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Wednesday
Jan232008

Whit's Knits: Mary Jane Slippers

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When I was seven I relished any chance I could get to wear my black patent leather Mary Jane's. No event was too insignificant! Now I like to shuffle around my apartment in these knit slippers reminiscent of the classic style. 

Some historical perspective: Mary Jane was sister to Buster Brown, star of the early 20th century comic, Buster Brown. The Brown Shoe Company licensed the names and characters of the strip and made Mary Jane Shoes what they are today. Cute and sassy!

Enjoy! --Whitney

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Friday
Jan182008

Japanese Crafting with Mari: Sashiko

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Sashiko embroidery is one of my favorite crafts.  It's easy to master and the process is very meditative and relaxing.  Sashiko is a type of Japanese embroidery that was traditionally used to reinforce clothing.  The typical colors used were indigo cloth with white thread.  Today, sashiko is used a decorative technique on every kind of textile product imaginable.

I made the Sashiko sample above using one of our pre-printed Sashiko kits. To learn how to make one yourself, visit my Sashiko Tutorial.  Enjoy! --Mari

Wednesday
Jan092008

Whit's Knits: Giacomo's Baby Hat

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My great friend Giovanna, never one for mincing words, flat out asked me to make a hat for her one year old, Giacomo. And she requested a pom pom. If you knew Giacomo, you'd have a hard time refusing too!

This project is a great opportunity to practice your Fair Isle skills. It's small enough to rip out, redo, and make a few. Also, baby's are so uncritical.

To design this hat I used the help of this great book. Besides ancient images of rugged Scottish fishermen covered head to toe in expertly knit Fair Isle gear, the book includes pages and pages of black and white traditional stitch patterns. I chose one, came up with a little border and a color scheme and here you go!  Enjoy! --Whitney

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Tuesday
Jan082008

Molly's Sketchbook: Cozy Hooded Baby Towel

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As soon as we got the new Michael Miller Organic Cotton Terry Cloth I knew I had to make something out of it. It is incredibly soft plus I really love that it's organic. I decided to make a baby towel with a lined hood to really utilize its lush feel.

One of the only other fabrics that can match the Michael Miller Organic Cottons in softness is the Trefle Gauze. I used the cute, gender neutral, "Bee" pattern for the binding and sweet little hood. The two fabric's create a subtle, natural looking palette, perfect for a new baby. Wrap it up with some bath goodies and you'll have a stunning baby shower gift! --Molly

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Friday
Dec282007

Molly's Sketchbook: A Quilt for a Baby Boy

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I was confronted with a challenge recently when I found out my boyfriend's sister was expecting a baby boy. I knew I wanted to make him a quilt but I was stumped when it came to the palette. I'm not someone who thinks that genders should be assigned colors (I think boys look great in pink), but at the same time I wanted to make something that this baby, and his parents, would be comfortable with.

I have been thinking about this issue a lot because many customers come in to our shop looking for fabrics for little boys. I often wish that people were more free with the fabric they used for children. I don't personally think all floral prints should be considered girlie, and I wish that great bright colors like purple weren't rejected so frequently for seeming "unmasculine". However, with all the great prints out there these days, it's totally possible to make a project that's exciting and still "boyish" enough to please everyone.

Since I work at Purl Patchwork and am surrounded by fabric all week, I was able to take my time deciding on the fabrics for my project. I took down a bunch of bolts and made a big mess. Slowly I started to put some things together. Here are some ideas I had before I settled on my final fabrics (click the thumbnail of any fabric to see it on purlsoho.com):

An outdoorsy green and brown?

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Sunny yellow and blue? 

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Reds with a vintage feel?

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In the end I went with a blue, turquoise, and orange palette, including the Alexander Henry Zoo print (a perennial favorite of everyone at Purl Patchwork), orange woodgrain by Joel Dewberry, and plenty of very saturated Kona Cotton.

I made up a simple zig zag pattern for the quilt and I am so happy with how it turned out that I want to make a big one for my bed! If you'd like to make one too (for a boy or a girl) you can find the pattern in my Zig Zag Quilt Project Journal.  --Molly

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