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Happy Holidays with FreeSpirit & Rowan: Quilted Sugar & Spice Throw

Tuesday, 13 November 2012 3:00

One question that always stumps me is when someone asks, "What's your favorite color?" Whoa! It depends on my mood, which colors I'm working with that day, what design everything is spun into... and probably about a dozen other factors, including time of year and what song is playing on iTunes. I think I've loved each and every color at one time or another. That's what's so wonderful about patchwork – you get to blend all kinds of colors and patterns. Pieceing and patchwork are about choosing more not less! Today's beautiful throw uses NINE different fabrics from the new Pirouette collection by Verna Mosquera for FreeSpirit Fabrics. From tiny rosebuds to bold damask to a pink and white tartan, Verna has created a romantic medley of sweet treats. As a holiday project, we anchored our throw's design with a traditional rich, ruby red; then softened the palette with prints from her Flamingo, Moss, Opal and Mocha colorways. Like all the projects within our Happy Holidays with FreeSpirit & Rowan series, today's Priouette throw is a simple yet classic creation executed in gorgeous fabrics - perfect for holiday giving and decorating, but with a beauty that will last year 'round.


Happy Holidays with FreeSpirit & Rowan: Pillowcases with Deep Ruffled Ends

Monday, 12 November 2012 3:00

A new week - a new wonderful designer. Today, we're thrilled to introduce you to Pirouette by Verna Mosquera, her ninth collection for FreeSpirit Fabrics. You may recognize Verna from her very popular quilt pattern line under the name: The Vintage Spool. Her romantic designs combine yesterday's inspiration with today's fabrics. During our Happy Holidays series with FreeSpirit & Rowan, our goal is to take non-traditional fabrics and show you how beautiful they can be when incorporated into holiday projects. Pirouette is a perfect example. The warm creams, rich mochas and candy pinks remind us of a cut crystal dish spilling over with Christmas confections. Today's special pillowcase design features ruffled borders and dainty bows, suggesting the look of a dancer's billowing skirts. What a sweet way to freshen up a guest room - just in time for your holiday visitors!


Happy Holidays with Ty Pennington Impressions: Ty Pennington Zippered Bags with Tri-Color Tassels

Friday, 09 November 2012 3:00

Whenever we design a little zippered bag here on Sew4Home, we get a huge response. Everyone loves cute little bags. And who can blame us? We all have stuff that needs to live in its own carrying case: make-up stuff, sewing stuff, snack stuff, money stuff, even secret stuff. Today's winning bags feature amazing zippers in rainbow colors (yes - we have a link to where we found them) and a luxurious tri-color tassel you can make yourself. But, what really makes these pretty pouches pop are the bold colors and patterns of Ty Pennington's 2012 Fall Collection. Finishing at just 6" x 7½", the bags are the perfect size to drop into a larger tote, but the fabric combinations are so beautiful, they really deserve to be out in the open and on their own! To add a subtle dash of handmade style, we used the same thick floss running stitch across the bottom panel of the bag as we featured on our Ty Pennington Holiday Placemats.


Happy Holidays with FreeSpirit & Rowan: How to Install an Invisible Zipper

Thursday, 08 November 2012 3:00

Zip-A-Dee-Ay! On Tuesday of this week, we showed you the steps to master installation of a regular zipper. Today, we introduce (or maybe reintroduce) you to one of our other lovely zipper friends, the invisible zipper. Remember, this zipper is shy, and likes to stay hidden in the seamline of your projects. In fact, with the exception of its slender zipper pull, you’d never know it was there. It likes it that way... and you will too!  In the realm of all zippers (a land just north by northwest of Oz), the invisible or concealed zipper is actually the easiest to install.


Happy Holidays with Ty Pennington Impressions: Ty Pennington Napkins & Pom Pom Ties

Wednesday, 07 November 2012 3:00

Since we brought you bold mix-and-match placemats on Monday in Ty Pennington's gorgeous new Fall 2012 collection, of course we need dynamic mix-and-match napkins to coordinate! Although the venerable paper napkin has been around since the late 1800s, we still prefer cloth napkins. They're a beautiful way to jazz up a table setting, generate less waste in the landfill, and are a fast, easy and fun project for a beginning sewer or anyone with just a few hours to create. But wait, there's more: we also have happy little pom-pom festooned napkin ties! It's a beautiful set for your holiday table or simply to brighten up everyday dining. The edges of both the napkins and the ties feature hand-look decorative stitching - thanks to the amazing stitch options on our Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8900 QCP. We show you how the stitch is created with invisible thread, and we have some special fussy-cutting tricks for the super-centered tie motifs. 


Happy Holidays with FreeSpirit & Rowan: How to Install a Conventional Zipper

Tuesday, 06 November 2012 3:00

Zzzzzzzzip it! We love the sound, the look and the functionality of zippers. But most of us are not so in love with installing them in our sewing projects. In fact, there's probably no sewing technique more dreaded than learning how to properly install a zipper. If you're a regular S4H visitor, you know that's a challenge we can't walk away from. Today, you are going to learn how to master this technique. Once you’ve done so, one warning: anyone who finds out about your new skill will be dropping off all kinds of items with broken zippers on your front porch. Ha! Pull them inside, and teach them how to do it themselves! 


Happy Holidays with Ty Pennington Impressions: Ty Pennington Placemats

Monday, 05 November 2012 3:00

This week we dive into the rich, bold colors and patterns of Ty Pennington. You likely recognize this charismatic home design guru from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition where his creativity and coordination have helped transform the lives of thousands and inspired millions of DIYers around the world. His latest Fall 2012 Collection for Ty Pennington Impressions is drop dead gorgeous. The riveting jewel tones are spot-on for the holidays, yet the palettes are diverse enough, with a variety of both warm and cool tones, that you can easily imagine the fabric livening up your projects well into Spring and Summer. I'm picturing a spring market tote, a summer sundress or a trio of tiki pillows. We mixed and matched nine different fabrics within the collection to create a set of stunning holiday placemats. A thick floss running stitch across the border adds a subtle dash of handmade style.


Happy Holidays with FreeSpirit & Rowan: Zippered Pouch & Pocket Tissue Cover

Friday, 02 November 2012 3:00

We round out our collection of projects in Melissa White's Amelie's Attic collection with a two-for-one day: two pretty organizers for your favorite bag or tote (perhaps the Country Fresh Carryall from this very series!). Our zippered pouch features a striking pleated panel. With its wraparound bottom, we show you a fun new way to create this clever lined bag. And, our little tissue cover is about as cute as they come. Wouldn't it make a perfect stocking stuffer? We love to take non-traditional fabrics and show you how beautiful they can be when incorporated into holiday projects. Amelie's Attic is perfect for holiday giving and decorating, yet has a country fresh beauty that will last year 'round. Melissa's designs are based on her fifteen years of research into rare Elizabethan wall paintings in Tudor houses across Britain. The result is a fabric collection with a modern style softened by patina of history. We especially loved the crackled finish that overlays her vintage florals.


Happy Holidays with FreeSpirit & Rowan: Country Fresh Shopping Carryall

Thursday, 01 November 2012 3:00

If you're heading out for holiday shopping, you need a bag that makes maneuvering the season's crowded stores and stalls easier, and looks great doing it. We had a few "musts" on our shopping list for this shopping bag: 1) It must be big enough to hold a wallet and essentials as well as smaller purchases, leaving your hands free to browse the racks and bins; Solution: a taller bag with 2" side and bottom panels. 2) The opening must have a cover, but no zippers, buckles or clasps that take two hands to operate; Solution: a longer flap weighted with batting. 3) The strap must be adjustable, allowing you to quickly shorten it as the booty within the bag builds; Solution: short and long shoulder ties. 4) It must be cute, because that's all we allow at Sew4Home; Solution: Amelie's Attic by Melissa White for Rowan Fabrics.


Happy Holidays with FreeSpirit & Rowan: How to Make Gathers by Machine

Tuesday, 30 October 2012 3:00

We love to gather with friends and family to share good food and conversation. We enjoy gathering with like-minded folks to attend concerts and other events. In these contexts, gathering is fun and easy. By comparison, in sewing... gathering is often known as daunting and time-consuming! Many sewists will do just about anything to avoid adding gathers (or ruffles) into their projects, whether by hand or machine. We believe all gathering should be fun and easy, and today, we aim to change the perception of gathering with a sewing machine. After reading this tutorial, we bet you’ll be inviting your sewing friends over to convince them just how easy it is to gather fabric. If you do this, we think you should call it "gatherers gathering on gathers!"