…and everything in its place. This is the Hand2Eye. Something for the eyes, something for the hands. A TV remote holder/handwork organiser, by special request of the Dowager.
The organiser hangs over the arm of your chair or sofa and keeps things in easy reach. It holds up to 3 remote controls, has slots for crochet hooks, scissors and other bits and pieces, pincushion for needles and pins, and a pop-up thingy to hold and let your spool of cotton unwind as you work without unravelling everywhere. Other configurations are also possible if your handwork is knitting or sewing or stitching.
The Dowager is a demon crocheter – take a look at the hankie she made for me for my birthday. Just exquisite work. She does a bit of needlepoint too, hence the requirement for a pincushion and scissors.
What do you think? It’s definitely not my preferred colour scheme, but the Dowager will be delighted…
Here’s how I made it.
You need a fat quarter of backing material, another for binding, and 5 x 10″ layer cake squares, plus batting the size of your finished item plus seam allowances. There will be a few scraps left over, but not many. I made the organiser 8″ x 25″ finished. Elastic is good but not essential, about 9″, and you’ll need a small empty thread spool.
Make up your front and back strips. Layer together and quilt however you prefer; I used randomly spaced straight lines. The front strip will take 3 of the squares.
Take the fourth square, press in half to form a lined pocket, stitch in a narrow channel at the top to take elastic, and thread through, leave some spare at either end.
Stitch the outside edges of the pocket to one end of the organiser. Insert the tools you want to accommodate and mark the division with pins. Remove the tools and stitch straight lines to form divisions.
Cut a rectangle the same width as the centre panel of the organiser, but narrower. This will form the pincushion. Press the sides under and stitch in place, leaving the outside edge open. Fill with polyester stuffing – don’t overfill or you’ll distort the centre panel. Stitch down the open edge, close to the raw edge of the organiser.
Now it’s time to make the spool holder. It’s annoying when your ball of crochet cotton runs away, and the spool holder takes care of this problem, whilst allowing the spool to turn and the yarn to run off smoothly. Take a 3″ wide strip of the fifth 10″ square. Press in half lengthways. Fuse some lightweight fusible interfacing to the lower half of the strip, below the crease. Press the edges in and stitch together. You can also stitch it together inside out and turn out, which gives a very neat result. Turn the end under and press. Hold it up to the centre panel, next to the pincushion, and mark the length you need, plus ¼” seam allowance. Cut off the excess, but don’t throw it away, you’re going to need it. Make a buttonhole in the centre of the strip. My buttonhole guide was set to 1″. Slit the buttonhole with a seam ripper and tidy it up. Slip the leftover piece over the empty spool. Tuck the ends into the hole in the spool, and stitch together to secure. Wind thread tightly around the spool just below the ends.
Stitch the buttonhole strip to the centre panel, next to the pincushion. It should sit somewhere near the centre of the panel – too far back and the yarn will not run comfortably. ‘Button’ one end of the covered spool through the buttonhole. It should stand up and be held snugly by the buttonhole. The resulting ‘spike’ is a good size to hold balls of crochet yarn.
That’s one side and the centre done. Now it’s time for the remote control pockets. Lay the remotes you want to have handy on the other end of the organiser. Lay a tape measure up and over each remote, going down between each one to touch the backing fabric. This will give you the length the strip needs to be. The height will depend on the height of the smallest remote. Cut a strip of leftover fabric and bind the top edge of the strip. Pin the left and right edges to the background. Insert the remotes and pin between them. Fold and pleat the bottom of the pocket and pin to the edge. Stitch around the outside edge, up between the pockets and along the bottom. Fold the pockets flat along the pleats and press.
Cut 4 x2½” strips from the binding fat quarter. Join end to end, press in half lengthways. Stitch the raw edge to the raw edge of the organiser, as you would to bind a quilt. Mitre the corners, and blindstitch down on the reverse. If you want to fold up and put away the organiser, lay the spool holder down flat through the buttonhole and fold up in three sections.
That’s it! You’re done.