The word "only" gets kind of a bad rap. Maybe because it seems a little too close to "lonely," but the flip side is the heart of its true meaning: to focus on one thing. If you do one thing very, very well, then you are likely an expert. So it is with the Janome Memory Craft embroidery-only machines. Yes, they only do embroidery, but they do it expertly and with Janome's trademark ease-of-use. We chose the Memory Craft 500E to create this beautiful set of embroidered placemats and napkins, selecting two built-in florals and stitching them against a shear ribbon lattice on a 100% linen background.
My grandmother, an immigrant from Lithuania, was an unbelievably talented seamstress. She did everything by hand, including free-hand embroidery, tatting, and crocheting. She never needed a pattern; you could just sketch something and she would create it. It was the sewing equivalent of the musician's 'hum a few bars.' Her vividly artistic creations seemed to flow from her fingers like water from a pitcher. In fact, as a young child, I thought everyone had handmade and hand-embroidered sheets and pillowcases and dresser cloths and curtains, and, and, and... I was shocked the first time I slept over at a friend's house and saw her sheets were (gasp!) plain white. My grandmother's influence is likely a big part of why I love the idea of antique linens, and why I steadfastly refuse to give up my dresser cloth.
When you’re full of love, let it show! We’re hanging our hearts on a curlicue clothesline for everyone to see. The Sew4Home Fast Fridays series is all about whipping out something wonderful in no time at all. When you start with a set of purchased napkins, all that’s left is the easy appliqué. We show you a clever trace and stitch technique that will make quick work of one, two, three or a table full of napkins.
Although I have no proof, I feel certain that somewhere in my past there is an ancestor of regal bearing. Perhaps a Baltic princess or a brooding prince from the moors of Scotland. I have a deep affection for well-appointed luxury. For a formal occasion, I love the look of a table runner with place mats. The rich dark wood of the dining table sets off the fabric, and the individual linens act like beautiful little frames for the china and silver. This very elegant table runner in a sparkling platinum damask with rich mahogany accents is certainly fit for a king or a queen or... for your own royal family this holiday season.
The cloth napkin; you simply can't ask for an easier home décor project. If you are just getting started in sewing or teaching someone new, napkins are an instant-gratification winner. If you're already a pro, they're a fast and fun project. And this time of year, when the holidays are almost upon us, they're a perfect host/hostess gift to whip out in an afternoon before your evening festivities. We kick ours up a notch with beautiful decorative stitching all around the edge and a coordinating fabric napkin ring that "ties" them altogether.
"Whoooooooo wants lunch?!" Our adorable appliquéd owl placemats make mealtime fun for kids... or those of us who are kids at heart! As they tumble through the trees, our playful owls make these placemats the perfect project for the approach of Fall. We provide templates for all four owl designs along with detailed step-by-step instructions for how to layer and stitch. Each owl pal has its own personality, thanks to their expressive eyes and whether they're hopping, perching, flying or falling. The fabric selection for all the pieces also adds style and sass. We dug through our scrap stash for a blend of fall colors. Each owl features one tiny print and one coordinating solid.
The most popular fabric in the realm of rustic is burlap. Believe it or not, this coarse fabric, more traditionally known for bagging coffee beans than bedecking elegant tabletops, is the hottest ticket out there when it comes to adding some trendy texture. Part of the reason behind this is how many options are available in burlaps today – both in density (the coarseness of the weave) as well as color. Yep... burlap is not just brown anymore. We've come up with a beautiful design for a simple table runner made of two layers of burlap joined with decorative stitching and highlighted with a splash of luxurious silk. We show it as wedding décor, but it's lovely for a variety of occasions. Burlap, like many specialty fabrics, comes in very wide widths. The burlaps we found at Fabric.com ranged from 47" to 60" wide with the most common width being 60". This means you can cut a number of strips from each piece.
When we're brainstorming on projects for our popular ScrapBusters series, we like to give you ideas for various sizes and shapes. That's the beauty of scraps: some are tall and narrow, some are short and squat, some are simply chunks and hunks of great color and design. They're all so pretty, and we saved them for a reason, right? Because we want to use them again! Dig down for those tall and narrow pieces in your scrap stash, fussy cut them to center the prettiest possible vertical motifs, then stitch them together into this striking table runner with a subtle ruffled edge.
The indoor variety of this project if often called a "mug rug." It's simply a small placemat to hold just a few items, such as a mug of tea and a biscuit. Since we're kicking off the season to dine al fresco, we felt there needed to be an outdoor version of the mug rug. Using a couple small cuts from outdoor fabrics, we designed a cute Mini Mat that sports a handy, full-width pocket and a grommet for hanging.
Outdoor dining takes a little creativity in order to keep everything from blowin' in the wind. Our darling, durable placemats have built-in pockets to hold flatware and/or napkins. Dining in? Hooray for the reversible! Simply flip over the placemats for whole new look – the back is pocket-free. These clever placemats are so quick and easy, you can easily whip up enough for your own table or the entire family reunion in a single weekend. You want a substantial fabric for this project: a canvas, heavy cotton duck or an outdoor fabric. We went the outdoor fabric route, which worked well and looked great. We love the bright, bold designs common in the outdoor category – perfect for casual summer meals.