Entries - page 11 - Page 11

 

Spatula by Matt Carroll of Swansea U3A

Spatula by Matt Carroll of Swansea U3A

I run a Natural History U3A group in Swansea. During the lockdown I was asked to make some videos about the Natural World. One of the influences on our woodland has been the management system used over hundreds of years. This system of coppicing is completely sustainable and the coppice products supplied the furniture and housing industry. The coppice workers were known as Bodgers and the photo Is taken from a video on how to make a spatula.

'Storm' by Wyn Jones of Flintshire U3A

'Storm' by Wyn Jones of Flintshire U3A

Inspired by Rodin's 1898 sculpture; 'The Storm'; this copy is carved from a limestone block, liberated from an old farmhouse in the Charente, France, using just a chisel and mallet

Scrubs by Hazel Woodhead of Pershore & District U3A

Scrubs by Hazel Woodhead of Pershore & District U3A

At the beginning of April I heard that there was a shortage of PPE and that nurses and doctors were having difficulty getting hold of scrubs. I found out, via Facebook, that a nurse called Ashleigh Linsdell had that difficulty in her own unit in Lincolnshire and with some friends decided to make scrubs themselves. Thus was born For the Love of Scrubs, where women (and men) formed local groups of seamstresses to make bags, scrubs, and latterly masks and headbands. Fabric was purchased from donations which has been streamed through crowd funding, purchased by individuals or donated by large companies. Quite a lot of bed linen has also been donated to make bags and scrubs. In quite a short period of time websites for local groups have sprung up with coordinators to supply finished articles to hospitals, clinics, care homes and GP practices but at the same time distribute fabric, thread etc to the local volunteer sewers.

The national site suggested an approved NHS pattern, which could be downloaded, but a print company agreed to print the pattern which could be bought at cost price which is what I did.
If you are a reasonably competent dressmaker/seamstress the scrubs are not difficult, although sleeves and facings can be challenging! They comprise of a short sleeved v neck top with patch pockets and loose fitting trousers with patch pockets on the back and a draw string waist band. An overlocker is a valuable addition to the kit as raw edges are not welcome as they harbour bacteria. French or flat seams or zig zagging is acceptable too.
So far, I have made ten sets of scrubs of various colours and there are at least five more sets in the pipeline.

The group I sew for is gloucestershiresewingforthenhs.

'Five Bags' by Judith Brun of Saltburn District U3A

'Five Bags' by Judith Brun of Saltburn District U3A

Many of my U3A friends had a crafters tote so I had been wanting to make one for myself to use for my sewing group. Lock-down has given me the time to master the instructions and having completed one I thought I could do with another for my knitting. I was using material from a recycled duvet cover and set myself the challenge of seeing how many I could make from the rest of the material and managed five altogether. For the wadding I used some old pillow protectors; (with scraps from these I made some face masks!) It would be lovely to see what other ideas crafters can come up with - maybe a tent to hide in when it all gets too much!

'Rainbow' by Chris Winner of Flintshire U3A

'Rainbow' by Chris Winner of Flintshire U3A

My neighbours are all displaying Rainbows of Hope in their windows and I was the odd one out.

I have been crocheting almost all of my life and I have a huge stash of yarns and hooks so that’s what I turned to to make my own rainbow.

The are lots of free patterns on the internet I used one of those, it’s one with bobbles and it is actually made a a circle and folded in half. I modified the pattern by doubling the number of rows and instead if bobbles I made the flowers. The actual width of my rainbow is about 50cms which turned out to be too big for my window. It hangs over the back of a sofa.

The original pattern size rainbow is about 30cms wide so I have made a few of those to use.

Quick to make and very colourful.

Robot by Ed Link of Kinross-shire U3A

Robot by Ed Link of Kinross-shire U3A

Definitely not a fished product but a whole new endeavor. The Lego EV3 Mindstorms programmable robot. The kit includes a programmable 'brick' and a whole set of components, motors, sensors and wheels to make very sophisticated robots. I have made some of the suggested really cool pellet firing, talking robots that the grandchildren love. But now the real work has started.

I am learning to program my EV3 in Python. Python is a well known scripting language that underlies many popular apps. My EV3 is now wi-fi enabled and loaded with the Python interpreter and I program it using Microsoft's free Visual Studio Code. My learning robot is equipped with an ultrasonic sensor, light sensitive and touch sensors. It finds it way around the flat and seeks out a light source, then does a little dance and whoops with joy. Learning to program in Python and its EV3 extension is intensely absorbing. I wonder if there are any others out there for an online interest group.

'Mask bands' by Christine Palmer of Barnsley & District U3A

'Mask bands' by Christine Palmer of Barnsley & District U3A

I’ve made about 50 mask bands from both elastic and crochet. I’ve also made about 30 wash bags for the nurses to put their uniforms in. Don’t have a photo of these but some I made from pillow cases, just sewed a tie strap to one side, they didn’t need any other sewing.

'Scrubs bags' by Hilary Jones of Flintshire U3A

'Scrubs bags' by Hilary Jones of Flintshire U3A

These bags are used by NHS staff, coming off shift - to take their scrubs home to wash. They are very simple, the size of a pillowcase with a draw string round the top. If you don't have piping cord or equivalent - a cord made out of the material works very well. I was pleased to put some of my fabric stash to good use.

Crochet by Gail Bent of Barnet U3A

Crochet by Gail Bent of Barnet U3A

I've always enjoyed working with tessellated patterns and colours so I used my time during lockdown to crochet this large (120cm x 160cm) throw. I got the pattern through Stylecraft magazine -there's also a website with lots of projects for all abilities. This particular pattern was quite complicated as no two coloured motifs are the same. For beginners of crocheting there are lots of youtube instructional videos available. Crocheting is an ideal skill for groups to practice and improve together.

'Goblet in Yew' by Wyn Jones of Flintshire U3A

'Goblet in Yew' by Wyn Jones of Flintshire U3A

On the lathe, make the bowl first, then support that end while cutting the stem, and finally the foot. Friction polish or Beeswax will make it shine; Tung Oil will make it dampproof, but I wouldn't drink out of it.