November 2007 Archives
I just finished the last bite of pumpkin pie, loosened my waistband and suddenly realized that Christmas is around the corner.
This is THE time of the year to make your house glow with color, lights and your own individual style. I have spent a glorious weekend watching HGTV for all the great ideas that they showcase: http://web.hgtv.com/hgtv/web/searchResults/1,8213,,FF.html?searchString=christmas+projects&searchType=Aggregate&GoSearch=Search. In fact, now I am overwhelmed by the ideas. Time and money will always be in short supply, but creativity is never in short supply at Fabric.com. This is not the time to start a Christmas quilt. You will never finish it and you will feel guilty. My advice is to select no more than 3 projects. Do not start anything else until these are finished. I, personally, am a great starter and a lousy finisher. I am introducing a new philosophy in my life- Finish it before you start something new.
I am all about the "free." There are free ideas all over the internet, in magazines, TV shows, etc. I have selected a couple of projects to kick start the Holidays. I fell in love with a table runner and place mats designed by Karen Montgomery for Timeless Treasures fabrics. The pattern can be downloaded for free at http://www.ttfabrics.com/patterns.php?patternID=159. This would be great for a fun breakfast or informal lunch. As Tom Hanks says in "You've Got Mail," to save a business - Go to the Mat. Well, this is the time for all sewers "To go to the Stash." I made this a very scrappy project. For the table runner and 4 placemats you will need 2 yards of flannel fabric (this is the foundation) and 2 yards of Christmas fabric for the back. I used fabrics from the "Let It Snow" collection for the back. Then I sorted Christmas fabrics from my stash for the strips. You will probably recognize fabrics from Let It Snow, Iota Christmas, Holly Jolly and several I have forgotten. From the flannel and backing fabrics cut 7 15-inch squares. Cut your stash scraps different widths and at least 15 inches long. Find the center of the flannel square and draw a chalk line across the middle. Lay 2 strips right sides together along the chalk line on the flannel square. The flannel square is your foundation piece. Sew a 1/4 inch seam and press open. Add your next strip to the raw edge, sew a 1/4 inch seam, press open. This is a flip-and-fold technique. Continue in this manner until the flannel square is covered. Place your flannel square strip side facing the right side of the backing fabric. On the flannel side, mark 4 1/4 inches in from each side and draw a line from each point to create an ormament shape. Trim that triangle off. To create the ornament top- you will need 2- 2 1/2 " x 6 " rectangles of gold fabric for each placemat. Sew right sides together to front and back piece. Press open. Sew 1/4 inch from the edge, leaving an opening for turning. Clip corners and turn. Slipstitch the opening close. Topstitch the placemat 1/4 inch from the edge to finish. It will take about 90 minutes to make 2 placemats.
My second project is from www.allpeoplequilt.com - the Lunch Sack.
Again a free pattern. I love to give presents inside a present. I am using a cotton laminated fabric (BC-989) from Michael Miller's fabric collection for this sack. My sister is a Title teacher and takes her lunch to work and this is waterproof fabric so she will be able to use it all year long. I am going to stuff it with blue and yellow fat quarters. Fabric.com has a minimum cut of 1/2 yard so I can select the fabrics for her and then recut them into fat quarters creating 2 presents- one for me and one for her. I deserve a present, too.
Just some tips if you want to make this project from laminated cotton:
If you are using a very heavy interfacing, I used temporary spray adhesive (NR-369) to hold the laminated cotton to the interfacing.
Use a longer stitch and regular thread is fine.
Do not use heat on this product- I just finger pressed the seams
Do no pin the fabric- it will leave pin marks.
My bag looks a little different from the bag on the www.allpeoplequilt.com website because I used TimTex (NR-237) as the interfacing. This will make your bag very rigid and stiff.
If you wish a bag closer to the one on their website, I would use a craft weight interfacing.
Over the coming weeks, we will have 90-minute or less projects.
Here are some suggestions for you:
1. Christmas pillowcases are great for everyone
2. Christmas pillows- great use for leftover Christmas quilt blocks
3. Flannel pajamas for kids or adults
4. Christmas stockings
6. Casserole carriers (SB-015) a great pattern available in our pattern department
7. Mantel scarves
I am sure that you can think of many more.
Go create something fun and beautiful.
Every Fall and Spring Fabric.com has a huge warehouse sale. Last weekend, we had our fall event. We sell end rolls, returns, slightly damaged, etc. fabric at drastically reduced prices. For those lucky enough to live in the
Last Spring I had the pleasure of meeting a very memorable group of sewers ( If I did not think I would look like a fool, I would invite myself to their sewing sessions). They kept returning to my table with the best fabrics... Alexander Henry, Amy Butler, Moda, on and on. I was very impressed with their keen eye and tenacity. Even though CJ (ring leader), Shannon, Maribel and Winnie were 50th in line this year and a stones throw behind their "warehouse sale shopping nemesis" they managed to find their magic and appear at my table all morning with incredible fabrics. I just had to know how they did this...Before the sale started I didn't find these beautiful fabrics for my own stash! So I observed their behavior and was able to pick up on a few of their methods. They also shared a few of their secrets with me. Of course I cannot disclose this highly sensitive information with you but let's just say these chicks are smart! I can however share some of their creations from the great bargains they purchased from our sale. After hugs goodbye to my special girls I made them promise to send me pictures. CJ and Shannon sent me these photos of clothes they made for their children from the warehouse sale last Spring. Wow what talent...not to mention adorable models!
Fabric.com has the best customers!
Post your photos in our "Sew & Tell" gallery and be sure to share you best sewing tips on our forums!
Ciao for now and happy sewing!
Continue not to panic. I will let you know when the official panic line has been crossed and you are welcome to forward that message to family and friends as a Crafter's "Get out of Jail Free" card. I might even be able to whip up something all official looking in photoshop for you to print and hand out either before each freak-out or after; it is your preference. But before you go planning what documents you may or may not need to preserve your sanity or to present to a judge in court, let's sit down and look at some options.
Yes, Christmas is right around the corner. But it is one of those really long corners with the long line around it that is moving so slowly you brought a book to read while you wait. You have some time. But if you are sitting there shaking your head, holding up your mile and 2/3 long list of family and friends who are eagerly anticipating handmade goodness for the holidays, continue not to panic. Go make a cup of coffee (make one for me too, please. I like foam!) and check out what your pals at Fabric.com have for you. We have come up with some great ideas for your loved ones this year. Some of these ideas are found and some we put together ourselves. No matter where they come from, you are sure to find a few things that you can do and will be proud to give.
Some of you might have heard of Lisa Lam. She runs the blog CraftBoom which is a wealth of info for those interested in the craft business. Well, she posted a list of 15 quick & easy Holiday items to sell. It is a great list, but I thought to myself: "Self, why don't you post this for those who are interested in 15 quick projects to GIVE." I instantly agreed with myself and here we are and, more importantly, here is the list:
- Garlands (check out Heather's Here)
- Mobiles (Here is a great Autumn mobile by Turkey Feathers that can easily be made for winter)
- Tree Ornaments
- Candle Holders
- Napkin Rings, Placemats, Seating card holders
- Scented Candles
- Christmas Cards/Wrapping paper (Check out how to wrap your presents in Fabric!)
- Christmas Stockings (Here are some really cozy sweater stocking by Posie gets Cozy)
- Baby Bibs, soft toys
- Doggie Jackets
- Scarves, mittens, socks, hats
- Hair Decorations (Martha has some great Button Hair Pins)
- Brooches (Try this great tutorial by Blair Peter for Fabric Flower Pins)
Lisa gives some great examples and descriptions on her blog so be sure to check out the complete list.
Here are some additional items, we thought of here at Fabric.com Headquarters:
- Pincushions (I know how tired it seems, but there are sewers out there with old tomato pincushions who don't even know how cute they can be...help them. Plus you can put them in a bowl for a festive center piece!)
- Christmas Tree skirt
- Festive Holiday Wreath: Just like Posie Gets Cozy. Totally awesome
- Soft Trees (Try Little Birds Pattern. I just love these!)
And if you really run out of time, you can bake some pumpkin bread or cookies (don't forget to sign up for Food Network's 12 days of cookies). Finally, if you have to give a present and you have, seriously, 5 min in which to prepare. Quickly, find a sheet of paper and write down an IOU, with a smiley face and give them the biggest hug ever. Don't forget to give them a quick glace at the one mile and 2/3 long list just so they know that you are as good as your word. Most important, these are the holidays. Enjoy your friends and family. No one will remember in 5 years that you needed a few extra days (ok, weeks) to finish and make their special gift perfect. They will remember that you did make it just for them and will love it even more. Happy Holidays and Breath!
And if you really run out of time, you can bake some pumpkin bread or cookies (don't forget to sign up for Food Network's 12 days of cookies). Finally, if you have to give a present and you have, seriously, 5 min in which to prepare. Quickly, find a sheet of paper and write down an IOU, with a smiley face and give them the biggest hug ever. Don't forget to give them a quick glace at the one mile and 2/3 long list just so they know that you are as good as your word.
Most important, these are the holidays. Enjoy your friends and family. No one will remember in 5 years that you needed a few extra days (ok, weeks) to finish and make their special gift perfect. They will remember that you did make it just for them and will love it even more.
Happy Holidays and Breath!
Flash forward to this past Summer when we were all sitting around for our first blogger's meeting, and Nancy said, "I think we need to start having contests!" Now armed with a co-conspirator, we set off to come up with our great contest debut. This was our first contest, so we knew that we had to keep it kind of simple; no big projects, not a lot of rules, and as gallery-centric as possible. Nancy was just wild about the Cute Skirt pattern by Favorite Things, and I pointed out that we just got a shipment of their new Hip Skirts and Little Hip Skirts patterns. These patterns, we reasoned, are simple enough for a novice sewer but leave a lot of room for "creative interpretation" and "artistic alteration." Plus, we'd get all sorts of ideas and inspiration for our Spring wardrobes...
Well, after some pre-planning and creative sessions, we had our email and web page ready to go. We were ready and excited! Little did we know, the extra patterns we ordered were nothing against a sea of creatives biting at the chance of a challenge. By the end of the first day we were calling Favorite Things in a panic (Thanks for the help, guys!).
A few weeks and a couple minor bumps in the road later, and we had 52 entries ready for the vote. I can honestly tell you that I am happy that I didn't have to play judge in this case. Even to this day I cannot begin to pick my favorite (or even top 10), they were all so fantastic! All that creative power out there just amazes me. With the power of the vote in our customers' capable hands, the following winners were declared:
1st place - Brown Suede "Ruffled Dream" by Jessica Kathleen
2nd place - Pink "Glitter Nouveau" Skirt by Anna M.
3rd place - Ariel's Skirt By Ariel Lennon
Congratulations to all our winners, and a MASSIVE thanks to everyone who participated. We'll be leaving all the entries up in the gallery so that everyone can "ooh" and "ahh." We'll have another contest in the near future, so stay tuned for more info!
Here is my finished costume, as I discussed earlier. It was tricky but also easy (if that makes sense, I guess I should say more challenging than I expected). It was really fun to make and I completed it in a day. Since I am a member of Wardrobe Refashion, I used some left over Freshcut from a top I made and a retired sheet in a nice berry red that perfectly matched the red in the flower buds. I also used green ties in the back. I tried out a new fancy stitch on the hem, pictures of which will come next week. I recommend trying on your sleeves before finishing them and attaching. My left was a little tight so I used a lesser seam allowance on the right one and it was perfect. I made it Saturday for a party that night and finished it about 15 before the party started. It turned out great and I had a lot of fun at the party and also at work on Wednesday. Everyone looked so great and we laughed all day long. I hope your office halloween was just as great. Don't forget to post your costume pictures in our Sew & Tell Gallery!
I need to go sleep off all these Reese Cups!
All the best