Tag Archives: sewing

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 :)

Advertisements

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.

neck cushions!

Oh glory you know how it goes – there’s urgent stuff that needs doing (like cleaning and packing up your house!) with a deadline built-in (gak vomit shudder) but you’re too excited by a new idea to focus on the horrible task – or is that just a euphemism for work avoidance? Well, when it comes to procrastination, I am a world expert.

second sample

This idea has been fermenting in the back of my mind for a while and, now that the approval days for the Christmas markets are imminent, I had to pull finger act fast.

The neck cushions have involved much experimenting re size, sewing, fabric, colour, design, filling, dried herbs, seeds, lavender, dried fynbos, barley, labels, velcro vs zips, etc., but I am delighted with the result. Megan, Anne’s daughter, managed to translate my terrible scribbles and rough layout into the beautiful leaf fabric and logo design, and it’s all been very exciting. Megan’s other work can be seen here.

So, I print the fabric for the cushion cover myself, and all sewing is done by moi as well. What makes my neck cushions different (and special) is the two separate inners – one with grains and herbs/flower extracts, and the other with unicurl filling. It makes the cushions really versatile and extra comfortable. Here’s my lovely screen and some fuchsia printed on dark cream,

and all the info on the back of the wrap-around label:

beleaf copy

The cushions are on facebook (I’d love you to like my page!) and there’s a website under construction.

For Cape Town readers, I’ll be at the Kirstenbosch Craft Market on Sunday. Before I start selling the neck cushions, I’m going to give away three to nice people who will be asked to send me an honest review afterwards. One has already been booked by one of my lovely customers, Simone, so there are two up for grabs. Find me at the market and, if still available, you will get your pressie!

taking (a bit of) stock

Making: elephant cushions that, hopefully, will be given the thumb’s up by the Kalk Bay shop:

for elephants

Gearing up for: sorting out and packing all my crafty things. Since the Big Tidy in January, which was sufficient to get the house looking decent enough to put on show, my natural love of chaos has taken over again.

Enjoying: compliments from customers – this from Enid, who stopped and bought a kitty cushion on Sunday while her family was on its way to breakfast at Woolies. She’s put the cushion on top of the throw I made for her last month.

Enid Son

Not enjoying: planning my finances for the next couple of months. Moving house is bloody expensive…legal fees, transfer duty, movers, aarrgghhh

Getting very cross with: Edward. His youthful naughtiness is rubbing off on my two old girls and they have started up with new bad habits, like sleeping where they shouldn’t and knocking phones and glasses off bedside tables. Here is helpful Edward:

help from Edward

Choco’s thoughts are clear: If he can do it, why can’t I? Now leave me alone while I’m trying to nap.

IMG_20180403_101010

Looking forward to: having a girls’ night at my house tomorrow – Gwen, Kim, Michelle, wine, pizza, ice-cream. All the good stuff.

Grateful for: meeting lovely people through blogging. On Friday at Made in the Cape, I was visited by Lynn, who introduced herself as someone who reads my blog. I thought you’d be older, she said, at which point I knew she would be my friend for life. I haven’t had time to arrange a follow-up, but we had a long chat about all kinds of things from crochet to self-confidence, and I feel like I’ve known her for years. Lynn, if you’re reading this, please give me til next week to sort myself out, I’m a bit behind with work stuff right now :)

Sad about: my wonderful Doreen, who had a stroke last month and is recovering at Booth Memorial in Gardens. She has made a very good physical recovery but isn’t quite ready to go home just yet. She has a loving and attentive family but, with the exception of her grandson, they all live overseas. She is so frustrated that her hands aren’t up to crocheting, I can share her impatience! Last night I took her biscuits and flowers, kindly donated by Karen, and with 15 minutes to go before the end of visiting time, her daughter Linda arrived straight from the airport from the US via London. Hugs and tears.

my doreen

I have so much love and admiration for this incredibly generous and hard-working and positive woman. xxx Doreen.

customers

For me, one of the best things about selling my wares directly at markets is that you can build up a nice relationship with customers, who sometimes come back more than once and/or tell their friends about you.

I received these photos via WhatsApp from two repeat customers this morning, both of whom collected their goodies yesterday at the Country Craft Market in Somerset West.

The round patchwork cushion joins a few other patchworky things made by me on Martina’s bed, but I think it looks cute on the chair, too. The gold butterflies were a special request, on king-size pillow cases, and I need to print more – Christine says she needs duplicates for when these two are in the wash!

It’s a slow slow Sunday here: the sun is shining and there’s a nice breeze, and I was going to get some sewing and some writing done – but I woke up with a bad headache and a sore throat, so decided to embrace the chance to rest up. I went back to bed with coffee and biscuits and my book (Josephine Tey, just to mix things up a bit!) and am shortly going to pop some ingredients into the slow cooker to make this recipe from a wonderful book sent to me by Kathryn:

recipe

Hope you’re all having an excellent Sunday :)

some you win, some you lose

Here’s a lose: a perfectly pleasant man commissioned me to make a throw for his couch, which he said was old and shabby but otherwise very comfortable, back in August. We talked about the colours in his lounge, including the curtains and the Persian carpet, and I assembled a collection of fabric for him to approve via email. Which he did. He also confirmed the size he wanted: 400 by 380cm. Not small at all!

Richard 2 I quoted him R2,580. This includes the backing fabric, top quality local and imported upholstery fabrics, and my labour. Considering it took me nearly a week to complete, this is a bargain. He accepted the price and asked me to go ahead. Here is the finished item:

Long story short – he ignores my emails and smses, and when he did once make the mistake of answering his phone, pretended to be out of the country. I tried again last week, and he informed me that he was terribly worried about his water bill, which was over R3,000, and he’d have to sort that out before anything else. At which point he put the phone down on me.

Hopefully someone else will love it and buy it, but it’s not an easy size to sell – it’s for a really really big 3-seater couch or an enormous bed. But my disappointment is great, partly because I have never been let down by a customer like this before (most of my customers are just the opposite!) and partly because I neglected to ask for a deposit before starting the job. Lesson learned :(

 

a pinny and a pie

Dexterously combining two themes in one post here: (a) a further attempt at cooking in the oven, and (b) a Scrap Happy project for Kate’s collection.

Sean's pie

Last year, staying with Sean and Melinda in Grahamstown, Sean made this fabulous spinach and feta pie for our supper one evening. It’s not vegan because the recipe calls for eggs, ricotta and feta – which means Melinda couldn’t have any – but I guess she was used to that, Sean usually going big on the carnivore side of things! Anyway, he sent me the link and it’s been lurking on my bookmarks bar ever since. Last night = girls’ night at my house = chance to make pie and graciously accept amazed compliments on having made something both edible and attractive.

karen apron

Theme #2: Karen mentioned that she could use another pinny for her work at the Service Dining Rooms.  I made this for her last week, from leftovers of fabric from cushions and bedspreads, and a bit of lace and some orange bobbles at the bottom left over from who the hell knows what.  Here she is, trying to give a realistic impression of a happily domesticated woman about to dish up the pie, but looking more like someone who’s watched The Shining too many times. Perhaps she would have been happier with an axe.