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  • A New Craft Pattern Book—Deco Mesh Wreaths

    Have you ever made anything with deco mesh? It seems to me that deco mesh decorations are everywhere! I saw them at Easter, St. Patrick’s, Valentine’s Day, and especially back at Christmas. I’m kinda liking the look of it...if you’re liking it, too, I’ve got some good new! Now, you can create your own deco mesh décor with the 14 seasonal and holiday designs in our new craft pattern book—Deco Mesh Wreaths! Check out the book details:
    “Big and beautiful deco mesh wreaths are the hottest trend going! And it’s no wonder, because they’re so easy and quick to make! Deco mesh can be used indoors or out. It’s perfect for celebrating the seasons and holidays, as well as life’s special events. We’ll show you how to fashion 14 exciting deco mesh wreaths using readily available crafting supplies. It’s fun! It’s fast! You’re going to love this!” 
    Winter Wreath
    Spring Wreath
    Summer Wreath
    Patriotic Wreath
    Autumn Wreath
    Halloween Wreath
    Poinsettia Wreath
    Red and Silver Wreath
    Snowman Wreath
    Fleur-De-Lis Wreath
    Birthday Wreath
    Team Spirit Wreath
    Wedding Wreath
    Baby Wreath
    Get your copy of Deco Mesh Wreaths today. There are great craft patterns in it for every occasion, every day, and every décor!
  • 3 New Best of Fons & Porter Quilt Pattern Books

    I could just sit for hours looking at pictures in Fons & Porter quilt pattern books, and with a total of over 124 designs to be found between the three newest additions to the Leisure Arts Best of Fons & Porter seriesBaby & Kids Quilts, Patriotic Quilts, and Quilt Lover’s Gifts, I’ve certainly gotten my quilt picture fix in. Take a look at some of my favorites—

    Best of Fons & Porter Baby & Kids Quilts
    Wanting to make a gift of love for a special baby or youngster is often the reason many people get started in quilt making. The small sizes are fairly quick to finish, and the cute designs are just plain fun! This charming collection for toddlers to ’tweens compiles 39 of the best quilts from Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine and its special issues. Each quilt is shown in full color, accompanied by an assembly diagram, a complete materials list, and step-by-step instructions. There are projects for all skill levels, as well as styles from soft and sweet to bold and bright. Designs include Little Lambs Eat Ivy, Circle of Life, Stars for My Little One, Daisy Dreams, Baby Rose Crib Set, Quillows for Kids, Training Wheels, and more.

    Dots for Tiny Tots—Encourages quilters to gather a variety of dotted fabrics & have fun arranging them to make a playful baby quilt.

    Daisy Dreams—Fanciful tossed daisies & happy colors are joined in a bright mix in this darling crib quilt.

    Little Lambs Eat Ivy—These adorable lambs are sure to delight a little one. Soft colors and sweet lamb prints add to the charm of this baby quilt.

    Teague’s Turtles—Pieced on paper foundations, these turtles would be fun on a boy’s quilt.

    T-shirt Quilts—Making T-shirt quilts is a great way to preserve memories of special places and events!

    Best of Fons & Porter Patriotic Quilts
    Patchwork is patriotic in its own right, and it’s absolutely glorious when it’s overflowing with stars and stripes and fabrics in red, white, and blue! This big collection of the 30 best patriotic quilts from Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine is filled with symbols of American pride. Quilts, throws, wall hangings, and table runners feature challenging as well as easy patchwork and applique patterns. Whether made in traditional or contemporary fabrics, these projects are perfect for showing love of country and support for American troops around the world. Standouts in the book include Fringed Stars, Flag Day, Flying Eagles, Heart of America, Liberty Hall, and the impressive Stars and Stripes Sampler.

    Texas Log Cabin—Marianne Fons combined 1890s reproduction prints for this classic Log Cabin quilt. She arranged the blocks in a Sunshine and Shadow setting and appliqued stars where the light shirting prints come together.

    Flag Day—This is the perfect classic red, white, & blue summer quilt combination!

    Blackbird Crossing—This traditional quilt features crows, stars, pinwheels, and shirting prints.

    Banner Day—What a fun way to decorate the picnic table on the 4th of July. (The center square only looks appliqued—a pre-printed panel saves sewing time!

    America—Patriotic prints featuring the Statue of Liberty just seem to say patriotic to me.

    Best of Fons & Porter Quilter Lover’s Gifts
    Quilters love to use their skills and their fabric stashes to make gifts for friends or family members, and this book supplies more than 55 versatile gift projects. There are mini quilts and wall quilts to showcase the quilter’s skills or to celebrate the love of quilts. Additional projects include sewing notions, home accessories, and miscellaneous gifts. The projects use a variety of quilting skills but also general sewing, embroidery, punch needle, etc. Sewing aids and organizers include pincushions, ruler holders, and wool sewing wallet. Minis and wall quilts reflect traditional and whimsical styles. Other items include a quillow, pillows, purse set, backpack, lap throws, table runners, fabric bowls, and more.

    Rabbit Pinkeeper—So cute to make and keep for yourself or to give as a gift!

    Prairie Cabin Mini—Love this colorful Log Cabin design.

    Go Fish—Surprise the fisherman in our life with this wall quilt to hang in his office or den. Perfect for Father’s Day!

    Springy Flowers—Simple flower shapes are fused to the background and embellished with textured threads and yarns in this pretty, pretty design!

    Tulip Mini—The bright tulips in this springy wallhanging seem to pop off the fabric!

    Quillow—A quillow is a quilted throw that folds up into a pillow. How cool is that? And gorgeous, too!

    Flannel Brick Road—Make this cozy, masculine quilt for the special guy in your life!

    Meet the Designers!
    Marianne Fons and Liz Porter have been working together for more than 30 years. From teaching quilting classes in the 1970s and 80s, they went on to host the No. 1 quilting show on public television and establish the popular magazine, Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting. They also operate a quilt shop in Winterset, Iowa, and a web site,

    Get these Best of Fons & Porter pattern books for your quilt library, so you can look at all the pretty pictures and make some of these pretty projects for yourself!

  • Red, White, & Blue Summer Sweets!

    With Flag Day and the 4th of July on the horizon, there’s going to be a lot of eating going on, so it’s time to start thinking about fun summer food that you can take to these events. You could always settle for the old standbys, the potato salad, baked beans, hot dog buns, and chips, or challenge yourself to be responsible for the summer sweets!

    If desserts are your favorite part of the meal, I’ve got some book recommendations for you that feature some really yummy patriotic-themed treats:

    Get yourself a copy of Family Living Hooray For Cookouts! Besides having 100 recipes for everything from casual to classic and sweet to savory, this little book has recipes for this incredible looking Patriotic Dessert featuring fresh strawberries and blueberries plus our Patriotic Cake that gets its all-American flair from red and blue fruit-flavored gelatins.

    For July 4th or any patriotic occasion, provide a plateful of crunchy Patriotic Toffee from Celebrating Candy! It’s topped with red, white, and blue candy coating!

    Red, white, and blue non-pareils give patriotic pizzazz to our Star-Spangled Cookies from Celebrating Cookies.

    Watermelon and summer celebrations just go together. For a fun twist on a favorite flavor, whip up a batch of these Watermelon Slices from Celebrating Cookies.

    Hooray for the Red, White, and Blue! These Patriotic Ribbons from Celebrating Cookies, Book 2, are simply layers of tinted dough enhanced with ground pecans!

    Now, I need a cookie. Anybody got a cookie? Everybody should have a cookie to start off Monday morning...

  • Free Patriotic Flip Flops Projects

    I wear flip flops all summer long (that’s the closest I can get to going barefoot—which is what I’d really prefer), but when the holidays approach, I start looking for a way to dress them up a little. That, in fact, is what I’ve been working on this bright Sunday morning.

    Are you looking for a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to add to touch of patriotic flare to your wardrobe? Try embellishing your flips flops for Flag Day or the 4th of July with our simple ribbon rosettes.

    Just download our Patriotic Flip Flop Free Project, gather your scrap felt, ribbon, flip flops, and glue, and you’ll be showing off your patriotism in no time!

    But if you’re feeling a little more industrious than I am this morning, whip out your size I crochet hook and some red, white, or blue yarn and download our Flip-Flop Tops pattern to crochet. Very cute! Very fun!

    Have a happy Sunday, for tomorrow, it’s back to work we go…

  • Patriotic Quilt, Cross Stitch, & Crochet Inspiration

    Looking to indulge in a little patriotic-themed creativity in preparation for or in celebration of Flag Day, July 4th, a new July baby, or your favorite soldier? Well, of course, I’ve got design suggestions:

    Take Quilted Pride in Your Country!

    I love this America The Beautiful wall hanging to quilt from Seasons & Reasons to Celebrate by Tracy MacKay! From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans—all in fabric!

    Designer Debbie Mumm’s Homecomings book has a whole patriotic quilty/crafty section called Independence Day Celebrations. It features a Liberty Lap Quilt, Sand Candles, Americana Wall Quilt, Nine-Patch Pillow, Lone Star Pillows, Americana Door Banner, Patriotic Flowerpot, and a Star Spangled Pillow. (And as a special bonus, check out our free instant download version of Debbie’s Nine-Patch Pillow pattern from Homecomings!)

    Or how about a great Tried & True Birthday Stars Table Runner from the pages of the Best of Fons & Porter Tabletop Quilts?

    Crochet Your Patriotism!

    Celebrate the flag with this Stars and Stripes afghan by Anne Halliday from our Afghan Lover’s Collection. It‘s worked in strips, so it makes a nice take-along project.

    Want a whole pattern book full of patriotic afghan designs? Give American Pride Afghans by Kay Meadors a try.

    Somebody expecting a new baby in July? Here‘s a couple of red, white, and blue baby afghans to crochet:

    This one’s from A Year of Baby Afghans, Book 4, design by Becky Stevens.

    And this one’s from A Year of Baby Afghans, Book 5. It’s another great design by Anne Halliday.

    Celebrate Freedom in Cross Stitch!

    If you’d like a simple cross stitch piece that would work up in no time, check out Freedom from Stamp ’N Stitch Holidays. You just stamp the stars and stripes, cross stitch the word, frame it, and you’re done!

    Rather work on a cross stitch design that’ll take a little more effort? Take a look at Old Glory by Kathy Elrod from The Best of Cross Stitch Basics. Our version was worked on 28 ct fabric with Sampler Threads!

    Feeling inspired and all patriotic yet?

  • Patriotic Pincushion

    To kick off Memorial Day weekend, I thought I’d share an idea for a Patriotic Pincushion. Years ago, in recognition of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, many of our Leisure Arts employees cross stitched a little design called God Bless America. With a little help from one of my more quilty coworkers, I turned my stitched piece into a wall hanging, but just think how easy this design would be to make as a pincushion!

    No, I didn’t actually have time to stitch the design again myself, but here are the basic pincushion crafting instructions. (Just pretend the big blue X in the how-to photos is the design and know that my version is done in miniature as an example of the technique.):

    1. Download our God Bless America pattern.

    2. Cut two 8" x 8" pieces of 14 count White Aida.

    3. Center and stitch the design on one piece of the Aida.

    4. With wrong sides together, join the two pieces of Aida with backstitches (I used 3 stands of floss) until you’re an inch or so from being done.

    5. Stuff the pincushion with fiberfil and finish backstitching.

    6. Trim off excess threads (I left about 6 threads beyond the backstitches).

    7. Fringe the pincushion edges (I usually leave a couple of unfringed threads between the fringe and the design).

    Just think what a great 4th of July gifty this would make!

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