Once again the studio was filled with generous ladies donating their time, talent and fabric to make syringe driver bags for Macmillan Cancer Care and N.I. Children’s Hospice.
It was lovely meeting old friends and new, and at least one bag was completed by all!
I’d like to thank everyone who has beavered away making bags for our 2nd appeal, the total of which is now over 350 (and they’re still coming!).
For many of the contributors to our Syringe Driver Bags appeal, it is a very personal and heartfelt gesture of giving back. These bags will be winging their way to palliative care units and hopefully bringing a little cheer to an otherwise dark corner.
Almost 2 years ago I launched our first appeal for Syringe Driver Bags for Macmillan Cancer Care in Antrim Hospital.
As the name suggests, the bags carry Syringe Drivers, the vehicle for administering pain or sickness medication. The patient receives the meds via a tube, which means they have to carry the Syringe Drivers around with them all the time. Sometimes they have one syringe driver, sometimes 2.
Providing bright and colourful bags instead of the standard issue grey ones is a small way of bringing a little cheeriness to the patient, especially when they get to choose one they like!
For our first appeal we had a brilliant response from generous sewists across Northern Ireland. So much so, we were able to pass on some bags to other palliative care units.
These bags can’t be reused, and the supply of bags from the first appeal has been exhausted.
Macmillan have asked us for more, so we are launching our 2nd Syringe Driver Bag Appeal!
If you have some sewing machine experience and cotton fabric, would you consider making one or two bags for those receiving palliative care or cancer treatment? You can find the tutorial here.
Previously we have only made for adult males and females, but now we also have a request from The Children’s Hospice, N.I., so we can receive bags in child-friendly fabrics too!
I launched the 2nd appeal on Facebook 10 days ago and we’ve already received 25 bags! THANK YOU!
I’ve always known how generous our sewing community is! Please, please help us to make many more bags! The bags can be posted or delivered to me at home. Email me at email@example.com for my address.
And if you live locally to Belfast, keep your eyes and ears open for an announcement about a free Syringe Driver Bag Workshop at our studio in Conway Mill!
Happy October to you all! The beauty of Autumn has arrived here in N.Ireland. Aren’t the leaves just gorgeous this time of year!
Many of you have been beavering away making Syringe Driver Bags for Macmillan Cancer Support.
I want to say a huge thank you for your contributions so far! More are needed on an ongoing basis, so if you get a spare 5 minutes to rustle up another one, we’d much appreciate it (you can get the tutorial here).
And here’s a thank you from the staff at Macmillan (modelling some of your bags!):
“Hi Judith, just to say a big thank you for the syringe driver bags we’re getting at the Macmillan unit. This is a few of the staff modelling them!!! They’re amazing! The workmanship is incredible! You have some very talented connections! Please pass on our thanks… so nice to offer something cheery and have a bit of choice when you have an attachment to carry around that you’re not that excited about!! BIG THANK YOU!!!! X”
What a great way to make a small difference in someone’s life.
Summer seems to have left us here! But I have some good news! My sewing room is finished and I’m fully operational once more!
And what better project to christen my new creative space than sewing for a good cause.
These are Syringe Driver Bags, used by patients to keep essential medication on their person as they move around. Earlier this year we received a request from Marie Curie Cancer Care to make Syringe Driver Bags for their unit in Belfast. The response from the sewing community was incredible, and we donated enough bags for the hospice and a local hospital cancer unit.
Well I’m putting out a call to all generous and creative sewers, to make more Syringe Driver Bags, this time for Macmillan Cancer Support unit in Antrim hospital.
I have been approached to make these bags, for current and future patients in the unit, and any bags donated over and above what is needed will be shared around the other cancer units too.
The bags required this time around are for adult males and females, in bright, cheery fabrics, and come in 2 sizes. The small bag takes a single syringe driver and the large bag takes 2 drivers. Both sizes have a velcro flap, and while the dimensions vary, the construction method is the same for each.
I do hope I can count on your generous spirit to support brave patients in this small way.
Here is the tutorial:
Measurements listed are width x height
Use 1/4″ seam allowance
Use reverse stitch to start and finish each seam
1 Fat Quarter of cotton (approx 18″ x 22″) will make the exterior for either the single driver bag OR the double driver bag
1 Fat Quarter of cotton (approx 18″ x 22″) will make the lining for either the single driver bag OR the double driver bag
1 Long Quarter of cotton (approx 9.5″ x 42″-44″) will make the handles
** Please do not use stick-on velcro
Make the Handle: Iron under 1/4″ along each long edge.
2. Now bring both long (folded) edges together and press. Top stitch 1/8″ from the edge down both long sides, starting with the open side. No need to top stitch the short ends. Put the handle to one side.
3. Make the Flap: Place the outer and lining flaps right sides together. Sew around 3 sides, leaving one short side open.
4. Carefully snip the corners at an angle (to reduce bulk) before turning right side out. Push the corners well out and press.
5. Sew the soft side of the velcro to the lining side of the flap, 1/4″ away from the closed end of the flap. Put to one side.
6. Make the main bag: Attach the remaining piece of velcro to the front bag piece. The top of the velcro should be 1.5″ down from the top edge (or 2″ for the large bag).
7. Join the front and back pieces and the sides, right sides together (as shown) stopping 1/4″ short at the bottom of each seam.
8. Join the remaining edges together to create a box (remember to stop 1/4″ short at the bottom).
9. Insert the base: Pin the base to the bottom of the outer bag, right sides together.
10. Sew the base in place, stopping 1/4″ short at each corner to pivot & turn (leave the needle down in the fabric and lift up the presser foot). As you pivot the corners, flip the underside of the bag away from you (see below).
11. Turn the bag right side out. Push the corners out and press the seams into a nice box shape.
12. Machine tack the flap onto the back of the bag, right sides together.
13. Machine tack the handle onto the sides of the bag (take care not to get a twist in your handle). Put to one side.
14. Make the lining: Repeat steps 7-10 for the lining, leaving a 2″ gap in a long side seam. Do not turn right side out.
15. Insert the outer bag into the lining, tucking the flap and handle inside between the layers. Align & pin the side seams and top edge.
16. Sew around the top edge (you may find it easier to remove the accessories tray on your machine here).
17. Pull the outer bag through the gap in the lining, and hand or machine stitch the gap closed.
18. Press the bag before pushing the lining into the outer bag. Sew around the top edge again, making sure to keep the flap and handle well out of the way.
And you’re done!
It would be wonderful if you could help me with this small measure of kindness. The 2 bags I’ve made have already brought smiles to the faces of the 2 recipients!
I will be the collection point for any donated bags, so please get in touch with me directly and I’ll give you my address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thanking you all in advance of your support and generosity.
Quilters are among the most generous, big-hearted humans I know! Always quick to respond to the needs of others in the ways they know best, quilting!
Recently on my Facebook Group, The Sewing Surgery, a request for sewers to make Syringe Driver Bags came through from Marie Curie Cancer Care, via a group member.
Folks in the group immediately responded, and pictures of syringe driver bags started appearing! Big pat on the back TSS members!
These bags are in constant need by Marie Curie, so if you would like to make one to send to them, you can get the pattern and details here.
Another brilliant UK charity supported by quilters is Siblings Together. Each year, we try to make 100 quilts to give to children at summer camps. These kids are separated from their siblings by the care system. They join up with their siblings at camp and the quilts are given out at the end of the camp, as a comforting reminder of their time together.
In addition to individuals making quilts for ST, there are also several quilting bees supporting ST. I’m in one of them (Siblings Together Bee 2) and, with the help of my bee mates, I’ve managed to complete 1 quilt so far.
This is Canvas quilt (named after the Canvas blocks we made). As you can see it’s a colourful, scrappy quilt, and at 60″ x 72″, will make a great big quilty hug for a child at ST.
The quilt has been beautifully quilted by a good friend, bound in my trusty black and white stripe fabric and labelled ready to be posted to ST.
My 2nd ST quilt isn’t too far away from completion either! A big thank you to my ST bee mates for their contributions to these quilts.
And finally, another charity quilting bee close to my heart is Bee Blessed. A Belfast based group of ladies meet once a month to make quilts for those in need. This group is brilliantly supported by quilting bloggers too!
Giving a little time and fabric in this way is so rewarding! So if you have been inspired to help any of these worthwhile causes in any way, please let me know and I can point you in the right direction.