No fireplace? No Problem with “No Hang” Christmas Stocking

christmas stocking

Here’s a free pattern and tutorial for a “no hang” Christmas stocking.  If like me, you don’t have a fireplace (and don’t feel like drilling holes in the walls) but you still have kids and family who love the tradition of Christmas stockings filled with small presents, this might be for you.  With this design, the stocking itself has enough support and is shaped in a way that it can stand up on its own instead of hanging. Life in the tropics is easy-going, but when Christmas comes, you really notice that the practice of hanging Christmas stockings on the fireplace mantel was borrowed from European cultures where it’s very cold and they actually have fireplaces.  It was going to disappointing to the kids around our house to not participate in this wonderful tradition.  But even outside the tropics, I … Continue reading

The Great Christmas Sewing Roundup: 50+ Projects

christmas sewing roundup

In case you’re looking for some sewing ideas for the holidays, here’s our Great Christmas Sewing Roundup with more than 50 seasonal sewing projects and tutorials. Some of my sewing friends call it the “Fat Quarter” (sewing pun definitely intended..)—that’s the final quarter of the calendar year with all the holidays, family meals, etc.  It’s easy to see how one might put on that extra pound or kilo here or there if we’re not careful.  But what this time of year also provides are numerous opportunities to sew. The holiday season is one of the best excuses we sewists may ever have just to sew like crazy to impress all our neighbours, family and friends with our seriously hard-earned and outstandingly creative sewing skills… and no-one had better stop us!  Whether you’re on the lookout for a full-scale Christmas table project … Continue reading

More Quilting History Passed On For Generations: Part 2

quilting history

European-American Quilting History In my last article about quilting history called Lean Some Quilting Traditions Passed on for Generations, I mentioned the fact that the African-American quilting tradition is not very well documented. The European-American quilting textile tradition, on the other hand, is only slightly better documented I’ve discovered. Starting largely simply to provide warmth for the family members, especially during the winter months, quilting has been constantly evolving over the centuries. The European-American quilting tradition traces its roots back to Europe where quilting was a necessity as mothers and wives had to cover their families for basic warmth. Then it became a practice to make quilts as gifts for weddings or to commemorate births and even deaths in the family.  And at times when ink and paper were sparse, quilts were also used to document historical events.  It is important to … Continue reading

Announcing the winner of the $250 Fabric.com shopping spree

copy-of-copy-of-250-to-spend-on

We’re delighted to announce the winner of the $250 shopping spree offered to our readers by our good friends at Fabric.com.  As you may recall from the launch of this giveaway, Fabric.com is part of Amazon.com so you can always rely on them for competitive pricing, outstanding customer service and the best delivery options in the business. Patricia B from Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA is the lucky winner with entry #99 out of a total entries in the contest of 10,469. Patricia winning entry came from a bonus entry from her sharing the contest with a friend –which was a great strategy to really leverage her chances to win.  Let’s all congratulate Patricia for this great win.  I wonder what she’ll get with her loot? If you were holding out to see if you were going to win this contest, all … Continue reading

Our most popular paid pattern EVER, FREE today ONLY

popular paid pattern

To celebrate the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, we’re going to do something very special.  Over the last two years, The Ultimate Wallet has been by far our most popular paid pattern.  It has far outsold all our other designs with a normal price of $6.50. This pattern has proven very popular as it comes with detailed PDF instructions which are detailed and richly illustrated.  The design has been thoroughly tested with plenty of user examples for you to look at.  The pattern has 5* reviews in both our Etsy and Craftsy stores.  And there’s also a video intro to the pattern which you can see below. You can read more about the pattern by clicking the image below or go straight to the download box at the bottom of this page to get it FREE for today only … Continue reading

Small Sewing Projects: 10 gifts to sew with one yard of fabric

small sewing projects

Being a regular sewer, I have noticed that I have a huge stash of fabrics that are less than one yard. This are basically left over fabric, but the pieces are so beautiful and fabric often so expensive that I can hardly imagine throwing any away.  Also, Christmas is fast approaching and my gift list is still a long way from complete.  Perhaps I can solve two problems at the same time.. That’s when I started thinking of pulling together a list of small sewing projects.  These would items which require around one yard of fabric or less.  If you’re like me with a huge stash of such fabric scraps (I am sure you will be), I’m sure you’ve been waiting for just the right opportunity to use these special treasures. The small sewing projects on this list are also relatively quick to complete … Continue reading

Best Black Friday Sales: Making the most of your time online

best black friday sales

Our regular readers know we don’t usually send around more than one email or so a week.  This week, however, is one of the few exceptions because of the holidays and the now famous Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.  We want to help you get the most out of this exciting time of year. As a lead up to the sales, yesterday we announced a new Huge Janome Sewing Machine Giveaway with a RRP of $1,499.  If you haven’t yet entered, you definitely should.  Since we launched last night, many readers have asked the best way to enter the contest to have the highest opportunity to win this major prize.  Easily the best way to do this is to use the “Share With Friends” entry option.  When you do this, not only do you register an entry for yourself at … Continue reading

Huge Janome Sewing Machine Giveaway –$1,499 Value!

janome sewing machine

We’re so delighted to announce to you our latest “Huge Holiday Giveaway” just in time for Christmas.  Our sponsors have really come to the party with a tremendous prize this year. Our friends at Janome have offered one of their higher end computerized, professional, heavy duty sewing and quilting machines, the Janome MC-6300P with a MSRP of $1,499! This beauty is available at Amazon for a mere $1,169 if you just can’t wait.. but this is a great place to go to check out all the reviews and advice on this machine if you’re going to hold out for the giveaway.  Click the image below to check it out. This giveaway will be a bit shorter than usual and only about three weeks ending on December 18th so that there will be time for it to arrive before Christmas for most readers.  Wouldn’t this be … Continue reading

Free Scarf Patterns: A Symphony of More Than 80 Styles

free scarf patterns

As the winter chill sets in the northern hemisphere, I thought it would be a great time of year to share some free scarf patterns that we have collected.  Indeed, the scarf is an element of fashion that needs no introduction –so obvious and so handy that it’s origins literally cannot be traced. Although many an historical reference exists…and stretching way way back, all the way to Queen Nefertiti in Ancient Egypt. They’ve been worn by working men to wipe the sweat from brows in Ancient Rome, worn to display military rank in Ancient China, by Hollywood Divas when they’re going incognito…but more importantly, by us: the ones who simply love to wear anything we created ourselves, out of sheer love of sewing. I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things about winter is layering up on clothing … Continue reading

Small fur tote, a sweet gift for the holidays.

small fur tote

This is a quick tutorial on how to make a small fur tote.  Christmas is approaching fast and my gift list is looking rather daunting, so I need projects that I can accomplish in a couple of hours rather than a couple of days.  I notice little fur things everywhere –as decorations on the Christmas tree, as trimming on clothes and shoes, scarves, vests.  The possibilities are many and I think a small fur tote would be a great gift and an easy project.  So I came up with this design and pattern that I would like to share with you. If you enjoyed our last project with faux fur making a winter hat, then you’ll enjoy this small fur tote project as well.  This tote is really easy and fast to make.  It is both a perfect accessory and also … Continue reading

Angels on the Tree, Easy Christmas Decoration

easy christmas decoration

Making an easy Christmas decoration is a great way to get the kids involved in decorating the house for the holidays.  One of my most happy Christmas memories is sitting down with my kids to make some decorations.  Of course, I would have already done the stitching and some of the more complicated steps and left them to draw faces on the angels or glue parts of the bodies.  As they grew older, they were happy to take more interesting tasks, like using the glue gun.. I have so many memories of all those years, sitting in the corner we had designated to doing crafting in the house.  So here’s one of my favorites because it is so easy to make.  When you’re finished, the kids will hang it on the tree and they’ll feel so proud.  Mine certainly did. Materials you will … Continue reading