I still have some stock left over from Christmas - mostly of the red and white felt birds and hearts like these - but I decided that this fair is an opportunity to try out a few new items.
After the success of my reversible tea towel I bit the bullet and bought a couple of metres of pure Irish linen to make some more pretty tea towels (or dish cloths if you are American!) - I am planning on doing applique motifs, ribbon and ric rac trim, maybe a little embroidery too. Who says drying the dishes has to be boring? I can't wait to get going on those and show you the results!
In the meantime I have been making a few of my best selling lavender stuffed hearts and birds using some of the bright, pretty and just plain quirky fabrics in my stash...
Completely hand stitched using some lovely vintage Sylko mercerised cotton with fab names like 'green plume' and 'wedgewood blue'.
Did you spot the gorgeous vintage thimble I found in Nan's old sewing box?
I can't believe how much quicker I could sew whilst wearing it! The stitches were much neater and more even too as I got a good rhythm going and I didn't have to stop every few seconds because I'd pricked my finger again!
Adding the dried lavender - using a paper funnel is much easier and less messy than trying to just drop it in! I lightly stuff with super soft carded polyester stuffing first then add a generous scoop of home grown and dried lavender flowers.
I dry lavender from my mother in law's garden by tying it up in bunches then hanging it in a paper carrier bag away from damp and drafts for a few months. The bag catches any loose bits that fall off so it doesn't make a mess! Once properly dried out I strip the flowers from the stalks and store in a large glass jar. Just coz it looks pretty, especially with a lovely piece of ribbon from Jane Means tied around the neck! :-)
This year I hope to start my own lavender border - it will be a few years before it is established enough to harvest from though!
Once the lavender is in I add a bit more stuffing then stitch up the gap.
Once they are all stuffed and sewn up I will embellish them and add little metal hoops to hang them by.
But that's a job for another day.
I do so love my work!