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This week at Monaluna, we stitched up the free Sorbetto pattern by Colette in our  Cherry Blossom Dusk  organic cotton lawn  from Haiku 2. The pattern is easily printed out and feature sizes 1-26.

We chose Version 1, which features a center front box pleat and bust darts for shaping. Bias tape finishes the modest scoop neckline as well as the armholes. Here in California the weather is just perfect for this classic, lightweight top. The simple pattern, with the added pleating creates a romantic piece suitable for all occasions. We are in love with how this piece turned out!

 

Our organic cotton lawn is an ideal fabric for this pattern, because it is lightweight and drapey, but still crisp enough to hold a nice pleat. The poplins will work well, too, and can transition better into cooler weather.

With this pattern there are unlimited possibilities! Here are some suggestions for which of our organic fabrics we think will also work well with this pattern.

 

Version 2 of the Sorbetto top features a center front box pleat and bust darts for shaping. Bias tape finishes the modest scoop neckline as well as the armholes. This tunic length version has a side seam vent and slight high-low hem, which is finished with a facing.

For Version 2 we think Scattered Petals, Spots lawn, and Cherry Blossom Dawn would make a beautiful garment!

Version 3 of the Sorbetto top features a center front box pleat and bust darts for shaping. Bias tape finishes the modest scoop neckline. This version includes short set-in sleeves that are finished with a baby hem.

For Version 2 we were thinking Brush Teal, Poem Sage, or Clover. Happy Sewing!

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Our Haiku 2 collection arrives today, and we are excited to get busy sewing up quilts, clothing and other projects with this lovely new organic fabric! Inspired by the short Japanese poetry form, this collection features delicate watercolor florals and brushstrokes juxtaposed with bold metallic stamping. We’ve recolored our original prints for a collection that is deeper and even more harmonious, with shades of pink and plum set off by pops of teal, sage and chartreuse. Here are a few of our first Haiku 2 projects. Take a look at the full range here and let us know: what would you make from these new fabrics?

 

Haiku Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

My mom is marking a birthday milestone this month, and to celebrate we hosted a West-coast birthday celebration for her. She has a group of lifelong friends here from when she lived in Berkeley in the 60’s and 70’s, and whenever she visits from her home in Minneapolis, they try to get together to visit. I always love being included in these get-togethers and listening to what is always an interesting conversation, and often takes the form of an elegant dinner at one home or another.

 

It was fun to play host this time, and we decided on a weekend lunch al fresco, taking advantage of a pleasantly cool day. We had planned to prepare a feast using as much produce from our garden as possible, but unfortunately, a brutal heat wave occurred while we were out of town the previous two weeks, and much of the garden was scorched. So instead, we used lots of seasonal fruits and veggies, and threw in our own herbs, citrus, blueberries, potatoes and eggs from our chickens. We went with what was supposed to be a light, soup and salad theme, but we got a little carried away. Here’s the menu for a Saturday brunch for 10:

 

-Chilled sorrel soup and baguette with prosecco

-Quinoa and kale salad

-Glazed carrots over honey-drizzled goat cheese

-Watermelon and blueberry salad with feta, mint and fresh lime

-Farfalle with fresh garden pesto

-Rustic walnut toasts with fig and olive tapenade, ricotta, peas and radishes

-Avocado toasts with tomato and feta

-Danish lagkage with whipped cream and berries

-Lemon and blood orange sorbets

 

It ended up being a little over-the-top for what was supposed to be a simple lunch, but my mom and Dave and I had such a good time cooking together and enjoying the bounty of early summer produce. Here are some of the recipes we used or made up, along with some photos.

 

Chilled Sorrel Soup

I planted sorrel last year, with only a vague idea of what I would do with it. It grew impossibly lush and green, and before I realized it, the decision was made for me: my gorgeous stand of sorrel became chicken food one afternoon when our free-range flock discovered that they rather liked sorrel. To my delight, the plant came back this spring, and I guarded it with chicken wire before our birds rediscovered it. This was my first go at a soup, and it was delicious. I used Craig Claiborne’s recipe for the New York Times as a starting point, but changed it so much that I’m writing it out here.

 

 

1 lb. Fresh Sorrel

1 lb. potatoes

3 large leeks

butter

8 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. cooking sherry (or to taste)

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup heavy cream

 

  1. Clean and dry the sorrel, and remove stems. Stack the leaves, and cut crosswise in 1/4″ ribbons. Set aside.
  2. Slice the white and light green parts of the leeks, and discard the tops. You should have about 2 cups.  Saute leeks in the butter in your soup pot.
  3. Peel the potatoes and chop into 1″ cubes. Add potatoes and broth to the soup pot and bring to a boil, simmering 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Strain the broth by pouring the soup through a colander into a large bowl. Put the solids into a food processor, add 1 cup of the broth and blend until smooth. Return the now-smooth solids to the soup pot and pour in the rest of the liquid, mixing until combined. (Alternately, you could use an immersion blender to puree the soup). Chill the soup.
  5. Once chilled, add the sorrel ribbons and blend with an immersion blender. Add parmesan cheese, cream salt, pepper and sherry to taste and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Glazed Carrots with Goat Cheese and Honey

 

 

I came across this recipe as I was going through back issues of Food and Wine Magazine, and it looked delicious. I was not wrong. These were the best carrots I’ve ever had, and I’m already planning to cook them again as soon as possible. The recipe is a little fussy, but well worth it. Find it here.

 

Mama’s Quinoa Kale Salad

 

 

1 Bunch Kale

Quinoa, cooked

1 cup Pecans or almonds, chopped

1 cup Cranberries

 

Dressing

4 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2+ Tbsp. Champagne Vinegar (to taste)

1 Shallot, minced

1 tsp. Dijon Mustard

1 tsp. honey

Salt and Pepper

 

Prepare the kale by removing the woody spine and cutting the kale into bite size pieces. Place in a glass or ceramic bowl and salt generously, then squeeze and scrunch the kale until it is tender. Add salad dressing and nuts and cranberries and chill while preparing the quinoa.

 

Add 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of boiling water and continue cooking on medium low for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, drain any liquid that remains, and place the hot pan back on the burner with the top off to dry the quinoa a bit more.

 

When the quinoa has cooled, add it to the kale and nuts and cranberries and mix well.

 

Rustic Walnut Toasts

 

 

I have been loving the popularity of “toasts” lately. I lived in Denmark for a year when I was a teenager, and I fell in love with their smørrebrod, or open-faced sandwiches, and this is a similar idea. It’s like a tasty blank canvas for whatever lovely stuff you want to pile on top. Here’s our take:

 

1 Loaf rustic whole wheat walnut bread

1/4 c. Olive Oil

Olive-Fig Tapenade (I used some that I found at Whole Foods)

Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese

Fresh Radishes, Peas and micro-arugula

 

Preheat oven to 450º

Slice bread and place slices on a cookie sheet. Brush both sides with olive oil

Bake for about 10 minutes, checking to make sure that the bread is toasty but not burnt

Cool toasts and spread with tapenade.

Dollop on the ricotta, and spread over the toasts

Decorate with slivered radishes, coarsely chopped peas and micro ricotta. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

 

Camilla Plum’s Danish Lagkager

 

I found this recipe on the blog TasteFood, and it reminded me right away of the delicious, light and not-too-sweet layer cakes that I had in Scandinavia. It’s fairly simple, and perfect for a fresh, summer party. You can find the recipe here.

 

 

Happy birthday, mom!

 

 

 

 

Hiroshima Embroidery Needles

 

At Monaluna, we look for quality products that offer something special. Hiroshima needles are exactly that. Crafted through a 30-step process, these needles are exceptionally sharp, smooth, flexible, and strong. They pierce and glide through fabric effortlessly thanks to a special high density abrasive polished treatment.

 

 

The Hiroshima factory uses a metal tempering process that gives the needles just the right amount of flexibility, and ensures they’re resistant to bending or breaking. This means you can stitch for hours with less fatigue, and the needle with return to its straight shape, even as its manipulated through fabric.

 

 

Another thing we like about these needles is their larger than average and ultra-smooth eye, as this makes threading easier. Hiroshima needles come in durable clear labeled containers that look like a small test tube and help keep you organized. We stitched up this sweet little flower cluster on organic linen using wool floss and a Hiroshima embroidery needle. We also carry assorted Sashiko and Quilting needles to best suit your project needs.

Father’s Day is June 18th, and we have some great ideas for unique and sustainable gifts for the special dad in your life. Here are a few ideas from the shop, as well as some DIY projects you can make yourself!

 

 

Green Growing Gifts

1. Homemade La Conner Preshave Oil
2. Homemade La Conner Shave Soap
3. Can+ Plant Growing Kit
4. Cultivate & Eat Growing Kits
5. Etta+Billie Cold Brew Mint Coffee Soap
6. Happy First Father’s Day Card 

 

 

Sew Dad an Apron

Does your Dad love to BBQ and cook? Why not create this custom canvas apron. We felt so inspired by Purl Soho’s “Adjustable Apron” tutorial that we decided to sew up a few. This apron was made with Herringbone Canvas and Spot On Canvas with red sticking accented cotton webbing. I think grandpa would love this one too! Check out all our canvases for inspiration for your Dad.

 

 

Make Him a Trendy Bowtie

Spring and summer bring weddings, graduations, and patio-parties, so why not give Dad a way to spruce up his look. The Sew Like A Mom, “Men’s Bow Tie Tutorial” provides easy to follow instruction to create your Dad something, thoughtful and homemade. He’ll love it!

We created our bowties out of Polka Dot PoplinLittle Leaves Poplin and Pellon Fusible Interfacing. This is a great gift idea and you have just enough time to sew up one or two for the special day. We also thought how precious would a Father and Son matching bowtie set be?

Whatever you decide to do for your Dad, make sure you give him a big hug, and wish him a happy Father’s Day from us!

Our Cottage Garden  organic fabric collection has arrived and is now shipping! 9 playful prints featuring charming garden creatures, pansies, mushrooms and spots are printed on our premium, 100% organic cotton fabric.

A Cottage Garden Daydream:

 

Here at Monaluna, we’re envisioning a sweet girl exploring an English garden. As she wanders through the green grass, she sees strawberries, pink pansies and animals of all kinds. Hedgehogs! Squirrels! Deer! Foxes! And rabbits! Oh how delightful – she was amongst all her garden friends. They laughed and played without a care.

 

Little red mushrooms with pinprick white spots scattered the yard, just as cute as can be. Ladybugs dotted the sky and grass below. Her red and white polka dot dress blew in the warm breeze. She picked a plump, red strawberry from the field and its sweet taste filled her heart with joy and springtime giggles. As she laid back in the plush grass, the setting sun shone upon her smiling face. The moon and the stars sparkled the sky as the evening blanked her in a navy blue dreamland.

 

 

Cottage Garden honors the garden dweller in all of us: it is a playful collection featuring garden flowers, tiny mushrooms, strawberry fields and charming English garden critters. As always, printed on premium, 100% organic cotton fabric. After a long-awaited arrival, these delightful prints are now available!

 

Mother’s Day is May 14th and it is on the way! It’s one special day to appreciate all the wonderful moms out there, so celebrate your Mom and Mother Earth with thoughtful, eco-friendly gifts that are handmade, or better yet, made by you! Here at Monaluna, we’ve collected some of the greatest handmade, natural, and eco-minded gifts, and we’ve created the perfect Mother’s Day Gift Guide to help you find that special something.

Here are some Spring Favorites for Mother’s Day to help you find the perfect gift!

Monaluna Jewelry

  1. Gold Acorn long-length necklace, this cute thing opens too!
  2. Gardener’s Scrub, filled with all sorts of beneficial, natural ingredients for soft, nourished skin!
  3. Baby Bow Scissors, I mean, come-on! So cute and sleek.
  4. Merchant&Mills Workbook, we’re obsessed with the patterns in this workbook. What a fun gift, that keeps giving!
  5. Airplant Necklace, incase your Mom needs her own tiny plant!
  6. Lunar Phase Earrings, Does your Mom love the moon? Circles? Half-circles? These earrings are just perfection.
  7. Handcrafted Monaluna Infinity Scarf, because she’ll think they’re perfect too, just like we do!
  8. Etta+Billie Bar Soap, So luxurious! Natural handcrafted soaps, to help your Mom feel the love.

 

 

Hand selected, Handmade Jewelry

A “go-to” favorite! Jewelry is always a great gift idea for Mom and at Monaluna we’ve got plenty of trendy options she will love. We feature designers such as Larissa Loden and JohannaN. Jewelry is handmade and crafted with an eco-friendly flare. These pieces perfectly bedazzle any eco-conscious Mom!

Sew Mom an Infinity Scarf

Here are all the materials and methods to make your Mom her very own infinity scarf, in her favorite organic cotton prints of course! Click for the Tutorial: Infinity Scarf for step-by-step directions to how to create your own infinity scarf, and you can browse through all of our fabrics to pick out the perfect prints. The pattern works especially well with our cotton lawns and knits, but will work with poplins as well.

 

MD_InfinityBlog

 

Monaluna Handmade Double Gauze Infinity Scarf

Infinity scarves, handcrafted using our beloved fabrics. Theses double-gauze, scarves are colorful and delicate. Easy for any Mom to throw on to add a bit of warmth and color to any day. We guarantee your Mom will love how soft these scarves are!

MD_Infinity2

 

Get Mom a QuiltyBox Subscription

QuiltyBox is a monthly subscription service delivering new fabrics, patterns, sewing notions and more. Its a great way to continue to give inspiration and fresh ideas to your Mom! Monaluna was featured in the April 2017 box. If you are interested check out the Monaluna teams up with QuiltyBox, which has all the details.

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All Natural Pampering

What Mom doesn’t love a great skin care product!? Le Connor and Etta + Billie are both great producers of handmade, all natural, eco-conscious, no animal testing, and small batch production. These beauty gifts will leave Mom feeling and smelling amazing, with their natural ingredients and essential oils.

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Haven’t decided yet!? Well, come on in to Monaluna and we’d be happy to help. We have lots of great ideas and would love to help you find the perfect little treasure for your Mom. We’ve kept Mother Earth in mind to make Mother’s Day gift giving easy. Mother’s Day is May 14th, plenty of time to pick a pattern, pick out her favorite designs and make her something homemade. Otherwise, Monaluna has done the hard work for you and stocked our shelves with plenty of different gifting options. Get your Mom something special, hand selected, natural, eco-friendly, organic and Monaluna approved!

 

 

At Quilt Market last fall, I got to meet Patrick and Christine from Quilty Box, and learn about their awesome quilt subscription box company. I loved the fact that they scout out cool new fabric designers, artists and bloggers to work with, and thought the concept of delivering new fabrics, tools and patterns to quilter’s doorsteps each month was pretty brilliant. What a great way to introduce quilters to new designers, and challenge them with fresh patterns! In January, I got an email from Patrick inviting me to curate the April Quilty Box, and that set off a flurry of activity at the Monaluna headquarters. I hadn’t realized quite how BIG they were, and how many bundles would be required (a LOT of bundles!). I decided to include our Simple Life collection, and set about dreaming up a quilt pattern that would harmonize with the fabrics and work for a spring quilt. The result was the Simple Life Tulip Quilt, a graphic, springy floral, and a fun way of working with half square triangles. The pattern is included in the April Quilty Box.

 

Simple Life Tulip Quilt

 

Along with the quilt pattern and a Simple Life fat quarter bundle, this months’ box also includes coordinating So Fine sewing thread, a 3-oz. Flatter spray, and a little Monaluna enamel charm, featuring our Simple Life bears. It’s a pretty fun little bundle! You can buy the April Quilty Box here. 

 

QB

 

Each month, Sandi over at Crafty Planner interviews the Quilty Box contributor, and I had a really nice chat with her, which went live yesterday. We talked about my creative journey and how I started Monaluna, how I balance life and business, the origin of the Llama Love print, and lots of other things. You can hear the full interview on her blog here.

 

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full quilt s

 

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!