Hooked on Needles

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Grow A Garden With Me ~ Two Matching Tote Bags for Summer

More Summer Sewing is underway here at Hooked On Needles! Moda has some wonderful designers, and one of my very favorite teams is Me and My Sister Designs. Mary and Barb continue to come up with the most cheerful fabrics year after year. These two matching tote bags are made with their Grow fabric line and are just as happy as can be!

These bags are available for purchase over in my Etsy shop while they last. Don't forget to use coupon code SUMMER2016 through July 20, 2016 to save 20% off of any purchase.

I hope you are spending some time in your sewing room this summer too!

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

More Summer Sewing ~ Two New French Journal Tote Bags

There is nothing quite like an afternoon of relaxing summer sewing, and recently I was able to enjoy a few of them. After making Melissa's tote bag, the leftover French Journal fabric was just begging to be made into something pretty and useful. Take a look at these two summery tote bags, and be sure to check out the summer sale in my Etsy shop where everything is 20% off through July 20 when you use coupon code SUMMER2016 at checkout! These two tote bags will be there very soon!

This tote bag is lined with the coordinating pink paisley...

...and this one is lined with coordinating green paisley.

You can see more pictures of these two tote bags over in my Etsy shop very soon.

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

French Journal Tote Bag

It's not even officially summer yet, and my first custom project for the summer is complete, shipped and received! It's no secret that I love bags. I love to design bags. I love to sew bags. I love to use bags. I just love everything about bags! My favorite travel bag is one that I made for myself a really long time ago using discontinued upholstery samples from my local furniture store. Since then, I have used that same pattern to make dozens of bags for others. Melissa from Texas wanted one, and here it is...

Melissa liked the fabric I had used for a similar bag a few years ago for a young girl's birthday gift in Australia. You can see that bag HERE. It is a Michael Miller fabric called Belle Rose from the French Journal fabric line.

The print on this fabric just begs to be fussy cut. You can see that the two pieces of the zippered extension started out as one piece with that gorgeous bird on the lower half and the gorgeous flower on the top half. The hot pink zipper matches the pink corduroy that I used for the base of the bag.

The lining for this bag is the pink paisley from the same fabric line. Lots of pockets around the inside to keep things organized.

The zippered extension can be pulled up for lots more space inside the bag, or it can be left folded down as in this picture. Either way, it can be zipped to protect the contents of the bag. You can see the swivel hook peeking out just below the zipper. I like to add a swivel hook to each of my bags so keys are easy to retrieve!

There is a large pocket on each side of the bag framed and lined in the green paisley that is also part of this lovely fabric line.

I was happy to know that Melissa's bag arrived safely and quickly and that she was happy with it. It is always such a pleasure to work with quality fabrics and beautiful prints, and I make it a habit to purchase extra yardage just in case I make a bad cut or have some other unforeseen mishap while sewing a custom project. For this project there were no mishaps, so next time I will share with you what I did with the leftovers of this beautiful fabric. If you like bags as much as I do, you won't want to miss it!

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Nursing School Knit and Crochet

It's been almost three weeks since I finally got to do what I had imagined myself doing four years ago, back when the thought of returning to school and pursuing a degree in nursing came to mind. One of the things I saw in my mind's eye was me, sitting right here at the kitchen table just as I am now, but instead of sharing my love of all things hooks and needles with readers all over the world like I had done since 2008, I was studying, writing papers, learning about things I had never known anything about before. I saw that, and it appealed to me.

The other thing I saw was a sea of fellow nursing students, and myself included, all dressed in white, with me emerging from that sea to stand on the stage and receive my nursing pin. I had never been to a pinning ceremony before, and in fact until four years ago, I had never even heard of one! But I clearly saw this happening to me, and a few weeks ago, it did in fact actually happen! It was quite a thrill to celebrate the accomplishment achieved after so much study, hard work, and sacrifice. The study and hard work were all me, along with a healthy dose of God's good grace, when it came to the actual school work. The sacrifice, however, was not only mine but my husband's and my children's as well. Had it not been for their willingness to take on most of what I had always done and allow me the time and study necessary to succeed, it never would have happened. So it was absolutely a family effort for me to get this nursing degree and the title of Registered Nurse.

So anyway, I am done with school, except for studying for my nursing board exam which will be sometime this summer, and I have some things to share with you that were actually part of one of our last courses. We had to do a service learning project by volunteering at a charitable organization of our own choosing. One of my classmates, AH, also enjoys crocheting and so we thought it would be a great idea to choose an organization that could benefit from the two of us doing something that we loved to do already. The organization is called Warmer Winters and it is located right here in lovely Leominster, Massachusetts. They provide hand made items such as hats, scarves and mittens to needy families. You can read about their work HERE.

Keep reading to see pictures of the items we made as part of our service learning project for Warmer Winters...

These are the items AH made. She let her daughters choose some of the yarn she used for a few of the items. I bet you can guess which yarns were chosen by two fun little girls! AH's crocheting is just beautiful and all of these items will keep some people nice and warm next winter, not to mention add some awesome color to their wardrobe!

And these are the items I made. I used my Swirl Top Baby Hat pattern for most of the hats I made. They turn out different sizes by using bigger or smaller yarn and needles but the same pattern, and all you need to know how to do is knit, purl and knit two together.

A few of my scarves were made using a simple garter stitch and knitting until only a few feet of yarn was left and then binding off. That was the perfect knitting project for relaxing in the evening after a long day of lecture, studying or clinicals because it requires no thinking!

That little blanket under all the hats and scarves was made with two skeins of chunky fuzzy yarn from Warmer Winters using my newest favorite crochet stitch, the diagonal box stitch. I am going to be making a video tutorial for that over the summer so maybe it can become your new favorite crochet stitch as well!

Some of our favorite yarn companies donate yarn to Warmer Winters, which is made available for anyone to make items for them, so some of these items were made with donated yarn. I took the opportunity to dip into my own stash for some items as well.

So this is how I kept my fingers busy and fulfilled my obligation to do charitable work for class credit at the same time! It was also a good excuse to spend a couple of hours with my classmate each month working on our projects outside of the classroom setting.

Summer is not yet in full swing here as my children still have another week of school to go. We have our vacation already planned, and I am hoping to pass my board exam before we leave. Other than that, it looks like we will be having a nice relaxing summer doing fun things together on the days I am not working, and adding to my list of knit and crochet video tutorials.

How is your summer shaping up? Make sure you make some time for your hooks and needles!

Happy Stitching!

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