Hopeful Thoughts

Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

Breaking the Silence

I know, I know!  I haven’t posted in WEEKS!  Sorry for those of you that were worried I had completely forgotten about blog land.  I’ve been busy!  I’m subbing 2-3 days per week, working hard on Christmas presents, spending lots of time in the kitchen, and continuing to finish up details on the decor in the house.

Here’s a sneak peek of all the craft projects that I have been doing.  Better pictures will have to wait until after Christmas when the gifts have been given!


I’ve also been working on a pair of socks for myself.  I have one down and one to go!


A Crazy Quilted Purse

Recently I posted some pictures of materials that I intended to turn into quilted bags.  After much great anticipation, I finally have something to show!

prototype After cutting up a few shirts and trying to piece them together, I was a little frustrated.  Nothing seemed to lay right and I was ready to give up.  Finally, I decided to keep it simple and start with rectangles.  I cut and stitched and here’s what I came up with.I’m not really happy with the colors, but at least the materials were free!  




On Saturday I went to a ladies’ craft gathering.  I took a crochet project … another bag that I hope to give as a gift.  The hostess is a quilter and has been making these cute quilted coasters.  She’d set up all the materials and the instructions, and I just had to make one.  It turned out so cute that I decided to come home and turn all of my fabric quarters into coasters.  I managed to complete 8 of them before realizing I really did want to see these fabrics become a bag.  


Sunday after church, I came home armed with renewed ambition.  I got online and looked at several Crazy Quilt tutorials.  My biggest problem is that I didn’t have a pattern.  I had to cut, stitch, unstitch, and trim over and again before I finally got a pattern that laid flat.  I lined every panel and the inside of the handle with fusible interfacing for strength.  I had to pin pillow cases together at one point to figure out how to stitch the outside to the lining.  But, all in all, I am pretty happy with the finished product.  


One Creation and One Deconstruction

I finished my crochet bag!  I’m really excited with the way it finally turned out.  I may still go back and line it with material to keep it from stretching so much when I fill it up.  Here’s the final product for all to see:


Today I started on a deconstruction project.  


Last weekend we held a yard sale to raise money for the trip to Argentina.  I found myself watching this girl pick up shirts that obviously didn’t fit her, and so I had to ask if she was going to make something.  Turns out she was planning to use the material from the shirts to make wedding decorations.  

When we were cleaning up the leftovers, I decided to pull out a few shirts from the pile myself.  I cut four shirts apart and now have a little pile of material which will become something fun and hopefully wind up in my Etsy shop!


A First Quilting Project

Several years ago, my dear friend Allyson made an adorable quilted bag that I still carry off and on to this day.  Every time I use it, I get loads of complements.  As I remember, it was her first quilt project.  


Well, time has passed and it’s getting a bit worn out.  I’ve pondered making one myself for quite some time.  Finally, I have purchased material with the intention of making one or two of these little bags.  Here’s the color scheme.  Perhaps one day soon I will actually begin this project and have something useful.  


I have successfully completed a whopping ONE of the projects I posted last week.  Check out the new stuff on my Etsy page to see the completed Green baby blanket.  I did finish the crocheted bag, but was unhappy with the result, so it’s been pulled out and started again with a smaller crochet hook.

So many crafts and so little time!

I currently have several crafts on the table.  Each is in a varying state of completion, ranging all the way from finished to not even begun.  

quiltedbabyI completed this set  just a few days ago and am just waiting for the right time to take pictures before posting it on my Etsy site just in time for my Showcase on July 23.  The burpie and washcloth were finished a long time ago, but the blanket was holding me back.  I’ve been able to get a lot more done since I got home from visiting the family.

etsyincThis blanket is to replace the one I just sold from my Etsy site.  I have one side of the square left to stitch, and then it will also be ready to post!

plarn2Here’s the status on my plastic bag project.  I’m hoping to turn it in to a shopping bag.  Here you can see the front and back panels, stacked on top of each other, a ball of “plarn” (plastic yarn), and a couple of bags waiting to be turned into plarn.  This project is one that will have to be completed over time, as I keep running out of bags.

bag2beHappy Birthday to me from my mother-in-law.  She sent me some money and I bought myself this yarn which I am hoping will turn in to a cute slouch tote bag.  This will be the first time I’ve crocheted anything other than blankets or scarves, and I am pretty excited!!

evans3While in the craft store, I also picked up this sweet trio of soft colors.  I won’t be able to post the final product until some time in late December or early January, as it’s a baby gift.  :)

Now, my biggest problem is deciding which project to work on!  They are all so much fun!

Up-Cycle in Progress

I recently heard from my friend Bethany about people who cut up plastic shopping bags and use them to crochet.  Of course I had to try it!  Here is my first attempt.  I’m not sure what it will turn into.

bagcrochetSo, if you find yourself with extra bags on your hands, send them my way!!!

Recent and Upcoming Life Events

Life is going pretty great right now.  

On June 5, I celebrated 9 years of teaching high school math.  On June 14,  my husband and I celebrated 6 years of marriage. Ryan graduated from UNT in December of 2007 and has been working full time as a video game programmer since then, so this fall, I will begin my dream job of being a stay at home wife(No kids on the way, yet!) So, the question is, what am I going to do with all my free time?

Remember my Spring Break blog post?   I’ll be doing much of the same stuff I listed  back in March.   I will continue swimming, hopefully upping the frequency.  I am starting a math tutoring business that will get off the ground this week.  During the month of July, I will do a lot of packing since we are planning to move at the end of the summer.  In August, I will travel to Argentina.  In December, I will go to Michigan to witness the birth of my third niece/nephew (don’t know which yet!)  Oh, and I will be helping out with the new BTCL class.  Other than that, only God knows!

I’d like to say more about how God has opened the door for me to go on a short-term mission trip to Argentina. Denton Bible Church has established missionaries in the cities of La Plata and City Bell that are working with local churches and involved in church planting. I, along with seven others, will be in Argentina for 10 days. We’re going to assist those missionaries in establishing and organizing Sunday School for Children ages 2 – 15 in the local churches.  In addition to all we will be doing with the children’s program, I will be staying an additional week to assist one of the long term missionary couples, who are expecting their first baby in July.

welcometolatinamerica(Photo of some Latin American stuff that we showed to kids at the DBC Missions Conference.  Because of my involvement on the Argentina team, I was asked to head up this room.)

Dear readers, please add this mission team to your prayer calendar, especially during the time we will be working alongside the Argentine Christians. Also, If the Lord leads you to join us financially in this mission, please contact me message and I’ll send you more information.

sergioandkids2(Here we were telling the kids about Argentina.)

Did I say life is going pretty great?  :)

One Finished project … and some other stuff

On Tuesday, I worked a long time on my pillows.  I was successful in cutting material out, installing zippers, and wrapping cording.  I even did quite a bit of overcasting to avoid unraveling later on.  By Midnight, I was ready to piece the final products together.  At 1:00 A.M., I threw my hands up and quite for the night.  My machine kept jamming up as threads tangled beneath the material.  I’d already taken out and replaced the bobbin several times and I was just tired of doing it.

Wednesday morning, I called my sister in Michigan for advice.  I cleaned the machine carefully, adjusted the tension on my bobbin, reset the stitch length, and jumped back into the game.  By the time my machine jammed up several more times, I REALLY gave up.  I think the material was just too thick to sew with my basic machine.  So, I decided to hand stitch the pieces together.  This actually went really quickly, and the pillow cover came together beautifully, if I say so myself!

I did run into one more snag when I put the cover on the form.  Turns out my measurements weren’t exactly perfect, and the cover was too big!!  So my husband gave me instructions to buy new pillow forms!  So much for repurposing the old pillows!  But, all is well!  I found pillow forms at JoAnn’s today for less than $5 each after a 50% sale price and my teacher discount!!  Here is the finished pillow.  I still have to piece the other one together, but it will look the same.

Last night we got to go eat cheesecake with our friends.  She just got her Pampered Chef spring form pan, and this was her first cheesecake.  I took this picture to show off her handiwork.

And, one more thing.  I realized today that I told a falsehood in my last post.  I DID get my hair cut here once at one of the places in the mall.  I can’t believe I forgot, because I went with my PRECIOUS friend Emily just a few days before she got married!!!  Thanks, Leslie, for reminding me.

Creativity … works in progress

Among my plans for this week off are several craft projects.  I am hoping to create a small “stock” of these precious baby blankets and post them on Etsy in the near future.  I have materials on hand to make three more, but here are the two I have created so far this week.

These blankets are made of soft, snuggly flannel and trimmed with double-sided satin that is hand stitched on.  Their larger size makes them a must have for any mom. My sister keeps about a dozen on hand for her two girls so there’s always a clean one!

My other project is to turn these items into two cute pillows to adorn our hand-me-down couch.

The forms came out of some pillows I bought when we moved in, but have since lost their covers to overuse.  Ryan bought me the one below for Christmas, and it needs some others to go with it.