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Entries in Rowan (3)

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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Sunday
Apr202014

Corinne's Thread: Pillowcases for Every Bed

The first machine-sewing project I ever attempted was a pillowcase. The seams were a bit wonky and the hems were slightly uneven, but when I turned the whole thing right side out and slipped it on the pillow, you know what? It worked! Even with all its imperfections, it looked great, and so began my love affair with the humble pillowcase… and with sewing.
Since then, pillowcases have been my go-to project whenever I’m fond of a fabric, need a last minute gift (Mother’s Day!) or just want to spruce things up around the house. The seams are a bit straighter now and the hems are more precise, but no matter how many other projects I have under my belt, I come back to this simple and rewarding design time and time again. 
Sized for Standard, Queen, and King pillows, these really are Pillowcases for Every Bed. And although the pattern is so straight-forward that even a sewing novice can feel confident taking it on, the French seam details and envelope fold cuff add a challenge and polish that more experienced sewists will appreciate. 
With two styles (one plain, one with a contrast edging) and ten colorful fabrics, I had so much fun mixing and matching the cases for this giant pile of pillows. So, choose a few favorite fabrics and spend an hour to make a pair for yourself, or an afternoon to refit every bed in the house, or a weekend to make a set for everyone you know. I’m not kidding. They’re that easy and that addictive!
- Corinne

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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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