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Entries in Molly's Sketchbook (98)

Sunday
Jan082012

Molly's Sketchbook: The Purl Bee Penguin

Winter in New York City can be hard to love with its frozen sidewalks, dirty snowbanks, and bare trees. But this winter I'm counting on my new cold weather friend, the Purl Bee Penguin, to help me through! Its happy ovoid shape and graphic palette are sure to remind me that joy really does exist in January. Just ask an Emperor Penguin!

I used our new Penguin Fat Quarter Bundle, a lively mix of black and white dots, stripes, and prints, to sew up this quirky little trio of penguins. I loved seeing how each one developed its own personality as I sewed, becoming more and more alive with each stitch!  They are also real crowd pleasers. Even my non-sewing thirty-something friends all oohed and aahed when they saw my penguins lined up on my ironing board.

The Purl Bee Penguins are pretty addictive to make, and I don’t think that I’ll be able to stop with just these three. Check back in a few weeks; I may have amassed a penguin colony!

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Sunday
Dec182011

Molly's Sketchbook: Gold and Silver Coasters

While many etiquette rules can seem a bit stuffy, there are a few that I try to abide by: Don’t start eating until everyone is served, always send a thank you note for a gift, and never show up empty handed to someone’s house for dinner or a party.  This last one is one of my paramount rules. I have often been late to dinner (which isn’t very good etiquette, I know!) because I couldn’t bear to show up without a bottle of wine or some cookies or flowers or something for the host. 

Well, this holiday season I think I may have found the perfect gift for your holiday hosts and hostesses! These simple Gold and Silver Felt Coasters take about as much time to make as a trip to the wine store, but unlike a bottle of Syrah, they are imbued with handmade love. Just piece circles of 100% wool felt together into a chain, and voila, clever coasters that can be cut apart as needed!

I used our new New Years Felt Bundle , inspired by the elegant colors of a New Year's Eve party, and Sajou's Metallic Gold Thread, for a beautiful spark of light. Just one bundle of felt makes 24 coasters which you can divide into two sets of twelve or three sets of eight or however you like. 

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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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Tuesday
Dec062011

Molly's Sketchbook: Felt Baby Shoes

I think it’s lovely to welcome a little one into the world surrounded by thoughtful handmade gifts, and these itty-bitty boots are just the ticket for such a reception. Brimming over with the “awww” factor, everyone who sees these Felt Baby Shoes wants to pick them up and coo, almost as if they contained a chubby little baby foot already! 

Sometimes when I get on a roll with a fun and easy project like this, it’s hard to stop. In this case, I ended up with a pile of eight pairs of shoes, all from one Purl Soho Wool Felt Bundle! Our gorgeous Autumn Bundle covers a beautiful spectrum of warm earth tones, just right for boys or girls. And a bright red, hand-embroidered edge finishes the color story with a zing, while adding a sweet handmade, rustic charm.

I love the idea of sewing up a big bunch of booties to have on hand for baby showers and welcome-to-the-world gifts. A pair would also look so cute peeking out of a baby’s Christmas stocking!

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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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