Experiment in patchwork heart-shaped cushion: relatively quick to make, enjoyable to stuff and hand-stitch edges with perle cotton while watching a Season 2 episode of Top of the Lake, make sure the bottom lines up properly next time. I plan to make a batch for the next Made in the Cape market, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
The bathroom took longer to sort out than I’d anticipated so no worthwhile pic to show you yet. I’ll be moving on to the sewing room next, but the week has been interrupted – very happily – with more overseas orders for pillow cases and the discovery of a fabulous new Italian restaurant in Observatory. Forneria Italia doesn’t have an alcohol license yet, so take your own wine. Best.pizza.ever. Thanks to Gwenni for the recommendation.
And the last thing for today, particularly for Cape Town readers: Level 6b water restrictions will be coming into effect from 1 February, as you probably already know (and we’re all trying not to panic too much) but how useful is this from EyeWitness News:
RAIN. PLEASE. SOON.
The ten-day Made in the Cape artisan market ended on Sunday. It was a big success on all levels, but exhausting — obviously to be expected, and this is not a complaint, but I hadn’t anticipated the draining effect that ten days (eleven hours each) in a busy shopping mall would have on me. You may or may not know this about me, but I am not a shopping-mall kind of gal. I will go to one of the smaller ones if necessary but far prefer to stick to my local shops down in Rondebosch village. The post office is also there, and the library, and a superb barista, and the bank. And there’s always parking.
Anyway, hard work never killed anyone and I’ve had three follow-up orders already, so there is also a good long-term effect of being on show, as it were. The patchwork cushions were especially popular.
We also had some drama! A woman had had her cell phone taken out of her handbag as she was coming down the escalator closest to me. The thief ran past my table and slid the phone in between a pile of my cushions. This was captured on cctv so within seconds I had a swarm of security guards “helping” me go through all my stock. We searched in vain, which made no sense, so I suggested that she had probably had an accomplice who had retrieved the phone very quickly and made off with it in a different direction. Further cctv footage proved me right, and a ring of four women was eventually caught and arrested.
I was reminded of something in one of Ben Trovato‘s priceless blog posts about shopping malls and holiday crowds:
And remember that even though pickpocketing and purse-snatching is considered quaint and old school in this glamorous age of state capture, the pilferers and purloiners are still out there practising their ancient craft. Fleet of foot and nimble of finger, not for them the tedious complexities of tender rigging and money laundering. Handbags are their thing. This is why women should keep a small explosive device in their bag at all times. If the bag is stolen, they can detonate it with a remote control. This will not only teach the thief a valuable lesson but will also help thin out the crowds in the mall.
So, be alert and keep your handbags zipped up tight !
I know this because tomorrow is the first market day of the new 2017/2018 season at the Country Craft Market in Somerset West.
The Country Craft Market differs from other markets in and around Cape Town because it is a true CRAFT market, not a flea/food/farmers market. This means that everything has to be hand-made and that the artists/crafters themselves attend the market.
The range of items that a trader wants to sell requires approval from the organisers in advance. This prevents having too many stalls selling very similar things, and also prevents the syndrome of “imported product creep-in”.
I’m looking forward to starting the new season, in my permanent stand (#26) under the oak trees. The weather seems set to be just right, and my fellow traders are all lovely. I’m keen to see what they’ve all been working on over the past winter. Me? Same same, with the pillowcases and the bedspreads, but now also with patchwork cushions. These three are hot off the sewing machine:
Andrea’s bedspread: this afternoon I finished stitching the panels together (12 by 13 of them, to make 300 by 280cm) and topstitching, and tomorrow I’ll tackle the back. I had to spread it out over the dining table and chairs to get it all in one photo, and even then I couldn’t manage it.
There are some guinea fowl in grey, and some in brown, and a few proteas, and a bit of other handprinteds here and there, the rest is a combination of light to medium weight upholstery fabrics, mainly cottons.
This is for Andrea’s guest bedroom, and she specifically wanted neutral colours. Did I mention she is Swiss? Am I the only one who finds this amusing?
I finally finished the patchwork cushion I wanted to give to Michelle for her birthday (two months ago already). Sorry, Michelle. But glad you like it :)
It’s a nice big fat one (46 x 62 cms) so could easily double as a pillow. And here it is on her couch. (Is it just me or is her couch pretty massive???)
Alex came round the other day to renew her bond with Jessie, whose current favourite sleeping place is in a box of fabric under the table in my sewing room.
Seems a certain human also finds this a good place to snooze. Choco (bottom left) very affronted at being left out.
And I’ve just received this email, which makes me very happy. You will forgive me if it seems boastful to share it with you? Thanks, I knew you would.
To differentiate between my usual squares-only patchwork, I have come to think of this as the Random Threesomes. See how nicely those first six grew into a respectably-sized couch throw?
I might end up keeping this one. On the other hand, if anyone is keen, I’ll sell it! I once heard a customer at a craft market tell her friend that Jews will even sell you something from their own home if “the money’s right”. “Yes,” said the friend, “Indians do that, too.” Classic!
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!
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.)
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!