Words are wonderful, aren't they? I especially love it when one word has lots of different uses. Take "weave" for example. In general, it simply means to go in and out. But it can be a verb or a noun or even an adjective. You weave a tale of mystery and intrigue; you can weave dangerously through speeding traffic; you can weave fibers intro fabric. Today, we've put the word to work to describe the intricate woven braid pattern on our patchwork pillow - done in the romantic fabric of Verna Mosquera's new Pirouette for FreeSpirit Fabrics. This lovely collection is her ninth for FreeSpirit; the warm creams, rich mochas and candy pinks remind us of a cut crystal dish spilling over with Christmas confections. Or perhaps those swirling cupcake dancers in the Nutcracker ballet. Whatever it brings to your mind, we know you'll enjoy sewing with Pirouette as part of our Happy Holidays series with FreeSpirit & Rowan. We encourage you to experiment with non-traditional fabrics and see you how beautiful they can be when incorporated into holiday projects.
One of the reasons Sew4Home came into existence was our desire to get new people interested in sewing. We wanted to prove sewing was within anyone's reach, even if you'd never even turned on a sewing machine before. It's why we're so focused on providing detailed instructions with helpful photos and make-no-assumptions steps. It's also why we make it a point to showcase the wonderful world of fabric, so you can see how easy it is to dip in and pull out one trendy look after another. You (and I do mean YOU) can create projects that are just as cool... if not more so, than what you find in those high end catalogs and über-expensive stores. Just remember one word: confidence. That's what You Can Do It! week is all about. We kick things off with today's super easy rag edge pillows. "Ragging" is seen most often in quilts and throws; a project is sewn together so the seams show on the outside rather than being hidden on the inside. After washing and drying, the seams gently fray or 'rag,' producing a softly distressed look and feel.
Working with Moda pre-cuts often makes me hungry... the names are so tantalizing: Jelly Rolls, Honey Buns, Layer Cakes. Thankfully, pre-cuts have zero calories and it's fun to come up with creative ways to turn them into what we like to call "new fabric." For today's project, we used Jelly Roll strips from one collection and Honey Bun strips from another collection, proving once again, you can combine beautiful prints from different designers to create a your own unique look. Our pillow uses Jelly Roll strips from Christmas Spirit by Holly Taylor for Moda and Honey Bun strips from Sentiments by 3 Sisters for Moda. We created a fast, strip-pieced pillow with lovely seasonal colors and decorative stitch accents.
All our projects here at Sew4Home focus on the fabric, because the right combination of color and design makes all the difference between a project that turns out so-so and one that is decidedly so-cool. But every so often, a fabric arrives in our hands that demands to be made into something particularly unique. Such was the case when we received a Layer Cake of Moda's collection, Get A Clue With Nancy Drew®. Senior Designer, Alicia Thommas took one look at this collection, and memories flooded back of hiding under the covers with a flashlight to read just one more chapter of The Secret of the Old Clock or The Clue of the Velvet Mask. And so... today's Secret Pocket Pillow was born. Hidden in the pillow's four patchwork quadrants are four pockets to hold your most secret treasures.
"Tick Tock, Cap'n... Tick, Tock... someone is coming!" I don't know about you, but I spent a good chunk of my childhood hoping, wishing, dreaming I could fly like Peter Pan. I never actually jumped off the roof of the garden shed, but... I climbed up there and thought about it! Today, our Pillow Personality is: Playful. We've created a wonderfully sneaky crocodile, our homage to the creepy croc in Peter Pan who was forever stalking Captain Hook. Minky Dot and low nap fleece are the perfect pair for the top and bottom of Mr. Croc. Two widths of rick rack form his teeth and spine. And, we chose Fairfield's luxuriously silky Poly-Fil® Supreme Fiberfill as our stuffing. The texture is wonderful for toys, plus it's washable and non-allergenic. Although he looks complex, our crocodile takes just a little while. And, the pattern is a free download! "I was never to see Peter Pan again. Now I tell his story to my children and they will tell it to their children, and so it will go on - for all children grow up... Except one."
A bench cushion is one of the top projects new sewers list as the decorating puzzle that finally got them thinking about making something on their own rather than buying. Standard bench cushions are certainly available in stores, but I think we can all agree that they never, ever, ever fit right. This is a hard-and-fast truth, just like Jamoca® Almond Fudge is the best Baskins-Robbins® ice cream flavor is a truth (don't cross me on this one... I used to work there in high school!).
No pillow series would be complete without a little something for the furry members of the family. Official test-pup, Sandy the Welsh Corgi, declared it to be the perfect place to catch 40 (to 400) winks. There's an easy-to-insert plastic zipper in one side so you can remove the cover and toss it in the wash. The finished size is about 27" x 36", which makes it good for a small to medium size dog or a couple giant cats. You can expand, or reduce, the dimensions as needed to best fit your best friend.
A pillow doesn't need a lot of extra fol-de-rol to have plenty of personality. (Okay... the Cinderella lovers can sing along with me now: "All the sensible people of this world will say, fol-de-rol and fiddle-dee-de and fiddley, faddley foddle... all the wishes in the world are poppy cock and twoddle.") Today's pillow is super simple: cut, sew, stuff - done. The tricks are to find the perfect fabric, spend the extra time to fussy-cut your squares to best showcase the motif, then pick a super cushy insert, like Fairfield's Feather-Fil® for that high-end, karate-choppable look.
Floriography is the language of flowers. No... your tulips are not outside talking to one another. Floriography, most common in the Victorian era, allowed individuals to send coded messages to one another via flowers and floral arrangements. These secret bouquets expressed feelings that could never be spoken in public. The nuances of the language are now mostly forgotten, but red roses still imply passionate, romantic love, which is the personality of today's pillow. By combining two tapestry style fabrics with vintage lace and buttons, we created a pretty red roses pillow that softly whispers its undying devotion.
Sitting pretty. That's what you'll be when you complete this lovely vanity chair pad. We took a simple center-tufted cushion design, then added deep double ruffles and long beautiful bows to attach the pad to the back of the chair. You'll also want to check out our "keep-it-from-slipping-and-ripping-out-the-ties" trick at the end of the article. Although our cushion was specifically designed to coordinate with yesterday's vanity table, it would also be an adorable option for a set of kitchen chairs or to update a desk chair. Voile is the perfect fabric to create the soft ruffles and lusicously long bows.