On Market Days

For a while it seemed that the Saturday market days at Hogsback had come to an end. COVID restrictions caused the closing of the Butterfly’s Bistro that used to graciously provide space for the local stall holders. Towards the end of last year Peter Colyvas of The Edge Mountain Retreat offered a new venue, and the market has moved from the green grass of the bistro to the shade under the oak trees at The Edge.

FABRICATIONS and Nonsuch Woodware take full advantage of this whenever we are on the mountain for a weekend.

Some of The Woodworker’s fine woodware

Maggie Verster, a Hogsback resident, wrote a piece about the market that vividly captures the spirit and ambiance of the Under the Oaks Saturday morning market. If you can’t get to this fairly remote spot in the mountains of the Eastern Cape, then at least Maggie can take you there through her words and photographs. (Just click on the highlighted words for the link to the article.)

Meanwhile, back in my workroom, I have been experimenting with a new style of pincushion. (For us stitchers, pincushions are very important). I have been selling pincushions made from the African print called ShweShwe for some time now.

A few weeks again Tierney posted photographs of her precise, paper pieced pincushions on her blog Tierneycreates. I think they are perfect and of course wanted to copy them. When scraps of Kaffee Fassett fabrics fell onto my worktable I put more than two and two together and came up with this:

This is a prototype and can be improved by a narrower side strip (that bridges the top and bottom pieced circles). I am however not going to go as far as paper piecing in order to reach perfection! The stitching is also not up to scratch as one of the joining seams was done by hand. We have had a week of load shedding (scheduled power cuts) and the electricity went off just before I had finished stitching the pincushion. Of course I could not wait for two hours to see how it would turn out, and so I stitched the final seam by hand.

The side strip comes from a Fassett fabric that was in my stash, but the remainder are all from one of my quilting companions. She gave me a bag of her offcuts after I asked for throwaway scraps for the stuffing of the draught excluders that I make to sell at the market. I could not bear to consign these beautiful fabrics to the innards of a draught excluder. They are quite small bits, so I pieced them together to make larger bits and these seemed just the thing for pretty pincushions.

If anyone knows of a less cumbersome word than draught excluder to name the heavy fabric sausage one puts at the base of a door to stop the draught from creeping in, please let me know. I made the first one for personal use and then included them amongst my FABRICATIONS market wares as a bit of a joke. They have proved to be popular and here is my latest batch.

The casing is from African ShweShwe, which now comes in a range of bright colours and attractive designs. The innards are tightly stuffed with small fabric offcuts. Surprisingly this give the draught excluder enough weight to rest firmly at the bottom of the door.

Because circles of fabric are used at either end of the tube, there is always some left over fabric. I used this to make a new set of card holders.

There won’t be a post from me next week as I will be retreating to the Karoo for a bit.

26 thoughts on “On Market Days

  1. I’m not sure what we call draught excluders here, if we have another name for them, but apparently in Australia they may be called door snakes. I’m not sure if that’s any better! Your table of wares and crafts looks so cheerful and inviting, as does the setting. Oh I miss going to craft fairs and markets!


  2. I’d love to visit the Hogsback Market sometime… And I’d definitely buy a draught excluder. I don’t know of another name for one but I’m sure you could invent something, Mariss!


  3. How about ‘Door Draft Sausages’?
    Thank you so much for a peek into your part of the world. From here your craft table set in a courtyard with artistic houses is almost like entering into a fairyland. Guess my Pandemic Isolation existence is showing, oops.
    Is it Karoo time again? I’m hoping for a refreshing and healing time for all you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s s good one.
      When the mist comes down it can feel magical at Hogsback. And it is a lovely space. We are lucky to have it almost on our doorstep.
      It seems that these retreats to the Karoo have become an annual thing. Thanks be

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Mariss, I have fond memories of the colourful and creative market days at Hogsback with you and the furniture maker. If I were fortunate enough to be there this time I would again snap up some of the beautiful objects but most of all your very pretty Kaffee Fassett pincushions. Lucky you that the fabric fell onto your table! Those designs look edible, like contents of a sweet shop.


  5. I have heard a draft excluder called a draft thing-a-ma-jing 😉 I read Maggie Verster’s description and viewed the resort link. The venue is now on my dream list of places I wish I could visit. Bird watching there must be amazing. I would flock to your market table and leave with some goodies. Your pincushions are so pretty. It has been so long since I have visited and shopped at local markets. I hope it is possible to do this soon. My electricity is on, but the water is off. Apparently, people up the street are just now able to have the damage to their house pipes from the recent storm fixed. They have had to turn off the water in the area. Hope we have it on before the evening.


  6. I enjoyed seeing some of your wares and I love the pincushions with their tiny patches. Glad to hear that the Hogsback market is able to continue. Have a wonderful retreat in the Karoo.


  7. so good to see you at an outdoor market with friends, villagers and of course some buyers. Here in NZ the draft extruder probably also has the “snake” idea as well, I’m a couple of thousand kilometers over the ditch from Aussie… What about coming up with a silly name that just gears up peoples’ imaginations – take a photo of the extruder leaning next to a dull door or a colourful door. “Mr Draft Stopper” or similar!

    Karoo sounds interesting – do you have a link to a blog post of yours about the retreat and the place?


    1. Thanks for the clever idea of Draft Stopper. Will run with it and keep you posted.
      I did a post on the benches at the retreat centre some years ago. Will find the link and let you know


  8. Beautiful makes and wares, Mariss. I enjoy the colours and shape of those pincushions, and those cardholders are lovely! And in the US, I’ve seen those little door snakes. I think we call ’em draft stoppers. 🙂


  9. I love what you did with the pincushions! I think when the pandemic has resolved (that magical day) we should do a pincushion exchange! I love the ones you were already selling and the new ones you are making. I am glad they were able to relocate the market! I wish I could visit that market and look at all the wonderful handmade creations 🙂


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