Sunday, 27 June 2010

Bags, bags bags and cushions!

The rest of the UK has been scorching under a hot summer sun, but here in Edinburgh we have had a very cloudy week (though pleasant and warm). This has meant that my week off has been really productive - if the sun was out I would not be able to help myself from lying around in a bikini (my garden is very private so, don't worry, I am not scaring any neighbours) tanning all week.

Instead I have made the 4 tote bags above. All made from curtain fabric remnants and old pattern books. Here are some close up's...
They have slightly different backs and fronts (and even slightly different sizes, ahem).
They are very similar to cushions I have been making for the shop for years. They sell well but I have got a bit bored making them so thought I would try bags instead.
I even managed to incorporate a piece of vintage linen on this one.
Most of the curtain fabric remnants come from my lovely friend Clare (or 'Curtain Clare' as she is known in the shop) who has a curtain and blind making business. She regularly calls in with a big bag of her off cuts. Thanks a bunch Clare!!
 Next I made these 4 patchwork box cushions. Again with curtain remnants and the felt hearts I like to use. The top two have pieces of vintage embroidery too.
I always do my cushion backs like this (I hate doing button holes!). The buttons are the ones made from mussel shells I wrote about in the previous post, they are so unsusual. The label says 'Jonathan Avery Softwear', which is a label I had made about 3 years ago when I started making cushions for the shop. We had to get a 1000 printed so I have a lot left and even though I am now selling my stuff with 'Bearpaw' labels I still like to use these on the textiles. It is a our shop logo and I will be selling these in our shop.
I really made these cushions because we had 4 nice Greengate cushion pads hanging around in our shop basement (we must have ordered them for cushion covers but the covers never arrived) and I can't bear seeing anything go to waste. They are big and chunky and would make great floor cushions. Not sure how easily I will sell them as they will need to be more than my usual 14" cushions, and more expensive stuff is just not selling well in the current climate.
I liked that patchwork look so much that 1 made 2 of these 'bucket bags'. They have a gusset and are about 16" square. I was greatly helped with my bag design by a wonderful book, The Perfect Handmade Bag by Claire Youngs, especially with the handles and the gussets.
These bags have (almost) the same back and front.
Since I got Jonathan to take these photos, yesterday, I have made 6 cute 'mini bucket bags' as well, that will have to wait for my next post.
I really must get on and set up that Etsy shop as things are pretty quiet in our 'real' shop at the moment and it would be worth seeing if I could sell some on line.
So I am feeling pretty pleased with myself for getting all that done (thanks to the weather!). I had hoped to make an actual start on my Doll Quilt too, but now I am back to work tomorrow :(
Never mind, if the shop is quiet I might get to do some while I am there!


  1. I love all the things you have made! Hope it will go well in the etsy shop. No harm in doing both! btw, love the look of your blog too! You are very clever to give it such a lovely feel. I wouldn't know where to start doing those backgrounds!

  2. You should feel very pleased. You made useful beauties without the added expense of using new materials. I love it.

  3. All of your work is so lovely, I would struggle to pick a favourite. You have such a good eye for colour.

  4. Ooh, an Etsy shop!! I still plan to get up to see the real shop (and the real you!) one day but an online shop would be great for shopping (if bad for the pocket, heh heh)

    I LOVE those box cushions! They are just gorgeous. And what a great closure on the back 9I hear ya on the buttonhole hatred!!)

  5. You have been really busy, I love the bags and cushions :)

  6. Ha! That's so funny that you post photos of bags made out of pattern remenants! I just brought in about 15 upholstery sample books that someone gave me and was trying to figure out how to open them up! I was thinking of making bags too but your fabrics are much more appealing than my stuff...but I still think I'll give it a whirl!

    Lynz needs to bring our Maria to your shop when she comes to visit her!!:)

  7. Very beautiful bags and cushions !

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  9. Very pretty cushions and lovely bags! What a productive week you had. Hope they all sell well in your shop. Sorry, I removed my previous comment as it had a typo in it!

  10. Gosh you have been busy. The bags all look so pretty hanging together and I love everything about your cushions!! Great fabric combinations.

  11. Love the last two patchwork bags best, really nice.

  12. Jo those cushions are really lovely! I am certain they will sell no bother! They are just beautiful! Love those bags too - don't think they will hang around for long! XX
    Sarah V :)

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