Before you go jumping to any conclusions, I need to say straight away that I did not create these to-die-for fabrics. That was Lesley from Printed Material, who is so adventurous and artistic and generous all in one person that it's hard to believe she's real.
You have to be so careful about saying you like something she's done, or the next thing you know, there's a postman ringing the doorbell because he can't make a big Welsh parcel fit through the letter box.
I've wanted to show you these lovely pieces for ages, but what with the C*******s fair production-line in full swing, I haven't had time to work with them in a way that I hoped would do them justice. And they deserved a better fate than to be 'put away for best'.
I love the way these sage leaves remind me of the stands of rustling poplars we see on holidays in France. And, oooh, who doesn't love indigo-and-rust.
Please address any questions about the methods employed to produce wonderful cyanotypes to the lady herself - it's all waaaaaay beyond my ken!
I really wanted to make Lesley something using her fabrics and decided that what she needed was a gathering bag. I know she's already taken the first timid steps towards being the kind of person for whom such an item is indispensable. She has flirted with having a 'collections tray' when (allegedly) working in the garden and she lives on the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast, so opportunities a-plenty for gathering.
What size to make it? No good if it's too small and squashes your precious leaves and feathers treasure. But if it's too big you won't want to be bothered taking it out with you and on top of that there's the danger that you might be tempted to 'gather' heavy things.
Heavy things are fine if you're out strolling with a new beau, who, in his adoration of you, is only too eager to fill his pockets with sandy pebbles, skulls of small rodents, hag stones, acorn cups, razor clam shells, wool that caught on the barbed wire, interesting bits of broken blue-and-white china, sea-glass, useful rusty pieces of broken farm implement, pheasant tail-feathers etc. etc. However, big mistake when the honeymoon's over and you are made to carry your own stuff....
So, though I have no reason to doubt that Lesley's husband is still in that, "oh sweetie, let me carry that heavy feather for you" phase, I made a tactfully average-size linen bag in case the girl has to make her own arrangements. It has a calico lining, a handle made from that hessian-y kind of tape which I think is something to do with carpet binding and a weeny free-machined tag held on with a wooden button.
A hand-shape appealed to me and I chose a piece of Lesley's fabric that suggested there were pebbles resting in the palm. I appliqued it on to some sandy-coloured fabric with beautiful bold leaf/seed pod shapes printed on it.
Thank you Lesley. Hope you enjoy gathering!