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Entries in Spectrum (4)

Thursday
Dec012011

Mini Quilt of the Month, December: Golden Wreath

December marks the end of our year long Mini Quilt of the Month series. It’s been such a fun and informative project for all of us here at The Purl Bee. We’ve learned how to machine appliqué a garden of vegetables, stitch together a bevy of yoyos, and even draft a quilt from an inspiring photograph.  It’s a little sad to see it end but I know we will be referencing many of these skills and techniques for a long time to come.

Since this is the final mini quilt we wanted to combine our favorite aspects of all of the previous project into one last effort. To that end we think December’s Golden Wreath Mini Quilt has it all: an unusual technique, a fun exploration of color, and a small approachable size! As an added plus, it’s a playful reinterpretation of Joelle’s Color Wheel Quilt from her now classic book, Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts.

We used the golden “Sunbeam” spectrum bundle for this project because, in this blustery cold season, it reminded us of the warm colors of the hearth. However, you could make it in any color spectrum you like, from calming blues to Christmas reds! It’s straightforward and fun to sew even though it involves curved seams, which really aren’t as daunting as you might think.

Thanks and happy sewing!-- Molly

ps- If you’d like to take a look at all the other quilts in this series please click here.

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Thursday
Nov102011

Molly's Sketchbook: Felt Coffee Cozies

Okay, I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but I’m already starting to feel some holiday cheer! The first sign was feeling tempted by the eggnog that suddenly appeared in the dairy case of my supermarket. Next, I realized that I was spending inordinate time wondering where I should place my Christmas tree. And finally, I started getting the sense that my Purl Bee co-workers weren’t exactly feeling my urgency to decide what kind of cookies we’re going to bake this year. So instead of just dreaming about sugarplums, I have decided to harness my early seasonal excitement by getting a head start on my holiday gifts!

These Felt Coffee Cozies are the perfect way to jumpstart your holiday crafting because they’re a total snap, even if you’ve never sewed before. And with just one bundle of 100% Wool Felt you’ll be able to make a whopping sixteen Cozies! I used the cheerful Fuchsia Bundle, but we have lots more to suit your holiday mood!

A pile of Coffee Cozies is a fabulous thing to have around during the holiday season. Give them as hostess gifts, teachers’ presents (along with a gift card to a favorite café, perhaps?), or stocking stuffers. You might even give one to yourself! 

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Thursday
Aug042011

Laura's Loop: I-Cord Necklaces

 It's back and it's everywhere! I'm talking about all things hand dyed, from tie dyed and dip dyed to Japanese Shibori dyed and Batik dyed. This summer, man, woman and child are sporting funky, irregularly dyed threads. Dresses, shirts, scarves, purses, totes, you name it and it has been dyed, even ponytails!

This trend, once associated with the dancing bears and free love of the 70s, now connotes a chic, beachy, bohemian attitude. The color combinations are more controlled and subtle, sticking to one color range rather than running the r.o.y.g.b.i.v gamut.

All I knew, was I wanted in! I can be chic, beachy and bohemian, too, at least I'd like to think I can!

Picking the yarn was a snap. I went straight for Alchemy's hand dyed blend, Kozmos.  A mixture of wool, mohair, silk and cotton, Kozmos echoes the saturated, unruly nature of hand dyed fabrics. Each fiber reacts uniquely during the dying process, giving it a one-of-a-kind depth and texture.

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Sunday
Jan302011

Mini Quilt of the Month - January: Courthouse Steps 

Quilts often seem a little intimidating, to me at least, because of their size and scale. I'll get inspired to try something but often get discouraged when I think about all the steps involved, from cutting a million little pieces to basting the finished top, to hand finishing the binding. So I was really excited when Joelle and Page approached me about doing a new monthly series on The Purl Bee featuring mini quilts. I love the idea of trying out different quilt ideas on a smaller scale where you can actually finish a bunch of them. It's also a great idea for decorating since they look so cute all hanging together on a wall!

We are always inspired by vintage quilts, their colors, patterns and textures are so incredible and really deserve to be put on the same artistic level as painting.  So, for our very first Mini Quilt of the Month we decided to explore a traditional quilt block called "Courthouse Steps" which takes its name from the stepped pattern it makes. This block is a variation of a log cabin block, which you may be more familiar with, but it's pieced in a slightly different manner.

We are really looking forward to bringing you a new mini quilt project every month this year.  Each one will be thoroughly explained from cutting to finishing so we think they will be a great place to start if you've considered making a quilt but are intimidated by the process. 

Enjoy! -- Molly

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