Abelia x Grandiflora – semi evergreen shrub with dark green glossy foliage and an abundance of fragrant, pink-tinged white flowers. This is the perfect foil for my handmade fabric bags.
Like the Abelia, the concept grew to produce beautiful things from upcycled or remnants of fabrics. This ethos is still relevant, as my handbags evolve from the look and feel of fabrics which ‘speak’ to me. Therefore each bag is unique. I may use the same fabric, but always finish them in a different way, either by design or with added embelishments.
I find the close-textured Harris Tweed, carefully woven in the Outer Hebrides, to be the most tactile of fabrics. I make many of my handbags from this hard-wearing and water-repellent fabric.
Sometimes a fabric just has to become a cushion, or usually a pair if there is enough material. In this way, old embroidered tablecloths, perhaps with a worn patch, can be turned into something beautiful. Thus the work someone spent hours creating is reused to be admired again.
Some of my fabrics have been found in brocantes, in the UK and on the continent, all chosen for their individuality.
I spent many years selling machinery into industry but had a long-held desire to be more creative. As I had sewn clothes from a young age, moving into handmade fabric bags was not an out-of-the-blue idea. Thus Abelia was born.