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Posts Tagged ‘Nikki’

Fan Photos That Melt My Heart

I know! We are in the middle of a Nikki, In Stitches Top 10 Countdown…what am I doing??

I just had to share the cutest fan photos I received yesterday.

When beautiful surprises like this show up in my inbox, I fall in love all over again with what I do!

First, this adorable profile shot, showing off one of my headbands.  Does it really get much cuter?

And then this beautiful mom and baby sporting coordinating beach hats…every time I look at it my heart skips a little beat!

What could possibly make this photo better? I just shipped out a third hat to this adorable little one’s grandmother.  Soon I’ll be able to share a photo of three generations of beautiful ladies wearing Nikki, In Stitches beach hats.  Heaven!

Enjoy,

Nikki, In Stitches

PS…Many of you are asking where I have my beach hats listed.  At this time, they are not listed in my Etsy shop.  I am getting so many orders through Facebook, I worry I wouldn’t be able to keep up if they were also listed in my shop.  If you’re interested in purchasing a hat you can leave a comment below or email me at NikkiInStitches@gmail.com.  You can find more pictures  of all of the hats I’ve recently made on my Facebook page.

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I’m so happy this post made the top 10!  It is one of my personal favorites!  It’s so easy to make.  I’ve taught it in classes and everyone is so surprised by how quickly and easily it works up.  (Simple single crochet stitches are all that’s required!)  And it never goes out of style.  I’ve made it in different color palettes.  I’ve made it in neutrals.  I’ve even made it in metalics.  Can you tell I love wearing this bracelet? And…this is the next Nikki, In Stitches project that will be turned into a kit!  I’m in the process of working with suppliers and putting all of the pieces together.  If you’d like to know when the kits go up for sale, just become a subscriber of Nikki, In Stitches!

Enjoy…again,

Nikki, In Stitches

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Green Bead Soup Crocheted Bracelet

February 23rd, 2009

green-bead-crochet-braceletThank you to everyone that commented on my bracelet, and thank you for all of your ideas and suggestions for future posts.  I now have ideas and projects to keep me busy for months and I hope to cover all of the areas that you asked me to address.  Now, drum roll please….

Suzanne, Congratulations!  You are the winner, and I do hope that you enjoy it.  Thank you again for your comment!

There were many requests for the pattern for the bracelet.  This is my first attempt at pattern / instruction writing, so I hope that my directions are clear.  I’ve included a few tips and also a few pics along the way to help, but if there are any parts that still seem a little confusing, you know I will answer your questions as quickly and clearly as I can.

This entire bracelet is made using a single crochet stitch.  It is the most basic crochet stitch.  The only difficult part of this bracelet is getting the right tension.   bead-crochet-bracelet-close-upIf your stitches are too tight, your beads will be too dense, pile up on themselves, and eventually it will be impossible to continue crocheting.  If your stitches are too loose, your beads will come through to the inside and you will not get the nice full look you’re trying to achieve.  I try to use a normal tension on rows where I am attaching beads, and a slightly looser tension on rows that I am just straight single crocheting.  This tends to balance out the rows with the density of the beads.

The weight of the beads, along with the fundamental makeup of the single crochet stitch, will cause the bracelet to stretch.  Also, depending on the style clasp you wish to use, the bracelet will stretch and even pull some on the ends.  Make the bracelet slightly shorter than you normally would.  In my case, I only made the bracelet five inches long, but it will fit the average wrist.

Materials:

Size 10 Crochet Thread

US Size 1 Crochet Hook

Large Eyed Beading Needle

Beads in a variety of sizes

Clasp

grean-bead-soup-2Using the large eyed beading needle, string approximately 40 – 45″ of beads.  (Please note, more is better in this case.  You don’t want to get through all of your beads and realize your bracelet is not long enough.  If in doubt, string more.)  Vary the sizes, keeping in mind that you will attach these in groups of two or three.  In order to keep the beads from piling up on themselves, try to attach beads in groups of varying sizes, i.e. a large bead with two smaller, two medium sized beads together, etc.  I use a variety of beads from the smallest seed beads to large specialty beads.  Leave a long tail of thread, but keep in mind that you will have to continually slide your beads back along the thread as you crochet.

To Begin: Chain 9

Row 1: Single crochet in both loops of the 2nd chain from hook and in each of the next 6 chains, ch1 (to turn). (8 single crochets)

Row 2:  Single crochet in each single crochet across, then chain 1 (to turn). (8 single crochets)

Row 3:  Single crochet in each single crochet across, then chain 1 (to turn). (8 single crochets)

Alternate the following two rows to reach desired length:

Row A:  Single crochet in each single crochet across, attaching 2 or 3 beads to bracelet in each stitch, then chain 1 (to turn). (8 single crochets)

To attach beads:  Insert hook under both loops, slide beads bead-crochet-tutorialtowards bracelet as far as possible.  They should now be touching the bracelet itself.  Wrap the yarn over the hook and pull up a loop.  Continue single crochet stitch as normal.  When you yarn over and pull of the loop, you trap the beads, and they are now secured to the front of the bracelet.

Row B:  Single crochet in each single crochet across, then chain 1 (to turn). (8 single crochets)

To End:  Single crochet three additional rows without beads.

bead-crochet-bracelet-3_editedWeave in all thread ends.  Attach clasps to each end of bracelet.

Enjoy!

Nikki, In Stitches

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No one loves to celebrate my birthday more than me.  Tomorrow is the big day, so to celebrate, from RIGHT NOW until tomorrow night at midnight, EVERYTHING in my Etsy shop is 15% off.

Have fun shopping!!

Nikki, In Stitches

PS…Here’s a sneak peek at what’s waiting for you there!

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Sometimes when I’m working on a project, I get the feeling it’s going to be a hit. I had no idea these paper punched Easter eggs would get the amazing response they did. This project has been shared around the internet more times than any other post I’ve written, and has gotten the most views in the shortest amount of time. I love this simple technique. Stay tuned this winter…I have a few ideas of how I’m going to “recycle” these into projects for the holidays!

Enjoy…again!

Nikki, In Stitches

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Paper Punched Easter Eggs

March 20th, 2011

Some of the best projects are also the most simple, and it doesn’t get much more “back to basics” than these paper punched Easter eggs.

Simple and classic, they take just a few minutes to make and will last for many springs to come!

Enjoy,

Nikki, In Stitches

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Materials:

5/8″ paper punch

Decorative paper

Styrofoam egg

Straight pins

Glue

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Directions:

Scroll through the pictures below.  Click to enlarge!


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It’s perfect that our “Nikki, In Stitches Top 10″ should start with a quilting post, since being at my sewing machine is really my favorite place to be (next to the beach, of course!).  I cringed when I first went back through this post because my pictures taking skills were certainly NOT very good two years ago.  I apologize…profusely!  But, if you are a beginning quilter, or someone considering jumping into the world of quilting, this is actually a really good place to start.  This is the first of nine simple quilt blocks.  Links to all the others are at the bottom of the post.  There are also links to my posts on assembling them into a quilt top, as well as how to back and bind your quilt.  It’s pretty much a “Quilting 101” class!

Enjoy….again!

Nikki, In Stitches

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Churn Dash – Your First Quilt Block

March 28th, 2009

Are you ready?  At this point, you’ve practiced cutting your fabric, and you’ve mastered the quarter inch seam.  The only thing left to do is just do it!  I tried to pick a block that was easy, yet also visually interesting.  Churn Dash is this block’s traditional name, but depending on your fabric choices, this block can certainly look modern.  I have included some tips along the way.  They appear in italics.  If you’re new to quilting, you should take the time to read them.  If you are an experienced quilter, you are probably to the point where the suggestions I provide  just come naturally.  This is my first attempt at teaching quilting via my blog, so if there are suggestions for improvements, feel free to speak up.  I plan to do at least eight more of these, and I’d like them to be as user friendly as possible.  As always, questions and comments are welcome!

Enjoy!

Nikki, In Stitches

White tonal:
Cut 4 rectangles 4 1/2″ x 2 1/2″
Brown Paisley:
Cut 4 rectangles 4 1/2″ x 2 1/2″
White Paisley:
Cut 2 large squares 4 7/8″ x 4 7/8″
Cut 1 small square 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
Green Houndstooth:
Cut 2 large squares 4 7/8″ x 4 7/8″
churn-dash-step-11. With right sides together, sew 1 white tonal rectangle and 1 brown paisley rectangle together to make Unit A. Press to the darker fabric. Make 4 Unit A’s.

A note on pressing: “Pressing” and “Ironing” are very different, especially to a quilter. Quilters press. They use an up and down motion, not the typical back and forth motion of ironing. After a piece has been sewn, set your seam by placing the piece dark side up on your ironing surface. Put the iron down on the seam, then bring the iron straight up. Next, lift the top layer up, and moving from right to left, run the iron along the seam with the body of the iron parallel to your sewing. Good pressing skills make quilting easier, so take the time to carefully press your pieces.

churn-dash-step-22. Draw a diagonal line on the back of each green houndstooth square from corner to corner. With right sides together, place 1 green houndstooth square on top of 1 white paisley square. Stitch 1/4″ on each side of the drawn line. Cut the square into two triangles by cutting on the drawn diagonal line. Press to the houndstooth fabric.

churn-dash-dog-ear

When triangle units are made, there are always “dog ears” that stick out from your seams after they are pressed. Cut these little triangles off before attaching another piece to prevent bulk in your seams.

churn-dash-step-3

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3. Sew a houndstooth triangle unit to each side of Unit A. Press towards the houndstooth triangle unit. Repeat this with the other two remaining houndstooth triangle units.

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4. Sew the remaining two Unit A’s to each side of the small paisley square. Press toward the paisley square.

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5. Sew Rows 1 and 2 together, pressing towards Row 2. Sew Row 3 on to the bottom, pressing towards Row 2 again.

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The importance of which direction you press your seams should now become apparent. If you have pressed your seams in the directions that were recommended above, they should abut to each other nicely as you sew your rows churn-dash-pressing-seamstogether. With practice, you will be able to judge which direction to press, but most patterns offer suggestions. When in doubt, press to the darker fabric to avoid any color showing through your finished quilt.

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For other posts from Nikki, In Stitches related to the Relay Quilt, please see the following:

Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

Cheap Trick

And For Your Second Block…A Card Trick

Third Times a Charm, or a Sawtooth Patchwork

Back to Blocks…4th: Gentleman’s Fancy?

Block Five: A Dove in the Window

Block Six: A Flower Pot…My Fave So Far

7th Block: Crow’s Foot…And You Can Actually See the Feet!

Block 8: Pinwheel and Squares…Don’t Be Afraid!

Rosebud: The 9th and FINAL Block!

The End is in Sight!

A Quilt Sambo

Bound and Determined

Tagged and Ready for the Relay

Relay Results

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A New Home For Nikki, In Stitches

Funny how life and work often mirror each other, no?

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know that my little family has once again moved.  (Yup, third time in five years!)  But this time, it’s for good.  We are now back in Pennsylvania, where we started, and back with our friends and families that we have missed so much.  When my husband and I left five years ago, it was just the two of us, and we were so excited to see all that the rest of the country had to offer.  Now, with two beautiful babies and one crazy dog in tow, we couldn’t wait to get home and raise them surrounded by the love of their grandparents.

We are slowly settling in, and I am slowly getting back to Nikki, In Stitches…which brings me to the “work mirroring life” part!

Nikki, In Stitches is also getting a new home!

In the coming weeks you’ll start to see a few changes, starting with a new logo that will be popping up very soon!  Then my site, www.NikkiInStitches.com, will get a total redesign, complete with new features I know you all will love.  The last step will be a new look for the blog.  (Then I’ve got one more BIG surprise for the summer, but that’s still a secret!)

As you can imagine, there is a lot going on behind the scenes here, and creating new projects to post has been tough, but I can’t bear the thought of signing off for a few weeks until all the dust settles.  So….I thought it would be fun to do a “Nikki, In Stitches Top 10″ counting down to the #1 most viewed post…and then the big reveal!

The “Top 10” has already been determined, but if there’s a post you’d love to see again, just let me know.  I may be able to squeeze in a few “fan favorites” along the way!

Check back tomorrow for the “Nikki, In Stitches Top 10″ kick-off!

Enjoy!

Nikki, In Stitches

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I’m a “sit in my beach chair, bury my toes in the sand, I’ll be here in this exact spot all day” kind of girl.  (I’m lucky that my children are “sit in the sand, build a sandcastle, we’ll be here in this exact spot all day” kind of kids!)  Packing for a day at the beach is pretty simple for us: toys, snacks and drinks, sunscreen, my beach chair, and, of course, my favorite craft mags.  Here are my top three, and yes, I saved the best for last!  I have no tie with any of these magazines, and wasn’t asked to review any of them.  These are just a few in my pile I have set aside for upcoming beach days, and thought I’d share!

Enjoy!

And feel free to add your faves in the comments below!

Nikki, In Stitches

3.  Stitch

Photo from Stitch

When browsing through craft magazines, I look for variety.  I gravitate to magazines that offer a range of projects and can fill a lot of needs (from gift giving to home decor, and everything in between).  I also look for mags that include simple projects I can put together in an afternoon, as well as projects that will challenge me and help me learn new skills.  When I consistently find all of this in one issue…Jackpot!  Stitch never disappoints.  Any sewer, from any skill level, can find a project they love in each issue.  Sadly, it’s a little hard to find.  Some large chain craft stores carry it, and some do not, but it is absolutely worth your time to hunt it down!


2. Simply Handmade

Photo from Simply Handmade

This little magazine (and it is smaller than most mags, so don’t miss it on the shelves!) is packed with simple, quick ideas that are perfect for personalizing.  I love the fact that I can take any project they publish, put a simple twist on it, and use it over and over again…often times in multiple mediums.  And, this is actually a series of magazines…There’s one for cards! There’s one for scrapbooking! There’s one for beading! There’s even one that is full of projects to make with your Cricut! Get the idea here?? There’s literally something for everyone!

1.  Martha Stewart Living

Photo from Martha Stewart

OK, yes.  I am a huge Martha fan, but even if I weren’t (and I can’t imagine not), but even if I weren’t…I’d still love this magazine!  Not only is it beautiful to look at, it’s always packed with great ideas.  In typical Martha style, they are simple and elegant.  I like, too, that Living gets my creative juices flowing, and my taste buds watering!  Unfortunately, my skills don’t really extend into the kitchen, so when I’m finished earmarking all the craft projects I’d like to make, I pass it over to my husband…the chef in the house!!

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