When Dorothy arrives in Oz to meet the Wizard, the pageantry of her welcome includes the amazing "Horse of a Different Color." When I was young and saw this, I was convinced that horse was real and longed to find one. I got a little older and realized it was a metaphor, as were those terrifying winged monkeys. Although I still stand respectfully back from the primate enclosure at the zoo, the Horse of a Different Color remains a favorite and is a great description of what can happen when you take a project and look at it from a different angle. It's the theory behind our Re-imagine & Renovate series, or R&R as we call it. We take one of our favorite classic projects and try it in new fabric with a new color palette - sometimes even changing up one of the techniques slightly. Today we're re-doing our very popular circular trivets.
Let's admit it... a big part of the holidays revolve around food. There are wonderful family dinners, neighborhood cookie exchanges, and potluck parties at the office. You name it, if there's a celebration, there's sure to be extra yummy treats to be found. Today's Deck The Halls with Fabric.com project is all about yummy treats. In fact, this particular project made all of us hungry for cupcakes during the entire construction process. Like our earlier Deck The Halls Santa Letter Pocket Pillows, this is another design that makes use of the wide variety of panel fabrics available at Fabric.com. Normally used for quick and easy quilts, we've broken the mold to use them instead as feature appliqués on pretty banded, double-sided napkins. We made a set of eight, alternating two crisp coordinating cottons for the main napkin fabric.
We've turned the the winter weather season upside down by using a traditional outdoor fabric to make this lovely indoor table runner. In browsing the over 500,000 yards of fabric Fabric.com carries for our Deck The Halls series, we kept returning to their indoor/outdoor section - which is huge - because of the bold motifs. Outdoor fabrics are often used for larger projects, such as bench cushions or umbrella covers, so the design motifs tend to be bigger and more dramatic. We got to thinking about it, and asked, "Why can't they come inside?" Not only is it beautiful fabric, it's also thick, tough and durable. In fact, there's no need for an inside batting layer. Batting is usually necessary with runners made of standard cottons in order to protect the tabletop from hot or wet dishes. But with this fabric, two simple layers provide plenty of protection... unless, of course, you plan on serving sizzling fajitas at the table for Christmas dinner!
The traditional Thanksgiving table usually features a tablecloth, but we think placemats are a fresh take on tabletop convention. Our set of four mix-and-match placemats blends eight gorgeous colors and designs fussy cut from Joel Dewberry's Heirloom collection. Last week, we featured our Festive Cook's Apron, which was also done in Heirloom. It broke records across Social Media for likes, shares and pins. So, we knew we had to show off these great coordinating placemats. There's also a link to the matching napkins and ties. I think it's going to be a very vibrant Thanksgiving this year!
When you're eating on-the-go at outdoor tables or food courts, do you ever wonder where to sit or put your food? Sometimes those surfaces look a bit questionable at best. And, experiments with cold and flu germs (already everywhere this time of year) have shown they can remain active on hard surfaces for up to 48 hours. Yikes! Our set of mini laminated mats is the answer to helping keep things sanitary. Not only are they cute as can be, they roll up and secure with a wrap strap so they're easy to carry. Lay them out anywhere for a clean surface for your meal... and yourself or your kids. When done, simply wipe clean with a sanitizing spray.
Today's project shows you how the application of an exquisite ribbon can transform an otherwise simple rectangle of solid fabric into an elegant table runner. The ribbon we chose is a French Linen Trim from our friends, and new premium Sew4Home sponsor, Renaissance Ribbons! We added batting to soften the runner and increase its table protection abilities, then quilted the center in a wide diamond pattern. The ribbon frame extends beyond the edge at all four corners with pretty loops cut and turned to best feature the woven lavender motif.
I remember having a drawer full of trivets growing up. There were elaborate crocheted ones my grandmother had made as well as tacky souvenir versions from one or more family vacations. I inherited a few, but when I decided I wanted more, I discovered they must have fallen out of favor as a kitchen accessory because they were rather hard to find. Perhaps the hot pad is supposed to be a stand in, but their square shape and smaller size just isn't as functional. A generous round trivet is by far the winner when it comes to providing an easy, effective way to protect your table's finish from hot serving dishes. Today's ScrapBuster project is our personal mission to revive the terrific trivet! Ours is a pretty patchwork pattern with pie-shaped wedges in a full circle. We provide free downloadable patterns for the front wedges and the back circle. The project takes just a few little pieces from your scrap bag, and gives you a chance to do some pretty circular quilting. We used the Janome Circular Sewing Attachment, an easy way to make perfect concentric circles.
What's the hallmark image of summertime entertaining? A tall glistening glass of lemonade filled with clinking ice cubes. And what is that wonderfully refreshing glass doing? It's sweating. The condensation is pouring down the sides. It's making a little puddle. This beautiful summertime image needs a beautiful summertime coaster. That's what we have today, a set of fast and easy ScrapBuster coasters. We've mixed bright prints with solid summer white in a classic pinwheel pattern. Make sure that gorgeous glass of lemonade doesn't leave behind a less-than-lovely ring.
Yesterday during Janome Week it was decorative stitching; today it's embroidery. While nearly all sewing machines include at least some decorative stitch options, only embroidery models can create embroidery designs. Janome has both embroidery-only models: such as the Memory Craft 350E, as well as sewing and embroidery models, such as the Horizon Memory Craft 12000 and the Memory Craft 9900. For our project today, we're using the brand new Janome MC9900 (click here to see our recent review of this model). Although there are many, many built-in embroidery designs on the MC9900, and we'll be playing with some of them later in the week for our Apron project; today we wanted to show you another wonderful option you have with Janome embroidery models: bringing in a design from an outside source - it's so easy! It could be something you create yourself with embroidery software, something you purchase on an embroidery CD, or something you download from the hundreds... no... thousands of embroidery design resources on the Internet. We have two custom Janome-compatible designs as free downloads today – just for our Sew4Home visitors!
Yesterday, we introduced you to a new, favorite tool in our sewing studio: the Oliso® TG1050 Smart Iron with iTouch® Technology. Believe it or not, we actually had fun ironing (read our full review here)! Today, we're putting the iron to a real test with a pleated table runner in a solid-color washed linen. There's plenty o' pressing in this project, but having a great iron made it fast and easy. The beauty of the 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. Plus - we show 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!