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Entries in Molly's Sketchbook (98)

Sunday
May182014

Molly's Sketchbook: Drawstring Shoe Bags

I’m only 35, but I’ve already compiled a to-do list for my retirement: I’m going to get a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, bake bread and see the world. While I’m busy planning, my parents are actually living the retirement dream. My mom has opened a pottery studio and my dad has started making digital movies, but mostly, they travel, exploring all the wonderful places on their to-do list.

Before his retirement I could always make my dad a tie but these days he doesn’t have much use for formal stuff like that. So, for my dad’s new globetrotting lifestyle, I’m celebrating this Father’s Day with these super simple Drawstring Shoe Bags. With Robert Kaufman’s Double Cloth Cotton, an amazing two-sided fabric that gives a nice contrasting pop at the top of the drawstring channel, these bags are perfectly designed for quick crafting and tidy packing!

If, like me, you’ve got a travelling dad (or maybe a grad who’s off on a new adventure) these Drawstring Shoe Bags are just the ticket. With just a half a yard of Double Cloth Cotton, 2 yards of Fettucia Ribbon and some thread, you can sew up this thoughtful gift in a matter of minutes! Happy Father’s Day! -Molly

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Sunday
May112014

Molly's Sketchbook: The Purl Soho Pup

Turning a pile of fabric and stuffing into a loveable toy animal feels a bit like magic. In fact, when I was a kid I firmly believed that my own bunnies, bears and dogs came to life after I went to sleep. And even now as an adult, whenever I sew a plush creature, I can’t help but feel the thrill of new life. There is something about the last steps of stuffing a new animal and stitching its face that feels more like sprinkling fairy dust than sewing!

Creating the Purl Soho Pup was especially enchanting. With its take-me-home face, you can’t help but love this whimsically hot-doggy pup! Standing 8 1/2 inches tall and stretching 17 inches long our Pup is thoughtfully designed to stand up on its own four legs without sacrificing cuddle-bility to do it. We made our doggies out of Dorr Mill’s soft and huggable Wool Yardage and accented the paws and ears with a splash of Kokka’s handsome Large Gingham and Liberty of London’s pretty Tana Lawn

 

 

The Purl Soho Pup is not difficult to sew, but it does take time and attention, so it’s a great project if you want a bit of a challenge with a big payoff! Everything you need to make one of your own, from the fabric to the stuffing, is in our Purl Soho Pup Kit right here… Just add your own fairy dust! --Molly

P.S. Already have materials? Buy just the Purl Soho Pup Pattern, as a downloadable PDF or a hardcopy, here!

Thursday
May082014

Molly's Sketchbook: Crossroads Quilt

I love quiltmaking because of its sheer limitlessness. Even in its simplest form, with no tricky Y seams or curved angles, the possibilities are endless! My Crossroads Quilt operates within the confines of a grid, but by playing with prints and colors, basic squares and rectangles become so much more!

I carefully chose a variety of fabrics for this project that, together, create the illusion of overlapping lines. The soft blue Essex linen-cotton blend sets the stage for the cool White Hatches, which run vertically, and the warm Apricot Shot Cotton, which runs horizontally. These two fabrics meet at sweet Orange Checked intersections, or crossroads, giving my quilt its name! I bound the whole thing in a beautiful yarn dyed gray fabric, which puts the whole piece solidly in a frame, like the piece of art it is! All of these gorgeous fabrics, plus the batting and thread, are available in our Materials for Crossroads Quilt kit right here.

The only real skill you need to complete this project is rotary cutting. Rotary cutting is a very important basic quiltmaking skill, but it can be a little intimidating to the uninitiated. If you’re new to it or just want some helpful tips, I’ve put together a comprehensive Rotary Cutting Tutorial as a companion to this quilt. Click here to check it out. Once you get the hang of rotary cutting the Crossroads Quilt (or any other quilt for that matter) will be a breeze! -- Molly

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Thursday
Apr172014

Molly's Sketchbook: Simple Lined Zipper Pouches

Back when I was newer to crafting a wise knitter (it was Joelle!) told me that if you can knit a pair of mittens you can knit anything. Even though mittens are small they require many different skills so their lessons are easy to blow up on a bigger scale. Now that I’m little wiser myself I’ve found that, much like playing scales on the piano or running drills in basketball, there are certain fundamental craft projects that set you up for wider success!

These zipper pouches are just such a fundamental project: a simple pattern that serves to build confidence and competence. Plus the finished pouches are super useful and cute! They’re a perfect project for a new sewist who wants to start working with zippers and edgestitching or for any more experienced sewists out there who might suffer from zipper anxiety!

Our Materials for Simple Lined Zipper Pouches kit contains everything you’ll need to make six pouches in a range of sizes so you’ll be able to get plenty of practice with your new skills! Once you’ve mastered these just think of the places you’ll go!- Molly

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Sunday
Mar232014

Molly's Sketchbook: Kid's Ric Rac Apron

I love baking with my almost-2-year-old, but it can be quite a messy affair. An average session might involve her stealing fistfuls of chocolate chips, dumping sugar on the floor and rubbing dough into her hair. In order to protect her clothes from this toddler chaos, I was rigging up my adult-size apron and tying them on her like an elaborate toga. But after my contraption fell off for the hundredth time, it became clear to me that Lupe needed her very own little apron.

Aprons are my number one favorite things to sew. They are so quick and easy, clean and engineered, and as an avid home cook, I use them all the time. Sized for kids from 2-10 years, this apron is a smaller version of our Adjustable Unisex Apron and is just as versatile, useful and cute!

I used Kiyohara’s Linen Blend Solid fabric because of its sturdy feel and pretty yarn dyed color, and I paired it with a shock of neon ric rac to add some lively color and fun. After all, cooking with kids may not be the most practical thing to do, but if you can overlook the cookie dough handprints on the fridge, it should always be fun! Everything you need to make one of your own is available in our Materials for Kid’s Ric Rac Apron Kit here! --Molly

ps- Here is three year old Ruth modeling the Little Kid size!

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