project // flying squirrel needle minder
Do you misplace your needle as much as I do while stitching? Usually it's not while I'm actually stitching, but more like, when I set my hoop down or am between colors, and then I get distracted and come back to no needle. It's a dangerous habit, and needle books don't help when I'm mid-project.
Enter the needle minder.
This genius little gadget is a magnet that connects through your hooped fabric and holds your needle. No need to stick the needle through your fabric, only to poke yourself on it later because you just didn't quite see it there (yes, this happens to me all the time), because it will be stuck tight on the magnet. And with the DIY version that I've recently made, it will be fiercely guarded by a flying squirrel.
This is really fast to make, and I think these are both fun and super cute, so expect to see more needle minder patterns in the future.
Here's what you need:
Felt (go for wool felt so it stays pretty!)
2 Strong, thin magnets (I used 1/16" thick neodymium disc magnets)
Fabric glue (optional, but helpful!)
Flying Squirrel Needle Minder Pattern [PDF]
Cut out two flying squirrel shapes from the felt.
On one of the shapes, embroider the face and fur. On the other squirrel shape, place one of the magnets. I used a small dab of fabric glue to hold this on there, but you wouldn't really need to. I wanted mine to stay in one spot instead of moving around inside.
With the magnet sandwiched between the layers, stitch around the squirrel shape with running stitch, and hide the knots between the layers.
To use your needle minder, lay the flying squirrel on top of your hooped fabric, then place the second magnet on the back of the fabric. It will hold together and stay there as you work!
Then, just set your needle on your squirrelly friend and you won't have to worry about losing that needle!
Of course, if you're going to stow your project while traveling, or if you need to put it away for a while, it's a good idea to remove your work from the hoop and place that needle somewhere more secure, like a needle book. You wouldn't want it to get pushed around and fall off the magnet. But for as you stitch, this is the way to go!
Happy squirrel crafting!