featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

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Monday, November 3, 2014


Diane Vallere writes cozy mysteries with a stylish twist. She authors the Style & Error Series, currently optioned for TV, the Mad for Mod mysteries, and the fabric shop-themed Material Witness mystery series. She launched her own detective agency at ten years old and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since. Learn more about Diane and her books at her website.

Five things to do with one yard of fabric
(and a few items you probably have lying around the house)

Fabric has always held a bit of magic to me. I used to tag along with my mom on trips to the fabric store, where I’d wander the aisles and look at bolts of cotton, silk, taffeta, and wool, and wonder how exactly it was that someone knew what to do with it. My personal favorites were the colorful cottons, lined up in small clusters of coordinating colors: white with black polka dots, black with white polka dots, white with black lines, black with white lines, white and black check, etc. I could entertain myself for hours trying to pick my favorite combinations. My love of fabric stayed with me, even when a love of sewing faded into the background. Which is why I have a stash of fabric with no particular projects I mind. Someday, I think, I’ll have the perfect project for some/all of it. But in the meantime, I still find ways to enjoy it.

Here’s how:

1. Impromptu Table Cloth for a party spread: Find a small table that’s taking up space in your attic. Add a piece of wood on top and drape fabric over it. Match the fabric to the theme of the party. Voila! Instant ambiance and more space for hors d’oeuvres.


2. Art: Wrap the fabric over an inexpensive wooden frame and tuck in around the frame. (You can also glue it. School glue will wash out, leaving fabric undamaged. Glue gun glue will peel off when dry, also not damaging the fabric.) Voila! A pretty wall hanging. Perhaps an inexpensive way to freshen up a guest room or a hallway?


3. Curtain: Drape your fabric over a dowel rod and rest the ends in existing curtain rod hooks. OR buy a set of small rings with clips attached. Iron the raw edge of the fabric to the back and attach the clips along the length of the fabric. Feed clips over curtain rod. Voila! New curtains. (Neaten up by using an iron to fold raw edges under.)

4. Apron: Cut a length of ribbon long enough to tie around your waist. Double your yard of fabric over the ribbon and tie in the back. Voila! Instant apron. Coordinate fabric to your home interior or party theme for extra fun.


5. Vase: Fold fabric down so it is the width of an inexpensive vase. Lay vase on fabric and gently roll until the vase is covered. Secure in back with pins or tie with pretty ribbon (or both.) Voila! Instant room accent. 

What creative ways can you think of to use a yard of fabric?

Suede to Rest
With her career as a dress designer in shreds, Polyester Monroe is looking forward to a fresh start. But as it all unfolds, the pattern to a new beginning looks a lot like murder.

When Poly Monroe was little, she loved playing in her family's textile store. But after a fatal family tragedy, Land of A Thousand Fabrics was boarded up and Poly never expected to see the inside again. Now, as inheritor of the long-shuttered shop, she's ready to restore the family business. However her two new kittens, Pins and Needles, aren't the ones causing a snag in her plans...

Not everyone wants Poly back in San Ladrón, especially a powerful local developer pressuring her to sell--and leave town fast. But even when the threats turn deadly, she's not ready to bolt. Because Poly is beginning to suspect that the murder behind the shop is tied to a mystery in her family's unsettled past that she's determined to solve...before her own life is left hanging by a thread.

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Terri said...

I love to use fabric scraps to make dog and cat toys ! My dogs can tear through some toys and they can get pretty expensive to buy! I love to visit the local fabric store I have to limit my time to once a month or my stash would overflow the house! Thanks for sharing your tips! I have not read any of your books yet but I am definitely going to try them out!

Unknown said...

Thank you, Terri! I love the idea of using scraps for cat and dog toys. I might use that in a future book!

Angela Adams said...

Thanks for the tips!

Unknown said...

Hi Angela,
Thanks for popping in!