The front of a bag is a bit like a blank slate. It’s a lovely flat surface that can evolve into any number of wonderful looks. We started with a gorgeous metallic linen blend from Robert Kaufman, then added a quilted windowpane grid, and finally, arranged twelve tone-on-tone yo-yos as the perfect dimensional accent. It’s elegant and fashionable with just the right pinch of whimsy.
There’s no research confirming a link between the classic yo-yo string toy and the fabric yo-yo, but they are both round, both peaked in popularity in the 1930s-40s in the United States, and both are pretty, dang fun! So, we’re happy to link them together as two points along a playful continuum. A fabric yo-yo is a small, ruched rosette. It’s most often associated with quilting, and antique yo-yo quilts can be quite stunning, but it’s a fun bit of dimensional embellishment that can be used on any number of projects. At it’s simplest, the yo-yo is just a small gathered circle. When cinched up tight it produces a smooth “button” effect on one side and a pretty rippled confection on the other. You can make them by hand, and we summarize those steps below, but we prefer to use the Clover Quick Yo-Yo Makers. These small plastic devices are incredibly affordable, and make the job of stitching yo-yos easier and more uniform.
To be an artisan has many meanings across a variety of professions, but at its core, it is the desire to create a distinct handmade item with skill and creativity. Our friends at FreeSpirit Fabrics have a wonderful opportunity for you to showcase your inner artisan by making a quilt for the I Am An Artisan Challenge, featuring the stunning Artisan fabric collection by Kaffe Fassett. Win up to $4,700 in prizes, including a brand new Janome Skyline S9 sewing and embroidery machine!
Just when you think you're the reigning Queen of Green – reusing and recycling your way through the day, someone rains on your parade. Stories have hit the media in recent years about everyone's favorite green choice: the reusable store grocery bag. Turns out we should be washing those things after each use or they can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Problem: if you've ever tried washing the ones you often get at the market, they start to fall apart or go as limp as week-old lettuce. Great. Then, more stories pop up that show many of these same bags are coming from overseas, containing potentially unsafe levels of lead. Great x2. Time to make our own: prettier, safer, and sturdier. Reclaim your throne, Queen of Green!
If you've never tried making your own stuffed toys, this adorable Cotton Candy Kitty is a great first project. Luxury plush is surprisingly easy to work with. We used and love Shannon Fabric's Cuddle fleece. There is a free pattern download below, and we show you how to stitch right through the paper pieces to make it simple to keep your curves and angles spot-on, even around the sharp corners and tight curves.
You are a Maker! You create beautiful things with your own two hands. The medium in which you work may be different: from flour and salt to flowers and soil to floral print fabric and seams; but your dedication to expressing yourself is the same. We’re excited to showcase our first project of 2017 for our dear friends at Renaissance Ribbons. Our Maker’s Apron is designed to hold whichever tools you use most in a lucky-thirteen set of pockets. And, the bib is detachable! The ribbon trim is designed in the perfect lengths to take advantage of Renaissance Ribbons’ awesome Sampler Packs. These are a wonderful (and very affordable) way to collect and experiment with a variety of your favorite ribbons.
We’re only about a month into 2017, but perhaps it’s already time for a little something to relieve the stress of the new year. Sew4Home has created a number of rice-filled pillows, from our famous microwaveable rice pads to our soothing eye pillows. Today’s treat is a longer, double-compartment pad inside a comfy terry cloth sleeve; it's just perfect to wrap around your neck and shoulders for a bit of welcome relief and relaxation.
Floor it! This generous 24" diameter floor cushion is a comfy 4" thick - perfect for sitting or as a little foot rest. Make several to use around a low table for casual dining. Place one on the patio for meditation at sunrise. Toss a few in the TV room for extra seating. The wedges that create the cushion's circles are fussy cut to take advantage of the strong vertical motif of our chosen fabric. By carefully cutting the twelve wedges that make up the top and bottom of the pillow, we turned that vertical motif into a unique horizontal pattern with radiating hexagons. A free wedge pattern download is offered below.
Here's a fast and fabulous Valentine's gift idea everyone will love, because it includes both adorable fabric and yummy candy. We created a cellophane bag topper from small fabric squares, stitched on a personalized message of love, and sealed it with a secret quick-release basting stitch. When it's finished its job as a bag topper, it can serve as a cute coaster or beautiful bookmark.
With the wild weather that's been hammering most of the country, I think we're all ready to Think Spring! If you're starting to dream about prepping the beds for vegetable starts, planting a few early flowers, or just washing the winter road grime off the car; our Garden Apron has a unique, split-skirt design that allows you to more easily move through all your outdoor chores. You can squat, bend, sit or stand without stretching, pulling or binding. We chose two tough denims to make the apron a true workhorse, then added bold lines of topstitching, rivets, and adjustable ties for fashion and function.