Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Applique bag - pigs

I had a longs stretch of time over the holiday where I played around with different applique patterns.  We have recently had a branch of Hobbycraft open in Bedford, and I must admit I have enjoyed trips out to that particular retail park much more since its opening!  It has, over the summer, been selling packs of 6 fat quarters at half price.  Well, I ask you, who could possibly resist?  I have succumbed on several occasions.  A pack of mixed pinks has produced (among others) this bag:
The embroidery pattern was one of a design pack purchased online, and I just love this bag.  So, apparently, did my customers - it sold on its first outing!  So a remake is needed...

Monday, 1 September 2014

Mini-Belinda (1)

This is a version of the Belinda Bag, designed by the talented Helen Coverley.  I have made the Belinda bag several times (and you will find photos of it on the blog).  However, I mislaid my pattern.  Thinking I could remember it, I began.  Helen very generously passed on a replacement copy of the pattern to me, but by the time I got it I was past the point of no return!  So here is the mini Belinda!
Made with smaller squares, and less of them, and with invented strap lengths!  It is lined with fabric from Mombasa, and still makes a great bag - just different!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Sewing day

The wonderful people at Tudor Rose Patchwork offered me a "Charity Day" and the use of their workshop this summer.  Not only that, but they advertised the day for me and took bookings, and lent me equipment, and provided drinks!
I was blessed by so many people attending.  Some came for the whole day; others dropped in for part of the day only.  Some came through the advertising; others through direct contact with me. Some were (very) experienced bag makers and others were complete novices. In all I think about 15 people came throughout the day - all to help me make various styles of pocket bags.  I provided instructions and materials (though many people brought their own contributions).  They made the bags for me!

Many started with the backpacks and I ended up with a good selection of these.  Others focused on the shoulder bags.  I managed to deplete my stock of pockets considerably, for which I am very grateful.

Several of the bags have already sold; more are still in stock.  Some were purchased by their makers on the day!

Thank you all!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Embroidered panel bags: Coffee!

As a non-coffee drinker, perhaps I don't share the sentiments of this bag!
"Behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee".
The slogan appears to be popular, however; it has also been featured on some of my postcards and purses, and they always seem to sell well. 
I do enjoy watching people scan through the sayings on my bags - I can often tell when they have reached a particular one by their response!

Friday, 29 August 2014

This Summer's events: Woburn Sands

This was a new event for me.  When I booked, the event was planned as an outdoor folk festival with stalls surrounding the field.  However, the event had to be replanned as the result of the theft of a generator at the previous event.  Consequently this year's event took place in various locations around Woburn Sands itself, with folk acts performing in various local hostelries, and craft stalls in two halls.
I suspect the hall in which I was placed was the better of the two locations. We were right by a bus stop, and had many people come in while waiting for buses.  We were also quite close to the pubs where bands were playing.
It was a very hot day, and footfall was slow, but I was pleased overall with the resulting takings and with the interest in the work in Utange.  I think work could be done on advertising and promoting the various venues, as we had several visitors in who were not entirely sure what was happening where.  All credit to the volunteers who organised and ran it, however!

Thursday, 28 August 2014


Long silence - the summer has been very busy!  I have been sewing and attending a lot of fairs, as well as other "stuff"!  Posts to follow - about to set up a lot to appear over the next days.  Hopefully I will be able to win back regular readers, and attract some new followers as well.  I have lots of tutorials in the pipeline, and some new designs in my head which I hope will become actual bags and maybe even tutorials at some point.

I have lots of plans too for my trip to Kenya in 2016.  I already have several people who have expressed an interest in coming with me to help the women of Utange set up businesses.  My "business startup fund" (held by The Sure Foundation to buy the resources and equipment for women to begin their businesses) already stands at over £1200, and I am hoping it will be nearly £5000 by the time we go.

I am really hoping for people who can:
- teach women crafts, including paper bead making, crocheting from "plarn" made from old t-shirts and carrier bags, sewing, and hopefully something utilising local resources such as coconut shells and palms.
-teach business skills to the women and help them to develop business plans.
- provide and teach basic literacy and ICT skills.
- teach some "mechanical" skills such as bicycle and sewing machine maintenance
- help the village to develop a cashew nut cooperative (I would like to provide a small processing plant at a future point)
- source and distribute solar lamps with recharging points (for phones) to the most needy homes in the village.

If these (or any other ideas) catch your interest, please get in touch.  If you know me, you will know my email.  If not, leave a comment on this post and I will get in touch.  You will need to fund your own trip - the cost from the UK will probably be about £1500 for two weeks.

And please pray!


Friday, 27 June 2014

Animal keyrings

These are such fun, but so intricate to set up in terms of thread colours that these are the only ones I have managed.
I may have to return to them when I have more patience!

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Black and white owls again

This seems to be becoming a recurring theme.  These black and white owls have a certain formality to them which I love.
I do enjoy playing with fabrics - I feel so blessed that I have this opportunity to do it.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Bibs restock

More of my embroidered bibs - another popular line.  Actually, these ones are not so much a restock as a finishing off of some which got abandoned part way!

There are such a lot of lovely embroidery designs out there - it has given me real pleasure to create these.