a bit of boiling water inside it. Then, pour the water into your teacups to warm them. Add teabags for your preferred strength (from two to four for a standard four-cup pot). Fill the pot with boiling water, stir, and let the tea steep for about 4-5 minutes. It's during this steeping time when you can run into trouble with the tea cooling too fast. So, pop on a cozy to keep things toasty while the tea is brewing. It will also help keep your tea warm between cups. We have pattern downloads for the cozy itself as well as the cute teapot appliqué. 

Straight Line Quilting: A Guest Tutorial with Heather Jones

Tuesday, 07 April 2015 1:00

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One of the great things about the sewing and quilting community is just that: community. The connections we make with others who love to create are always inspirational and fun. Heather Jones is someone we met years ago, and who we've been thrilled to watch develop into one of the brightest stars in the world of Modern Quilting. Heather has a great love and respect for the traditional art of quilting, is an avid collector of vintage quilts, and loves to bring a modern twist to traditional patterns. We feel very special and lucky that she found the time to create this awesome Guest Tutorial on one of her specialties: Straight Line Quilting. 

Tudor Style Apron in Tula Pink's Elizabeth: FreeSpirit Fabrics

Monday, 06 April 2015 1:00

We're continuing our fun working with the beautiful fabric options in Tula Pink's latest collection for FreeSpirit Fabrics: Elizabeth. Owing to the collection's name, our apron has a certain Elizabethan flair. In researching the best elements to add the flavor of this dramatic era, we came across an interesting tidbit. In 1574, the Parliament of England passed separate laws called "sumptuary laws" to govern the ways of dressing. Clothes with gold were reserved for the Queen and her relations. Only the royals were allowed to wear clothes trimmed with ermine. And you had to have some level of nobility to sport clothes constructed from velvet, satin and silk or trimmed with fox and otter. Peasants were restricted to dresses made of cotton, leather and wool. Today, you can make your outfits from anything you'd like. With this apron, we of course recommend the quality cottons of FreeSpirt Fabrics. We also suggest whipping up some hot cross buns whilst wearing it.

Appliquéd Bath Towels with Extra Large Alphabet

Thursday, 02 April 2015 1:00

Monogrammed towels are one of life's little luxuries, but for a bit more playful option, try appliqué. The letter(s) can be larger than a traditional monogram and the colors and patterns brighter. It's a great use for some of those pretty scraps hiding in your stash bin. Make a set for your family to help distinguish which towel belongs to which dripping wet person. Bath linens also make an excellent gift for showers, weddings and housewarmings – especially when you can not only personalize the colors, but also the fabric to fit the recipient's decorating theme, hobby or even a favorite sport's team.

Embroidered Patchwork Pillow: Janome America

Wednesday, 01 April 2015 1:00

It's the classic special touch: adding a little something on top. For instance, pie is great. Pie with whipped cream is awesome. A beautiful blend of fabrics in a simple patchwork pattern is always good. Overlaying that patchwork with embroidery can be great. It's a simple way to make a stunning statement. 

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Accessories We Love: Janome Beading Presser Feet

Tuesday, 31 March 2015 1:00

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Beads are a wonderful embellishment. They add dimension and texture and color in one fell swoop. But my-oh-my, putting them on can be a struggle and a half. Hand sewing in an option, if you have a few spare days. And machine sewing can be like trying to ride your bike over a field of BBs (no... I haven't actually done that, but I know it would be tricky and very slippery). Luckily for me (and my bicycle), our friends at Janome have a cool set of presser feet made exactly for what we want to do: quickly attach strands of beads of various widths. Can a glittering gown for next year's Oscars be far behind?!

Market Tote Trio in Tula Pink's Elizabeth: FreeSpirit Fabrics

Monday, 30 March 2015 1:00

eye-catch・ing, adjective: immediately appealing or noticeable. Synonyms: a trio of beautiful totes in the incredible Elizabeth collection by Tula Pink for FreeSpirit Fabrics. Elizabeth is a new set of prints so intricate and lovely, "eye-catching" is just the beginning. This is what we call a statement bag. It's specifically designed to make the best use of the chosen fabric's color and motif. Each bag blends three prints to create the exterior and lining. Our set is particularly striking because we made three, but one bag on its own will draw attention like no other. While shooting our sample photographs, people literally stopped us on the street to ask about them!

Patchwork Bed Runner with Free Motion Quilting

Friday, 20 March 2015 1:00

The biggest sewing category around the world is quilting. If you've been thinking about jumping on the bandwagon, we have a detailed, five-part Quilting Basics Series and have included links to all the parts below. It's a great way to get started. This decorative throw for the foot of the bed is our way to show off the quilting features of Janome's sewing and quilting machines. We chose the Horizon Memory Craft 8900 QCP. A bed runner is lovely to look at, and it helps protect a fancier full-size quilt or bedspread. You can sit on a bed runner or even stretch out and place your feet on it. Ours finishes at approximately 92" x 34" and is sized for a king or queen mattress. The sample runner is shown on a king; there would simply be more drape down either side on a queen. We've done basic nine-patch blocks with each inner block made up of four pieced triangles. The clever mixing of colors creates a three-dimensional effect within each of the inner blocks as well as in the finished nine-patch itself. Stitching in the ditch was used to quilt the center blocks, while the inner and outer borders are done with free-motion stippling. 

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