Three ways to make an easy tassel

easy tassle

Here are three ways to make an easy tassel.  Tassels have been made and used for centuries from the times of ancient Rome until today as ornaments, embellishments, and decorations.  They were often viewed as symbols of power and prestige.  Today, they mainly just make things like our handbags and curtain holdbacks look better.  I learned a lot about the history of tassels which I’ll write about in the future, but today I wanted to show you these simple techniques to make an easy tassel. Using the leftovers from our recent projects, there should be very little shopping to do.  I had a few beads left from the fabric cover beaded necklace.  The hessian threads are from the fringed table runner from a couple weeks ago. The first tassel illustrates the most common way to make tassels.  These sort of tassels are commonly used … Continue reading

How to make a fringed table runner in under an hour

fringed table runner

We are going to make a fringed table runner for your holiday table in under an hour.  Hard to believe?  Did I mention it’s reversible?  The use of burlap or hessian allows us to make the fringe a super simple and elegant way.  The quilting cotton makes it reversible and gives it strength.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy this project as much as your friends and family will find this fringed table runner an attractive addition to your holiday table. Burlap has a special place in my heart.  The smell brings back memories of sacks of produce collected at my grandfather’s orchard –potatoes, oranges, lemons, sour apples and my favorite, the smell of roasted coffee.  When I was a child my grandpa used to keep us busy and took us to the orchard to “work”.  He would allow us to collect … Continue reading

Stela, the coin purse pattern and tutorial – just in time for the holidays

coin purse pattern

This coin purse pattern and tutorial are a follow-up to the Leather and Fabric Handbag tutorial we posted last week.  While you certainly don’t need to make this coin purse pattern from leather –you can use vinyl or almost any fabric– it makes a good first project for those who have never sewn with leather before. I am calling it Stela because it just so happens I am going to have a Christmas party at home and every female friend who is coming will get one from my tree.  I am hanging these babies as both Christmas tree decorations and presents at the same time.  The kids will probably get one each as well, but being teenagers, they will almost certainly expect something more than just a few coins inside.. This tutorial is especially for those of you who are taking the … Continue reading

The Ultimate Beach Blanket

Ultimate Beach Blanket

When I was pregnant with my first child, my husband and I were living in Sydney, Australia.  The beach was never far –take your pick north or south you are bound to find one of the finest quality water lifestyles known to man.  Pristine, unpolluted water that can go on for miles along the coast.  So it comes as no surprise that the weekend activity for many Australians is generally beach-related. I was due around February 14th and I started to feel uncomfortable with a huge belly around New Years Eve.  It’s usually very hot at that time of year, and the only respite is to go to the beach.  However, the water current in summer changes and cold water from the south pole makes its way up the shore, dropping the temperature of the water to an average of 66 degrees.  So … Continue reading

Small Fringed Bag Tutorial

Small Fringed Bag

Small bags are really “in” at the moment and a small fringed bag like this one is particularly fun and easy to make. A small fringed bag for me represents freedom from the overwhelming amount of things I end up carrying around inside my normal bag.  I was in a restaurant recently and my bag fell off the chair and you can imagine all the things that spilled out onto the floor.  How embarrassing!  With a bag of this size, I will only be taking the essentials –which is fine for a night out or lunch with the girls. A small bag like this is really a key part of anyone’s wardrobe.  This pattern will give you the choice of making a clutch or to hang it over your shoulder so you have some flexibility. This is a self-lined small bag which means we’re using the same … Continue reading

May Mug Rug of the Month – Puppies and Kittens!

may mug rug

Everybody loves puppies and kittens, and who wouldn’t? They have big, innocent eyes, ears they have to grow into, and watching them play is such pure joy. Mug rugs remain so popular! For the past couple years they are by far my biggest pattern sellers. This is probably for many reasons. They are super easy to make, they can be made using your favorite techniques (hand or machine), they make great gifts, and they can be decorative as well as functional. Most of all, they are so much fun! I hope you will follow us along here on our Mug Rug of the Month Tutorial. A FUN VARIATION: If you are a cat person, and not a dog person, make two cats, and vice versa for dog lovers. I have one of each, so I am putting one of each … Continue reading

Fringed Bath Mat: A Fun and Functional Project

fringed bath mat

I think there must be a giant invisible poodle living in my house.  It is disguised as a teenage girl and she is tiny, with small hands and feet not even 75 pounds and yet, but when she comes out of the bathroom there is a Dracula cloud that follows her.  When the steam disperses, it reveals an unimaginable mess left behind.  I wonder “in horror” how the ceiling, all the walls, toilet paper and every square inch of the bathroom floor could possible get wet?  There’s got to be a giant poodle somewhere, just shaking water absolutely everywhere which is my only explanation. The thing that really gets me though, is the wet floor.  Not only can it be dangerous, but who enjoys walking around with wet socks?  No store-bought bath mat is big enough for this mess, so I have decided to make my … Continue reading

April Mug Rug – Blue Skies and Sunshine

Mug rugs remain so popular! For the past couple years they are by far my biggest pattern sellers. This is probably for many reasons. They are super easy to make, they can be made using your favorite techniques (hand or machine), they make great gifts, and they can be decorative as well as functional. Most of all, they are so much fun! I hope you will follow us along here on our Mug Rug of the Month Tutorial. Spring is finally here so lets celebrate with some fun birds for April. What you will need for one mug rug: Small scraps of fabric for appliqués 1/8 yard of light weight paper backed fusible webbing 6 1/2 x 10 inch piece of fabric for background 6 1/2 x 10 inch piece of fusible fleece 7 1/2 x 11 inch piece of … Continue reading

The Ancient Art of Batik Printing Technique

The Ancient Art of Batik Printing

We have come to Bandung, Indonesia with a group of friends with all our children (5-17 years old), on our yearly charity volunteer trip.  We support a school for children with multiple handicaps with financial and material contributions as well as, on our yearly visit, painting, cleaning and general repairs around the school.  Over the years, we have found the effort to be enormously worthwhile. Once the work has been done, I have taken a detour to seek out and write about the ancient art of Batik printing technique and the artists who practice it.  I’ve really loved Batik for a long time, so I was really looking forward to this opportunity to learn how it’s made directly from the source and then to share this wonderful process with you all.  We’re going to be doing a series of articles involving … Continue reading

Fabric covered basket – an Easter basket for your table

fabric covered basket

The excitement of Easter Break is fast approaching and with it comes the welcome sight of kids collecting Easter eggs in the garden, grand children coming to visit and families and friends gathering around the table to share a meal or as they used to say, “break bread” together. The tradition of breaking bread, dates way back to at least Roman times, when the sole notion of sitting together assumed that all disputes were forgotten and friendships were renewed.  Today sharing a meal is still pretty much the most important act that can be performed in any culture as a seal of friendship, unity, enjoyment.   And within that meal, bread is one of the most essential and omnipresent dishes on the table. We owe it to the Romans who have handed down recipes for the breads we still eat … Continue reading

The Crafty Crayon Roll Up

Crafty Crayon Roll

I just meet the nicest people online! One being Susan who is an expert quilter and quilting instructor and produces the most amazing quilts she has shared with me, including exquisite hand applique quilts. She doesn’t have a website or anywhere I can share on her behalf, but I know we share an enthusiasm for introducing people to sewing. She’s been helping some friends get into sewing just recently and a couple of them asked her to write them some instructions on how to make one of those crayon roll ups for kids.  So she made one, took some photos and some notes and sent it on to them. Then she kindly thought of the So Sew Easy community and sent the instructions on over here too in case you’d like to use them. A Quick and Crafty Crayon Roll is … Continue reading