It was my mother's 60th birthday on tuesday. I'll blog about the knitted components of her present later in the week. For now, here are the details of the piece I produced with the aid of a sewing machine. It's a laptop case, if you can't tell without the actual computer inside it.
The patchwork pieces were from a pile of fair trade scraps Kirsty gave me for my birthday last year. It was so much fun going through this big set of ends of fabric and choosing a collection that worked together and I thought Mum would like. Then there's a layer of quilting and a bit of sparkly top thread (sort of necessary to balance the slab of gold from the zip). Two fat quarters of blue cotton make up the lining and edging, with a double layer of foam Kirsty happened to have in her stash (how great is it living with another crafter?). I braved John Lewis on a saturday in the winter (Father Christmas was there and everything) for a giant zip so it could open all the way around, rather than just be an 'envelope' shape, and added a bit of elastic to slip over the screen when the laptop is open.
It took two afternoons - basically a lazy weekend's work, trip to town included. But that was making things up as I went along; it probably could have been done quicker. If I did it again, I'd sew the elastic in before sandwiching everything together, and I've have curved the edges. But it all works with the patchwork look anyway and its strong and unusual-looking, which was what I was going for.
Thanks for all the nice comments about my mittens WIP. I've finished them and will do a proper photo-shoot once the weather provides us with some light (bah!) and write up the chart in the next week or so.
While on the topic of my patterns, please note I've finally got around to declaring designs published on the blog as creative commons. (Designs held on other websites have their own copyright declarations). You are free to use, modify, share and play with these patterns to your hearts desire, just include a credit to me. However, you can't make money from them. Do not re-publish patterns for sale, or include in sets to sell yarn or for sock clubs, etc. Do not sell the things you make using the pattern. Okey-dokey?