We're observing National Sewing and Quilting Month this week here on Sew4Home, but our friends at Fat Quarter Shop are celebrating all month long. They've invited a variety of bloggers and websites (including S4H) to offer some inspiration and help spread awareness as part of their "I Love Quilting and Sewing" Blog Tour. They've challenged over 40 different creative leaders to try something new, to stretch their skills with a fresh technique or in a unique category. But more than anything, they want everyone to know what we know: sewing and quilting is the best! To pay it forward for spreading the word, Fat Quarter Shop is offering a free quilt pattern to help you express your love for the craft.
September is a month of fresh starts. Students are back in school, taking on the challenges of the next grade. Everybody at the office is back to work from all those end-of-summer vacations. And it's National Sewing Month; the time of year when all of us who sew are encouraged to teach someone new. If you can sew even at an intermediate level, you possess a unique skill. It means when you see something cool in a store, online or in a catalog, you have the ability to find fabric and make it yourself. There are a lot of people who wish they could do that! In fact, you probably know half a dozen who would be thrilled if you offered to teach them the basics. We're even willing to bribe you with a basket of sewing goodies for one lucky winner.
Microwavable heating pads with organic fillers are a wonderful way to soothe sore muscles or just warm up on a cold day. Their combination of toasty warmth and good smell are a natural remedy you can enjoy every day without side effects. The warming pad project we did here at Sew4Home is one of the most popular gift items ever featured. Most likely, it's because they're not only functional, they're also really easy to make. Everybody who makes them seems to have a favorite filler. So we thought we'd do a little testing to see if we could find out which one is best.
Do you ever watch those TV hospital shows and think, "I could do that"? Maybe not be an actual, real-life doctor. But you could wear a white coat, carry a stethoscope, and yell, "Get me a C-Spine, Chem 7, and a V-Fib!" I have no idea what any of those terms mean. They're just fun to shout. To get you just a little bit closer to your doctor daydreams, we're here to show you how one of the medical devices you saw Dr. Greene use every week can also be a big help in your sewing room. It's called a hemostat, and it's basically a locking clamp shaped like a long pair of scissors. (Probably what Dr. Greene wanted when he yelled, "Clamp!") A hemostat is extremely useful when you need to turn long, narrow tubes right side out.
I love those little emergency sewing kits they have at hotels. They're a life saver if you lose a button right before an important meeting or have another kind of "wardrobe malfunction." But I wouldn't dream of using them for my regular sewing – anymore than I'd open a hair salon that used only cute little hotel shampoos. However, for some sewers, especially beginning sewers, their set of tools is about at the same level as the free repair kit. If that's the case with you sewing basket, you have some shopping to do. Having better quality accessories and notions actually helps you achieve better results on your projects. It can make the difference between a project that was fun to create and you're proud to display, and one you feel like hurling out the window.
Decorative stitches are tiny pieces of thread art. Sometimes when I look at them, I can't believe a single threaded needle made such an intricate design. But even though I love them, I often forget to use them. We get so caught up in the seams of a project's construction, decorative stitches can get overlooked. We wanted a way to keep some of our favorite stitches top-of-mind, so we did a little decorative stitch sampler then framed it as sewing room artwork. Super fast, super simple, and the prefect colorful reminder.
THIS GREAT GIVEAWAY CLOSED ON 08/30/14. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED.
Fat Quarters were the first specialty pre-cut on the market, and are still the most common. At 18" high x 22" wide, their format makes them a quilter's best fabric friend. Our friends at It's Sew Emma Patterns are here to prove it once again with a brand new book: Fat Quarter Style – 12 Quilts That Never Go Out of Style. We were excited to get two early copies – one to read, enjoy and keep; and one to give away to a lucky Sew4Home visitor. Read on to find out what makes a Fat Quarter "fat," why it makes cutting so much more flexible, and glimpse some of the great quilt patterns this book has to offer.
We've all seen this popular little clasp. It's the go-to closure on everything from casual backpacks to high-end handbags. As with anything that includes moving parts, and may involve tools to install, it can seem intimidating. You might opt instead for a simple button closure, a snap, or simply hope a flap stays put on its own. Here's the secret about this two-part lock: it's actually quite easy to put in. The key is confirming the placement of both halves, but that's just a matter of careful measuring and double-checking. So what are you waiting for? On the next project that features a flap or strap to secure – go pro with a tuck lock.
Years ago the Thermos® company had the slogan, "Keeps hot things hot and cold things cold." You can't say it much better than that. Did you know there are fabrics that help you do the same thing? These aren't the heavy industrial materials that keep steelworkers, astronauts, and firefighters safe, but honest-to-goodness fabrics you can actually sew with.
Most of us understand how to sew on a button. If not, we have tutorials on sewing them on by hand as well as by machine. Pretty darn easy either way, and not scary at all. But buttonholes are a whole different matter. At the end of your project, after you've put in so much work, it's time to put in the buttonholes. You should be happy you're almost done. But for many of us, beads of sweat start to form across our brows and we wonder, "Am I about to ruin everything by botching the buttonholes?" Well, you can stop sweating, because it's really not that hard once you break it down into individual steps.