Thursday, 18 July 2013

Monday, 6 May 2013

Quilts, tea towels and other bits of life

Magatha Bagatha is still here and still sewing! The quilt (above, with Bullseye inspecting) is one I have recently made to form part of the background for my new website which is currently being built (if that's the correct term!) by LJ Computers Ltd.

Much of my other work has been 'behind the scenes' stuff. I'm planning what products I want to sell, making things and testing them, visiting inspiring places and finding out what I love to make. All of this has been taking place amidst the chaos of lambing and the preparations for new sewing room (which should free up the dining table for actual dining!)

One thing that is certain is that I love appliqué, so that will feature on most of my products. Coming soon is a series of organic cotton tea towels featuring my favourite appliqué motifs. Currently I'm working on one based on the Dala horse I bought in Bergen, Sweden when I was six.

Others are likely to feature beach scenes...

... and puffins.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Catching up

It's been a while since a Magatha Bagatha blog, but Happy New Year and I hope 2013 will be a good one!

I was busy throughout December making presents for my family and for customers too. It's all a bit new to me as a business but was tremendous fun. I discovered a new love of making bunting and it's so very reassuring to get comments like "Wow, I love it!" and "Maggie I am over the moon please can I order some more?" and "I just can't tell you how fantastic they are!"

My new ranges of personalised bunting was hugely popular and I'm still making appliqued cushions to order. Two of the many I made for Christmas presents included this pair for my Mum, Dorset Gull and Pembrokeshire Puffin.

I'm proudest of Dorset Gull, a happy marriage of a photograph I took on holiday and some beautiful fabric I bought in a pack of scraps.

Dorset Gull

Dorset Gull original.
I flipped the gull for the cushion because I wanted one bird to look left, the other right. On Mum's sofa they sit looking at each other (with her cat in the middle or snuggled up to the Puffin). The original (above) is post-Photoshop treatment to make it look more like a painting. I took the photograph in West Bay after we had enjoyed pollack and chips in the early evening sunshine.

Pembrokehsire Puffin

Pembrokeshire Puffin is from a selection of photographs I was admiring on the internet and from photographs of puffins Mum took on her whale-spotting adventure a few years ago. I made the pattern from the (very!) rough sketches I made. He's made from a mixture of fabric scraps - some of which are vintage.

This brings me on to Magatha Bagatha's ethos - I live on an organic farm and am very much a 'reduce, reuse' recycle' kind of person. I mostly buy organic fabrics (the white on the seabirds is a lovely organic Cambridge cotton), or fair trade cotton. The velvet here, though, is some I have had in stock for ages.

I then pick up bits and bobs of scrap fabric sold in packs by other sewing businesses. Dressmakers are a great source because they often have funny little shapes left over and vintage shops (such as My Giddy Aunt in Narberth) sell useful little pieces of pretty fabrics. Occaisonally, though, I succumb to the pretty bundles of fat quarters of quilting fabric, which this time included some spotty orange fabric just ideal for seabirds' legs.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Cushions, bags and coffee pot cosy

Some Magatha Bagatha items are now available in my Folksy shop:

Call in for cushions, bags and a coffee pot cosy. More items coming soon!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

St Meilyr's Church craft fayre

Magatha Bagatha had a very successful first ever craft fair in Clarbeston Road yesterday. There was a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere and a steady stream of customers for most of the day.

Me and my stall.
The covered sketchbooks were a popular item.

Thursday, 19 July 2012


Finally things are beginning to happen here - Magatha Bagatha is more of a name than a business at the moment but there's a lot happening.

Everything is very much in the planning, research and development mode - I'm planning the products I want to make, researching the market and developing how I want to do things.

I've made a few things and tested them on friends and relatives and the prototypes have been well received.

My main plan is to find a use for the wool from our 20 Lleyn cross ewes so we've been researching wool processing and waiting for it to stop raining long enough for the shearer to come and take the fleeces off.

The girls don't think much to this but they feel better afterwards.
This week the rain did stop and the shearer arrived. The job doesn't take long when there are only 20 sheep to do!

Twenty organic fleeces, picked, rolled and sorted.
With 20 different sheep you get 20 different fleeces. We lined them up in the sunshine in order of quality - softest on the left, coarsest on the right. The top right is from our pet sheep Chops who has such a lovely long staple to his fleece and his now quite a big chap so there's a lot of it! Samples have now gone off to a mill in Yorkshire for assessment and advice.

The initial plan is to use the carded wool to stuff cushions and pillows but the future perhaps holds yarn and felt - watch this space!

In the meantime I've been sewing cushion covers so I'll have some ready for filling once the wool is done. I'm using some lovely organic cross weave cottons and appliqués made from leftover fabric scraps and adding a little hand embroidery to some of them.

Wellington boots.
One of my main objectives with Magatha Bagatha is to reduce waste and to use organic materials wherever possible. I reuse things where I can and some of my other items have been made from preloved clothes and curtains. It's also a way to use up the scraps, buttons, beads and other lovely things I've rescued over the years.

There are four of these cushion covers so far - two 18" x 18" and two 10" x 10".  They now need sewing to their backs (envelope style with two heart-shaped buttons) and then I need to make the woolly inner pads.

I've also been working on a book-style Kindle cover this week. This one's for mum who road tests so many of my sewing projects. At the moment this design is padded with polyester wadding - I can't help but think that lovely soft organic Welsh wool would be so much better...