Alfresco. Literally, it means "in the open air." And doesn't that sound wonderful this time of year?! Bring some beauty into your backyard with our cheery chair cushions complete with brightly colored poms on the ties that bounce in the warm breeze. Much of the beauty lies in our Waverly Sun N Shade fabric combo. The options in today's outdoor fabrics are wide and varied: from traditional florals to bold geometrics. And they are available in such great color palettes, like the fiery orange of a spicy summer barbecue or greens as cool as an iced mint julep.
Stripes are one of those universal motifs - available in many colors and widths. We decided to play with some stripes, turning and seaming them in clever ways in order to create a unique graphic effect. Our "spun stripes" allow simple triangles and squares to morph into pillow tops that seem almost three-dimensional. The designs are patterned after maritime flags, so we chose fun, primary colors. We love how the resulting trio works together as a bright blend of nautical flair.
The round bolster is a great way to add a new and interesting shape to your pile o' decorator pillows. We chose a 6" x 16" cylinder, which is a classic size to pair up with a 16" or 20" square. Or, make a pair of bolsters as we did and display them on their own. Cording accents and gathered ends are elegant touches that add true designer style yet are so very easy to accomplish.
When you think of patchwork, you traditionally think of quilting cottons. But there's no rule saying you have to use cotton. In fact, if you're a regular Sew4Home visitor, you know we love to experiment with different fabric substrates. Today, we're adding luxury into the mix with silk dupioni. This type of silk is made from twin cocoons naturally bonded together. The bumps in the fabric, they're really called 'slubs', are the result of this bonding. Dupioni is often woven from two different colors of thread, giving it a shimmering, color-shifting appearance. We chose a jewel-box color blend of Tiffany blue, glittering silver, burnished gold, and rich ebony. Our pillows work together as a pair, and our supply list is structured to allow you to buy the correct amount of fabric to make both.
Zippers are one of the trusty workhorses of the sewing world. They normally go about their jobs, opening and closing without much fanfare. But recently, it's become quite trendy to let them out from between the seams to shine on their own. Today's fashionable pillow does just that, featuring zippers on both the front and back. The back zipper is the official opening to insert the pillow form. The front zipper is fully functioning, but is there as embellishment only; it opens onto an inset placket. You can show off the pillow from either side. Both zippers are highlighted with parallel strips of decorative stitching, and that eye-candy front zipper also has a long tassel for extra appeal. The pillow can even be displayed with the front zipper partially open to adjust the placement of the tassel.
This is a You Asked 4 It project that was on our list for quite awhile. We finally found the perfect fabric to make it happen: a home décor Jacquard by Waverly Fabrics. It's soft yet stable in a great neutral with a subtle texture. The French Mattress Edge is actually a hand-stitching technique. It's not at all difficult, but you do need a longer, stronger needle and extra-strong upholstery thread for the very best results.
Growing up, we had a very special Little Golden Book® that only appeared during the Christmas season. It was called Santa's Toy Shop. It had a thin plot line, but we loved it. Santa was sad because he never had time to play with the toys he made. So Mrs. Claus convinced him to stop at the last house on his route. There, he would take the time to sit down, have a cookie, and play with some toys before turning the reindeer back home. There was a question at the end of the book, one that kept us hanging on the edge of our seats each Christmas Eve. Would our house be Santa's last stop this year? We never were able to stay awake long enough to find out! This project falls right in line with that sweet holiday tradition. These adorable pillows are made from panel fabric. Normally used for quick and easy quilts, we knew there had to be some other fun ways to use these pretty panel blocks, like a Santa Letter Pocket Pillow, because surely he's stopping at your house this year!
I've always thought Frosty the Snowman was one of the saddest holiday songs ever, because he melts away in the end. It could bring me to tears as a child. So, we came up with a way to keep Frosty safe year 'round. We used a beautiful long napped, Mongolian style faux fur in white (of course) to create a set of three pillows: two simple round pillows and one sphere (we offer a downlaodable pattern below to create the sphere). The front of the pillows feature our snowman's special smile and button accents, plus we added a bright green pom pom scarf - a Frosty fashion essential. When the holidays have come and gone, simply remove the scarf, flip everything over, and you have three fluffy fur pillows to display for as long as you'd like. Frosty thanks you!
English Paper Piecing was a new technique for us, but one we can see becoming rather addicting. We tested the three sets of brand new Paper Piecing Shapes from Dritz® Quilting: two sizes of Diamonds, two sizes or Hexagons, and two sizes of Tumblers. If you too are new to paper piecing, the first thing to understand is that it's handwork, not machine stitching. Most people associate it with beautifully intricate quilt tops, but the precise, perfectly shaped pieces are wonderful for a variety of embellishing projects. We've used them as appliqués to create a pair of graphic pillows.