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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: Eckel, Beryl, Grady, Monnie, Kermit, Ethel, Lillia,
Danna, Paul, Ruth, Marie, Carl, Jaunita and Jonita
“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.

Go and Sew

27 Jul

Upstairs set up…great in the winter

Brother CS6000

Downstairs set up…great in the summer

Downstairs

Amazon “Deal of the Day” for my new Brother CS6000i gave me the opportunity to set up a sewing station at my home away from home to sew more reversible, tri-fold, top-stitched flannel pads for Days for Girls International…and whatever Mom may come up with 😉

For more information on the extraordinary work of Days for Girls International:

https://www.daysforgirls.org

2017 Return of Shower Caddies

2 May

This is year three for our adhoc group of friends to provide homemade shower caddies to the women of Wheeler Mission Shelter for Women and Children @ Christmas.  Photos below are the first 25 of 72 caddies.  We gather in November to fill the shower caddies with personal care items.

The caddies are made of outdoor fabric which is water and mildew resistant.  I take the opportunity to maximize the colors and patterns of with each fabric order.  Having placed 10 orders in 3 years, I am VERY satisfied with ordering online, delivery, quality and value from fabricguru.com.

This design features four outer pockets, plus three buttonhole slits in the bottom for drainage.

Book Review: Sewing can be Dangerous by SR Mallery

25 Apr

Sewing can be Dangerous and other small threads…the title grabbed my attention.  As much time as I have spent sewing over the years, I never thought of it as dangerous.  Sooo…how is sewing dangerous?  S.R. Mallery’s collection of eleven short stories have fascinating characters from eleven times and places.

Danger exists in conditions in the garment district, delivering a warning message, communicating directions, disguising passports…to name a few.  My favorite short story is “Precious Gifts” set in the Washington Territory in the 1870s.    Mama bought a new Singer Perpendicular Action Sewing Machine.  You have to read the story to find out why she set up her new machine in the corn field.  The story tells of her passion for sewing, aiding a young Chinook Indian on his Spirit Quest, exchanging gifts and adverting a conflict due to her quilt making magic.  Love it!

Supporting volunteers in Iowa who support Days for Girls International!

21 Feb

Elfcroft’s last shipment was divided between church, university and women’s groups to be delivered to Ghana, Guatemala and Uganda as complete kits.  Pads and liners are the most labor intensive items.

https://www.daysforgirls.org

39 more "sets" of 8 tri-fold flannel pads ready to ship!

One plus 39 more “sets” of 8 tri-fold flannel pads ready to ship!

Total of 80 shields with PUL lining to support 40 kits.

Total of 80 shields with PUL lining to support 40 kits.

 

 

 

2017 Recycling solution from sewing room

7 Feb

2014, I purchased flannel fabric in one to three yard lengths.  Each Days for Girls International kit includes 8 reversible, tri-fold, flannel pads.  My strategy included sewing pads from 8 different colors and patterns for each kit.  By year-end, I had over 30 types of remnants.   Variation due to cutting, shrinking from washing and fabric width created a significant amount of remnants in strips and block shapes.  I recycled these scraps into two light weight blankets.

In the three years since the original post, I tightened my strategy on purchasing flannel to reduce the waste (given my experience with shrinkage and end of bolt pieces).  The most significant change was to buy 4.5 yard lengths.  My 2017 striped flannel piece represents is a reduction of over 75% scrap.

Stripes

2014 pieced flannel strips, 18 fabrics in 18 different widths

2017 flannel recycling

2017 flannel recycling