Monday, April 11, 2011

Setting your Easter Table

It's not too early to begin thinking about your Easter gathering... the guest list, menu and decor. A festive table setting is a good place to begin. Goodness, I'm sounding like Martha! But I can't deny that the Garden Diva colors are well suited to spring celebrations.

When I  decorate for the holidays, I always begin with a seasonal tablecloth to set the mood. Here we have created a light and lively table covering using the pink Dots as the center panel and the pastel Daisy Checks as a happy border. The corners have been finished with an elegant miter and for fun we have added a drop of our favorite felt dingle beads... the cats will like these, too!

After the tablecloth, we can add the colorful accessories, in this case our Fiesta ware place settings and Garden Diva napkins. It is not important that each place is exactly the same, in fact, I prefer just the opposite. I like to mix and match. A variety of napkins in the same color family is fine, no two really need to be alike. The plates and cups, too, are more entertaining if they are color mixed. The Tea Cozy and Reversible Party Napkins are both from our Pint Size Pattern series.

Seasonal events are always family occasions and pretty casual. But there are often new guests who have the overwhelming task of remembering 25 new names, so place cards could relieve some of their stress. And a place card can add a bit of class to any event, so I have designed a free place card that you can download and print for your own holiday table. Just print, cut and fold.

We have also designed a simple basket liner/ bread warmer that you may like to stitch up for your party.
It has the advantage of being reversible. The two layers keep things extra warm as well as offering a bit of colorful contrast.

Here it is reversed. I love the pure white eggs on the dark fancy Iris and Bleeding Heart fabric. Below the liner is flattened, so you can see the pattern. It is almost a square, but the corners are slightly rounded and there are half circle bites taken out on every side.

The topstitching finishes it off quite nicely. So as the spring settles in and Easter plans are underway, don't forget to down load your free place cards and be sure to make some time for seasonal crafting.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Have a Heart!

Several weeks ago I received a handful of emails from Denmark and they were all looking for the "Heart" fabric from the Paradise Garden line. What was happening in Denmark that was creating such a demand for a fabric from several seasons back? I finally learned that there is a talented young clothing designer, Celine Hallas, who was featuring the heart on her refreshing series of little girls dresses!

So, her fans were searching all sources to find the illusive fabric. You can see more of her wonderful work at her blog, Strawberry Flavor. You can have Google translate it into English. Not only is the clothing colorful and fun, but the photographs are stunning, as you can see!

I get many requests for fabrics from past lines. Sometimes I have some in my collection to share, but not always. Even I run out of some designs, so if you see something you like on your vendors shelf today, it is best to buy it before it's too late... and buy lots of it!

But the lack of the "perfect" fabric never stops the creative sewer! It simply forces a new solution. After all, why do we love the old quilts so much? It is because the makers were doing with whatever they had on hand and the results were often odd, but fabulous!

So I decided to play with the heart motif and my current line of fabric, Garden Divas. Each heart is placed on one of the Daisy Check fabrics, since checks are a classic design for children's clothing and suggests innocence and joy.

I added an extra outline around each heart to add definition and sometimes a little contrast or drama, too.

Each combination has it's own mood and attitude. But each group is quite feminine and could easily be used for any young girls's accessories... bedding, curtains, quilts, etc.

I love red, yellow and pink together, so the red checks really speak to me. This combination is especially effective with the repeat of the dragonfly motif in both prints.

Symetrical prints are well suited to the heart shape. I tried to fussy cut the print to echo the movement of the heart. The Lively Silhouette fabric had several design groupings to focus on and the Iris and Bleeding Hearts really fill that space nicely.

The abundance of flowers and critters would also make fitting elements for your Easter decor... table runners, napkins and placematts, too. I hope these hearts have given you a few new ideas for using those "personality" prints.

My sewing machine was just tuned and cleaned and I'm ready to sew! So let's go!