STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, photographer, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Needle Organizer

Today I'm sharing a recent small project with you - an organizer for your sewing machine needles. When I teach machine quilting classes, I always take a variety of needle types to show, and until recently I also took my bulk box of quilting needles, as many quilters don't know you can save a considerable amount by buying needles in bulk (100 in a box). After one particular class, my supplies were all loaded on a cart to transport them up from the church basement classroom and out of the building. The cart tipped a little when I pushed it over some uneven ground at the building entrance and I didn't realize all my little needle packages, held together with an elastic, slid out of my totebag and fell off.  It wasn't until the next Friday when I was packing up again to head out of town to teach another class, that I realized ALL my needles were missing. Luckily I remembered the cart tipping and thought they must have fallen off; I made a frantic call back to the church office and they were located. I said a silent thank-you to the kind person who found them and turned them in! (Bet she was a quilter!)





Anywaaaay... after that I decided I needed something larger to accommodate my needles so if they tried to escape again I would notice... wink. When I found the directions for this case on QUILTsocial.com I knew it would be the answer. You can find the first set of directions by clicking here. It is a five part article, with the link to the next  day's directions at the end of each post.











Mine measures 8.25" x 10.25" when closed and 8.25" x 16.5" when opened. Here it is opened up to reveal the vinyl pockets, top edges bound with (purchased) double fold bias binding. The stitching which divides the pockets is done with a 2.5mm. twin needle; of course it could be done with  single needle as well, but this was a project designed to get you more familiar with twin needle stitching.








Here's a closer look....

I made a few small changes - I made mine smaller (fewer pockets) and used just one size of twin needle rather than the three sizes suggested. I also rounded the corners of the case and used a continuous binding which I thought looked neater; of course the binding had to be cut on the bias to go smoothly around those curved corners but worth the effort I think.


















I used two buttons for the closure instead of just one. I decided to use two fancy buttons I had purchased years ago for crazy quilting.. I have SO many lovely buttons that have gone unused, so why not use two particularly pretty ones for this case .. what am I saving them for??!!







The organizer is made in two sections- the outside is layered with fusible fleece and quilted; I followed the suggestions of a twin needle crosshatch in the lower section but did single needle organic lines in the upper section.  I LOVE the look of twin needle crosshatching, I do it often. This one is quite narrow- the lines are 1/2" apart and done with a Sulky rayon thread. The inside layer is fabric backed with nonwoven interfacing and then the vinyl strips are added to create the pockets. Then of course the two sections are placed wrong sides together and the edges are bound.

The one suggestion I would make if you decide to make one of these is to do with stitching on the vinyl. If you have never stitched on vinyl before I'd suggest you buy a very small amount (or borrow a little piece from a sewing friend) and see how your machine handles it. The article suggests that you should have a non-stick/teflon foot. Good advice, but likely not a foot many quilters have, and they can be pricey and perhaps hard to find. So try it without and see how your machine will handle the vinyl. I had no trouble, hopefully you will be just as lucky. EDIT: Read the comments below from Holly and Karen for suggestions on stitching on vinyl.
It's a fun little project. If you make one, send me a photo!   :)
I like QUILTsocial.com and visit often - there are many interesting projects presented and lots of good info and advice, tips and techniques. You may also have noticed I use Schmetz needles almost exclusively - top quality German made, they are THE BEST hands down. For a topstitch needle I prefer Superior Threads titanium coated topstitch needles, also top quality! The needle is one of the most important parts of your machine- buy top quality and change them often!

Piece!
Linda

Sewing machine - the ultimate power tool!

9 comments:

Quilting Tangent said...

Wonderful bag. I would put a zipper, that way I could just toss it and not think twice.

Linda H said...

It’s not a bag per se, it opens like a book. I suppose a zipper could be added but it would have to go around three sides. That would take a little re-designing... Thanks for your visit.

Vee said...

And here I thought your project was small. It’s big! So glad that your needles were found. It would be quite an expense to replace them. Thank you for the link!

kath001 said...

Great share. And I need a gift for my quilt group's Christmas exchange, so you have my gears turning. And those buttons? I think those were the exact ones I had put on my mother-of-the-bride dress back in the day.

Jennifer said...

Excellent idea, Linda! I agree with your advice about replacing needles too, I have found an empty Tic Tac box is excellent for dead machine disposal.

HollyM said...

The case is a great idea and pretty too. I sew often with the vinyl and none of my machines handle. I use that little bottle of no stick or silicone which I picked up at Fabricville and brush a small amount on the plate and under the foot with a Qtip. Works perfectly.

Karen said...

Pretty case, Linda (blue, of course!) You were so lucky to have had someone turn in those needles!!
As for stitching on vinyl, a piece of green frog tape stuck on the underside of the presser foot prevents it sticking, and it pulls off after use with no residue. My Mom used to put a piece of tissue paper on either side of the vinyl and stitch through that, tearing it off afterwards. Quilters are a resourceful lot :)
See you soon at N.S. Fibre Arts Festival!

Sara - Villa Emilia said...

Oh, Linda, the needle organizer looks very smart, but after I have seen those gorgeous buttons, I cold not think anything else any more. If you have crazy quilting stuff you don't need, could I please buy them from you? :) Or would there be something I could send you from Finland?
It was lovely to hear from you after such a long time. Big hugs! xx

Jeanna said...

That is a great needle case, Linda. The color is one of my favorites.

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