Saturday, 13 January 2018

Scrappy bag

I found this pattern in one of my many books, but the pieces were rather large to be cut out of a single piece of jeans.  So I used some of the crazy patchwork fabric created from the scraps I had left over.  I was pleased with the result - and sales were good, so I think this is one I will make again.

Thursday, 11 January 2018


A new design at the end of the year was this koala.  It is another of the wonderful Funky Friends Factory patterns, and was a special request from a customer at the Milton Keynes event.  I ended up making two, and both sold at the World of Difference event.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Further update on the sewing group

From wonderful Susan in Utange, via wonderful Jane, my friend, I received these photos updating us both on the progress of the ladies' sewing group in Utange.
As can be seen, they are busy creating uniforms for the pupils at the school. 

Some of these may be "sponsored" uniforms.  Pupils at Raynsford Lower School ran a stall of my creations at their summer fair, and I sent the money raised to Utange to pay for uniforms for those pupils who cannot afford to buy one.  Many have so far benefitted.

The ladies are also making traditional African clothes for people in the village, and a new venture uses the scraps of fabric from both of these to make table and floor mats.

Four women have employment, and many pupils at the school have smart uniforms.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Another happy customer!

I love having "regular customers" - those who return time after time.  It really encourages me - both their interest and seeing them with previous purchases.
At the Milton Keynes event one such family visited, and made another purchase - my final pink Fleur Flamingo.  I hope she is happy in her new home!

Friday, 5 January 2018

Second stained glass window quilt

I so enjoyed making the first stained glass window quilt that I set out on another.  This time I made the pattern up, having understood the theory from my first attempt.  It proved a great way of using up lots of odd sized pockets. 

A customer who visited me at the Milton Keynes event was very keen on this as I described it, and came to the World of Difference fair in Northampton specifically to pick it up.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Boda Boda business

I heard about Mrs Bembaji through friends who visited Utange last summer.  They were asked by staff at Utange Primary School whether they knew of anyone who might help to sponsor a bright young man in the top class at the school.  They were told of his mother, widowed, with epilepsy and a hand injury (from a fall into a fire for which she could not afford treatment) who could barely afford to support her family and who could not afford the fees for secondary schooling.  They offered to help, and told me of the situation.
I suggested to Susan, my contact at the school, that I might be able to help financially if Mrs Bembaji wished to set up a business.  I was duly sent two proposals - one for a chicken farm and the other for a motorcycle taxi business.  I agreed to fund the latter.
Over Christmas I sent out the money.  Today I received these photos:

Teachers at the school have offered to help her.  One will provide storage space for the motorcycle at night and will find a rider (who will also thus have employment).  Another will help her to open a bank account.  A third will provide support in budgeting and help her to develop her business.
Such a wonderful result - and all from old jeans!!

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Sewing businesses

Mary is one of the ladies for whom I provided a sewing machine and some fabric to support her dressmaking business.  Julie visited her during her stay and found that the business is going well, with Mary making clothes for people in the village.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Joyce and Festus' shop

Another project I supported during my trip to Kenya last summer was that of Joyce and Festus.  Festus is the house dad at Casuarina House, and his wife Joyce wanted to set up a shop.  Julie visited this and passed on these photos.  The couple are employing a young man to work in the shop - so another person is being helped, beyond Joyce and Festus and their family.  They are gradually tocking the shop and it is doing well.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Flat purses

It has been fun remembering the different styles of purses I have made in the past.  These flat purses are so simple to make, but very effective.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Another footstool

This is a smaller stool than the first.  I picked it up in a charity shop and used part of a pair of cargo pant style jeans for the top.