Meet Holiday Handmade Cavalcade Sponsor Purl Soho

We are incredibly fortunate to have Purl Soho as a Platinum sponsor of this year’s Holiday Handmade Cavalcade. Our next festive event will be held December 16-17 at the Brooklyn Historical Society in downtown Brooklyn.

Beloved by countless Etsy shop owners, Purl Soho supplies top quality materials for sewing, knitting, crocheting, and all embroidery needs. At its Soho store you will find an amazing array of pure and natural fibers and patterns for your next needlecraft project.

Since 2002, Purl has been sharing its passion for beauty and quality designs in its extremely customer-focused business. “At Purl Soho we have always worked to create a friendly and comfortable place for everyone: locals and tourists, beginners and experts, regulars and one-time shoppers,” says Purl’s Executive Assistant/Studio Manager, Laura Enos. “We foster an environment where customers become friends and our place is yours,” she adds.

Purl began as a tiny yarn shop on Sullivan Street, in the heart of New York City’s Soho neighborhood. Four years later in 2006, it opened a fabric store, Purl Patchwork, just a few doors down. And in 2010, the founders’ dream became a reality, when the present large and beautiful Purl Soho location opened its doors, furnishing all needlecraft materials under one roof.

Three co-owners, sisters Joelle and Jennifer Hoverson, and close friend, Page Marchese Norman, envision Purl as a home for crafters near and far, from around the corner and around the globe. Makers visit the Soho location as well as its online website. “We love to answer questions, share accomplishments, research solutions, and exchange inspiration,” say the owners, who are former editors and stylists. “It’s why we do what we do!”

In 2012, Purl proudly launched its own Purl Soho brand yarn, a super soft merino. They now boast nearly 20 yarns in their exclusive collection, plus linen fabrics, notions, and dozens of boxed kits.

And one of these learn-to- knit boxed kits could be yours, if you are a lucky Purl Soho raffle winner at this year’s Holiday Handmade Cavalcade. Every shopper at the holiday market will receive a raffle ticket with each purchase. Purl is also giving out a selection of its gorgeous super soft merino yarn in the Cavalcade goody bags this year. On any day of the Cavalcade, be one of the first 25 people to make a purchase from one of our talented local vendors and bring home this exceptional yarn in one of the complimentary Goody Bags!

Purl is excited to be such a large part of this year’s unique holiday event, and hopes you will visit its store online, or in person. They can’t wait to meet you!

Sewing Tutorial: Rope Bowls

A few weeks ago I wrote about a homey trend that is pretty easy to make, baskets and bowls made of rope.  You can read about it here.  Today I am going to share with you how to make these easy, heirloom bowls.

Materials: for this project I used cotton clothesline rope bought at my local hardware store, Pintchiks. 

*sewing machine

*thread - I used Gutterman brand in natural, yellow and violet

note - the thicker the rope, the faster the bowl will be made.

1. Form a circle by shaping the rope on a flat surface. I started doing this in the air which presented a challenge. When the bowl is about 2" to 3" wide I sew a zig zag stitch across the center in one direction, and then repeat in a second direction.  I set the zig zag on a width of 5 to 6 and a length of 1 to 2.  For the base I use natural color thread. Important note, make sure the rope is feeding from the ground or your lap and moving counter clockwise. 

2.  I took the base out and changed my top thread to a bright canary yellow.  Once the bowl base is my desired size I start to hold the base at a 90 degree angle and continue to feed the rope.  

step 3.

3.  About 2" up the bowl I switched my bobbin thread to a violet purple. This creates a pretty contrast to the canary yellow on the inside.  Once the bowl starts to shape it's easier to hold it with the left hand and feed the new rope with the right hand.

4. Creating the handle. Once you start to reach the end of your rope, take a few inches and curve the handle. At the beginning of the curve sew a backstitch a few times so the handle is secure.  At the end of the handle, repeat, but put the end of the rope on top of the edge.

step 4

These bowls are so easy to make, you can eventually make them larger into baskets and planters.  Experiment with nylon and polyester rope, hot pinks and green jute are next on my list. Perfect for bread, fruit, jewelry, hair ties. The uses are endless! Enjoy!




Tutorial: DIY Apple Picking Canvas Tote

Apple picking time is here! Crisp fall leaves, fall foliage trips, pumpkin picking.  I think autumn might be my favorite time of the year! I love picking apples and pumpkins and I am so happy to pass this tradition on to my daughter.  It's something kids and adults can do. Apples after being accumulated can get heavy.  So you want to use a tote that is durable.  For this tutorial I am using an organic duck canvas lined with a quilting weight cotton.  This is a beginning intermediate level sewing project.  Good for someone who has learned to sew and wants to do a new project and learning a few new techniques!

Materials clockwise from top: rotary cutter, omni-grid ruler, seam gauge, thread, fabric, webbing


3/4 yard canvas

3/4 yard cotton quilting weight

2 yards cotton webbing 1 1/2" wide

matching thread , 2 yards cotton webbing 1" to 1.5" wide, iron, sewing machine


1.     Cut out your shell and lining pieces, cut out your pocket.  

  • Shell- cut 1 piece 38” x15”
  • Lining -  cut 1 piece 36” x 15”      
  •  Pocket – cut from the lining fabric 9” x 8”   
  • Straps – cut 2 pieces of the webbing 34” each, these straps are long. If you want them shorter, take a few inches off

2.  Make the pocket: if your print is non-directional, choose a longer side of the pocket piece, this will be the top.  Fold over ½” and press, repeat.  Sew an edge stich along this fold. For the remaining 3 sides, fold over each raw edge ½”  to the wrong side of the fabric and press.

3.     Sew the pocket onto the lining piece.  Take one of your lining pieces and measure 4” from the top. Center the pocket with the wrong side of the pocket facing the right side of the lining fabric. See photo. So both “right sides” of the fabric are facing you.


4.     Pin in place and sew with an edge stitch on 3 sides, not the pocket opening.  Be sure to back tack a few times at the top two corners.  These are stress points.

Edge stitch 3 sides of the pocket.

5. Ok now to attach the straps. Measure in 3" from where a side seam will be and place the webbing.  Fold over the top edge of the bag 1/2"  to cover the webbing, fold over again 1". Pin.

6.  Take this webbing and smoothly run it over to the point 3" from the side.  You are on the same side of the bag. Be sure to not twist the handle. Repeat step of pinning. Repeat these steps for the opposite side of the bag and other handle.

7.  Sew down the handles all along the top of the tote.  To hold all those apples you will sew 2 rows of stitching around the tote top edges and sew a reinforcement X where the handles are. 

8.    Now it's time to sew the lining to the shell, French Seam style! Lay the lining to the shell wrong side to wrong side.   Sew ½” seam allowance, trim down to 1/8”, fold over the seam face to face and sew ½” seam allowance.  Your seam on the inside of the bag should be covered.  Repeat on other side.

french seam, cut the seam down to 1/8"

inside view of French Seam

Finished! Ready to go apple picking or take a trip to your local farmer's market!

Enjoy the beautiful autumn!

Tracey Toole |  www |


Part II DIY Fall Kitchen Patchwork Trivet

Last Friday we demonstrated a tutorial of how to make a patchwork trivet for your kitchen. Today we will finish it up with part II.  If you missed part I you can find it right here.   I know with the change of weather I am ready to start having hot coffees and warming teas.  

Last week's last step was making the patchwork top part of the trivet. It should look like this. 

1. The bottom row is sewn to the middle row, be sure to match seams and press with steamy iron.  Then sew the middle row to the top row. Repeat same steps.

2. SQUARE IT UP.  This means you need to cut the sides to make sure it is even.  It's ok if it ends up being smaller than 9" square or not a complete square.

3. Step 3 you are going to start making the quilt sandwich. Take your wool, place your batting on top of that, then your trivet top on top face up. 

4. Pin the layers together and sew along the seams. You can use regular straight pins or basting pins.  It's good to use a Walking Foot but if you don't have one that's ok. 

5. Attaching the bias tape binding. When you first start to attach it you need to fold over one short end raw edge about a half inch.  

Be sure to fold the short raw edge as above. 

6.  Sew a half inch seam allowance around all of the edges. 

7. Fold raw edge and wrap to top side of trivet. Pin. 

step 7B

8. Sew an edge stitch.  This is a stitch right along the grey binding. 


Step 9. Done! Have a cup of tea!

final trivet 2 colors.png

If you have any questions please let me know.  Next tutorial will be the Apple Picking Tote on October 16th. 

Have a lovely weekend! 

Tracey Toole   |

DIY: Fall Patchwork Kitchen Trivet Tutorial

It's National Sewing Month! Did you know that? Did you know it was President Regan who started  National Sewing Month in 1982.  He wanted to celebrate and honor the importance of home sewing in the United States.  If you want to learn more about National Sewing Month check out the National Sewing Month website.  However I am here to show you how to make a Patchwork Trivet just in time for the beginning of tea and soup season.   This is a good project for a beginner or intermediate but you do need to know how to use a sewing machine.


scissors or rotary cutter

pins /  iron

double wide bias tape 

cotton woven fabric scraps adding up to 9" square

Insul Bright batting

wool - I use Mary Flanagan wool that comes in beautiful colors and patterns 

1. Cut your cotton woven fabric scraps into 3" squares.  I used 3 different patterns/colors. 

2. Arrange your squares into the design you would like for the top part of the trivet. 

3.  Once you decide on your design, take 2 squares and lay them face to face, pin them and sew 1/4" seam allowance on one side. 

5. Remove the pins and with a hot iron and the back side facing up, press the seam to the darker fabric side. 

6.  Arrange your pieces again into your desired design.  You can see in my photo I sewed 6 pieces together to create 3 2 patch blocks.  My design is 3 swatches across, 2 are sewn and the 3rd isn't.  Now I will sew a third square onto each row of 2.


Continue this step with the other 2 rows of 2 squares each and this will complete your trivet top.

Next Friday will be part 2 of this tutorial and I will show you how to make your quilt sandwich and  complete the trivet. 

Have a great weekend! And please ask any questions or comments below!