My brother made me laugh out loud when he said a "mug rug" sounded like a bad toupee for an ugly guy. Although a great guess, a mug rug is really a mini placemat designed to hold your coffee mug or tea cup and maybe an extra little treat, or... when placed by your sewing machine, a handy place to jab a few pins and needles as you sew. Originally, they came onto the scene as a fun excuse to use up some scraps by making an itty-bitty quilt. We took the mug rug concept a step further by turning it into a hand-sewn greeting card with the addition of our Salutation Strip through the center. Cards are a nice thought, but most eventually end up in the garbage can. Instead, create a Happy Birthday, Congratulations, Thank You or I Love You message with a purpose; an every day reminder to the recipient that they have a friend in you!
Mustangs are the beautiful wild horses of western North America. They are such a dramatic icon, in 1971 the United States Congress recognized the herds of mustangs as "living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West." We selected Melody Miller's striking Mustang collection as the feature fabric in today's handsome slim-style messenger bag. The collection is from the brand new Cotton + Steel company, a division of RJR Fabrics. Cotton + Steel hit the fabric world with a bang this Spring as one of the most anticipated collaborations in years. The company brings together the talents of Miller along with Rashida Coleman-Hale, Alexia Abegg, Kim Kight and Sarah Watts. Our thanks to Fabric.com for providing the Mustang fabric as well as the coordinating Cotton & Steel cotton for lining and the crisp navy twill of the exterior. It's a combo that's ready to hit the trail for back-to-school, back-to-work, or anywhere those wild horses pull your heart.
Someone told me the other day he believed money would soon become completely digital and we'd be trading electronic credits online. It's happening already to a limited extent with Bitcoins, but it still seems so sci-fi to me. I think I'll hold on to a wallet for now, like today's pretty version with multiple compartments for cash, coins and cards. I like having physical money with me; a couple paper dollars and some coins just makes me feel happy. I think it goes back to being a kid, when every hoarded dime and nickel put you that much closer to a giant gum ball from the shiny red dispenser. I still get a little thrill when I find a quarter in my coat pocket, although I worry what a gum ball would do now to my dental work.
Our extra-large tote is ready for a road trip, and thanks to the great Eclectic Elements fabric by Tim Holtz for Coats, it comes complete with great destinations built right in to the design, like Times Square and Coney Island. Fussy cutting is the name of the game in creating this bag's special look. If you're new to the technique, we offer a great step-by-step tutorial, but the concept is simple: carefully cut each of the fabrics to center and feature a particular motif, such as the subway stop names, clock faces and butterflies we selected from the dozens of interesting options within this wonderfully unique collection from paper-crafting guru, Tim Holtz. The front of the bag features a fabric flower as an optional embellishment, and decorative metal rivets help hold the strap ends in place and add a subtle dash of dimension.
Our fast and fun little ties remind me of the classic 40s and early 50s shots of movie stars relaxing. Still ultra glamorous in the supposedly "candid" photos, casual hairstyles often featured pretty hair ties just like these to hold back their silky curls. Not only is this a delightful way to put some favorite fabric scraps to work, it's also a great trick to extinguish a potential bad hair day.
When you're on the road, doesn't it always seems to be the ordinary, everyday things you are suddenly in desperate need of: gum, nail clippers, your headphones? I get a little panicky, certain I've left behind the most obvious items... as if perhaps I'm on an arctic expedition and won't see civilization for weeks. But the opportunity for replenishment doesn't matter; I want my stuff close at hand. That's the theory behind our handsome travel tote: plenty o' pockets to stash all your stuff. There are four big outside pockets that wrap front and back plus a deep inside compartment (exactly deep enough for a magazine, I might add!) with its own generous interior pocket. I'm still likely to forget something, which is why after my current travels, I now own six pairs of sunglasses and a dozen tubes of lip balm.
We all have them: those "special" T-shirts from events, vacations or sports teams. Kids have more of them than most! You don't wear them anymore, but you also can't seem to part with them. Let's make them into some cute keepsake pillows! Carefully cut out the motif, stitch and stuff! It really is as easy as that. We created a pattern for cool knotted corners that can be done in the same or a contrasting color (a way to get rid of yet another shirt). One or more of these pillows would be a great gift for someone heading off to college: a little bit of home on which to lay your head.
Outdoor dining takes a little creativity in order to keep everything from blowin' in the wind. Our darling, durable placemats have built-in pockets to hold flatware and/or napkins. Dining in? Hooray for the reversible! Simply flip over the placemats for whole new look – the back is pocket-free. These clever placemats are so quick and easy, you can easily whip up enough for your own table or the entire family reunion in a single weekend. You want a substantial fabric for this project: a canvas, heavy cotton duck or an outdoor fabric. We went the outdoor fabric route, which worked well and looked great. We love the bright, bold designs common in the outdoor category – perfect for casual summer meals.
Now's the time to stock up on cute summer tees. They're on sale nearly everywhere. We hit the local Target and Old Navy in our area and didn't spend over $6.99 for any of our shirt samples. Okay, so now you have a pile of T-shirts. Step #2 is to personalize them. It's Janome Monday, and our goal today is to show you how fun and easy it is to use your sewing machine to turn standard off-the-rack items into something special. We pulled together a handful of fave fabric scraps to add pockets to some of the shirts and a few lengths of gorgeous lace to alter the others with inset panels and cropping. Fast fashion update!
A bench cushion is one of the top projects new sewers list as the decorating puzzle that finally got them thinking about making something on their own rather than buying. Standard bench cushions are certainly available in stores, but I think we can all agree that they never, ever, ever fit right. The piping and buttons are optional, but they add the professional finishing touches that make all the difference... and impress all those who will soon be sitting on your new bench cushion.