17 October 2009

miss cahill's curtains and other stories

If you read this, you will remember that I came home with stuff from my mum's stash to make some bags. I've spent today at an autumn bazaar selling them along with a pile of remnant agaves of various sizes ( odd combination, I know). Our family has a long association with this annual event. My Uncle Bill was the master of the Wheel of Fortune and my mum and aunts used to prepare for it through the early autumn knitting baby clothes, sewing aprons and making dolls clothes. I now find myself carrying on the family tradition. Not that this is a chore for someone moderately addicted to the British jumble sale, summer fete and sale of goods. And while there are inevitably certain frustrations associated with the chaos of any volunteer-organised activities, these are balanced out by the pleasure of the satisfied customer and a job well done.

Take the remnants from Miss Cahill's curtains. The late Miss C used to teach at my primary school and worked there with my aunt and my mum. She asked my mum to make some curtains for her and it was the offcuts from these my mum gave me back in August. The two bags I made from them were bought today by Miss B who plans to give them to Miss C's nieces. The journey of this fabric and its happy ending has a pleasing circularity.

Other bags also left in safe and satisfied hands. The piece of denim from my mum's stash was only big enough to make one bag. This was bought by Zoe (10 years old, her gran lives a few doors away from my mum). She walked around with it carelessly perched on her shoulder, checking it out now and then to make sure it still looked OK. The barge roses made two bags, one bought by by Julie from Antrim, the other to a lady who used to live in a house on the site of the school building we were in. The two ikat-patterned bags have gone off to America. The faded chintz bag, one of my favourites and bought by my brother for his wife, will live round the corner. Georgie P (used to be in my class at school) bought another for his wife.

I can now rest easy - or almost. Because part of the deal of selling at these events is that you will reciprocate by buying. Our household goods have now increased to include one wind-up radio, a new soap dish, a vase, a dozen new books, not all for us, and our tombola winnings.

Any bids for a tin of Tesco's broccoli and stilton soup?

PS If you are interested in the pattern I used for the bags, you can find it here.


j said...

The morning glory fabric, lower left, is lovely, lovely, lovely.

Your stack of books is even more lovely. I missed a book sale today because of other commitments. So I just browsed yours. Thanks.

Felix said...

I loved that post about the fabric from your mother's past and it is wonderful to hear where all those bags have ended up and to get some sense of the life-cycle of these offcuts.

And I had to immediately check on Amazon what the Clatter of Forks and Spoons was about, after spotting it in your fine pile of books!

I share your moderate addiction to the British jumble sale, summer fete and sale of goods and I am sure someone will give that tin of soup a home.

colleen said...

J - how observant of you to spot the morning glory. It hadn't registered with me at all, probably because I was waylaid by the name of the fabric - Barge Roses. Are you familiar with the tradition of painting canal barges (narrowboats) in this style? More here:

The Clatter of Forks and Spoons - great name for a cookery book. 50p!

Rattling On said...

I used to go to lots of summer fetes and sales of work with my Grandma. I loved the white elephant stall.
Some things never change...I still prefer browsing junky/flea market type stalls, and love handmade things. Your bags sound fab, I'm glad they've gone to good homes.

j said...

Well, I was imagining a visit to Miss Cahill's and looking at the curtains. So not as observant as dreamy. :)

Many years ago, I think we had wallpaper that was called "Barge Rose" but I didn't know the origin of the name. I love the thought of living and traveling on the waterways. Always loved the old Ransome stories, Coot Club & etc. about the canals. Thanks for the link.