Sunday, 8 April 2012

Bags of Spring

I could hardly believe it this week when I read that up North there was snow and freaky weather conditions. You poor things. We've been very lucky here and had a largely bright week. It made me want to change things round a bit at home and get out that box of Easter decorations. I decided to take off the sludgey quilt and cushions from the pew and instead adorn it with the vintage hexy quilt I bought along Bridport's street market. The fabrics and colours are beautiful, very 1930s. How do you like my new rabbit friend? I saw him, Bagpuss-style, in the window of a very unassuming shop in Totnes last weekend. My sister said "He won't be for sale", (the window was full of clothes really), but I was undeterred and soon after, Bunny was mine. I've treated him to a blue velvet ribbon and he's very happy on his comfy blankety seat. I'm loving the pew and being able to change it round and give our entrance hall a completely different feel with relative ease. A little money very well spent.

Like I say, we've had some pretty glorious days here recently (a few dull ones too, including today). This year, I made the effort to plant up some Spring plants in the patio pots and I'm so glad as it's been so cheery. I will definitely do this each year from now on as Spring plants are actually my favourites with their beautiful colours. The plants were all really cheap from Bridport's street market, 15 primulas for £5, you can't complain at that, can you?

The etagere is looking a bit more perky with a spot of replanting, after all my lovely geraniums succumbed to the cold. My auriculas are just flowering, such cute little faces. (Ah, well as you can see, one geranium is trying to hang on but looks very forlorn!)

My mini greenhouse is bursting with seedlings and plug plants although my dahlia tubers want some more heat and are steadfastly refusing to show their faces yet. Every year I swear I won't buy plug plants, they're a lot of work and you seem to end up with far more than you need, but to be fair, this year I stuck to the larger sized ones and bought just a few in small numbers. I can never resist once the first few rays of Spring sunshine break through and all those plant catalogues fall onto the door mat. Know the feeling?

Spring weather meant it was time for a pretty new handbag, too. I picked up this pattern at the Exeter Quilt Fair and can you see that divine vintage fabric in the background? I found that at the flea market at Shepton Mallet, it was virtually the end of the day and the stall holders were packing away. I'd run out of cash (oops!) but the lady kindly took a cheque. I just had to have that fabric, it was the find that made my day! Such wonderful clear, pretty colours. The rest will be used to make cushion covers once our sitting room is redecorated but I couldn't resist a bit for a bag right now.

It was quite a strange pattern, in terms of construction, but not really that difficult. So, the lovely vintage French floral fabric, some linen and some bits 'n' bobs later...

I found a pretty floral fabric for lining amongst my stash (I LOVE that I have just about everything I need in my Den once I decide to make something) and added four pockets to the interior. The original pattern had a linen pocket on the front but I didn't like that and could see it would obscure the design on the vintage fabric.

The most fun, of course, was adding those bits 'n' bobs to the front. A few buttons covered with yummy vintage fabrics, a lace bow, some Cath K badges and yes, a few more buttons are the finishing touch. The pattern called for some piping along the seam where the two main fabrics join but I didn't have anything I liked. I thought the blue gingham binding was perfect though, so I just sewed that on flat instead. Doing your own thing is what actually transforms these patterns, I think.

On a completely different note, prize for cutest furry friend of the week must surely go to Charlie-Boy, (nicknamed Mr Lion himself), who seems to have taken rather a shine to vintage lion!

It is of course, Easter Sunday, so I'd like to wish a very HAPPY EASTER to you all. I should be writing a blog post containing suitably Easter-y scenes but I'm behind with my blogging so that will come next if I can fit it in before we head off for the hols. Have a lovely, realxing, choccy-filled day, please. That's an order!


  1. Hi hen, That's a very lovley bag. Much prefer yours to the one on the pattern. Embellishing is always the most fun part.
    Charlie Boy has surpassed himself this week.
    Have a great day. We had new feathered friends arrived this morning much to the little jammers' delight!

  2. I really love your bag, the fabrics are gorgeous and the badges and buttons the perfect finishing touch.
    Happy Easter.
    Ann x

  3. Gorgeous Gorgeous Bag! It is Stunning!
    Happy Easter
    Julie xxxxxx

  4. I just love the hexi's and the bag it inspire's me to make something this weekend!

    Hug's Georgie x

  5. Love the fabric and the bag. I am in the process of making a bag myself, but I don't work as fast as you do so it's taking its time. One quick question, do the furry ones travel with you when you go to your other house? One of our two, Ollie, hyperventilates every time we take him somewhere in a car.

  6. I just LOVE your blog Hen! I really need to come back and browse around when I can sit with a cuppa and just nose around your posts. Hope you are having a Happy Easter Holiday...
    Susanne :)

  7. Lovely post, Scrumptious bag!

    Happy Easter to you too clever lady!


  8. That is a very fine fabric indeed-I changed all my cushion covers/blankets etc to Spring mode last week too.Weather has been pants much of the time ever since, but once I've changed them, there is no turning back!

  9. Love the bag...the lining fabric is gorgeous! Charley-Boy certainly looks like has a friend in the vintage lion...very cosy :)

  10. Lovely bag Hen. What did you think of the Exeter fair? A few customers were disappointed. Nice to see Charlie-Boy :) x

  11. Hi, I have only just discovered your blog, why? Who knows?
    It is quite reassuring to find someone with a more cluttered fireplace than my own (I use the word 'cluttered' in a good way, obviously).
    I will now read some more.
    Emma. X

  12. I love your bag, especially the way you have embellished it

    Your pretty spring plants put my patio to shame, other than some sweet pea seedlings (put in by my mum) I've got nothing but last year's straggly bits... hangs head in shame

  13. Your bag is gorgeous!

    Happy Easter X

    P.S I was one of the poor people who had snow LOL!

  14. Hello dear Hen,
    I love your sweet Bunny! He looks perfect with the gorgeous pillows and quilt! I am so glad you were able to bring him home! Your flowers are beautiful and the bag you made is gorgeous! Love the fabrics and buttons! Charlie~boy is so sweet and looks darling nestled next to the vintage lion! I hope your Easter was wonderful! xo~Paula

  15. Hen, I do love your pew! And your new Easter Bunny is such a sweetie :o)

    Lovely floral fabric, and such a pretty bag you've made!!
    I like your idea of sewing on the binding flat...will have to remember that one!

    I'm still quilting away, and love it!

    Happy Easter week to you Hen. And if we don't 'see' you before, you have a fantastic holiday lovely lady :o)

    Take care my dear.
    Love Donna xx

  16. Hello Hen - lovely post as always and I hope that you have had a lovely Easter. Came across this blog today and I am sure that this is your cottage

    Or am I just seeing double??

    Take care

  17. Crikey Jenny,
    I can't quite believe someone would have the cheek to steal my photo and use it so blatantly for their blog header as if it's their own! Thanks for the heads up, can only hope this shameful person does the right thing and removes it as I have requested.
    Hen x

  18. I love your floral's quite my style of bags...thanks for sharing it...Mel's Designs

  19. Love that bag, its so cheerful
    louise x

  20. Beautiful Bag Hen,

    You really do have a talent for spotting the best fabrics!

    Hope you all had a lovely Easter.
    Fleur xx

  21. I love your bag and it's way nicer than the original.

  22. Hi Hen!

    Lovely bag, beautiful fabric. Have you ever tried the Martha Stewart Pillowcase Bag? Easy peasy and a great way to showcase all those wonderful vintage pillow slips we collect ;)

    Take Care

    Lisa xo


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