Tuesday, 16 September 2014

This Summer's Events: The Umbrella Fair

This was a new venue for me: Northampton's Racecourse park.  What a fabulous event it was.  It was held over two days, though I only attended for one of them.  Many thanks to Niki for highlighting it for me.
The Umbrella Fair is a free festival with energy and resource conservation at its heart.  There was music in a number of tents across the field, and a range of stalls.  I liked the fact that all the food outlets only served vegetarian food - it made for a much better quality of food, I felt.  The cakes were great too!  The ethos of sustainability meant that my items fitted very well.  Stalls were varied and footfall was great.  All credit to the volunteers who made it all work. 
My only disappointment was that it was SO windy!  (OK, so this is not meant as a criticism of anyone, just in case anyone feels tempted to comment!)  I did get very cold (my own fault for not being better prepared) but on the other hand it did give me a good excuse to browse the vintage clothing stalls and invest in a lovely thick cardigan which is now my "stall cardi"!
I really hope to be back next year - it was a great experience.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Mini-Belinda 2

A second version of the resized Belinda bag (as is my habit, I made five versions at once!)  This one has another variation - instead of side straps, I used the ties to create a fastening for the top. I like the effect.
The patches this time are random, as I used the "offcuts" to make this version.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

This Summer's Events: East of England Garden Show

This was an "interesting" one.
The positives for me were that it was a new area (Huntingdon) and that the stall was free for me.
This is not an event I will go to again.  It was much more of a Koi Carp show than a garden show.  Footfall in the craft tent (which was at the opposite end of the field from all the Koi Carp exhibits which were clearly of much more interest to the audience) was very poor.  I did manage to make reasonable sales on the first of the two days, but my sales on the second day were very poor.  I know of several other stallholders who sold nothing for the entire weekend.  Disappointing.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Applique bag - spotty dogs

The dogs on this bag were made from another Hobbycraft design pack.

I have used the pack on several designs, finding it very striking.  I returned to Hobbycraft to see if I could restock the fabrics, but apparently many other customers found the pack very attractive!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Embroidered panel bags: Chocolate warning

This bag seems to be purchased rapidly whenever I have it in stock, and the slogan brings smiles of appreciation and agreement when it is seen.  It has appeared in other forms, but I think it is a great one for a bag - perhaps it serves as a waring, or perhaps it just makes those who see it being carried sile.
"Bring me chocolate and nobody gets hurt".

Oh yes!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

This Summer's Events: Bromham Show

This is a regular event for me, and the first at which I ever manned a stall to sell my bags for the charity.  This was my fourth year, and the most enjoyable so far, even if not the best in terms of takings.  (I suspect most of the residents of Bromham and the surrounding areas who would like one of my bags has already bought one, and, as I said several times this year, I didn't build in obsolescence - my bags do not tend to wear out!)
For the first time this year my stall was in the area run by Bromham Churches.  This was such a bonus for me, and made the whole event feel so "right".  The work I am doing in making and selling the bags comes directly out of my faith, and so to be with the churches was so appropriate.
It was lovely to meet up with previous customers, and to have some great conversations with people - both at and around my stall.  I also had the bonus of others helping me with the selling - thank you Ronnie!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Mini pocket bag

I think this is a real "little girl" bag.  The flowery fabric is used both for the external pockets (6 of them) and the lining, and the bag itself is made from 4" square scraps.  It has been a while since I have had these on my stall so I will look forward to seeing how they sell.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Applique bag - pigs

I had a longs stretch of time over the holiday where I played around with different applique patterns.  We have recently had a branch of Hobbycraft open in Bedford, and I must admit I have enjoyed trips out to that particular retail park much more since its opening!  It has, over the summer, been selling packs of 6 fat quarters at half price.  Well, I ask you, who could possibly resist?  I have succumbed on several occasions.  A pack of mixed pinks has produced (among others) this bag:
The embroidery pattern was one of a design pack purchased online, and I just love this bag.  So, apparently, did my customers - it sold on its first outing!  So a remake is needed...

Monday, 1 September 2014

Mini-Belinda (1)

This is a version of the Belinda Bag, designed by the talented Helen Coverley.  I have made the Belinda bag several times (and you will find photos of it on the blog).  However, I mislaid my pattern.  Thinking I could remember it, I began.  Helen very generously passed on a replacement copy of the pattern to me, but by the time I got it I was past the point of no return!  So here is the mini Belinda!
Made with smaller squares, and less of them, and with invented strap lengths!  It is lined with fabric from Mombasa, and still makes a great bag - just different!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Sewing day

The wonderful people at Tudor Rose Patchwork offered me a "Charity Day" and the use of their workshop this summer.  Not only that, but they advertised the day for me and took bookings, and lent me equipment, and provided drinks!
I was blessed by so many people attending.  Some came for the whole day; others dropped in for part of the day only.  Some came through the advertising; others through direct contact with me. Some were (very) experienced bag makers and others were complete novices. In all I think about 15 people came throughout the day - all to help me make various styles of pocket bags.  I provided instructions and materials (though many people brought their own contributions).  They made the bags for me!

Many started with the backpacks and I ended up with a good selection of these.  Others focused on the shoulder bags.  I managed to deplete my stock of pockets considerably, for which I am very grateful.

Several of the bags have already sold; more are still in stock.  Some were purchased by their makers on the day!

Thank you all!