ScrapHappy April

This month’s ScrapHappy make is a “no-sew” shopping bag that involved a lot of sewing. I mentioned this creation in my post about craftivism the other day, but it’s finished now and I’m quite pleased with it.

The bag itself is simply an ancient t-shirt that has been cut and knotted, but because my intention was to use it for our craftivism display, I decided to do a little felt applique. I raided my box of felt scraps and cut out the letters I wanted by eye (some from really rather small felt bits), dug out some old embroidery thread and set to. I did the applique before tying the base of the bag so that holding the fabric was easier and allowing me to keep it flat, and here is the finished bag:

If you fancy making a t-shirt bag, they take about 10 minutes to create if you don’t get carried away with the decorations. All you need is an old t-shirt – remember it’s going to have to hold stuff, so if it’s full of holes or nearly worn through it’s probably better to turn it into cleaning cloths.

First lay it out on a flat surface and cut off the sleeves:

Next, cut the neck either into a V (as shown below), or into a U-shape (as I did with the appliqued) one:

Now, make sure it’s completely flat and lay a tape measure across the t-shirt about 10 cm from the bottom (adjust to make the tassels and bag the desired lengths, remembering that your bag will stretch if you use it to carry heavy things):

Cut through both layers of fabric up to the tape measure (taking care not to cut the tape!) to make tassels each about 2cm wide:

Finally, tie the pairs of tassels (one from the front and the corresponding one from the back) together with a firm double knot:

And that’s it – a t-shirt tote bag:

Ideal for yarn storage!

I must credit Joanne Harold for showing me how to make these bags – thanks Jo!

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) Scrap Happy posts by Kate, who provides links to other (mostly sewing) Scrap Happy bloggers at Tall Tales from Chiconia on the fifteenth of every month… do check them out.

 

It’s all for charity..

I felt compelled to make some bunting to decorate the cake table with

I felt compelled to make some bunting to decorate the cake table with

I did mention a little while ago that once the Masterpiece was finished, I would be moving on to another community craft project and you may have read my earlier post describing it. Basically, in order to raise funds for Denmark Farm, the educational charity that I am a trustee for, we have organised a series of ‘Cake and Craft’ events, at which we eat cake, knit and crochet. The plan is that our creations will be raffled off later in the year to raise funds. In the mean time, every few weeks, we have a wonderful, sociable get-together.

The first project is about making squares (like the ones for the masterpiece) with the intention of turning these into one or more blankets. As you can see, we are getting a good collection:

We have decided to make a traditional granny squares blanket with some of them and these are being edged in black to be stitched together soon. After that we’ll put together a more eclectic mix (more like the masterpiece) for a second blanket. We also plan to needle felt a large tree onto a cream-coloured wool blanket to make a tree of life, with appliquéd leaves, flowers, birds, bugs that have been sewn, knitted or crocheted.

Katy's hexagons

Katy’s hexagons

Then the other day I went to visit Katy the Night Owl and she donated a big pile of crochet hexagons to the project… I think these are going to be made into a baby blanket  or a lap blanket. Obviously, for a raffle, the more prizes we have the better, so I’m really hoping that there will be even more creations. in fact, I have noticed that we some squares that are bigger than 15cm/6 inches, and I’d love to use these (with additions) to produce a much more random blanket, with squares of all sorts of sizes.

If you are in the area, we’d be delighted to welcome you to any of the sessions (you can check details on our Facebook Page) and if not, we’d love donations of squares, additions to the tree of life or completed crafted items that we could include in the raffle. Is anyone up for it… I know you are all so generous!

If you come along, I can promise deliciousness!

If you come along, I can promise deliciousness!

Calling time… and starter’s orders

Circle of friends on the left and the beginning of a shell stitch square on the right... both with yarn from Katy the Night Owl

Circle of friends on the left and the beginning of a shell stitch square on the right… both with yarn from Katy the Night Owl

It will soon be time to collect in the last of the masterpiece squares… a few more weeks and that will have to be the end. I’m expecting quite a few more to arrive before then, though. Yesterday I finished adding Flo’s squares, and I have a small collection of others that are edged but not yet stitched in. Plus, I keep getting inspired to make another square or two myself – currently a ‘circle of friends‘ square and a shell pattern square using yarn that Katy the Night Owl gave me on Wednesday (I wanted to mark our meeting within the masterpiece). Once all of the contributions and additions are stitched together I’ll be crocheting a border around the whole blanket to finish it off prettily… any suggestions for stitches to use gratefully received (I’ve made sure I have lots of yarn) as it’s not something that I have done before and I am dithering somewhat. If any squares do arrive after the blanket is completed, I’ll make a cushion to add to the set for extra comfort when I’m snuggled up thinking about my lovely friends who contributed.

The whole experience of creating a community work of art has been so inspiring to me, though, that I don’t want it to end. I will miss all the support and messages, not to mention the packages arriving through the mail. And so, as one lovely project ends, I have decided to embark on a new one… and you, dear readers, are amongst the first to know.

The current state of the masterpiece

The current state of the masterpiece

In order to raise some money for the wonderful Denmark Farm, I am going to encourage our local community, and those further afield who want to support us, to create some blankets to raffle off. We are going to have a series of ‘Cake and Craft’ afternoons (the first being on 23 April) where people can come along and make squares or embellishments. We’ll be skill-sharing, making friends and raising money all at the same time, as well as drinking tea and eating cake. For those who can’t actually come along, we’ll be accepting donations of yarn or additions to the blankets. I’m hoping that some of our local groups and organisations, like the WI, may want to contribute too. To make it all as inclusive as possible, rather than just asking for knitted and crochet squares (although these will be welcome), I’m planning an applique tree of life blanket too. This is inspired by Kate Chiconi’s quilt, but will be stitched onto a woolly blanket and will include felt, embroidery, knitting, crochet… anything the makers feel like. I’m still firming up details, but hopefully this new challenge will be another fun way to use crafts to draw together a community and have a positive impact on the world… ah, yes, craftivism again.

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