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Entries in Molly's Sketchbook (88)

Sunday
Nov272011

Molly's Sketchbook: Felted Wool Wrist Warmers

Year after year as the weather turns cold, knitted and crocheted hand warmers start popping up all over the city and on the Purl Bee. After years of feeling a little left out, I decided that it was time for us sewists to get in on the action, and so these soft and cozy Felted Wool Wrist Warmers were born!

Mary Flanagan Felted Wool is the ideal fabric for gorgeous winter accessories. It’s lovely, rustic, and oh-so-warm. In addition to this soft oatmeal color, it comes in a glorious hand-dyed rainbow of colors, from bright turquoise to deep pumpkin orange. For a festive holiday touch, I also used brightly colored cotton embroidery floss accented by a shimmer of metallic thread

These are beyond quick to sew, making them an even more last-minute holiday gift than the more traditional knitted and crocheted versions (score one for the sewists!). In fact, if you skipped the embroidery you could make a pair in under 20 minutes. Even with the embroidery you’ll clock in under an hour!  These Wrist Warmers are beautiful worn on their own, or wear them over gloves for an extra layer of warmth and style.

Happy Holiday Sewing!-- Molly

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Thursday
Nov172011

Molly's Sketchbook: Felt Snow Ball Ornaments

Twinkling lights on park trees and glass balls hung in shop windows,  little by little it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in New York City! I know some people can be a bit Grinch-y about the commercialism of the holiday season, but it’s hard to resist the special feeling of Christmas in the city. It’s contagious!

Inspired by this burgeoning holiday cheer, we’re starting to feather our holiday nests with these lovely felt ornaments. Laura designed an elegant 3-dimensional Felt Stars that will look equally beautiful hung from a doorway or perched atop a tree. And Molly designed a set of graceful Felt Snow Ball Ornaments that will add a playful Christmas feeling to your tree or mantle.

Felt is our favorite ornament-making material because it’s soft, natural, and so easy. Ecru is especially lovely because it’s peaceful, classic, and reminiscent of a fresh blanket of snow.  And to add a little holiday sparkle we accented our ornaments with the beautiful new DMC metallic thread.

ps. The how-to’s for Laura’s Felt Star Pendant and Tree Topper are right here. And merry Christmas!

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Thursday
Nov102011

Molly's Sketchbook: Felt Coffee Cozies

Okay, I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but I’m already starting to feel some holiday cheer! The first sign was feeling tempted by the eggnog that suddenly appeared in the dairy case of my supermarket. Next, I realized that I was spending inordinate time wondering where I should place my Christmas tree. And finally, I started getting the sense that my Purl Bee co-workers weren’t exactly feeling my urgency to decide what kind of cookies we’re going to bake this year. So instead of just dreaming about sugarplums, I have decided to harness my early seasonal excitement by getting a head start on my holiday gifts!

These Felt Coffee Cozies are the perfect way to jumpstart your holiday crafting because they’re a total snap, even if you’ve never sewed before. And with just one bundle of 100% Wool Felt you’ll be able to make a whopping sixteen Cozies! I used the cheerful Fuchsia Bundle, but we have lots more to suit your holiday mood!

A pile of Coffee Cozies is a fabulous thing to have around during the holiday season. Give them as hostess gifts, teachers’ presents (along with a gift card to a favorite café, perhaps?), or stocking stuffers. You might even give one to yourself! 

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Sunday
Oct232011

Molly's Sketchbook: Fall Leaves Coasters

Fall is my favorite season but that hasn't always been the case. Growing up in California, we didn't have much in the way of seasons, so I never understood the true glory of autumn until I moved to the East Coast. My first year in New York, I unwittingly took a weekend trip to Swarthmore, Pennsylvania right at the peak of fall foliage. I arrived at night and in the morning, woke up to a breathtaking riot of colors. As I wandered the town, I felt like I was in a kaleidoscope of yellows, oranges, red and pinks. I collected a bunch of my favorite leaves that day, thinking that they would keep their brilliant colors and was so sad when I realized they wouldn't.
Because the beautiful foliage is, in fact, so fleeting, I wanted to make some pretty leaves that would last all year long. I made these Fall Leaves Coasters with our brand new Fall Leaves Felt Bundle, a neutral taupe complemented by four bright autumnal colors. Like my previous Felt Coaster projects (which you can see here and here) these are easy (and addictive!) to make. And with Thanksgiving around the bend, a set of Fall Leaves Coasters will surely make an elegant addition to your festivities!

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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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