Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A new start a new day!

I finally got the ambition to clean out my sewing room and make it more accessible for me to get around. I have been working on mass producing some charitable items and it would make it much easier.

I must admit that also I am working on the thread bears and still puttering away at finishing some socks.

I finished knitting anothe face cloth, this one in a pretty deep peach, so that makes two, one a week so far.

I have a crazy quilt block of Marianna's and will work on that once the handles are on the totes I have been making and then settle in to work on a quilt.

Have a great day stitching and hopefully tomorrow I will have some pics to share with you.

Wheelchair Back Packs

Amidst some links on line and a collection of soil resistant fabric samples that a friend gave me years ago I have started to make the tote bags for wheelchairs and walkers. I have about six completed so far. My favourite is one made in yellows with an oriental design in it, would have made gorgeous pillows. I also did a lot of paisley and light colours and now have about another dozen to put straps on and send along.

These are very basic and very simple to do. I do not like Velcro and I do not like ties as these can cause a hindrance to the operator of the chair or the walker so I measure about eighteen inches for each tie and put two on them so that they are secure.

Here is my basic plan according to the size of the fabric I cut my fabrics so that there are no raw edges and the writing on the cardboard that is sealed to the sample fabric is removed, this usually leaves me about a 15 to 16 inch square to work with. I do not worry about both sides being the same as they can be used either or and gives each a reversible effect. I do try and match colour families for male/female, and as the nursing home where I am donating them has children I plan to use some cute children's cuts of fabrics and make some totes for them.

I will add some pics when I have finished the next set. I wanted to get these out to the residence so that they could tell me if these, are, in fact, of any value to these folks. I have designed them so that when they are removed they fold in half and can hang on a bed or a door handle. I have watched them try to navigate with books in their hands, knitting needles etc. and from my own personal experience know that a tote bag is a great solution to a lot of how we feel about getting from point "a" to point "b".

Materials:- 2 pieces of fabric , I chose curtain sample fabric's. cut according to size. I mine now, they are 15inches x 17 inches.

- serge or sew around three sides. I Serge so that makes it easier so that the threads to not strip, and if you don't serge, I suggest sewing with right sides together, trimming back the seam and then french seaming from the wrong side. In other words. Press the seam flat and encase in another seam. It is very professional looking and sturdy.

- I then take and measure in about an 1.5 inch from the top of the bottom corner and sew a triangle across. I do not cut this but lock it in place with a few stitches. Do to the opposite side, this is not necessary but it does give the bag a boxed corner and bottom look.

- I then measure in about 2.5 inches from each side and pin either a handmade strap or strong webbing in place. I stitch this on one side, then flip and stitch on opposite sides. I then turn the top edge down, stitch close to the bottom, then top stitch.............voila' a beautiful little tote bag.

- I plan on doing some smaller ones for those who just carry a book around with them as it is easier to hold onto a few strips of fabric than it is to carry a book and balance a walker.

- I will share some pics tomorrow.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bean Bags for the Nursing Home

I will do some instructional pictures over the weekend as once again we are promised snow. While at the nursing home with dh's last week visiting I asked the recreation director what I could sew for her. Her eyes grew very large as she said " sew ". I said yes, what can I make for you that you could use. She responded with bean bags. She had just tossed some tattered ones out.

I sat down this evening and in less than two hours have double lined and filled 16 bean bags and will share my basic pattern with you.


1 - yard of flannel - bright patterns are the best.
1 - yard of heavy broadcloth
2 - 2kg bags of long grain rice.

For 16 bags here is how I cut my fabric.

I took the broadcloth and cut it into 6 inch strips and sewed them together leaving an opening for turning. I then added one cup of rice to each bag and serged the edge closed.

I then took the flannel and cut it into 7 inch strips. I sewed on three sides then about an inch in or each side on the top, inserted the rice bag and topstitched closed. I did all of the work on the machine as these will be used by seniors and take a hard toss.

I must admit that I speed sew and sew in multiples so here is my recipe for making them quickly.

Tear lining fabric into 6 inch strips.
Seam long sides together.
Cut into 6 inch sections.
Sew bottoms on each one, fast feeding one behind the other through the machine.

Add rice = serge across opening, set aside.

I do the cover the same way.

Cut strips into 7 inch widths.
Seam long sides
Cut into 7 inch sections
Seam bottom and in a bit from each side on the top, add the rice bag, and stitch the top closed.

I will add some pictures over the weekend.

Pics as promised of the little bears.

On the left hand side is the collection of bears made so far from the tiniest at about two inches to the next size up about 3.5 inches to Purple who is about five inches standing. My fingers are so sore I can hardly type, but these little critters are addictive and you can create as your crochet and change as you will.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Pay It Forward

Busily crocheting the little bears that are made with thread and finally did one with a twist, it is done in light purple and is brushed. I do need a break from these little critters and they will be forwarded onto new homes as promised.

I finished a white and beige set, a miniature beige bear, and now the mohair bear, and have a red bear and one more, I think in thebasket, then I will make for myself.

I will share some pics. I made the above for a few who do not crochet and now need to concentrate on doing some resting and reading and catching up with the things I have wanted to do in my life.

I asked a local nursing home if I could sew anything for them and they mentioned such as, and I responded with " bean bags ", she exclaimed "yes " we had to toss some out as they were getting pretty I plan on setting up and doing about a dozen new bean bags in bright colours for the nursing home.

I also have a new book Alexandra Stoddard " the Art of the Possible " and have never read any of her books but want to read this one. I also want to start reading Barbara Bradford's " Emma's Secret ", it is a gift book and it is a big one but keeps calling out my name.

I have one cq healing block to finish and get in the mail and my parcels should all be ready to go by tomorrow evening.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year - Welcome 2009

With the busy Christmas season behind us it is time for us to move forward and take some time to reflect what really makes us happy and what we plan to do to make a difference in someones life this year.
I feel that each life we touch secretly will be a life that will feel the love that someone has taken the time to make them aware of.
I also believe that silent givers are the best givers and that I like to choose who I want to surprise and give my handwork to, with this in mind. I have decided to do at least one kind random act of kindness a month. I am not doing a drawing as I know personally, there are beautiful items I have received this past year when all I had to do was comment on their work and I was honestly only commenting because they were beautiful. When I won, it was the most wonderful feeling in the world.
I call the above thread bear " Spice " and he is one of two that is going out silently to a special friend who has gone above and beyond for years for all, not just for me. There is a wonderful group on line for thread ted's and they share their love of making these tiny creations, and all I was going to do was make one to put on a quilt, now I am finding that there are some special people who do not crochet who would like to have one and must admit that this work is an art form in itself and I am far from having achieved it. My bear is the first one I have crocheted and the second one is not much better, but with time they will get easier.
I have finished a lot of started projects and will share and this is the year that I get my own full sized crazy quilt all done by me. I purchased the calendar from Piecemakers and can hardly wait to start and do one in a similar style. I am also so enthralled by the handwork of Jo in Nz; and Allison Aller to mention a few that I want to practise my stitches.
Carole Samples and Victoria Adams Brown have made crazy quilting an art form that was not delegated to just stitches, and then take the artwork and stitches taught by Nancy Ehna and those on the crazy quilting international list and I will have my own little masterpiece.
" Give to the world the best that you have and it will give back to you. " Authour unknown to me.