Tag Archives: fabric

Ruth’s bedspread

I was very disappointed to discover that the grey-water system in the new house only links to two bathrooms (one of which is seldom used). I couldn’t understand why so little water was coming out every day, as the washing machines (yes, two of them!) are in near-constant use, and also a hell of a lot of washing-up gets done around here. (Don’t look at me, and don’t ask. Just don’t).

So, under even tighter water restrictions, Rob fiddled around with some of the water outlet pipes and we now have an efficient – albeit rudimentary – “system”, involving lots of different-sized buckets carefully positioned over various drains. Twice a day, I decant from the bigger buckets into smaller buckets and go staggering round the garden with them trying to keep the plants alive. It’s very bad timing to have tendonitis in my right arm but how can you not use your right arm ffs, so I keep on regardless.

I don’t know how I got started on this, actually, but clearly I am obsessed with trying to get my garden growing the way I want it!! — I was planning to show you Ruth’s bedspread, which still needs a backing but will be ready in time for the market on Saturday.

ruth-1

She asked for shocking pink and navy, with a lighter blue and some grey here and there. I didn’t have anything useable in bright pink, so bought 2 metres of mediumweight linen and spread it out over the kitchen counter to break the solidity of it with some printing in whites and grey.

printing

She’s also asked to make some little fabric containers – I guess something like this (found here), so I’ll have some fun playing around with that idea today.

fabric-baskets

patchworky

I’m getting all patchworky. And I’m blaming Kate. My first two bedspreads were large irregular squares and rectangles and some strips. Nice, she said, but try cutting smaller squares because then you can fit in more contrasting fabrics. And what do you know, I’m hooked!

red-1

Side one and side two of a bright reddy-orangey mix, four strips of 10 squares each so far. I’ve opted for 10-inch squares because it seems like a manageable size. Not too big, not too small.  Yay for the rotary cutter and cutting mat. If the house started burning down, they are now the first two items I would grab. (Sorry, cats.)

red-2

Maggie asks if I will be quilting the bedspread. It’s a short answer – No. There will be no batting and no fancy-pants stitching designs. There will be a lightweight cotton backing and topstitching round the edge. I know my limits!

donkey work

I enjoyed playing around with those bits of left-over fabric more than I realised. And when it comes to enjoyable sewing, nothing beats the simplicity of straight lines. Someone I knew would have called it donkey work, in which case I’m having an Eeyore week.

bedspread-2

The colours don’t show up that well in the pics, but they are a gorgeous mix of blues and creams and teals and greys and browns.

I like random, so I’ll never be one of those clever quilting ladies whose exquisitely thought-out fabric mosaics I admire so much! But I still felt I deserved a rotary cutter and a proper cutting mat – an early birthday present to myself :-)  My squares are so much squarer now!

bedspread-1       bedspread-3

rotary       eeyore

still playing with….

…fedoras and fabric. I’ve found it’s possible to stitch bias binding around the edge of the brim (very very carefully and slowly, with Gemsy), and I think it’s worth the effort.

fed 4 fed 1 fed 2 fed 3

I think I’ll wear one of these when I nip down to Pick n Pay later for my supplies – see if I can draw a response from anyone. I tried that a while back with a very over-the-top pixie hat, was expecting to be fallen on by hundreds of people braying with excitement and desire…  Not one. Not a single one. I even lurked longer in the chocolate aisle, hoping to give similar-minded customers the opportunity to see the hat. Still nothing. I hummed round the dairy section, flicking my head around a bit, pretending to be deliberating over the ricotta. Nada. Knocked the wind right out of my sails. But today – today we try again !

back to business :)

It looks like the most disruptive part of that messy business is behind me, so I’m back home and getting back into a productive work routine.

I’ve found knitting has helped me keep calm, especially since I am really really slow at it….  I’ve been trying out different hat patterns so my knitting ladies have samples to work from.  (I have another one on board now, and I didn’t even have to look for her, she found me!).

knitted hats

I also fitted in a pair of shark slippers for the girlfriend of a customer’s son, who is having a birthday today and is mad about sharks. Her boyfriend is treating her to a shark cage diving expedition… some people are craaaaazzzy.

shark slip 2     shark slip 1

Apparently they were all ecstatic about the slippers, but I have to say I wouldn’t make them again in a hurry. Too fiddly for my liking!!! I like more instant gratification.

I have also been sewing, which is fast becoming my preferred activity right now. I have boxes and boxes of leftover bits of fabric from Suzette (who makes cushions) and decided to make them up into patchwork bags.  I love mixing different colours and textures, but what I love most is making something useful out of someone else’s discards.

patchwork 3   patchwork 1 patchwork 2

They’ll get a lining and a bit of velcro to close but nothing fancy because I’d like to keep the price as low as possible. They’ll be coming to the Rondebosch Market with me on Saturday, so we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for another sunny winter’s day.

lightbulb moment, and what I can do with scraps

On Saturday at the Somerset West market someone picked up one of my stinky fish hats and tried it on. While she was admiring herself in the mirror (which Rob always hangs from the nearest plane tree), I thought what a shame it is that it takes so long to crochet them – everyone loves them, and I’m sure I’d sell more if I had them to sell. Then I had one of those l-bulb moments. I could SEW a stinky fish.

So that’s what I’ve been having fun doing. Here is Design Attempt #4. Instead of attaching fins, I’ve run some bits of netting along the three upper seams, and also let them drift a bit from the tail. I might go back to the fins, though, I’ll see.

fish1

I’m working out how best to do the lining, and also have plans to incorporate some glittery fabric liner, buttons and beads, bits of lace, and dried chicken bones. Okay, just kidding about the chicken bones. The netting is from a bag of scraps passed on to me by a sewing friend, Gail, because, as we all know, nothing need ever go to waste. Here it is next to the couch after I’ve scrabbled through it….

scraps gail

Super scorching sickly hot in Cape Town today. My experience with heat is that there’s no point trying to fight against it, better just to go with the flow. And what better way to do that than allowing a nap to hit on me….

nap

spot check

I mentioned that Alex and I had supper and watched Thelma and Louise together the other night? Five days later, my poor girl was covered in measles. The German kind. My mother has blanked out most of my childhood years so cannot possibly be expected to remember if I ever had it as a child – and the vaccine was only administered in the UK from 1969, which means I missed out, being born in 1961.  So far, no-one who has been in contact with her (that we know of) has shown any symptoms, so please keep your fingers crossed. She turns 21 next week and there are celebrations planned – so this would be particularly unfortunate timing.

Hat news: I found this lovely cloche on pinterest, from bozontee. Free pattern, too, which is wonderful.

blogonzee

I think she made her’s in linen. Here’s my version:

cloche

lining

I used a heavyweight velvety sort of fabric and a thin cotton for the lining. Quick and easy. Lots of potential for adding bling and extra stuff. But more cloches are for future Jill. Right now, let me get back to the preschool’s sunhats … and do a spot check…

barnyard