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Simple sewing projects become unique when using a variety of fancy stitches. And nothing is more satisfying than being able to create individual pieces for your home or as gifts for friends and family.

Here are two simple sewing projects with instructions: one for place mats and the other for potholders. However to make this sewing projects unique use some fancy stitches. By using quilting for example the potholders and place mats become thicker as a thin layer of cotton wadding is used and the stitching gives a decorative effect.

Although using fancy stitches may be time consuming the results can be stunning. How about going fruity with your place mats using applique!

The instructions for making place mats and potholders are:

Place mats:

  • Use suitable material such as gingham, linen, basket weave, etc. and cut into piece 12 x 18 inch.
  • Turn edges under to wrong side ¼ inch and baste wide rickrack or fringe to wrong side covering raw edge.
  • The trim extends on the right side.
  • Stitch all around.

Potholders

  • Put two small washcloths right sides together, and stitch around ½ inch from edge, using a ½-inch gauge, on three sides.
  • Trim corners and turn inside out. Make a loop by taking a four-inch piece of tape and basting it to corner with edges ½ inch inside.
  • Turn in raw edges of potholder ½ inch and baste, catching in loop.
  • Stitch ½ inch from edge on all four sides and do a second line of stitching inside first using the width of the toe of the presser foot as a guide.

Another method is to:

  • Put the two cloths wrong sides to­gether and baste bias binding all the way around, making the loop out of the binding.
  • Have binding a little narrower on stitching side to catch in underside and then stitch.
  • You may also use the machine binder to bind the edges.

Some fancy stitches that make your sewing projects unique.

Twisted running stitch: Outline the line of design with running stitches, and with contrasting thread go over and under stitches, using a blunt needle, but not through fabric, to get an effect like twisted cord.

Blanket stitch: Hold thread to left with thumb, insert needle about ¼ inch up, make stitch down through loop. Used for thread carriers, dainty edge trims, edges of heavy materials which would be too bulky to fold under.

Hemstitching: Draw out several threads of fabric at line to be hemstitched. Start at right, pass needle under three or four threads, draw up through a loop and take a small stitch down through fabric. Continue. Double hemstitching is done on both sides. Used as a trim on garments and on table linens and doilies.

Applique: Cut out appliqué and baste in place. Finish with blanket stitch, couching with heavy thread, cord, or braid; fine hemming or slip stitches, or sew on with zigzag machine using narrow zigzag stitches. Gives a strong accent and becomes center of interest on garments, towels, slipcovers.

Quilting: Baste fabric to cheesecloth or muslin with thin layer of cotton wadding between. Draw design on wrong side and stitch on wrong side. Do all the lines in one direction first, then the cross lines. Use long stitches and heavy, slightly loose bobbin thread for puffy effect. Machine quilter attachment may be used. Do not press.

These are only a few ideas of how fancy stitches can make your sewing projects only one of its kind.

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