To cut or not to cut: Quilted Coats

In an effort to understand both sides more fully, I proposed the question to our Instagram community this past weekend and you guys certainly had your opinions (you can read all about it here), which has definitely helped inform my own thoughts so thank you!

Now, a few prefaces. I have a pretty good knack for seeing both sides to most issues and this is no exception. Hopefully I can bring both sides fairly to light. Additionally, some might be surprised that this is even an issue as I was at first. But, I’ve come to learn that the quilting community is passionate and loyal so I understand where most of them are coming from.

Should you cut up quilts to make a coat

With all that said, the comment I’m directly responding to is one from our How to Make a Quilted Coat post:

“Great tutorial–for demolishing an heirloom work of art. I’m ashamed of you and all the other “entrepreneurs” who ravish our quilt heritage.”

Some pretty strong language, and there were others in the Instagram posts with similar thoughts. So, let’s get to it!

My love affair with quilts

I first fell in love with the notion of quilted coats when I spotted this coat on Pinterest years ago (I don’t know the source but would love to know if anyone knows!):

Isn’t it exquisite? I love everything about it! The pattern, the colors, the scarf, the feeling. It’s cozy with its nod to quilt, but in a fashion way. I searched for ages for something similar to no avail, because they weren’t in style quite yet. I even contemplated making one myself, but it would have been a steep learning curve and a time commitment that I didn’t want to make. I looked into having someone make one for me or finding one similar from Etsy or eBay. I even found a company who makes quilts (don’t remember the name) from your own fabric. Ultimately, it was turning into a much bigger time suck to making it happen than I wanted to commit.

The trendy coat quilt

Finally, Gorman came out with a patchwork quilted coat a few years ago that mimicked the vibe I was going for, but they had made a design and printed it onto fabric. I don’t have a picture of me wearing it but I found this lovely lady here in the exact coat. I still have it and wear it ALL the time. In fact, they came out with a subsequent style and I bought that too and wear it ALL the time as well. In fact, they’ve been my pregnancy coats both times.

You can imagine when I started seeing makers and small companies coming out with quilt coats I went GA GA. FINALLY! Now, they weren’t necessarily marked at a price point that I wanted to commit to, though I understand why it is set that way. You can read about some of my favorites here (and I think there’s more by now!).

DIY Quilted Coat

We connected with one of our favorite clients (thank you Fiskars!) who come on board and I knew it was time to show people how to make a quilt coat of their own by someone who actually knew how to sew, Romy-Krystal Cutler of Sew Like. To me, it was important that we did it correctly by hiring someone who knows what they were doing versus us buying such a beautiful quilt and wreaking havoc on it. And she did a tremendously beautiful job!

My relationship to history

As I mentioned in the Instagram post, I studied art history and almost went into historic preservation. I have a deep love of old things and history. I even worked for an architect who worked with National Geographic whose mission was to preserve culture. With that in mind, part of the way that we celebrate art movements and culture is by bringing them to light and being inspired by them through our work. It’s a great talking point and remembrance of eras that might have been forgotten. Taking something that is old and making it modern is one of my favorite ways to keep history alive. And that’s how I feel about repurposing quilts into fashion.

Real Talk

Real talk, how many of us display our grandmother’s quilts? Or are they tucked away in a cupboard somewhere? How many of us plan on displaying them at some point? Or are they an heirloom that gets passed down from one cupboard to another? While this is a fine way to preserve an heirloom, I find that keeping it visible is an active way to celebrate our heritage. I’ve always loved the artful combined with the practical so turning the quilt into something that will be used is my ideal method of celebration and preservation.

Quilted coat
Photo by HoneyBea Design Hive

You wouldn’t believe the comments I get when I wear this coat out (I mean, it’s quite limited as I don’t get out much right now). “Did you make that?” or “is that your grandmother’s?”. The questions create such beautiful conversation starters and I find that I encounter kindred spirits wherever I go. In my opinion, much better than storing it in a keepsake box that I open infrequently.

Arts vs. Crafts

In graduate school, I took a class at the Smithsonian on crafts vs. arts. Are crafts considered art? Ultimately, I learned, it depends on who you are talking to. I believe that is the case here. In this case, are quilts art? Not all, I would say. Certainly, some are. I think you could talk with any quilt maker and they would tell you that not all of their work would be considered art. There are probably some quilt makers who don’t consider their work art at all.

Our regional art museum, Springville Museum of Art, has an annual quilt show that is well attended and looked forward to. You wouldn’t believe the amazing quilts that are shown. They’re incredible. And while I would consider some art, you might talk with some fine artists who wouldn’t. It all depends on who you talk to.

What’s the intent?

quilted coat
Photo by Psychic Outlaw

It’s the same with anything else old. In the practice of historic preservation for houses the argument is always–is this house/building worth preserving? Oftentimes it comes down to intent, design, and materials. Not all were intended to last. Especially those made with poor quality materials or tools.

Fashion as art

So, if quilts indeed are considered art, what about fashion? Certainly, some fashion is art. Look at haute couture. It can be breathtaking. On the other hand, I wouldn’t say my COVID/postpartum look is art. AT ALL. But quilts AS fashion? Again, it ALL depends! I would like to say that sometimes I treat my fashion choices as art–I love mixing colors and patterns and expressing myself in that way. Hence, when I see quilts as an art form AND fashion as an art form, the two together are magic.

Fast Fashion vs. Slow Fashion

One argument I saw a few times over was calling out fast fashion for being part of the problem. Is it? I kind of suspect it’s not as it would take A LOT of work for fast fashion companies to 1) gather all the quilts and 2) design to each unique quilt. It would require a new pattern each time and that’s not a good use of their time. It would be much more efficient to create their own fabric. The textile industry is one of the most harmful to the environment (I’ve heard is the second most polluting industry) so creating fabrics is not optimal. I’m going to venture to say, and this is just a guess, that it’s small companies who see the the repurposing of quilts as an art form and have a reverence for them. They probably wouldn’t spend their time scouring markets for quilts if they didn’t love them.

What to do with the scraps?

I saved onto the quilt pieces that from the coat I had made and we recently repurposed them into a sleeping mask and I’ll be making a face mask soon. There are so many things to make with fabric scraps and we’ll be sharing more of them soon.

Prices go up and resources become scarce

Now, of course it’s a bummer that when I go and look for quilts on eBay that the prices are much higher than they would have been just a year or so ago. These small companies are no doubt trying to get their hands on whatever they can. That doesn’t feel good, but perhaps we could also ask–who is selling these quilts? And why are they selling them?

Quilts as heirlooms

A lot of people mentioned quilts as family heirlooms. Much like the argument of whether quilting is an art form, I think it all depends on who made it and their intention. If a quilter makes hundreds of quilts in their life, is each one considered an heirloom? Is it possible or necessary to treat each one with reverence? I’m going to guess that the quilter had ones that they preferred over others. It’s the nature of creating.

I have a friend who quilts as a hobby. She literally has hundreds of quilts that she’s given away and my son was the lucky recipient of one of those. He received it as a baby gift when he was born. I will keep it forever because she is a dear friend. Perhaps he will give it to his child one day. And now that I think of it, it would be quite cool to turn it into a kid’s jacket so that he would be cozy in the winter. In this instance, it’s a matter of if I want to use it as a quilt for warmth in a bed or warmth against the elements. To me, both are important and show reverence.

When it goes out of trend

Sadly, we all know that when something becomes a trend it will eventually become untrendy. It’s the nature of the beast. I’m sure some people will want to get rid of their quilted coats and when they do, please offer it to me first! I will take each one! And you know what, there are other people who will love them and the cycle will continue. That’s assuming that we all sell or donate our used goods.

Quilts that are imperfect

Many people also mentioned that the quilts that they use for cutting up are ones that had deteriorated in some form. How wonderful that instead of going to a landfill, the quilt could have a second life.

Photo by Carleen

On that note, think of how fabric is first created and intended. It’s designed to be cut up in one way or another. Is the designer of that fabric sad about that? I doubt it because they know the outcome. Perhaps we just need to get more comfortable with the idea that repurposing can be a good thing? Just a thought.

History of the Quilt

One of my favorite arguments on the Instagram thread was bringing to light the history of the quilt. Quilts came to be when scraps were left over from making clothes and turned into a useful blanket. A ha! It all comes full circle. Clearly, I wouldn’t turn every quilt into a piece of clothing.

What have I learned in contemplating both sides of the story? Well, 1) there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t agree with you and you know what? We have to be fine with that (unless it’s harmful!). Hopefully, we can express ourselves without feeling the need to tear each other down. I feel like if we’ve learned anything in the past year it’s that we need to do better at communicating with respect.

I absolutely CHERISH the quilt coat that Romy made me. I have worn it nearly every day since I received it. It’s beautiful and cozy and perfect. Quilts have a such an amazing ability to communicate exuberance and joy all while telling a story. And if they are used on the bed or the body, I feel like we should make the decision thoughtfully.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave me a comment!

If you liked this, you might be interested in

Quilted Coats we love
The NY Times article about quilted coats

A Lars Girl in Mexico City: Travel Inspired Design and Fashion

Mexico City definitely is at the top of my list of favorite trips. Truly, it is a place of dreams. The gigantic, bustling city is home to almost 9 million residents, and the feel of the city is indescribable. I’m trying to teleport there using fashion and interior design; I’ll let you know if it works!

I visited Mexico City a couple of years ago with friends Nadia Coates of Casa Palomi, Meta Coleman and Chaunte Vaughn. (You can find Chaunte’s work in our print shop here! And some of Meta’s curated home picks here.) We went to visit Abby Low, whose work is also in our print shop! Abby’s book This is Mexico City is full of the color, print, and culture that inspired today’s post.

I am imagining what A Lars Girl would wear if her wardrobe was inspired by Mexico City. And what her home might look like. After getting a feel for some of the amazing sites in our Mexico City guide here, explore the links below for A Lars Girl top picks for fashion and decor.

Mexico City Inspired Fashion

 

Accessories

 

Read more about this amazing place

La Ciudad

Ciudad de México is an ancient city. Long before the land was called Mexico, the Aztec civilization built impressive temples and monuments in the middle of what was then a lake. Due to Spanish imperial efforts, much of the ancient city was destroyed or buried beneath new buildings. Modern renovation projects have done a beautiful job of peeling back the layers, allowing the city to truly shine. Though its past isn’t pretty, a beautiful way of life and a unique design sense has developed literally out of the ruins. Now a modern and very cosmopolitan place, Mexico City is a truly fascinating spot. 

La Mezcla

Old-world European architecture meets older ancient architecture, and all of it fits into an amazing modern place. When I think of Mexican design, I tend to think of folk art and textiles brim with life! Bright colors are used on funky patterns. But when I think of Mexico City, complex stylistic ideas with refined elements come to mind. Once there, you’ll know what I mean. If you’re looking to steal the style, try designing with Old World tastes, then decorate with clean-lined modern elements that allow ornate intricacies to shine. Conversely, try designing in a contemporary, clean design, then add some flair with natural or folk elements. To see this mezcla (mix) work in real life, check out pictures of the Museo de Artes Popular! Its architectural style is stunningly simple art deco, while the works within it are traditional and FUN! 

The residents of this city know how amazing it is, but most are happy to share the place they call home. I became friends with my cabbie and the local barista pretty quickly, and they clued me into the real neighborhood spots. Only true locals know the local spots. So, make some friends and get exploring! While you’re there, or even if you’re just lazing around the house, bring a dash of la Ciudad de Mexico into your life! See our shopping list above and below for clothing items and home decor that we think make the mark.

Mexico City Inspired Interior Design

Artwork

Decor

 

 

DIY Statement Headbands Inspired by Amanda Gorman

Statement headbands have been trending over the past few years and they are here to stay for 2021, thanks to Amanda Gorman! We’ve seen a resurgence of headband designs made with velvet and satin, embellished with pearls, rhinestones, and beads. They almost resemble Renaissance and medieval headwear that adorned the hair like a tangible halo glow. On Inauguration Day, Amanda Gorman glowed as she read her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” and her red headband simply accentuated her shine. Gorman’s “fiery red” headband by Prada quickly sold out since her speech, so we wanted to recreate the look by making our own headbands.

How to Make Your Own Statement Headbands

Supplies:

Plain 1.5 inch wide headbands (without teeth), 1/4 yard upholstery foam (½ inch thick), a permanent marker, scissors, a glue gun and glue, 1/3 yard fabric, a satin ribbon to finish.

Amanda Gorman headband DIY

Puffy Amanda Gorman Headband:

  1. With your permanent marker, trace the outline of your headband onto the foam. Cut it out outside the lines, giving about half an inch of ease on each end (as the foam bends it scrunches up a bit and loses some length). If you want your headband to be extra tall, cut two foam shapes.
  2. Making sure the foam and the headband are centered, glue the foam to the top of the headband. It’s easiest to keep it centered  if you start with the two ends, then glue the top and sides.
  3. If you are making yours extra tall, glue another layer of foam on top 
  4. Trim the foam to create a smooth silhouette. It’s especially helpful to trim down the foam by the ends of the headband so that it tapers. Take your time on this step.
  5. Cut an oval of fabric 24 inches long and six inches wide. 
  6. Center the headband on the fabric and wrap the fabric up and over the foam. Glue the fabric to the underside of the headband. Repeat on the other side. It’s best if you keep the glue on the center of the underside of the headband so that it can be covered with the ribbon later. If you have excess fabric, trim it off. 
  7. Work your way around the headband, smoothing out big wrinkles along the way. 
  8. Trim the excess fabric from the end of the headband, leaving about an inch. Fold it under the bottom and secure with glue. 
  9. To finish your headband, cut a length of ribbon long enough to run the entirety of the inside of the headband with about an inch to spare. Glue the ribbon to the underside of the headband, covering any raw edges. Fold the end of the ribbon under to create a clean edge and secure with glue. Where the headband tapers fold both sides of the ribbon under so that the ribbon doesn’t extend beyond the sides of the headband. Glue down and repeat on the other side. 

Amanda Gorman headband DIY

Braided Headband:

  1. Cover the headband in fabric. To do this, cut a three inch wide strip of fabric just longer than the headband is. Center the headband on the fabric and glue it down so that it covers the top, and fold the ends under the headband. Secure with hot glue and press down to avoid pesky bumps. Trim away excess fabric. 
  2. Cut three four-inch-wide strips of fabric and fold them over so that they form a hollow tube. Dot hot glue along the side of each and secure the fabric tubes. 
  3. Stack the three tubes and glue them together. Loosely braid the three strands together, taking care to keep the glued seam down. It can help to tape the strands to a table here. Secure the end of the braid with hot glue so that it doesn’t unravel.
  4. Starting in the middle of the braid, attach it to the top of the headband, with a dot of hot glue. Plump up the braid as desired and glue the braid down across the length of the headband. We pulled the braid a little bit tighter at the ends so that it would have more dimension at the top and taper at the sides. Trim any excess braid where the headband stops and add a dot of hot glue to the strands to keep them from unraveling.
  5. To finish your headband, cut a length of ribbon long enough to run the entirety of the inside of the headband with a few inches to spare. Glue the ribbon to the underside of the headband, covering any raw edges. Starting on one side, trim the ribbon so it extends just beyond the end of the headband and fold it up over the bottom. Secure it with glue. Cut a three inch piece of ribbon and glue it to the inside bottom of the headband. Fold and glue the end of the ribbon to create a clean edge, and wrap it around the base. Secure with glue and repeat on the other side. 

Knotted headband:

  1. Cover the headband in fabric. To do this, cut a three inch wide strip of fabric just longer than the headband is. Center the headband on the fabric and glue it down so that it covers the top, and fold the ends under the headband. Secure with hot glue and press down to avoid pesky bumps. Trim away excess fabric. Cut the fabric so that it ends right where the headband ends.
  2. Cover the raw edges of the fabric with a strip of ribbon. Cut a length of ribbon long enough to run the entirety of the length of the headband and glue it down, covering any raw edges. Don’t worry about the ends of the headband; we will finish those later. 
  3. Cut a strip of fabric six inches wide and about 30 inches long. Fold it over so that it forms a hollow tube. Dot hot glue along the side and secure the fabric tube. 
  4. Tie a loose knot in the center of the fabric tube. Make sure that the seam side isn’t up in the knot or on the top of the strips coming off the knot on either side. 
  5. With a dot of hot glue, secure the knot. Use another dot of glue to adhere the knot to the top of the headband. 
  6. With the seams down, glue the strips of fabric to the headband. Fold up the ends and fold in the sides, and wrap these around the bottom of the headband. Secure with hot glue.

As Amanda Gorman stated within the last lines of “The Hill We Climb,” may we be brave enough to be the light, in our country and our world.

We want to see how your style your Amanda Gorman headband! Tag us on instagram so we can see your iconic looks. 

Amanda Gorman headband DIY

DIY Sleeping Mask and The Comfiest PJs

You all know that, up until recently, my Lars uniform was a puffy, flowy dress in any color or pattern I could find. I lived in dresses! In any weather or circumstance, I would never fail to don a dress. However, since welcoming Felix into the world and moving the Lars office into my home – I must admit, I have found a new uniform of choice. LOUNGEWEAR. Who knew I would ever become a loungewear gal?! NOT ME! Ha! 

In fact, this new obsession of mine has taken over my wardrobe so completely that most days I find myself sliding into full-on pajama territory. I basically wear the same thing night to day…and then night again. But honestly, I’m not even mad about it. The latest addition to my PJ drawer is this set from the Sleepy Jones + Purple collaboration. When my favorite sleepwear brand and mattress company put their minds together to create a new pair of PJs, you just know they will be the most comfortable item in your closet. 

How to Complete The Ultimate Cozy Look

My favorite part of these new Sleepy Jones + Purple Pajamas? THE STRETCH. I could go on and on about the stretch. Especially when my time is currently spent feeding Felix and working at the same time (somehow?!). I feel stretched thin, so of course I need my loungewear to feel stretchy too. They truly provide the all day comfort I have been longing for. 

I do need to tell you now though, ordering your own pair of Purple PJs is a fluffy, soft, and slippery slope that will inevitably lead to a full Purple bedtime set up. And that is where I find myself now, wearing my new pajamas, surrounded by new Purple SoftStretch Sheets, and Harmony Pillow. But can you blame me? “Stretch” and “harmony” are suddenly my two favorite words, especially to describe my sleeping situation. 

To complete my night time routine, I decided to add a DIY Sleeping Mask to match my new stretchy goodness made from a quilt (remember our quilted coat tutorial?!)! I am already dreaming of the endless good nights of rest I’ll be getting now and perhaps you might benefit from it as well!

DIY Quilted Sleeping Mask

Items made from quilts (like the now popular quilted coat) is the new black and so I had to try my hand at it. It helped that I had scraps leftover from when Romy made mine. Turns out, it makes the coziest sleeping mask (and you better believe I’ll also be turning it into a face mask!)

Supplies:

Sleep mask template, Quilt/top fabric, .25 yard satin fabric, .25 yard cotton batting, 2 12 inch lengths of .25 inch wide elastic, thread, scissors, sewing pins, fabric pen/pencil

Instructions:

  1. Print and cut out your template. Make sure that your printer settings are set to print actual size.
  2. Trace your template onto your quilt or top fabric, your satin, and your cotton batting. Cut these out. 
  3. With the front of the satin facing up, place the satin on top of the batting and pin in place. Pin the two strips of elastic to the satin/batting layer with the ends lining up where the triangular markings on the template are. Make sure that the elastic isn’t twisting and that they don’t cross.  
  4. With the front facing down, pin the quilt piece to the satin/batting layer. You now have a sleep mask sandwich with batting on the bottom, then satin facing up, then elastic, then your quilt piece facing down. 
  5. Mark two places at the top of your mask about three inches apart where you will start and stop the stitching. You need to leave this space so that you can flip your mask inside out. 
  6. With a seam allowance of 3/8ths of an inch, sew around the outside of your mask.
  7. Grade this seam by cutting the batting layer closer to the seam. This makes it so that the outside of your mask doesn’t have such a bulky section around the perimeter.
  8. Flip your mask inside out from the space you measured out in step 5. Now the end is in sight! You should have satin in the back and your quilt facing forward, with elastic to hold it to your face. 
  9. Gently iron your mask with the satin side down. When you do this, fold the raw edges from the hole under so that they blend in with the rest of the perimeter. Pin in place.
  10. Topstitch around the outside of the mask. This is where you will close the hole you left to flip it inside out.
  11. Following the seams in your quilt, stitch in the ditch to quilt together your layers. Trim all your threads, snuggle up in bed, and start snoozing.

Get Cozy

Once your DIY sleeping mask is complete, pair it with your own Sleepy Jones + Purple PJs for ultimate coziness. 

This post was sponsored by Purple. Thank you for interacting with this content, your support helps us create even more project tutorials and artful resources for you and your family. Thank you!

Summer Craft Kits

During Little Lars Summer Camp we’ve made a DIY Charcuterie board, rounded up easy crafts for kids, and shown you our favorite templates and printables from the shop, and now we have limited edition summer craft kits for kids and adults alike!

Little Lars art kit on a yellow background

 You know the feeling of losing steam for a craft session because all the prep felt like chores? Ugh. We do, too. When you have a great project in mind, the last thing you want to have to do is run all over town looking for the right supplies! Enter our summer craft kits, which we will ship right to you so you can jump in to crafting.

Kids Craft Kit

With our limited edition Kids Craft Kit, your kiddo will be well on their way to making masterpieces.

Little Lars art kit, including a red tote, a paint palette, paintbrushes, colored pencils, a sketchbook with a sticker, an eraser, and an apron on a yellow background

The kit includes:

  • a kid-sized apron
  • a sketchbook
  • colored pencils
  • paintbrushes
  • a paint palette
  • an eraser
  • a little artist tote to keep everything in

Run, don’t walk to buy this kids craft kit in our shop here, because supplies are limited! We’re so excited to see what your kiddos create with this kit.

Little Lars art kit on a yellow background

And know what would complement the kit perfectly? Our Great Artists course!

In the Great Artists course you can learn about 6 incredible artists and make work inspired by them. If you’re looking for a summer school or homeschool curriculum (or just something creative and fun to do with your kids!) look no further. You can find it on The School that Lars Built here and read more about it on this blog post. Right now you can use discount code CAMPLARS25 for 25% off the six-artist bundle, so don’t wait to bring your kid’s (and your!) art knowledge to new heights.

colored pencils and an eraser on a yellow background

Beaded Fruit Earring Craft Kit

At The House that Lars Built we’re firm believers that crafts aren’t only for kids, and this should come as no surprise to any of our readers. So, in true Lars fashion (and trust me, this is a fashion you won’t want to miss) we’re releasing a beaded fruit earring kit! We truly can’t get enough of this project, and we wanted to make it as accessible and easy as possible.

DIY Fruit EarringsDIY Fruit Earrings

Choose between a pineapple, an apple, and an orange–you really can’t go wrong. Make just one for yourself or buy a 3-pack, then get your friends together for a crafting party and complete the set. If you do this with your friends it will be like a cute friendship charm in the form of a summer craft kit! A bonding activity and a memento? Yes, please!

DIY Fruit Earrings

The beaded fruit earring craft kit comes with:

  • red, orange, or yellow seed beads
  • green teardrop-shaped beads
  • wooden beads as an armature for your wrapped, colorful beads
  • thread
  • metal headpins
  • jewelry glue
  • earring hooks
  • written instructions and a video tutorial

DIY Fruit Earrings

You’ll need to provide needle-nose pliers and a tiny bit of hot glue, but all the crucial pieces of this beaded summer craft kit will show up on your doorstep, ready to go! You can buy this kit in our shop here.

DIY Fruit Earrings

I’m excited to see your creations! Show us with #CampLars and #LarsMakes. Happy crafting!

 

(Fall)ing in Love With Quilt Coats

I don’t know about you, but I could use some extra padding for this year! It doesn’t hurt that quilt coats are warm and cozy, too, which we all need as we head into a much colder season.

Keep reading to see my favorite quilted coats available now. I think you’ll be surprised how this trend can find a place in any wardrobe, trust me 😉

And don’t forget to check out some of the most iconic quilters around, the Gee’s Bend Quilt Group. You can read more about these artists here.

Some of my favorite quilt coats

Quilt jackets are not required to look frumpy or inspired by your grandma’s bedroom, don’t you worry. Even high fashion brands are embracing this current trend because nothing is quite as timeless as an actual nod to the good old days, spun in a modern new way. My original fan girl post about quilted coats back in 2016 was inspired by more minimal looks. Whether you want ultimate fall vibes – imagine being able to literally bring your favorite cozy quilt with you everywhere you go – or a more minimal take on the quilted jacket, explore the links below. Or test out the perfect way to dip your toes in the water of this trend, quilted face masks! Are you kidding me?! We are constantly on the hunt for cute face masks and these quilted ones might be my favorite yet.

All I am saying is, cue the apple cider and the pumpkin patch photoshoots, my quilt coat and I are ready for you!

 

Quilted jacket brands to have on your radar

Sea

One of my favorite parts of the quilt coat trend is that these coats look like…well, a quilt your grandma made and lovingly put on your bed. Instead of the classic white background, I love how they made the pattern and colors pop on this dark fabric instead. And don’t limit yourself to just quilt coats – Sea provides this bold pattern in multiple shapes and looks! 

And I don’t just love Sea for their quilted clothing, you have to check out their peter pan collars and dip-dyed ombre skirts too.

Farewell Frances

I first highlighted this brand in our post all about cute face masks. Guess what?! They also do coats! (For adults AND kids.) Send in your own quilt for them to “coat-ify,” or choose from their lovely selection. Doesn’t it just make you want to sip some lemonade out on the prairie?

Farm Down the Lane

The name of this Etsy shop tells you all you need to know about the adorable quilted items she sells.

Natalie Ebaugh 

Natalie’s sense of color and the way she mixes patterns in her quilted coats is truly inspirational. If you want to feel like you’re wearing a work of art, check out her shop.

Stitched and Found

The bright colors and designs of these quilts remind us of Alma Thomas, one of the artists in our Great Artists! Course.

3WomenCo

Though a little different than quilted coats, this brand uses vintage textiles to make sustainable clothing. I never would’ve thought a flour sack could look this good!

Stag Provisions

These quilted jeans are an example of visible mending, a beautiful way to re-purpose old clothing you might have otherwise thrown out. 

Psychic Outlaw

My favorite part of this shop is all the amazing quilts customers send in, which the company then turns into plush coats. Check out their Instagram to see all the past quilt coats they’ve made. They also make dresses out of vintage bandanas!

Haptics Lab

These coats sell out fast, and I can see why! They sell quilt quilt jackets for kids, too, plus patterns if you’re in the mood to DIY your own coat. 

Carleen

This brand carries the perfect blend of classic quilt jackets with zero frump.

More unique quilted items I am obsessed with

Want to start quilting?

I don’t know about you but all this talk about quilt jackets is making me want to try it out myself? It’s reminding me of a couple quilt inspired projects from Lars days past (see below!)

To get started quilting, our posts about hobbies to try when you are feeling uninspired includes sewing supplies and some great books about quilting!

Moodboard image sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

When Life Hands You Lemons care package and tablescape with Spoonflower

My favorite Mother’s Day inspired Spoonflower patterns

I spent a good amount of time going through the Spoonflower Marketplace, which is thousands and thousands of independent artists and great designs. Yes, it took awhile, but I came upon some really beautiful options and had a hard time narrowing it down. I saved my favorites in this collection on their site.

Which ones are your favorites???

There are a lot of good ones, right?! I was going for a springy, floraly vibe that also felt refined and could be used throughout the year. Here were some alternative options I was eyeing:

Citrus fabric tablecloth with Spoonflower

Ultimately, I ended up going for this Multi Citrus Grove Toile by Danika Herrick. It has the right touch of deGournay with its chinoiserie feel. Plus, I always love some good citrus–it makes everything feel instantly refreshing.blue and orange table ideaCustom Home Decor Options

Perhaps you remember when I redid my bedroom in all Spoonflower? Right–so not only can you order fabric by the yard, but you can order things for your home to be made in the fabric of your choice and it’s all sewn right here in the United States. For my bedroom it was the wallpaper, duvet, pillow cases, curtains, and this time around I ordered a tablecloth for the Party-For-Mom that I will be throwing. I paired it with this Indian print inspired marigold print by Andrea Lauren because I loved the contrast of the yellow to the blue in the main selection and decided to use them for the cloth napkins.Indian block print napkins

Visualizing the process

What I find useful in their new home decor option is the ability to see them on a variety of products. You can do that by selecting Home Decor in the “Also available in” section to view all of the different home decor products and then it automatically shows you how it will look.

And the marigold:

Because of that, I was able to visualize what it would really be like. And it was going to be GOOD!

Pattern on pattern advice:

Pairing a pattern on pattern can be tricky, but there are a few ways to make sure it works:

  1. Identify the colors of the palette. The first pattern I worked with has a lot going on but I drew out the main colors: blue, yellow, orange, and green.
  2. Along the same lines, draw out the colors that you’d like to highlight more. If there’s a color in the fabric that you don’t necessarily love, don’t highlight it! On the flipside, if you like a color more than another, bring that color out more.
  3. The two fabrics should be of different scale. The first pattern has a very large scale so I knew I needed to go smaller on the second.blue and orange table idea

Citrus tablescape

To go with our Mother’s Day party, we created a centerpiece of citrus–grapefruit, lemons, and oranges, to sit atop the tablecloth. We matched with with some yellow plates, blue bowls, and goblets to tie it in with our beautiful fabric. Plus the pretty chargers that add some depth. And a dash of flowers to keep it fresh!

Mother’s Day Care Packages

Because we are keeping friends and family at arm’s length right now, we have been brainstorming DIY ideas of how to share uplifting moments with our loved ones near and far. We decided to make a tote from Spoonflower’s Linen Cotton Canvas –it’s the perfect thing to fill up with goodies and send along to someone who needed a dose of joy. A handpicked, handmade gift for someone you love can be the best surprise!oranges table idea

To match the amazing fabric, we made our gift bag lemon themed! You know, the classic, “When life gives you lemons”. With everything life is throwing at us lately, let’s just say we have been making A LOT of metaphorical lemonade. We filled our gift bag with lots of lemon themed hand soap, lotion, candles, and more. Everything our loved ones need to make this extra hand washing fun!

When Life Hands you Lemons Care Package

Additionally, I wanted to create a care package to send along to my mom as Mother’s Day approaches. Social distancing could have interrupted the celebration of such a special holiday, but instead it turned into something that lets us show our love for our mothers in a new way. After turning the beautiful fabric from Spoonflower into a tote (the tutorial is now available in the Lars shop!), I wanted to fill it with goodies that were fun and practical. So, candy was a must (der!), as well as hand sanitizer and other necessities. Paul and Jasper joined in as well to create a tote-turned-gift-basket for Paul’s mom too to send to her in Denmark.

Follow these simple steps to make your own gift tote bag:

DIY Tote bag

(inspired by the famous Baggu tote!))

Materials:

Instructions:

Step 1: Print off our tote bag template found here

Step 2: Cut your bag pieces out of the fabric using the pattern, making sure to note which part of the fabric you want to highlight on your bag and which direction it will face when complete

Step 3: Starting with the main bag piece — face right sides together

Step 4: Sew the sides with a single stitch (and finish off the edges with a zag zag stitch if desired)

Step 5: Pull the edges of the notched part of the cut fabric, on the bottom of the bag, together to form the flat bottom of the bag. Sew a single stitch straight across these edges you have pulled together

Step 6: Turn your main bag piece right side out to prep for future steps. Now to move on to the handle straps!

Step 7: Take one of the cut handle strap pieces and fold the long edges in a quarter of an inch. Use your fingernail to crease the canvas fabric fold well.

Step 8: Once both long sides are creased, fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet

Step 9: Pin and sew a single stitch down both long sides of the strap. This will flatten the strap and make both edges look the same.

Step 10: Repeat steps 7-9 for the second handle strap. Next for the shoulder strap!

Step 11: Repeat steps 7-9 for the shoulder strap — to repeat, crease in the long sides a quarter of an inch, then fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet. Sew a single stitch down both long edges of the shoulder strap.

Step 12: Now you will attach all straps to the main bag piece — to do this, make sure your bag piece turned right side out

Step 13: Position the handle straps in the center on the bag opening, on either side, facing down towards the bottom of the bag with the short edges aligned with the top opening edge of the bag. Pin them in place and sew them on.

Step 14: Attach an end of the shoulder strap piece to both edges of the bag, with the strap facing down just like you did with the handle straps, and sew them in place.

Step 15: All straps should now be sewn on the outside of the bag, facing downwards, so they when folded up inside the bag to face up the seam will not show. You are almost done!

Step 16: Take your facing pieces, on both pieces, crease one long edge in a quarter of an inch.

Step 17:  Face both pieces right side together and sew both short edges

Step 18: Place the sewn facing pieces around the opening of the bag, over the edge of all the straps. Make sure the creased edge is facing down and the un-creased edge is aligned with the top opening edge of the bag.

Step 19: Sew a single stitch around the top opening edge of the bag, attached the facing pieces to the bag

Step 20: Turn the facing piece to the inside of the bag, making the straps fold upwards and the seams will all be hidden inside

Step 21: Turn the bag back inside out for the final step – Sew around the bottom creased edge of the facing pieces to keep that inside edge from fraying.

Step 22: Your bag is finished! Turn it back right side out to admire your work!

Send a Mother’s Day care package

What a wonderful way to send love when you can’t visit in person! Plus, who doesn’t love surprise presents in the mail? We think that, in lieu of a visit, sending gifts for Mother’s Day can be the next best thing! orange and yellow tableorange tablescape

Mother's Day table ideaDIY Baggu bag templatehow to sew a baggu toteWe’d love to see your Mother’s Day party-for-ones or care packages. Tag us with #LarsLovesMamas so we can see them! 

Discount for Lars readers

Lars readers can get 15% off with code LARSTABLE15 for all Table Linens and Tea Towels.

This post is sponsored by Spoonflower, who we love for their many home decor and fabric options. We love working with sponsors who allow us to create awesome new content for you!

In The Mood For: Iris Apfel

We are such big fans of Iris we have this print of her by Rosie Harbottle in our shop! Rosie is a UK based illustrator with a passion for travel and culture, has a knack for prints and textiles, which made her the perfect person to illustrate Iris Apfel. Last June, we read Accidental Icon, a collection of Iris’ musings, for our book club! If you are new to the eclectic and patterned-filled world that is Iris Apfel’s, we recommend starting with this post about her here, and grabbing your own copy of Accidental Icon! It’s a very entertaining read, packed full of photos that will make you want to avoid anything that is a bore and live like Iris does!

Decorate like Iris

“I am inspired by everything around me…I’m just inspired by being alive and breathing and meeting people and talking to people and doing things and absorbing what’s happening. I think if more people did that, there would be better fashion. “

Iris Apfel is iconic for her fashion sense, but her taste spills over to her interior design in abundance. With references to 18th century France and Italy, vintage monkey sculptures everywhere you look, hand-painted chinoiserie patterns, and bold prints that somehow just work, Iris Apfel’s homes are strong evidence that self-expression is the way to go!

 

Dress like Iris

“You have to look in the mirror and see yourself. If it feels good, then I know it’s for me. I don’t dress to be stared at, I dress for myself.”

Below you will find chunky acetate chain necklaces (an absolute Iris staple) paired with patterned blazers, hot pink head wraps, and thrifted finds but with a wink in Gucci’s direction. If anything we just said feels overwhelming, don’t worry, take a note from Iris’ playbook and start wherever feels right. But trust us, you’ll be surprised how good an eyebrow-raising day of fashion can feel.

 

“There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self expression and, above all, attitude.”

Photo Sources 1 | 2 | 3

Loungewear in every color of the rainbow

Colorful Loungewear

This rainbow of comfort is sure to cure your quarantine blues. Find your hue! Or mix and match them to bring a smile to your face every day! Our top picks you should keep an eye out for are: wide-leg sweats that totally count as pants. Spring linen drawstring pants in amazing shades (if you still have enough self-control to change out of joggers every morning.) Lars approved Tie dye, so you can be totally on trend this season. And … all of it. We love it all.

 

Blue light glasses for working from home

Have you tried blue light glasses yet? Our team loves ours! Anyone who spends all day working from home on a screen should get a pair. I can work all day headache free with my blue light glasses. Try out one of the fun colored frames below!

 

Slip on shoes and sneakers to complete your loungewear look

 

Happy Rainbow Month!

Make life colorful: Rainbows for all!

Click on any photo below!

If you’re looking for rainbow items for your baby & kids, click here! Or here! And if you are looking for rainbow fashion ideas, click here! Our past rainbow roundups are packed full of even more color if you want more inspiration! This is a trend we have always loved, but it definitely seems to be at it’s peak right now. Especially in home decor, we are seeing rainbows adorning rugs, wall hangings, planters, and more.

Rainbow Projects

Some of our top rainbow projects from Lars days past. Add rainbow buttons to make a white button-down pop! Add a rainbow to your woven beach bag to level-up an already amazing trend! Or even go all out and paint your own rainbow headboard! You can do all these and more with our tutorials below:

A trend we love “cherry” much!

Trend Alert: Cherries!

Some of our favorite cherry inspired projects from Lars past are our paper cherry wreath and our tootsie pop cherry gifts! So of course now that cherries are majorly on trend WE ARE HERE FOR IT.

Click here to learn how to make your very own cherry wreath!

Very Cherry Statement Pieces

Cherries can make a statement in literally any area of your life, as you’ll see below! We found cherry inspired fashion, decor, stationery, art, and more! As the weather warms up, usher in spring and summer with some fun nods to this current trend.

Imagine a cherry 🍒 themed party?! Hang this garland, lay out these napkins, and you’re on your way! These cherry gift balls from Meri Meri are hiding fun party favors, and these clips from Ban.do make perfect party gifts too! Here are some of our favorite unique ice cream sundae flavors that will literally be the cherry on top of your party.

Cherry pillows are such a fun statement item! Find the grown up version here for your living room, or the kid’s version here!

Lars Exclusive

Our newest design in our exclusive wrapping paper line features this trend! And it is on sale right now!

Originally made to be valentines, our tootsie pop cherries can be given as gifts all year round! Think birthdays, teacher appreciation, and random acts of kindness to brighten someone’s day!

Summer Paper Flower Wedding Bouquet Kit

A couple years ago, we posted a number of DIY paper flower wedding bouquets. Some of our past ones include this colorful Cinco de Mayo bouquet, a stunning white peony bouquet, and the royal wedding inspired bouquet. It was time for another wedding bouquet, as well as a kit! That’s right, you can buy all the materials in one place–our shop!

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

Wedding flowers are usually HUGELY expensive. They are gorgeous and undoubtedly worth the money if you can afford it. HOWEVER, not everyone has the cash for lavish floral decor, accessories, and bouquets. Then, at the end of the big day, most of the flowers get tossed and the ones you keep fade away much too quickly. I have even heard brides talk about coming home from a honeymoon to wilting flowers and feeling all the wedding and honeymoon hype slump down into post-wedding blues. How sad!

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.A bride in a white dress against a pink background holds a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

But why not make something that will be just as beautiful and will last so much longer? Our paper flower wedding bouquet kit is unique, breathtaking, and won’t wilt. Honestly, if you keep it away from water and out of flames, this baby should last forever!

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

Make Your Own Paper Wedding Bouquet

We have the perfect paper wedding bouquet kit ready for anyone who wants to make their own flowers. To help you get started, we gathered the materials for you (including a lovely ribbon to tie everything together!) so that there’s one less thing to think about as you plan your wedding.

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

We understand that it’s not easy to find the right materials in the correct colors and amounts. It turns out that lots of these materials (I’m looking at you, crepe paper) only come in bulk! Getting started and gathering the materials is probably the hardest part, so we took care of that for you! By buying our kit, you’ll save a lot of time, headache, and money, as well as templates and instructional videos.

A bride in a white dress against a pink background holds a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

If you’re not confident about how your paper flower wedding bouquet will turn out, ask a friend and/or family member for help and have a bouquet-making party! The point is, enjoy your time planning while making something meaningful for your special day. This bouquet will become such a meaningful memento of your wedding and the memory of making it will be even more meaningful!

Look for this kit in our shop to make your own, and tag us with #LarsPaperFlowers