Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Blessings


I was messaged by another blogger, Heather Von St. James, and asked to share her incredible story of surviving mesothelioma. Heather's story can be found on The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog. In 2005, Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma only 3 months after giving birth to her child and told that she would have 15 months to live. Heather and her family did not accept this answer, so embarked on a mission to find a solution. Heather is now a 7 year survivor of mesothelioma with her mission now being to share her amazing story to give hope to those going through similar situations. Heather is living her life to the fullest, and is thankful of this second chance that she has been given.

It's December 23rd, the day that most people are rushing around buying last minute presents and food. Wondering if this person is buying me something-so do I need to buy them something? For a lot of people this time of year has just become stressful and all about materialistic things. (Though, I'm not saying I'm perfect and that I'm not making a trip to the store later to pick up some of those last minute items). But, I want to take a few minutes to take a step back from the rushing and the stress to recognize that the reason for this holiday is because Jesus Christ, my Savior, was born. He is the reason that miracles happen like with Heather, and the reason why we are so blessed to have things to be thankful for. His love for us is what makes all things possible.

In my life, I have numerous things to be thankful for. I have a loving family, boyfriend and friends. I love my job, supervisor, and coworkers. I've been blessed with skills like quilting and crocheting that I can share with all the people I love. I'm truly grateful for the life I've been given. I know that through anything I have people around me that care for me and will help me through any situation. And, I know that in the situations where there is too much stacked against me, I have a God that is a Waymaker and carries me through. My mother went through two surgeries to remove thyroid cancer from her body; she then went through two more to have both of her knees replaced. She's still going through a medical situation that is being monitored, but I know that there isn't going to be anything to be concerned about. My family has placed this in God's hands, and He is more than capable. I have a blessed life that I am thankful for every single day, and Christmas, the day that Jesus came into this world to be our Savior, is the reason that it is possible.

"And the angel said unto them Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2: 10-14

May God bless you and your family during this holiday season. Merry Christmas :)



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Crochet Hat and Infinity Scarf with Free Pattern


I completed a wonderful crochet set with hat and infinity scarf :). This is my first crochet hat and I think it turned out absolutely beautiful :). For both the hat and scarf I used Lion Brand Heartland Yarn from Joann Fabrics and used the suggested needle size for the yarn (which is a J). The colors I used were Yellowstone and Grand Canyon. This yarn is so soft and comes in such beautiful colors, I love it. I followed a YouTube video by LOVE4NAILS to complete the beanie hat. This was the same person that made the video I followed to do my infinity scarf I made previously. The how-to video for this hat, "How To Crochet a Beanie Hat Step by Step" can be found on YouTube; she does a great job of explaining each step and showing you exactly what she's doing. A couple alterations I made for my hat is that I have one less row than what she says in her video. I tried on my hat several times while making it to get the correct fit for me, and it ended up being one row less than the video says. Another alteration I made was, instead of only adding one row of color at the end of the hat, I made mine two rows for the trim. I like the slightly thicker trim you get with two rows of color rather than the one.

 

Once I finished the hat, I decided it was a little on the plain side, so I went on a Pinterest search to find a simple crochet bow to add for a little pizazz ;). This was the bow I found on Unravelled Thredz. She provides a free pattern and step by step pictures to follow, and it's simple as can be!

I think I may have used thicker yarn than what was used in the bow pattern. So, instead of a chain of 37, I did a chain of about 28. I then only did about 7-8 rows of sc’s. I wanted my bow to be a good size, but didn’t want it to overpower the entire hat. My bow ended up being 4 1/2” x 2”.

For the infinity scarf, I modified and added to a pattern in one of my crochet books to get this. A rough summary of my pattern is to start with a chain of ~120; you can pull the chain taught and wrap around your neck to get an approximate feel if your chain is long enough. The two ends are then connected, which is shown in this LOVE4NAILS how-to video here. The first 3 rows are sc’s. For crocheting around your loop, crochet around and when you get back to the beginning connect the end of your row to the beginning like what was done for connecting your chain ends. Then for the sc you chain 1 as usual, turn your work and move on to the next row of sc’s. When the 3 rows of sc’s are complete, dc is used for the pattern in the center of the scarf. 


When your sc rows are complete and you have attached the end of your 3rd row to the beginning of your 3rd row, you then need to chain 3 to make a start for the dc’s. Then do 4 dc’s and on the 4th dc, put a chain of 2. You then skip 2 spaces in your base and put your next dc in the 3rd space (the chain of 2 you added to the 4th dc accommodates for the 2 spaces you skip on your base). Then do 4 dc’s, again adding a chain of 2 to the 4th. Skip 2 spaces in the base and start the next 4 dc’s in the 3rd space. You’ll continue this process until you get all the way back to your beginning where again you attach the end of the row to the beginning. If you just ended your row with 4 dc’s, then you will need to chain 5, this gives your chain of 3 to accommodate the dc and then the chain of 2 to accommodate the 2 spaces in your base you will need to skip to continue the pattern. If you ended with a space, you only need to do the usual chain of 3. 

Starting next row with 4 dc’s:
The chain of 3 counts as 1, turn your work then add 2 dc’s into the hole left by the pattern in the base row. The 4th dc goes into the space above the first dc of the set in the base. Add a chain of 2 to the 4th dc and continue the process.

Starting next row with a space:
Make your chain of 5, skip 2 spaces in the base and start your 4 dc’s. Your first dc will go into the space above the last dc in the base, the next 2 dc’s go into the hole left by the pattern in the base row, then the 4th dc goes into the space above the first dc in the next set of the base. Add a chain of 2 to the 4th dc and continue the process.

In my scarf I did 5 rows of the dc pattern. Depending on how wide you want your scarf will determine how many rows you should do. After my dc rows, I then completed another 3 rows of sc to complete the border of the dc pattern.

If you’d like more description of how this was done, or have any questions, just let me know and I’d be happy to elaborate and help you with your own scarf :).

 



Monday, December 9, 2013

Conclusion to the Senior Christmas Scarf Project


The scarves are on the next step of the journey to their forever homes! This past week my boyfriend dropped off the scarves at the Center for Seniors!! The final number of scarves was 35! That is a lot more than I was expecting. I had help and donations from a lot of wonderful people, and because of this, 35 seniors are going to get a handmade scarf for Christmas :).

When my boyfriend dropped of the scarves, his previous supervisor at the Center for Seniors was so excited to see the variety and work that went into this project. My boyfriend, the awesome person that he is, told her that I put my heart and soul into this project. Which I did, and I feel that the people that helped me did as well. I can't thank you all enough for taking your time to make someones Christmas a little warmer :).

For Christmas, the Center for Seniors do what they call a Basket of Love. They place a variety of items in these ~400 baskets and they're delivered to the seniors around the Muskingum County area that the Center for Seniors serves on a daily basis.These scarves are going to be included in these baskets. Therefore, only 35 baskets will have scarves, but that's 35 more than if we hadn't done any :).

Here are all of the wonderful scarves that were donated:









 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Senior Scarf Christmas

I now have 26 scarves for the Senior Christmas Scarf Project!! That's right, no stuttering here, I did say 26!! A couple wonderful women, that work in my building, are responsible for 7 of those scarves! These are the beautiful scarves that they donated:


 
 
I've completed 5 more scarves myself since my last post :). These are the scarves I crocheted:


 
 
I'ts getting very close to when the scarves will need to be delivered to the Center for Seniors, so there isn't much longer to complete more scarves! I'm very happy with the number I've been able to accumulate and know that it will make someone's Christmas just a bit brighter and warmer ;).
 
I also came up with a new idea to go along with the scarves. Since these scarves will be Christmas gifts, I wanted to spread the joy of Christmas, and it's meaning, just a bit more. I decided that I'm going to use Business Card stock paper to put Bible verses on. I'm going to punch a hole in the corner of the business card and tie a card to each scarf. My wonderful supervisor already had some Business Card stock paper that she is letting me use so that I didn't have to buy any!
 

 
 
I greatly appreciate all of the donations I have received for this project! I'm so excited and thrilled that these scarves are almost on their way to their new homes :). I have to have all of this done by next weekend so that I can pass all of this along to my boyfriend to drop off to the Center for Seniors next week! If I'm not back this week, I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!
 



Monday, November 11, 2013

Stitch Filled Weekend


I completed four scarves for the Senior Christmas Scarf project this weekend! I am so excited and feel like a lot of progress was made. I'm up to 14 scarves now, and need to find a bigger bag to keep them all in :). I shared this project with all of my coworkers, and received feedback that I will have some more scarves on the way! I'm so grateful to everyone that is helping with this wonderful project, and know that the seniors will be grateful as well. These are the scarves that I was able to complete this weekend:



 
 
I also decided to try making an infinity scarf this weekend and found this wonderful video called How To Crochet A Round Scarf Step By Step Tutorial on YouTube by LOVE4NAILS. This video was so simple to follow, and I absolutely loved the stitch pattern used in this scarf. I decided to make the 20 row infinity scarf discussed in the video that can be pulled up to cover your head. This is my finished results:
 

 

 
 
I am in love with this scarf and can't wait to wear it to work tomorrow :). I think I'm now going to use this stitch to make some regular scarves for the seniors as well because I love it so much. Please share the word of the Senior Christmas Scarf project :) and have a wonderful week :).


Monday, November 4, 2013

Scarf Update

I went up North to see a friend and her family over the weekend and came back with 6 completed scarves!!! I crocheted one while visiting over the weekend and finished one up when I got home last night. My friend crocheted 2 and her mom crocheted 3! I'm so excited and now have 9 completed scarves so far for the Senior Christmas Scarf project. Which in the large scheme of things isn't all that much, but it's something and will make someone's Christmas a little better :).

These are the beautiful scarves we completed over the weekend:




There are 3 of the white scarves that my friends mom completed, and 2 of the blue scarves my friend completed :).

Again if you're interested in donating, you can get in touch with me in several ways: email, facebook, twitter, or comment here. Please consider helping these wonderful seniors :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

"Boxed In" Quilt in Blogger's Quilt Festival


I completed this quilt for my friend of 20 years that got married this year on March 6th. I found this pattern in the April/May 13 Edition of Quilt Magazine, the name of the quilt is "Boxed In" by Bev Getschel. My friends favorite color is red, so this seemed like the perfect quilt for her and her husband. I love all of the different sized boxes and patterns, it's so random that it all goes perfectly together. This was my second completed quilt and I was very happy with the result!

This quilt is 68" x 80". I pieced the top and backing by machine, and also quilted by machine using the "stitch in the ditch" technique.

AmysCreativeSide

I'm entering this quilt in the Blogger's Quilt Festival held on the blog, Amy's Creative Side. It will be entered into the "Favorite home machine quilted quilt" category. Be sure to check out my second quilt in the ROYGBIV category :). Voting will begin on November 1st and end on November 7th. Thank you for your votes, and thank you for this opportunity to share my love of quilting :).






"Kaleidoscopic Kites" Quilt in Blogger's Quilt Festival


I have finally completed a quilt for myself :). I started quilting in February of this year and so far I have completed a quilt for my boyfriend, my recently married friend, and my parents....and finally I'm keeping one for myself! :P I started this quilt after finishing the quilt for my boyfriend, but then other more pressing projects came up that needed finished first. But, my back burner quilt is finally complete and I am so excited! The feeling of putting a quilt on your bed that you have worked months to complete and getting to snuggle under it is a fantastic feeling. A lot of hard work goes into piecing and sewing a quilt, and the feeling of accomplishment is awesome. I've always been a crafter, making jewelry and scarves, but there's just something about completing a quilt that is different. I'm guessing it has to do with the months it takes to complete one ;).

When searching for a quilt pattern for myself, I was looking for something not too complicated (since it was only my second quilt at the time) and modern. What I found on this search was the Kaleidoscopic Kites quilt pattern from the blog Modern Quilts by Fresh Lemons designed by Faith Jones. I fell in love with this quilt instantly and also everything else on the Fresh Lemons blog!

Below is my finished quilt!




Instead of the white background that the pattern suggests, I decided to use black. White does not last long with me, and after putting the time into this quilt I didn't want to risk any mishaps. Another color I changed was instead of using brown blocks as one of the colors I used purple. Since I was using black as my background I didn't want to have the black and brown up against each other; I thought it would make the quilt too dark. I also decided to add two borders to the quilt to make it a bit larger for my full size bed (one of the borders is white, but I figured I'd test my luck since it looked nice and was a smaller area). When I went to do my backing, I realized that the gray fabric I picked out wasn't going to be wide enough. So I decided to use fabrics from the quilt top to add the stripe of black and colored blocks down the center. I think overall it makes the backing more interesting. My finished quilt size is 80" x 90", which is the largest quilt I have done so far. The quilt top and back were pieced together by machine. I also did the quilting myself by machine using the "stitch in the ditch" technique. For the binding I used left over scraps from the colored fabric throughout the quilt and pieced them together. I am absolutely in love with this quilt :)

Blogger's Quilt Festival - AmysCreativeSide.com

I am entering this quilt into the Blogger's Quilt Festival held on the blog, Amy's Creative Side. This quilt will be entered into the "Favorite ROYGBIV (color wheel) quilt" category. Also, be sure to check out my second quilt in the "Favorite home machine quilted quilt" category once I get it posted! Voting will begin on November 1st and end on November 7th. I appreciate any of your votes and the opportunity to share my new love of quilting with fellow quilters :). Thank you for stopping by my blog!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Wire-Wrapped Bead Rings!


I'm so excited! I tried my hand at a wire ring a couple weeks back....and let's just say it didn't quite go as well as I wanted it to. Shocking, you didn't see a post about that ;)...But! I did some research, figured out the gauge of wire suggested for ring making, and found an awesome tutorial on Pinterest that made it look so easy! This Simple Wire-Wrapped Ring Tutorial is from the blog Lytha Studios.

So here's what I went to buy today from old faithful Joann Fabrics:

 
I purchased myself a ring mandrel, and some 18 guage tarnish resistant wire! And I pulled up the wire ring tutorial on Pinterest and got to crafting!

 
I made three different rings with this tutorial using a large round stone bead, a smaller round bead with gold detailing, and a smaller square bead. I am soooo excited about how these turned out, and can't wait to wear them!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cute Free Skirt Patterns

I thought I would try something a little new for this post. The internet is a vast world with so many amazing free tutorials out there. This is a list of some awesome free skirt tutorials that I have come across:

1. High-Wasted Sash Skirt
This beautiful skirt is from the blog This Big Oak Tree. I love the fabric pattern used in this tutorial, and love love the big sash bow!

2. Easy Elastic Waistband Skirt
This skirt is from the blog Sewbon. This tutorial looks simple and easy and oh so beautiful! Again I love the fabric chosen! I also love the belt seen in the pictures....

3. The Socialite Skirt
This skirt is from the blog Leanne Barlow: Elle Apparel. This tutorial looks very detailed and easy to follow. This blogger gives you many step by step details to follow, and it ends in another gorgeous skirt.

4. So-Sew-Easy Skirt
This skirt tutorial is from So-Sew-Easy. This was a sew along that is complete now. From this page you can follow all of the links to each step to complete this beautiful skirt. This is a beginners step by step tutorial that teaches you everything you'll need to know to complete your very own handmade skirt that will fit you well.

5. Paris Skirt
This skirt tutorial is from the blog Nothing Too Fancy. This tutorial starts out giving instructions of how to determine the measurements for your skirt to make it fit you perfectly. Make sure to read the few notes at the bottom of the page before starting your skirt.

I absolutely love all five of these skirts, and think that the tutorials make them all look so simple. I can't wait to have a shot at one of these, though it'll have to be on the back burner for a while for me with all my other projects going on! I hope you find one you love and want to try :) Happy sewing :)





Monday, October 14, 2013

New Etsy Shop! SeamsStraight


If you haven't heard of the website Etsy, you need to check it out pronto! It is an awesome site with all handmade or vintage items. Pretty much anything you could think of is on this website, and handmade ;). It's a great website for crafters to start selling their items, and that is exactly what I have done! I opened my own shop, called SeamsStraight, on Etsy! In my shop you'll find handmade jewelry and sewn treasures. I only have a few items in my shop so far, but plan to keep on building and expanding as interest grows :). I'm so excited to have my own little shop and be able to share my crafting joy with a wider audience.

These are the items that you can find in my SeamsStraight shop right now:


If you have any suggestions, or items that you would like to see in my shop, leave me a message or send me an email!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Wedding Present Quilt


On March 6, 2013 one of my best friends of 20 years got married! We've known each other since we were 6 years old, so have gone through all of the awkard stages of life together. We're now to the responsible adult stage, which isn't as fun as you believed it to be once you get here ;). Though, marriage is definitely the big perk of the adult stage; finding that person to spend the rest of your life with. I believe my friend has certainly found this in her husband, and hope that they have a wonderful life together.

As their wedding present I decided to make them a quilt. I got the pattern from the April/May 13 Edition of Quilt Magazine, the name of the quilt is "Boxed In" by Bev Getschel. My friends favorite color is red, so this seemed like the perfect quilt for her. I love all of the different sized boxes and patterns, it's so random that it all goes perfectly together. This is my second completed quilt and I couldn't be happier! And I couldn't be happier to gift this to my friend and her husband :)




Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Completed Throw Quilt-Floating Prayers


I finished the throw quilt for my parents! They love it and I'm pretty excited :)


All of the fabric is from JoAnn Fabrics except for the panels that were purchased from Honey Fork Fabrics. I just checked and it doesn't look like this panel is available anymore online from Honey Fork Fabrics. So I'm glad I got it when I did! :)


Here are close up pictures of the panels so that they can be read :)

For this throw, I sewed fleece on the back. My mom's favorite color is purple, so of course that's what I went with.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Senior Christmas Scarf Project-Update!


My wonderful boyfriend, whom also had a wonderful interview today (woop woop! so proud of you!), visited the Center for Seniors today and asked for more information for the Senior Christmas Scarf Project. I now know that the scarves are needed by December 6, 2013. For the number of scarves they would like to receive, they didn't really give a number. They serve roughly 400 seniors in the area, therefore I plan to donate just as many scarves as possible without breaking my bank account ;). So we have plenty of time to do some crocheting and knitting, and we'll see how many scarves we end up with! One of my best friends informed me that she is currently learning how to crochet so that she can donate! Her mom will also be donating! My supervisor plans to go through her yarn stash this weekend to also help the cause :).

I'm so excited for this project and appreciate everyone that is helping already! Please continue to share and spread the word! :)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Baskets of Love- Senior Christmas Scarf Project


I've always wanted to get involved and do something to help other people and make their life just a little happier, if only for a minute. For school my boyfriend completed an internship at a local Center for Seniors and a couple of weeks ago was going to go in to say hello and visit with everyone. I recently found out about the wonderful Love Scarf Project, and it gave me the idea of making scarves that could be given to the seniors that visit the center. So I asked if while he was there he would ask about it for me. They told him that it was a great idea, and that the scarves could be used in their Baskets of Love program that they do for Christmas. Which is where they pass out baskets full of goodies to the seniors as gifts. So I am super excited for this opportunity to make someones Christmas a little brighter with a colorful, warm, handmade scarf. If anyone is interested in aiding with this program by crocheting or knitting a scarf, that would be absolutely wonderful!! And if you don't know how to crochet or knit and have no interest in learning, it would also be a help to donate yarn to the cause :). If your at all interested, you can contact me by email or send me a message on Facebook. Any help would be greatly appreciated, and I'm sure the seniors are going to love their handmade scarves :).

I haven't yet spoken to the Center for Seniors staff personally to get more details. Once I do I will give an update on when the scarves are needed by and possibly a rough number on how many scarves it would be nice for them to receive.

I've already got a head start on this project and have crocheted 2 scarves so far!...

 

 


I really hope that we can get a lot of people involved in this project and show these seniors that they are remembered and treasured, and give them a wonderful gift for Christmas. So please share this cause so we can get more people behind it! :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Throw Quilt Update


I've been working away at my current throw quilt project, and have been making good progress. I finished cutting out all of my pieces!


 So now it's all sew sew sew! Which I started doing last night :). I sewed squares on the corners of my 4 large rectangle panels, and then sewed the entire first row of the quilt:

I'm really excited about how it's looking already! Can't wait to get back to some sewing this evening, my parents are going to love it! :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Handmade Jewelry

Here is some handmade jewelry I have made recently. The following is the latest pair of sterling silver earrings I've completed and am absolutely in love with! These are by far my favorites so far:


When this bead catches the light just right, it shines as you can see in the right earring in this picture. They are absolutely beautiful!



This is a hemp bracelet I've also made recently. This bracelet is done with a square knot that has a twist to it. I'm thinking about doing a tutorial for this kind of bracelet as well in the future.