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...
I really am extremely fortunate to have the most fantastic niece, the lovely Miss B, and a wonderful sister and brother-in-law who are happy to let us ‘borrow’ her during the summer holidays. This is our third summer in Switzerland, and the third summer Miss B has come to visit. And this year we’ve been lucky enough to have her stay for 2 weeks 🙂
Now, one of the (many!) great things about living in Switzerland is how close we are to so many really cool places, places that just NEED to be visited! And who better as a travelling companion than the lovely Miss B?! When she visited last August, I took her on a surprise trip to Paris, which was great fun; this year we decided to ask her where she would like to go, and having impeccable taste (a trait she has surely inherited from her aunt!), she chose Barcelona.
Barcelona! For pretty much as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to visit Barcelona! I don’t quite know why I never made it there before, but it was definitely worth the wait to visit this beautiful city in the company of my two very favourite people. And what a fantastic time we all had! I could wax lyrical for days on end about the sights, the history, the food, the architecture – but suffice to say we arrived back in Lausanne yesterday evening exhausted, happy, several kilos heavier and vowing to return very soon 🙂
Now if there’s one truth that poor RR has come to realise, it’s that wherever we travel in the world, there’s always a quilt shop that needs to be visited. In Barcelona there are several. But at the start of the holiday I’d agreed to restrict myself to only one shop, to make sure we had enough time to do all the other things we planned to do. After some careful research, the shop I chose was Nunoya, not only because of my love of all things Japanese, but also because they stock Kokka fabric, which I adore. And with the help of Google Maps, we soon found this little gem of a store tucked away in the Gothic Quarter.
From the moment I’d seen their website, I knew I was going to enjoy my visit, and the shop itself didn’t disappoint. It wasn’t enormous, but there was more than enough fabric to ogle, plus cute Japanese gifts, sandals, bags. They even take commissions to make dresses and kimonos! Tempting, or what?!
I was served by a friendly, English-speaking lady – which was handy as unfortunately Spanish is one of the languages I don’t (yet) speak 🙂 She wasn’t intrusive when I was browsing (don’t you just hate that?!), but once I’d decided on my purchases she was quick to help and get cutting.
Given the abundance of glorious fabric, I feel I was extremely restrained – I contented myself with a couple of metres of fabric for a baby quilt I’m planning to make, and 6 fat quarters for presents. Happily, they also do mail order, so I have already scouted for my possible future needs (a skirt in the cutest bird fabric beckons, I feel, and I now know exactly where to go for any future cat-themed projects!)
And so it was that we left the shop with purchases gorgeously wrapped à la japonaise to continue our evening of rambling down Las Ramblas, munching on tapas, and falling even more in love with the beautiful city of Barcelona.
On Tuesday, I went to Paris for the day.
I know, it sounds awfully decadent, doesn’t it?!! But Lausanne to Paris is just 3 hours 40 on the TGV, so it’s actually quite do-able if you’re willing to get up early… And it’s been so hot and humid here recently that I actually found a 5.15 am wake-up quite refreshing. For a change!
The main reason of my visit was to meet up with some American friends who are over on holiday, but a catalogue of problems with my iPhone meant I was rendered incommunicado for most of the day. Sadly I didn’t manage to meet my friends. I did, however, take full advantage of my time in Paris – after all, how often does a girl get let loose all alone in such a magical place with a fistful of Euros ?
Before I left, I’d promised myself I wouldn’t buy any quilting fabric or bits and pieces, and I’m proud to say I kept my promise. Nothing quilting-related was purchased (unless you count a pack of hand sewing needles so I could continue my hexie-thon on the train home, my intention to sew my way to Paris and back being somewhat scuppered by the fact that I left my needles behind – oops!) I did, however, visit some splendid fabric shops, where I could have easily spent hundreds, nay thousands, of euros. In the end, I feel I was very restrained…
Enamoured by the success of my nearly-completed sundress, and motivated by the fact that I’m almost at my goal weight again, I’ve decided to branch out and make myself a couple of simple summer tops and skirts. So I shamelessly ogled my way through a succession of couture-quality fabric shops, before hopping on the metro to Montmartre to check out the more reasonably priced ones. And I don’t think I did too badly.
… and these to make skirts with…
I particularly love the turquoise one with the red Eiffel Towers on it! How cool will that skirt be???
And when it got too hot to shop, I wandered along the banks of the Seine people-watching, with an ice cream in hand to cool off. Unfortunately this was consumed too quickly for any photos to be taken, but take my word for it, it was goooooood! (Lemon curd raspberry ripple, if you’re interested…)
By 6pm I was back on the (lovely air-conditioned!) TGV and on my way home, absolutely shattered but feeling deeply contented and knowing that I’ll certainly be back again soon.
Paris, je t’aime!