When the boxes come down from the attic every year, one of my favorite Christmas items to uncover is a table runner my mother made for me. It's the first thing I pull out, and for me, its appearance signals the official arrival of the holiday season. This happy patchwork and pom pom centerpiece certainly has the potential to become a best-loved holiday tradition. Make one for yourself plus a couple more for friends and family. We used a Layer Cake pre-cut bundle, which usually contains forty 10" x 10" squares. That's plenty for several runners, simply add your favorite solid for the accent squares and backing.
The word "only" gets kind of a bad rap. It can seem 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. The newest member of this family is the Memory Craft 500E, which just debuted last month at authorized Janome America dealers. We got the opportunity to try the new model and used it to create this beautiful set of embroidered placemats and napkins. We selected two built-in florals, stitching them against a shear ribbon lattice on a 100% linen background.
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" together all the beautiful mix-and-match patterns, pairing traditional florals with contemporary graphic motifs.
The beauty of this runner is in the texture of the pleated squares side by side with the plain squares. It looks best in a solid, which really shows off the definition. We chose linen. Plus - we give you a fun way to create pretty mitered corners without using a separate binding strip. Our "binding" is actually the folded-over edges of the back panel - binding and back all in one! There's plenty o' pressing in this project, so having a great iron makes it fast and easy. Here in the Sew4Home studios, we use Oliso irons. Love them - especially the iTouch® technology: touch the handle and the iron lowers. Remove your hand and it lifts back up. No more scorching, and a much more stable base.
"Whoooooooo wants lunch?!" Our adorable appliquéd owl placemats make mealtime fun for kids... or just those of us who are kids at heart! 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 tumbling. 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.
Your scrap basket may not include leather, but you might be surprised where you can find bits and pieces of real leather. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have Tandy Leather, which has several retail locations as well as online shopping. Their retail stores extend across the country and even internationally. Check out the store locator to see if there's one in your area. Or, you may have a similar outlet; any larger company that creates leather goods probably offers scraps for sale. If not, browse local vintage and re-sale shops for leather vests, larger purses, and other leather products you can repurpose. In addition, you can always choose to substitute faux leather. These half-square triangles go together in a snap. And the soft wool-felt backing makes them safe for any surface.
The Downton Abbey television series has been quite a phenomenon – an instant hit with a loyal following who early await each new adventure of the upstairs and downstairs residents of the grand hall. We're fans here at Sew4Home and were thrilled when Andover Fabrics debuted a line of fabric designed to emulate the characters, the time period, and the glamorous surroundings of Downton. Just like the series, the fabric has continued to evolve. The first Downton Abbey Christmas collection just came out, and Fabric Depot was one of the first outlets to get these gorgeous cotton prints on their retail and virtual shelves. We are so excited to partner with them to bring you a special patchwork project to celebrate Christmas in July.
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 this is the season to dine al fresco, we felt there needed to be an outdoor version of the mug rug. So we pulled out a few favorite outdoor fabrics from the S4H scrap stash and designed a cute Mini Mat that sports a handy, full-width pocket and a grommet for hanging.
Start with a simple yet bold fabric, add some distinctive decorative stitching, and the result is a stunning table runner that's a perfect backdrop for an upcoming Easter gathering or any occasion that calls for a pretty table setting. Remember, "Life is short; use the good china!" We chose a canopy stripe fabric, which is easy to find in a myriad of colors. Thanks to our amazing Janome studio machines, we found the perfect stitch pattern, picked a strong contrasting thread color, and sewed our long lines of embellishment with perfect form and precision... even when running for over 100 inches! Industry-leading stitch quality is one of the main reasons we are so happy to be an exclusive Janome studio. Across thin voile hems or heavy canvas seams, we have smooth needle penetration from the first stitch to the last.