Showing posts with label upcycling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label upcycling. Show all posts

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Up-cycled Table Runner Peg Bag - Praise to Interim Solutions

This time of the year I should blog about the mobile phone cover or the pillow cases I intend to sew as Christmas presents, but as I somehow do not get to sit down to actually sew them, there is nothing to show yet. So let me share an up-cycling holiday project with you instead.

DIY, peg bag, flower applique, embroidery, up-cycling, Puppilalla

I spent a holiday visiting friends in Fleet, Hampshire in the Summer of 2014 and with time galore on my hands, took to playing around with my friend’s sewing machine. I had found an embroidered table runner, the likes my granny used to have, in a local charity shop and decided to free the bread basket of its existence as interim solution for storing clothes-pegs. When my friends moved back to the UK from Berlin said basket ended up as laundry aid in absence of a peg bag - merely as a temporary solution mind you… Well, we all know how these stories tend to go.

Therefore, I decided to convert the table runner into a peg bag. Once I had decided the final size of the bag and where I wanted the opening to be, I looked through my friend's fabric scraps for suitable pieces to do a bit of flower appliqué and ‘thread sketching’ on the fabric.

DIY, peg bag, flower applique, embroidery, up-cycling, Puppilalla, design process

As the old embroidery was in good condition I decided to preserve parts of it. For the inner lining I used some white fabric with soft pink polka dots. Then I deposited a metal coat hanger in the airing cupboard and bend it, once it was thoroughly warmed, into the shape I required for the peg bag.

DIY, peg bag, flower applique, embroidery, up-cycling, Puppilalla

These are work-in-progress pictures. I am missing one of the finished product. Unfortunately, I had to leave before I could add some binding to the opening and before giving it a final thorough press, hence the crinkly looking pictures. My friends however liked my impromptu up-cycled laundry aid, especially as this one can be hung from the laundry rack.

PS: The bread basket has been repatriated to the kitchen but I have no current information as to its subsequent fate.


Monday, 23 November 2015

‘mini decki’ Charity Up-date - 27 Blankets in 5 Hours

There was a ‘mini decki’ sewing get-together on Saturday, which I attended. One of the Berlin area coordinators, generously offered to pick me up so that I would not have to lug my sewing machine around town on public transport. We were eight volunteers and managed to sew 27 blankets in about 5 hours.

mini decki, Kuscheldecken für Flüchtlingskinder, charity project, blankets, refugee children

Where the refugee relief action is concerned there is so much to do and so little time to do it in, winter having arrived. Yesterday we had the first snow. Since the project kicked off in Berlin in September, 237 blankets have been sewn and handed over in conjunction with other charitable organisations like the Johanniter and the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB) to refugee children at several refugee centres. 

250 more blankets are currently still required and the number is steadily increasing. Before Christmas three more dates in three different places have been scheduled to hand out the blankets.
mini decki, Hilfsaktion, Decken, Flüchtlingskinder, refugee children, charity, blankets

I realized that I also had not yet reported back if I had actually attended the monthly meeting of the Berlin Modern Quilt Guild or not. I have to confess, I stayed on the couch in September, as I could not face the outside world after a late night out but I went to the October meeting.

The Berlin Modern Quilt Guild is made up of about only 20 member, yes, you heard right. Unfortunately, the guild’s blog is nothing to look at the moment as it has fallen into disrepair and is no longer maintained, although some individual members have social media outlets of their own. The guild ‘members’ attend occasionally to work on either private projects or on something the group agreed.

The meeting took place in a privately rented basement space that has been converted into a sewing studio and was only attended by two members of their ‘regular’ group, myself and another curious new quilter. I cannot show you any pictures of the place as I felt it would have been in-opportune for a first time attendee to wipe out the camera in order to snap pictures for a blog. On the day itself I worked on further blocks for my Tessellation style pillowcase and made good progress. The guild’s November meeting was cancelled but there will be a meeting in December, which I will try to attend (with the view to finish the pillowcase at some point  =)

That other new quilter there that day turned out to be one of the three ‘mini decki’ refugee relief action coordinators for the Berlin area, who took the opportunity to explain the entirely privately organised and facilitated charity project to us. This is how I came to sewing in support of refugee children in Berlin. And the next sewing 'mini decki' get-together will not be until after Christmas now.

Monday, 2 November 2015

'mini decki' Relief Action - Comfort Blankets for Refugee Children

So here they are. I have completed two blankets for the charity project 'Mini Decki' that hopes to provide comfort blankets for all refugee children that will have arrived in Germany by the end of this year. 'Mini Decki' is a private initiative carried by volunteers all over the country and supported by private and commercial donors. 

The blankets are meant to provide warmth and a feeling of security for these children who had to flee their home countries due to terrible circumstances, who are dispossessed and who are facing an insecure future. 

Mini decki refugee relief project finished comfort blankets Puppilalla

One of the Berlin area coordinators dropped by with a few fabric donations at my apartment last week. From a children's pillowcase, some yards of red fabric, a bed sheet and a duvet, I made two blankets measuring 100 cm x 140 cm. 

Mini decki refugee relief project fabric donations for comfort blankets Puppilalla

While the blankets are ideally meant to be cheerful and pretty the main focus actually lies on their speedy realisation in order to be able to achieve the required numbers. Therefore, I completed mine within a day. I will drop off the blankets at the collecting point this week, where they will be labelled with the 'mini decki' project label before being distributed to one of the many refugee centres. 

Last Saturday 24 more blankets were completed by a number of Berlin based volunteers.

Each blanket will be accompanied by a card providing information about the project in English, French, Italian, Tigrinya, Farsi and Arabic. Requests for more blankets from associations and institutions consigned to organise the refugees and facilitate their accommodation in Berlin keep coming in left, right and centre. Time permitting, I will try to get some more blankets sewn or to make time to join the next sewing workshop. 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

‚mini decki‘ – Kuscheldecken für Flüchtlingskinder – Hilfsaufruf

Jedem Flüchtlingskind eine eigene Kuscheldecke!

Helft der Aktion ‚mini decki‘ – Bettdecken für Flüchtlingskinder. Die Bundesregierung rechnet im Jahr 2015 mit bis zu 800.000 neuen Asylbewerbern in Deutschland. Es waren weltweit noch nie so viele Menschen auf der Flucht vor Krieg und Not wie im letzten Jahr. Die meisten von ihnen sind als Flüchtlinge monatelang unterwegs, haben Familienmitglieder verloren oder zurücklassen müssen, besitzen nicht mehr als das, was sie in einer Tasche haben transportieren können und sehen einer ungewissen Zukunft entgegen. Wie in allen Konflikten und Krisen trifft es die Kinder am härtesten.

Um Kindern in der Fremde ein kleines Stück Geborgenheit ermöglichen zu können, hat die Schweizerin Simone Maurer das Projekt ‚mini decki‘ ins Leben gerufen. Die Bezeichnung ‚mini decki‘ ist Schwyzerdütsch und bedeutet „meine Decke“. Die Idee ist es aus Bettwäschespenden Kuscheldecken für jedes einzelne Flüchtlingskind zu nähen. Das Projekt erkennt an, dass eine Decke nicht einfach nur ein Stück Stoff ist, sondern sehr viel mehr bedeutet. Eine Decke vermittelt Wärme und Geborgenheit,  bietet Schutz und schafft in der Fremde ein Stück zu Hause und steht damit für all jene essentiellen Dinge, die diese Kinder seit ihrer Flucht haben entbehren müssen. 

Damit jedes Flüchtlingskind eine eigene Decke bekommen kann, braucht es also unsere Hilfe. 

Auf der Mini Decki Deutschland Webseite kann man sich umfassend zur Aktion informieren, sowie die Ansprechpartner der regionalen Actionteams finden.

Benötigt werden:
Bettwäsche- und Stoffspenden - gebraucht oder neu, mit Kindermotiven oder anderen bunten Mustern - ACHTUNG: Die Stoffe müssen bei mindestens 60 Grad in der Maschine waschbar sein, sowie Bettdecken / Inletts 

Ehrenamtliches Engagement - Lokal aktiv werden:  beim Nähen, Sammeln von Sachspenden, dem Organisieren einer ‚Mini Decki‘ - Nähaktion vor Ort etc. 
Informiert euch und lasst uns zusammen helfen!

Hier beispielsweise die von mir genähten Decken.

*Charity project – comfort blankets for refugee children. The charity project ‚mini decki‘ aims to provide all refugee children with a blanket of their own. The blanket is meant to provide warmth and a feeling of security for these children who had to flee their home countries due to terrible circumstances and who are facing an insecure future. Dispensable bed linen, preferably in cheerful colours, donated fabrics and batting are to be turned into comfort blankets for children in refugee centres across the country. Volunteers and donations are welcome.*

Monday, 7 September 2015

A Vintage Handkerchief Patchwork Baby Quilt

Looking around the Internet, I am always amazed what fabulous projects and ideas people come up with. Like for example using vintage hankies to make pretty baby quilts. My particular favorite is the 'Vintage Hankie Quilt' by Polkadotchair

With this kind of stimulation, I felt rather inspired to make my own version, which I am happy to share with you here. I love the idea of using things that somehow lost their utility and by re-purposing them, giving them a second life.

Puppilalla Design Vintage Handkerchief Patchwork Baby Quilt

The children’s handkerchiefs I had were different sizes and weights and it took me a while to decide how, I wanted to go about using them. I considered trimming all of them to the same size but that would have meant to loose a lot of the pretty borders.

For a while I though about including sashing to individually present each motive but abandoned that idea because it felt too staged.

Puppilalla Design Vintage Handkerchief Patchwork Baby Quilt Blanket

In the end, I left the hankies pretty much as they were and merely placed them in a way as to allow each one to shine as much as possible. I reasoned that a baby and later a toddler would come at the blanket from all sides. Therefore, I allowed the motives to face into different directions so there would always be a picture to discover.

Puppilalla Design Vintage Handkerchief Patchwork Baby Quilt

The hankies that were smaller than the others were applied to bigger fabric squares and the handkerchiefs that were thinner - or as the quilter says, of an even lighter weight – than the others were backed with a neutral fabric. I also merely aligned the rows rather than forcing the corners to match up.

Puppilalla Design Vintage Handkerchief Patchwork Baby Quilt
For the backing - of which I have managed not to shoot a single decent picture - I used a length of a basic yellow and some orange, pink and yellow Kaffe Fassett fabic I had left over form another project. On this picture you can see some of it peeking out at the corners.

Vintage Handkerchief Patchwork Baby Quilt Puppilalla Design

Except for that dark orange polka dot fabric that I also made the binding from and the border of birdies, all other fabric pieces are actually former handkerchiefs.

I grant you that the resulting quilt is not a subtle one but that was not the intention anyway. I was aiming for a loud, happy and colourful blanket that a child would have fun playing with.

Puppilalla Design Vintage Handkerchief Patchwork Baby Quilt
I love the idea of giving some old and unused handkerchiefs a new life in form of a patchwork quilt. I still have a few hankies left and am sorely tempted to make another such baby blanket soon… alas none of my friends are pregnant just now      =)

Thanks for stepping by and reading along. I guess I will be spending some time and future blog entries to share previously finished patchwork and quilting projects with you. Feel free to comment and to let me know what you liked or might have done differently.