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Entries in DMC (25)

Thursday
Nov172011

Molly's Sketchbook: Felt Snow Ball Ornaments

Twinkling lights on park trees and glass balls hung in shop windows,  little by little it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in New York City! I know some people can be a bit Grinch-y about the commercialism of the holiday season, but it’s hard to resist the special feeling of Christmas in the city. It’s contagious!

Inspired by this burgeoning holiday cheer, we’re starting to feather our holiday nests with these lovely felt ornaments. Laura designed an elegant 3-dimensional Felt Stars that will look equally beautiful hung from a doorway or perched atop a tree. And Molly designed a set of graceful Felt Snow Ball Ornaments that will add a playful Christmas feeling to your tree or mantle.

Felt is our favorite ornament-making material because it’s soft, natural, and so easy. Ecru is especially lovely because it’s peaceful, classic, and reminiscent of a fresh blanket of snow.  And to add a little holiday sparkle we accented our ornaments with the beautiful new DMC metallic thread.

ps. The how-to’s for Laura’s Felt Star Pendant and Tree Topper are right here. And merry Christmas!

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Thursday
Oct062011

Molly's Sketchbook: Glow in the Dark Spider Web Treat Bag

Growing up, I was a big fan of Halloween. I always had a great time going to the store with my mom to pick out the fabric for my costume; and I loved getting dressed up and bobbing for apples at the school party. But what I loved most of all was trick-or-treating, and not just because of the candy. It was  wild and thrilling to be out and about roaming the streets after dark, on a school night, getting free candy. To this day, when I think of Halloween I envision the foggy little streets of my hometown, Albany, California, dotted with roaming bands of witches, cats, and robots.

The one thing missing from the Halloweens of my youth was a festive candy bag (I just used a brown grocery sack or a pillow case.) But if I could go back in time, I know my 7 year old self would have loved this super cool Glow in the Dark Spider Web Treat Bag. It's just the right mix of whimsical and spooky. And it's a snap to make! All you need is one hank of Glow in the Dark DMC embroidery floss, one 18-inch square of Wool Felt, and one yard of grosgrain ribbon, and you're set to spin your own web!

Happy Halloween!-- Molly

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Monday
Sep052011

Molly's Sketchbook: Swaddling Blankets

I love making handmade presents in anticipation of a new baby. I will always remember knitting my soon-to-be niece a baby blanket while I was on a road trip through Europe many years ago. As I looked out the window and watched the fields and mountains pass by I thought about what she was going to be like with every stitch. What would they name her? Who would she look like? Would she like me? I felt like my good wishes for her were being knitted psychically into the blanket. Ever since then I've tried to make something special for each of the new babies that have come into my life.

In addition to heartfelt, I also try to make my handmade gifts practical. There isn't much point in putting so much care and effort into something if it won't be used. So lately, my go-to baby gift has been a set of Swaddling Blankets with a hand-finished edge. They strike a good balance between usefulness and homemade detail. They are the right size to swaddle a baby (42-inches square), but they work perfectly well as a burp cloth or stroller blanket too.

I actually made my first set of Swaddling Blankets a few years ago as a project for the Purl Bee. Now I'm giving the original pattern a fresh look with this season's  fabrics. I  designed two sets of two blankets each, one set  in pretty pink:

and one in crisp blue:

I used the graphic Nani Iro double gauze stripes as the outsides and bright, lightweight Shot Cotton for the lining. These two fabrics together make a wonderful blanket, so airy and soft.

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Friday
Aug262011

Molly's Sketchbook: Apple Coasters

When I was a kid I dreaded the day that I would start seeing commercials for school supplies and my mom would suggest we go buy a new backpack. I didn't even want to think about giving up my summer freedom. Sometimes, to add insult to injury, the first day of school would be on my birthday!

But these days, with first-days-of-school far behind me, I actually look forward to this time of year more than any other. I love the crisp weather, the foliage, my birthday, and I really love apples! Since apples are so quintessentially autumn and because they're so graphically appealing, I was inspired to celebrate this beautiful time of year with a super cute set of Apple Coasters. They'll add a barrel of autumnal cheer to any table!  Or start your kid's school year off right with the perfect teacher gift.

The Apple Coasters are close cousins to my summertime Citrus Coasters, which is to say that they are a total breeze to make, no fancy stitches or skills required. For this season's version we chose our favorite reds, greens, and yellows for our new 100% wool felt Apple Bundle. I just love the way they look all together, so fresh and bright!

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Sunday
Jul102011

Molly's Sketchbook: Friendship Bracelets

Macraméd friendship bracelets were all the rage when I was growing up in the eighties. All the girls at my school would obsessively make them for one another in a dizzying variety of colors, widths, and patterns. It's amazing, thinking back, that such young girls could make such beautifully intricate accessories.

I, of course,  tried my hand at making them as well. I would ride my bike down to the five-and-dime store and pick out the most sophisticated color combinations of  embroidery floss I could find, but when it came to the actual macramé I never got beyond plain stripes. There was nothing wrong with plain stripes, except that the other girls seemed so much more advanced with their diamonds and chevrons. A bit intimidated,  I never did become a big friendship bracelet expert.

Fast forward 20 years: Purl Soho started carrying DMC Cotton Embroidery Floss in every conceivable color (including fluorescents! ) and so, clearly, my time with friendship bracelets had finally come! After a bit of research, I discovered that what had eluded me as a child is actually really simple. It turns out that there are only two major friendship bracelet knots, a right knot and a left knot. That's it. After all these years, they only took me a few minutes to learn!

Making friendship bracelets is a  surprisingly easy craft, and best of all, in the end you'll have a bunch of cute summer bracelets to give to your pals. These are also a great thing to make with kids because they don't require any pins, needles, or scissors, and you can make them as simple or as complicated as you want. Once you learn the basics there's no limit to the beautiful patterns you can create!

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