Easy-to-Sew Pouches for a Garden Kneeler–Tutorial

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For the past few years (since I turned 80), I’ve had some back problems which make it difficult to do any gardening.  I can get down on my knees but have trouble getting back up.  Then, I found the Rumford Gardener’s Kneeler/Seat on Amazon and that solved the problem.
41J3S812GCL._SX425_The unit can be used as a seat or, more importantly to me, a kneeler.  It folds for easy storing, is shipped fully assembled and has been such a great help to me that I ordered another one to keep near the back yard.  I’m sure there are other brands that are just as good, but I haven’t used them and I know this one is a good value at around $25.

I noticed that there are also pouches for tools available but they cost about half as much as the kneeler and I thought it wouldn’t be hard to make a set.  These pouches are simple, easy-to-sew and work great for me.  I put four hand tools that I use the most in the pockets and can carry the kneeler from place to place in the yard without difficulty.

Here is how I made the pouches:

Choose medium weight fabric – heavy canvas would be difficult to sew and turn.  I found a remnant of medium weight outdoor fabric that worked perfectly.
toolpouch (1)TOOL POUCHES FOR GARDEN KNEELER – two pouches

CUT:
2 pieces 8 inches wide x 30 inches long of fabric for base
2 pieces 8 inches wide x 8-½ inches long of fabric for pocket
2 sets of Velcro fasteners 6-½ inches long

toolpouch (2)On top edge of pocket, turn down ¼ inch and another ¼ inch and stitch to form a ½ inch hem.

Place base right side up on surface.  Pin pocket fabric right side up on base, matching pocket with bottom and sides of base fabric.  Baste close to bottom and side edges to secure pocket.  Stitch down the center of the pocket fabric to make two sections.
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Bring top edge of base down to line up with bottom edge of base, right sides together (pocket will be on the inside).  Using ½ inch seam, stitch along the sides and bottom, LEAVING OPENING ON ONE SIDE OF ABOUT  3 INCHES TO TURN.

Trim corners, turn and top stitch ¼ inch from the edges all around the base, tucking in the opening seams and securing.
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Working with the back of the piece, measure from the top edge down 6-½ inches and draw a line.

Stitch one piece of Velcro with the bottom edge of the Velcro slightly covering the drawn line.  Stitch the other piece of Velcro to the back top edge.  Top edge will fold down to secure pouch.

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toolpouch (6)Fold edge down over bars on stool with pockets on the outside.

Repeat with the other pieces of fabric and Velcro to complete two pockets with a total of 4 sections for small hand tools.

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*I’m not being paid for my endorsement of this product – I just like it a lot and want to share.

Amish Children Garden Banner – Canvas Duck Fabric

A while back, I made my first garden banner featuring a harness horse.  So far, it has held up well through a very hot, sunny summer and a few torrential rains.  I wanted to make another banner for “back to school” and chose a favorite design by Helan Barrick from my decorative painting days.  I call this a banner rather than a flag because it is quite stiff and becomes even more so when exposed to the weather.

I used canvas duck fabric (not outdoor canvas which is treated) which was sewn to make a double thickness 12×18 inch banner with sleeve and primed it with two coats of Gesso front and back.  Then I drew the design on the front and painted it with acrylics.

For the back, which I can see clearly from my front window, I painted a design of an Amish-style quilt block.

Both sides were finished with two coats of Minwax Clear Satin Polycrylic to make it weather-proof.

I like seeing the banner in my front yard – my dog Rusty is looking out the door, probably admiring the quilt block on the back!

Cleaning White Resin Patio Furniture

This is my 8th year to use 5 chairs and a table which are of white resin.  Year by year, they had gotten more and more discolored and mottled.  I tried steel wool, various cleaners and cleansers but nothing helped without a tremendous amount of scrubbing time.  I was about ready to throw out these terrible looking chairs but they were still sturdy and I wanted white which didn’t seem to be available in the stores this summer.

Then, I heard somewhere that you could use a brush to paint undiluted laundry bleach on the surface and it would clean up like magic.  I didn’t have a brush but I had a long narrow sponge and poured bleach into a small bowl where I could dip the sponge and slather it onto the chair.  I wore rubber gloves and worked on an outside concrete patio in the open air. 

The results were amazing.  As soon as I made the first swipe, I could see the crud starting to fade away.  For more stubborn stains or hard to reach places, I used an SOS pad.  Then I hosed everything off to a rewarding finish!

Please note that this worked well on white resin furniture – I don’t know what it would do to other colors or other surfaces.  Be sure to wear protective gloves, to work outside and to work on a floor surface that won’t be damaged by drips.  I also wore old clothes which had a lot of patches of bleached surface when I was finished.  It’s good to have a hose nearby for thorough rinsing, too.

I cleaned 5 chairs and a small umbrella table in about an hour.  I’m very happy to be able to use my furniture for another season or two.