Category Archives: patchwork

ScrapHappy August

There’s something about Kate’s Scraphappy reminder emails that makes me sit up, take note and galvanise myself into action.

I’ve been making belt bags lately, and I’m rather pleased with my design and how it works. But it occurred to me that it might also work with a bit of patchwork magic. Here are the three pieces I stitched together out of scraps.

scrap belt bag 1 small

And here they are all stitched up.

scrap belt bag 2 small

A close-up of the zip.

scrap belt bag 3 small

And one being modelled by Karen.

belt bag green

I’ll be keeping the scrappy one for myself but I have high hopes for the others: I’ve been busy re-opening my etsy shop and also plan to get some listings on Hello Pretty (a specifically South African platform) this week.

If you want to see what other scraphappy people are up to, click on these links: (Kate and Gun, the first two links, are the hosts)

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slightly late scraphappy

Just as I was about to sweep up last week’s cuttings, Kate’s email reminder about ScrapHappy popped into my head. This is what the floor in the garage/workroom looks like most of the time!

IMG_20190413_094146

And here’s what I salvaged and stitched together:

IMG_20190413_095732

And here’s what it turned into:

boho 3

My favourite boho bag yet! Here are two of the others.

 

The scrappy bits take longer to sew into a bag than the ones with squares or strips, but the pleasure of creating a piece of fabric from all those chopped-off bits was enormous.

I officially had my first showroom last week – yes, Kate was right, I needed to commit to a date to make sure I carried through. And I wanted a slow start, which was precisely what I got. I’ve only notified neighbours, friends and customers from the Made in the Cape market, the idea being that only people who know and like the kind of things I make will come. So not an open house and no unknowns off the street! I had three customers, two of whom made purchases. The first step (is it always the hardest one?) is over.

cubes and black holes

I found this little cube stool thing on one of the zillions of facebook sales pages I scour every single day as a major work avoidance strategy I occasionally look at. I’m going to use it in the new room so it can be sat on if required, but I couldn’t let it remain beige and plain. As you may have noticed, I’m like fully into more of a groovy boho vibe if you know what I mean, so it had to get jazzed up.

cube 1

Finally sewed the seams this morning! The colours don’t show too well but they are lilacs and different shades of grey, all cut from upholstery swatch books.

cube 4

cube 2cube 3

It’s not 100% perfect but I’m happy with it for now, may get around to edging the bottom with something or topstitching the seams a bit later on.  At least it’s another tick on my to-do list. That list is supposed to keep me focused and busy, but in the last couple of weeks it’s felt more like an albatross round my neck.

One of my lovely blog readers recently commented that she guessed I was always an upbeat, positive kind of person. I haven’t been able to get this out of my mind because that is the absolute opposite of what I am really like, and it strikes me how well some of us hide behind our facades and manage to fool others. My mind is often restless and disturbed, and sometimes I don’t even have that – I just have a black hole where creative thoughts and emotions and initiative are supposed to be. It’s a zombie-like state, a symptom of depression, and can vary in magnitude. Sometimes it’s minor and passes quite rapidly and doesn’t get in the way of doing basic stuff, and other times it’s worse and I can barely function. It’s almost impossible to engage with other people, to find words,  and absolutely nothing gets done – no work, no reading, no nothing. I had one of these wonderful ‘episodes’ recently and it lasted about 10 days. I had to cancel social outings with friends, put off running errands, and try and switch off the voice in my head that was constantly telling me what a useless waste of skin I am. It sounds so extreme, doesn’t it? It’s not really that easy to explain, except perhaps to someone else who is familiar with the joys of that particular roundabout. I’ve started referring to it as “brain flu” because when I get flu or a bad cold or something similar, I don’t put myself under the same kind of pressure to recover. I just endure.

I suppose what I’m saying is that none of us can ever really know another person or their reality, and how they express themselves through their words or demeanour is sometimes just a social pretence. Most of the time I feel like a fraud because I wish I was naturally positive and well-balanced but, left to my own devices, I’d fold in on myself like a little house of cards.

ScrapHappy November

My little denim market bag has become old and shabby.  I need to have room for cash, cell phone and parking ticket – three things you never want to lose touch with when you’re busy and distracted at a market. I also like to wear it as a crossbody because it’s too easy for it to slip off if it’s just over one shoulder. Goodbye, tired old friend.

market bag old

Hello, sweet and pretty new patchwork buddy!

market bag 2

Except for the blue lace, these bits were all leftovers from cushions and bedspreads. The back is old denim from a pair of jeans that are happily now far too big for me to wear, with an extra pocket for luck.

Have a look at other ScrapHappy stories, all inspired by Kate at Tall Tales from Chiconia

still with the chair thing

After the success with this one, I moved on to the four dining chairs with drop-in seats (the two chairs that go at each end of the table are made in a different style but the seats didn’t need recovering anyway). They have/had pretty needlepoint seat covers but they’re getting shabby, plus I was still looking for things to STAPLE with the GUN.

Before:

dining Before

After:

 

dining 4

dining 3

An aside: I decided not to remove the original needlepoint covers before recovering with the patchwork, although this is obviously what a professional would have done. There may be a time when these chairs will go and live somewhere else, in which case my fabric can easily be removed. There’s no way that undeserving people will get to enjoy my pretty patchwork stripes and labour (long story,  beyond the scope of this blog post)…

I know I shouldn’t boast but I really really love how these turned out :)

sitting pretty

When you’re always so busy making stuff to sell, sometimes it feels like pure indulgence to spend time making something for your very own self. That’s how it is for me, at least.

chair 1

Sorting out the things that got shoved into the spare bedroom, I unearthed this old teak chair that used to be in my shop. Inspired by ideas on pinterest, I gave it a quick make-over with some patchwork squares and a staple gun. Honestly, it took me less than 45 minutes to sew and recover the seat. Great satisfaction!

chair 2

PS. So many of you have sent me personal emails lately – thank you. Even if I haven’t replied to each one, please know that they have all been read with gratitude and have touched my heart.

ScrapHappy cushion cover

I’ve been in neutral for what feels like a long time now but am slowly getting back into gear – first gear still, but moving up to second… I’m sure eventually I’ll be back to normal, or at least whatever passes for normal with me :)

circle

I came across a round cushion I’d made ages ago from left-over bits of fabric that never really worked: the diameter was completely off, it was too small and, once stuffed, it was like a rugby ball. I still like the colours so decided to unpick the whole thing and figure out a way to make it bigger. I wanted to somehow drop it into a bigger piece of fabric but without having to applique the edges. I gave it some thought and also checked on the internet to make sure I was heading in the right direction: this tutorial by Angela Pingel helped a lot. It’ll now become a cushion about 45cm square, a goodly size. The background fabric isn’t technically a scrap but I’m sure the patchwork pie will count as “scraphappy”!

I’ve been inspired to write this by Kate, who provides links to other ScrapHappy bloggers at Tall Tales from Chiconia on the fifteenth of every month. It’s a marvellous nudge to creativity to see what other people do with their imaginations and sewing skills.