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Thursday
Oct132011

Felted Wool Patchwork Throw

Our Felted Wool Patchwork Quillow has been a favorite Bee project ever since we posted it last winter. And no wonder! It's quick, practical and totally gorgeous!  The Quillow's rich beauty comes from Mary Flanagan's incredibly soft Felted Wool, which is hand dyed in a spectrum of warm, earthy colors. We're thrilled that this wonderful wool now comes in bundles of smaller, 7-inch by 8-inch pieces. Inspired by these little stacks of sumptuous fabric gems, we decided to revisit Mary Flanagan and her perfectly patchwork-able Felted Wool!  

This time around, instead of a quillow, we decided to make a simple throw . We picked out eight lovely bundles ranging from the soft golden palette of "Straw" to the deep purple tones of "Blackberry". The effect is like a walk through the countryside, with each bundle evoking its own special place: a grassy hill, a plowed field, a bubbling stream.

Expanding on Page's original detailed instructions and ingenious construction, the Felted Wool Patchwork Throw is a snap to make. It's amazing to be able to sew such a substantial throw (53-inches by 56-inches!) in a weekend! Best of all, because it's made from such special material in such a cozy palette, it comes out looking absolutely beautiful!

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Thursday
Sep292011

Big Stitch Crocheted Alpaca Rugs!

Just about this time each year, our old drafty home begs for super cozy area rugs.  Each time I step out of bed I think of how happy my feet would be if they landed on a soft, lofty rug, and each time my daughter and I read books in front of the fireplace I think of how nice it would be to have the warmth and comfort of something hand made beneath us.  I've been determined to make these rugs myself for years, but only if I could find the super bulky and natural yarn I was seeing in my mind.  Imagine my excitement when we found the perfect yarn for my fantasy rugs!  Our Big Stitch Alpaca Yarn creates the softest, loftiest rug your lucky toes will ever step on.

The Big Stitch Alpaca Yarn is grown and handcrafted in the USA. The Alpaca that makes up 70% of this amazing yarn is gathered by hand from fiber shed naturally by the Alpacas and then spun together with 15% wool and 15% nylon by a tiny mill in Ohio.  Each skein is called a "bump" and is approximately 140 yards long. 

Two bumps will make the small gray rug pictured above (approximately 42-inches across) and four make the large rug (approximately 70-inches across).  

Enjoy!  -- Page

 

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Thursday
Aug112011

Molly's Sketchbook: Adjustable Unisex Apron

I wear aprons all the time, and I'm not kidding when I say "all the time". My typical at-home outfit involves a bandana to keep my hair back and an apron to keep at bay all of the thread and fabric fuzz that follow me everywhere. When friends stop by unexpectedly they are always surprised by my house frau attire, but nobody wants a lint brush for a best friend!

As you might imagine, I have a good collection of aprons, many of them vintage and quite feminine. Some of my favorites include a pink one from the 50s made out of a feedsack and one with ruffles and a pie shaped pocket that my sister made for me. Even though I love them all, these fanciful aprons don't come in very handy when it's time to roll up my sleeves and get messy in the kitchen, nor does my husband really appreciate his options. So I decided to make a rugged, adjustable unisex apron for both of us to use in the kitchen. It's big enough to be worn by a 6 foot tall guy but can easily be folded up to fit a 5 foot 4 gal like myself. Plus the no-nonsense styling means neither of us will risk batter-splattered ruffles!

The Adjustable Unisex Apron is an update of a pattern I designed way back in 2008 called the BBQ Apron. Although this version is perfect for Labor Day grilling, its classic design and super simple construction make it useful well beyond the BBQ pit.  I used some amazing new fabric, Kokka Canvas Ticking, which seems like it was born to be an apron. It's both soft and strong and will wear and wash beautifully. I love its classic denimy feel and its subtle colors. Best of all this apron is beyond simple to make. It's so easy that I think I might make two so my husband and I don't have to share! 

(P.S. The beautiful wooden spoons in the pictures above can be found at Timber from Live Wire Farm right here.)

Update:

To make the version of this apron posted on 2/9/12 you'll need the following materials (everything else is the same!):

 The matching dishtowels can be found here.

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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
Apr032011

Laura's Loop: Half Log Cabin Ombre Blanket

When Whitney first spotted Cascade's Eco Cloud, the array of un-dyed colors instantly reminded her of Joelle's Ombre Blanket from Last Minute Knitted Gifts which beautifully highlights the variety of hues that exist in nature. Inspired by the Joelle's blanket and this new sumptuous yarn, the idea for another blanket was quick to come.

There are few patterns that can be applied to the craft of knitting and quilting as elegantly as the Log Cabin. It is classic yet modern and endlessly adaptable, and because of this it is a favorite here at Purl Soho.

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