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Sunday
Apr222012

Molly's Sketchbook: Lavender Sachets

I used to think that sachets were kind of silly and useless, along the lines of crocheted toilet paper covers. Turns out, I was wrong; sachets are cool and practical too! They're not only pretty and wonderfully tactile,  but they also make your clothes and drawers smell great! (Now could someone please explain to me what a toilet paper cover is for?)

My sachet change of heart was made possible by a remarkable new product, the Dutch Chintz Garden Roll. Like sachets, chintz sometimes has a reputation for being unstylish (or “chintzy”), but these Garden Rolls quickly dispel such a notion. Each Roll includes a whole world of historically accurate and totally beautiful fabrics that truly spark the imagination. Comprised of fifteen 4-inch by 60-inch strips of fabric, each strip is divided into three different reproduction prints. Plus, there are five tone-on-tone strips. And so, swept away by this rainbow of jewel tones and extraordinary prints (whose actual dimensions are so well suited for a hand-sized project), I decided to give sachets a try, despite my original skepticism. 

I quickly became a sachet convert. They were so simple and fun to make, especially in an assembly line, and they made my whole house smell like lavender!  I loved picking out my favorite chintz prints and matching them with others to create fresh smelling stacks of sachets. 

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Thursday
Apr122012

Whit's Knits: Mother's Day Washcloths

Not much is humbler than a washcloth. A small square of fabric drenched, soaped and wrung, it may not be glamorous, but a washcloth is one of the day's small pleasures. And when that washcloth is handmade, it is also one of life's pleasures!

Moms are notably deserving of such things. And so with their special day around the bend, I crocheted up this pretty set of Mother's Day Washcloths. Blue Sky's 100% organic Skinny Cotton combines with Habu's very distinctive Natural Cover Cotton for a vintage look with a modern edge.

Paired with beautiful soaps, your mom will really feel your love this Mother's Day... and every day!

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Thursday
Mar222012

Super Simple Felt Easter Basket

It is a tradition in our family that every Easter I make my daughter, Coco, a special holiday gift.  From the stuffed bunny of her infancy to the still beloved Bag of Beans from a few years ago, the challenge for me lies not only in coming up with something different year after year, but also in making her something fun and cheerful without stepping over the line into saccharin. 

While I admittedly have a reputation for getting more excited than the average person about things made entirely in shades of ecru, I do get equally excited about bright pops of color accenting these neutral fields.  And so it's no surprise, to me at least, that I decided to make this super simple Easter Basket out of creamy white 100% Wool Felt with a burst of lively stitching around its rim.

I was amazed at how beautifully the thick 5mm Felt stitched together.  So soft and pliable, I felt like I was shaping a clay vessel.   And even the finished basket looks like a ceramic sculpture... until you touch it and feel just how soft it is!

The grass inside is also wool felt and makes the perfect bed for painted eggs.  For these photos, I couldn't resist filling the baskets with subtle Araucana eggs, but I can also happily picture the wee hours of Easter morning when Coco first spots her Felt Easter Basket spilling over with the colorful treats of the day!

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Sunday
Mar042012

Laura's Loop: Flannel Receiving Blankets


I'm starting to think that there is something in the water. Friends, left and right, are turning up pregnant. Thrilled with the good news, I've become a receivin'-blanket-makin' machine. No sooner am I done with one, then I am on to the next. With each blanket I find myself guessing baby names, picturing my friends in the role of 'Mom' and imagining the nervous excitement of the dads-to-be.

I am so happy sitting with this super soft flannel draped in my lap, hypnotized by the rhythm of crochet and the feeling of merino wool as it winds through my fingers. The soft touch of these remarkable materials soothes me in the same way I know it will the new babes!

While it is a pleasure to make these Receiving Blankets, it is an even greater joy to think of them in use. The foggy, warm stripes of Ecrulet's Flannel and the crisp, rich colors of Koigu's merino combine in such pretty harmony, that I can’t wait to see my friends’ littles bundles all wrapped up inside! 

Congrats to all those expecting! --Laura

PS: Check out Molly's Lap Duvets for more ideas on how to use Ecrulet’s magnificent Flannel Stripes!

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Thursday
Mar012012

Molly's Sketchbook: Flannel Lap Duvets

Born out of cool spring nights and chilly toes, the cuddly Lap Duvet has become one of my favorite fast projects. It’s a perfect way to highlight a unique fabric, and its simple construction makes it a total snap to sew! It’s also a great gift for so many occasions, a housewarming, a wedding, or even a baby shower!

This latest Flannel version is sophisticated and elegant, using a mix of subtle new Japanese Linen Blend Solids and ultra soft Ecrulet Flannel Stripes. The combination of fabrics is so plush and inviting that when I was all done, I felt like I had five puffy clouds on my desk. Everyone who walked by wanted to sink right into them!

If you’d like to make your own, please visit my original Lap Duvet journal here. The materials for this version are listed at the top of the page. Happy Sewing!!-- Molly

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