Kate Carter is Life & Style editor for the Guardian where she has been for six years. When she’s not working at the Guardian, she is being bossed about by two small children – or running. The best Christmas present she’s ever received was a sewing machine, which she now spends far too much time trying to get to grips with. This has resulted in an addiction to window shopping for fabrics on Etsy.
While I dream of a lush garden and the green fingers to nurture it, what Chelsea Flower Show actually inspires in me is not so much a desire to pick up a trowel and some seeds as a penchant for big floral prints and fabrics. Here’s my pick of some of the loveliest floral fancies to be found on Etsy.
Liberty of London have been making beautiful florals in Tana Lawn for nigh-on 130 years and there’s yet to be one I don’t instantly covet. A browse around Etsy shows you just how wonderfully versatile the iconic fabric can be. A beautiful Peter Pan collar would liven up a plain top, and some fabric-covered buttons make a lovely addition to a child’s dress or coat – or even to your cushions. You can keep it more subtle, in a simple hair tie – or a make a statement with this amazing necklace.
I dream of a trip to Japan: I love Japanese woodblock prints, fabrics and design. Until my dream comes true, I’ll have to stock my house with Japanese prints – the gorgeous monochrome Florence Broadhurst-print cushion, fabric for the quilt I’m working on (and have been for years), a vintage kimono or a clutch purse – or a stunning piece of ceramic art in the form of a two dimensional kimono.
I’ve never had any luck growing them – my fingers remain resolutely pink, not green – but I adore peonies. The huge flower lends itself brilliantly to prints or patterns – like these gorgeous notecards or this striking monochrome necklace. I’d love, too, to spell out my daughter’s names – or initials, anyway – in these personalised fabric letters – and the muted tones of this photograph give it an almost painterly quality.
And of course, there’s always Washi tape. There is a Washi tape for every occasion – or that’s my excuse for my growing collection. From peonies, to Liberty print, to Japanese florals, there’s a tape to match virtually every plant in the Chelsea Flower Show itself.
[1. Retro red flower washi tape by BigBirdsBoutique 2. Kimono floral pattern tape by theStationeryRoom 3. Peony printed washi tape by ThePaperParlourUK 4. Liberty of London fabric tape by craftyjapan]