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.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Pocket quilt

This quilt is still a work in progress.   I intend to make it into a double bed sized quilt, but need to collect some more pockets for the sides.  I intend to orient the side pockets so that they hang down the correct way, I think - though I have not completely decided on this yet, and may find it looks better to keep all the pockets the same way. 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Trolley coin keyring purses

I bought a job lot os small zips, which I am gradually using up.  These little purses are one of the ways in which they are being used.  These are just the right size to be added to a keyring, to ensure that you always have a coin for the shopping trolley.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

New style glasses cases

My husband has a felted glasses case which is beautifully simple and I decided to create a pattern from it to make my own glasses cases.  Here are some of the results.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Chicken farm update

While in Utange, Julie also took time to visit Margaret.  I paid for Margaret's chicken shed to be restored and for her to restock her chickens.  The business is going well now, and Margaret is able to support her family through selling both eggs and chickens.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Panel bag

This is a longer version of the panel bag, because this time I cut the place mat vertically rather than horizontally.  All of this set of bags are lined with some lovely linen style fabric I was given.  It was such a pleasure to work with and gives a lovely structure to the bags.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Unlined pocket puses

These have been out of stock for a while - I particularly enjoyed making use of the beautivul printed denim of the bottom pocket.

Friday, 15 September 2017

"Stained glass" quilt in progress

I really enjjoyed making this.  The cutting took ages, but it sewed up really easily.  I used the pattern from Lucy's Quilts which was accurate and well-explained. My only quibble was that the single bed size seemed quite short, so I added two 8" rows - one at the top and one at the bottom.  Now I am waiting for wadding to arrive so that I can complete it. 

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Large embroidered phone cases

Like the earlier owl phone cases, these embroidered cases are needed in a larger size to fit today's larger smart phones.  Hopefully these will meet the need.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017


This is another new line for me.  I have amassed some footstools which were unwanted.  These have been recovered with denim.  Thetop is leftover strips which have been pieced together, crazy quilt style, while the sides are made from pockets.
I think the pockets would be ideal for storing remote controls!

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Utange primary school using computers

Susan sent me these photos from utange showing class 8 using the computers I provided during their Social Sciences lesson with Mr Duke.  It is good to see that they are of use.  I hope to send the money for another 10 computers soon.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Simple pocket purses

These are lined purses.  They are straightforward to make and there is a tutorial for them in the tutorials section of this site.  I enjoy finding "interesting" pockets to use.  There is quite a lot of sewing involved, but the results are pleasing.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Sunglasses cases

I have amended how I fastened these cases, making use of some of the shanked buttons I have been given.  I like the result and hope they will sell well.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Olly Owl flies back

Olly owl has returned, in a range of colours.  This pattern is another from Funky Friends Factory, and has been made as a doorstop.

Another denim quilt

This, my second completed quilt, is a single bed size.  It is made from what I term "found fabric" - all the scraps from other projects which I cannot bear to throw away, sewn together crazy quilt style.  As with the first quilt, I did not use a pattern for this.  The sashing is from a turquoise corduroy teamed with a brushed cotton check. 
The layers were fastened using buttons at the intersections of the sashing.  To me, this is the most practical method of quilting such large and heavy pieces of fabric.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Kenya updates

I have had some lovely updates from Kenya regarding the projects I supported last year.  A number of these come from Julie, who kindly took time during her honeymoon to catch up with some of the ladies I bought equipment for.  This first one is a lady I helped by buying a new food processor for her juicing business.

Sylvia makes juices from fresh fruit which she freezes and then sells in the village. 
Julie reported that the business is going well and that the processor is a great help.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Another panel bag

I was very pleased to have passed on to me a curtain sample book at the start of the holiday and knew exactly what I wanted to use the samples for.  Here is one of the results - a panel bag which features the curtain fabric.  The curtains in this sample book were all based on classical art, and were very interesting to work with.  I still have some samples to use.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Larger owls

My owl phone cases are always popular, but I have found recently that the sizes I was making them in no longer suited.  Phones have got so much larger that I needed to recalculate.  I have now managed to do so - hopefully these will fit the larger smart phones which are around.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Pocket beanbag

This is another original creation.  Made entirely of pockets, it has a lining filled with polystyrene beans and makes a very comfortable seat.  I will create and add a tutorial when I next make some.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Owl bookmarks

These bookmarks are very easy to create, because my wonderful embroidery machine does most of the work for me.  Children seem to love them and I needed to restock, so completed a large number of them during the summer holiday.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Panel bag

A friend passed on to me some place mats which came from Singapore.  She was rather apologetic, fearing that she was just passing on things which were of no use.  However, by cutting each place mat in half horizontally and teaming it with strips of denim, I created a set of bags which I think came out beautifully.
The mats were all different colours, and so produced bags which look quite different.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

New style of pocket purse

 These came from my growing collection of chldren's jeans.  I found the back pockets on these did not always lend themselves to cutting to squares.  So I came up with these little purses.  I will create a tutorial for them at some later point.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Fleur Flamingo in pink

I have begun keeping "interesting" colours of jeans separately, and found that I had acquired two pairs of pink jeans. These lent themselves very clearly to making Fleur Flamingo, from the fabulous Funky Friends Factory pattern.  These are all doorstops, and two Fleurs have already been sold.  Hopefully the two which remain will find homes soon.
Shared at
Friday Favourites

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Updates at last

I have really neglected this page recently - I can only blame a very busy school year and a summer spent recovering.  Along with the recovering I have, of course, been sewing, and have a number of updates to share.
My first update is that I have been branching out into new areas.  This includes making denim quilts.  I began this enterprise as a development of quilt making, using traditional fabrics.  It seems fitting that I am returning to quilt making but with denim.  Here is the first of those quilts.  It is a double bed size.  I think it may have been over ambitious for a first venture into quilt making, as it did take a very long time to complete.  I didn't use a pattern of any sort and started it as a way of using up some of the many back pockets I had.
The sashing is made from some very heavy old cotton sheets I was given, which I dyed in the blue and yellow you can see.  I backed the quilt with some more sheeting, and fastened the layers together with a variety of white buttons, again given to me.  I am very pleased with the overall effect.

Shared at:
My Quilt Infatuation

Friday, 7 April 2017

First uniforms

The ladies who have set up their business to make Utange Primary School their uniforms have called themselves "Soft landing".  Susan, the computer teacher at the school who has been so instrumental in getting this group going, has today sent me these photos.  They show the first two uniforms produced by the group.  It must be such a thrill for the ladies (and is certainly a thrill for me) to see these pictures. 

The ladies are employing a tailor to teach them how to make the uniforms efficiently.  I am sure this is a really good investment for their future work. 
I now have the leaflets to hand out to schools to try to persuade them to hold a non-uniform day to raise money for sponsored uniforms at the school; these photos contrast so much with those showing the uniforms sported currently by many pupils.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Jeans donation

Many thanks to the pupils, parents and staff of Gothic Mede Academy in Arlesey. They have been collecting jeans for me and on Monday I picked up two huge sacks full.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

This update came a while ago, but I haven't got round to posting it! One of the schools I provided help to was St Peter the Rock. This is a school for pupils with mental disabilities, run by the amazing Gladys. Another visitor provided her with funding to rebuild the chicken shed she has on her current school site (more friends are fundraising to build a new, more suitable school at a much better site away from the busy street) and I provided the money for Gladys to buy chickens. These will provide eggs for the children at the school to eat. It was so exciting to get these photos!