A Needle Nest? Nook? Nanny?

I was totally sidetracked over the weekend by this little project. I’ve been meaning to make something like this for a while, and finally just did it.

If I have to change the type of needle in the machine, but it’s not really an old, ready to throw away needle, then I have to store it somewhere separate from the new needles, so that I can find it easily and use it later. And then there’s the issue with two different brands of needles as well, one brand that I use for some things, and the other brand for others, and the dang numbers are sooooo small and hard to see (or maybe I’m just old now and can’t see anymore!).

I’ve tried storing slightly used machine needles separately from the new ones on a tomato pincushion with numbers marked on the top (Needle Nanny, v1). This works, don’t get me wrong, but when I discovered a different brand of sewing machine needles at Quilt Market last October, this tomato pincushion system became inadequate, because I couldn’t keep the Klassé needles separate from the Schmetz needles, and there is a big difference. (The Klassé Sharps really are better for certain things.)

With fabric from Mark Lipinski’s califon line, a little help from EQ Printables Cotton Satin Inkjet Fabric, Velcro Fabric Fusions, and a bit of lightweight fusible batting in the middle, I now have a customized organizer for these slightly used needles. Easy peasy! The hardest part was finding the right font for the printing! The needles slide into the loops of the fusible Velcro (I used the softer hook side only), and are held securely.

I added some pockets to the back for storage of new needle packs, so that the ones I use most often are handy. It’s easy to grab it up, toss it in a bag for class or take it from machine one machine to another in my studio. It measures 9 ¼” x 3 ½” closed, and a bit of ribbon ties it shut.

I’m so pleased with how this turned out! I can see adding a few Swarovski crystals for a little bling since the califon fabric has such nice little dotty spots that look like crystals just belong there. Shall I call it a Needle Nanny? Needle Nest? Needle Nook? Needlenotionsminderwhatchamacallit? Whatever you call it, I can’t wait to make another one. This would be so cute with a little ric rac trim just peeking out the edges too! Oh, I could even use a machine embroidery or appliqué design as the base fabric! Endless possibilities…

20 thoughts on “A Needle Nest? Nook? Nanny?

    1. Hey Susan! Nice to see you here! Thanks for the compliment. For the curious, I settled on the Harrington font; it’s a little curly and swirly, and seemed just right as a mate for the califon fabric! And it is one of my favorite fonts, after all. I can’t think why it took me so long to just decide on it, now that I’m looking at it again!

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    1. Hi Emma! Thanks! I’ll have to get a post about needles together in the near future.

      P.S. A little bird told me there’s a package coming your way… 🙂

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  1. Nadine, you are so talented! This idea is so brilliant, I would buy one in a flash if I saw it at my neighborhood Quilt shop!
    Thanks for being so generous with sharing how to make one, however, I would still buy it! 🙂 As for a name, all I can think about is “The Needle-Noodle”…
    Thanks for teaching us so much, always,
    Valentina from Cyprus

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    1. Needle Noodle! I LOVE it! It’s so perfect, Valentina! Can I use it if I ever get around to making a pattern for download or something like that?

      You’re so sweet, and I thank you for your kind comments!

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      1. I am laughing so hard, I am sure you should be hearing me all the way in Germany!
        Of course you can use the name, I’d be honored (proud to be the godmother of the NeedleNoodle!) More uncontrollable laughing!
        Now I really need one, too!
        Ok, seriously, You rock!

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        1. I did just hear some wild cackling coming from somewhere, but I couldn’t figure out where! 😉 Okay, the NeedleNoodle it is! 😀 When I’m ready to test the pattern, I’ll make the next one for you!

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  2. Needle Noodle is PERFECT! I’m not a quilter, though I do occasionally cross stitch…. Clever little thing, and clever name – two clever ladies!

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    1. Hmmm, I think I’ll make another for my hand needles that I use often. This would be great for cross stitchers, beaders…anyone with a dozen different types of needles that they use for their craft. You know Mom, one of these days you just have to start quilting! 🙂

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      1. Nah…. I’ve never been into quilting myself, just love to have them and look at them – yours especially of course!

        I got far too sidetracked by the ‘net and websites – too bad they didn’t have computers when I was in my 30s…. or at least they didn’t have desktops. They had Cray mainframes at universities like Texas and Berkeley….

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  3. This is sooo cool Didi!! I really like it. I need something that affixes to my machine so when I change needles I know what’s in my machine and what’s sitting on top. Does that make sense? I switch needles a lot for sewing on vinyl. Any idea’s? Oh that reminds me do you know where to get a Teflon pfaff foot for sewing on vinyl (If anyone knows Didi would)??

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    1. Hey Jennifer! Thanks! If you want something that attaches to your machine, have a look at a Needletrak. You can see a picture here, and then find one via Google maybe? I don’t have one, just never got around to ordering one, I guess.

      Hmm, now I have an idea for a little addition to the NeedleNoodle so that you can keep track of which variety of needle is in the machine! I’ll post an update as soon as I get it worked out.

      As for the Teflon foot, I know they make them, or did at one point, so check with a dealer? There’s a Pfaff dealer in Moehringen, just before you get to the red glasses if you’re going from the Vaihingen/Patch Barracks direction toward Kelly Bks. It’s on the right as you’re looking toward the glasses (lovely directions, right? hope they help at all!) 🙂 You might also try a foot with a roller if you can’t get the Teflon one anymore.

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  4. OK, this is seriously OCD, but so worth it! It looks great and I can see how handy it will be. I’m only using one brand of needles, but I totally got on the tomato pin cushion bandwagon after you posted it. 🙂

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    1. It is so handy Kristin, despite it’s OCD qualities! As soon as I get back to this and write a pattern, you can get on this bandwagon too! 😉

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  5. Nadine you should see my needle clutch or needle roll or whatever you want to call it. I was so tired of all the little needle holders and the confusion so out of desparation I organized them in my makeshift needle clutch. I made mine using some scrap muslin with thin batting and magic marker…not as pretty but it has served the purpose for quite some time. It isn’t a square, rectangle or circle…the shape was determined by the scraps. I may have spent a total of 15 minutes makeing and labeling the places for needles. It took longer to read the tiny numbers than anything else. Thank goodness for the magnifer. If I couldn’t decide I just put in the catagory “unknown”. There are a lot in that catagory. *chuckle* My buddy saw it and made her one to hold all her needles. I don’t doubt hers is lovely too just like yours. She swears I am OCD becasue I have to fold fabric a certain way and I love to make labels and have things organized. I doubt OCD has anything to do with it. I need my working environment organized because my brain is usually working in a two directions so order is paramont to creativity. My living environment is different though…I am an artist not a domestic. I hate housework and I decided a long time ago that if it wasn’t done this week then the labor saved was a bonus and I am much happier.

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    1. Hi Deborah! I’m a half-OCD person myself. Some things have to be organized, and other things I can let be, or have decided to let be because forces greater than my own have won out (think kids and husband putting dishes and cooking items away in the wrong place in the kitchen; I’ve finally given up worrying about that one and just know that I have to hunt for everything when I cook, which isn’t often anyway!).

      But yes, those numbers on the needles are flat impossible to read, and I can actually tell more about the size by just looking at the needle tip really. The needle manufacturers have forced us into being OCD on this one, I say!

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  6. The addition to the Needle Noodle to indicate the needle in use is simple: just grab a nice looking pin and use that to indicate what is in the machine. That problably works only if you use it with one machine. Or color-code the machines and use pins with those colors maybe.

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