Saturday, 25 September 2010

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful

The reason that I have a quote by William Morris as my title is that, from time to time, I do try to beautify some of the functional objects in my life.  Like piecing a patchwork cover for my ugly black sunglasses case, or a patchwork camera pouch to take on quilting holidays to replace the ugly black one it came with (why are these things always black?).  This week I pieced a slipcover for my ugly black laptop case.

I didn't want to completely replace the cover, as I have occasionally used my netbook for work purposes (when ugly black looks professional).  I also wanted to improve its usefulness - the original cover has nowhere to put power cords or the mouse.  That's why I decided on a slipcover that the original cover can fit into.  I started out by assembling strips of Liberty Tana Lawn, sewing them down in a stitch and flip manner to a piece of wadding with a calico backing, then channel quilting.  This is an idea I took from the Susan Briscoe books on making bags.  It makes a lightweight but sturdy fabric.

I made a simple envelope style cover, and lined the flap so that the flap of the original cover tucks inside the slipcover flap.  A piece of velcro underneath the lining's flap hooks into the original flap's closure, to hold the original cover in place.

I wanted to add a pocket for accessories.  I modelled this on some of the knitting bags I've seen recently, sewing a complete zippered bag, then opening the zipper so that I could sew the bag onto the front of my slipcover.  So that the loaded pocket did not hang down, I added a tie to the front.

To finish the bag, I enclosed the raw side seams in bias tape, and added a faux leather handle I bought at a quilting store on my last trip to America. 

So now it looks a lot more beautiful (to me, anyway) and it's easier to carry around!

I even did a bit more sewing this week, which was adding most of the machine stitched details to the appliqued cats portrait that I am making for DS's birthday (he dotes on them).  Just need to finish the facial features on the white cat.  I'm going to make this into a cushion for him. These are our actual cats:  Colin, the black male, who is amiable but quite thick; and Lucy, the female, who is neurotic and skittish. She would never sit still like this if she could see us, so I had to pin her down with one hand while I drew her markings onto the pattern with my other hand.  God knows what she thought I was doing...

When I was at the I-Knit weekender, I was admiring the gorgeous fair isle mittens on the Dutch Knitters stand.  They kindly said I could email them for the pattern sources.  They subsequently replied with three authors, two of whom were Estonian, and the other being Nancy Bush's "Folk Knitting in Estonia".  I ordered the latter after looking at projects from all three on Ravelry, because it looked like the style I liked was in her book.  And now it has arrived and there are some gorgeous projects in here!  Really nice socks as well.  The mittens have lovely geometric all over patterns with fancy cuffs, really pretty.  I would like to knit most of the projects from this book (remember I said I had Startitis...).

Otherwise this week I've mainly been knitting on the Freedom Wool Sleeveless Vest in front of the tv, and on the Sanquhar Gloves second glove on the train.  It's continued to be chilly here most days, and we've had some short but really torrential rain spells.  This weekend I am going to plant some more daffodil bulbs in the garden.  Some years I have planted as many as 100 bulbs, but we seem to have about a 70% failure rate which makes me feel like I am running a slug and snail buffet service...


Sarah Nopp said...

LOL the title is a kind way to tell us to stop being packrats and treat our homes better. I may need to get that tattoed to remember it.

Teresa said...

Very attractive and practicle!

Miniature Collections

Miniature Net Ring

This site is owned by

Want to join a
Miniature Network Ring?

[Next] [Previous] [Random] [List Sites]