Cover for my new magnifier

Desktop Magnifier

Desktop Magnifier

Meet Maggie the Magnifier, so called to distinguish her from Jenny the Jensen Magnifier Light. Maggie was a Christmas present from my cousin. She’s wonderfully sturdy, with a nice heavy base, and notwithstanding the base mentions 1815, we think that was the foundation of the company, and Maggie herself is probably from the 1920s. She will be very useful for details and work at the table, rather than at my embroidery frame, but she needs a cover, both to keep the dust off, and to stop her setting fire to things on those rare occasions when the sun comes out.

Making the cover seemed a good way to pass the time over the period when I had Akhenaten hidden away, so I used a piece of brushed bouclé fabric and some rather lovely wool thread I got from somewhere-but-I-can’t-remember-where.

Inspiration And Progress

Inspiration And Progress

Since I did the Great Lady’s Magazine Stitch Off, I’ve become very conscious of what I learnt that I didn’t anticipate – becoming aware of how much more often an embroiderer of that period would have reckoned that Close Enough Is Good Enough, how often a pattern would have been sketched on by eye, rather than prick-&-pounced for precision, how much effect and speed would have trumped detail. I’m trying to apply that myself – when I don’t need exactitude, I don’t intend to strive for it. I hope it will make fun new projects more fun, and more “free”. This is a perfect candidate for that approach.

The basis of the design is a floral pattern from a rather gorgeous book called “Pattern and Ornament in the Arts of India”, with curlicues in the corners of the square of fabric. I practiced a couple of times in a notebook, and then simply drew the design in chalk on the fabric and started stitching.

This is going to be one of my New projects for this year…


  1. A magnifier is a great tool for doing needlework. Good idea to make a cover, especially as the lens certainly can set things on fire if it is kept in the sun.
    You have found a very pleasing design there!

  2. jenclair says:

    Beautiful design and useful purpose. Morris would be proud!

  3. I like your design and am looking forward to seeing the finished article. I have had a go with my hung-round-the-neck magnifier, but found it made me feel a bit funny, like motion sickness, as moving the frame as I stitched made the focus change. I thought it would be better if I mounted the frame on my floor stand – but I can only find half of the bits for it!

  4. Catherine says:

    That certainly looks like a good and sturdy magnifier, and all magnifiers need a cover! I love both your cove and your attitude towards it. Whilst you’ve made it sound quite straight forward, the thought of just sketching on fabric terrifies me as I’m not a good artist! I look forward to more pieces from this collection this year.

  5. Sue Jones says:

    Good idea. My light doesn’t live in a position where its lens can get direct sun through it,and I don’t usually use the magnifier for working. (I much prefer stronger spectacles for that, for the same reason Frayed at the Edge gives. They move with me.) But it gets very dusty. I was surprised it didn’t come with a lid for the glass section. So I shall make myself a circular thingy to go on it. Thank you for the inspiration, Rachel.

  6. The magnifier looks quite sturdy and will definitely need a cover- what a great idea! looking forward to the progress.

  7. Karen says:

    fire prevention is definitely a priority lol…I love the detail in the stitched piece here and the background cloth is a gorgeous colour.

  8. wendy says:

    oh, this is going to be pretty!

  9. Dima says:

    That looks like a really great magnifier. Nice and solid. I like the look of that book, the design under your fabric looks interesting.

  10. Terrie says:

    It is a good tool for a nice job.
    Happy crafting!

  11. Carolyn Foley says:

    That is a darling little light but yes it has a wicked edge when it comes to lighting fires. You are going to need that cover.

  12. Jillayne says:

    I love this stitching you’ve begun. Lately I’ve been reading a lot on Indian embroidery and textiles, and have ordered a book by Ann Morrell – yours sounds interesting as well so will look it up online.

  13. Sheryl says:

    A very useful gift to receive and the pretty cover is a good idea, I like the floral pattern and the fabric choice. Two colours which I´d not think to use together and look perfect.