Among the things I do is try to peddle wares that benefit the environment. So far, I sell bibs and cotton pads, I am somewhat wary about biting off too much to chew.
And how do those two things benefit any environment? Do I make them out of organic cotton? No, I don’t. I make them out of towels that are discarded by a large, professional laundry firm. Towels come out of wash and drying, quality control discovers a hole, and the whole thing is dumped, off to an incenerator. Even though some 80 % or more is still in good condition.
Cotton yields an average of 3 metric tons to a hectare, which breaks down to 300 grams to one square meter. But that is the “raw” harvest including leaves, seeds, dirt, stones, et c. Sorting that from the usable fibres leaves about 100 grams of ready-for-further-processing cotton to one square meter.
So why do we threw cotton in the bin after using it only once? Habit is probably the likeliest answer. I weighed 10 disposable cotton pads – the small round ones you use for cleansing your face in the evening – and my scales said 5 grams. A bit of calculus ends up with this: Use one every day, and you use 1,5 square metres of arable land a year to prevent clogged pores.
So that’s where the benefit comes into the picture. I take a cotton product, already used x number of times, and rescue the not-a-hole parts, cut them out in neat rounds, edge them and sell them. And my customers use them, wash them, use them … repeat till threadbare. Mine have so far gone through 50+ washes and work just as new.
Does it save our planet? Not alone. But every bit helps.
It hardly comes as any surprise that anything we eat has an impact on the environment. Nor that said impact is invariably negative, and that the best thing to do would possible be to stop eating at all.
Following such advice counters survival. So instead we compromise: Eat less meat, especially red meat. Go vegetarian or indeed vegan all the way. Eat only organic foods. Or indeed a combination of, say, organic and vegan.
And of course we want the best for our children. So we give them organic food at home and see to it that their daycare does too.
But what about the bib? Children are messy eaters and use bibs. Less washing is a good idea. Growing cotton and turning it into bibs (among so many other things!) is … well, less good. Even organically grown cotton comes with soil, water, and a lot of energy in the processes on its way to clothes. Including bibs.
So why not give your textiles a second life? This bib has a history: It was a towel in a hospital until it ripped from wear. Via sewing machine, the un-ripped parts became bibs. And 40 of them are on their way to a daycare. Ready for a new life with new stains, more washing and wear.
That’s in good tune with their organic food.
I know full well I won’t get very far in these boats. They are easy to make, though, and would do equally well in a beach house, summer cottage or on a boat. All triangles, all the same size, all sides the same length. Rather neat even if I say so myself.
And the best part is they are absolutely still and don’t rock, roll, and heave. I get seasick sometimes. Never with these!
Most people will have heard of the male name Viggo. At least when paired with the surname Mortensen. He said in an interview that the name Viggo is considered somewhat dorky in his Dad’s native Denmark. The surname is just plain fairly common as are most surnames ending in -sen.
It seems the name Viggo is on the rise in popularity though. One of “my” cub scouts bears it and I recently found out my sister likes it. The reason for my discoveryis that her daughter, my niece, is pregnant, and my sister suggested the name.
An ultrasound showed that she’s carrying a girl. The name does however have a female counterpart: Vigga.
And that’s what I call this pattern:
I’m not done with it – it’s going to be a baby blanket. Right now it’s VIP. Vigga In Progress.
And the colour scheme? Her due date is the fifth of November, known to any Brit as bonfire day to commemorate the discovery of the gunpowder plot led by Guy Fawkes before they had time to blow up the Parliament and upheave alle order in the UK. Hence the red, orange and yellows.
Or: Some mistakes are just too daft to be photographed.
I recently finished a bed spread for my Mum. The one I wrote about before, yes. The pattern part should cover the top of the bed, and a border along one side and one end should make a nice finish.
The pattern part turned out just as I wanted it. There’s a centre part with so-called fat quarters measuring 20 x 20 cm. which are old denims. Around those are squares of 5 x 5 cm. pieces of calico in blues, and they are arranged in diagonal lines.
The quilting is done with buttons in random pattern on the denim part and in few, diagonal lines on the ends of the small squares part.
The bedspread is for my Mum’s guest bed in her sewing room. Being an old seamstress, she of course has a sewing room. She had one in her old flat, and she has one in her new, smaller flat.
In the old flat – my childhood home – the guest bed was in the far right corner looking in from the door. In the new flat it’s at the far left corner looking in from the door.
And now I don’t know wether I thought of the old flat or just didn’t really think at all. Fact of the matter is that I sewed on the edges to fit the bed as it was in the old flat. Not in the new one.
Mum was kind to me, praised it in high tones and left it with the top border folded in.
Yes, you’re right: I love my Mum to bits.
I like patchworking. For some time it’s been small(ish) things I made, and only few required quilting.
I like once in a while to make something big, though. So when my Mum talked of buying a new bedspread I jumped at the chance to sew her one. Heaven knows she made plenty of clothes for me as I grew up harbouring a strange notion that I could not wear jeans, only corduroy trousers. I have no idea how many pairs came out of her sewing machine. I just know I loved every pair and wore them all out.
I generally don’t mind quilting big things either. Granted the first fem lines or knots are a bit of a hassle to get done. The rest of it is plain sailing because I dutifully baste together the three layers including the stuffing before I start quilting.
And that part is the biggest obstacle. Bacause as I have no table big enough nor any frame I have to lay it on the floor, sit down with straight legs under it and baste with one hand over and one under. Even though I stitched together more than 400 patches by hand that process feels as if it takes far longer time. My lower back screeches in pain, I stab myself constantly with the needle, and I have to wear my thimble which I otherwise never do for want of feel of the needle.
At least I’m done and can start quilting. This time it’ll be in points, strewing buttons on the pattern at random.
Hence the kisses from Peter Pan: Buttons and a thimble. Oh, how I wish they felt as good as my husbands’ …
Yesterday was St. George’s Day. It may not be of much significance to most people. One exception are English patriots and churchgoers as St. George is England’s patron saint.
Another exception is scouts. As steady readers of this blog know I’m a scout, and though I belong to a non-denominational scout corps we still celebrate St. George’s day. We hear or re-enact the story of George before he was a saint and just was a soldier. He slayed a dragon and so saved not just a village but also a fair princess about to be sacrificed to the dragon. And then he turned down her father’s offer of half the relam and her hand in marriage because a good man does not help for personal gain. He helps because it is his duty to help his fellow man (and princess!)
So we tell the scouts that story and remind them that helping others should always be second nature to a true scout.
Then there’s the part they all look forward to: The handing out of stars.
When I was a girl scout in the YWCA they were real, metal stars. Nowadays they’re just embroidered material that you stitch on to your left uniform pocket. On the star the number shows how many years you’ve been a scout.
My new star says 8. And in my group there’s a custom that once you get that you get no more stars. Instead you just tilt it to show the sign of eternity.
So: Should my star stand up or bend over?
Think I’ll leave it standing. And next year break group consensus and swap it for my old “6”. Upside down, of course.