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Wednesday
May252011

Molly's Sketchbook: Lap Duvet

Even in the mild Spring weather I still find myself reaching for a blanket if I am reading or watching a movie on the couch at night. This is a problem because, until now,  I didn't have any throw sized blankets, only gigantic bed sized quilts which aren't very convenient when you have to fold them back up at the end of the night.

At a recent Purl Bee meeting Page mentioned that she was having the same issue and the idea for this project was born! We decided to make a very quick, very simply quilted lap blanket using a technique that Joelle used in the "Super Quick + Easy Baby Quilt" project from her book, Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts.

We also decided to use some of our favorite new fabric from designer Naomi Ito's Nani Iro line. These prints are beyond gorgeous. They have a unique painterly quality and come in the most beautiful colors. The fabric itself is a soft double gauze perfect for a Spring project. The wool batting I used made this piece feel so lofty that it in the end it seemed more like a fluffy duvet than a regular blanket.

This is my absolute favorite kind of sewing project: useful, beautiful, and quick. I actually timed it and it turns out that the entire project takes less than 2 and a half hours from start to finish. It would make a great housewarming gift and best of all you could whip it up on the afternoon of the housewarming party!

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Sunday
May222011

Laura's Loop: Felt Ball Necklaces

A couple weeks ago the Purl Bee team was having its usual brainstorming session. We strolled around the shop, being inspired by the rich colors and plethora of fibers. As we walked about, I picked up one of Molly's Felt Ball Trivets which was on display. Throughout the rest of the meeting I could not help but play with the trivet, twirling it between my fingers, sliding it on my arm as a bracelet. Noticing my interest, Joelle instantly thought, wouldn't it be nice to have that trivet as necklace. And the project was born.

We wanted to create the same modern feel as the trivets, but transformed for attire. The felt balls are strung together with Alchemy's gorgeous Silken Straw. The flat, ribbon-like yarn with its sheen and drape, contrasts beautifully against the naturally rough texture of the wool felt balls. 

The thin yarn has a delicate appareance, but packs a punch with its color. The more you love the color, the more you can showcase it. The flexibility of the technique used in this project allows you to use as much or as little as you'd like.  I made three necklaces, each with a different number of silk stripes around the felt balls, each with a different feel and personality.  Enjoy! Laura

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Friday
May202011

From the Purl Beehive: Emily's Memory Game

Recently a wonderful new site called The Student Teacher joined the Purl Beehive. As we were adding it to our roster we fell in love with a charming and inspiring project idea for a felt and fabric memory game. We just knew we had to share it with you and happily, Emily, the author of The Student Teacher blog, agreed to let us present it to you here, complete with a tutorial for making your own!

We love that Emily's Memory Game was originally inspired by a post written by Purl Soho's graphic designer Brooke Reynolds on her blog Inchmark (which is also a part of The Purl Beehive).  Brooke's beautiful memory game was made with fabric and paper.   It's so nice to see crafters being inspired by one another in this way!  Above is a photo of Emily's version from The Student Teacher, and below is Brooke's from Inchmark.

To make our version of the game we decided to follow Emily's lead and use 100% wool felt in ecru as the base of the cards. For the fabric inside the felt frames we turned to our favorite Liberty of London Tana Lawn, the fine detail and beautiful colors are perfect inside the little frame of felt.

Since so little of each fabric is needed we used a Liberty Mini Rainbow Bundle which contains twenty different 8-inch x 12-inch pieces, and each print in this little bundle is more beautiful than the next!

This project takes time and attention to make, but it is relatively simple and very doable. What a lovely present for a child! 

Thank you so much to Emily for generously allowing us to present her wonderful idea here on The Purl Bee. Please be sure to check out her blog, The Student Teacher for lots more exciting craft ideas and to say hello. (This recent post about an embroidered growth chart also had us really excited!)

P.S. If you'd like to learn more about joining The Purl Beehive yourself please click right here!

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Sunday
May152011

Whit's Knits: Bamboo Wedding Shawl

My wedding was over ten years ago, and at the time it felt like a big, swirling blur. But now I can remember every single detail like it was yesterday, from my red sequined shoes to the strawberry cobbler.

With the gift of time, I'm going to offer some totally unsolicited advice. It is this: the absolute, very best way to make your day memorable is to infuse it with details that come from your heart, such as... a beautiful hand knit shawl!

I truly believe that hand knit objects have power. As you or someone you love knits this Wedding Shawl, it will become steeped in the hopes and dreams of your big day. And as your wedding night cools down and you wrap your shawl around your shoulders, you will not only look drop dead gorgeous, but you will be reminded of those hopes and dreams, and you will take an important minute to thank your lucky stars!

This Wedding Shawl gets its extraordinary drape and beautiful shine from Habu's Bamboo 20/12. In pristine white, Habu's Bamboo is a perfectly cool choice for spring nights. Knit up in a simple, geometric pattern called Flemish Block Lace, the result is an understated elegance that never goes out of style.

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Thursday
May122011

Laura's Loop: Wedding Clutch

Spring has finally sprung here in New York. And with Spring, comes wedding season. The sun is out and birds are chirping. Love is most certainly in the air. We have shed our winter coats and are in search of the perfect party dresses and dancing shoes. But wait! There is one more essential accessory... a clutch!

Few occasions are more joyous than a wedding. Weddings are chock-full of emotions. Between the tear-filled vows, laugh-inducing toasts and face fulls of cake a girl has to be prepared. You don't want to be caught without your lipstick and handkerchief. What better place to tuck away such things than this unique, yet timeless clutch!?!

For me, the elegance of this project comes from the richness of the materials and the simplicity of it's form. The clutch's classic shape allows Globalweave's modern prints and natural slub of the fabric to shine, providing a product for all ages and occasions, formal or casual, subtle, but with a splash of sparkle.  Enjoy! --Laura

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