I was looking for a way to dress up some wood needle cases, and suddenly it struck me—they’re shaped quite a bit like English pillar boxes! A couple coats of paint and a royal cypher later, they truly looked the part. I sent one to the Mother and kept another to hold my own appliqué needles.
Of course, the post-box needle case is just a fun way to tote my most-used needles around. Coincidentally, I’ve also worked out how I want to store packs of hand needles, after much deliberation: an unassuming plastic drawer unit.
Prior to this little number, I stored needles based on purpose—embroidery needles with my embroidery floss, appliqué needles with my appliqué toolkit, betweens with my hand-quilting threads…. It sounds logical, but I often found myself digging around more than necessary to get at a needle: if I was doing a little embroidery with pearl cotton, I still had to get out all my stranded floss ’cause that’s where the needles were. If I wanted a tapestry needle, had I left them with needlepoint stuff, or were they in with the flosses too? And what about basic sharps and other miscellaneous needle types? I had packs of needles tucked in all kinds of places and never seemed able to find just want I needed, even though I knew I had it somewhere.
The drawers comfortably contain pretty much all the various forms needle packaging takes—hang cards, envelopes, tubes, folders, you name it. I labeled the drawers so I can still sort the needles by type, but now I have a central location for them all to live while waiting for active duty (at which point they take up residence in a needle book). Finding particular needles is much easier, and I can easily see what I have and what needs replenishing. Many of my organizing ideas don’t last very long in practice, but this is one I’ve been able to stick with.
How do you store your hand needles?