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Simple Life Organic Canvas by Monaluna

 

I’ve been hearing from customers lately who love the look and feel of our organic cotton canvas, but they’re not quite sure what projects to use it for. We have ideas for you! If the word “canvas” brings to mind heavy, stiff fabric used mainly for tents and oil paintings, we’d love to introduce you to a whole new world of canvas.

 

Ours is a lightweight but sturdy oxford-weave cotton, with just enough structure to make it ideal for tote bags and purses, hats, pillows, table linens, and apparel like skirts, jumpers and coats. It can even be used in place of denim. The possibilities are endless!

 

Simple Life Canvas by Monaluna

 

All of our canvases are GOTS-certified, which means they conform to strict environment and also social standards. (Read about the standard here!) You can see our new Simple Life canvases here, or for playful and bright, fruit-themed canvases, check out our Juicy Canvas here!

Have you guys heard of The Story of Stuff? I remember watching their first short film almost 10 years ago now, and being totally blown away by how clearly and concisely they presented some of the more complicated issues of our consumer culture. (If you want to see that film – and I highly recommend it! – it’s here).

 

I just got an email this morning with a link to their new film, and they’ve done it again! This one deals with the problems with synthetic fibers, and the “microfibers” that are released every time our synthetic clothing is washed. In just under 3 minutes, they reminded me that we can’t just rely on plastic recycling, or even reusing, to protect the environment. We really have to reduce our use of plastics altogether.

 

It’s also a good reminder that organic, biodegradable cotton is a good option!

 

 

 

 

Simple Life Blog Tour

This week, Phat QuartersHandmade Boy and a bunch of talented bloggers have teamed up on a blog tour featuring our Simple Life collection! Each day, they’re showing off amazing handmade sewing projects made from our Simple Life organic fabrics that range from apparel, to quilts and even novelty items like a slingshot target.

In a special twist, they’re all focused on boy projects, which is great because I feel that boys can get overlooked when it comes to home sewing. It’s truly inspiring to see all the creative ways these bloggers have used the fabrics. To see the first days’ projects, check out Wild + Wanderful and Phat Quarters, and today’s project over at Handmade Boy.  Follow along to see the darling projects by Sprouting Jube Jube, Paisley Roots and others, and enter to win the GIVEAWAY!

 

Bear Family Shirt

 

Simple Life Slingshot

Herringbone Hoodie

 

 

Organic Fabric Patchwork Heart

 

Do you want to make a special (but simple!) Valentine for your loved ones, and do some scrap busting at the same time? This is the perfect project! Here’s what you’ll need:

 

-Blank greeting card (plus a little extra heavy paper) or heavyweight cardstock or bristol (watercolor paper is great, or something with a little texture)

-scraps of pink and red-toned fabric (or, why not make a green Valentine?)

-sewing machine or hand stitching supplies (especially contrast thread)

-glue or glue stick is helpful

 

Step 1: Prepare your card to the desired size and measure to find the middle of the front of the card. Draw your heart lightly with pencil, and then cut with an Exacto knife (or free-form cut if you’re feeling bold).

 

card middle

 

Step 2: Cut your scraps into long strips and sew together piece-by-piece, with right sides facing. The length of the strips will depend on how many cards you’re doing. If just doing one, you only need the strips to be long enough to cover your heart, plus about 1/2 inch. If you’re planning to do multiple cards keep the strips long and then cut into sections once they’re pieced. Press your piecing flat.

 

piecing

 

Step 3: Arrange your fabrics as you would like them on the inside of the card, with the finished side facing through the heart cutout. Make sure you have at least 1/4″ of fabric all the way around the edges of the heart. If you have glue handy, apply a couple dots to hold the fabric in place.

Step 4: cut an extra piece of paper about 1/4″ larger (on all sides) than your square of pieced fabric. Place this over the raw side of the piecing on the inside of the card, and dot glue at the corners to hold in place.

Step 5: starting at the bottom, stitch around your heart about 1/8″ from the edge of the cutout. Do not backstitch at the beginning and end, and keep the thread tails long. When you have finished stitching, open up the card, and using a pin, pull the thread tails to the inside of the card. Tie in a knot and clip close to the knot.

 

finished heart 2

Valentine

Are you guys familiar with Janine Vangool’s gorgeous Uppercase Magazine? Billed as a magazine “for the creative and curious” each issue takes on an aspect of the creative world, like color, pattern, or calligraphy. Janine is masterful at putting together stunning spreads and interesting, in-depth coverage of such a wide range of subjects. I have loved this magazine for a few years now, and I have saved all the issues, going back to them from time to time to read articles I missed, or just get inspired. I got to meet Janine at Quilt Market last fall, and did a little Q and A with her for her current issue, the Surface Pattern Design Guide. I opened a newsletter from her yesterday, to find that she’d included our interview on her blog. I’m so excited to be included in her publication! Check out the full article here.

Uppercase Magazine - Monaluna

 

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

 

Fern Organics

Organic cotton and hand knit clothing, hats and accessories.

Organic Knit Play Set from Four Ferns

Organic Knit Play Set from Fern Organics

 

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