Originally developed to prevent down mattress and pillow feathers from poking through or blowing away, ticking dates back as early as the eleventh century when the fabric was made with a linen warp and a cotton weft. Today, the clean and simple look of striped ticking comes in a variety of colors and is a favorite when creating a "homespun" look to sewing and craft projects. We dipped into the lovely variety of ticking available from Fabric.com to use it as the border accent for an easy and casually elegant set of placemats with matching, all-ticking napkins.
Holiday get togethers and family celebrations are the perfect excuse to "get your girlie on!" These happy half aprons in two sizes are made in pretty quilting weight cottons that feature one of the biggest trends of 2014: metallic accents. But the secret to their perfect-partyness are the layers of colorful tulle under each skirt. We always like shopping at Fabric.com because there are so many different types of fabric to blend together into our projects. This week is all about last-minute solutions for your holiday list. We worked with our friends at Fabric.com to bring you some fun new fabrics made into gift ideas that are quick yet still very cool.
When there's a brand new little one in the family, the holidays are all about baby. Our adorable baby quilt, with its matching appliquéd bib, will make Baby's First Christmas extra special. The quilt is made of traditional nine-patch blocks, but we stretched four of the nine squares within each block into rectangles. The resulting design mimics the look of a little wrapped present. You make nine "present blocks" to create the perfect baby quilt gift. The matching bib uses a couple of larger motifs from the quilt's fabric as appliqués, and has super soft and absorbant chenille on the back.
Sewing is a continually evolving art. Learning new and interesting techniques is one of the best ways to build upon your current knowledge. It keeps your skills fresh and your ideas lively. We have two great how-to articles on binding in general: Bias Binding: Figuring Yardage, Cutting, Making and Attaching and A Complete Step-by-Stpe for Binding Quilts & Throws. In this article, we're continuing our journey down the binding path to a "sub-set" technique called: continuous bias binding. It's a little bit like the ancient art of origami. You start out with a flat square (or rectangle), and after a few folds and flips here and there, you have something completely different, very dimensional, and quite useful.
Slice, stitch, tie, give. Just four steps to fast and festive (and reusable!) gift wrap solutions, in wool felt with cotton accents. Pretty bows and belts keep things wrapped up tight. We found our fabric solutions at Fabric Depot, and selected them to show off how our Omnigrid Ruler Grips make cutting faster and easier - a bonus when you're whipping out a number of these wraps for last minute gifts. We worked with our friends at Fabric Depot to plan three different sizes and styles from glamorous to whimsical to guy-friendly. Each is designed to be saved and used again as gift wrap, or in the case of the All Felt with Belt Closure & Boxed Bottom option, to be used as an every day accessory to carry papers, small devices and more - a cool "drop in" folder for a larger briefcase.
My first thought was to mention how much this tool looks like a telephone handset. Then I wondered, "Does anyone still have a telephone hand set?" The preponderance of cell phones aside, the full-size Ruler Grip does resemble a phone, but its function isn't communication, it's stabilization. If you do any rotary cutting, you will love these tools from the ruler experts at Omnigrid. When our friends at Fabric Depot walked me over to their measuring section, I had to catch my breath. Be still my heart – so many cool tools! But this gripper is one of our personal favorites in the Sew4Home studios, so we'll start here. The Omnigrid Ruler Grips suction, I mean really suction, onto your ruler or template so you can hold it in place securely and safely while you cut. It's handy for both long slices as well as tricky little angles.
Take your pet walking in a winter wonderland in style this year! Beautiful ribbon, hardware, webbing, a couple of hours, and you can make your very own boutique-style dog collar and leash. This is such a fun and easy project, you'll be offering to make them for all your canine friends. Our thanks for Renaissance Ribbons for providing the ultra-stylish ribbon for both sets. It's a perfect holiday gift idea, especially with the cute embellishments we added to each. There's a slip-on bow tie for the dapper dog, and a set of poms and jingle bells for the more festive (and bouncy) pooch.
Our trio of soft stockings features handsome velvet cuffs and whimsical, dangling pom-poms. The rich tones of red, ivory, cream, spruce and chocolate are reminiscent of a brimming basket of Christmas potpourri. You can almost smell the cinnamon sticks simmering on the stove. We offer downloadable patterns for the body of the stocking and the cuff, and link you to our step-by-step tutorial for making custom the poms with a Clover Pom-Pom Maker.
All your Christmas Cats and Holiday Hounds can have their own sweet dreams of sugar plums (or jerky treats) in our ultra comfy pet bed. We selected two cozy coordinates: a bright Christmas green and a rich leopard print. The design incorporates four bolster pillows sewn onto a flat base with a separate tufted pillow insert. We noodled on this one for quite awhile to come up with instructions that yielded a cool finished design that was also easy to assemble. So although any three-dimensional project is a bit more complex than a flat item, this cozy pet bed is something we know you can do!
Looking for a huggable holiday gift idea? Try one of our plush toy projects. Each one is more adorable than the next and downloadable patterns are available for all of them. We chose Fairfield's luxuriously silky Poly-Fil® Supreme Fiberfill as our stuffing. The texture of this fiber filling is wonderful for soft toys, plus it's washable and non-allergenic. Please note that several of the items shown have button eyes. They should be very securely stitched in place, but if you want to make one for a very young child, you may want to consider using appliquéd fabric circles instead of buttons.