Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Make Your Own Heat Bags

My little world has been in chaos as we change rooms about in our home and relocate my office/sewing & craft room - which also includes all of the things I sell online - so it is a huge task and I am surrounded by mess as I sort through everything.  It is a great opportunity to get rid of things I didn't even remember I had.  I'm finding the whole process very time consuming though and my crafting has been put on hold for awhile.
What I thought I would share with you today is how I made my heat bags.  I had a request from one lovely reader, asking how they were made.  If you remember reading my previous blog post about the school fete, these were something I made a lot of and they all sold really quickly.
Heat Bags are on the right side of the table
To make these I bought some heavier weight fabrics which would wear well - my choices were Corduroy and Furnishing Fabrics.  There are such a lot of lovely fabric designs available, so they key is to make them to look at attractive as possible.
Heatbags are really simple to make, they are just a large rectangle, sewn into 3 sections.  To begin with you need to cut 2 rectangles, one for the back and one for the front.  I used pattern fabrics on the front and plain co-ordinating colours on the back.  This was just so that I could stretch my patterned fabrics further.  If I was doing it for myself at home I would probably just used the same fabric for back and front.  My rectangles measured 7" x 15".  You can make these heat bags any size you like though.
The next step is to pin right sides together and sew around 3 sides of your rectangles, starting at one of the longest sides.  Leave one of the shorter sides open.  Turn to right side out.  Measure your  rectangle into three equal sections.  Now comes the tricky bit!  How to fill and sew the seams without the contents spilling everywhere!!! 

The idea is to fill the first 1/3 and then sew it right across to close it off, then continue again for the following two sections in the same way.  My greatest success came when I filled the first portion then pinned it completely closed and then sewed 1bout 1/4" from where I had pinned so that it was completely sewn shut.  The pinning helps keep the filling in place.  I used rice to fill mine - you could use wheat instead if you preferred - and if you like a little scent, add a drop of lavender oil to the rice.  When I reached the final end I tucked under the ends so that they would be completely enclosed inside and then proceeded to sew shut in the same way I did the other cross seams.

I know that it is really difficult to try and picture this without pictures of the sewing process, but I hope that if you look at the picture of the finished product you will be able to work it out okay.  These are the best heat bags and having those 3 even sections distributes the filling evenly and makes it so much more comfortable to use.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Yarn Sale ~ A New Crochet Project

For the last 8 weeks we have had major repairs being done to the inside of our house.  I will be so grateful when it is all done, but in the meantime, surviving the constant mess and chaos has been very difficult.  For someone who likes to be creative, not being able to access my sewing and craft supplies and then not being able to access any table space to actually work on either, well that has been challenging to say the least.  So in cases like this what does one do, well you look for alternatives of course!
Our local Craft store had a sale on this week and I found the most gorgeous and soft yarn in very pretty colours.  I couldn't resist buying some, even if I had tried - which I did not. 

I came away with two different colour variations and enough yarn to crochet some new ripple blankets - I am very addicted to the ripple pattern, I just love the way it looks.

So here is what I have started so far . . . and I am really loving the softness of this yarn, it feels so great as I crochet with it.

Crochet is the perfect thing to pick up and do anytime, anywhere and a great creative choice for a cooler winter's day!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Craft Stall - School Fete Update

Well this post has been a long time coming, it has been such a hectic month for me.  For those of you who may not have read my other blog entries, I have been busy running a craft stall for our annual school fete.  As I look back, I have learned so much and my confidence grew along the way.  From sourcing ideas for craft items to make (thanks to Pinterest) which we hoped would be popular and would sell well, to running craft workshops with helpers to make everything, and then the actual set up of the craft stall on our school fete day.  Overall it was a huge success, with an enormous effort by a lovely group of ladies who so generously gave of their time - none of whom I knew before, but now all of whom I consider new friends.

So, besides the craft items I have shared with you before,  here is a brief summary of some of the other things we made to sell.

Extra Large Magnetic Pegs - perfect to pin up things on the fridge!
Canvas wall art. 
Anything with Owls or a Paris/Eiffel Tower theme sold very quickly!!
Magnetic Post-It Note Pads
Handbag Cards with Soap inside
Lots of pretty Heat Bags

Cookie Cutter Pincushions

Lots of decorative word art

Handmade Cards, Cupcake Pincushions and
lots of pretty Bunting - this was popular!

Beautiful Floral Decoupage  & Painted Wooden Coat Hangers,
Crochet Flower Clips and Hats

Crochet Hanging Tea Towels - a lady makes these every year and
they sell so well,  always very popular. 
This year she made over 50 of them!

Lots of different types of bags, quilts, painted folk art and we even made Kewpie Dolls.

In case you don't know what they are - Kewpie Dolls are dolls on sticks which are very glittery and have frilly dresses.  These were a trip down memory lane for lots of us from our own childhoods.  They were always something you came home with from a show/fair.  Believe it or not, we sold every single one.
We were still setting up in this last picture, the towel rail didn't stay up on the trolley.  The real challenge of the day was the wind blowing, we ended up having to tie up the stand with bags on it to stop it from blowing over.
We had incredibly positive feedback about the craft stall on the day and judging by the amount that sold, it was worth all the time and effort we put into it.  I did have the best salesman on the day, my wonderful husband! He was very enthusiastic and charming and had people buying things without hesitation - a natural sales person.  The objective of the fete is to raise funds for the school and it was great to be a part of that.