Christmas gift-making activities are in full swing over here! This week, I made a knitting needle organizer for my mother-in-law.
I'm sad to say that I don't own a single knitting needle to display in it. (I hope you'll forgive my display of markers in the organizer instead.) My organizer ended up with a total of 24 pockets ranging from 1" to about 4"-wide; you can certainly customize the pocket quantity/sizes as you see fit. The tallest slots should be able to store up to 14" needles. Oh and the marker boxes are supposed to represent where you could put circular needles.
- One fat quarter for the exterior
- One fat quarter for the interior
- One yard of fabric for the pockets
- One 18 x 22" piece of batting
- Therm O Web PeelnStick Ruler Tape or a fabric marker/chalk
- One yard of ribbon OR a 3-1/2 x 36" strip of fabric for the tie
Let's get started! (Please read all instructions before beginning.)
Cut a 16 x 19.5" rectangle from each interior and exterior fat quarter.
From the pocket fabric, cut two strips 16" x WOF (width of fabric). Sub-cut the strips to yield the following block sizes:
- One 16 x 24"
- One 16 x 18"
Fold the blocks in half (wrong sides together) to yield the following new sizes:
- One 16 x 12"
- The 16 x 24" becomes 16 x 12"
- The 16 x 18" becomes 16 x 9"
- The 16 x 12" becomes 16 x 6"
Stack the folded blocks into one pile, aligning the raw edges at the bottom. Because we are about to mark the pocket divider lines, it's also helpful to make sure the sides are lined up with the cutting mat's grid lines.
There are a number of ways to mark the divider lines, but I will demonstrate using the ruler tape. Keeping in mind that I will stitch to the RIGHT side of the tape, I lay the first piece of tape 2" in from the left. (If using a marker, use a ruler to help you draw a straight line.)
From there, I space my tape at increments varying between 1", 1-1/2", and 2". If you would like to create a bigger pocket for circular needles and such, I recommend marking the final line 4-1/2" in from the end.
Next, carefully pick up the pocket layers and place them onto the interior panel, aligning the edges at the bottom. Pin everything securely in place.
Next, sew along the right side of the ruler tape, back-stitching at the top and bottom of the pocket stack for each line.
If you've marked the lines with some sort of pen or chalk, just sew along the lines (also back-stitching at the top and bottom of each line). After you've stitched all the lines, remove the tape/markings. (See why I love this ruler tape? No markings to clean up.)
Behold the lovely lines!
Set this interior pocket piece aside and retrieve the exterior piece. Baste the fabric to the batting and quilt as desired. (I used my freemotion quilting tutorial to create a random swirl pattern.)
If making a fabric tie, take the 3-1/2 x 36" strip and fold it in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Iron the fold in place.
Open the strip and fold the edges in to meet the fold; iron the new folds in place.
Fold the ends in 1/2" and re-fold the strip in half lengthwise (original fold).
Top-stitch close to the edge along the entire perimeter to finish the tie.
Fold the tie in half widthwise and iron the fold to mark the center-point of the tie.
Measure 7" up from the bottom of the exterior piece and pin the tie so its fold is in the center (8" in from the sides).
Stitch along the fold (I went back and forth a couple times, back-stitching at the beginning and end).
Place the exterior and interior pieces right sides together (make sure the tie is tucked inside), aligning the raw edges. Pin in place and sew around the entire perimeter using 1/2" seam allowance, leaving an 8" gap in the top-side to turn it right-side out.
Clip away the fabric at the corners and turn right-side out through the top, taking care to push out the corners.
Carefully iron over everything to make it nice and flat. Fold the fabric in at opening and pin in place. Stitch the opening closed with a ladder stitch.
Finally, measure and mark a line 3-1/2" down from the top; stitch along the line.
This will mark where the fabric should fold down at the top (keeps needles from falling out at the top).
Fold the organizer into thirds and tie a bow.
I know I don't knit, but I kind of want one...maybe it's a sign I need to learn.