I am constantly inspired by the amazing craft books that come form Japan. We carry many of these books online and in our stores and even though I can't read Japanese I still find them endlessly fascinating. I know that it's possible to sew the patterns from these books using just their well drawn instructions but I've never had the courage to try. (Mari however did a great tutorial on how to figure out Japanese sewing patterns that you can see by clicking here.)
Entries in Molly's Sketchbook (77)
Sashiko is a Japanese embroidery technique that is simple to learn and beautiful to look at. Even though it's a craft that's been around for a very long time, the traditional designs are very clean and graphic, and I love how modern they seem. Sashiko combines the quick, hands-on creativity of embroidery with a calming, meditative quality as well. I learned about Sashiko and how to do it last year by reading Mari's helpful Sashiko Tutorial on The Purl Bee and I've been wanting to do more ever since!
Christmas can be stressful, but taking some time to bake with my friends and family is one of the great joys of the season for me. I use leftover yarn and fabric from Christmas projects to wrap up my goodies. I love transforming simple things like paper lunch bags and leftover yarn and fabric scraps to create charming gift packages almost as much as I love turning flour, butter, sugar, and eggs into cookies! It's a fun and inexpensive way to spread some delicious holiday cheer. Happy Holidays! --Molly
Even since we got the Inazuma Antique Gold handles in the store I have been wanting to make a coin purse. There there was just one (big) problem.... the instructions were in Japanese! Usually I pride myself in being able to figure things out from pictures but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't make heads or tails of the simple pattern included with the handles. Luckily for me the very talented Mari was willing to help me out. She and her mom translated the pattern and answered my clueless questions.
Once I knew what the pattern was saying the construction of the purse was fun and easy. I can't think of a better quick gift than this fully lined, darling little pouch. I have a feeling I will be making many more! -Molly
I am not good at hiding my distaste when I don't like things. I make a face that Joelle affectionately calls "the Molly Meter" when I come across something that doesn't appeal to me. One day at Purl Patchwork we received a box full of fabric from Yuwa that contained bolt after bolt of what I felt were beautiful prints, until I pulled out a bolt of sheer fabric from a line called Feather Garden and the Molly Meter went off. I thought it looked so old-fashioned, fussy and busy... I put it away on the shelf with my nose in the air.
But as the days passed I found myself continually drawn to the sheer texture and intricate print of the fabric. Instead of thinking, "eww it's so old fashioned and busy" I started thinking "ooooo, it's so reminiscent and detailed." To make a long story short I started to love it. Like really love it. Like I wanted to buy it in every colorway and sew a bed out of it.
Instead of doing that, I decided to make handkerchiefs. I am a big proponent of the handkerchief. They are lovely and useful, they reduce paper waste and they are soft and easy on your nose. Much like the fabric they're made of they are very "reminiscent and detailed". I used a delicate herringbone stitch around the edge and cross stitched my initial on the corner, and even though they are entirely hand sewn they didn't take very long. -Molly