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Entries in Molly's Sketchbook (98)

Sunday
Jul102011

Molly's Sketchbook: Friendship Bracelets

Macraméd friendship bracelets were all the rage when I was growing up in the eighties. All the girls at my school would obsessively make them for one another in a dizzying variety of colors, widths, and patterns. It's amazing, thinking back, that such young girls could make such beautifully intricate accessories.

I, of course,  tried my hand at making them as well. I would ride my bike down to the five-and-dime store and pick out the most sophisticated color combinations of  embroidery floss I could find, but when it came to the actual macramé I never got beyond plain stripes. There was nothing wrong with plain stripes, except that the other girls seemed so much more advanced with their diamonds and chevrons. A bit intimidated,  I never did become a big friendship bracelet expert.

Fast forward 20 years: Purl Soho started carrying DMC Cotton Embroidery Floss in every conceivable color (including fluorescents! ) and so, clearly, my time with friendship bracelets had finally come! After a bit of research, I discovered that what had eluded me as a child is actually really simple. It turns out that there are only two major friendship bracelet knots, a right knot and a left knot. That's it. After all these years, they only took me a few minutes to learn!

Making friendship bracelets is a  surprisingly easy craft, and best of all, in the end you'll have a bunch of cute summer bracelets to give to your pals. These are also a great thing to make with kids because they don't require any pins, needles, or scissors, and you can make them as simple or as complicated as you want. Once you learn the basics there's no limit to the beautiful patterns you can create!

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Wednesday
May252011

Molly's Sketchbook: Lap Duvet

Even in the mild Spring weather I still find myself reaching for a blanket if I am reading or watching a movie on the couch at night. This is a problem because, until now,  I didn't have any throw sized blankets, only gigantic bed sized quilts which aren't very convenient when you have to fold them back up at the end of the night.

At a recent Purl Bee meeting Page mentioned that she was having the same issue and the idea for this project was born! We decided to make a very quick, very simply quilted lap blanket using a technique that Joelle used in the "Super Quick + Easy Baby Quilt" project from her book, Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts.

We also decided to use some of our favorite new fabric from designer Naomi Ito's Nani Iro line. These prints are beyond gorgeous. They have a unique painterly quality and come in the most beautiful colors. The fabric itself is a soft double gauze perfect for a Spring project. The wool batting I used made this piece feel so lofty that it in the end it seemed more like a fluffy duvet than a regular blanket.

This is my absolute favorite kind of sewing project: useful, beautiful, and quick. I actually timed it and it turns out that the entire project takes less than 2 and a half hours from start to finish. It would make a great housewarming gift and best of all you could whip it up on the afternoon of the housewarming party!

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Thursday
Apr072011

Molly's Sketchbook: Father's Day Tie - Updated!

Two years ago for Father's Day I designed a tie using one of our favorite fabrics, Liberty of London Tana Lawn. The combination of a classic neck tie and the gorgeous Liberty prints was an instant hit.  We heard from so many sewists who made amazing gifts for their dads, husbands, brothers and friends. This year I decided to rework and update the pattern to make it more streamlined and easy to follow.  During this process I couldn't resist making three more ties out of some of our wonderful new Tana Lawn prints.  They are, clockwise from the top, the subtle, summery Gray Princess Emerald, the fun and Springy Green Lola Weisselberg, and the bold, modern Brown Yellow Pepper.

If you'd like to make one for your dad, grad, or yourself (!) please check out our updated Father's Day Tie project journal right here. --Molly

Saturday
Feb122011

Molly's Sketchbook: The Twenty Minute Tote with Kokka Apples

This Winter has been absolutely brutal almost everywhere across the country. New York City is cold, icy and covered in dirty snow drifts.  Everyone seems to be wearing colors as dreary as the weather, thick black coats, gray scarves, navy blue mittens, it's so depressing!  So on a recent chilly day we decided we needed to make something quick and colorful to fight off the winter blahs.

There is nothing quicker or more satisfying than a tote bag so we decided to revisit my Twenty Minute Tote from last year and update it with cheerful colors and new prints. We recently got in Kokka Fabric's Apples collection, a Japanese upholstery weight cotton printed in fun, jelly-bean bright colors. Just looking at these happy prints makes us feel a little warmer so we knew we had to use them. We also picked out some matching Cotton Webbing, which is strong and colorful and makes the bags look so finished and professional.

These totes really do come together in 20 minutes a piece which makes them a great, quick, way to add a little Springtime color and excitement into the dull end of Winter months. To make your own bag you'll need:

If you'd like to try it out please visit my Twenty Minute Tote journal here. Thanks-- Molly

Friday
Jun252010

Molly's Sketchbook: Liberty of London,Tana Lawn PJ's

Recently we got in a bunch of new Liberty of London Tana Lawn prints and they're simply breathtaking. Liberty's Tana Lawn is known for its exquisitely detailed printing, its incredible color and its silky smoothness that makes it drape like a dream. The print I've used here is called Mitsi

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