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Days for Girls International:  Registered Super Solo Sewist

2 Jul

2018 is Elfcroft’s fifth year volunteering as a Solo Sewist.  This month’s shipment approaches the 4000 level for number of items sewn to support 380 kits.  Liners as well as flannel pads are top-stitched for durability.  I strive to maximize color and pattern in each of my shipments.  These items (total 320 pads and 80 liners) have shipped to a DfGI chapter in Iowa to complete assembly of 40 kits arriving today.

The 2017 DfGI Annual Report is available:

https://www.daysforgirls.org

Kaizen and DfGI

3 Apr

In my post “Seven Global Concepts”, a fellow blogger explained Kaizen as a Japanese concept for continuous improvement.  DfGI or Days for Girls International grew their global influence by embracing Kaizen.  Their website explains their 25+ design revisions developing their reusable feminine hygiene kits.

https://www.daysforgirls.org

On a local level, Elfcroft applied Kaizen to the sewing room.  My cabinet with two drop leaves spans almost seven feet (great for curtain projects, etc. not so great for hundreds of DfGI items per year).  I noticed that working on DfGI kits would be easier if the machine was several inches lower.  No height adjustment is available in the machine or table.  I had the opportunity to move the machine to a sturdy, small folding table….and did just that!  The sewing cabinet is working as the cutting table (with one leaf down).  So far, so GOOD 🙂

Before

After (1)

After (2) The former coffee table (lower left) is great for staging fabric.

Book Review (plus) The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie

13 Mar

 

Love this!  “One sewing machine, two families, three secrets, four generations and millions of stitches”.

This book was funded by readers through a new website:  Unbound.com…a modern version of Samuel Johnson’s idea funding publishing of his dictionary in 1755 in today’s jargon…crowd sourcing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Dictionary_of_the_English_Language

  1. Elfcroft loves sewing and posts about charity projects about a dozen times a year.
  2. The owners of this very special sewing machine kept notebooks/journals/log of every task.  This created a marvelous record (including thread and fabric samples) of the needs and wants of life during the 20th century Scotland.
  3. I loved the inside story of Singer’s major manufacturing operation circa 1911.  Sewing machines empowered their owners to unleash talent and progress.
  4. Natalie brings the family legacy to the present with two paths…one using the machine as is, the second-recycling machine parts into art projects.
  5. The personal stories are as poignant as sewing is important.

Recommended!

Priority: Days for Girls International

30 Jan

Eve helps me prepare Elfcroft’s eleventh shipment of

feminine hygiene pads and shields for Days for Girls International kits.

https://www.daysforgirls.org

January begins year five of our support.

We ship to chapters based in DesMoines Iowa for assembly and distribution globally.

Eight different colors and patterns for reversible trifold pads that fill each kit.

80 shields with pockets, wings and PUL lining will support 40 kits.

 

Another day for DfGI

5 Dec

https://www.daysforgirls.org

Here is a quick look at 160 shields in process (supporting 80 kits)…

Shields have five pieces:  Four from cotton prints and one PUL or polyurethane laminate.

Two pieces of the cotton print make the front at back of the shield (for maximum interest I choose different prints).

The other two pieces of cotton print are for “pockets”.  They are folded and topstitched before assembly.

DfGI shield before assembly

If it is not obvious, this is a LOT of cutting and ironing.

Pairs, right side facing, Grouped in 10s

End view of dozens of “pockets” folded and top stitched. Ready for assembly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here I sew again, preparing to ship in 2018.

Here I sew again!

17 Oct

Work begins on DfGI 2018 shipments supporting DfGI Iowa Chapters

It takes 320 tri-fold, reversible, topstitched flannel pads to support 40 Days for Girls International feminine hygiene kits.  One yard of 40″ wide flannel makes 10 pads.  The cadence I use is to buy 32 yards in 4.25 yard lengths (9″ or 6% shrinkage) of 8 different colors/patterns to maximize variety in each kit.  I wash and dry two pieces of flannel at a time (dryer filter gets heavily loaded).  Then, I cut each net 4 yard length into (4) one yard pieces stacking and  alternating colors/patterns in groups of eight.  Shown above.  The two stacks on the left make 160 pads.  The short stack is my work in progress.

I cut (20) 8″X9″ pieces from each yard, put right sides together, miter the corners (for octagonal shape) before sewing, turning and topstitching.  The double layer, tri-fold design means there are six layers which fit in the mating shield with double pockets, wings and PUL (polyurethane laminate).

https://www.daysforgirls.org

 

Perfect souvenir? circa 1985

11 Oct

Needlepoint canvas purchased in France

“Margot, Creations de Paris.  LE CASTEL d’apres Laura”

Yes, this canvas was well within my budget for a souvenir from France in 1985.  The merits also included being light weight, easily packed and a remembrance of travels while needlepointing.  The problem is… it is still unfinished in 2017…over 30 years later!

I’m back to work on it with great lighting, a support frame and good seating.

72 done!

3 Oct

Shower caddies for the lady residents of Wheeler Mission.  This is Elfcroft’s third year to partner with friends and colleagues to give shower caddies filled with gifts at Christmas.

Five pieces cut from Outdoor, water-resistant, mildew resistant fabric from Fabricguru.com  ( (1) 11×21″, (1) 8×28″, (1) 8″ round with button holes for drainage, (2) 3″x16″ for handles; about 1/3 yard of 54″width)

 

 

 

 

 

Ready for delivery to our staging area and stuffing in early November.

Mandy’s tapestry of the life and love of her family

26 Sep

Tapestry of the life and love of her family

Amanda Emmaline Hall, mother of 14

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Murrel is Mandy’s grandson and my dad.  Frank is Mandy’s grandson and my uncle.  Jimmy is Mandy’s grandson and my uncle who died as a child….

Crazy Quilts explained at Indianapolis Museum of Art Exhibit October 2017

“Encouraged individual expression through freeform stitching,

known as the Kensington stitch”

“takes inspiration from the natural world”

Made with love by Great Grandmother Hall

 

GREAT Grandparents!

10 Sep
Murrel’s and Frank’s Reflections on the Way Their Grandparent’s Life Used to Be
Hawkins County, Tennessee
Amanda Emmaline Bruner Hall and David Franklin Hall
born September 21, 1877 and August 30, 1875
Parents of fourteen: Ralph Echel, Burley Edgar, Grady Murl, Monnie Pearl,
Kermit Roosevelt, Eula Ethel, Lillie Mae, Dana Harmon, Paul Maxwell,
Wanda Ruth, Carl, Jaunita and Jonita, Dorothy Marie
“Mandy”, “Mom”, “Big Ma-ma” out of affection for her greatness
Energetic, constant motion
Did what needed to be done
Magical cook, even a hand full of beans would turn into a tasty meal
All of the children loved her cooking
Murrel’s favorites were brown gravy, fried potatoes and creamed corn
Grady claimed his talent at a carpenter was a gift from his mother
She made her own rocking chair
She was also known to build a chicken coop
Mom would pound used nails to straighten them to reuse
She took pride and joy in raising chickens
One particular chicken to a special liking to he and followed her all over the yard
Her favorite hymn: “Amazing Grace”
Grandpa was a stone mason by trade
Inventor, liked to find easier ways to do things.
One invention cut corn stalks, another ginned cotton.
Left for California during the Depression (1930s) to earn money.
Came home and set out orchards and grape arbors.
Quilts were a necessity for the beds
The house was cold except around the cooking stove
There was never any indoor plumbing while they lived on the home place.
Cisterns collected water from the barn for animals and garden,
from the house for cooking and cleaning.
The home eventually had an organ and piano.
No electricity until 1947, twelve years after Grady’s family had electricity.
Never owned a car or truck, never drove.
Mules named Dave and Tom.
Mandy’s legacy was discovered in a cedar chest fifty years after her master piece was completed
A quilt…no a tapestry of the life and love of her family.

Made with love by Great Grandmother Hall

I look forward to sharing this treasure with my new-found third-cousin Amy.