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Back to School: The Perfect Slouchy Book Bag

Thursday, 19 August 2010 9:00

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What should you use to carry your school stuff this year? Well, if you're all about form and structure, the venerable back pack is your friend. But if you want something comfortably soft and slouchy, then go with the book bag: the wild child of school totes. Ours uses no stabilizer, only a lining. The exterior fabric is a velvety corduroy from Valori Wells with the thinnest of wales. Wooden beads, stone buttons and waxed cording create the closures. And, tiny golden rivets attach the strap. So cute... maybe you should keep it as your everyday bag!

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Fat Quarter Apron

Friday, 13 August 2010 9:00

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Awhile back, with no project in mind, I picked up five fat quarters from Amy Butler's Love collection while browsing at Bolt Fabric Boutique here in Portland, OR. What to do with five fat quarters? I challenged myself to create an apron where there would be virtually no wasted fabric. What remains from this pretty flower garden apron would fit in a teacup.

Festive Fall Ruffled Pillows in Three Big Sizes

Monday, 09 August 2010 9:00

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Mix and match! That's what these big, fun pillows are all about. One fabric on the front, another on the back, a third for the ruffles and ties. Put them all together for a cornucopia of color. We've blended some great greens, oranges and browns to create an updated take on the late '60s - early '70s mod palette. With a cute bow closure on the back, this set of 18", 20" and 24" pillows looks great from either side. Plop them against a plain sofa and watch the room go from boring to beautiful in the blink of an eye.

Felt Travel Sewing Kitty

Thursday, 05 August 2010 9:00

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I tend to have wardrobe malfunctions at the most inconvenient times. Just before making an important presentation, a strategic button will fall off or a seam opens up. I can't even think how many stapler and Scotch Tape repairs I've made over the years. I finally created a small sewing kit that contains just what I need to fix almost any disaster – contained in a cute felt kit with a built-in pincushion kitty.

Kid's Birthday Party: "Something's Fishy" Game Curtain

Wednesday, 04 August 2010 9:00

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"Here Fishy, Fishy." Make your own colorful curtain for this classic kid's party game. Johnny (or Janie) stands in front of the curtain with a pole; mom or dad is on the other side with a bowl of prizes to clip to the end, guaranteeing the day's friendliest catch. It's a fun game they'll fall for, 'hook, line and sinker.' As an added benefit, you can use the curtain to cover a real window after the party's over.

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Kid's Birthday Party: Color Me Happy Placemats

Monday, 02 August 2010 9:00

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It's a reversible placemat. No, it's a party activity. Wait... you're both right! Our party placemats feature fun and festive fabric from Patty Young's new Playdate collection on one side, and Über cool chalk cloth on the other. Similar to oilcloth, chalk cloth is heavy yet pliable and waterproof. You can write on it with regular or liquid chalk and then wipe it clean with a damp cloth or baby wipe. We gave each party guest his/her own box of chalk to play with, keeping little hands busy while we set up for more fun and games.

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Summer Fun: Terry Towel Coverup & Matching Beach Pillow

Thursday, 29 July 2010 9:00

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Back in the day, your 'beach towel' was simply a ratty bath towel that had seen better days and which Mom allowed you to drag outside. Today's beach towels are colorful terry cloth works of art in jumbo sizes. We used one to make our simple summer beach wrap. A clever cut allows you to make optimum use of the towel's bound edges, and leaves you the perfect scrap to create a matching pillow. To add a splash of summer fun, we braided three colors of polka dot knit to create the wrap's wonderful ties. It's all super quick to make, so you can be lounging by the shore in style before all the good spots are gone.

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Kid's Birthday Party: Mini Backpacks As Take-Home Treat Bags

Tuesday, 27 July 2010 9:00

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Birthday party treat bags can be flimsy plastic things filled with candy and tiny trinkets, which are ultimately lost and sucked up by the vacuum. Or... you can bestow these dandy mini backpacks on your party guests. They are oh-so cute, actually useful, and fun to make! You can still fill them with candy and tiny trinkets, but they are cool enough to be great parting gifts even with nothing in them. You could also fill them with the souvenirs and prizes from the day's activities. Like I said: cute, useful and fun.

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