March 24, 2012

Kanga Excitement!

Black and dove grey kanga.

I bought a kanga yesterday from Sense & Sensibility’s charity kanga sale on Etsy this week. All proceeds go towards a charity that teaches women in Kenya how to sew to support their family. I’m so excited for it to arrive! Jennie said it should ship Monday, since they take the weekends off. I bought this kanga. It looks more navy blue and white in the picture, but Jennie describes it as black and dove grey, which still sounds lovely, and it matches my Winter color palette, according to the book Color Me Beautiful that I got from the library. The phrase in Swahili means “Do all, say all; God will compensate me.”

The kanga comes with free PDF instructions on how to make a wrap skirt or an A-line skirt from the kanga, which can otherwise be bought for $1 on (pictures of both styles shown in the Etsy link). I can’t decide which one I want to make. At first I was leaning towards the wrap skirt, but now I’m leaning towards the A-line. I’ll just have to wait until it arrives to play with it and decide. :D

March 10, 2012

30 Minute Warm Compress Rice Bag

Due to a combination of recent school stress, bad sleeping positions, horrible posture, ill health, an American exercise routine (read: lethargy), and a deflating pillow, I hurt everywhere. My shoulders and neck are like rocks, my right jaw is slightly swollen and painful (a blocked parotid gland, according to the school nurse), and I have some sort of pimple on my upper leg that makes pants painful. For the jaw, the nurse recommended sour lemon candies (to stimulate salivation) and a warm compress, which is what I also need for my shoulders. Thus, I decided I needed one of those warm compress rice bags immediately.

I didn’t want to do any measuring or fussy things like that, so this is a quick-and-dirty version. I didn’t even pin. I used some leftover washed, pressed, and folded bleached white muslin from another project and some plain, brown rice that was “best by Jan 12” (oops…). White rice would probably be better because it has less oil and chance of going rancid, but brown is what I had. And just so you know how on the fly this was, when I say my fabric was pressed, I mean I pressed it three months ago. If I were making a gift, I probably would press it for real but not when it’s for me and my back hurts this much.

For this project, you’ll need:
  • A small amount of 100% cotton or linen* fabric – I used a scrap of plain bleached white muslin (see my idea at the end about making a removable cover!)
  • 100% cotton* thread
  • Rice (white if you have it) – the amount depends on the size of your bag and how full you want it; I used probably a little more than 2 cups

*A note about fabrics: I strongly advise using 100% natural materials, such a cotton or linen, for this because they don’t melt in the microwave, unlike polyester and other synthetic fabrics. You’re only microwaving it for a minute, but it’s better safe than sorry.

March 3, 2012

Reversible Holiday Placemats

My mom’s birthday is this month, and I’ve wanted to make her some cute placemats for her birthday. The idea I had was to make reversible placemats for two holidays. I originally had this idea for Christmas, but I didn’t have time to make them as a Christmas gift, so I thought I’d make an early birthday gift instead. These placemats are (Peanuts!) Valentine’s Day-St. Patrick’s Day themed. My mom and I love Peanuts, so when I saw this fabric, I knew they’d be perfect. I based them off of the tutorial here.

I was very uncomfortable cutting through poor little Snoopys face.