My habit when hand sewing has always been to plant my needles and pins into the leg of my pants or the arm of the couch to keep them handy. This usually works fairly well... unless I get distracted and forget they're there or unless I'm sitting on a sofa with a pattern and colour that the needles naturally blend into. I often lose needles in the middle of projects. This probably could be avoided if I used a pincushion, but I find them too bulky to carry around and hard to store in a bag with my ongoing projects.
Until last week, I had never heard or even conceived of such a thing as a needle book. In my giveaway week browsing, I came across this pattern for a toadstool needle book over at Generation Q. I knew right away that I wanted to make one, and it just so happens that they're having a contest for those who design their own needle book. I definitely couldn't pass that up.
I decided to go with a fire hydrant design in yellow and black like the ones here in Edmonton. (For more details on the stylish sweater worn by the hydrant below, see here.) I drew out a pattern on some graph paper and raided my felt stash for supplies to get started.
Two days later, I had this:
Since it turned out so cute, I decided to make the toadstool from the pattern as well. I think this will be a fun gift to send someone in a quilting swap.
Here is what they look like on the inside:
Even before I was done putting the second one together, I realized that I was actually using my little hydrant needle book instead of the arm of the sofa. It's really handy and fits perfectly in the bag with my sewing supplies. I didn't lose a single needle while making the little toadstool. I have to admit that I did lose one while making the hydrant, so I guess that's a 100% improvement once I started using it! Based on that, I highly recommend making yourself one of these useful little cuties.