Needle Keeper Tutorial

The Pay It Forward (PIF) gifts should have arrived, so here is my tutorial to share with you.  There are a lot of needle keepers out there.  This is just my version.  I made it big enough for the big needles I use when I tie quilts for charity.



2 pieces of fabric 4-1/2″ x 7″ (same. different. scrappy. you name it.)

1 piece fairly heavy fusible interfacing 4″ x 6-1/2″

2 pieces good quality felt or felted wool 3-1/2″ x 5-1/2″

optional trim stuff

NOTE:  If your fabric is cut straight, you can get six needle cases (covers and lining) from 1/4-yard of fabric if your usable fabric width is at least 42″.  Not bad economy.


1. Assemble all materials, including optional trims if desired.

2. Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric piece that will be your lining. Center it carefully.  This should leave you a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Making the interfacing smaller reduces bulk and makes it much easier to turn.

3. Add any desired trim to the fabric that will be your outside cover.  I used ric-rack, as you will see.

4. Pin the two fabric pieces, right sides together, and sew three sides with a 1/4″ seam, leaving a space to turn.  Trim corners, again to reduce bulk when you turn. 

NOTE:  Yes, I do pin in the middle in this situations.  I find that it does a better job at keeping the fabric from slipping.  Also I am able to sew a complete small object more quickly because I am not worried about pins.

5.  Turn.  Press.  Top stitch all around outer edge.

6. Take one of your felt pieces and fold it in half, pressing lightly to make a crease.  This is where the quality of the felt comes into play.  Cheap felt melts (don’t ask me how I know). 

7. Lay your creased felt on top of the second piece and center them on the inside of your cover.  Carefully sew a seam 1/8″ to the side of the crease.  Yes, really, 1/8″ (half the width of the presser foot).

8. Turn your needle case around and sew a second seam 1/4″ from the first (or 1/8″ the OTHER side of the crease).

9. Press your newly created little needle case/book front and back to help it learn to stay closed.  I actually use a little spray or steam on this step to create some memory in the fabric.

10. Ta-dah!  A needle case

Or six.

I like the way they look like little books from the back.  That is the reason for the two seams on the “binding.”

It is Daughter’s favorite part, too.  She immediately suggested I could make her several and she could write tiny little plays to go in them and she could make a specially sized book case and maybe the words could be done in embroidery but no that would be too hard maybe I could sew in paper and she could just write the words…. You get the idea.

Well, that is my little needle keeper tutorial.  I hope you are at least half as excited as Daughter was.  Enjoy!

Feel free to ask any questions you might have and I would love to see your versions soon.

5 thoughts on “Needle Keeper Tutorial

  1. I received my PIF in the mail yesterday and I love it!!! I only have one other needle keeper and I’m FOREVER putting it where I can’t find it so this one I’m putting right IN my needlework bag! Thank you so much!!!! I thought of posting a request for my PIF gifts but I think I’m just going to randomly pick a few blogs and send the blog owners a little something. Thanks again and have a Joyous Holiday!

  2. Deanna, I feel so priveledged receiving one. Thank you so much.
    Did you get my email about the project I am working on with the blocks you sent me last summer?

  3. Thank you !!! thank you!! thank you for my needle case and i will pay it forward…what a neat totally had me fooled with the picture you put in your blog of them..i thought they were something made of fleece..i have my needlecase in my ‘take along bag’ that i use for quilt classes but i have a feeling it will be out of it and in use more than in it..thank you so much.. and i too like the double sewn binding..

  4. Fantastic Idea…especially after I spent close to an hour over the weekend looking for a needle to do some embroidery on a quilt…another project to add to my growing list. I know some family members who would love this as well. Hmmm…sounds like stocking stuffer ideas!

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