A place for everything…

…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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 4.57.49 pmScreen Shot 2015-03-27 at 4.58.04 pm

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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 4.51.47 pmThe 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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 4.53.06 pm 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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 4.52.17 pmTake 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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 4.54.14 pmStitch 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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 4.54.39 pmCut 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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 4.55.01 pmNow 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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 4.55.24 pmStitch 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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 4.56.21 pm Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 4.57.19 pmThat’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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 4.58.39 pm 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.

29 thoughts on “A place for everything…

  1. tialys says:

    This is fantastic Kate. I am going to make one for my Mum – when I am over there next month I will sneakily measure the remote controls she has. Thank you for the instructions x

    • katechiconi says:

      My pleasure! I was just going to do a “ta-daah” photo of the finished thing, but then realised it was a useful thing and someone else might want to make one. If your Mum is a knitter, you might want to make the tool side a little longer to accommodate knitting needles

  2. I love it, Kate – and thank you for all the photos and details: that’s my next project or two sorted out!

  3. Brilliant! If I made one for myself, I wouldn’t need the remote control pockets. I only get to play with the remote if my husband is travelling! What is it with men and remote controls?

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m allowed access to the remote that mutes the sound on the commercials. So I get a bit of peace and quiet instead of shouty ads for Joyce Mayne or Hardly Normal. The other two mostly do things I don’t understand and am not interested in learning about… So our remote holder is on the Husband’s side of the sofa. This one’s for the Dowager, who gets to channel surf to her heart’s content!

  4. knettycraft says:

    It it wonderful and she surely will love it. Thank you for sharing the detailed description. Mine wouldn’t need remote control pockets either…. after our last TV was out of order we didn’t bought another one. So we are TV-free for 13 years now. I love to listen to the radio and I watch movies with my laptop.

    • katechiconi says:

      I was brought up without a TV, so my evening entertainment was always reading, or painting or sewing, or doing something else with my hands. We are not one of those households that has the TV on no matter what, thank goodness. And I still prefer reading or sewing! Perhaps for the TV-free households there should be a book and glasses pocket!

  5. kimpennell64 says:

    Brilliant! I love the spool holder. You are a genius. She will love it.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ve been puzzling and wondering how to make something sturdy enough to stand up by itself, which could also fold down, but was easy to engineer. It came to me just as my hand was out to throw the empty thread spool in the rubbish! Now I have to make her a card…

  6. anne54 says:

    Brilliant Kate! I love the natty like pincushion and the yarn holder. So well thought through.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you! Always a bit of a trial finding a present for her, so when she asked me to make her something like this, I was stoked! I think she’ll like the yarn holder, she’s been complaining about the spool coming unwound.

  7. ordinarygood says:

    Fantastic…..your skills are totally impressive. And I love that you call a very large Australian owned store(HN) by the same name we do here in Aotearoa….tee hee!

    • katechiconi says:

      Oh, that’s nothing. Back in the UK there was a cheap, fall-apart-quickly furniture store called MFI. It was universally known as Made For Idiots.
      The organiser isn’t at all hard to make, the trick lies in the order of assembly, so that everything’s tucked away and neatly finished. Now, where did I put the birthday wrapping paper…

      • ordinarygood says:

        I love the MFI story! Your finishing work is excellent – another lack in so many commodities/clothing and all manner of things today.
        The sellotape can be a trick to find too……

  8. Carole says:

    I’m partway through working out how to make something similar myself. I want to tidy up the husband’s TV magazine and remotes, plus reading glasses and thought an over the arm thingy would be just the job.
    Yours is brilliant. I’ll have to have a good read of the instructions when I’ve got a bit more time to see if I can use any of your methods 🙂

  9. rutigt says:

    Love it and when I have some left over time, I´ll sew one myself 🙂 Thank you for the tutorial!!!

  10. Kirsten says:

    The edging on that hanky is exquisite. It’s so delicate and has inspired me to have a go myself. I haven’t picked up a crochet hook in ages.

    I am sure the Dowager will love the chair tidy. It certainly helps to have everything all in one place.

    PS – I used the hanky you sent me for the first time last week. I know it has been ages since you sent it, but for a while I felt guilty just thinking about blowing my nose on it, even though it was made to be used! However I have got into the habit of keeping a hanky in my dressing gown pocket and also in pockets of slouchy at-home jumpers. I ended up with too many paper ones making it into the wash, and we all know what happens then . . .

    • katechiconi says:

      Oh, I’ve had my share of shredded white tissue all over dark blue uniform, grrrr! One reason I returned to cloth hankies, quite apart from the cost. That isn’t even her best work; somewhere ‘safe’ I have the hanky she made me for the wedding, which is just glorious. Trouble is, it’s so safe I can’t find it….

      • Kirsten says:

        They are so annoying aren’t they, those little white flecks and the endless sticky tape needed to get rid of them.
        Also know that feeling of putting something somewhere safe and, what you think at the time, obvious . . .

      • katechiconi says:

        Trouble is, I’ve moved house since then. It could be almost anywhere! I must have a proper search…

  11. […] original tutorial can be found here. I’ve been asked to make another, for a different set of tools. The Husband’s aunt, the […]

  12. […] smaller than the original toolkit, because as I said in my earlier post, the tools are different, and she doesn’t want TV […]

  13. […] men jag vet att min vän Kate i Australien också har lagt ut ett mönster. Hon kallar sin version Hand2eye och den är lite mer avancerad. Jag ska nog prova att sy en sådan […]

  14. […] floral Amy Butler top Lilac top Black spot dress Laptop cover for me Tablet cover for the Husband Crochet tool kit, tatting tool kits 1 and 2 Octagonal sewing box tested for Tialys, same box made for the Dowager […]

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