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After what seems like a very long wait, our Simple Life Poplins, Canvas and Cotton Lawns have finally arrived! Inspired by the crisp, clean lines of Scandinavian design, these ranges incorporate woodland animals, graphic florals and geometrics, all in a palette of blues, red and warm white.

 

I spent the year after high school living in Denmark, just south of Copenhagen, and this collection sprung from memories of my kitchen there – steaming Bodum mugs and red coffee carafes, strawberry cake with whipped cream, lingonberry jam, cut flowers and wildlife passing by the big windows that looked onto the beach. Such a beautiful place.

 

Simple Life Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

The prints come on 3 different base cloths – our versatile poplin, featherweight cotton lawn and sturdy canvas – so you can pick just the right weight for your project. We’ve already used them to make up garments, quilts, pillows, clutch bags, backpacks, table linens, oh – and some cute Christmas ornaments!  What would you make with these fabrics?

Scrappy Monaluna Fabric Ornaments

 

Want a fun, Christmas-y project this weekend? Need handmade gifts for loved ones? Have some scrap fabric to use? Here’s a solution: make scrappy fabric ornaments!

 

This week, 6-year-old Anabelle got clear instructions from the elf in her advent calendar to make some new ornaments for our tree. (Yes, the elf leaves her notes in the advent calendar. The hoops we create for ourselves at Christmas time really are amazing…) Luckily, I just happened to have some fabric scraps around, and a little extra time. (Fabric scraps are plentiful around here, but time less-so). Together we designed and stitched up these simple, soft ornaments. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial:

 

Step 1: take scrap fabric and cut in strips of varying width, but between 1/2″ and 2 inches, and about 1- 1 1/2 inches longer than you want the largest point of your ornament to be (ours were about 6 inches). They don’t need to be straight or even – a little wonkiness can be extra cute.

 

Step 2: sew the strips together along the long edges to create a square or rectangle of scrap fabric. Trim if necessary. Press seams open or flat.

 

Scrappy Monaluna Fabric Ornaments

 

Step 3: find a coordinating backing fabric of about the same size, and match it to your scrappy square (or rectangle, depending on desired ornament shape) with right sides facing. Pin fabrics together.

Scrappy Monaluna Fabric Ornaments

Step 4: Cutting freehand or using a pre-sketched template, cut out your desired ornament shapes. We did a modern tree, heart and star, but you could try simple circles, candy canes, snowmen, little houses… anything you like, as long as it’s not too complicated to turn

Scrappy Monaluna Fabric Ornaments

Step 5: Stitch close to the edge of your shape (about 1/4 inch) almost all the way around, leaving a 1-2 inch turning hole. Clip corners and curves to get sharp points and a clean edge.

 

Step 6: Turn the ornament right-sides-out, using a chopstick or other softly-pointed tool to get the corners and edges.

 

Step 7: Stuff with polyfill or cotton balls and stitch up the turning hole.

 

Step 8: Using an embroidery needle and yarn or twine, stitch a hanging loop to the top of your ornaments. Alternately, use ribbon or rickrack (as we did here) and secure with a couple of loops of thread. Hang on the tree and enjoy!

Scrappy Monaluna Fabric Ornaments

 

One of my favorite things about having the Monaluna shop is that I can now go shopping and call it work. Like, it’s (part of) my job. And the best part is finding cool, independent companies that share our values, our interest in the handmade and our concern for the environment, and getting to support what they do. This holiday, I’m inviting you to do the same, and find cool, unique presents for everyone on your list! Here are a few of our favorites:

 

Kiriki Press

Kiriki Press makes the most adorable DIY embroidered doll kits! We carry a variety of the DIY Embroidered Doll Kits in our shop (the Barn Owl, Hedgehog and Matryoshka, $18.00), as well as some of the Starter Kits, which come with everything you need to start your new embroidery hobby. The doll patterns are screen printed by hand with water based ink on cotton, and include enough eco-friendly stuffing to make the dolls.

Kiriki Press Embroidery Starter Kit

Kiriki Press Embroidery Starter Kit, $39.00

 

Handmade La Conner

Handmade La Conner uses only natural ingredients and essential oils to make their small batch bath and beauty products. We love their lotions, soaps and scrubs!

Handmade La Conner Gardener's Scrub, $10.00

Handmade La Conner Gardener’s Scrub, $10.00

Handmade La Conner Shave Soap, $18.00

Handmade La Conner Shave Soap, $18.00

 

1820 House

1820 House makes hand-poured candles in small batches from pure vegetable and plant wax and essential oils. The scents are delicate and sophisticated, and the packaging is lovely and eco-friendly. We’re carrying their special 2016 Holiday candles, as well as their Reclaim and B.Elixir versions.

1820 Holidays Candles, $26.00

1820 Holidays Candles, $26.00

 

Cate & Levi

Darling soft toys and hand puppets, and DIY kits for the crafty kids on your list! These items are all made from reclaimed or recycled materials, and are designed to spark creativity.

Cate & Levi Scrappy Dog Kit, $30.00

Cate & Levi Scrappy Dog Kit, $30.00

Camilla Engdahl Ceramics

Swedish ceramicist Camilla Engdahl makes modern ceramic designs by hand in her home studio. We love the graphic nature and whimsical character of her work!

Camilla Engdahl Owl Pot, $48.00

Camilla Engdahl Owl Pot, $48.00

 

Camilla Engdahl Teapot, $105.00

Camilla Engdahl Teapot, $105.00

 

Purl & Loop

We have beautiful, locally-sourced birchwood looms made by Houston-based Purl & Loop! The looms are high-quality, handmade tools, and they offer a great way to reuse your scrap yarn, ribbon or fabric. You can make coasters or placemats, or sew your squares together into a larger project.

Stash Blaster Mini Weaving Loom, $26.00

Stash Blaster Mini Weaving Loom, $26.00

 

Poast

Norwegian-American designer Laurie Poast creates tiny, architectural, sculptured ornaments inspired by the homes European emigrants left behind. Each sculpture represents an emigrant family’s collective and historic memory of their ancestors’ home. Cast in pure white porcelain, the ornaments are modern and beautiful.

Handmade Porcelain House Ornaments by Poast, $13.00 - $18.00

Handmade Porcelain House Ornaments by Poast, $13.00 – $18.00

 

JohannaN Jewelry

Johanna N is a Swedish jewelry designer who works with fair trade artisans in Thailand to make modern, Scandinavian-inspired jewelry. We love the cast horn collection, and her funky, graphic flora, fauna and bicycles.

JohannaN Large Horn Necklace, $66.00

JohannaN Large Horn Necklace, $66.00

 

Beekeeper’s Daughter

Pure, sweet-smelling, 100% beeswax candles are perfect for the holiday season! They make great hostess gifts and stocking stuffers, and bring cozy cheer into your home.

Beekeeper's Daughter Votive Candle Set, $12.00

Beekeeper’s Daughter Votive Candle Set, $12.00

 

Sägen

Swedish Jewelry designer Sägen uses reclaimed mid-century Swedish porcelain and sterling silver to create pieces that are elegant and modern. The work of Scandinavian designers like Stig Lindberg find new life in these pieces of wearable art.

Bersa/Adam Bracelet by Sägen, now $166.00

Bersa/Adam Bracelet by Sägen, now $166.00

 

SIP – Seriously Imbibed Products

Bay Area artist Julia Minasian applies her gorgeous watercolors and whimsical designs to 100% organic cotton dish towels. Bring a bit of art into your home – doing dishes will never be boring again!

Organic Dishtowels by SIP, $16.00

Organic Dishtowels by SIP, $16.00

 

Etta+Billie

San Francisco soap company Etta+Billie makes the most wonderful soaps, scrubs and lip balms from all-natural ingredients and using sustainable processes. The products, packaging and scents are lovely!

Etta+Billie Body Scrub, $10.50

Etta+Billie Body Scrub, $10.50

 

Frederick Arndt

Frederick Arndt makes beautiful, mid-century inspired holiday ornaments from locally-sourced walnut and cherry wood. We love the funky-yet-classic holiday style!

Mid-Century Holiday Ornaments by Frederick Arndt, $16.00

Mid-Century Holiday Ornaments by Frederick Arndt, $16.00

The holidays are now in full swing, and this year, more than ever, I’m feeling excited to spend my holiday shopping dollars supporting green businesses. In the year since I opened our Monaluna studio and shop, I have loved finding independent makers who create beautiful, handmade products using sustainable materials and practices to fill out the “Green Goods” section of our shop. Some of them use our organic fabric and other organic materials in their products, some use reclaimed or recycled materials, and others are focused on helping impoverished communities through fair trade production. In all cases, these are products that have a lower negative impact on the environment, a positive impact on communities, and help to elevate the practice of creative making. Today, we celebrate small makers using organic fabric, and bring you part 1 of our Eco-Friendly Gift Guide, the Etsy-shop Guide! Check out these great etsy.com sellers, who make many or all of their products using organic fabric.

 

Organic Quilt Company

Handmade, organic items that are beautiful, functional and ethical.

Organic Baby Blanket from Organic Quilt Company

Organic Quilt Company

 

BabyDear

Hand sewn and crocheted baby blankets, baskets and hats. The doll Moses Baskets are adorable!

Crocheted Edge Blanket - Baby Dear Shop

Baby Dear Shop

 

Indigo Crane

High-quality, handmade knitting and project bags. Perfect gifts for crafters!

indigo-crane

Organic cotton knitting bags by Indigo Crane

 

Four Ferns Knits and Cloth

Organic cotton and hand knit clothing, hats and accessories.

Organic Knit Play Set from Four Ferns

Organic Knit Play Set from Four Ferns

 

Kimimila New York

Darling organic clothing for babies and kids.

Feeling Clucky Organic Playsuit by Kimimila

Feeling Clucky Organic Playsuit by Kimimila

 

Mary OBrien Baby

Organic fabric baby items in beautiful packaging that is 100% reusable and compostable.

Organic Cotton Bib Set by Mary O'Brien Baby

Organic Cotton Bib Set by Mary O’Brien Baby

 

Sew Bendy

Handmade project bags or purses, including lots of organic fabric options!

Organic fabric purse or project bag by Sew Bendy

Organic fabric purse or project bag by Sew Bendy

 

Thread and Ginger

Bags, purses and accessories including some organic fabric options.

Organic cotton hot pads by Thread and Ginger

Organic cotton hot pads by Thread and Ginger

 

Benoit Designs

Organic, eco-luxe and cotton creations.

Organic cotton quilt by Benoit Designs

Organic cotton quilt by Benoit Designs

 

Nikki Designs

Organic cotton and hemp table linens, window coverings and home furnishings.

Organic cotton place mats by Nikkidesigns

Organic cotton place mats by Nikkidesigns

 

Stay tuned for more eco-friendly gift ideas in the coming week!

 

 

Wanderlust Organic Fabric by Monaluna

Did you get to follow along with the Wanderlust Blog Tour that Phat Quarters shop organized earlier this month? The talented designers and bloggers involved stitched up some amazing garments and projects with our new organic fabrics, and I’m so inspired by their work! I think you will be, too. Take a look at their full “Look Book” on Issuu here.

Wanderlust Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

You can also visit the individual blogs involved in the tour. Just go to Phat Quarters, Paisley Roots, Chalk & Notch, Jilly Atlanta, Blaverry, Sprouting Jube Jube, Simple Life Pattern Co. and Crafting in the Rain. Enjoy!

 

Wanderlust Organic Fabric by Monaluna

With all the excitement over the arrival of Wanderlust and Bloom, I haven’t properly celebrated the arrival of some highly requested reprints. Our ever popular Pink Delicious print from the Juicy Collection is now back in stock, as well as Swim from Under the Sea, and Swoop from Anya.

Pink Delicious by Monaluna

It used to be that we almost never reprinted designs, because it seemed to make more sense to introduce new designs. More and more, though, we’re getting consistent requests to reprint, and we always try to accommodate, so if there’s a print you want to see back in stock, let us know!
Swim Organic Fabric by Monaluna

For now, I’m glad to have these lovelies back on the shelves.

Swoop Organic Fabric by Monaluna

Wanderlust Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

We’ve teamed up with Phat Quarters and a whole crew of amazing bloggers, sewists and pattern designers to do a Wanderlust Blog Tour, and it starts TODAY! Head over to the Phat Quarters today, and then follow along all week for some amazing inspiration from these talented ladies.

 

Wanderlust Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Wanderlust Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Wanderlust Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Wanderlust Organic Fabric by Monaluna

Wanderlust Blog Tour 
Sponsored by Monaluna
Hosted by Phat Quarters
Monday Aug. 8 – Monaluna & Phat Quarters
Wednesday Aug 10th – Jilly Atlanta & Chalk and Notch
Thursday Aug. 11th – Paisley Roots & Blaverry
Friday Aug. 12th – Sprouting Jube Jube & Phat Quarters

Bloom Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

They’re finally here! Our new organic fabric collections, Bloom and Wanderlust, arrived this week, and we’ve been shipping like crazy to fulfill all the preorders from shops around the world. I really love sending off all those boxes to places I wish I could be going myself. Some day!

 

Wanderlust s

 

We’ve started stitching up all kinds of projects that have been simmering away while we waited for the fabric. Janet just finished this darling dress yesterday, and I’m going to do a little photoshoot with it on Anabelle next week. I’ll post images soon!

 

Wanderlust Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

As always, the fabrics are 100% organic and GOTS-certified. The Bloom collection comes in poplin and double gauze, and the Wanderlust collection comes in poplin and cotton lawn. Pop over to our website to see the full collections!

Wanderlust by Monaluna

 

Every time I design a new collection, I begin with some sort of central inspiration point. Usually it’s something simple – a mood, or a style, or a particular print idea that gets stuck in my head. With our upcoming Wanderlust collection, the inspiration point was the idea of serendipity.

 

Last winter I had been half-listening to a radio program talking about the value of being open to unexpected good fortune, and it got me thinking. There was a time in my life when I made a serious practice of this: of listening carefully, and paying close attention to everything that came my  way. It’s actually kind of a skill, and one that I worked at regularly. But somewhere over the past several years, amidst the flurry of family building and house buying and business starting, I stopped paying such close attention. I’m very grateful for the life I have, but I’ve gotten much more focused and task-oriented, and a little less attentive to the unexpected but precious little joys that the universe sends my way. So I started to think about the times when I was very attuned to these little serendipities, and I found myself remembering one bittersweet summer when I was able to give myself over to this idea completely.

 

The story began the summer of 1998, when I had agreed to house sit for my dad and step-mom while they traveled in Europe for a month. I was in an odd place in my life at the time: I was trying to get over a bad breakup and not healing gracefully, and I had just quit my first “real” job, and was sketchy on what my next steps should be. A month of contemplation in Pacific Grove, CA seemed like just the right thing. And it was good. I didn’t know anyone there at the time (I had been living in Minneapolis), so I spent 4 weeks thinking, journaling, listening to the universe, walking the dog and making jam from everything I could get at the farm stands outside Watsonville. I thought about what I wanted my life to look like, and who I wanted to be, and I felt a sense of clarity for the first time in a while. The week before I was to leave I happened to see a cute little Cabriolet for sale, and decided on a whim to buy it and drive home to Minneapolis rather than fly. Yes, I was much more spontaneous back then. This was kind of a big deal for me: it was the first car I had bought, and it was my entire life savings (which, to be fair, wasn’t much). I thought I was being very responsible by taking the car to a recommended mechanic and making sure it was in good condition. Which, I was assured, it was.

 

A few days later, I was on the road, off on my one-woman adventure across America. Or half way across, anyway. According to my calculations, I would be home in four days. But that wasn’t to be. I made it as far as Williams, Arizona before the car broke down. Due to the, ahem, foreign nature of my car, there were no parts readily available, so I spent 3 days exploring the area. I rented a car and visited the Grand Canyon, wandered around American Indian ruins, and gazed at the lovely painted desert. It was a minor set-back, but I had time, and I got a really nice mini Arizona vacation out of the deal. A few days and some radiator hoses later, the car was finished and I hopped in and headed East, ready to be home. I made it about 15 minutes out of town before the engine overheated again. Sitting on the side of the road at dusk, hazards blinking, I started to really question whether this car was such a great idea. Eventually, a couple pulled over, and the husband – a former NASA engineer – assured me that I could make it the 1/2 hour drive to Flagstaff – they’d follow me in to make sure I made it okay. The next morning, I took the car to a mechanic, and got the devastating news that I’d fried the engine on my 1/2 hour trek up the mountain. A replacement engine would take an extra 10 days, and and cost almost as much as I’d paid for the car.

 

At this point, present-day ‘me’ would have aborted the mission, trashed the car, bought a plane ticket and flown home in despair. But this is where that serendipity thing came in. I decided to fix the car. That night, I took myself out to an I’ll-be-in-debt-forever-so-might-as-well-start-now dinner at a nice Italian restaurant and poured out my tale of woe to the sympathetic waiter. Who, it turned out, was also a florist. The next morning, I woke up to a gigantic bouquet of flowers waiting for me at the hotel front desk, and the news that some friends of a friend of my mother’s were visiting Minneapolis from (surprise!) Flagstaff, and I was welcome to stay in their (gorgeous) home in the picturesque hills. Thus began my amazing 10 day adventure in Flagstaff and vicinity. What really should have been a very bad turn of events turned out to be an amazing and kind of life-changing experience that enriched me in ways I can’t quite express. The memories and the impressions of that time made a deep and lasting impression on me.

 

So all of that was in my head when I decided to base a collection on that trip. I remembered the photos I took as I drove through the countryside, and thought they would be great inspiration for prints, so I dug around in the attic until I found them. It turns out that what I remember as gorgeous images of the desert landscape were mostly photos of telephone poles and grass:

 

arizona

 

arizona

Ah, pre-digital photography. So I improvised a bit. But I was able to draw from all of those impressions of moody skies, dusky mauve and coral mountains, grazing horses and desert landscapes. And the result is our new collection, Wanderlust!

arizona 3

 

Wanderlust by Monaluna

 

 

 

This spring just FLEW by. There’s always such a flurry building up to Quilt Market, and then we went on a family vacation to the East Coast right after we returned. When we got back I jumped straight into finishing up the new collections for fall, and by the time I caught my breath it was the 4th of July! So this is a belated Quilt Market post, but we had a lot of fun with our booth this time, and we actually got some decent photos. Here’s a little recap of the booth featuring our upcoming organic fabric collections, Wanderlust Poplin and Wanderlust Lawn, and Bloom Poplin and Bloom Double Gauze.

 

WANDERLUST Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

We had a double booth this time, but actually had 3 collections to show, since we didn’t show Anya at fall market. We decided to build little vignettes for each group, with more props than we usually have. That worked out really well, because we had very little sample fabric to work with (most of the fabrics literally arrived the day before market opened, so I pulled a late night sewing up the little Ella Dress in the Wild Horses fabric that you see here), and also because we were able to give a very clear mood for each group. The Wanderlust collection was inspired by a trip I took (well, actually, I was stranded, so “trip” isn’t quite the right word) in Arizona about 18 years ago, so this set has a very 60’s Southwestern feel. I’m going to share that story on the blog next week, so tune-in if you’re interested.

 

WANDERLUST 2

 

You can see a closer image of the Wildflower skirt here, sewn from the cotton lawn. This pattern is one I made up based loosely on a skirt I bought in Korea 20 years ago. I’ve tried in vain to find another, and finally tried to recreate it. There’s been a lot of interest in the samples, so it may become a pattern soon!

 

Wanderlust Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Mindy whipped up a little cross patch pillow and baby quilt top using our strike-offs. I love the way they turned out – the textures and colors work really nicely together.

 

Bloom Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

The Bloom side of the booth was all French flower-shop feminine, and we found some foxglove and hydrangeas that accented the florals perfectly. The two garments on the mannequins were sewn from the Bloom Double Gauze, and we’re loving the way this new (to us) base cloth works for clothing. So soft and airy!

 

Bloom Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

The booth was on an aisle, which is always nice because you can leave that wall open to passing traffic. The only downside is it can feel a little TOO open, so we tried to anchor the corner with this little grouping of sewn samples and flowers, connected to the rest of the display with bunting and string lights. It was festive!

 

Bloom Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

We were able to show Anya off with a gorgeous Diamond Alley quilt by Sassafras Lane and a darling Sally Dress in Hootenanny and Florette. The barkcloth was represented by our own living room chair (covered in Eero) and some pillows from the shop, and we had some darling garments made from the Anya Knits.

 

Monaluna Organic Fabric, Quilt Market 2016

 

All in all, it was a pretty fun booth! Now, I’m just anxiously awaiting the new collections, which were delayed, but which will be arriving in 2 weeks. I’ll keep you posted as they get closer!