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Products We Love: Clover Fabric Folding Pen

Tuesday, 12 October 2010 9:00

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Teeny tiny folds, such as those along the edge of patch pockets, seem to me like an accident waiting to happen. Holding the fold with the fingers of one hand, pressing with a hot iron in the other. Ouchie! Plus, maybe it's just me, but I often struggle to keep the fold consistent, especially on a long piece. We tested the Clover Fabric Folding Pen and found it to be a handy way to create more exact folds for patchwork, hems, cuffs, pockets or anywhere a small exact fold line is required. The pen draws a liquid line, and the special liquid solution ever so slightly weakens the fabric's fibers along that drawn line. Not enough to damage the fabric; just enough to allow it to easily crease. It doesn't work on all fabrics, but on the ones it's appropriate for, it is pretty darn cool.

Love That Fabric: July

Wednesday, 28 July 2010 9:00

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With our focus on kids and birthdays this week, I found myself dwelling on fabric designed for children. Kids have an amazing, and often vivid memory for details of clothing, bedding, curtains, books and wallpaper. Ever try to skip a page when reading a book to a child? I can still visualize the circus wallpaper in my room that my mother tells me was gone by the time I was three. The light aqua background and colorful tents and animals left its mark, and I'm still partial to the mix of pale aqua with brights. It makes me realize that choosing fabrics your child likes may create a life-long happy memory.


What To Look For In A Quilting Thread

Tuesday, 08 June 2010 9:00

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If you ask traditional quilters about quilt finishing or quilting (finishing is the fancy term for creating stitches all over the quilt top to keep the layers together), they will most likely tell you the threads used for finishing should match the fibers used in the quilt itself. So, if your quilt is made of cotton fabric, all of the thread used to hold it together should also be cotton. This is good advice if you're planning to make a quilt that can stand up to a large amount of wear and tear. There are, however, a wide range of really fun textures and colors of thread available, and part of the fun of sewing is trying new things!

How To Work With And Select Outdoor-Safe Fabrics

Thursday, 03 June 2010 9:00

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When I was first introduced to outdoor sewing, I have to admit I wasn't very enthusiastic about it. (And, no, I didn't think it meant taking my sewing machine outside.) Why would I want to put all the time and effort into sewing home décor items and then leave them outside in the weather? I'd seen what happens to cloth items that get left out on the deck overnight. I was missing an important piece of information. There is a whole array of great looking fabric designed to be left outside. They're called... wait for it... outdoor fabrics. If we can put a man on the moon, we can make great looking fabric that doesn't mind being outside.

Beyond the Basics: Specialty Rulers To Make Your Sewing Faster & More Accurate

Wednesday, 28 April 2010 9:00

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How many sewing rulers should you own? If you had asked me that when I first started sewing, I might have answered, "I dunno... maybe three." After you get a yardstick, a basic metal ruler and a tape measure, what else do you need? I have a sewing friend who probably owns more than 20 sewing rulers. I say "probably" because I lost count, and I don't think she really knows how many she has. Before you conclude she's either obsessive-compulsive or a shoplifter, you should know her projects turn out beautifully. The rulers are the reason.

Love That Fabric: April

Thursday, 22 April 2010 9:00

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This month, we're devoting the entire Love That Fabric! column to Rural Jardin. It's a grand fabric collection from French General for Moda. If you want to add the tranquil elegance of French farmhouse-inspired textiles to your home, look seriously at this collection. The selection is vast, with muted shades of blue, red and aqua; plus toweling and 54" cotton/linen yardage that is perfect for upholstery or slipcovers. It's an ideal choice for home décor with lots of well-imagined variety. If I think about it much longer, I'm going to have to redo my house in this fabric.


Products We Love: Cruz Label & All Things Labels

Thursday, 15 April 2010 10:00

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More and more people are evolving their passion for sewing into a business. Craft and market fairs have popped up in even the smallest communities, including upcoming seasonal Farmer's Markets, many of which are expanding to include handmade products along with their famous fruits, vegetables and flowers. Online creative storefronts, like etsy.com, artsefest.com and silkfair.com have exploded in popularity. If you're thinking of selling your creations, you should label them. A professional label adds the touch that says, 'I mean business!' We recently discovered two great online label options: Cruz Label and All Things Labels - sister companies from Los Angeles. We gave them a test run with a set of three Sew4Home labels, and were very happy with our results.

Jelly Rolls to Layer Cakes: A Lesson in Fabric Pre-Cuts from Jocelyn Lai of Fat Quarter Shop

Tuesday, 13 April 2010 9:00

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Scanning the list of materials for your next project tutorial, you suddenly come across a term or two that causes you to stop and scratch your head: Fat Quarters, Charm Packs, Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, Honey Buns. Have you accidentally clicked from a sewing site to a recipe site? All these items sound just delicious, but what the heck do they have to do with sewing? They're the names for various types of fabric pre-cuts. And though not edible, they are great time and money savers.