We finish off Christmas in July with Moda week with the quintessential holiday project: stockings to hang by the chimney with care. We chose fabrics from Blitzen by BasicGrey for Moda. It's a great choice when you want a variety of personalized stockings, because the motifs within the collection range from wintery damasks to playful snowman. You can create an elegant paisley one for Aunt Claire as well as a whimsical one for Baby Ben. We added a rustic handmade bow for our "English Cottage" look. By making all these bows match, our three very different fabrics became a coordinated family group. We provide a free pattern download for the body of the stocking, and it's sized so you can cut both the front and back from a single Fat Quarter! A clever reverse seam on the ruffle is hidden by the accent ribbon, keeping the lined inside smooth and clean. Santa will be impressed!
Get Christmas "in the bag" early this year, but whipping up a few dozen of these quick, easy and very cute drawstring gift bags. We started with prints from Dear Mr. Claus by Cosmo Cricket for Moda Fabrics. The collection reminds us of vintage paper and cards, and so was the perfect choice for this green alternative to gift wrap. Our simple yet clever design results in a beautifully finished bag inside and out – no exposed seams. You can use the bags over and over! And, since we are still sweltering through summer, there's no reason you can't switch out the fabric and ties to make birthday gift bags, Halloween treat bags, even back-to-school lunch bags by substituting a laminated cotton for the lining squares. "Dear Mr Claus, it's only July... I promise to have things all worked out and back on track by December; please keep me on your 'Good' list. Love, S4H."
Being able to draw a straight line to follow with a seam or make a series of dots to indicate exact spots for buttons, pleats or darts means you have to mark your fabric... often on the right side... often where it could be seen on the finished project! Sounds scary, right? Only if you're considering using a Sharpie®. There are special tools made precisely for fabric marking, and some of the very best we've found come from Sewline products, distributed in the USA, Canada and South Africa by United Notions, the parent company of Moda Fabrics. Our pals at Moda introduced us to Sewline last year, and after testing them on several of our own projects, we're here to recommend them to you.
One of my favorite Christmas items to uncover every year is a table runner my mother made for me. It's the first thing I pull out, and for me, its appearance signals the official arrival of the holiday season. The first of our three projects for Christmas in July with Moda is a patchwork, pom pom table runner, featuring the whimsical winter wonderland of Kate Spain's Joy collection. This happy centerpiece certainly has the potential to become a best-loved holiday tradition. Make one for yourself plus a couple for friends and family. We used a Layer Cake, which contains forty 10" x 10" squares. That's plenty for several runners, simply add your favorite solid. We used Moda's Bella Solids.
Did you ever wonder where "Christmas In July" came from? I sure did when I first heard about it. We were in the middle of a heat wave when I pulled up to a local fabric store to find it decked out for the holidays. We've had neighbors leave Christmas lights up all year, but this was really strange. However, nobody else in the store seemed to think it was odd to have the tinsel on a fully decorated Christmas tree rustling in the cool breeze of an air conditioner. I didn't want to look stupid by asking, so I simply smiled as the nice gal in the reindeer antler headband gave me my holiday discount. It was time to uncover the truth behind this Summertime Santaland, and our friends at Moda agreed! We researched the history, took at look at all the great new holiday fabrics from Moda coming out right now, used three of those brand new collections to create some super cute table linens, stockings and gift bags (perfect items to make ahead), and reviewed the cool Sewline marking tools that can make all your projects go faster... whatever the time of year.