Friday, 30 April 2010

So you want to make a lap top cover? ... Part Trois (3) ...

What a day. Its been long and involved and emotional. Annnnddddd I have another part of the lap top cover to finish. Its freezing here tonight. I have just hauled over the big heater and put it right on top of me ... ah yes ... I can now feel my fingers so writing here I come.

I have to warn you now ... I have to get technical here ... NOT!!! To make the lovely little curve on my flap, I went into the kitchen and rummaged around in Pickles drawer of plates and cups. I picked up her favourite yellow Ikea drinking cup, looked at it and thought "lovely". I folded my suede rectangle in half, made a little mark for the centre and ruled a line down to each point! Bingo stingo ... triangle. I then pop Pickles cup on the top of the triangle, just like in the picture and lightly traced around the arc of the cup. Take away the cup, cut around the newly traced line and your flap is now ready. You could put a large eyelet 1.5 cm down from the top point in the middle of the curve. I put mine in when I was completely finished. I think I may have forgotten to mention the eyelet. Sorry about that ... you need an eyelet. A large one will do.

Its now time to sew up your lap top bag. With the rights sides of your main lap top pieces together, and your batting piece lying on the wrong side of which fabric piece you want. Sew the pieces together along the top edge of the rectangles. Without turning anything anywhere, get your flap and place it in between the fabric piece and quilted piece with the long side of the triangle piece lined up with the edges of the other pieces. Pin in place. Grab your tap measure, and pick a side. From the first edge you sewed together measure up 50 cm ( 19 2/3" ). Place a pin in that point. On the opposite side, do the same thing. Measure up 50 cm ( 19 2/3" ). Place a pin in that point. Now all you need to do is sew from one pin up and over the edge with the flap and back down to the pin on the other side.

Snip your corners and you are now ready to turn your baby inside out. You should be able to see just how your cover will look now. Its time to insert the timtex piece into one of the gaps and have a wee fiddle about until its sitting nicely.

It's home stretch time. The timtext should give you a guide of what to do next. You will need to fold up the bottom edge up approx 28 - 30 cm ( 11 " - 11 3/4" ) with patchwork pieces facing each other. Sew the edges of both sides together and then turn that pocket right side out. And guess what? If you tie on your suede leather lacing ( I threaded a lovely faux velvet heart bead on the bottom on mine. I say "Faux" because if its real velvet I'll eat my cat. But it looks nice.) you are now ... officially finished. Wooooooohooooooooooooo !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't know who's more relieved. You or me. AS I said before, I would love to see pics of the cover you make, don't forget to show! Hope you like it. The next projects on the drawing board are a business card holder, an iphone pocket, a wallet, and a doll or five as well as literally half a dozen quilts. I can show you one of the dollies in the next day or so. And when I pop up the dolly prototype up here, I'll finally tell you about Spandau Ballet ... true ... this much is true.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

So you want to make a lap top cover? ... Part Duex (2) ...

Part two guys. I am so sorry, trying to write up the instructions to make up the pattern or grid for the cover was starting to read like blue prints for a space shuttle. So I am going to grin and get on with it, and try to go astro navigation numbers down to a dull roar. There is a little bit to go, I am sorry about that, but's its nearly done. Really. It is.

You need to do the opposite side of the grid and that means some measuring along the bottom edge of the grid.

Hang in there.

Measure and mark the following along the bottom edge of the rectangle :

5" ( 12.8 cm) , 4 1/2" ( 11.5 cm ) , 4 1/2" ( 11.5 cm )

and now for the very last set of measurements you have to do on the last remaining edge at the top end of the rectangle.

1" ( 2.3 cm ), 4 1/2" ( 11.5 cm ) , 2 3/4" ( 7 cm ) , 1 3/4" ( 4.5 cm ) , 4 1/2" ( 11.5 cm )

Now, you have everything all set up to finish your grid. What I did then was to go to my first mark on the bottom edge ( the mark at 5" ) and then using my ruler, ruled a line from that point to the 4th mark you made on the bottom long edge closest to you. That line gives just the right angle you need to make your pattern zing. Now you have this great guide line done, you can start connecting the points on both side until you have made a lovely fat diamond pattern.

Now comes the easy part. And the fun part. On your grid, lay out out your squares in the order you want them. Laying them out will give you a chance to move the squares around until you are happy. Now quick note, the grid you have drawn will have squares of 4 1/2". Don't worry about your squares being bigger, they won't be when you sew them together. Sew your squares together, using your grid as a guide. Once you have sewn all your squares together, press the seams open and straighten up your edges with a rotary cutter so your newly sewn piece matches your pattern grid.

I am going to finish up for tonight and post more tomorrow, its been a night of phone calls and all sorts of stuff while I try to write here. So more tomorrow ...

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

So you want to make a lap top cover? ... Part Une (1) ...

I needed a lap top cover. What is it with guys and laptop covers? Hmm, let me see, can I choose between the black lap top cover with black or the lap top cover with more black but a little grey. But then there is the grey lap top cover with a little bit of black and more black. Because I want something individual.


I made the Amy Butler laptop cover, it looked great but it didn't really do the job. the protection for the laptop was only on the front. While making sure your screen was protected, the back of the lap top wasn't so well protected. There are a few tutorials floating around the web, I looked at most of them but then gave up. I looked at my little laptop, my superb little macbook pro and I made a mental list of all the things I need in a lap top cover. I needed protection for my laptop. I carry it in a bag that is not reinforced, so protection is the key factor. It has to look good. And because I just loved Rouenneries by French General, I wanted to use Rouenneries and make it look okay.

The old KISS principle. Keep It Simple Stupid.

This is what I tried to do, I don't know that I succeeded but I am happy and I have had some comments on it as well. I also wanted to keep the cost down and I used some stuff I had here as well. So here are the directions, please show me pictures of your lap top cover if you make it, I would just love to see it.

You'll need for a 13" laptop:

1 charm square pack - make sure there are 42 squares (I use MODA charm squares)
1 piece of pre quilted fabric 30" (76.5 cm) x 15" (38.5 cm)
( I got a cheap piece from my local Spotlight Store, so somewhere like JoAnns or any sort of budget fabric store ... thingy ... should have this. I would never use it on any of my stuff but for this, its perfect.)
1 piece of batting 30" (76.5 cm) x 15" (38.5 cm)

I then made a flap out of a large scrap of suede that I had, but the flap can made out of fabric but please remember that the following measurements I am going to give you are WITHOUT seam allowance on THREE sides. This is because I don't need to seam suede edges but I do need to make allowance for sewing the flap into top cover edge.

So my piece of suede was : 10" (25.5 cm) x 3 1/2" (9 cm)

50" (127 cm) of Suede cord or lacing that is 3/16 of an Inch or 3mm in width

You will need a piece of Timtex or similar that is approx : 20" (51 cm) x 14" (35.5 cm). This will give your lap top cover a bit of rigidity and the ever important protection your lap top will love you for.

You'll also need 2 pieces of A2 paper (Taped together along 1 short side on each piece of paper) plus a long ruler and a sharp pencil.

Aye Curumba this is a long post. Okay, lets kick off with the actual fun stuff, the making of the cover.

On my big long rectangle piece of paper I measured out a rectangle with my pencil that was 14 1/2" (37 cm) x 39" (99.5 cm).

This is where I am going to make my grid for laying out my charm squares. Grabbing my ruler I measure and mark out the following along one of the long edges of the rectangle ( the one closest to you would be easy) :-

1/4 " ( .8 cm) , 4 3/4" (12.2 cm) , 5" ( 12.8 cm) , 1 3/4" ( 4.5 cm) , 3 1/8" ( 4.5 cm) , 5" ( 12.8 cm) , 1 1/4" ( 3.2 cm ) , 3 1/4" ( 8.3 cm ) , 5" ( 12.8 cm ) , 1 1/2" ( 3.9 cm ) , 3 1/2" ( 8.9 cm ) , 4" ( 10 cm ).


On the long side of your rectangle that is further away from you, measure and mark out the following:-

2" ( 5 cm ), 5" ( 12.8 cm) , 2 3/4" ( 7 cm ) , 2 1/4" ( 5.8 cm ) , 5" ( 12.8 cm ) , 2 1/2" (6.2 cm), 2 1/2" ( 6.2 cm ) , 5" ( 12.8 cm ), 2 1/4" ( 5.8 cm ) , 2 3/4" ( 7 cm ), 5" ( 12.8 cm ), 2" ( 5 cm )

I know this all seems very painful and it is a little bit but its over now and the easy part of your grid begins now. What I did was at the very first point I marked on the side closest to me, I ruled a line from that mark to the second mark from the beginning marks on the other side. I hope that makes sense, please look at the pictures, they should help. Basically, you will have drawn a connecting line that is on an angle, like in the picture above.

This line now becomes a guide line for me. I can draw up my grid, ruling from the next point on the closest side to me to the next point on the opposite side. You keep joining the dots until you have lovely lines climbing up your rectangle (the pattern looks like a barber pole). You now need to do the other side, please don't scream, there will be some more measuring to do but no where near as much as before. But you know what? I have been at this for a couple of hours now and I need a break so I am going to finish up for tonight and continue posting the rest of the directions tomorrow. Sorry about the break, I am trying to keep the language simple. So check in tomorrow for part 2 ...

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

As promised - laptop cover ala Jo

Hey Hey .... as promised me compadres, here is the laptop cover I made. There are a few patterns around and there is an example earlier on in this blog of the Amy Butler Lap Top cover. But oh my, it had some problems, as with some of the other covers as well. I really hope I have managed to address those issues and keep it very simple. This is what it looks like and I will post instructions, its a bit to long to be a Telly Project so I'll just list it all tomorrow night for you, if you should want to make one.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Anzac Day ...

I'm going to pop this in here before I show you the lap top cover, yesterday was Anzac Day. As a lovely mate of mine in the US said in email yesterday "happy Anzac day, whatever the heck that is ..." so I thought I might put a wee word about Anzac day here in my little piece of the web-a-verse. To put it simply, Anzac day is the most important day in our year here. Its where we remember all of those men and women who have served in all the wars that our country have been involved in. A lot of folks seem to think that this is a glorification of war, but it isn't. We not saying war is amazing or fun, we as a nation say that a lot of precious precious aussie blood has been spilt in countries across the globe, and we remember them. And honour them. And say thank you. So that's Anzac day, its a big big deal. Tomorrow, I'll show you some pics and give you directions on making a lovely lap top cover, I love it and of course, I have to mention Spandau Ballet but for now ...

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

THE ODE - Laurence Binyan

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Little Bow and the Katoomba Quilt Show ...

Hiya. Well, its been a little while. Six weeks. I have been in "interesting times" as in the old Chinese curse "may you live in interesting times." But, I did get to the Katoomba quilt show, interesting times or not. Here is Little Bow all hanging up. She was right near the front door, I thought she looked okay. I can't begin to tell you how much went into her, so to see her all finished ... finally, was nothing short of a relief. And I also have included some pics from the rest of show as well. It was a good show, and I'll be entering next year too. I already am building all the ideas for that quilt. It's called "Saturday afternoon with Eda." Anyway, here are the pics...

And the big news ... this was pinned to Little Bow ...

Katoomba was my very first quilt show, so this, well ... it was just lovely. I did go through a couple of days of thinking I had been in a field of three quilts and I had come last in three, but then I found out that there had been over 20 quilts in the category and I was just so pleased. Anyway, it was a big deal for me. Little Pickles was so funny, she has now turned into a major quilt critic. The show folks asked her if she wanted to vote in the popular choice category. She said she did, and then said she wasn't going to vote for me. She then had me walk around the show, taking pictures of the quilts she liked and then she sat on my knee and went through the pics so she could pic her favourite! She really makes me laugh ... I have a bunch of posts to come. Sorry about the silence, I'll promise to be good now ...