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How to Make Your Own Continuous Bias Binding

Thursday, 19 November 2015 1:00

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-Step 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.

Topstitching: Tips for a Professional Finishing Touch

Thursday, 12 November 2015 1:00

By definition, topstitching is seam that appears on the right side of a project, usually running ¼" from another seam or along a folded edge. It can be done in a coordinating thread color for decoration or a matching thread color for construction and/or stabilization. A sub-set of topstitching is edgestitching. The technique is the same, but edgestitching is generally ⅛" or less from another seam or an edge. Whether for embellishment or assembly, topstitching is an important detail and its precision can make or break the final outcome of your project. We've collected our favorite tools and techniques to help you achieve tip-top topstitching.

How to Install Metal Grommets for Sewing Projects

Thursday, 05 November 2015 1:00

Sometimes, you cross something off your "give-it-a-go" list simply because it looks too hard. But once you do finally try, maybe with someone’s help the first time out, you often discover it wasn’t at all as hard as you thought! Such is the case with the phobia many sewers have when it comes to inserting metal grommets. Since these are usually installed with large machines or grommet presses in commercial production, people think they can’t replicate the professional look at home. It's one of those sewing applications many simply refuse to attempt. Whether it’s the actual installation process, getting the spacing just right, cutting the holes in the fabric to the exact size, or all of the above, we're here to prove you can do this at home and get a professional result. We’ve installed a grommet or two (or 100) here in the Sew4Home studios and will share with you all we've learned. Besides... getting to use a hammer in the sewing process can be very therapeutic!

Quilt Local by Heather Jones: Book Review & Giveaway

Tuesday, 03 November 2015 1:00


Quilting is all about personal style, and in this brand new book by our friend, Heather Jones, we see how that translates into "local" style. Quilt Local: Finding Inspiration in the Everyday is a beautiful book showing how ordinary items can become the spark for and basis of incredible quilt designs. Take a closer look at the crumbling brick wall you pass each morning on the way to school. Consider the intersecting lines of your neighbor's wrought iron fence. Glance up at the panes of glass that interlock to form the side of a skyscraper. Then... capture it in a quilt! As Heather says, "I truly believe that there is beauty everywhere, no matter the surroundings." We have a review of some of our favorite parts of the book, a few photos of local Portland, Oregon inspiration, and a chance for you to enter to win your own copy of Quilt Local.

Quilt Market 2015: Three Days of Overwhelming

Monday, 02 November 2015 1:00

O-ver-whelm-ing / adjective / to have a strong emotional effect. See also: dumbfounded, bowled over, left speechless. We've been to Quilt Markets in the past, but mostly the Spring Market that moves around the country to various venues. It had been quite a number of years since we'd been able to attend the big dog: the International Quilt Market, which takes place each October in Houston, Texas. We got to preview the latest fabric collections, try new products, reconnect with old friends, and meet new creative powerhouses. We've put together a quick tour-in-pictures of some highlights from our Three Days of O-ver-whelm-ing.

How to Use The Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl

Tuesday, 20 October 2015 1:00

We are big on bags here at Sew4Home, which means we're always on the lookout for cool bag accessories; such as closures, handles, hardware, and more. One look we love is the addition of leather and faux leather handles (both pre-drilled and un-drilled), as well as medallions and patches. But, we hadn't pinpointed the right tool to make securing these add-ons easy enough for all levels of sewers. Thanks to our friends at Dritz®, we have our solution: The Speedy Stitcher® from Dritz Home, a sewing awl kit that makes attaching these kind of cool items, as well as many other tasks, fast and easy. 

Select the Right Thread for the Job

Tuesday, 13 October 2015 1:00

There are hundreds of thousands of thread spools in the world (I think "bazillions" is actually the technical term). How on earth do you know which one to choose? It's part science – what the manufacturers have designed the thread to do, and part art – what you like about the look and feel of the thread. One of our very first articles on Sew4Home was how to go about selecting the right thread for your project. It's still one of the most important topics to talk about; after all, thread is what's holding everything together! We worked with our friends at Coats to put together a handy overview that can help you understand not only the standard choices, but some of the specialty options as well. It was the dawn of the 1800s when Patrick Clark developed a method of twisting cotton yarns together to produce a thread so strong and smooth it could replace the natural silk used in the looms of the day. Coats continues to produce some of the best thread in the business. 

Dritz® New Product Showcase: Oh What Fun!

Monday, 12 October 2015 1:00

We love it when the delivery dude shows up with a box from Dritz® because great new products are likely to be inside! The clever minds at Dritz® are always working on new ways to make our sewing and crafting better, easier, and more fun. Today we're showcasing five new items we liked and think you will too. You can find Dritz® notions at in-store and online retailers everywhere


Accessories We Love: Janome Flower Stitch Attachment

Friday, 09 October 2015 1:00

The Janome Flower Stitch Attachment is the flower girl of the sewing accessory world, allowing you to sprinkle pretty posies over any project. The attachment fits Janome low shank sewing machines with a maximum stitch width of 7mm. It is not compatible with machines that include embroidery, have the Janome AcuFeed™ or AcuFeed Flex™ systems, or feature a maximum 9mm stitch width. What a fun and easy way to add little decorative stitch touches in pretty thread colors!