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How to Make and Measure a Circle Without a Pattern

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 1:00

The circle is, in my opinion, the Queen of the geometric shapes. Don't get me wrong; I like all those squares, rectangles, triangles, octagons and whatnot, but the circle is the coolest of the bunch: smooth and pretty and endlessly useful. But trying to draw a perfect circle without a pattern is a challenge, and figuring out the proper size of an opening into which a circle can be inserted requires working with Pi (or π), and not the delicious kind you can eat with a bit of ice cream. We're here today to help you with the steps you've forgotten since high school geometry class (or maybe never learned because you were too busy passing notes with Susan Ellery!). We'll show you the parts of a circle, how wide to cut fabric to fit a circle, and how to draw a circle without a pattern. We've also included a handy conversion from decimals to inches, which is necessary when working with Pi.

Fat Quarter Garden Apron

Tuesday, 22 July 2014 1:00

Awhile back, with no project in mind, I picked up five fat quarters from Amy Butler's Love collection while browsing at Bolt Fabric Boutique in Portland, Oregon. What to do with five very pretty fat quarters? I challenged myself to create an apron where there would be virtually no wasted fabric. What remains from this pretty flower garden apron would fit in a garden party teacup.

Janome Monday: Ruffled End Pillowcases with Decorative Stitch Ribbon Accents

Monday, 21 July 2014 1:00

Ernest Hemingway once said, "I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?" Oh we know, Mr. Hemingway; we know! These pretty pillowcases are sure to invite the benefits of sleep to one and all. We've used the adorable new children's collection, Riddles & Rhymes by Tina Givens for FreeSpirit Fabrics, which makes our pillow pair perfect to encourage sweet dreams for the little ones. But the design itself, with its pretty ruffled ends and decorative ribbons, would be gorgeous for a power-napper of any age. To tell the truth, I love this fabric and want it for my grown-up self!

ScrapBusters: Rustic Sachets with Wonky Patchwork

Friday, 18 July 2014 1:00

Awwww, the sweet smell of success. Or, at least the sweet smell of lavender! Slip these pretty little sachets onto one or more hangers to freshen your closet. Tie one on a doorknob to lightly scent a small room, such as a guest bath. Bundle up several with some elegant lingerie for a decadent bridal shower gift. Or, heck... just make a few for yourself! This project is all about random elements with its wonky piecework and rustic feel. Don't stress about keeping everything perfect; embrace the unusual.  

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Eight-Pocket Traveling Jewelry Pouch

Thursday, 17 July 2014 1:00

Your favorite shiny beads and baubles deserve to come along on vacation too. But figuring out how to pack them, without opening your suitcase upon arrival to find a tangled mess, is always a challenge. Our traveling jewelry pouch is up to the task. It has eight, wedge-shaped pockets to hold necklaces, earrings, rings and watches. The pouch gathers up with a drawstring, safely enclosing the pockets in an upright position. The gathered circle kind of reminds me of those classic round baby bonnets. Tie the bundle closed and toss it into your bag so you can sparkle upon arrival.

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Anti-Boredom Great Giveaway

Wednesday, 16 July 2014 1:00

THIS GREAT GIVEAWAY CLOSED 07/23/14. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED.

Perhaps you were too bored to notice, but July is National Anti-Boredom Month. Of course truly creative people never get bored... right? Either that or we are very creative in our excuses for why we might be momentarily distracted at school, at work, on the weekend, even in the middle of the night when we can’t sleep. In the fight against lethargy, Sew4Home offers you an Anti-Boredom Great Giveaway. We have a wonderful book by Tula Pink plus some very interesting fabric pre-cuts: the perfect pair to turn idleness into inspiration. 

How to Create an Inset Zipper

Tuesday, 15 July 2014 1:00

I call this a "flat top" zipper. I've also heard it referred to as a set-in zipper and a recessed zipper. You can make up your very own name; the Penelope Zipper would be one option. I'm sure you've seen this type of zipper on loads of handbags and totes. It sits below the top of the bag, running flat across the top (thus the vote for my name), featuring tabs at either end (making it easy to zip open and shut), and is secured to the bag's lining with a simple facing (which allows it to be recessed). When you want a professional look and the security of a full closure, you can't go wrong with the inset-set-in-recessed-Penelope zipper. Read on to see how easy it can be.

Janome Monday: Sparkly Baby Quilt

Monday, 14 July 2014 1:00

Technically, quilting is a subset of sewing. But if you're one of the thousands who've been bitten by the quilting bug, you're unlikely to let it take second position to anything. Here at Sew4Home, we don't claim to be part of the quilting elite, but we are very good at making things easy. So when we do quilts, we like to target quilters who are just getting started, giving you a design that looks great but is actually quite simple to do. Today's Sparkly Baby Quilt creates an intricate-looking pinwheel effect with just 12 cleverly rotated blocks made up of basic half square triangles. Plus, working with our Janome machines always makes things so much easier. As part of our Janome Monday series, today we're showing off their super-accurate Quarter Inch Seam foot, the great feeding system, and the Quilt Guide Bar for easy straight line quilting.

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Using The Right Presser Foot Makes Sewing Easier, Faster, More Professional

Friday, 11 July 2014 1:00

The job of the presser foot on your sewing machine is to hold the fabric against the feed dogs and guide it in a straight line as you sew. That's why you have to raise the presser foot when you want to move your fabric out from under the needle. You can do quite a lot of sewing with just the standard foot that came with your machine, however, some techniques can be a bit of a challenge with this very basic foot. That's when it helps to know about all the great specialty feet that are available. Sewing machine feet come in a wide array of designs; picking the right one for the job can make things go so much easier and faster, and can also give you much more professional looking results. 

Fold-Over Zipper Top Purse

Thursday, 10 July 2014 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". The bottom of the bag is layered with batting and lightly quilted to give the lightweight cotton more substance and stability. 

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