If you're like me, you may have lots of small quilts around that could be repurposed. This is a 14 by 14 inch quilt I called Zebra Lost in the Color Wheel, made in 2006. I decided to use it to make a roll up holder for my knitting needles. I suppose I read about this somewhere before, I suppose there is nothing really new anymore, but not so long ago the idea hit me to create a small portable way to store my knitting needles from a quilt I had on hand. I am an occasional knitter, but I like to keep my needles in one easy place and in a small package. This fit the bill.
l. Lay out your quilt as you see in the photo. Turn it over so the wrong side faces you.
2. Create a fabric strip about 1-2 inches wide. Mine is multicolored, I sewed a two strips of fabric together to cover the ends so no fraying would occur. The length should be the width of your quilt. This could be a good time to use up old binding pieces leftover from other projects.
3. Now you want to create places to slip the different sized needles into for storage, so sew down vertically along the strip, at various distances part. I have fat knitting needles, and skinny ones, so I randomly sewed these vertical lines anywhere from 1/4 to one inch apart. You are creating pockets to slip you needles into. I sewed each line back and forth a few times to create a sturdy seam.
3. Here's a picture of my vertical sewing lines along the length of the strip. Remember not to sew through the top and bottom of the sections, as these need to kept open to insert your knitting needles.
4. Here's how my knitting needles look inserted in the sewn down strip. The important thing is that the needles should fit snugly, so they don't fall out when you pick up the caddy. So double up inserting needles to make them tight.
5. Now you need to make a way to close the caddy. Take a strip of fabric about 18 inches long, and 2-3 inches wide. Here's mine, with the ends and length ironed down about 1/4 inch all around. Fold over lengthwise after ironing, and sew starting at one end, along the length, and finishing at the other end. You are making a long strip.
7. After you insert your needles, you're ready to roll up your needles, safe and secure inside the caddy, as this photo demonstrates. Start rolling at the end that does not have the fabric strip attached.
8. Voila! Here's your compact knitting needles storage system. When you finish rolling up the caddy, use the attached strip to wrap around the rolled up caddy, and tuck the end in to hold the rolled up caddy in place. Now, this easily fits anywhere for storage, and can easily be transported!
You can imagine that this same method could be used to hold pens or pencils too, and could make a simple gift. If you don't have a quilt to use, take a few squares of fabric, place batting between, quilt a bit, finish the edges, then proceed to make your needle caddy. And my favorite part of all, is the compact size and neat storage idea.