Tuesday, 6 September 2011


... filing, storing, retrieving - fabric, threads, yarns..... AND products!

I have many, many fabrics. Some by the part roll, others by the metre, some fat quarters and others scraps. Then I also have fabric for recycling - T shirts for rag rugs and rug weaving, cottons for applique, children's much-loved baby clothes for memory quilts etc. Embarking on a new project I open drawers, tip out wicker baskets, reach down prettily coloured boxes, scrabble under my desk for plastic stacking crates; make a cup of tea to revive me; select fabrics and then what? I fold the selected fabrics into a work basket, the phone rings, I respond to an email, and still I have a mountain of fabrics to tidy away. I need a fabric (and other materials) storage and retrieval system. I have tried grouping by colour, fibre, weight, purpose (this has proved the most inefficient for retrieval as designs evolve and I move on!). I have bought pretty baskets, efficient plastic, recycled and pretty cardboard. I have crocheted baskets from plastic bags, re-cycled T shirts and yarns. I have woven boxes. Countless bags have been stitched/appliqueed/embroidered/patchworked - and the result is always the same. A labour-intensive period of 'harvesting' materials and a frustrating, usually partially completed, and tedious, task of re-storing.

I suppose relative simplicity would be found by producing a limited range of items from a limited palette of materials. I'm afraid that Lynwoodcrafts' Design Department (ie my cluttered imagination) doesn't function in that way. I like to shop in the stereotypical 'Aladins' Cave'- a surprise at every turn - variety, novelty.....I'm sure that it is a monumental mistake in marketing terms to imagine that my buyers share my personal shopping preferences. I do hope, however, that, both in decoration and purpose, my shop-browsers find a pleasing variety of items to muse over. A virtual shop is never too full of shoppers - the isles never too crowded and everyone is welcome.

Whilst the storage and retrieval of materials is a problem which my family would certainly like me to solve, I have become more concerned about the miss-match of items in Lynwoodcrafts' Folksy shop. I have filed by 'purpose of item' - brooches, pendants, needlebooks etc. The number of available departments is limited by the system but is perfectly adequate. Or at least it used to be. I felt that a variety of needlework styles - landscape, floral, abstract - using varied techniques (embroidery, felting, applique...) sat happily alongside each other - each benefitting from the contrast.

The addition of cute animal designs has been one variable too many. Popular and receiving many views and generous compliments - they are sprinkled in amongst the other items - a pincushion here and a brooch there. Difficult to find and looking a little lost. I have so many design ideas ready - featuring different characters, a variety of techniques. I would like them to adorn a range of items. All this creativity and the potential number of items which would be fighting for display space require an extension to my shop; the creation of a new department - or in 'Folksy terms' - a new shop.

You are witnessing the birth of a new venture. The name is in my mind - recognizable as being 'of Lynwoodcrafts', a banner and avatar are under consideration and sooo many products are clamouring to be stitched. Progress will be reported over the next few days - you will be the first to know!

Now where on earth have I seen the printed cotton with small sprigs of blue flowers which I last used for  one of Millie Mouse's frocks...........

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha. Your fabric sounds like my beads. I know they are there somewhere. . .
    Good luck with the new venture.