Seat Belt Covers

I’ve been making seatbelt covers for myself for years – I’m short and especially during the summer when I’m wearing open neck clothing an unprotected seatbelt cuts my neck. I was very aware of the problem whenever I was driven somewhere when I had my cast on and couldn’t drive myself. I decided I needed to make seatbelt covers for quite a few of my friends – I could also use a new pair myself.

Two days ago I bought 2m of batik fabric (it’s more densely woven than quilting cotton and holds up better) – that would work out to 6 pairs of seatbelt covers/m – cost ~$3/pair. I also bought 6m each of black and white velcro (loops and hoops) – each seat belt uses ~10″ of velcro that gives me 4 covers/m – ~$1.00/pair of covers. I have lots of batting scraps which I planned on using so I didn’t need to buy batting.

Here’s how I make the seatbelt covers:

Folded in half, I cut 7″ strips from the width of fabric – cut in half gives me 2 pieces of fabric 7″ x ~21″. I cut batting 6″ x 21″. Place the batting in the centre of the fabric, fold in one end, fold over the second (selvedge edge on top so I don’t have to fold raw edge under).

Finished underside of seatbelt cover

Next, I sew a double seam across the open edge, turn the cover over, attach the loops and hooks to the length edges of the seatbelt cover by stitching the inner edge of the velcro; turn seatbelt cover over so the under side is up, then fold velcro over, and stitch down, folding in the top and bottom raw edge of fabric.

Finished top of seatbelt cover

Fold the cover in half and seal the velcro

That’s all there is to it. New seatbelt covers – cost: ~$4/pair (that’s because I used batting scraps – had I bought new batting the cost would have been closer to $5.

I have a new pair in my car. I have six pairs done – seven more to go in this batch – a total of 14 pairs of seatbelt covers.

I’m not sure whether I’ll gift these to the women in our knitting group, or whether we’ll take a day and they’ll make their own – they’d find that more satisfying, I’m sure.

Socks From Leftovers #9

I’ve finally finished this pair of socks which I began nine weeks ago just after I broke my wrist. For the next six weeks I knit barely 20 rows. Once my cast came off I was able to resume my typical knitting pace of 30-40 rows each evening.

Socks From Leftovers #9

You have to look closely to see there are two different patterned yarns used in these socks. The leftovers blended quite well. But that’s the end of what seems to want to work. The remaining leftover balls don’t want to play well with each other – so I think I’m going to bag them up today and put them in the pile of stuff to take to Mission Mart – a local used clothing outlet run by the Souls Harbour Mission which runs drop-in centres and shelters for the homeless.

Yesterday I went through my fabric stash, pulling out fabrics I know I’m not ever going to use – cotton twill for pants (I had five 1.5m pieces all washed and ready to be used that have been sitting in a drawer for at least three years), remnants from garments (perhaps 1/2m – enough to use for something for a child), other garment sized pieces that I no longer could see making into whatever it was I intended to make.

I piled them into big bags and took them straight away – the faster they’re out of my house, the happier I am. I want to go through the stash again a second time – I bet there is more I can part with and not miss it. The incentive, of course, is that I have stacks of new linen in pant lengths (which I’ve washed and pressed ready to be used) which I’m not going to get to this season and I need to have somewhere to store them. I had lots of empty drawer space when I moved into the apartment three years ago but those drawers seem to have filled up. I needed to eliminate some of the fabric so I could put away the newest acquisitions.

That’s it for fabric – no more fabric – I can’t buy any more fabric because I have nowhere to put it!

As for socks – I have already picked out yarn for a new pair of socks I’ll start this evening.

Art Lab Showing 2019

Drove yesterday to Parrsboro, NS to set up a show of 22 quilts and wall art pieces which will hang in the Art Lab Studio and Gallery until August 30.

I’m always amazed at what my work looks like when hanging together like this – I can see just how much I accomplished in a year.

The reaction of the visitors yesterday at the opening was encouraging – people were interested in how I constructed the wall art, particularly those pieces with photo elements printed on cotton.

It seems the favourite pieces, they got a lot of attention, are the modern “flower” appliqué hangings. I thought the “banner” pieces might generate interest but the flowers seem to be winning out.

Until I saw the show hanging, I hadn’t realized how much turquoise featured in my work this year. It shows up in quite a few of the quilts and hangings as a highlight colour.

My Sock Drawer

Three more “sleeps” until my cast comes off – Yeah! I can’t wait. I will finally be able to get back to creating – sewing, knitting, quilting…. Yes.

This evening I was at my sister’s place for dinner and noticed a lovely watercolour in her family room titled “Ian’s Sock Drawer” – an artist friend of hers must have seen one of Ian’s sock drawers (he has three) and done this bright painting of his socks, and because I haven’t any original work in progress to share I thought I’d share my sock drawer.

Here it is in two steps – I have three columns of socks in my sock drawer (43 pairs in all) of hand knit woollen socks – the oldest knit in 2003 to the most recent 2019. I have given away many pairs from this sock drawer – worn, yes, but with lots of life left in them, in order to be able to add new socks to my collection.

This is what it looks like today – jumbled – no order to the colours. Sometimes I take all the socks out and replace them so like colours are together but over time as I wear them and wash them, they get put back at the front of a column that has room to squeeze them in. So my colour organization disintegrates.

Sock Drawer (Part 1)

One of these days I’ll sit on the floor and reorganize them into colour families again but for now (since it’s summer and I’m wearing sandals) they’re staying the way they are.

Sock Drawer (Part 2)

The World In Textural Yarn

The World – a 20′ Tapestry by Vanessa Barragão at Heathrow Airport

Came across this textile art piece today – a 20′ Tapestry which recreates the world map in textured yarn by Vanessa Barragão commissioned for Heathrow Airport.

You really must take a look at the article to see closeups of her latch hooking, felt needling, carving, crochet, used to construct this amazing large piece.

It’s quite wonderful.

I’m getting back to some work myself, finally. I’ve been knitting in the evening – can’t yet do as many rows as I could before I broke my wrist – I’m still in the cast and it hampers my thumb movement. I’m going to construct the light green pants I cut out the day before the accident – I can sew now, and handle a pair of scissors (for short periods of time) and I can certainly thread and use the sewing machines. Pressing will still be a bit of an issue but I’m going to have a go.

I’ve also been preparing for the exhibition at Art Labs in Parrsboro from August 10-30. I’ve written up blurbs for each work and printed them on removable labels. The wall hangings all have sleeves for rods to hang them with built into the back of each one. I need to create and baste some sleeving onto the back of the lap quilts. Then I need to check my stock of dowels to see if I have enough long ones – if not, I’ll have to pick up more. I also need to make sure I have enough bulldog clips for the ends of the dowels so we can hang each piece from the wire hanging system at the gallery.

So, soon, I should once again be able to post about my own creative endeavours.

Just Came Across This

Natalie Ciccoricco takes a vintage photo and embroiders multi-coloured circles on them, matching the shades of embroidery thread perfectly. Very interesting artwork results.

A Multi-Faceted Colour Swatch by Natalie Ciccoricco

You really must take a look at her work. This is not something I’d have ever though to do myself but seeing her work I might have a try! Ciccoricco’s colour sense is amazing – the embroidery threads replicate very closely the colours found in each photo.

I thought this worth sharing!

Embellishments

Found Leaves by Susanna Bauer

Trim by Susanna Bauer

This would never have crossed my mind to attempt. Her found leaves are beautifully intact – that in itself is a feat. Add to that her exquisite fine crochet work and you have an amazing work of art!

Or consider these “portraits” of sliced fruit by Dennis Wojtkiewicz:

A Slice Of Lemon

This is a 48″ x 48″ oil painting – can’t you just taste the tart goodness?

The breadth of inspiration and wonderful execution amaze me.

Oh, BTW, I’m still in a cast – this week a bubblegum pink one – I had to have the purple one changed because it was seriously rubbing in a couple of locations and would have led to open sores beneath the cast had I not had it changed. This one is better – survivable if still uncomfortable – at least for now.

Cast #4