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Entries in Robert Kaufman (30)

Sunday
Jun032012

Molly's Sketchbook: The Forty Minute Tote

I love straightforward, well-constructed projects that yield something practical. I know this might sound a bit boring, but the efficiency and elegance of simple design really gets me excited. So it’s no surprise that one of my favorite all time projects (if I do say so myself) is my Twenty Minute Tote. It’s something I go back to again and again, any time I want to highlight a special fabric. I love its streamlined engineering and the fact that it really does only take 20 minutes!

And so, in this same spirit of economic design,  I thought I’d expand the Purl Bee’s family of quick totes with a new roomier bag, the Forty Minute Tote. As useful and everyday as the original, this one has the added features of an inside pocket, a boxed bottom and a linen lining.

The Forty Minute Tote comes together in a quick, clear way, and it features a new favorite fabric, Robert Kaufman’s Cotton Linen Denim. This fabric is a beautiful deep indigo blue reminiscent of your favorite pair of jeans, but with a slouchy drape perfect for a bag. I also used our very cute Reversible Webbing for the handles and the soft-but-sturdy Waterford Linen as the lining. And of course, true to its name, it takes only 40 minutes to make. I promise!

ps- The lovely wooden hooks featured in these pictures can be found here: http://www.livewirefarm.com/stores/timber-products/categories/hooks

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Thursday
Feb232012

Molly's Sketchbook: Windowpane Wholecloth Baby Quilt

As a rule, I am not a very patient or meticulous person. For example, even though I have knit since I was a child, I have never even made an adult sweater…. It would just take too long! Hand quilting is my one exception to this rule. I have loved this slow and contemplative process ever since Joelle first taught it to me many years ago.

For the uninitiated: Hand quilting is the method of sewing together the three layers of a quilt (the backing, the batting, and the top) in patterns of hand sewn stitches. It’s certainly not fast, but it is stunningly beautiful.  The gentle rocking motion of the needle is so soothing, and I love all of those neat rows of tiny little stitches!

My favorite way to showcase hand quilting is with the simplicity of a wholecloth quilt.  For the top of my Windowpane Quilt I used the classic Betsy print from the very special Liberty of London Tana Lawn collection. The silky smoothness of this fabric and the exquisite detail of its pretty pattern truly made this project a joy. And for the back, the Yarn Dyed Essex in Denim reminded me of a well loved pair of jeans and really added some old fashioned charm. I chose a baby size for this quilt because the hundreds of small hand stitches seem to infuse it with a little extra love! 

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Sunday
Oct022011

Mini Quilt of the Month, October: Amish Diamond

To the modern eye, early Amish quilts can look more like bold abstract paintings than bed-topping quilts! Dating back to the mid 1800's, Amish quilts used dark jewel-toned, solid wool fabrics and uncomplicated piecing. (Here's a link to a nice gallery of older Amish Quilts. )

One of the most classic Amish piecing patterns is a center diamond where the focal point is a square turned on its corner. This simple pattern is particularly appealing because of its clear, graphic quality and its large blocks of color that seem to vibrate and sing.  Working with just solid colored wool, the early Amish conjured some truly spectacular color schemes (like this one!).

In homage to these vibrant and wild combinations, we chose for our October Mini Quilt of the Month an eclectic mix of solids, from bright Kona Cotton in Coral to heathery Shot Cotton in Lilac .  And since we weren't bound by the same rules as the original Amish quilters, we also threw in a smattering of small dots and subtle prints to round out our beautiful, unruly fabric selections.

I had a real blast throwing my color preferences to the wind, purposefully putting together color combinations that I would normally avoid. The process was so creative and fun! Even the piecing itself is a bit more freewheeling than a normal quilt because you cut the pieces to size as you need them. Plus as an added bonus, once you get this pattern down you can make it any size, from a pin cushion to a queen-size bed! --Molly

PS- If you'd like to see all of the Mini Quilts in our series plese click here.

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Sunday
Aug282011

Mini Quilt of the Month, August: Piecing a Photograph

When we first caught site of this delightful photo from Jake Messenger in our flickr contacts, all we could talk about was how we could each live in one these adorable huts on the beach of Southwold, England and create our Purl Bee stories from there!  Once we came down to earth our next thougt was that the graphic nature of the image would lend itself perfectly to a quilt.  We felt that the image was modern enough to withstand a bit of abstraction, but romantic enough to hold its own as something soft and sewn.  And let's not forget the fact that all the straight lines made it a perfect candidate for strip piecing, a technique we've been planning to cover in our mini-quilt of the month series.  Did we mention the wonderful color palette as well? We love it!

Admittedly we struggled a bit at first, settling upon a basic method for piecing from a photograph was challenging, there are so many ways to go about it.  But eventually we settled on the method that you find here, and in doing so we also realized that our technique can be easily applied to almost any photograph.

We hope you will enjoy the journey as much as we have!  You can find all of our Mini Quilts right here.

 P.S. Please be sure to visit Jake Messenger's website right here, his flickr page here and his etsy site right here, you won't be disappointed! Thank you Jake for allowing us to use your beautiful photograph!

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Thursday
Aug112011

Molly's Sketchbook: Adjustable Unisex Apron

I wear aprons all the time, and I'm not kidding when I say "all the time". My typical at-home outfit involves a bandana to keep my hair back and an apron to keep at bay all of the thread and fabric fuzz that follow me everywhere. When friends stop by unexpectedly they are always surprised by my house frau attire, but nobody wants a lint brush for a best friend!

As you might imagine, I have a good collection of aprons, many of them vintage and quite feminine. Some of my favorites include a pink one from the 50s made out of a feedsack and one with ruffles and a pie shaped pocket that my sister made for me. Even though I love them all, these fanciful aprons don't come in very handy when it's time to roll up my sleeves and get messy in the kitchen, nor does my husband really appreciate his options. So I decided to make a rugged, adjustable unisex apron for both of us to use in the kitchen. It's big enough to be worn by a 6 foot tall guy but can easily be folded up to fit a 5 foot 4 gal like myself. Plus the no-nonsense styling means neither of us will risk batter-splattered ruffles!

The Adjustable Unisex Apron is an update of a pattern I designed way back in 2008 called the BBQ Apron. Although this version is perfect for Labor Day grilling, its classic design and super simple construction make it useful well beyond the BBQ pit.  I used some amazing new fabric, Kokka Canvas Ticking, which seems like it was born to be an apron. It's both soft and strong and will wear and wash beautifully. I love its classic denimy feel and its subtle colors. Best of all this apron is beyond simple to make. It's so easy that I think I might make two so my husband and I don't have to share! 

(P.S. The beautiful wooden spoons in the pictures above can be found at Timber from Live Wire Farm right here.)

Update:

To make the version of this apron posted on 2/9/12 you'll need the following materials (everything else is the same!):

 The matching dishtowels can be found here.

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