Well, there seems to have been a bit of radio silence chez LPC recently. And for a very good reason! Not only have I been travelling – visiting Mum, weekend in Bath, day trip to Lyon – I’ve also been sewing away like a crazy woman.
Mais pourquoi I hear you cry! Well, a local group I belong to – the International Women’s Club of Lausanne – is holding a Holiday Gift Fair in early December. And I’ve decided to take a table to try and sell my wares.
This is a bit of a departure for me, as, until now, I’ve never seriously considered selling what I create. Most of it is made for the sheer pleasure of creating something beautiful, and ends up as gifts for people close to me. What’s more, I’ve never actually been convinced that anything I make is good enough to sell. But a couple of things have recently helped changed my mind.
First off, I successfully completed my Fabric Fast earlier this year, during which I committed to not buying any new fabric for 6 whole months. And so, from January to June, everything I made came my stash. This not only made me feel Deeply Virtuous, it also made me really take stock of the yards and yards of beautiful fabric I already have and which I’ve been hoarding for Some Special Project Or Other. But I’ve come to realise that such a Special Project may never materialise. Or, if it does, I’m much more likely to buy something yummy and new. And this is because of another revelation from my Fabric Fast – over the years my tastes have evolved. Fabric that I bought, say, 5 years ago, whilst still very beautiful, just doesn’t inspire me like it used to. It’s just sitting forlornly in my cupboard, waiting to be used. And that makes me a little sad. Fabric should be enjoyed, not hidden away in a cupboard!
And so I resolved to use up some of these former favourites to make beautiful and useful items – not just quilts, but things like various-sized fabric baskets, tissue holders, bookmarks, bags – and whatever else I can think of! And seeing as I can only use so many of these, and only have so many friends that would appreciate them as a gift, the logical conclusion is that I should try to sell them, so that they can be used and enjoyed as the fabric gods intended.
Secondly, I recently attended Patchwork in the Peaks – a twice yearly quilt retreat, held by the lovely Ms E in the glorious French Alps. And when I was there, I made a new friend, Ms S. Now Ms S, like me, loves modern quilting fabric, and was, like me, hugely frustrated by the lack of said modern quilting fabric available in the local area. And so she opened an Etsy store to sell fabric that she loves (she currently has some beautiful Jeni Baker Art Gallery fabric for sale…) One of the evenings we got chatting about fabric in general, and fabrics we’ve grown out of in particular, and she suggested I look into selling off some of my stash on Etsy, which, she assured me, is nowhere near as complicated or expensive as I’d previously assumed. And so a seed was planted…
Finally, I heard about the Holiday Gift Fair, and it occurred to me that this would be the ideal opportunity to maybe try and sell some of my creations, and then, if it goes well, possibly open up a little Etsy store myself as well.
And so I’ve been creating… And here is a little snapshot of some of my Works in Progress.
Noodlehead Divided Baskets
Pocket Tissue Holders
Reversible Twisted Fabric Baskets
And last, but by no means least, Kitty Cat Tissue Box Holders, just like this little guy – but in waaaay cooler fabrics 🙂
Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday...
This time next week Ms C and I will be on our way to Birmingham for the Festival of Quilts. Woohoo!!! It seems to have come round really quickly, and I’m so looking forward to it! But with only a week to go, I really need to get my backside in gear and start on the pre-work for my Colourful Quilt class.
After my last post, and the comments about my fabric selection, I made a few changes and I’m pretty much there now – well, I think this is about as good as I’m going to get it, in any case. I took out the darkest green and the darkest blue fabric and replaced them with lighter options, not only to balance out the distribution of colour value so that the darks wouldn’t dominate, but also so that there would be enough contrast between the 24 colours I had chosen and the background fabrics.
And here is the new round-up…
… with the background fabrics at the bottom of the pile
On the whole, I like it better; I think it’s more balanced, and much better reflects my initial thoughts of creating undulating curves in beautiful greeny-blue sea tones. Mmmmmmm!
Sadly (!) I had to break my fabric fast to get the fabric line-up how I wanted. I ordered a couple of half yards of solid fabric to replace the darks I wanted to remove, but while I was at it, I took the opportunity to fill up the Flat Rate envelope with some other fabric lovelies to make the shipping cost worthwhile. Well, it would have been rude not to!
In my defence, they were all in the sale section, this was my first ‘splurge’ all year, and, what’s more, the whole lot came in under the 62CHF limit allowed by Swiss customs before they tax the heck out of anything you want to import!
3 half yards of Simply Style
Half yard bundle of Theodore and Izzy
3 yards of Hello Tokyo
Judicious fabric purchasing – that’s the name of the game 🙂
In the meantime, an 11 page document detailing our preliminary cutting instructions has arrived by email. Yes, that’s right – 11 pages! And that’s only the cutting we need to do before the class! It’s mind-bendingly complicated, and all colour-coded too, if you please!
Crikey! It made my head hurt just thinking about it, so I took the sensible and adult approach to the problem. I printed off the instructions, and stuck them in the box with the fabric and shoved it away at the back of my sewing room. And there they will remain until the lovely Ms C, my partner in crime in all things quilty, gets back from sunny Spain later this week. At which point we can hopefully get together for a good old chinwag, before trying and work out what the heck it is we’re meant to be doing before we get on the plane next week.
Well, we did book the class because we wanted a challenge – bring it on!
Some days I find that everything just kind of comes together as if it were meant to be, and yesterday was most definitely one of those days. Unexpectedly so, I might add!
It started off like a regular day, except I went to have my nails done. At the moment I seem to have temporarily escaped from my pink-and-purple rut, and am now in a most definitely blue-aqua-green frame of mind (I’m blaming the bad influence of Ms E and Ms JJ for this!). The weather here has been somewhat miserable these past few weeks – rainy, overcast, not much sun – and so I chose a glorious bluey-green colour polish, as it made me think of the colour of the sea in the Caribbean. I think it’s gorgeous, and I came home happy, admiring my nails all the way.
Imagine my surprise when, arriving home, I found not one, but 2 parcels waiting for me in my mailbox! Since I started my quilting-fabric fast back in January, parcels in mailboxes have become a rare occurrence chez LPC… Needless to say, I was suitably excited, and scurried up to the apartment to discover what was in them. And I was not disappointed!
The first parcel contained some Linton fabric I’d ordered a few weeks back to make a new cardigan jacket. Since my couture sewing class, I now understand what went wrong last time around, so I decided to put my new-found knowledge into practice by making a new, improved version of the sadly-flawed original. In a turquoise-green fabric with golden-yellow and blue flecked ribbons woven through it. All summery and fresh and beautiful. Mmmmmmm 🙂 I’d actually forgotten I’d ordered it, so it was a wonderful surprise.
The fabric actually came with a cute Linton label!
Close up of the Linton fabric
The second parcel was altogether more special, as it contained an adorable bag made for me by the wonderful Katy of The Littlest Thistle. Earlier this year, I participated in her sew-along to make a lovely messenger style bag. And for participating, I won a prize. And this was it…
My new little clutch bag!
Metallic gold flap and cute heart magnetic clasp
Botanics lining – I love that fabric!
What’s more, tucked inside as an extra surprise were 3 beautiful mini charm packs, which I have to admit I drooled over and petted (well, this was my first new quilting fabric in months!)
Katy had thoughtfully made this bag in green and gold chevrons fabric, which not only matches the green and gold in my jacket fabric to perfection…
… but also co-ordinates pretty darn well with my newly-painted nails! (Mr. Boy also seems to approve!)
All in all, a day of serendipitous surprises 🙂
In less than a month I will be at the next Patchwork in the Peaks!
Patchwork in the Peaks is a bi-annual quilt retreat, run by my wonderful friend, Ms E. In April and October each year, a group of lovely ladies gather in Morzine in the French Alps to quilt their hearts out for four days. I’ve gone to every retreat since the start, I’ve made some fantastic friends, and it’s a wonderful way to spend a long weekend. You can read all about October’s retreat here.
Quilting with a view!
(Incidentally, it seems that 2 spots have opened up on the upcoming retreat – if you’re at all interested, I’d hurry up and snap one of them up before someone else does, seeing as they were all taken within a week of registration opening back in December – click here to find out more…)
But I digress…
As always, we’ll all be working on the same project during the retreat, and this time around it’s going to be a Mystery Quilt. I’m really excited to see how it’s all going to turn out, but it’s also rather daunting to choose fabric when you have no idea what you’re making. Oh, and when you’re on a Fabric Fast and so have to use what you already have rather than jump in and use the lovely Fat Quarter Shop discount for Peaks participants…
So what to do?
Back in February, I read this post from Isisjem, and it really struck a chord. Isisjem is also on a Fabric Fast, and she writes about approaching her stash as if it were a fabric store, with the idea that anything can be used for any project, rather than seeing it as a precious hoard of beautiful fabric to be saved for something special. I’m totally guilty of doing this with certain Too-Beautiful-To-Cut-Into fabrics (you know the kind..), but if I’m brutally honest, this means they’ll likely never get used because a) I have so much fabric already and b) I already have so many projects and ideas in the pipeline.
So I have decided that as of now, any fabric in my stash should be fair game, and I have spent this morning ‘shopping’ for the Peaks Mystery Project – a throw sized quilt which will finish at 58″ x 74 1/2″.
Obviously, I need to start with the focus fabric. All I know is that it should ideally be a large scale print, and I will need 1 1/8 yards of it. This already takes a whole load of my stash out of the running, as I have a lot of fabric cuts of 1 yard or less. And so, after a hard morning’s work, I have narrowed down my choice to one of 11 different fabrics, all large-scale prints
Well, it’s a start, right?!
Amy Butler – Love – Cypress Paisley
P&B Textiles – Florentine
Michael Miller – Eiffel Tower
Holly Holderman – Jolie Jardin
Philip Jacobs – Trumpet Flower
Gift from the wonderful Ms JJ
Robert Kaufmann – Tuscan Wildflower
Kaffe Fassett – Dancing Leaves
Yuko Hasegawa for RJR Fabrics
Hoffman International – Indulgence
Philip Jacobs – Coleus
As you can see, I have a wide variety of colours and styles of fabric in my stash! Some of them have been in there for several years, waiting for the right project. Is this that project? Who knows!
I think I know which one I want to use, but I’m going to sleep on it for a few days before making a final decision.
And anyway, I’m interested – which one do you like best????
Linking up today with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday – because, hey, pulling fabric for a new quilt counts as a work in progress…