Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Selfless Stitches

The last couple of weeks has seen an uncharacteristic period of selfless sewing and knitting.  Firstly, I was going up to Birmingham to celebrate my friend Sherri's birthday.  I wasn't sure what to get her, then I remembered she has a love of all things 'seaside' (maybe because she lives just about as far away from the sea as you can get on this little island?).  So, I decided to make another version of the bag I made with Jane which you can see a picture of HERE.  I found the perfect fabric - a canvas weight with seaside images 
I also found seaside-related pressies to go in the bag too.  No, not a bucket an spade - although I considered it - but a slightly more sophisticated choice of a scented candle and some caramel and seasalt choccies.
We had a great celebration party, organised by her lovely nephew Adam,
who, incidentally, I knew when he looked like this .. ..... (and that's me - with short hair!)

I admit though, that the celebrations couldn't commence until after I had dragged Sherri to another fabric emporium - well, she only lives a few miles away from Guthrie & Ghani, so it would have been rude not to!  I got some lovely fabric, including this brilliant typewriter fabric.  
True, I already have ONE typewriter dress, but you can always use another one.
Anyway, back to the selfless stitches, last week I suddenly remembered that I had sent in an application to enter an exhibit in the Eastern Region Embroiderer's Guild Festival of Stitch and owing to other events, if I didn't do it last week, it wouldn't get done.  So I did it!  Can't show you the finished piece yet, but its listed as a 'tattoo cushion' and includes this
I've also done a bit of selfless-knitting, for the worldwide Knit in Public Day event at the Creative Sanctuary in Hertford, making squares to be made into a blanket which will be auctioned for Alzheimers Society.  I did finished one square on the day
and I've made several more since (I even got my Mum to do a bit of knitting - first time for years)
I continued with the Knitting in Public theme and knitted on the train going up to Stratford to help out with the second batch of alterations of the Paralympic kit - Kym and I were joined by Jane too this time - the building we were working in isn't finished yet so we still had to wear the protective gear
We worked hard, for two days, in a huge warehouse with no windows - Jane said she felt like an extra from the Hunger Games, and when an alarm sounded we thought maybe the building had been infiltrated by aliens - but still we stitched ...
We did get out safely though, and the world was still there - and so was the best helter skelter ever -
Bit more selfless sewing to go, then, no doubt, I'll revert to type and it'll all be about me.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Olympic Stitching

A few months ago Kym and I were working together at the Creative Sanctuary in Hertford, when a lady came in and asked if we knew anyone who might like to volunteer to alter kit for Paralympians, due to compete at Rio 2016.  
Now, as a rule, Kym and I both run a mile - albeit not quickly enough to qualify for Rio ourselves - when anyone mentions the word 'alterations'.  Not only that, but by her own admission, Kym avoids sewing anything stretchy or slippy, so I was quite surprised to hear myself say "Oh yes, we'll do it!"
Consequently today saw us getting the early train to Stratford and wandering through the Westfield Shopping Centre (the shops were closed or it might have taken considerably longer) and over to a warehouse where the kit was being sorted.  The warehouse was still under construction, which meant that before we entered the building we had to be given Hi-Vis vests, steel toe capped boots, hard hats and goggles.  
I'm glad to say we didn't have to keep the Health and Safety gear on all the time we were sewing, only whilst making our way through the building
We haven't by any means done all the kit - only a small proportion of the competitors have been selected so far, so we will be going back to do more in a few weeks time. 
I'm wondering - does this mean we can say we've worked on Stella McCartney's latest collection?
Anyway, having finished all the measuring and pinning, stitching and cutting that could be done today, we had to put the same protective gear back on to make our way out again to go home.
Mmm, I don't think Stella McCartney designed THIS.  But it's a look that could catch on.