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Entries in Quilts (15)

Wednesday
May282014

New! DIY Map Quilt Patterns from Haptic Lab

Is there a city that has your heart? The one you grew up in, the one you got married in, the one you live in? Stitch your way around your favorite city's streets, parks, and rivers with Haptic Lab's amazing DIY Map Quilt Patterns.

Each DIY Map Quilt Pattern comes with a to-scale paper template and sewing instructions. Just pin the template onto your quilt, stitch right into it, and rip off the paper as you complete each section. See in-action photos (and get inspiration!) on Haptic Lab's website right here.

Haptic Lab has mapped out the territory; you supply the fabric (we're using muslin for our NYC quilt!), batting, thread, floss and creativity! Hand sew, machine sew or both; use linen or metallic threads, neon or glow-in-the-dark embroidery flosses; applique prints into special zones (a Liberty of London floral in Hyde Park?); mark meaningful intersections and neighborhoods with embroidery stitches, buttons and trims; make it your own. Forget quilt blocks; think city blocks, and go to town!

For Purl Soho's entire collection of DIY Map Quilt Patterns, click right here. And enjoy your trip!

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
Feb062014

Molly's Sketchbook: Watercolor Quilt

Several years ago I visited the Dia Beacon, a sprawling modern art museum just outside of New York City. It was a gray winter day, and my friend and I were practically the only people there. As we wandered around, I was stopped in my tracks by two spare, grid-like drawings. They were tentative and minimal but somehow conveyed so much power. I couldn’t stop looking at them. I learned that they were by the artist Agnes Martin, and since that time I’ve come to love her work, much of which uses hand-drawn, repetitive lines and soft, tonal washes of color.  (If you’d like to see more of her work you can click here.)

Since Martin’s drawings and paintings use so many straight lines, they make for perfect quilt inspiration, and this Watercolor Quilt is my humble homage. I chose subdued lilac gray and peach to closely match some of my favorite Agnes Martin paintings. And to make the project more my own, I widened the color range a bit and finished the quilt off with a luminescent (premade!) neon bias tape. The neon might seem weird at first, but it kind of makes the whole quilt glow!

Despite its highbrow origins, this project couldn’t be simpler or more fun to sew. You cut a bunch of strips and then sew them together. That’s it, no corners to match up or tricky angles! And all of these cotton fabrics are soft and lovely to work with, bringing their own intrinsic beauty to the picture. This utter simplicity somehow leads to an engaging and sophisticated piece of work, much like the simplicity of Agnes Martin’s paintings belies so much more.

To begin your own special quilt pick up our Materials for Watercolor Quilt kit right here, and get ready to make some art! --Molly

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Tuesday
Dec102013

Give Your Favorite Purl Bee Project!

Maybe over the past year you've felt inspired by a project here on the Purl Bee, some little knit socks perhaps or an amazing quilt or a gorgeous cowl. And maybe now you'd like to pass that inspiration on to the crafty people you love. Sounds nice!

But what, you just give someone a pile of yarn and a web address? No! You give them a specially wrapped package of the major materials they will need, accompanied by a pretty card that pictures the finished project and gives instructions on where to go to get the free pattern! Sounds really nice!

We've chosen thirteen projects to get this special treatment, and we call them our Gift Kits! Nine of them are shown at the top of this post. They are...

Top Row: Pointy Hats for Newborns, Worsted Twist Seed Stitch Scarf, and Knit Octopus

Middle Row: Wool and Liberty Teddy Bear, Woven Plaid Scarf, and Bear's Rainbow Blanket

Bottom Row: Pin Loom Coasters, Toddler Socks, and Everyday Tote

Plus four more shown below...

Top Row: Bobble Sheep Pillow and Ombre Cowl

Bottom Row: Super Easy Blankets and Denim Pinwheel Quilt

And to browse our entire collection of Gift Kits just click here. From knitting and weaving to quilting and sewing, from cuddly toys for tots to sophisticated wraps for women, there's so much crafty goodness to give! Happy holidays from the Purl Bee!

Thursday
Aug222013

Corinne's Thread: Denim Pinwheel Quilt

Did you know that the chocolate chip cookie was a serendipitous discovery? When Ruth Wakefield, owner of the Toll House Inn, ran out of baker’s chocolate, she tossed some semi-sweet chocolate chunks into the batter, hoping they would melt while cooking. Instead of chocolate cookies, what came out of the oven was a delicious surprise, and chocolate chip cookies were born! 

The design for my Denim Pinwheel Quilt was just such a happy accident. We had just gotten in Robert Kaufman’s Railroad Denim, and excited about every fabric in the collection, I sewed up a bunch of combinations for our Big Pinwheel Pillows. As I laid all the sample squares out on the table at our weekly Bee meeting, the reaction was the same all around: These were going to make beautiful pillows, but my gosh, they should also be a quilt! 

And we were right! The quiet complexity that comes from mixing various Railroad Denim stripes gives this quilt such a rich story.  The grid of nuanced color variations is reminiscent of a minimalist painting hanging in a museum, yet the humble denim cloth reminds me of my grandfather’s overalls, all lined up on the hooks beside the door of his farmhouse. The perfect mix of classic and modern.

To make a throw size quilt of your own, we’ve compiled everything you need into our Materials for Denim Pinwheel Quilt kit, including fabrics for the piecing, backing and binding.  Now, I won’t say that this quilt stacks up anywhere close to the chocolate chip cookie in terms of amazing discoveries, but it sure stacks up nice! - Corinne

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