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Love That Fabric: April 2011

Tuesday, 19 April 2011 9:00

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As weather warms, vintage and retro fabrics are at their most appealing. This month we feature two collections with very different styles, yet both with a nostalgic feel. Cherry Fizz is a charming 50's soda shop collection, while Flower Market is collection of sun-drenched watercolor roses, peonies and fresh cut daisies, market ready and oh-so irresistible.

Accessories We Love: Janome Ribbon Sewing Guide

Tuesday, 15 March 2011 9:00

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Here is your word for the day: plethora. As in, "a whole bunch." As in, "With such a plethora of ribbon options on the market today, why would I want even more?" Because you can. The Janome Ribbon Sewing Guide allows you to stitch directly on ribbon up to 1" wide, so you can personalize the color and design of your ribbon accents and create exactly the look you need.

Accessories We Love: Janome Beading Foot Set

Thursday, 10 March 2011 9:00

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Beads have always been a favorite embellishment of mine. I think it's because they can add dimension and texture and color in one fell swoop. But my-oh-my, putting them on is a struggle and a half. Hand sewing in an option, if you have a few spare days. And machine sewing can be like trying to ride your bike over a field of BBs (no... I haven't actually done that, but I know it would be tricky and very slippery). Luckily for me (and my bicycle), our friends at Janome have a cool set of presser feet made exactly for what I want to do: quickly attach strands of beads of various widths. Can a glittering gown for next year's Oscars be far behind?!

Top Thread Tips From the Experts at Coats & Clark

Thursday, 03 February 2011 9:00

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One of our very first articles on Sew4Home (way back in the old days of 2009!) was how to go about selecting the right thread for your project. It's still one of the most important topics to talk about; after all, thread is what's holding everything together! We're happy to announce one of the newest S4H supporters is the venerable Coats & Clark - purveyors, for nearly 200 years, of some of the best thread in the business. It was the dawn of the 1800s when Patrick Clark developed a method of twisting cotton yarns together to produce a thread so strong and smooth it could replace the natural silk used in the looms of the day. We worked with Coats & Clark to update our thread information to help you understand not only the standard choices, but some of the specialty options as well.

Accessories We Love: The Clear View Quilting Foot and Guide Set

Monday, 27 December 2010 9:00

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If a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, I'm guessing this three-in-one presser foot is easily worth a bird, a hand and a bush... if you're in to collecting bushes and birds. Me? I just like to find a cool accessory that does several things. The Janome Clear View Quilting Foot and Guide Set comes with two guides: the Quarter Inch Guide and the Ditch Stitch Guide. The foot itself is clearly marked with red guide lines for 1/8" and 1/4" seam allowances, as well as cornering marks for both 1/8" and 1/4" seams in front and behind the needle drop. The foot is super easy to use and very lightweight. But be careful, the little guides are the Barbie® shoes of sewing; they could very easily get lost. So, keep everything together in a little plastic bag, or even the original packaging.

Accessories We Love: Janome Rotary Even Foot Set

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 10:00

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The Janome Rotary Even Foot Set is a nifty little tractor foot with five attachments. It's like a little sewing machine tank rolling over your fabric. By switching out the attachments, you can use it for: blind hemming, joining, attaching bias binding, making rolled hems, even matching stripes and plaids or keeping plush fabrics like polar fleece from shifting. I think if I delved a little deeper into all the possibilities, I might be able to figure out how to use it to bake a cake.

Products We Love: Clover Pom-Pom Maker

Wednesday, 17 November 2010 9:00

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Our Noel Home series of holiday projects features a plethora of pom-poms. The fluffy, casual poms are a great juxtaposition to the elegance the Lumiere de Noel fabric by French General for Moda fabric. Kind of like wearing Converse® high-tops with a tuxedo... a little bit of levity adds just the right touch. But yikes, we needed TWENTY-SIX pom-poms in order to complete all our projects. Time for the Clover® Pom-Pom Maker. It made quick work of our baker's-two-dozen poms, and each one was as perfectly puffy as the next.

Perfect Pillows From Tammy Hensley's Spoonflower Fabric

Friday, 12 November 2010 9:00

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Spoonflower allows you… yes YOU… to design your own custom-printed fabric. How enticing is that! As a designer myself, I'm almost afraid to try my hand at textile design for fear I'll never do anything else. Not only can you design your own fabric, you can buy interesting fabric designed by other people. It's easy to get caught up looking at the thousands of options. Some of it is truly fabulous, a lot is very good and of course, there are some duds. On the whole, however, I found plenty of fabric that I had to fight the urge to add to my towering stash. We gave Spoonflower a try with a set of simple pillows made from our friend, Tammy Hensley's Family Forever collection. We'll take you through the order process, the options, and what we learned.

Quick Tip: Bias Tape Cheat Sheet

Thursday, 11 November 2010 9:00

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There you stand in the fabric store, that giant display of bias tapes and bindings in front of you, its shiny cellophane packages glinting in their neat, color coordinated rows. Single fold, double fold, blanket, quilt. Geeze! What's what? Do you just throw a dart and hope for the best? No! You bring your Sew4Home Cheat Sheet with you and get exactly what you really need.

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Products We Love: Simplicity Bias Tape Maker

Tuesday, 02 November 2010 9:00

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You know how they are always comparing cool new things to sliced bread and mouse traps? To me, neither of these items rank very high on the cool-o-meter on their own, so I don't quite understand their intrinsic comparison value. Even so, they are easily blown away by the product we just finished testing here at S4H: the Simplicity Bias Tape Maker . It's cooler than a piece of sliced bread caught in a better mouse trap, which ranks it at the very tip-top of the cool-o-meter. As those of you who are frequent visitors know, we love using binding on our projects, especially custom binding in great coordinating fabrics. However, we don't love the rather tedious process of actually making that beautiful custom binding. So, when we got the opportunity to give this automatic binding maker a try, we were thrilled... and a little bit giggly with anticipation.

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