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Accessories We Love: The Clear View Quilting Foot and Guide Set

Monday, 27 December 2010 9:00

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If a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, I'm guessing this three-in-one presser foot is easily worth a bird, a hand and a bush... if you're in to collecting bushes and birds. Me? I just like to find a cool accessory that does several things. The Janome Clear View Quilting Foot and Guide Set comes with two guides: the Quarter Inch Guide and the Ditch Stitch Guide. The foot itself is clearly marked with red guide lines for 1/8" and 1/4" seam allowances, as well as cornering marks for both 1/8" and 1/4" seams in front and behind the needle drop. The foot is super easy to use and very lightweight. But be careful, the little guides are the Barbie® shoes of sewing; they could very easily get lost. So, keep everything together in a little plastic bag, or even the original packaging.

Accessories We Love: Janome Rotary Even Foot Set

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 10:00

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The Janome Rotary Even Foot Set is a nifty little tractor foot with five attachments. It's like a little sewing machine tank rolling over your fabric. By switching out the attachments, you can use it for: blind hemming, joining, attaching bias binding, making rolled hems, even matching stripes and plaids or keeping plush fabrics like polar fleece from shifting. I think if I delved a little deeper into all the possibilities, I might be able to figure out how to use it to bake a cake.

Products We Love: Clover Pom-Pom Maker

Wednesday, 17 November 2010 9:00

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Our Noel Home series of holiday projects features a plethora of pom-poms. The fluffy, casual poms are a great juxtaposition to the elegance the Lumiere de Noel fabric by French General for Moda fabric. Kind of like wearing Converse® high-tops with a tuxedo... a little bit of levity adds just the right touch. But yikes, we needed TWENTY-SIX pom-poms in order to complete all our projects. Time for the Clover® Pom-Pom Maker. It made quick work of our baker's-two-dozen poms, and each one was as perfectly puffy as the next.

Perfect Pillows From Tammy Hensley's Spoonflower Fabric

Friday, 12 November 2010 9:00

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Spoonflower allows you… yes YOU… to design your own custom-printed fabric. How enticing is that! As a designer myself, I'm almost afraid to try my hand at textile design for fear I'll never do anything else. Not only can you design your own fabric, you can buy interesting fabric designed by other people. It's easy to get caught up looking at the thousands of options. Some of it is truly fabulous, a lot is very good and of course, there are some duds. On the whole, however, I found plenty of fabric that I had to fight the urge to add to my towering stash. We gave Spoonflower a try with a set of simple pillows made from our friend, Tammy Hensley's Family Forever collection. We'll take you through the order process, the options, and what we learned.

Quick Tip: Bias Tape Cheat Sheet

Thursday, 11 November 2010 9:00

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There you stand in the fabric store, that giant display of bias tapes and bindings in front of you, its shiny cellophane packages glinting in their neat, color coordinated rows. Single fold, double fold, blanket, quilt. Geeze! What's what? Do you just throw a dart and hope for the best? No! You bring your Sew4Home Cheat Sheet with you and get exactly what you really need.


Products We Love: Simplicity Bias Tape Maker

Tuesday, 02 November 2010 9:00

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You know how they are always comparing cool new things to sliced bread and mouse traps? To me, neither of these items rank very high on the cool-o-meter on their own, so I don't quite understand their intrinsic comparison value. Even so, they are easily blown away by the product we just finished testing here at S4H: the Simplicity Bias Tape Maker . It's cooler than a piece of sliced bread caught in a better mouse trap, which ranks it at the very tip-top of the cool-o-meter. As those of you who are frequent visitors know, we love using binding on our projects, especially custom binding in great coordinating fabrics. However, we don't love the rather tedious process of actually making that beautiful custom binding. So, when we got the opportunity to give this automatic binding maker a try, we were thrilled... and a little bit giggly with anticipation.

Products We Love: Clover Fabric Folding Pen

Tuesday, 12 October 2010 9:00

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Teeny tiny folds, such as those along the edge of patch pockets, seem to me like an accident waiting to happen. Holding the fold with the fingers of one hand, pressing with a hot iron in the other. Ouchie! Plus, maybe it's just me, but I often struggle to keep the fold consistent, especially on a long piece. We tested the Clover Fabric Folding Pen and found it to be a handy way to create more exact folds for patchwork, hems, cuffs, pockets or anywhere a small exact fold line is required. The pen draws a liquid line, and the special liquid solution ever so slightly weakens the fabric's fibers along that drawn line. Not enough to damage the fabric; just enough to allow it to easily crease. It doesn't work on all fabrics, but on the ones it's appropriate for, it is pretty darn cool.

Love That Fabric: September

Tuesday, 28 September 2010 9:00

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As Autumn's chill drifts in to replace summer outdoor fun, my mind turns to indoor activities and filling my fabric stash with enough great fabric that I can decide to sew on the spur of the moment. There's a little something for everyone this month, so pick your favorites, cozy up to your machine and get creative.

Love That Fabric: July

Wednesday, 28 July 2010 9:00

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With our focus on kids and birthdays this week, I found myself dwelling on fabric designed for children. Kids have an amazing, and often vivid memory for details of clothing, bedding, curtains, books and wallpaper. Ever try to skip a page when reading a book to a child? I can still visualize the circus wallpaper in my room that my mother tells me was gone by the time I was three. The light aqua background and colorful tents and animals left its mark, and I'm still partial to the mix of pale aqua with brights. It makes me realize that choosing fabrics your child likes may create a life-long happy memory.