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Entries in Moda Fabric (10)

Thursday
May162013

Molly's Sketchbook: Simple Four Square Quilt

I’m not a painter, but I have always imagined that quilt making is a lot like oil painting. Both involve a detailed setup and complex series of steps, yet both tap into a deep well of freedom and creativity.  My sewing projects tend towards the quick, easy and practical, but every once in a while I like to slow down and explore big gestures using the refined techniques of quilting.

This Simple Four Square Quilt crystallizes everything I love about quilt making! It uses traditional block patterns in a decidedly unorthodox way, exploring color and proportionality much like a striking modern painting. I used Robert Kaufman’s Architextures prints, whose simple mechanical drawings I love for their clean freshness. I anchored the prints with a cool gray solid, and for fun, added a hot pop of neon orange dots.

With a project like this, it is important to do all of the steps, from the cutting to the piecing to the pressing, with care. Savor this deliberate process; it is well worth the extra time! The finished quilt is truly something special, an heirloom that is modern, elegant and simply beautiful! --Molly

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Wednesday
Mar062013

Molly's Sketchbook: Liberty Tea Towels

One of the many reasons I love Liberty of London fabric is that it evokes an English countryside fantasy I’ve always harbored. As a child, I would get lost in the worlds of Beatrix Potter, The Secret Garden, and Brambly Hedge. I was captivated by the soft colors of their illustrations, their images of teatime and frilly frocks.  My favorite Liberty of London florals all remind me of those charming books!

Recently, Purl Soho received Liberty of London’s new Tana Lawn Seasonal prints, many of which were beautiful florals! What better way to use this fabric than in a set of soft tea towels straight from my childhood daydreams!


For strength and absorbency, I used creamy porcelain Prairie Cloth as the base and added the incredible Irma print to one end. These simple tea towels are put together in a novel way that encases the end in a pure swath of Liberty. With only one visible seam, it’s as if they were dipped in the pretty print!

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Tuesday
Dec132011

Molly's Sketchbook: Loop de Loop Pillows

I am a chronic doodler. My school notebooks always had more scribbles of flowers, geometric shapes, and animals than actual notes. To this day, my Purl Bee notes look more like mysterious outsider art than useful information. One of my recurring doodle themes is a loop de loop motif.  I love the hypnotic repetition of it.

With this penchant for doodling, it’s no wonder that I love embroidery so much. It’s basically drawing with thread. Once you master a couple of basic stitches your needle and thread become as versatile as a pencil, but unlike a tossed off pencil sketch, embroidery has an elegant and refined finish.

These Loop de Loop Pillows combine the simple, breezy feeling of a notebook jot with the beauty of embroidery.  I used soft, rustic Prairie Cloth in a gorgeous natural color as the base and accented it with sumptuous black silk embroidery thread. These pillows are very simple to make but end up looking so modern and sophisticated. 

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Sunday
Dec042011

Sweet Stitching with Erin: Cross-Stitch Ornaments

It happens every year, the morning after Thanksgiving I wake up with an undeniable urge to start Christmas crafting. Usually this urge culminates with me buried under my fabric and yarn stashes with no idea where to start thankfully this year is different. For the first time my husband and I will have our very own Christmas tree and I thought we should have some beautiful, hand-made ornaments to mark the occasion!

I know these ornaments will grace my tree for years to come so I want them to be special without being too time consuming! Cross-stitch is such a lovely, detailed craft that strikes just the right note for a keepsake like these ornaments. To keep them from seeming old-fashioned or stuffy, I chose a clean graphic font from DMC's Cross-Stitch Library, and the fun message "Cheers"! I'm also planning on making individual initials to serve as gift tags this year!

I used Moda's gorgeous Prairie Cloth for the front of my ornaments; not only does it have an intriguingly rustic quality, it's heavy weave also allows it to be cross-stitched. In the interest of timelessness, I chose to keep my ornaments neutral and classic, with a cheery pop of orangey-red to keep things fun! 

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Friday
Oct212011

Molly's Sketchbook: Pulled Fringe Napkins

I have celebrated Thanksgiving all over the country, from sunny California to crisp New England. Everywhere I've spent the holiday has unveiled its own unique traditions. One year I went to Kauai and ate poi with my turkey, while an army of giant ants enjoyed our homemade pies. Last year I helped my friend Nicole make a delicious Mexican mole turkey in Richmond, Virginia. But no matter where Thanksgiving finds me, there are always some comforting constants: good food, friends and family, and a thoughtfully set table.  

I've made it something of an annual tradition to contribute a new set of cloth napkins to the Thanksgiving table, wherever it is! In fact, this is my fifth set! (You can see all of them here.) It's a tradition I love because, even if you're like me and don't have real silver or good china, it feels special to embellish your mismatched plates and odd serving dishes with some beautiful homemade napkins!

This year's napkins were inspired by pretty antique linens. I used the soft and lovely Prairie Cloth, whose subtle texture and loose weave lend a warm, homespun feel. I gave the edges a fringed finish to add to the napkins' old fashioned charm. My Pulled Fringe Napkins are as simple as pumpkin pie to whip up and will surely make your Thanksgiving festivities a little extra special!

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