Saturday, 21 April 2018

Pretty little pouches


 Another addition to my restock was an old favourite - these pocket pouches.  The pattern can be found via my tutorials page.  I chose these two (among many!) to photograph because they featured such pretty pockets.  I suspect they will be among the first to sell.







Friday, 20 April 2018

Nappy bag

One of my new projects during the Easter holidays was a nappy bag.  This was a purchased pattern from Tudor Rose Patchwork
The pattern is very clear, but fairly time consuming to make so this will be one of my more expensive bags (£20). There are four external pockets (one on each end for bottles / nappies, a slip pocket on one side and a pocket with a flap on the other side) and various internal pockets.  The bag also has short and long (adjustable) handles. 
I have made 8 and am pleased with the results.


Thursday, 19 April 2018

Boda boda update

At the start of the year I sent money out to Kenya to help a lady there to set up a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) business.  At the end of February I received an update on how her new business is going:
Susan told me:
After paying the rider and subtracting the cost of fuel the income per week is ksh. 2,000 (about £14).
From the two thousand shillings she uses ksh.600 (about £4) for household use i.e to buy food stuff and provide other needs at home. From the ksh. 600 per week she also buys vegetables and sells these to people in the neighborhood. She has started constructing a makeshift kiosk where she wants to set up a grocery .The remaining ksh.1,400 (about £10) that the business earns per week is deposited in her bank savings account. Her account balance as at 20th February 2018 was ksh.8,400 (nearly £60).
This came as a miracle to her because she had given up on life and she did not know that one day a good Samaritan  would put a smile on her face by giving her capital to start a business to support her family. Sidi can now provide basic needs to her family. Unlike in the past her family can now afford to take two meals per day.
From this
To this
 And that is why I do this.




Wednesday, 18 April 2018

What I did on my holidays!

I have had such a lovely Easter break from school - and a fabulous time sewing as well!  Here is an overview of the items I made over the course of two weeks!
Err... yes, I did do quite a lot, didn't I?

You may be relieved to know that I did other things as well - lots of lovely walks among other things.



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

Koala!

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!!