You never know when or where you'll be when a nap needs to happen. Our clever portable "sleep set" is a great way to always be ready. We've created a lightweight drawstring bag that holds a matching pillow and bound fleece blanket. Toss the bag in the car for longer road trips. Send it off to pre-school for daily rest time. Keep one at Grandma's for napping emergencies. Better still... make one for yourself, because we all know naps are wasted on the young!
Everyone loves a fast and easy project, and these pretty pillowcases fit the bill! A new pillowcase is a great way to freshen a set of bed linens. Kids are especially happy to rest their sleepy heads on pillows covered in fun fabric. We used the Playful collection by Melody Miller for Cotton + Steel Fabrics, which has a sweetly nostalgic theme. How many of you out there still remember how to play pick-up-sticks or jacks? These classic games require absolutely no button pushing or candy crushing. Just good, clean fun - kind of like making a set of pillowcases.
The biggest sewing category around the world is quilting. If you've been thinking about jumping on the bandwagon, we have a detailed, five-part Quilting Basics Series and have included links to all the parts below. It's a great way to get started. This decorative throw for the foot of the bed is our way to show off the quilting features of Janome's sewing and quilting machines. We chose the Horizon Memory Craft 8900 QCP. A bed runner is lovely to look at, and it helps protect a fancier full-size quilt or bedspread. You can sit on a bed runner or even stretch out and place your feet on it. Ours finishes at approximately 92" x 34" and is sized for a king or queen mattress. The sample runner is shown on a king; there would simply be more drape down either side on a queen. We've done basic nine-patch blocks with each inner block made up of four pieced triangles. The clever mixing of colors creates a three-dimensional effect within each of the inner blocks as well as in the finished nine-patch itself. Stitching in the ditch was used to quilt the center blocks, while the inner and outer borders are done with free-motion stippling.
On the quilting "Easy-ness Scale," the rag quilt ranks right at the top. It's sewn with the seams exposed, and the whole idea is to create a softly rumpled, very cuddly, wrap-me-up-now result. There are several rag quilts in our archives, but for this Re-imagine & Renovate version, we chose a full size, 60" x 60" version. We found a perfect fabric to create the rustic look of a traditional rag quilt: the Handcrafted collection by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics. Very different from most traditional quilting cottons, it's created entirely by hand. The process is a new interpretation of the ancient wax resist, fabric dying art form of batik. We felt the result gave the fabric the look of hand silk-screened fabrics: looser, more free-form and with deeply saturated pigments. It was absolutely spot-on for a colorful rag quilt.
A set of pillowcases is a fast and easy project anyone can do. It's the special touches that make them stand out from store bought. These pretty pillowcases feature deep ruffled borders and dainty bows, suggesting the look of a dancer's billowing skirts. What a sweet way to freshen up a guest room, bringing some beautiful color and design to the bed linens.
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.
Flying geese blocks, combined with the unique vintage motifs in the Eclectic Elements fabric collection, are what give this beautiful quilt its name. The variety involved is a quilter's dream. You can isolate and piece together these interesting little bits into a wonderful collage. All the great shapes are also an inspirational bonanza for the final quilting. Sew4Home seamstress team member, Michele Mishler really went to town on our sample, outlining the clock faces and butterflies, and doing some great free-motion stippling in the solid areas.
Part of the fun of our Fabulous Fall with Fabric.com series has been working with non-traditional fabrics to create wonderful new combinations. If you've always turned to quilting cottons or fleece to construct a throw, give today's linen and rayon beauty a try. Although often more closely associated with crisp summer suits, linen and linen blends are actually wonderfully soft and a dream to sew. When layered with smooth rayon, you get a lightweight yet warm throw with an absolutely amazing drape. We added a layer of low loft batting and our quilting stitches trace the bold floral motifs on the Amy Butler linen blend we selected from her Hapi collection. The finishing touch is the swing and sparkle of Chainette fringe along the top and bottom.
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!
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.