May 2008 Archives

The Fabric Maverick says... Hear the wedding bells ring!

May 27, 2008

June is traditionally considered the month for weddings. I do not why, most brides want June weddings. A great deal of planning goes into a wedding.  This is why I prefer to attend weddings and not plan them. Hopefully if you are planning a wedding your bride has not turned into "Bridezilla"! Just for fun, I looked around the internet to find some websites which might be helpful to the already stressed planner.  This is a wonderful website- This website has everything to help plan a wedding from wedding tips to honeymoon planning. There is even a free wedding planning newsletter.  You know how the Fabric Maverick loves the word free. There are craft ideas such as creating a twinkle tent. There is a wedding for every budget. Did you know that pink and brown are hot colors for weddings now! This is another great website - Wedding crafts.  This website will show you how to make a wedding invitation, a veil, bouquets, cakes and more! Here is a project for tulle pew accents from their webpage!


Tulle Only


Last but never least- Martha Stewart . She is the Queen of making something simple look elegant. Only Martha could make sugar cookies look like a wedding cake!  She baked sugar cookies cut in different sizes and glued them together with royal icing to resemble a wedding cake. She placed then in a see-through box, attaching a gift tag with ribbon. Looks elegant doesn't it!  We don't do cookies, but we do have a way with fabric. Check our bridal fabric section!

Sugar-CookieSugar-Cookie Cakes Cakes      


Oliver + S ... what are they?

May 23, 2008

Are they doll patterns? Are they paper dolls? Are they children's patterns? These are all very good questions considering the adorable little characters on the pattern fronts. I am here to finally solve the riddle. Oliver + S are the cutest children's patterns with wonderful details you won't find in the retail marketplace. And, they come with a paper doll and an outfit! How great is that?

The creator, Liesl Gibson decided to create this pattern line after her daughter was born. She shopped for patterns to create for her daughter and couldn't find the fit or style she was looking for. She's trained in the fashion and design industry and has worked with some of the top designers in International fashion. So, she's got the pedigree and the talent to create anything she desired. That's how the company got its start.

OSP-002.jpgThe patterns are sized for 2T to size 5.  We have a terrific selection of fabrics from Amy Butler's designer creations to our fantastic Everything's Under $5.00 selections to create these heirloom-worthy garments. We hope you have fun making creative clothes for your toddlers. Remember, we always love to see what you've made. Take a picture of your Little one is her new treasure and post it in the Sew & Tell Gallery.

P.S. Dear Readers,
If you do not recognize the writing style, Kristl has returned much to our delight. We knew she could not stay away. So get ready for rollicking good times ahead!
Have a great holiday weekend!
Fabric Maverick

Memories Light the Corners of My Mind

May 15, 2008

As the Fabric Maverick reminded us, there are new beginnings happening all around us. I made a memory jar to commemorate my daughter's First Mother's Day. I was afraid she might think it was hokey, but she seemed genuinely touched.  I have long thought that gifts revolving around memories will be appreciated longer than a gift of the moment such as money or jewelry. Memory quilts capture moments in time.  A memory quilt can be a signature quilt, a photo quilt, a T-shirt quilt or a combination of all of these. These are all great fun to plan and make. I think a T-shirt quilt is ideal for the young graduate. With their help, you can select the T-shirts they love. Select a novelty fabric for the sashing which might recall a hobby or sport they were involved in. For instance, a football player might like BC-744 or a musical person might like BI-926.


At HGTV, you can find the full instructions with pictures to make a T-shirt quilt.


- Prewash all T-shirts, but don't use softener on them. The T-shirt fabric will not adhere to the fusible interfacing when softener is used.

- You'll need 100 percent cotton fabric for the sashing and backing.

- Fusible interfacing needs to be non-woven, glued only on one side and should not be paper-backed. Paper-backed interfacing usually means that both sides are glue-based. Misty Fuse and Fusiknit are good interfacings to use.

- You'll also need a clear plastic template cut to the desired size your T-shirt panels will be.


  1. Place the clear plastic template on the T-shirt over the panel and make a rough cut around the template. Cut a piece of fusible interfacing the same size.
  2. Turn the T-shirt over so the panel is facing the table and place the interfacing on the T-shirt.
  3. Next, place a damp cloth over the interfacing and iron according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  4. Place the T-shirt on a rotary mat and trim to desired size of T-shirt block adding 1/2-inch for seam allowances. Ours were cut at 12 1/2 inches.
  5. Repeat the above steps for all T-shirts, then lay out design.
  6. The sashing that goes in between the T-shirt blocks measures 12 1/2" x 2". The cornerstones are two-inch squares. Attach these to the quilt.
  7. It is best to tie a T-shirt quilt, but machine quilting is also acceptable. It's not recommended that you hand-quilt. It's very hard for the needle to get in between the fibers of the T-shirt dyes and motifs.

Here are some examples of T- shirt quilts from :

 t shirt quilt

 t shirt quilt


These can be addictive. Graduates will enjoy these for years to come.

The Fabric Maverick says... Congratulations to all the graduates!

May 13, 2008

Graduation time is upon us. Our children will soon be graduating from high schools and colleges everywhere. This means something different to each of us. It is fearful yet exciting to see our children spread their wings. After years of not knowing what we were talking about, we have suddenly become intelligent again. If you are one of the lucky ones, your child will already have found a job. This is rejoicing on several levels. There will be newfound money. No more will you have to pay for health insurance and auto insurance!  They will be paying for their own food and apartment. You will once more have money! Maybe you can still go to Italy someday!

Now come the real challenges of everyday living! Along with all the book learning, I hope that they have picked up some basic living skills.  You are thinking "What am I talking about?" This is what I am talking about:

1.  Can they balance a check book?

2.  Can they create a budget and stick to it?

3.  Can they cook?

4.  Do they know about nutrition?

5.  Can they sew on a button?

I am sure there are several things that you can add to the list. I have long thought about writing a book called "The You Cannot Eat at McDonald's Forever" cookbook. It would list what you should keep in the pantry at all times with basic cheap 30 minute recipes.

Every person should have basic sewing skills. If they have to take their clothes to be altered, they will soon find how expensive it can be. Consider giving them a basic sewing book with an inexpensive sewing machine. Then teach them how to use it. This is a skill that will last them a lifetime! Hopefully they will enjoy the process and advance to the next level. Even if they do not, they will know how to sew on a button and hem a pair of pants or skirt.

Good Luck to you all!  May life treat you well!

The Fabric Maverick says... Chef Bubba (Red Neck Cafe) is here!

May 9, 2008

Chef Bubba is a lover of all women. He loves women from 2 years and up. Miz Ona, his mother, raised him to appreciate women and everything they do for the family and world around them. Now Chef Bubba is the first to admit that his menus tend to be for the hearty male appetite, so he is breaking his rule of using only his own recipes to offer this delightful breakfast menu for Mother's Day.

Marmalade French Toast Casserole
Becky Luigart-Stayner; Leigh Ann Ross
Marmalade French Toast Casserole
Grapefruit or mixed fruit marmalade will work just as well as the orange marmalade called for in the recipe. Serve the casserole with honey or pancake syrup warmed with orange rind and a splash of orange juice (add one teaspoon rind and two tablespoons juice per 1/2 cup syrup). This easy casserole can be assembled in less than 15 minutes and stored in the refrigerator overnight.


tablespoons butter, softened
(16-ounce) sourdough French bread loaf, cut into 24 (1/2-inch) slices
 Cooking spray
(12-ounce) jar orange marmalade
2 3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
1/3 cup sugar
teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
large eggs
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts


Spread softened butter on one side of each bread slice. Arrange 12 bread slices, buttered side down, slightly overlapping in a single layer in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread marmalade evenly over bread; top with remaining 12 bread slices, buttered side up.

Combine milk and next 4 ingredients (through eggs), stirring with a whisk. Pour egg mixture over bread. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Sprinkle casserole with walnuts. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


12 servings (serving size: 1 piece)

Nutritional Information

CALORIES 293(28% from fat); FAT 9g (sat 3.2g,mono 2.2g,poly 2.3g); PROTEIN 9.1g; CHOLESTEROL 116mg; CALCIUM 132mg; SODIUM 315mg; FIBER 1.6g; IRON 2.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 46.4g

Maureen Callahan , Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2006
Serve this with turkey bacon or turkey sausage. Chef Bubba has provided a recipe that tastes good and keeps your waistline under control.  No guilt, ladies!  Your children can prepare this ahead of time so they may enjoy Mom time.

Love from Chef Bubba.

Happy Mother's Day!

May 8, 2008

We will be celebrating Mother's Day this Sunday. For some of us, this will be the first Mother's Day. My daughter, Samantha, is one of the new mothers who will be facing all of the challenges that motherhood requires. By the way, Sebastian is a beautiful baby boy. I promise not to drag out all of my pictures!. When I think of Mother's Day, I think of the carefully handmade cards and presents from small children. There are some great children's craft projects at Woman's Day magazine. Here is a flower bouquet for Mom:

Bouquet for Mom
Kids' Craft

1. Bend 34 twelve-inch pipe cleaners into petal shapes, leaving a 1 inch stem at the bottom of each.

2. Glue each petal directly onto a piece of patterned paper. Let dry.

3. Cut patterned paper along the edge of pipe cleaner petals.

4. Gather five or six petals together along with a 12-inch-long green pipe cleaner for stem.

5. Wrap a 6-inch-long piece of pipe cleaner around petal ends and stem to secure.

6. Bend petals outward and glue a colored button in the middle.

7. When finished with six flowers, gather all stems together and secure with a 6" green pipe cleaner.

 For the more advanced child in us, there is the Amy Butler fabric necklace:












Of course, it is always nice to add something to that bouquet. If your mother is interested in sewing, is the place to find something of interest for any mother. If your mother is a quilter what could be better than the latest collection from her favorite designer. We are adding some quilting patterns to our product line for every skill level. We have also added basic sewing books.  These are always great to have. Checkout our gift section for handbags from Laurel Burch and Amy Butler. Of course, like the Fabric Maverick, I love gift certificates!

The Fabric Maverick says... Enjoy Mother's Day But Do Not Do This!

May 6, 2008


I have been reflecting on what to say about Mothers for several weeks.  One thing that people seem to forget is that babies do not come with instruction books. When they cry, you need to figure out whether they are hungry, need a diaper changed, ill or just cranky. There is no training to be a mother. I think the reason it takes 9 months to have a baby is for us to adjust to the fact that we are giving up our own identities to someone who will spit on us, cry all the time, and wake up in the middle of the night. Any time we had for ourselves is a fond memory. I will not even say what happens to our bodies! Everything I am saying applies equally to biological mothers and adoptive mothers. This is the time when a young woman really grows up and becomes a responsible adult. To me, mothers are the glue that holds families together. When I had my daughter, my husband was my rock.  He supported me when I was too tired to think straight. I give a special salute to the single parent who has had to be mother and father to her children.  Mothers are frequently taken for granted. Surprise! The reason is that we will always be there to help in any way we can. We help with homework even if it means we have to learn new math, we are chauffeurs, make the house a home, set schedules, grocery shop and , in many cases, work outside the home. Our main job is to teach our children to be individuals and responsible adults. This means they will leave us someday to start their own lives. Many times this is thankless work. At times they will say they hate us. My best response to that was that I did not like them very much at the moment, but I still loved them.  Our job is to love them which will break our heart when they leave that final time. We are no longer on the center stage but have moved backstage in their lives. I have now regained my identity, but I sometimes miss those after school conversations about the trials and triumphs of my daughter’s day. I recently read an article about the dos and don’ts of celebrating Mother’s Day.  I agreed with some and disagreed with others. I decided to come up with my own list. First of all let me say I do not think gift certificates are impersonal.  I do think they are practical when you do not know sizes or specific tastes.


!. Do not take your mother out to eat on Mother’s Day. I know this will upset the restaurants of the world. This is actually the busiest day of the year for restaurants. This means that you will have to wait for a table. Because there are so many people there, there will be no place for your elderly mother to sit. Tempers will be lost and no one will have any fun. I know that I would appreciate it if my daughter or son would prepare a meal for me in their home.  They do not need to be a good cook. I would just enjoy the time spent together as a family.


2. Do not buy your mother a home cleaning gadget, unless she specifically requests one.


3. Do base your present on your mother’s personality. If she likes movies, buy her a gift certificate for the movies. If she is unable to go to movies, buy her DVD’s that she would like to see. What mother does not like chick flicks?  Create a selection of Steel Magnolias, Fried Green Tomatoes, Under the Tuscan Sun and Atonement.  She can laugh and cry at the same time.


4. Do not go with a generic present such as a box of chocolate from the drugstore or a bouquet of roses. If she is a chocoholic, go the extra step and buy her the best in chocolate such as Godiva. At the very least, give a gift certificate so she may select her own.


5. Do tell your mother that you love and appreciate the things she has done for you. I know one lady who gave her mother a jar with a pretty ribbon. Inside the jar, she had slips of papers with memories of moments from her childhood and thought of appreciation for moments when her mother was there for her.


6. Do help your mother around her house if there is something to be fixed that she can no longer do for her self.  It may be something as simple changing a light bulb if she is uncomfortable about standing on a ladder.


7. Do not call your Mother at the end of Mother’s Day or the day after to tell her Happy Mother’s Day.   The only acceptable reason would be if you are overseas, in jail or a spy.


8. Do help your mother in the garden if she is a gardener. You can help weed or dig out the beds if she is longer able to do the hard work.  It is also great way to spend time together.


9.  Do give a gift certificate to if your mother loves fabric but you do not know what kind she likes.


10. Last but not least- Do remember your mother on Mother’s Day even if it is just a card or phone call. Remember Mom will always love you!


Check in on Friday. I believe Chef Bubba from the Redneck Cafe will have some Mother’s Day recipes for you.


Guest Room Update

May 2, 2008

Thumbnail image for guest bedroom.jpgI have been proceeding at a very slow rate with my guest bedroom redo. Here is a "Before" picture of a small bedroom with beautifully painted apple green walls which I have faux painted to have a linen finish. Unfortunately I am not so good a photographer so you will only see the color and not the beautiful linen finish.

I am working from the floor up. I have started with a bed skirt; the next step will be the duvet cover and pillow shams.  The final step will be curtains.


To determine how much yardage you need, you need to measure the length of the bed and the width of the bed. My bed measures 72" long and 54 " wide.  You will need to measure the drop from the box springs to the floor. I add about 5-6 inches for hems and seams. My drop is 20". Depending on the weight of the fabric you will need 2 to 3 times the length and width of the mattress.  I am working in 3 sections- 2 sides and the footboard. If I used 2 times the length, I would need 144 inches of fabrics for each side and 108 inches for the foot of the bed.  396" divided by 36"  = 11 yards. But I only need a 26 inch cut for the drop (this allows for hems and seams). I am using 54" wide fabric.  I will divide by 11 yards by 2= 5.5 yards. This is the total yardage I will need. I am using a Waverly plaid.

These are the fabrics I chose to use:

Waverly Deco Dots Fruit Punch, Waverly Claire Check Petunia Pear, Waverly Deco Dots white


1. Cut fabric into desired cut sizes.

2. Since I am using a plaid. I have matched the plaid so the intersections will match.

3.  Hem bottom edges 1/2 inch, roll over 1/2 inch and repeat.

4. Finish each side edge by folding the edges over twice by 1/2 inch and sew. I am not joining the individual sections together because of the footboard. I hate it when you purchase a bed skirt and it bunches up at the corner because of the footboard. I am going to overlap the edges at the top, leaving the sides free.

5. Sew a gathering stitch at the top.  I usually sew 2 rows in case the thread breaks. Gently gather the top and pin it to the dust cover.  I have not mentioned that before because I have recycled an old bed skirt and I am using the dust cover deck from it. If you do not have an old bed skirt to recycle, you will need a piece of fabric that measures the width and length of the mattress. Use inexpensive fabric such as muslin or an old bed sheet.  No one will see this part anyway.

6. Sew each section to the deck adjusting gathers to match. Make sure your repeats match. Press finished bed skirt. Position on box springs to make sure of the fit. I use twister pins or safety pins to hold it in the proper position when I place the top mattress over the bed skirt. The pins, also, come in handy if you have made the bed skirt a little long and need to make minor fit adjustments. I am not wrestling that mattress off again!

Now, I said in the beginning I would tell of my mistakes. I only had 4 yards of fabric to work with instead of 5 1/2 so I made my bed skirt 1 1/2 times instead of 2.  Like you, I sometimes miscalculate and, of course, the fabric was sold out.

Our next project will be the duvet cover.


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