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?
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!
We had a fabulous Voorkamerfest weekend in Darling – an abundance of sunshine, customers, and good spirits. We stayed in a stunning little guest suite up at the top of Stasie Street, and we’ll be back there for another 3 days for the Wild Flower Show on the 18th of this month.
I was waiting to see what the peeps would think of the new fedoras and the patchwork bags, before spending too much money and time on items that wouldn’t sell. Now I know, and happily will be making lots more.
But not today. Today is PILLOW SLIP MAKING DAY. I have stocked up with egyptian cotton, white thread and a range of beautiful new fabric paints, and have even imposed a target on myself. Luckily it’s pouring with rain so I won’t be tempted to go out and roll around on the grass and smell the roses. But I hope you get to, wherever you are.
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!).
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.
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.
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.