Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Potspie's new shirt thing.

It has been a very long time since I made Potspie anything.  So I thought I would.  We go down to Kenya for some meetings tonight, and will be there for a week and half, and it will be colder than here, so the idea is she could wear it over a long-sleeved T-shirt.

I really enjoyed making this - I had gotten stuck-in-a-rut on a quilt (that I think I will just scrap actually!) and had been forcing myself not to start anything new till it was finished.   The result being that not much sewing was happening, such was my unenthusiasm for finishing it!  So, I decided to just leave it and make something fun, quick, and that used lots of nice fabric that I've been a bit paranoid about using 'cos I like it too much and don't want to use it all up, so end up never using it. (How silly is that!) (It doesn't help that being in Sudan I really can't buy 'more of the same', or even cotton print fabric...)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Tree

I haven't done any sewing for ages because we've all been sick with colds, coughs, tummy bugs, sinus headaches.... a long list of yucky things...

But, before we got sick we decided to find a Christmas tree. They do sell (fake ones here) but they cost loads of money and are bad quality.

Steps to getting a Christmas Tree:

1.  Notice neighbours (extremely) pruning their tree..
(Their tree is the brown sticking up dead looking tree in the background.)

2.  Ask neighbours if we can use part of their tree.

 3. Attach the base of a standalone fan
 4.  Put in corner and  decorate (going for the more is more style of decorating)

Well, I like it anyway!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I made potholders.

They are a birthday present for a friend.  They both have checks one side and birds the other.  The birds I got from JoAnn fabric when I was in the states. I went to the fabric measuring counter to do a price check, but it was too expensive, so I was going to leave it. Then the lady behind me gave me a 40% off voucher - which was very kind of her since I didn't know her - so I bought some. YAY.
Thank you very nice lady who I don't know!

I made bread, again, many times...
because it's fun, useful and EASY!   I can't believe I had so many problems before!

Friday, November 20, 2009


1 table top  - new and bigger - (thanks to my skilfull husband)
   The old top supports the new one!

2 loaves of homemade bread  (er.. one got eaten before i could photograph it!)

3 neighbours (who are very smiley but not in photos!)

4 very old pyramids

5 days and this chair WILL be finished (and will be used as a chair instead of dump everything place!)

6 guys on the back of a pickup truck

7 flowers (made into a lavender bag)

8 legs

9 patch (disappearing) made a while ago

10 cookies

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Little bag to keep things in and an almost quilt.

This is a present for a friend...
It's a little bag to keep things in. It's kind of reversible.  It looks much better in real life.
At one point I even used a ruler to measure where to 'box' the corners. That's quite an event for me!

This is a quilt top that needs quilting somehow. Not sure how to do it. Might try to do wavy lines (in one direction)  by machine all over it.  Gulp. Not used machine to do that before! (Tying and hand quilting didn't work! )

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fabric here.

Someone asked if I can buy fabric here....yes and no.

Yes in the market there is lots of fabric...but I don't buy so much here.
Most of the fabric here is non-cotton, ugly or if it has a nice pattern is polyester/nylon, flimsy, very loose weave stuff.  This last Tuesday we went to the market, and I bought 3 scarves - which I will probably use for sewing instead of headscarves - they are very very loose weave flimsy things so i will have to do something to them before i sew with them.

this one below is more satiny type material....

It is also very expensive compared to US/UK (I am a walmart cheapo/joann fabric bargains type girl!).You can buy polycotton sheets in the market, that aren't too bad, but i think i prefer to save the money and buy when we go overseas somewhere.  I did buy a couple of jellabiyas (house dresses) soley for the fabric and made a little dress for Potspie with one, and when foreigners are having yard sales I can sometimes buy cotton clothing that can be made into things.

Matt, when he was down in Juba (near Kenya) bought me 5 METRES of one fabric (it sort of came that length apparantly) :-)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

More stuff I made a while ago so it's getting lumped together in one post :-)

Quilt for Potspie - the first quilt  I finished. There was another one unfinished at this time.  It doesn't have batting, just a double layer of sheet in the middle - (too hot here for batting!)

Quilt for Chops - it looks a bit too 'Christmasy', but he likes it and that's what matters - the Snoopy footballers are some fabric my Mum gave me. This quilt confirmed that I don't like sewing in straight lines so much. (And yes, there's that bed in the background again!)

And this I did when I was about 8.  We made them at school.  :-)
Somewhen, about the same time, my Mum gave me a sewing basket.
I still have it.
I used to love making dolls clothes.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Two little projects last week....

Number 1.
Well my kitchen here would fall under the 'somewhat basic' category.  For ages we have had a sideboard with no doors or usable drawers. It was painted about 6 months ago (see before glimpse below!) - and finally i got around to putting a bit of material on it. Also the kitchen floor was truly nasty - bleach cleaned but still very yucky. So I painted it. That still needs finishing, but I'm much happier letting Chops crawl on it now.

before...(last christmas)...


with lovely 'spices and stuff' shelves Matt made

Number 2.
I made a water carrier for Matt. He is off in Juba (South Sudan - we live in the North) for the week - so I wanted to get it finished before he left.  Its padded etc so it should keep his drink cool.

Oops there's a number 3..

I am making a mat for the table (but its only nearly finished - not finished!)

Monday, October 26, 2009

If only cloth could talk ...

Before we were married (or even dating) my husband bought a wall hanging in Kenya.
I think it is made of old saris/scarves or something like that, and is from somewhere like India or Bangladesh -  but I'm not sure...
I think it is made from whatever colours they have and is then dyed (in this case red).

At first I didn't like it but more recently I've been looking at it more closely, wondering who wore these different pieces of cloth and what the story of the fabrics in it is. Now I really like it!
If only cloth could talk...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Quick Quilt

Well I spent alot of time looking at the Quilt Festival Quilts (so many really nice ones - lots of inspiration - i had lots of fun looking!) .... then internet went down ..... then power cuts... finally here I am again!

This week I made an quilt for a 'sudden' baby shower.  I had planned to make a little quilt for this baby, but had to accelerate my plans rather quickly!

It was fun to make as I never made one so quickly or simply!  However there are a gazillion things that I would change/do differently next time I make one like this - mainly to do with machine sewing.

I was pleased how the binding turned out as I did the 'make your own bias binding' thing.
The animal /spotty fabric is Ikea (again)(bought when we were in the states this summer). I appliqued some of them on and the others are just the fabric.
These are my favourite drivers!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Things I haven't quite finished...

Well, I like making stuff but sometimes it doesn't quite get finished...
I'm not very good at following patterns and I think half the fun is making it up as you go along.
In fact often when I try to do straight lines, follow patterns etc it ends up looking pretty er..well rubbish would be a good description.  Here are some things that I am enjoying and have enjoyed doing....

This crochet I started about a week ago and I'm doing pretty good at keeping going with it.  I think my plan is just to keep going and see how big I can make it...

I learnt to crochet when I was about 10 for a school project, but haven't done any since then, so I sort of had to reteach myself.  I think I need to work out what the stiches I do are 'officially' called so then I can follow some of the free patterns online.  The hook is a size 'n'.  So it grows quite easily!

This is going to be a big cushion. I started it ages ago (well 4yrs ago) when i was visiting my parents in the UK. My mum let me use some of her many coloured embroidery threads so I just started sewing flowers. It's a bad photo (needs ironing etc), but hopefully you get the idea.

For a few years it stayed in England and then about 2 yrs ago it made the trip to the US and then a year ago to here!  The fabric is fake suede stuff. And I will just keep on sewing flowers on until it's all filled up.

This I also did a few years ago.  I once went to Liberty (in London) and ogled over their fabrics and bought 2 bits of Kaffe Fasset stripey fabric.  I kind of like how it looks on the stripey sheet thing (kikoy) underneath.
The trees are 3D with thread and beads. I think it will be a cushion. But it would get destroyed very quickly here, so I'm not sure what to do with it.  Anyone have any ideas?