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5 simple steps to make pockets for a needle roll

by Christine Baker

Yesterday on QUILTsocial I basted together the layers of the inside of our needle roll using Odif 505 Temporary Quilt Basting Adhesive Fabric Spray and my Brother NQ900 sewing machine. Today I’ll make the pockets for the needle roll and tomorrow I’ll start putting everything together.

A brown and tan quilt is shown on the bed of a blue and white Brother NQ900 sewing machine. Brother NQ900 sewing machine, UNIQUE Medium Rick Rack, Odif 505 Temporary Quilt Basting Adhesive Fabric Spray

Brother NQ900

STEP 1  Measure your needle packages

The first thing you need to do is measure how deep you need to make the pockets that will hold the needle packages. My packages are all about 4″ tall and the name of the needles will still be visible if the pocket is 3″ deep. Measure your needle packages to see if they are the same size.

Yellow packages of hand embroidery needles are shown on top of purple batik fabric. A yellow gridded ruler is shown measuring the height of the package of Clover tapestry needles and a second package is partially hidden by the ruler.

Measure the height of the needle packages

STEP 2   Cut your fabric

The pockets will have a folded top edge, so to make a pocket 3″ deep, cut the first pocket 6″ x 19″ (the length of the needle roll). I’ll use the same fabric for my pockets as I used for the base fabric. You can do the same or use different fabrics for the pockets.

A hand is shown holding a yellow rotary cutter to cut a strip of purple floral batik fabric using a \ gridded ruler. A green rotary cutting mat is shown in the background.

Cut the pocket fabric 6″ wide.

STEP 3   Fold and press

Fold the fabric in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Use a hot iron to press a nice crisp fold along the top edge of the pocket. Your pocket should now measure 3″ x 19″.

A yellow Oliso Pro iron is shown pressing a strip of purple floral batik fabric in half on top of a white, teal, blue and grey geometric ironing board.

Fold in half and press

STEP 4   Add rick rack

I want to use some UNIQUE Medium Hot Pink Rick Rack to embellish and strengthen the top of the pocket. I cut a piece 20″ long and placed it on the pocket along the folded edge. About ½” should hang over each end of the pocket. I then used a straight stitch on my NQ900 to sew the rick rack onto the fabric.

A hot pink strip of rick rack is shown being sewn by machine to the folded edge of a pocket made from purple floral batik fabric.

Sew rick rack to pocket

This will be the bottom set of pockets, but in order to have enough space for all my needle packages, I’ll need a second set along the top edge of the roll that will tuck underneath the bottom row of pockets. Following these same directions, I cut this pocket 9″ x 19″, folded it in half to make a 4½” x 19″ pocket and sewed rick rack to it as well.

STEP 5   Add wool rectangles

Now, to make this needle roll absolutely perfect, I need to have small pieces of wool to store each of the needles I’m using at the moment in front of the pocket where the package is stored. I’ll end up with 16 little pockets, but I really don’t want to sew down 16 small squares of wool, so I’ll put one piece of wool in front of each pair of pockets. I cut eight pieces of a nice thick felted wool 4″ x 1½” – you could also use felt if you don’t have wool.

Fold the narrower pocket in half and in quarters the same as you did for the interfacing layer and mark those points with the Chaco liner. Center each of the wool rectangles on each quarter of the pocket.

A section of the purple pocket strip with pink rick rack sewn along the top is shown on a green cutting mat. Three white rectangles of wool are arranged on the pocket.

Center the wool rectangles on each quarter of the pocket.

Pin these wool rectangles in place; sew down the shorter ends to secure them to the pocket.

A closeup photo shows the white rectangles of wool being sewn by machine to the purple batik fabric.

Sew down the short ends of the wool rectangles.

Take the wider pocket strip and arrange the remaining four wool rectangles on it, aligning them with the placement of the wool rectangles on the narrower strip. Pin in place and sew them down the same as the ones on the narrower pocket strip.

Two strips of purple batik fabric embellished with hot pink rick rack are shown on a green cutting board. Six rectangles of white wool are arranged on top. The top three have been sewn to the purple fabric and the bottom three are pinned.

Align wool rectangles on wide pocket strip

Now that our two pocket sections have been made, tomorrow I’ll use my Brother NQ900 sewing machine to sew all the parts of the needle roll together. We’re on the homestretch now!

This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: Use 505 Spray and the NQ900 sewing machine to easily baste your project

Go to part 4: 7 essential steps to sew together a needle roll


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