I learned to sew from my mom, who learned from my grandma, who learned from my great-grandma, and so it goes, each mom passing down her own bit of wisdom to her own daughter. But what unfortunately didn’t get passed down to me were anyone’s tools or supplies!
Now, with a daughter of my own, my heart melts as she toddles up to my machine and tells me she’s going to “do a little bit of sewing.” I am excited to teach her all the knowledge that I’ve gleaned from the sewing moms before me, but I also hope to pass on to her what I didn’t get: the supplies she’ll need to build a toolbox of her own.
I made this Heirloom Needle Case with both me and my daughter in mind. It’s the perfect way for me to keep all my needles organized now, but I also see it as a little treasure that I can pass on to Ruth years from now as she pulls out her needles to learn the perfect blind stitch.
This case is made with Robert Kaufman’s Waterford Linen and Mary Flanagan’s Felted Wool in a stunning bright yellow. The two materials are beautiful on their own, but when fused together, they create a whole new fabric that is soft and sturdy, perfect for keeping sharp needle points away from tender fingers. Strips of Cotton Twill Tape hold all the needles in place and won’t stretch or fray over time. Fortunate, because I’m hoping this will last me, and Ruth, for quite a while! – Corinne
- 1/4 yard Robert Kaufman’s Waterford Linen in Natural
- A 13 by 15-inch piece of Mary Flanagan’s Felted Wool. We used Wake Up Call.
- 1/2 yard Heat-n-Bond Lite
- A 110-yard spool of Gutermann’s 100% Cotton Thread in a color to match the Felted Wool. We used color 1410.
- 1 yard 30mm Cotton Twill Tape. We used Ecru
- 1 yard 14mm Cotton Twill Tape. We used Ecru
- A Fabric Marker.
These are enough materials to make two Heirloom Needle Cases.
Cut out a 6 by 14-inch piece of the Linen, Wool and Heat-n-Bond.
Note: When cutting simple rectangular shapes for patterns such as this, straight, clean cuts are key. The best way to make these cuts is with a rotary cutter and a non-slip quilting ruler on a self-healing cutting mat. If you have limited experience using a rotary cutter, I recommend visiting our Rotary Cutting Tutorial.
Cut three 6-inch pieces of the 30mm Twill Tape and one 14-inch piece of the 14mm Twill Tape.
Sew on the Twill Tape
Lay the Wool flat with the short sides as top and bottom. Place one piece of the 30mm Twill Tape so that the bottom edge of the Twill Tape is 1 1/2 inches up from the bottom edge of the Wool. Pin in place. Pin the second piece of 30mm Twill so that its bottom edge is 2 inches above the top edge of the first piece, and pin the third piece’s bottom edge 2 inches above the top edge of the second.
Use a fabric marker and a straight edge ruler to make a mark down the center of the three pieces of Twill Tape (3 inches from the sides).
Sew along the marked lines, backstitching at the beginning and end of each seam.
Fuse the Fabrics
Preheat iron to medium heat with no steam. Lay the Wool on the ironing board with the Twill Tape side down. Place the Heat-n-Bond on top of the Wool with the paper liner face up. Slowly move the iron across the paper until the entire surface is bonded. Allow to cool and peel off the paper liner.
Place the Linen on top of the adhesive, aligning the edges. Press and hold the iron for 6 seconds in each section until the fabrics are bonded. At one short side end, leave 1 ½ inches unbonded.
Trim all of the pieces down to 5 ½ inches by 13 inches by cutting off ¼ inch from both long sides and ½ inch from the short sides.
Center one end of the 14mm Twill Tape into the unbonded space. Press and hold the iron on top of this section for 6 seconds or until bonded.
Sew twice around all four edges with a zigzag stitch, making sure the 30mm Twill Tape pieces get caught in the stitching and lay flat.
To hem the 14mm Twill tie, fold in the raw edge 1/4 inch twice and press. Hand stitch the hem with a blind stitch.
Arrange your needles, loosely roll your case, wrap the tie around to secure, and you’re done!