Friday, 26 September 2014

Off to do some celebrating.

Andy is 60 soon. We met when he was 19,,,,! Where have those years gone? So we are going away to celebrate such an important milestone . We are going to eat pasta,pizza and gelato and sample the odd glass of vino collapso ! So excuse me for leaving you and I send my love to every follower I have. The comments of late have warmed the cockles of my heart.

Happy Birthday Andy!




Wednesday, 24 September 2014

What I have shared and learnt this September.

I vividly remember my upbringing. It was far from perfect but my goodness it has equipped me well for life.

I look back and realise that as I was making my way through my early years I learnt so much. Not necessarily in a prescriptive way. Because the freedom I was given meant I had to make decisions early on. One of those decisions involved what to do with my time. There was plenty of it in the 50's. We did not even have a TV until I was 11. One of the greatest lessons was that you soon realised that you gained nothing by moaning or whining. Such miserable behaviour was totally ignored. In fact in many ways I think my brothers and I were often ignored. Very much loved but expected to get on with things. Not at meal times,bath time or bedtime but for most of the day we were expected to have a plan ! A plan which involved entertaining ourselves and keeping out of the way!!


And in my adult years I have come to realise that my brothers and I live like that. We always seem to have a "plan." All kinds of plans. But we are never bored . And this has been so true this September. This project to " Share a Shirt" has been brilliant. I have loved having a focus. It has been fun and rewarding. And whilst I have been sewing I have been thinking.


Questions... Can 1 person really make a difference?



Is such a small contribution going to be any more than a drop in the ocean?



Of course I do not know the answers to these questions, and others that have been whirling around in my head. But I have not been alone. I have not been the only person dropping goodness into this ocean of humanity of ours. Help has come in so many ways. Friends have been inspired by the idea of sharing goodness this September. Shirts have popped onto my mat, friends have delivered them, people have sent pennies to buy thread and pillow pads. Zips have arrived and mandalas worked. Friends have cut out fabric,made labels and tea! And the sweetest little gifts have been sent just for me!

And I have enjoyed every minute. The charity shops have been delighted with the parcels arriving. One day I was waiting to give my Gift Aid Card with my last delivery and I heard people talking about the little handmade things I had delivered the week before. The lady in the shop agreed it was lovely to see "Hand Crafted " goods made from such pretty materials and I was thrilled when she declared " they have been selling like hot cakes!


So, I do believe 1 person can make a difference and if that 1 person is supported by a network of loving people that circle of goodness will grow and grow.


So, "Thank You " one and all for your support,encouraging comments and gifts of love. September is coming to a close but I shall tuck away all the pieces of beautiful fabric until the next challenge. Who knows it could be January Joy, June gladness or another September Challenge.

There is only one real question left to ponder on. What shall I make with this beautiful shirt. Every time I hover close by with the scissors I look at it and think it too pretty to cut. But, something inspirational will come one day. Until then it is still complete. Completely beautiful.



And as Autumn marches forwards the same Charity shop was talking about changing its window display.
I could not resist making these little hedgies for the shop yesterday.
I tucked them on a bed of leaves and popped in some nuts ready for their long winter sleep.

A perfect way to end this September.


Friday, 19 September 2014

September gatherings!

This week it has been all go here at Operation "Share A Shirt" headquarters .

My friend came to stay and worked tirelessly cutting squares,bags,shapes and lots more in between.


She even kept working with a poorly hand!

Lindsay is still having to keep her ankle elevated but she cut out lots and lots of labels. It looked a bit like a convalescent home.


It was so lovely to have company and as fast as I sewed seams and created patchwork cushion covers the squares were coming thick and fast. Of course what made it extra special was the chatter,reminiscing ,laughter and lots of cups of tea!

Yesterday everyone had to go back home so this morning with a quiet house I finished all the WIPS waiting in line. No chatter,no laughter just a machine whirring and scissors snipping.

It was brilliant to see all the parts coming together and soon there was a pile of goodies awaiting delivery.

4 Great Cushions.



Drawstring bags.

Some with appliqué.

I love these with the beach hut theme.



Some happily striped.

Zipped pouches from a bamboo patterned shirt which came all the way from Spain.

Another lovely gift from a friend.

And the results of my evening clicking.



And all labelled with a pretty tag saying " hand made with love @1can make a difference." Well this week having help has made such a difference.


So, it was great satisfaction I went to nearby Totnes today to find the "Save the Children"and "Oxfam" Charity Shops. The bags were full of goodies. I was a very happy person delivering all the things that have been made because so many kind people have shared their shirts with me.


And when I got back there was a surprise waiting on the mat,a lovely parcel containing a perfect shirt. Sara so kindly sent it. Thank you so much. Pop over to her lovely blog and say hello.

This will be the next lovely fabric to go under the knife!


September is slipping by so quickly and I am really enjoying this challenge. I have one more week before we go on holiday but I am so happy to have neatly cut squares ready for the next time I set myself a challenge to help such deserving charities. I have always thought that there are so many generous and good people in the world and now I know it to be true.

Thank you all . Love Linda x

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Saturday,September, Snaps.

Just a few pictures today . I am so incredibly touched by people's kindness and generosity. This charity project is warming my heart. And strangely enough providing a distraction from other things which are not as joyous.

Our poor daughter fell in the Gym ( dangerous places) I mean it's hard to fall over a sewing machine ,a crochet hook or a knitting needle!

Well to cut short a very long,very painful story I am following in Florence Nightingale's special footsteps. Caring for our dear girl who has badly damaged the tendons on her ankle.

So, as she sits with her foot elevated and packed with ice I am able to sit and sew. Quiet companionship and love.

So. A stack of cushions.



And a little bit of cosy red and strawberries. A pretty combination indeed. I love relaxing in the evenings with a little bit of yarn.


Please excuse me for not making so many comments on all the lovely blogs I follow but life is a little busy just now. But I am enjoying reading all your lovely words.

Love Linda x


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

September Days!

I took the second bag of goodies to the Charity Shop today. Lots of things made from the great shirts which are arriving. How lovely is that. I open the packets as they tumble onto the mat and there are beautiful shirts inside. I can promise you they soon go metaphorically " under the knife!"

Lavender bags filled from the lavender in the garden and tied with string.



But, just now nothing is safe from this September gazing. This September thought shifting. As I open the wardrobe door I see something tucked at the back. Well it's being hoofed out and popped in the bag. Forgotten things stashed away are not safe either. Those sale bargains that are actually no use to anyone, are filling up spaces in our cupboards no longer.

A few of the bibs I got a little bit obsessed with a while back!


Pretty Pincushions.
And draw string monster bags for the yummy mummies who have everything.



And today I did not mind being called " that lady" in the sense of "Oh, you are that lady who is donating to us in September!" It was the manageress and she was so delighted. It made my day. Apparently people are asking about the labels which say. Hand Made With Love @ 1 Can Make A Difference.

We had a little chat and she is going to save any plain shirts that come in for the cushion backs. Brilliant. What a result. Working together for a common goal.



Saturday, 6 September 2014

September the sixth. Gentle quilting!

The lovely Lorraine from Mamas Mercantile sent a beautiful shirt today. It reminds me of Candy stripes and sweets. Just perfect and waiting for some other gentle pastels to blend with it. Thank you so,so much.


I was also very, very touched by a blogging friend, Gracie from across the pond sending me some pennies or that should be dollars via PayPal to buy some thread . This quilting malarky certainly uses a lot! Thank you so much Gracie.

And also a lovely friend who is a star on my Charity knitting thread has pledged some Mandalas. French postage costs are horrendous. I shall be so happy to tuck them in the bags of goodies I am preparing for the charity shops.

While I am thanking lovely people. Whilst I have been zipping along with my sewing machine my follower numbers have reached the magical figure of 250. So welcome and " Thank You " to you all. I love to read everybody's comments. They encourage me a great deal as I travel on my little journey in Blogland.

I have been gently quilting cushion fronts. Lovely colours and I am so chuffed that my cutting skills are improving. To be able to match sides for sewing and see corners meeting at a crisp right angle is seriously making me happy. I think I am still pressing far too hard but hey ho!


So today on this sixth day of September all is going well. I do not think anyone is safe near me with a plain blue shirt at the moment. These fronts are in need of some gorgeous plain blue backs.


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The postman came knocking !! Day 3 of Share a Shirt!

The postman knocked this morning. And gave me a parcel. I think he is going to be busy. And there was a gorgeous shirt from Una. Thank you so much it's totally perfect.





I can squeeze a back panel out of a large shirt plus about 40 squares. Amazing. Oh! And a little extra bonus is the pile of buttons.




So, zooming along and blending the squares and my sixth cushion is complete.


Here you can see that the back panel blending beautifully and I actually like the contrast between the patchwork side and plainer.


I took my first bag of goodies into the Red Cross Shop this morning and they were delighted and very interested in the labels and the idea behind " Made with Love @1 Can Make A Difference. So, that was a lovely conversation. Now, I am just finishing off the second bag which will go to Oxfam when I go to town next. I have realised that the nearest Save the Children Charity Shop is in Totnes.

Totnes is nicknamed Narnia. Very apt. It is the most eclectic place I have ever visited. It is about 6 miles from us and one of my favourite places to visit. Yarn and material abound plus a lovely market full of paraphenalia to tempt. If ever you find yourself in the South Hams in Devon you must go.

This picture was on Facebook about Totnes yesterday and they are the only town in the Country to persuade Costa Coffee not to come even though they had planning permission granted for a new shop. It is a town so proud of the fact that it is full of independent traders and shops. A real feat in this day and age.


Before I go I would like to say a huge welcome to my new followers and thank each and every one if you for all the support you so generously give me here at Chalky's .


So that's it for Day 3 here in " Shirt Land"





Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Hand delivery today!


I have had a homey day today. Andy out playing golf. Just that kind of day that you are happy just to "be"

I did have a lovely visit from my sister in law who has recently moved into our village all the way from Aberdeen. She came bearing three beautiful shirts and also a desire to help.

What could be better than that?



I meant to take her picture snipping the shirts,cutting out the interfacing and dashing away with the smoothing iron... But we were such busy bees it got forgotten.

I have decided to try and have a methodical approach to this getting shirty malarky. I bet that doesn't last long!

So today I concentrated on Janet's colourful shirt which arrived yesterday. All day I have had the American celebration of Thanksgiving in my mind. Autumn,fall,pumpkins,wheat,corn and turkeys.

It's easy to see why!

It's amazing to think that Janet's generosity may have generated over £20 of sales in the Charity Shop.

So far I have made 5 zipped pouches.

They are really lovely,bright and colourful .


And there was also enough material to make some really pretty Lavender pouches .

I have not filled those yet!

So,now it is just a case of all those pretty items needing labels saying..

Made with Love @ 1 can make a difference.

And I truly think it can.

Just by sharing 1 shirt life,hopefully will be a little bit brighter for at least 1 person.



Monday, 1 September 2014

The best start!

I always try to be ready for things. I often think looking forward to events to be the best part. That tummy tickling excitement which comes with anticipation.

When I wake ... Usually fairly late,the first thing I do is work out what day it is. Then I think how lucky I am not to work anymore. I spent years racing at a mega rate. Organising three children,a husband on shifts and working full time. The plates spun so fast I never really saw the pattern.

But, no more. As a retired teacher these early September days fill me with joy. No new term.... So, after working out this morning that it was Monday and thinking how lucky I was to be able to stretch out under the loveliest cotton quilt,with a choice. Another five minutes in bed or wander downstairs for a cup of tea.

But, always the first thing. The most important thing. A vote of thanks for my life. The jellybean,colourful life that I am lucky enough to wake to. This practice of making time to make a vote of thanks upon waking and a vote of thanks drifting off to sleep at night,every day over the last nine years of retirement has altered my perspectives on life and living. A perspective which is just better,more heartfelt and totally joyful.


And then the postman dropped a parcel on the doorstep... And who could not be cheered by this parcel.



The lovely Janet, also known as the " Puppet Lady" had found a shirt and sent it in for my challenge . "Share a shirt for September."


It is so joyful and full of fun. Teresa would want it for her Thanksgiving Table!

I am going to have so much fun making things with this shirt.

Watch this Chalky space !