A is for Apron Book Review

I recently cracked open a new, inspiring book on making, of all thing, Aprons!! A is for Apron is a fun book and if you want a quick project for a hostess gift, have some adorable left over fabric but not enough for a skirt, or if you're feeling like you need a short project to get your head back in the game - this is it!!

Who doesn't need an apron? The projects—from ultra-feminine and vintage chic to whimsical color-play—include waist and bib aprons, pinafores, smocks, cobblers, and even something for the pint-sized cook. All of the projects are photographed in a playful style. And templates, sewing basics, and quick and easy projects for sprucing up store-bought aprons and whipping up aprons from recycled materials are also included!

So, I grabbed a vintage dishcloth that I love - an old California map - and created this masterpiece.

And then I bought some groovy Christmas fabric (yes, it's in the stores already) and made this adorable gem!!

I'm hooked - guess I'll have to start cook and baking more often so I can wear my aprons!

Love isn't only for Valentines Day

by Susie Tilton
Does any holiday illicit panic like Valentine's Day? When I was a teenager I was afraid I wouldn't be noticed. As an adult, I have mixed feelings. I would love a velvet box....but we need to recarpet the TV room. I'd love a romantic getaway, but we need to buy a plane ticket for our college age son to get home. Oh well, the good thing about being creative and crafty is that you can invent your own fun. When the big V Day falls on a weekend, a dinner party is they way to go. Whether it is for 2 or 12, a set of beautiful napkins will make your Valentine's dinner special.

My dinner party began with the table setting. I have a pretty fair collection of tablecloths and placemats, so I chose a solid color to begin with. I have these great black bamboo placemats, and I love the sophistication of black with everything. At my local fabric store I bought this cute, but basic red heart fabric. My plan was 9 napkins. 8 for dinner, 1 for the bread. Even if you never serve bread, it's a great formula whether you are buying or sewing. This way, if you have a napkin that is badly stained or lost, there is an extra. Three yards will give you plenty of room to cut out the napkins. A perfect size dinner napkin is 20"X20" with a double hem and mitred corners.
I use my cutting board, long sturdy ruler and rotary cutter for 22"X22" napkins. Plan a 1/2" hem around the napkin, press, and then fold over for another 1/2" hem. The mitred corners are illustrated in the Home Decor DVD, and once you learn to do it, you'll never accept the cheap turnover corners again. The finish is clean and professional.
Once the napkins are finished, you will realize there are many occasions to sew this simple project. Halloween, Christmas, Fourth of July, Birthdays and Easter. If you plan on the fun in the napkins, you can keep your eye out for great solid colored placemats and tablecloths to complete your table.
Wondering what to serve for this special day? Check out the blog by my alter ego, Sweetie Petitti, who spends her days in the kitchen. There will be a great romantic dinner posting coming up. And make sure you look at the cute heart shaped tuile cookies. Happy Sewing!