Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Finished just in time ...

Finally a promise made is kept to Cobi My grandson, a backpack matching his barrelbag. I thought it can up quite nice. Cobi and his mum have moved back to South Africa. Saying our Goodbyes at the airport was one of the hardest things we have had to do for a while.
This bag was made without a bought pattern, was a bit of a mission designing it as I went. First one is always the hardest they say. One of my friends asked for the pattern but I think we might just make it a weekend and spend the day infront of our machines. Two more bags are needed ... one for Luke and then one for the new baby espected in April. You know for the nappies, extra clothes and bottles <3 Thats all for now, until nexttime Rina

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A barrel bag I made so long ago ...

Bummer I got no original pic to show you only the new bag... The first bag was made for my Daughter inlaw when she had Cobi, and to my supprise she still had it, So I just gave it a good wash and thought I would love to show it to you all but I confiscated it and passed it on, with Cobi's permission after promising him a new updated print bag. These are great bags for kid's sleeping over, to pack their PJ's and spare clothes in.
So I thought maybe I could give a few measurements and the pattern if you would like to make your own bag for someone special. It is a project suitable for a moderately skill sewer. A fair bit of machine quilting is involved, piping and sewing in a zipper. Recommend you chose a Hardwaring fabric for the outside, maybe ticking, denim or even kiddy print curtaining. Thin wadding or even an old towel will do the job. If you haven't noticed I am big into recycling old towels for pot holders, placemats and linings. Some matching material for the inside lining. An open ended zipper nylon or metal if you have too and can't get anything else, prefer nylon, the size depends on the with of your bag. Matching Piping is pretty to sew onto the side pieces but you don't have to do that step. For all my sewing lines I have used a Blue washable pen, marks come out so easy with a little cold water. And don't forget you need a few strong needles cause you are bound to break a needle or two.
Layer the outside material facing (rightside to the bottom), then the wadding, then the lining (rightside to the top) pin together before cutting with a rotary cutter if you got one or just use a sharp scissor. (My bag was 65cm X 115cm and after neatening it up was 63cm X 110 cm for the main piece)Mark out the size of the bag you require, width is easy but the diameter need a little thought ... so I would say you need to cut out the two side panels first on a little paper 12 x12 inch or 35cm square, is that to big for you project? round the corners of with a saucer, placing the saucer on the two outside lines, mark off the 4 corners and cut, that's you first pattern piece. Adjust if you want a smaller bag. Happy with that? Now measure the 4 sides of the main panel, mark with a blue washable pen for a perfect rectangle. Now the zipper .. adding on 5cm for the fold either end of the main panel and pin it down. You need to sew the zipper on either end of the main panel, making sure they line up. That should give you the lenght of your bag I suggest you measure and mark before just cutting madly, arrange you paper pieces like any other pattern. Cut out , mark lines, use heaps of pins to keep the pieces flat and together and quilt along the lines, zigzag outer edges. Quilt side panels the same way.
There is one other piece you need and that would be the handles for the bag. measure and cut out 5 inch/13 cm wide strip.(lenght of you main piece X 2 1/2) Join the strips at each end, cut out wadding the same size, place that in the middle and fold material to lie flush to each other, pin down. Place Reinforcement tape over the join, pin and sew down.
Ready to put your handles on? lay the main piece rightside up, measure the half way mark and draw a line lenghtways, now measure a 5 inches eitherside of this line(adjust for the size of your bag) this mark is inportant to space out the handles. Place the handle piece either side of the second line to suit. Pin down the straps leaving the top part of the handle unpinned/unsewn,Make sure both unpinned sides measure the same. Sew down the handles and reinforce the end by sewing a X a few times. Now back to the fold for the zipper, fold over and pin, sew two rows next to each other.
Now you are ready to sew the side panels in place, did you add some piping to them? Fold main piece in half, mark the halfway mark with pen both sides, same with the side panels. pin the two right sides together on the marked spots, and pin the rest together xarefully , giving enough material around the corners, you should meet at the top.
That would be right, just showed you my join haha, anyway stitch it down twice and zigzag the edges together. You can never have enough reinforcements. Turn inside out and sew in the zipper. Pin and sew the zipper in, leaving a long tail inside the bag, for an open ended sip I would just sew the end closed (slowly with my machine, you did not see that, great needle buster) The bigger the bag the harder it gets, trust me. Wash out the blue markings from the pen and neaten up all the threads and stuff and your done. If you find I missed out on a step please hallow.
I'd be happy to answer any question you may have.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Lesson no 2 ... Rose Cottage news

. This week we made the draw string bags, and the girls got the feel of the machines, slow and steady we did straight stitching then zigzaged, folded the top over, tucked a little fold and pinned. Stitched two rows leaving a channel to thread some cord through to pull closed. As I mentioned before this is dead easy stuff ATM. They finished their pin cushions off as well and used them through out the lesson The girl would like to make machine quilted pot holders for lesson no 4, a lot more work but one of the nicest projects. More on that later. But did you think that this was going to be a pure sewing lesson ... of course not! I had bought crochet hooks and yarn for each girl and after our bags were done, we still had a little time to learn chain stitch and Treble stitch, every week they can bring their bags with their crochet with and we can do just a little crochet too. Next week it will be baking, so looking forward to that. I had asked through the Interpretor for them to bring some craft that they are working on at home, and they did too, beautiful knitting, I was so impressed. Roxy belongs to some friends of ours Nilo and Des, she made for a great supervisor Rose Cottage News ... we have a kitchen!!! well not installed yet. It is an secondhand kitchen in a good nick, the benchtop is a mottled grey/blue and the cupboards are cream. The cupboards can be sprayed white before we install them. I bought the whole kitchen on Ebay for just $500, choosing to go with the secondhand kitchen for the cottage. If at a later stage we have the money to build a permanent home, then it will be a good idea to spend the money on a new kitchen. By the time we are done building the cottage we might have spent about $10. 000 all up using recycled, secondhand and new materials.Next post I will add pics of the kitchen but we will be picking it up as soon as the rain stops, another wet weekend here in Sydney Thanks for popping in and have a lovely day Rina

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sewing class news ... and another scarf

Just finished another scarf in the same yarn for Dear daughter Tanya, a super long scarf. Used 5 balls that included the tassels. The other scarf I posted previously was far to short for her being so tall it look silly, so now I just have to keep an eye out for some stray ball of yarn somewhere to match. or just add some tassels and keep it for myself. This past Thursday I taught my first sewing class for refugee ladies, most of them don't speak English and were not even sure what to do with pins. So although I don't consider myself an expert sewer, more a Jill of all trade girl. our first project will be a straight forward pin cushion. And then a drawstring bag for wool and knitting needles and crochet hook. Very easy projects ... 2 weeks sewing and 1 week baking... they are desperate to learn how to make muffins. Will keep a track of all the sewing projects. 6 girls turned up for the lesson, and the Interpretor, it went rather well considering these ladies had so little sewing knowledge. We smiled a lot and laughed alot through the lesson. Unpicked a few mistakes and tried again, the machines weren't always playing along, but we overcame some of the problems. Explaining the wrong and right side of the fabric did not mean they put the two rightsides facing inwards. Even drawing a straight line with an blue washable pen did not mean they actually sewed on a straight line. Some finished their pin cushions, some so close to finishing them off, But I must have done something right cause they left with smiles on their faces, one even hugging me.The drawstring bags will have to wait for next week. Then we will move onto quilted pot holders, more straight lines to follow, while the 3rd lesson is baking and it's already been decided we will be making Banana Muffins. This should be rather interesting week.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A scarf to keep out the cold ...

Just popped in to show what I have been up to over the weekend. Found some lovely fresh looking yarn to knit 2 scarves for two beautiful little girls. The yarn is so in fashion ATM with the little pompoms knitted with those size 7 needles that it went very quick indeed. On receiving her scarf the youngest who is only 5, wanted to know if they are going to the snow this year. They had gone last year with another couple and their kids and must have had a ball.
As if two scarfs weren't enough I decided while I am on a roll, why not another one. The scarf I knitted for my Daughter came out rather nice too, maybe not as long as she would like, but that was all yarn I had bought last winter. Tanya is still in Darwin and could be home in 3 weeks I think. Hope she likes it. A major attempt to tidy up the craft boxes and craft magazines was on my to do list this week. and if I must say so myself it does look better, giving me a little inspiration to attempt to clear some more UFO's. Be back soon Rina

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Little Lavender Throw ...

Believe it or not I had to start another project. As if I don't have enough going already. My excuse "How could a crafter just sit and do nothing with her hands for a whole month?" So while visiting Mom in South Africa, this is what kept my hands busy and my mind sane. Believe it or not we had no TV just a little radio tuned into "Jakaranda Station" the local radio station. Why no TV ... well lightening struck 3 times in just about as many months and Mom was just over it putting claims in to her insurance. In the month I was visiting we had a few really bad electrical storms, very frightening I promise you. The day I flew back to Sydney our flight was delayed cause of a lightening storm.

Very close to Mom's place is a Hospice and they had a little charity shop, where I bought this lovely thread on a big machine cone for just R50.00 ($4.00 what a bargain). With no tag it was hard to tell what it was made from, it's ultra thin and must have a little mohair in it, cause it ever so light. Don't you just love the colour! And with my trusty size 3 hook which I throw in my suitcase for the just incase I bought some wool, A new project was started.

Once it is completely finished I will repost this post and show you the finished throw, ATM I am 2/3 of the way and still going strong. This throw will end up with all the other lavender stuff I have collected for the guest cottage oneday.

Happy Crafting