Monthly Archives: February 2010

Bella Bag

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Meet Casablanca!

This is one of my own design Bella Bags that I call Casablanca.

Why Casablanca?

Well, the bag is ideal for travelling with, the fabrics are “travel inspired” and Casablanca sounds sooooooooooo exotic!

Just the kind of bag to have on a wet and cold English day.

Something to dream about.

Places to see,

food to taste,

sunshine and warm breezes,

people to meet.

So here you are ……  meet Casablanca to Go!

(Click on photo to see fabrics.)

product photography by JTree Photo


Inspiration

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The beautiful vintage blue hanger and blue lavender filled vintage heart are SOLD – if you wanted them you are too late!

I bought them as a Birthday present from Helen at Henhouse.

If you want SERIOUS INSPIRATION – then just click here >

http://henhousehomemadeagain.blogspot.com

This is the second gift I have bought from Helen and I highly recommend her original and beautiful crafts.

Not only are they beautifully made but come beautifully gift wrapped – just ready to give away – if you can!

The above link will take you to the Henhouse blog – first enjoy a time just wandering around and being inspired.

Then click on her link to the Henhouse shop …… such lovely things :0)

Hope you visit – you won’t be disappointed!

20 Minuter

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I am an ardent follower of  Cathleen at http://mysewingserenity.blogspot.com

(look for Storybook House) and Lucy at http://attic24.typepad.com

If you haven’t yet discovered Lucy you MUST pop over to her attic!

Years ago there was a telly programme called “I Love Lucy.”  When you have been in the attic you will see why I, and many others, say : “We Love Lucy!”

Well, being there I realised again what fun little children can have with a little imagination and crocheted or patchworked blankets.  So that is my new intent for the grandchildren – they will have heaps of gorgeous blankets to make into tents, story houses, royal cloaks, camping in the garden or flying away on a magic carpet!

So with that intent in mind I have been a Happy 20 Minuter!

Following Lucy’s Hexagon tutorial I am making a start on my “Jewelled Crochet Blanket!”

Unfortunately it isn’t the gorgeous yarns that Lucy usually uses – just the ordinary stuff from the market – but I don’t think They will mind …. do you?

Soldier Quilts To Go!

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I am so happy to now have two quilts Ready to Go!

Whilst waiting to photo the first one, the second came along and was finished in time to post them both together  :0)

When I was growing up a favourite  record my Dad often played was “The Deck of Cards”  by T. Texas Tyler.

I have never forgotten this “story” and Googled to find the words – I am printing them to send along with every quilt I make.

It starts like this:

“The Cards” is set during World War II, where a group of Army soldiers, on a long hike during a campaign in southern Italy, had arrived and camped near a town named Cassino. While Scripture is being read, one boy who has only a deck of playing cards, pulls them out and spreads them in front of him. He is immediately spotted by a sergeant, who orders the soldier to put them away (thinking he’s playing cards in church). The soldier is then arrested and taken before the Provost Marshall to be punished.

The Provost Marshal demands an explanation, to which the soldier explains the significance of each card:

Ace: The one true God
Deuce: The Old Testament and New Testament in the Bible
Trey/Three: The Holy Trinity;  the Father,  the Son,  and the Holy Spirit/Ghost ………..”

The spoken word listened to over and over again is very memorable.

Another song my Dad loved was “There’s Always Room At Our House” by Guy Mitchell – singing of sharing hospitality.

My two sailor uncles used to sing “Clink Clink another Drink”  by Spick Jones and The City Slickers – but I think I’ll just include The Deck of Cards with my Quilts!

I was surprised that you can actually buy all of these “Oldies” on iTunes!

Inspiration

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Sometimes when you are just mooching about in Blogland you just happen to come across a Place that is Just So Inspiring, and you spend half an hour or more going from one page to the next and you don’t even notice how time flies!

Well that was me yesterday.

From “somewhere” I just “happened” across http://comfortstitching.typepad.co.uk/

And time just  W E N T!   It just  F L E W!

Aneela is a very proficient,  prolific and totally INSPIRING Mum who loves to quilt, sew, crochet, craft and is ALWAYS STITCHING!

I LOVE her site, I have happily wandered around the pages again today and I seem to keep finding  something else that makes me say:

“Oh, that is so nice” or

“I must have a go at that” or

“Wow! That is just gorgeous!”

The two tutorials here are just a few of the free tutorials she has so generously included in her blog.  I want to make a start on the little Blocky Munki quilt for my little J.

Girlswing text Blockymunkibutton

If you haven’t met up with Aneela yet ……. skip along for some serious INSPIRATION!

Think I’ll go and find my embroidery ring!

Send a Cow

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Do you remember The Butter Mountain?

and The Milk Lake?

News of starvation in Africa and farmers having to slaughter healthy cows for EU regulations?

Not today’s news, though it could well be.

No    ……     go back more than twenty years and  from these came the birth of Send a cow

Send a Cow was set up by a group of UK dairy farmers over 20 years ago. Outraged at EU milk quotas, which were forcing them to slaughter healthy dairy cows, and in response to an appeal from Uganda for milk, they embarked on a project, which was set to become an innovative and practical charity.

Uganda was just emerging from a long civil war, communities and their farmland had been destroyed and much of the country’s livestock wiped out.

Several of the UK farmers flew to Africa to investigate how they could help. Meeting with Ugandan farmers, the Bishop of Mukono, and a livestock expert, they saw how smallholder dairy farming in Africa could work. People there were unable to feed themselves and milk would provide an instant source of nutrition. They returned to the UK determined to help, and sent cows (some were pregnant)  from their own herds to Uganda by chartering an airplane.

Send a Cow was born.

From day one, we knew that we needed to help rebuild communities if providing livestock was going to work for the long term. Without strong support networks, and lots of training, people simply wouldn’t be able to manage a cow.

It quickly became clear that cow’s manure, rather than just the milk, would provide the long-term path out of poverty that communities so desperately needed. With 70% of Uganda’s poor struggling to survive on infertile soil, manure provided the vital ingredient for communities to improve their land and work their way out of poverty for good”.

Today, Send a Cow work in seven countries: Uganda, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Lesotho, Rwanda, Zambia and Kenya, and we source all livestock within Africa. Every person, family and community we work with receives training and ongoing support.

Read Margaret Kifuko’s story

“I treasure my manure!” says Margaret Kifuko from Uganda.  You can click to  Read Margaret Kifuko’s story

Find more about this exciting  charity at http://www.sendacow.org.uk/home

Soldiers Quilt

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What a privilege it has been to be able to make such a quilt!  I don’t know who will receive it, but I hope that he likes it.

As I look at the different fabrics (I can’t count how many)  I see handbags and quilts that I have made in the past. What makes up this quilt are the tiny strips of fabric that I had left in my “bits basket.” This kind of patching is known as “Strings.” There are many inspiring blogs with tutorials on how to piece these together – either paper backing or thin fabric backing.  I prefer to use a fabric backing as I don’t fancy taring off all the paper bits. Click on HeartStrings button for tutorials and String ideas.

Apparently String Quilting has a history going back to the early 1900’s in America.  I found some interesting comments:

“When quilters combined their scraps into a string quilt, it may have been nothing special to them. Yet, the quilts dazzle the eyes of outsiders and art collectors who see them as wall art today. When the country was enduring the Great Depression, women combined their scraps into string quilts, which were seen as utilitarian and still are.

The common thread in string and selvedge edge quilts, is that their popularity came about at the time of an economic downturn or a War, or both. The materials used in each were throw-aways being put to use, as a quilt or decoration for women’s homes, and they were there for the taking.

Women did then as they do now — they got creative and sewed together the fabrics they had, including scraps.”

That could relate to modern times!

An Old Fashioned String Quilt from the 1920-30’s

Wanda Pintar's string quilt

My own quilt is waiting for a photo – then posting off without delay!