Friday, August 11, 2017

Sewing Lessons

I have been super busy sewing, but not so busy posting. It's time to catch up! Last fall I started teaching my friend Sylvia to sew. We were planning a mission trip to Uganda and would teaching the women, so Sylvia needed to become confident in her sewing skills as well. She is a great learning and picked things up quickly. I think we started off by making some simple bags and then moved on to skirts, dresses, and tops. These were all clothes we needed for our trip.
Now she's a sewing maniac like I am, and we have lots of fun working on our sewing projects.

This summer, her daughter Gabby, who is an athlete, tore her meniscus during one of her workouts. She had to have surgery and stay off her leg for awhile. She expressed an interest in wanting to learn to sew and wanted to make a Kimono type cover-up/ jacket. I remembered that there was a cute Kimono pattern in Seamwork magazine, and when I showed it to her, she loved it.
You might notice that she is using my grand daughter's Janome "Hello Kitty" sewing machine, and she loves it!

 She ordered some fabric online, so as we were waiting for that to come in, I taught her how to make an apron. She really adapted quickly and did a great job on her apron.
Look at what a good job she did on all of that double fold bias trim!

Next, we made a trip to JoAnns and she found some black lazar-cut lace that she liked and a floral print. I'm telling you, this girl is the Kimono expert! She eliminated the ties and shortened the length. Super cute!

Gabby's going back to school next week, but thank goodness I still have Sylvia as a sewing buddy!

African Quilt for Children's Home

On my last trip to Uganda in January, Sylvia and I were fortunate enough to spend some time with orphans at the children's home in Gulu.  The day before we went to the home, we were asked to make a quilt to be hung on the wall.  A quilt!  And they wanted us to be able to do it in less than 4 days.  We were a bit shocked and frustrated.  The man who wanted us to do this was an American and knew before we even arrived that this was the plan, but he neglected to let us know.  We had no rotary tools, or any other quilting supplies.  We said we would do our best, but couldn't promise to finish it. We were asked to have a square for each child that he/she decorated.  Well, we had no fabric pens and nowhere to get them.  The only thing to be found were some "permanent" markers that bled all over the place.  I was so sad to see how the colors ran.  We didn't do so hot at cutting straight panels since we didn't even have any kind of ruler or straight edge.  It was almost hilarious to see us trying to cut fabric on a rickety, uneven, and dirty picnic table with nothing but our flashlights for light.  I should have know right then and there to stop the plan, but we were determined to give it our best.
We had brought a new sewing machine with us from Jinja, so at least we could try to get everything done for the top so they could have something to see.

We had the children work on making pictures and we took them ( the pictures, not the children!) back to our "hotel".

Uganda Quilt project
Uganda Quilt project

Uganda Quilt project

Well, then the storms came.  We had no electricity for the next 3 days.  Not only could we not sew, it was raining and the only place we had to work was outside.  At this point, we decided that we had no other choice but to take it home and finish the quilt.  We've been home for almost 6 months and we finally finished the quilt. I am so thankful that my friend Sylvia was with me on this trip. Not only did she help with teaching and everything else we did, she was a great encouragement and helped me get this quilt finished!  I am anxious now to get this sent off and back to the children in Gulu.
Uganda quit for children's home in Gulu

Uganda quit for children's home in Gulu

Finished quilt

and the back...
Uganda quit for children's home in Gulu

I know the kids will love this and it will certainly brighten up their main meeting room. I love it so much, I'd love to keep it. But it will mean so much more to them. I can't wait to hear how they react to seeing their finished product.