Friday, 7 August 2009

Bags of Patchwork

Last week it was owl making, following that little trip to the marvellous Tikki Patchwork shop, picking up the gorgeous 1930's style fabrics.  Whilst I was there, I also treated myself to a Japanese bag making book.  It is really lovely but very errm, Japanese.  Now, I enjoyed languages at school but funnily enough, Japanese was not one of them.  However, I so loved the pictures in the book I thought I'd get it anyway, for inspirational purposes!  I had a mooch through it this morning and enjoyed the photos but could make head nor tail of the instructions.  So, I winged it!

Take the aforesaid divine fabrics and the lovely rosey vintage one from Donna (which appeared in  the lavender bags; now I've cut into it, I'm raring to keep using it!)  Cut them into strips and patchwork them together.  Ok so far.

Decide to combine the patchwork with natural linen as this tends to set pretty, colourful prints off rather splendidly.  Find the interfacing stash and get it laid out ready on the cutting table.

Ahhhh.  Problem.  A big, furry, purry problem of the ginger variety.

Hmmm, interfacing is so lovely and fleecy and cosy.  Purrrrrrrrr!

Charlie-Boy safely  disappeared (when he wanted to of course, it had nothing to do with me) and the bags finished, it was time for a spot of embellishment.  Oooh, love this bit.  Decisions, decisions...

Will it be ribbon?

A vintage brooch?

A vintage china posy?

A crocheted flower perhaps?

I could do with a sit down to decide.  Or maybe not.  Grrrr, more purrry fur.

Anyway, much de-furring later, the little bags are finally finished.  Ta dah!

So I went for the ribbons and the vintage brooches.  That saved having to choose between those two at least!

Aww, they're sweet, I love them!  Hopefully, someone else will like them at the Fair or be kind enough to treat their nearest and dearest to a patchworky Christmas pressie (only 99 days until the fair!)

Have a fab weekend, everyone.  Come on out, sunshine, you know you want to!!!


  1. Hi Hen,

    Once again I am in awe of your skills!
    How I can only dream of ever making anything to your standard!

    Even following a pattern to the letter I am currently "rubbish" to say the least, and every time I press the peddle of that sewing machine it frightens me half to death!

    Please please tell me that practice makes perfect, and that one day I wont be so terrified of sewing! lol

    Rose XXX

  2. Oh they are gorgeous-I am sure they will fly out of the door!
    Well Done, not bad for someone who can't read Japanese!

  3. Those bags are so pretty.
    Julie xxxxx

  4. Hi Hen,
    Very nice. You always seem to choose colours that go together so well. I found your blog on Google while researching a sewing issue I had. I have now completed reading all of the back posts and comments and have too agree with all of your other followers you are truly a gifted crafter. Looking forward to your future blogs (outings and sewing).
    Bev V.

  5. Another stunning make.
    Those vintage brooches look really great.
    Lisa x

  6. The bags are beautiful. I love the look of the Japanese books too but don't think I could be clever enough to make something from one without being able to read the instructions.

  7. Beautiful - I'm sure they will be snapped up quickly!

  8. They are very pretty hen. I had my fabric stash out last night, just to look at (like you do) and our pussy tat decided to curl up with my fabric too and cover it in hair. I wish I had my camera handy. xx

  9. They are utterly beautiful!


  10. They're so posh! I just love them! 99 days until the, I'm very excited to see again your wonderful stall (virtually)!
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Arigatou! (the only Japanese word I know..)

  11. Great bags Hen, very clever.
    I do so love your cats, they're so naughty!!! Charlie-boy looks like a real sort of cat! :) x
    My verification word is nice!

  12. Hello there

    Wow what pretty bags. Very clever to be able to make them without reading the japanese instructions!And people would be mad not too snap them up.

    I have been given a crafty challenge. By my DH's boss no less! I am very nervous. so nervous I am going to make a protype first before usuing her chosen fabrics. I never do that! (usually because I am so impatient not because I am ultra brilliant! lol.)Wish me luck!

  13. Just gorgeous, you are a very clever hen.

  14. Lovely, lovely bags Hen, I liked your choice of embellishment, just enough! Very simple but stylish. Thanks for sharing.

    Love Fi x

  15. Ooh Hen they are gorgeous!!!
    They will be snapped up in a jif!
    You make me want to go and sew things.
    Luv Sophie xxx

  16. Gorgeousness again Hen,the linen sets off the patchwork beautifully!
    Rachel x

  17. Lovely and great sewing too ! Cherrie

  18. gorgeous hen as usual! you are a clever lady :-)
    love the fabric combinations and the ribbon and brooch set them off lovely
    Lesley x

  19. They certainly are very pretty and who can blame the cats for wanting to be in on the action!

  20. I love them, I hope there is one left once I have battled the crowd and reached your stall at the V&H fair, can't wait !

  21. What fabulous pouches, perfectly set off by the ribbons and sparkles!

  22. I love the Japanese books for inspiration too. The crochet ones are easy to follow as they use international symbols and the sewing ones are pretty much the same really if you take a breath and apply the same logic. I don't think anyone should be put off as there are some great ideas to use out there.

    You're very organised getting going so early. Me I usually have a mad fortnight a week before each fair I do.

    Lisa x

  23. Hen, you really have a good eye for design and colour you know, love the bags, and the mirrored table! Always wanted one of those! And I've just been salivating over all your goodies from your last post! Like the dress the Queen is wearing. I buy these Japanese craft books too, get seduced by the pics, and then think why?! Why did I buy these? Can't understand a thing! And just as an aside, am extremely jealous, in the nicest possible way, of all your Jo Malone products. All I can say is, I'd like to smell like you! Hee hee! Love her shops, love her products, sadly, don't own any!
    Think i've covered evrything i thought while reading these two posts. Oh, the cats! What gorgeous plump, thoroughly loved and spoilt purr machines! I imagine Charlie boy got a big cuddle before being persuaded off the table. They obviously love being around you hen! Maybe it's the Jo malone scent they're drawn to! Cat's of taste! Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

  24. They are fantastic bags - I have always found the sight of those Japanese books rather scary. I'm a bit of a words person, and the diagrams seem incomprehensible to me. But you have certainly interpreted what you saw in a lovely way!

    Pomona x

  25. What a delicious post - you have a store of serious treasure there. Your little bags are stunning x

  26. Hello you have an award on my blog

  27. Ah, the ribbon and vintage brooches was the perfect choice for such pretty little bags! xo, suzy

  28. The bags are gorgeous. Not too fussy or too plain. Just right. The brooches and ribbon make a splendid finishing touch! x

  29. Your sewing is!
    Really lovely things!

    Sam x

  30. I can't believe you did it from a pattern in a different language! they're very sweet!

  31. Hi by coincidence i have bought some of these vintage inspired fabrics from Heaths Country Store #~ollerton Nottinghamshire. The most interesting thing was in his shop he had a vintage apron which used to belong to his mum hanging on display made from one of the fabrics. Its the one you have on your bags with tiny triangles on it with flowers around the sides.
    The bag with the pink ribbon - second fabric in. Fabby bags by the way/

  32. These are beautiful, lovely choice of fabrics. I think you may have to make more than 2 though as there may be a few people wanting to buy them :-)

  33. Oh, if only I lived within a few miles of the fair. I can tell I would go there and probably never emerge again.

    Lovely little bags. I do like the vintage brooches myself. However, I think the fur adds a nice touch... :-)

  34. Wow, the bags are amazing. You have such a talent at putting colours together that work.

  35. hi hen
    I've got some Japanese craft book symbol translations and also some websites with free Japanese patterns although I couldn't really figure those out but I could email them to you to help you translate your book. Also you might be able to scan it in then translate it using babelfish.
    I've got a couple Japanese craft books the embroidery and crochet ones are fab as you can follow the charts. Let me know if you'd like the translations. Fliss x x

  36. Hi Hen
    Thank you for Molly the owl, she is so cute! I have enjoyed catching up with your posts since my return from Devon. You have been a busy bee. Those 1930's style fabrics are so pretty. What lovely things you found in Totnes & Yeovil boot fair! You can never have too many cups and saucers!:o)
    Gorgeous bathroom by the way! so feminine and fresh.
    Thought of you when I went on the steam train to Paington, what a shock when I got to Paington though... Had not been there before and had not expected touristy junk shops and slot machine stores....I headed very fast back to the railway station to catch train back to Kingswear!Maybe I didn't give Paington enough of a chance but what I saw was enough....
    Take care
    Isabelle x

  37. I have just startd this blogging lark and came across yours and your delightful creations. Well done you - I wish I could do patchwork - boo hoo!

  38. They're gorgeous, I'm sure that they will sell well.

  39. Absolutely gorgeous, you make some lovely creations. Lovely setting for your photos too!

    Sue xx

  40. They are gorgeous, as always, Hen! You are so talented! x


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