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Entries in Molly's Sketchbook (98)

Sunday
Jan122014

Molly's Sketchbook: Felted Wool Hot Water Bottle Cover

It’s miraculous that in this modern world sometimes the best cure for life’s aches and pains is as simple as a little hot water. A rubber hot water bottle is the perfect conveyance for healing warmth, inexpensive and virtually indestructible. 

Our Felted Wool Hot Water Bottle Covers celebrate this straightforward utility. I made them with Dorr Mill’s 100% wool, which I washed until it was soft and felted and then stitched together with a handsome zigzag blanket stitch.

The result is homey, classic and my favorite thing… practical! These Covers do what hot water bottle covers have always done; they keep the hot water hot and your body warm.  

If you’ve never tried blanket stitch this project is a great introduction. The gentle rhythm of the stitches is a real treat, and the combination of the soft felted wool and the smart stitching make for a very satisfying endeavor. And just like the water bottle itself, it’s built to last a lifetime! --Molly

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Sunday
Dec152013

Molly's Sketchbook: Super Simple Dishtowels

It’s the last day of Cooks Week  here on the Purl Bee where we have been presenting a series of easy last minute gifts for all the cooks on your list. This last pattern is the easiest and quickest of the bunch, and it’s also a truly great gift: our Super Simple Dishtowels! No mitered corners, no tricky stitches, just some beautiful fabric and a few straight seams!

Dishtowels are not only essential kitchen companions (for minor spills, hot handles, and wet dishes), but they also give personality to a kitchen with a dash of color and an element of surprise! 

For this set I used Robert Kaufman’s awesome Double Cloth woven cotton. With two different sides, Double Cloth delivers a unique and unexpected contrast with almost no effort at all. You can whip up a set in less time than it would take to go to the store and buy one. Plus, your dishtowels will be made with love! --Molly

PS- To check out our other Cooks Week projects, please click here for our Simple Linen Apron and here for our Simple Stitched Hot Pads. Wouldn’t all three together make a wonderful gift?

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Saturday
Dec142013

Molly's Sketchbook: Simple Stitched Hot Pads

It’s Cooks Week here on the Purl Bee, the time to share great sewing patterns (that you still have time to make!) for all of the chefs and sous chefs in your life. Today we present one of the most crucial kitchen accessories: the hot pad!

These Simple Stitched Hot Pads may be ultra easy to make, but they’re so elegant and cleanly finished that no one will guess how little time they took. They’re made of  a gorgeous array of denim blues on one side and a soft wool on the other, a sum that equals understated beauty! 

The subtle fabric and pretty handstitching may not seem cut out for hard work, but lined with heat resistant Insulbrite, these Hot Pads are built for the reality of blistering handles and burning pans., And with their long rectangular shape our Simple Stitched Hot Pads work equally well as hot pads, oven mitts, or trivets! 

To see our previous Cooks Week installment, the Simple Linen Apron, click here. And to see what’s cooking next, stay tuned… -Molly

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Friday
Dec132013

Molly's Sketchbook: Simple Linen Apron

From rolling out cookie dough to mixing champagne cocktails on New Year’s Eve, so much holiday action takes place in the kitchen. The warmth and cheer of this time of year just seem to belong there!

With this in mind, we are launching Cooks Week here on the Purl Bee. This week we’ll be posting three great sewing patterns, all for the cooking enthusiasts in your life. These quick and ultra-useful projects make perfect gifts that will be appreciated long after the tree comes down!

First up is our lovely Simple Linen Apron. With handy adjustable neck ties and long waist ties, I designed it to fit anyone, and I made it with sturdy 100% linen, which lends both durability and timeless charm. The pocket is Robert Kaufman’s Double Cloth, a very special cotton fabric that has two distinctly different sides and adds just a hint of playfulness and color. And best of all, this apron takes about an hour to sew! What better way to celebrate the cooks in your life! -Molly

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Sunday
Dec082013

Molly's Sketchbook: Taffy Twist Felt Garland

Every Christmas Eve my family and I dress up, drive to the city, and climb the grand staircase of the War Memorial Opera house for the San Francisco Ballet’s performance of the Nutcracker. As an adult I’ve come to appreciate the beautiful music and dancing, but as a kid it was sometimes a little hard to sit through the whole ballet. However, I always did look forward to the second act with its amazing Land of Sweets, a magical place where confections pirouette and pas de chat into life!

Inspired by the Land of Sweets, my Taffy Twist Felt Garland uses a rainbow of brightly colored felt that would be right at home in the costumes of the Russian Candy Canes and Mother Ginger’s Children. And best of all, it’s so easy to make that even a kid who has trouble sitting through a ballet will be able to help!

Super simple to whip up and adorable to have around, this garland is sure to join my family’s other wonderful traditions! Here’s to a sweet holiday crafting season! -Molly

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