Monday, December 9, 2013


Today was a fun day.

I got up late, which is very unlike me, I'm very much an early riser, and I was supposed to be in Ailsa Craig for 9 am.

Well, that was never going to work, so in the end I was there a little after 10 am. (So what? This really is of absolutely no interest,  but I suppose you have a tale to tell. Well, yes I do actually.)

I had an email from my friend Jane last week asking if I would be free for her annual AOK day. (Gosh, I'm beginning to switch off here, could you get on with it??)

Jane is one of those lovely people who attracts fabric and other things, just because people think she might be able to use it, and so she developed the AOK day. It stands for Acts Of Kindness and she rents Ye Olde Town Hall for a couple of days and then invites several fellow sewers to join her in making items to go in gift boxes which are then given out at Christmas time by the local Food Bank. Over 200 gift bags were given out last year, stuffed with goodies made by Jane and her merry band.

Got your interest now haven't I?

When I was first invited to join this intrepid band, I was making a trash bag for a quilter gift, it was for the quilts of Denmark show, and I gamely threw myself into it until I, just as gamely, threw it across the floor in frustration. I was trying to get a piece of plastic tube through a hole and join the two ends, It wasn't until Jane looked at it and told me the reason it wasn't working was because the plastic tube was too short, that we both decided I would be better making pin cushions, which I did perfectly, stuffing them and hand sewing the enclosure.

When it came to last years Christmas AOK project, I went along and she asked me to make a cute little bunny which was stuffed and had a little fabric circle for its hat, and was stitched in such a way to make it stand up....... only when I did mine, its ears were decidedly odd, its hat didn't quite sit right and it didn't stand up but rolled gently onto its back much to everyones amusement. That's when Jane gently pointed out that I hadn't quite stitched it correctly.

Neck pillows stitched by yours truly

A beautiful bath tote made by Jane

I swear she must go and breathe deep into a paper bag when I gaily reply that I would love to come and help her. This year though, I said if it involved straight stitching, then I was her girl. And so it was today that I made a total of nine neck pillows. I was quite pleased with myself, but humbled when I saw what others were tackling, but I know it causes great amusement amongst the others when they watch the pickle I get into!



More bags

Sideways picture of Jane's jewellery hanger

Another of our intrepid band had knitted 50 pairs of slippers in different sizes

I am always impressed with the set up for this day. Everything is pre-cut, all we have to do is pick it up and stitch it, it is all laid out on the table in neat little piles with a plastic folder containing the pattern, just take one and leave them for someone else. I am always amazed by how she puts this together. A large tray of threads in different colours, buttons, ribbons, batting, you name it its there, all we need are our sewing machines and basic sewing stuff.

The filler used for the neck cushions

Reels and reels of ribbon in every colour

I asked Jane if she would mind if I took photos and post them on my blog and she had no problem with it. I think I have a bigger problem with the fact that we have to do this because there is such a need.

I love Christmas, its one of my favourite times of the year, but it is always sad to see others who don't have such a happy time. Another very good friend has had a lovely idea for next Christmas. She thinks it would be lovely to hire the Church Hall and cook Christmas dinner there and have her family and me and the husband there too. 

She then wants to invite others who may be alone on Christmas Day to join us.

I think it's a wonderful idea but certain family members are totally against it. As she says it's not an open house for any wandering minstrel, but if they turned up, she wouldn't turn them away. There are so many people who have family Christmases prior to the big day, that, when it comes, they are totally alone, she just felt it would be nice to include them, they may not even come, but wouldn't it be nice to know that there was somewhere you would be welcome if you wanted company?

I leave you with that thought.