Make it do or do without. The old saying is still solidly good advice. It’s not always practical to replace an item that, though it continues to be useful, has been heavily used and is obviously no longer new. Instead of throwing something away when its wearing out, I usually try to figure out if there is something I can do to make it work a little bit longer.
Such was the case with my husbands headphones. We each have our hobbies – mine is making quilts, his is making electronic music. So these headphones not only get a lot of use, but they are important to him. Trying to do his work without them is like me trying to make a quilt in the dark. And while they are good quality headphones that were not cheap, they began to wear out and were threatening to become unusable in a pretty silly way.
That’s what they looked like brand new. But over time, with heavy use, the pleathery black part that cushions the ears began to flake away and disintegrate. Gross! Underneath that is a foam ring that is the real cushion, the black fabric-esque stuff is just holding that in place. So when it wasn’t holding the foam in place anymore it was extremely uncomfortable and annoying, even though the sound coming out of them was still perfect. And it doesn’t make sense to buy another expensive pair when you know they don’t wear well over time.
I knew I could come up with a decent solution, but I had to convince him that it would work. You never know if something is going to work until you try. So I cut a pair of 6″ squares into ovals. I cut out the center of the ovals and stitched around the opening to secure it, wrong sides together, so that the sound from the headphones wouldn’t be muffled by fabric. I then placed the foam ring of the headphones in between the layers of fabric and sewed a channel around the outer edges which could hold a length of elastic. See the diagram for more clarification. I made two of them, of course. I trimmed all the raw edges with pinking shears to prevent the fabric from unraveling excessively, and for ultimate classy style.
I threaded the elastic through the channels and figured out the length to cut it, then secured it in place. They fit over each earphone like nobody’s business! If I had known how well this solution would work, and how comfortable they make the headphones, I might have selected my fabric with more care. But, as it was, I grabbed the first scraps I came across and now the headphones look like this.
And there you have it. Those headphones have years of use left in them, thanks to quilting cotton. My husband was very grateful and apologized for doubting my idea.
I’m sure there are many instances of quilters using their skills to help solve a problem that has absolutely nothing to do with quilts. Fabric, needle and thread can do wonders in almost any circumstance! And in this case, it took less than 1/2 an hour.
Speaking of sewing quickly, there’s still time (just a bit), to enter our Traditional to Modern Quilt Challenge. With a brand new Husqvarna Viking sewing machine as the grand prize, it’s worth considering and perhaps pulling a few long days or nights to get your quilt made and entered!