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Friday 26 March 2010

Blogs we love: The Purl Bee

If you're a crafter then you may well have heard of Purl, the mecca for all savvy New Yorkers with a yen for beautiful fabrics and luxurious yarns.

Run by Joelle Hoversen (in the picture on the right) Purl Patchwork is a long narrow Soho store that's literally crammed to the ceiling with gorgeous materials and accessories, including lots of quirky Japanese prints. Joelle is the author some classic crafty books, including Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts and Last Minute Knitted Gifts. Down the street you'll find Purl Soho, the sister store which sells all kinds of yarny goodness, including custom-colours of Lorna's Laces and the softest, most squidgy cashmere you could ever hope to hold. They're both tiny little shops that are bursting with possibilities! If you can't visit in person there's always mail order too. Or if you already have a stash of materials that need to be married up with projects, then get yourself over to the Purl Bee.

The Purl Bee is an amazing online journal - detailing all the fantastic projects that the talented staff at Purl have undertaken. The photography is gorgeous, and the tutorials literally walk you through each project step by step. You can choose from all manner of crafts and there are always seasonal things to make, like the Easter Bunny Puppets. Whether you'd like to try knitting, quilting, embroidery, crochet or sewing, there will be an idea and a tutorial to suit.

Although they use materials from their shop, you can easily substitute with your own (and you could crochet this very pretty basket to keep your stash in). Their ideas range from the very simple - Handstitched Napkins that you can make by hand in an evening or two, through to more ambitious projects like this amazing Wedding Quilt.

If the V&A's Quilting exhibition has inspired you to try your hand at patchwork, then you could try these fabulous miniature pincushions - what a lovely thing to have for yourself or to give away as a gift if you could bear to part with it!

Or for a very quick fix, you can create what Purl have called Swatch Portraits - use tiny amounts of favourite fabrics in inexpensive wooden embroidery hoops to dress up a wall. They've used Liberty fabrics but you can mix and match as you like.

The Purl Bee is chock-full of inspiring images and crafty ideas, it's bailed me out at the Eleventh-Hour before and the galleries of images are simply fit to swoon over. Happy crafting!


  1. Wow. Those swatch portraits are BEAUTIFUL. Totally my next project!

  2. As an update, I totally went to Purl Patchwork this weekend and made the portraits! So cheap/easy/fun. Yay!

  3. The portraits are stunning. Perfect for lazy crafters :-)


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