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Entries in Home (62)

Thursday
Jun202013

Corinne's Thread: Big Pinwheel Pillows

Every sewing project has an “aha” moment. Somewhere in the process of pinning, pressing, and seaming there comes a revelation when a useless piece of fabric transforms into something else, something to wear, to use or to simply admire. 

I was struck with several of these moments while piecing these Pinwheel Pillows. From the unexpected way triangles are created from squares to the efficient use of fabrics (only two prints for all three pillow tops!), this project has “aha” written all over it. 

To help make all this magic happen I enlisted some new favorites from Robert Kaufman’s Railroad Denim collection. Because these patterns are woven not printed, the front and reverse sides create a subtle but effective contrast. What a treat to get four prints for the price of two! The pillow backs are finished with the Micro Stripe fabric from the same collection, a soft chambray that seems miraculously at home with just about everything. You can pick up all three of these fabrics, along with the thread and pillow forms you’ll need to finish this project, with our Materials for Big Pinwheel Pillows kit

With all their unexpected twists, these pillows really were a delight to make. I may just surprise myself and whip up three more this weekend! - Corinne

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Thursday
Jun062013

Corinne's Thread: Heirloom Needle Case

I learned to sew from my mom, who learned from my grandma, who learned from my great-grandma, and so it goes, each mom passing down her own bit of wisdom to her own daughter. But what unfortunately didn’t get passed down to me were anyone's tools or supplies!

Now, with a daughter of my own, my heart melts as she toddles up to my machine and tells me she’s going to “do a little bit of sewing.” I am excited to teach her all the knowledge that I’ve gleaned from the sewing moms before me, but I also hope to pass on to her what I didn’t get: the supplies she’ll need to build a toolbox of her own.

I made this Heirloom Needle Case with both me and my daughter in mind. It’s the perfect way for me to keep all my needles organized now, but I also see it as a little treasure that I can pass on to Ruth years from now as she pulls out her needles to learn the perfect blind stitch.  

This case is made with Robert Kaufman’s Waterford Linen and Mary Flanagan’s Felted Wool in a stunning bright yellow. The two materials are beautiful on their own, but when fused together, they create a whole new fabric that is soft and sturdy, perfect for keeping sharp needle points away from tender fingers. Strips of Cotton Twill Tape hold all the needles in place and won’t stretch or fray over time. Fortunate, because I’m hoping this will last me, and Ruth, for quite a while!  

– Corinne

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Thursday
May232013

Whit's Knits: Pin Loom Coasters

Imagine a group of extra-terrestrials gathered in a living room. They're poking and prodding a stack of coasters; and once condensation is explained to them and the subsequent ring on the table's surface is demonstrated, they all start bleeping and nodding their heads. Then they ask in their inter-galactic native tongue if it would be okay to take the coasters home with them... as proof of civilized life on Earth.

I doubt this set of Pin Loom Coasters will be leaving the galaxy anytime soon, but in the interim, I'm happy to have them around! They're fresh and summery, cute and simple, and very civilizing.

To make these pretty little squares I picked up Schacht Spindle Co's fabulous Zoom Loom. An updated version of a classic pin loom, the Zoom Loom is thoughtfully designed with smart details that make weaving a breeze. And now my head is swimming with ideas for all the things I'll make with my new skill: cute pockets, sachet pillows, gingham placemats, even blankets!

To get everything you need to weave your own adorable set of Pin Loom Coasters, just click here. And make sure you whip up a few extras for any, ahem, visitors. -Whitney

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Sunday
May122013

Corinne's Thread: Vintage Tea Towels

A few years ago Page made a beautiful set of Soft Cotton Knit Dishtowels inspired by the subtle nuance of color in her collection of vintage kitchen textiles. Just like her, I am taken with the simple, utilitarian beauty of these classic fabrics; but where Page was inspired by their variety of hues, I am fascinated by their seemingly endless variety of patterns, most of which are created with the humble stripe. 
With these timeless beauties in mind, I made these Vintage Tea Towels, each machine-stitched in a bright tomato red with its own pattern of stripes and grids. I had so much fun zooming along on my machine that it was impossible to stop at just two or three, so I made six! 
For the fabric itself I used Robert Kaufman’s Essex, a beautiful blend of cotton and linen that makes these towels light, absorbent, and sturdy enough to stand the test of time. Just like the heirlooms that inspired them! -Corinne

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Sunday
Apr142013

Whit's Knits: Tunisian Crochet Washcloths

I worked in our store for years before I finally learned the story of the weirdly long crochet hooks that kept getting tucked away in a forgotten corner. Oh, those? They're just the tool you need to whip up one of needlework's most beautiful fabrics!

Tunisian Crochet may get overlooked in the corner sometimes, but the distinctiveness of its fabric warrants closer scrutiny. It combines a waffle-like grid with a squishy density that is just right for blankets, pillows, dishtowels, and these washcloths!

If you already know how to crochet, you'll be old friends with this new technique in about ten minutes. And even if you've never held a crochet hook before, Tunisian Crochet is one of the easiest places to start. Our new Tunisian Crochet Basics Tutorial will get you on your way!

Use your new skills to whip up these decadently thick and wonderfully soft Tunisian Crochet Washcloths. They're made out of a combination of organic and pima cottons which subtly play off each other with their matte and lustrous finishes. We think a set of three is just what mom will love this Mother's Day! -Whitney

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