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Entries in Molly's Sketchbook (88)

Thursday
Feb232012

Molly's Sketchbook: Windowpane Wholecloth Baby Quilt

As a rule, I am not a very patient or meticulous person. For example, even though I have knit since I was a child, I have never even made an adult sweater…. It would just take too long! Hand quilting is my one exception to this rule. I have loved this slow and contemplative process ever since Joelle first taught it to me many years ago.

For the uninitiated: Hand quilting is the method of sewing together the three layers of a quilt (the backing, the batting, and the top) in patterns of hand sewn stitches. It’s certainly not fast, but it is stunningly beautiful.  The gentle rocking motion of the needle is so soothing, and I love all of those neat rows of tiny little stitches!

My favorite way to showcase hand quilting is with the simplicity of a wholecloth quilt.  For the top of my Windowpane Quilt I used the classic Betsy print from the very special Liberty of London Tana Lawn collection. The silky smoothness of this fabric and the exquisite detail of its pretty pattern truly made this project a joy. And for the back, the Yarn Dyed Essex in Denim reminded me of a well loved pair of jeans and really added some old fashioned charm. I chose a baby size for this quilt because the hundreds of small hand stitches seem to infuse it with a little extra love! 

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Thursday
Feb162012

Molly's Sketchbook: Pom Pom Scarf


In the winter, New Yorkers wear black. Sometimes you may see a spot of gray or even navy but rarely anything so happy as pink or turquoise or yellow. So by about now, I start to feel like I need some pigment in my life!


This Pom Pom Scarf scratches that color itch. It’s made out of silky soft 100% cotton so it’s totally comfy and will carry right over into my spring wardrobe. Kokka's beautiful Fine Solids combine with their classic Gingham to set an elegant and unexpected stage for a playful little Pom Pom Trim. That burst of color next to a neutral background gives me just the kind of kick I'm looking for!


This is such a simple and approachable project that you may end up lining everything you own with pom pom trim, and why not? It’s the perfect antidote to the winter blahs! —Molly

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Monday
Feb062012

Molly's Sketchbook: A New Adjustable Unisex Apron and Simple Dishtowels


Since making my Adjustable Unisex Apron last summer, it has become a real staple in my kitchen! It is now worn-in and soft from repeated washes, and it proudly displays fabric ink smudged across the chest and spaghetti sauce stains on the pocket. Somehow these battle scars just add to the apron's beauty. I’ve been hankering to make another one because, as I mentioned in the original post, I wear aprons all the time, and I love to stock pile favorites!


Purl Soho recently got some incredible new fabrics from Japan that begged to be my next Adjustable Apron, but choosing proved difficult! There  was a light Linen Blend Solid in beautiful natural colors, a heavier Upholstery Weight Solid, and an absorbent, soft, and totally unique Herringbone. I loved each more than the next! And so, I used all three and ended up with an awesome new apron and a lovely set of three simple dishtowels finished with pretty Cotton Chambray Ribbon.


I’m especially excited about the dishtowel pattern, because if there’s one thing I use more than my apron, it’s dishtowels! Don't be fooled by their professional finish; they're totally easy! The apron and dishtowels together would make an incredible housewarming or wedding gift. The apron adjusts to fit anyone, and the dishtowels are pretty enough to be special and sturdy enough to use everyday. Best of all, the whole shebang can be sewn in an afternoon! Thanks!-- Molly

If you’d like to make an apron you can find the  Adjustable Unisex Apron Journal here. Thanks!-- Molly

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Friday
Feb032012

Molly's Sketchbook: Felt Candy Hearts

One of my very first sewing projects was a heart-shaped Valentine's Day pillow. Under the fearless tutelage of my kindergarten teachers Pat and Dot, I first sewed together two pieces of bright red flannel. Then, with my shakey five-year-old handwriting, I embroidered "I  Love You" in thick white wool. We all took our time using blunt needles to spell out those three little words, and I remember feeling so proud when I presented it to my mom.

This year I'm revisiting that homey, straight-from-the-heart kind of Valentine gift with these hand stitched little Felt Candy Hearts. They're great for storing candy, notes and trinkets and are truly as easy as pie to sew. I love to think of the happy pride kids will have when they bring to school their very own sewn-with-care Felt Candy Hearts. I remember that feeling well! 

So grab a bundle of our ultra easy-to-use 100% Wool Felt (I used the pretty Fuchsia colorway) and some cheerful DMC pearl cotton, and get started, teacher! -- Molly

PS: For more speedy to sew felt Valentine's project ideas please check out the following journals (listed clockwise from top left): 

 Happy Valentine's Day!

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Thursday
Jan262012

Molly's Sketchbook: Valentine's Friendship Bracelets

Last summer I not only conquered my childhood fear of making Friendship Bracelets, but I also developed a new appreciation for them. They're simple to make and cute as a can be, but most winningly, they really are great tokens of friendship. So cheerfully reminiscent of childhood and its open declarations of best-friends-forever, friendship bracelets are such a super way to let someone know you're thinking about them. All this adds up to the perfect Valentine's Day project! How sweet would it be to show up to work or school on February 14th with a bunch of these lovely little expressions of affection?

This time around I was a little more ambitious, creating adorable patterns of hearts and arrows, perfect for the holiday!  Also, instead of traditional embroidery floss,  I used Koigu Premium Merino Needlepoint Yarn, and I may never look back. Not only does this 100% merino wool come in a stunning array of hand-dyed colors, but its soft elasticity actually makes it easier to work with than the cotton. Plus, when you're done, you can press your bracelet so it lies totally flat with a beautiful drape.

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