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Entries in Home (60)

Saturday
Jan142012

Molly's Sketchbook: Snappy Duvet Cover

A duvet cover is such an effective design tool, wielding the power to dramatically transform a bedroom in a snap! I've always wanted to make one, but the truth is, I've never known where to begin. Sure, I understood the basics, but I could never figure out a tidy way to cut and sew such gigantic pieces of fabric. That may sound crazy since I sew almost everyday, but my comfort zone is at a much smaller scale, and at 90-inches square, a queen size duvet is anything but small!

To conquer this apprehension I decided to simplify. I would not try to cut a 90-inch straight line with a rotary cutter or scissors nor would I attempt to pull a thread every time I needed to cut. I would tear the fabric! Also, instead of trying to make the back and front into two perfectly matching huge squares, I would just cut and tear the back panel out of an extra wide piece of muslin to match the finished front. Armed with my new rules of simplicityI was surprised at how easy it actually is to make a duvet cover!

For the top, I used a gorgeous new linen and cotton blend from the awesome Japanese designer, Yoshiko Jinzenji. My cover's happy yellow color and painterly dots are going to add a lot of pizzaz to my room, and I love that it's truly an original! I also love that, with the help of a snap tape closure, my duvet will actually stay inside its new cover. So simple!

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Sunday
Dec182011

Molly's Sketchbook: Gold and Silver Coasters

While many etiquette rules can seem a bit stuffy, there are a few that I try to abide by: Don’t start eating until everyone is served, always send a thank you note for a gift, and never show up empty handed to someone’s house for dinner or a party.  This last one is one of my paramount rules. I have often been late to dinner (which isn’t very good etiquette, I know!) because I couldn’t bear to show up without a bottle of wine or some cookies or flowers or something for the host. 

Well, this holiday season I think I may have found the perfect gift for your holiday hosts and hostesses! These simple Gold and Silver Felt Coasters take about as much time to make as a trip to the wine store, but unlike a bottle of Syrah, they are imbued with handmade love. Just piece circles of 100% wool felt together into a chain, and voila, clever coasters that can be cut apart as needed!

I used our new New Years Felt Bundle , inspired by the elegant colors of a New Year's Eve party, and Sajou's Metallic Gold Thread, for a beautiful spark of light. Just one bundle of felt makes 24 coasters which you can divide into two sets of twelve or three sets of eight or however you like. 

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Tuesday
Dec132011

Molly's Sketchbook: Loop de Loop Pillows

I am a chronic doodler. My school notebooks always had more scribbles of flowers, geometric shapes, and animals than actual notes. To this day, my Purl Bee notes look more like mysterious outsider art than useful information. One of my recurring doodle themes is a loop de loop motif.  I love the hypnotic repetition of it.

With this penchant for doodling, it’s no wonder that I love embroidery so much. It’s basically drawing with thread. Once you master a couple of basic stitches your needle and thread become as versatile as a pencil, but unlike a tossed off pencil sketch, embroidery has an elegant and refined finish.

These Loop de Loop Pillows combine the simple, breezy feeling of a notebook jot with the beauty of embroidery.  I used soft, rustic Prairie Cloth in a gorgeous natural color as the base and accented it with sumptuous black silk embroidery thread. These pillows are very simple to make but end up looking so modern and sophisticated. 

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Tuesday
Nov292011

Whit's Knits: Eleventh Hour Blanket

It's not too late to wrap your favorite people in hand knit love! True, starting a knitted blanket now would normally be a recipe for big time holiday stress; but since we should all banish yuletide overdrive from our lives, I decided to design a blanket that, even if you worked at a leisurely pace, you could start now (or next week!) and be done in plenty of time for Christmas!

Of course, for this plan to work the blanket would have to be the kind of beautiful gift you love to give. And so for inspiration, I turned to a perennial Purl Bee favorite, the Eleventh Hour Scarf, and borrowing the concept, the yarn and the stitch pattern, the Eleventh Hour Blanket was born!

Doubling Cascade's very soft and very bulky Magnum means not only a quick knit, but a deep and toasty blanket, perfect for cuddling and snoozing. It may not be the eleventh hour to the holiday season, but as far as knitting blankets goes, it is!

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Tuesday
Nov222011

Whit's Knits: Hudson's Bay Inspired Crib Blanket

We love the Hudson's Bay Blanket for its classic simplicity and beauty. And maybe more, we love the underlying belief that, even in the midst of the great Canadian wilderness with its arduous cold and haunting vastness, the Hudson's Bay Blanket will protect us. 

Originally, the Hudson's Bay Blanket's lightweight warmth and insulation made it common barter for Native American goods, like beaver pelts, buffalo robes and moccasins. But in the last three hundred years the Hudson Bay Blanket has come a long way. Now it is practically a national symbol to many Canadians, and to the rest of the world, an unmistakable design icon.

I love the idea of a handknit version, borrowing the iconography of the original and lending it a little homemade twist! Sized for a baby's crib, I'm also tickled by the notion of a small child wrapped in the gear of a rugged adult. No baby in sight? Use it as a gorgeous throw over your favorite chair, in front of a roaring fireplace. It may not be an open fire deep in a white pine forest, but, hey, you're probably not a fur trapper either!

For this special project we turned to Anzula's absolutely gorgeous For Better or Worsted. A merino, cashmere, nylon blend, it is the perfect blanket yarn with its machine washable durability and cuddly soft coziness. And its quirky hand dyed colors give the Hudson's Bay Blanket a fresh look, warm and bright!

So, for a great barter idea this holiday season, give a handknit Hudson's Bay Crib Blanket. In exchange, you'll get a whole lot of love!

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