New manatee bags for FlintKids.org

While I was abroad this summer I visited the Wollmeise store in Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm: I’ll post more of a summary of the visit in a week or so when I’ve sorted out all my photographs.

For now, I wanted to post about an exciting fact: we’ve hit $1,500 in the fundraiser for the Flint Child Health Development Fund!

In celebration, and because some friends asked, I’ve added a new product to the shop: manatee drawstring bags.

CoralManateeTealManateeMustard Manatee

I’ve also added box bags to the shop for the very first time, starting with the manatee print.  They’re available lined in mustard, teal, or coral, just like the drawstring bags above.

BoxMustardOpen

I’m delighted to be able to turn my time and fabric into donations, and want to thank those of you who have been along for the ride.  I’m exploring getting my stitch markers into shops, and can’t wait to share a couple of non-fundraiser projects with you in the near future.

Sewing for Flint

I’ve been doing a lot of sewing recently, mostly project bags. Most are Spoonflower fabric, and all are repeatable.

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I’ve also made some new stitch markers.  The oak leaves are one-offs, but the little green balls glow in the dark, and I have other colors of those that I’ll be making up soon.

All are available (or custom-orderable) at KnitSpinQuilt on Etsy where all money raised through sales in February and March of 2016 are being directed to the Flint Child Health & Development Fund.

Since I last posted about this we’ve raised $317.50!

But – and here’s where I ask your indulgence – sending monetary aid isn’t enough.

Please, if the issue of lead levels as high as 4,000 parts per billion (it’s an emergency at 15 ppb!) scares you, if the idea of an un-elected “emergency manager” poisoning the water supply of an entire town who had no recourse, no way to vote him out of office makes you mad, write your elected officials!  If enough of us make enough noise, we can get Michigan’s government to move faster on this horrifying issue. If you don’t live in MI, you may not be able to write to those senators, but you can write your own and let them know you care and want them to care, too.

I’ve done so.  It’s a small thing, but it’s how our democracy is supposed to work.

In the mean time, however, I’m going to keep making things, donating my time and my stash to something that I truly believe is a national disaster and crisis.  With your help, if you like the things I make and buy them, we can do something small – and possibly something really meaningful – for the people of Flint, MI, who are really hurting.  And you get a nifty handmade gift out of it, too!

Finished bags Friday-Saturday

Both of these bags are custom orders for my JHU CTY Scholars Fundraiser — in short, I donate 100% of proceeds (not profits, all money) from my Etsy shop, KnitSpinQuilt in September and October to the JHU CTY Scholars Program.

This bag has a top and lining that match the light green geckos:
P1000819

This bag has a yellow lining to add a little visual pop — I chose a print in part because I’m out of bright yellow solids and in part because the orange matches the geckos on the outside.
P1000820

Both bags are made using In Color Order‘s Lined Drawstring Bag pattern, which I adore.

More bags this weekend, for sure, and maybe even some quilt piecing for another Strip and Flip quilt. :)

Work in Progress Wednesday

Linking up with WIP Wednesday today.

Or, “my sewing space is a complete mess, but I find it hilarious and even slightly restful.”

My room has been transformed from a bedroom into a piecing factory. My bed provides nearly all the space I need to lay out cut fabrics in sets as I prepare for piece-work:

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I’ve also spilled over onto the box that holds my blocking mats, which is right behind my sewing machine and a handy place to shove loose yardage:
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Then there’s the actual sewing. My trusty Brother straight-stitch machine is set up on the sewing table, as seen here:
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But it doesn’t like zippers much, so I’ve pulled out my old Euro-Pro machine, put the zipper foot on it, and set it up at a 90 degree angle on a folding table:
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Why so much piece-work? Well, I’m churning out bags for my Etsy shop! After all, fundraising through sales only works if there are things to sell.

All sales from my Etsy shop in September and October go toward a donation to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Scholars program, which sends bright kids to college classes, or to a summer 3-week academic program, as well as matching them up with mentors. It’s an excellent cause, focused on families who need the financial assistance, and I’m delighted to be able to help even a little bit.

Use code “KSQREADER” for a discount on anything you see in my Etsy shop — and feel free to message me, email me, or PM me on Ravelry (AlisaB) if there’s something I can make up custom for you!

Pre-MASW update

I’m going to the Massachusetts Sheep and Wool festival this weekend and decided to turn it into a long weekend out of town visiting friends.

And what do you do when you visit friends who knit? You bring them yarn they commissioned. (I sometimes spin for friends if they buy the fiber.)

First some Gotland handspun for a sweater:
Gotland_1

Then some Abstract Fibers Targhee in the colorway Bandon. My cat had claimed it, but fortunately the friend to whom it is going also has cats.
Cat_Bandon_Targhee
Bandon_Targhee

I also brought them houseguest presents, as one does.

An Avengers knitting bag with a yellow lining for Iron Man:
AvengersBag

Ladybird stitch markers:
SM_Ladybirds

[AVENGERS BAG]

One (unexpected!) finished project

We recycle plastic bags, and the plastic bag full of plastic bags hanging on a door handle have been getting on my nerves. So I did a little digging online, checked a couple of tutorials for ideas, and made a plastic-bag holding tube!

I started off with a fat quarter, and backed it with fusible fleece. I picked fleece because I wanted a little extra sturdiness to the bag, and the roughness of the fleece on the inside of the tube should help keep the bags in place better than a smoother interfacing.
fusible-fleece-fat-quarter

I cut off three inches from the long side of the fat quarter, to make a narrower tube. I sewed that 3″ strip into a tube (wrong-sides out) and turned it right-side-out to use as a loop for hanging the bag. Next time I do this, I’m cutting the 3″ strip off first, and then fusing on the fleece. Turning a 1 1/2″ tube that’s backed with fusible fleece inside-out was really exasperating.

Then I dug into my scrap box, cut two pieces of black fabric 2″ x 15″ and made them into 3/4″ draw-string tubes at the top and bottom of the soon-to-be tube.

WithEdging

Two pieces of elastic later, (8″ on the bottom, for a small opening, 12″ on the top, to make putting bags in easier) I sewed the whole thing up the side, and flipped it right-side out, and ta-da!

all-done

Now it lives in the coat closet, where it hangs very nicely on one side and is up high enough that we can all reach it easily, and the best part? It doesn’t clutter up the hallway anymore.

Organization! It’s a wonderful, if short-lived thing.

I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning and organizing and getting-rid-of-stuff over this winter break. I culled something over seventy books from my overcrowded bookshelves, which means that the books I own now fit on my bookshelves without stacks on the floor for the first time since I moved back to NYC. (Some of them are still double-shelved, but shh, that totally doesn’t count.) I left the bookshelf-bit in this photograph, which is theoretically all about the fabric stash in the top half. You can see all the books! I am irrationally happy about this.

Bookcase+StashJan2013

I also took the opportunity to re-organize my fabric, which is now organized by color, as well as by cut size (more than 3-yard cuts are all in one place), and my sewing cart, which has made getting to things a lot easier, as well as giving me a bigger box for scraps (which is amusing, since right now I’m at probably the lowest level of scraps I’ve been at in months, what with the Scrappy Trip quilt decimating my scraps. Even the contents of the fat quarter box are really organized! The pieces stuck in the left side are long quarters, so I don’t pull something and then get all disappointed when I realize that, no, I can’t cut a 17″x15″ piece from a long quarter-yard.

FatQuarterBoxJan2013

But I also got some fabric in the mail, as belated Christmas presents. I didn’t photograph much of it, but I couldn’t help but get a picture of the Pearl Bracelets fat quarter set that I got from Stash Modern Fabric. Look, isn’t it pretty? All the colors! I love this print so much.

PearlBraceletsFQs

I couldn’t resist pulling some of it right away — cosmonaut, anchor, and river bend are the colors I chose — and I made these three fabric boxes using a tutorial on The Sometimes Crafter.

AllThreeBluePearls2

I used an iron-on interfacing (Pellon 809, which is really stiff) instead of sewing in interfacing, and I think it’s working out pretty well. I pinned them carefully, with vertical pins at each corner, to hold things in place and horizontal pins for three sides, so I wouldn’t have to pull out the pins while I was sewing. I marked the turning hole with vertical pins, because I have been known to sew all the way around something and only then realize that I needed to leave part of it open to turn the project right-side-out.

MidBluePinned

Ironing them square was really fun, though I didn’t take any pictures of that stage. There’s a good tutorial on The Sometimes Crafter.

I’m using them to hold leaders and enders (light in the light box, dark in the dark, sewn pairs in the medium blue box), and I’ve already emptied the medium blue box once, because it was full of paired ones, and I needed more space!

BluePearlsInUse

These are actually my first finish of the year, so I’ve added a picture of them to the 2013 Finish-A-Long Flickr pool.

Finally, because I found it tremendously amusing, have a picture of my cat, Clio, attempting to supervise my sewing while I worked on the Scrappy Trip quilt. (She’s just next to the computer, which plays music or audiobooks while I’m working.)
ClioHelping