Wean - thank you, I really appreciate that.
I've not been helping myself. I've been reading a decorating book by Jocasta Innes. She can airily re-stitch antique rugs and use artist colours to restore furniture. I can't even keep furniture dusted. However one thing she suggested was using old ties for patchwork. I remember seeing this on tv once, where someone got the old men's ties from charity shops and made a quilt out of them after carefully unpicking them and pressing the material. They got quite a bit of fabric and a lot of the ties were silk.
To cheer myself up I had a quick look on ebay (my friend) to see what ties were there. There were quite a few bundles of ties that could be unpicked, washed (very carefully), pressed and cut up. I decided I had enough problems without adding a tie stash to them, but then I had a think. I found this listing for sale, a job lot of 90 ties for a total of £16.99, including post and packing. The seller also has a shedload of absolutely gorgeous waistcoats as well, at the time of typing. Looking at them, they look fine, probably not a lot of silk, but they would be generally the same weight and could probably look good as a patchwork bag.
I don't need 90 ties, honest.
But, but, but, if you look at the fabric, which has, to be honest, been cheering me up with the possibilities, you can find things like this listing, a 'vintage' sari from India, which is sold as suitable for craft projects. It is probably well worn, but I am sure that some fabric can be used from the gorgeous, silk, patterned length - which is marked as 3.5 ft by 15 ft - that is a lot of fabric, even if you have to work around the holes! That comes in at £8.49, though there are some dearer ones.
Thank goodness I don't need to worry about working with silk for a while, it looks far too tempting.
btw, Knock knock. Who's there? Lettuce. Lettuce who? Lettuce in, it's freezing out here.