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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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Saturday
Feb192011

Oilcloth Placemat from Laura Normandin at Wren Handmade

While looking through our favorite blogs last week we were inspired by Laura Normandin's beautiful recent post over at Wren Handmade. It's a beautiful oversized placemat made from Nani Iro oilcloth, a pretty and effective way to keep things clean when a baby is just learning to eat. We liked it so much that we wanted to share it with our readers!

Laura Normandin is one of our favorite designers, her work always gets us excited. (You may remember her crocheted bracelets pattern from last year right here on The Purl Bee). In addition to her great blog Laura also has a wonderful Etsy store, she currently has some amazing crocheted flower barrettes available there that would be so sweet for Easter gifts! You can probably tell by the charming image above just how lovely and inspirational her sense of style is.

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Sunday
Sep272009

Colorful Crafting with Jen: Rickie's Sashiko Pillow

I had Rickie's pillow at my house for a good two months before this photo was taken.  I gave her many reasons for the delay, my camera battery was dead, I didn't get home in time to catch the good light, I needed to change my bedding, it was raining...the list goes on and on. The truth is, every time I looked at the pillow it made me smile, I didn't want to give it back!   

To create this charming pillow Rickie started with our Olympus Sashiko Sampler, White Hana-Zashi, but when it came to choosing thread she decided to forgo tradition (which would call for navy blue) and instead used 6 cheerful and vibrant colors.  She framed the finished stitching in a pillowcase of Tencel Linen from Robert Kauffman and closed it up with a 12-inch, Turquoise non-separating nylon zipper.

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