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Entries in Kiyohara (13)

Thursday
May022013

Molly's Sketchbook: Everyday Tote

I’m someone who needs a large bag. I don’t understand how people can carry dainty little purses! Where do they put their stuff? My ideal bag needs room for a whole lot of life’s supplies: a sweater, wallet, book, notebook, cell phone, and laptop, plus some baby toys, my current craft project and tonight’s dinner. It also needs to be sturdy, easy to carry, and good looking! The Everyday Tote fits the bill… and all of my things as well!

I’ve made many bags for the Purl Bee, but I feel like they’ve all been leading me to this Everyday Tote. Using techniques honed on my 40 Minute Tote and Inside Out Bag, I think I’ve finally created my ideal carryall! Since it’s made from Cotton Duck, this bag is strong and utilitarian but also attractive with accents of Neon Bias Tape and yarn dyed fabric.

The Everyday Tote is a blast to sew. It uses lots of different sewing techniques so it’s never boring, and the result is so refined and professional looking, no one will believe you made it yourself!  Best of all, the finished bag is totally modern and totally functional. You really are going to want to carry it everyday!

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Thursday
Feb072013

Molly's Sketchbook: Liberty Hot Pads

Perhaps it’s just my practical Virgo nature, but my ideal sewing project is first and foremost functional. I’m not one for decorative topstitching or ornamental buttons; I want my finished projects to work (and to look good doing it)!  Hot pads are a perfect utilitarian undertaking because they’re quick to make and oh, so useful!

To keep this particular set of hot pads from becoming too hard-nosed I used the stunning new Flora Eve print from Liberty of London. This very special floral pattern looks like something in between a watercolor and a photograph and is printed with the exquisite detail and color that only Liberty can deliver.  And when paired with a rich yarn dyed denim, the contrasts take on a drama of their own: casual and elegant, inky and ephemeral,  practical and charming.     

This project is very easy to sew but uses a lot of different skills so it’s never boring. Just quilt the fabrics together using specially insulated batting and then hand sew cotton twill tape around the edges, and you’ve got a truly unique, beautiful, and best of all, fully functional hot pad! -Molly

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Sunday
Oct282012

Molly's Sketchbook: Reversible Sashiko Placemats

Have you ever noticed when you learn about something new and then all of a sudden, it’s everywhere? For example, a few months ago I saw a very cool picture on my mother’s Pinterest page. It showed a detail of Sashiko-style embroidery forming little crosses on one side and dashed grid lines on the reverse. A few days later Laura showed me a picture of a quilt with the same stitching on it, and then a week after that, I was in a baby store and wouldn’t you know it, a very similar quilt was on display there as well! The universe was trying to tell me something.

And so with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I got really excited to make a set of Sashiko Placemats using this technique. The process of Sashiko stitching is soothing and repetitive, kind of like a simple knitting project. Once you get started it’s hard to put down! The fun and beauty of this particular stitch is that its result is so unexpected, a totally reversible graphic pattern!

For a beautifully understated and elegant look, I used Kiyohara Linen Blend Solid in Brown for the base and soft off-white Sashiko Thread for the stitching. The finished placemats are so graceful and pretty,  perfect for a Thanksgiving feast! 

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Thursday
Sep132012

Molly's Sketchbook: Quilted Tea Cozy

While I was on maternity leave this summer learning how to swaddle, sling and sleepwalk, Purl Soho was busy stocking up on a whole new family of products! Returning to the store, I was greeted by lots of questions from my co-workers and also by a myriad of exciting new things: a beautiful quilting line from Liberty of London, bags and quilts from Utility Canvas, and most surprisingly, tea from Bellocq

I was so intrigued by its colorful ingredients and handsome packaging, its amazing fragrance and unusual flavors, that I immediately conjured a cozy autumn scene involving a steaming pot of Bellocq tea and me knitting something sweet for my daughter. And while I may not actually get much knitting done this year with a little baby around, I do think I’ll make time for the tea. This lovely Quilted Tea Cozy will keep my pot warm while I answer emails, put away the laundry, and sing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” for the hundredth time! 

I used the sturdy yet pretty Kiyohara Upholstery Weight solid in Pink, quilted it with thick cotton batting to keep the tea piping hot, and finished it with a smokey gray cotton twill tape. I love this Cozy's simple elegance and old-fashioned charm, and with a tin of your favorite Bellocq tea, it's an excellent gift too! 

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Friday
Jul132012

Easy Drawstring Bag: Four New Sizes!

My creative mind does not work in a super linear fashion, and as a result, I'm always juggling a handful of projects at once. I somehow manage to keep all of these various projects quite well organized, if I do say so myself. How? Easy Drawstring Bags, loads of 'em!  Some big, some small, some bright, some subtle, the more I make the more I use and not just for knitting and sewing. I find they come in handy all the time, as a cute gift wrapping alternative, a toiletry sack, a shoe bag, a pajama pouch, the list goes on!

Actually, we originally designed the Easy Drawstring Bag to store a bundle of colorful Felt Jelly Bean Bags, but since then it has become an integral part of all of our lives, tidily tucking away all sorts of things. And so, when our dear friends from Martha Stewart asked us to do a post for their wonderful Craft Department blog, picking which project to share was a no brainer. You can visit us at Martha Stewart right here!

For this new version of the Easy Drawstring Bag, we created four more sizes and we gave them a fresh look with some of our very favorite fabrics. We chose Kokka's timeless Small and Large Ginghams, as well as the slightly nubbly, handsome blues of Kiyohara's Upholstery Weight and Linen Blend Solids. To jazz up these classic colors and prints, we paired them with the richly textured, cotton-linen Fishtail Braided Cording and electric Neon Lacing. You can find these and even more fabric and trim options right here!

For instructions on how to make these super fast and simple Easy Drawstring Bags visit the project journal right here!  -Laura