Category Archives: patchwork

some you win, some you lose

Here’s a lose: a perfectly pleasant man commissioned me to make a throw for his couch, which he said was old and shabby but otherwise very comfortable, back in August. We talked about the colours in his lounge, including the curtains and the Persian carpet, and I assembled a collection of fabric for him to approve via email. Which he did. He also confirmed the size he wanted: 400 by 380cm. Not small at all!

Richard 2 I quoted him R2,580. This includes the backing fabric, top quality local and imported upholstery fabrics, and my labour. Considering it took me nearly a week to complete, this is a bargain. He accepted the price and asked me to go ahead. Here is the finished item:

Long story short – he ignores my emails and smses, and when he did once make the mistake of answering his phone, pretended to be out of the country. I tried again last week, and he informed me that he was terribly worried about his water bill, which was over R3,000, and he’d have to sort that out before anything else. At which point he put the phone down on me.

Hopefully someone else will love it and buy it, but it’s not an easy size to sell – it’s for a really really big 3-seater couch or an enormous bed. But my disappointment is great, partly because I have never been let down by a customer like this before (most of my customers are just the opposite!) and partly because I neglected to ask for a deposit before starting the job. Lesson learned :(

 

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more round cushions

But plumper. Much plumper :)

I had the idea to make the cushion covers removable, so made a separate inner (see below, looking like an enormous knaidel* on the dining room table!) and put a zip in the side of one of the roundies.

round inner

It was only when I was stitching the buttons through the centre (luckily I found a carpet needle for this chore) that I realised the cover would not be removable for that very reason. Doh.  Since the fabric I’m using is mostly upholstery/curtain linen anyway, the covers will need to be dry-cleaned, so that is my work-around for this problem.

I have drawn up a schedule of production (sewing and screenprinting) for the rest of October and November, with December being the time I need to have lots of everything ready for sale. I’ve printed it out and stuck it up on the wall, but it does make me feel a little weak. There won’t be much time for movies and outings and wine tastings and gala events…you know, my usual hectic social round. Not. Time to put my nose to the grindstone…

* yiddish for dumpling :)

round

Time to try something slightly different. But still with, you know, patchwork….

Pinterest…oh NO, there goes two hours of my life….but – these, from CluckCluckSew:

cluckcluck cushions

How could I see these and not be inspired? I already had a flat round cushion so decided to make a cover without the side gusset as an experiment. Side A and Side B:

Nice way to use up oddly shaped scraps, and being flat this would work on a stool, I guess. The next round one will have a side like the original design. I emailed the blogger, Allison Harris, to be sure she didn’t mind me linking back to her and using her pic, and she said she was happy for me to do so. Nice lady. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial, Allison xxx

Taking stock in September

Inspired by Rachel, inspired by Pip

Making : two patchwork cushions for an order for Lindi

Cooking : there’s a photocopied recipe for Julie Sahni’s green bean curry on the kitchen counter, but so far no actual shopping has been done with the making of it in mind

julie sahni

Drinking : coffee. without sweetener because I forgot to put any in and I can’t be bothered to leave my desk now and go back to the kitchen

Reading: The Steep Approach to Garbadale by Iain Banks

Wanting: my unsorted boxes from the house move last year to disappear into thin air

Looking: through the French doors at the sparrows outside on the patio

Wishing: that my unsorted boxes from the house move last year would disappear into thin air

Enjoying: the spring days and the cool nights

Waiting: for Thursday, when Karen and I get on the train for the long trip to Johannesburg and switch off from our normal lives completely

Liking: my slowly improving sense of well-being

Wondering: how long the Guptas will be allowed to run our country, and where all the good guys are

Zapiro

Loving: my garden and how much everything has grown in the last 16 months

Pondering: quantum physics. I read In Search of Schrodinger’s Cat by John Gibson, really slowly, and still can’t understand any of it

Listening: Jim Croce (in the car only)

Considering: whether or not I deserve/can afford to splurge on new cosmetics from Mac

Watching: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (on youtube, in bed, on my phone, late at night)

Hoping: for a lucrative 2017/2018 market season – my bank manager is also hoping for that, on my behalf

Marvelling: at how fat both my cats have become, despite being given the correct amount of Dr Hill’s Science Food at meals

Needing: already have everything I really need

Smelling: being a smoker, not that much!

Wearing: old jeans and an old hoodie of Rob’s with black and white skulls on it

Knowing: that first I have to be content with myself before I can find happiness in a relationship with anyone else

Bookmarking: hair tutorials on putting my hair up

Feeling: optimistic

Dreaming: of independence

Hearing: yes, it’s occurred to me that I should go for a hearing test but, in general, selective hearing makes for a more harmonious home life. A lesson I learned from my ex-husband :)

Anyone else out there taking stock today?

patchwork pinny

So, the patchwork pinny that I made last week for Karen caught Sharon’s eye via facebook.  She asked for something outrageous, and she came for coffee and to collect the pinny this morning:

pinny sharon 3

I had thought of adding some applique flowers and/or a few buttons and beads, but decided to leave it at a mix of leopard print and florals, with purple ribbon and pink lace. And a bit of orange lace around the crimson pocket. The inside is lined with shweshwe. Nothing matches. She loves it <3

We were laughing about how she should pose for the picture, which accounts for the lack of focus, and it really doesn’t do her justice – she has a flawless skin, stunning red hair and beautiful blue eyes. She’s beautiful on the inside, too. xxx

twins but different

Last year at one of the Kirstenbosch markets, I met Corinne. She was planning a trip to New Zealand to see her family this year, and wanted to have bedspreads specially made for each of her 10-year old twin granddaughters.

A bit of sorting and printing and fabric painting later, here we have vibrant purples and pinks for Erin and gentler greens and greys for Sami (if you look, you can see the squares with their names on).

Corinne line 2100_3139

Corinne line 1

Unfortunately, the New Zealand trip is off because Corinne has been undergoing serious back surgery and has a while to recover, but the girls should get them within the next 12 months.

Corinne’s friend came to my house to collect them on Sunday afternoon and, since she and I have had many conversations by phone and email, I had expected to hear from her quite soon. Sunday, nothing. Monday, nothing. Tuesday – well, by Tuesday I had convinced myself that she loathed the bedspreads but couldn’t bring herself to tell me.  I had visions of removing and replacing certain squares, or even making entirely new ones. Tuesday evening – phone call! The friend had been too busy with his work and other commitments to get them to Corinne until then, and SHE LOVED THEM BOTH, especially that none of the fabrics were “kiddy-ish” or old-fashioned. Ah, the relief!

I never used to get stressed unnecessarily like this (the customer had approved all fabrics and colours via whats app pics before I even touched a pair of scissors), so I’m wondering if it’s an age thing, or an anxiety thing? Or both. Or neither. I’ll try not to spend too long thinking about it…..

elefanti!

No, you’re not seeing double. There are two throws here folded in half but each one actually measures 140 by 190 cm, which is what the lovely Italian couple ordered :)  They found me at the last Kirstenbosch Craft Market and this was a special order. White elephants (elefanti!) printed on grey denim, mixed in with blues and whites and some neutrals.

Andrea One

Andrea and Martina divide their time between Cape Town and Italy (poor things) and this morning I delivered the throws and so got to see their beautiful 200-year old house in one of the City Bowl’s older suburbs, which they have renovated with exquisite flair. I was actually quite flattered that they wanted to find a place for my patchwork in amongst their European styling and modern look.

Andrea Four

We’ve had a little bit of rain here, not enough to make a difference to the dam levels, but the garden is looking a bit less thirsty. To wake up yesterday to the sound of rain falling was like a gift from heaven.

I’ve been through a dormant period lately (inert? low? uninspired?…something like all of those…) but I’ve felt better in the last couple of days. Autumn helps, as does the support of good friends, who always see me through the lousy times. You know who you are – xxx