Category Archives: patchwork

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.

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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.

and cats

I’m still stuck on animal cushions. Here’s Cat Cushion #1, finished late on Friday night in time for Saturday’s market. It sold within the first hour.

kitten

I can be clever on occasion, so I knew what to do — make more! Here’s another one:

kitten 2

Another four cats are waiting in the wings, they’ll be finished and stuffed by this evening in time for the Made in the Cape market at Cavendish tomorrow. I’ve made 28 new cushions altogether in the last few days so, as it happens, it’ll also be me who’ll be finished and stuffed by this evening. Cushion collage

PS. The woman who bought the cat on Saturday phoned me yesterday to ask if I could make her another one (in a different colourway) so that she’s not without a cat cushion when the first one is in the wash. Purrrrrrr…..  

WIP: scraphappy doorstop

I’ve been making a couple of round patchwork cushions lately, and I had one circle lying around that didn’t get cushioned up before Xmas. What else could I do with this?

doorstop 4

As it happens, I need a proper doorstop for my bedroom – most of the year it’s impossible to live without the windows being open, but when a breeze comes up, the door slams. And not only do you get a groot skrik but, with three cats wandering lazily around, the last thing I want is an accident. I’ve been using a belt buckled round the doorknob and the nearest handle on the wardrobe – it does the job but I thought a more permanent workaround would be better. Especially if I can link the solution with Kate’s Scraphappy-ness :)

I gathered it up round the edge and filled it with a plastic bag full of beach sand. I glued in a strip of plastic belt for the handle, then handstitched the open bit together. I’m not quite sure what to do about the raw edge yet, I might end up sticking on some crochet flowers. I also stuck on a circle of fake leather underneath, to protect it from picking up dirt from the floor.

Things to consider in future:
My circle is only 44cm in diameter, which has resulted in a very small doorstop. Mine is quite hobbit-sized, and may end up being used as a paperweight. Or given to the nearest hobbit.
The circle can be made up of fabric pieces in different ways (doesn’t have to be cake-slices) or from a single piece of fabric if you don’t like the patchwork look.

I’m sure there are doorstops like this all over pinterest, but after an hour of only finding rectangular ones I cut my losses and did my own thing.

What am I looking forward to today? A drive out to beautiful Tulbagh (in what is known as the Valley of Abundance) to catch up with my dear friend Tina, whom I have known for nearly 40 years, over dinner at the Tulbagh Hotel and a sleepover in her wonderful farm cottage.

Back soon :)