Lynn Craig loves creating with fabric, so much that she spends most weekdays at Sun City West’s Rip ’N’ Sew club.
A few years ago, Craig wanted to sew something different. She trolled the Internet until she found directions for a needle book made to hold sewing machine needles.
Soon, fellow club members began asking about her needle book, and she found herself teaching a class on how to sew one.
The little books were so popular Craig thought they would make a great welcome gift for new Rip ’N’ Sew members.
“We’ve been doing that for the last couple of years,” she said.
So, periodically, Craig devotes a day of sewing to supplying the gifts.
The cost to make the books is minimal, she said. She buys the one-eighth-inch elastic for the loop around the button that holds the book closed.
The rest of the needed supplies are largely free, Craig said.
She looks for thread and sewing-themed fabric among donations to the club. Fellow members give her leftover Warm & Natural batting for the pages when donated felt isn’t available.
When it’s time to sew a button onto a needle book, Craig heads to the Rip ’N’ Sew’s sharing cabinet. Donated buttons inside are separated by color, so finding a match is easier.
All Rip ‘N’ Sew members have access to the sharing cabinet. Besides buttons, the cupboard stores hooks and eyes, snaps and other sewing supplies.
Craig said that club members Robyn Reynolds and Joan Hardy often help by sewing a button onto each needle book and by putting the labels of needle sizes on pages. Reynolds suggested that others might want to adopt her needle storage method: “I put needles in my book vertically if they have not been used. Once I’ve used a needle, I put it in horizontally. I only do that if I think a used needle still has use in it. Otherwise, I throw it away.”
Craig estimated that if she has all the parts ready, she can finish a needle book in 15 to 30 minutes.
Once Craig has completed a stack of books, she gives them to Eva Weisberg, who teaches new members how to use the sewing machines. Weisberg said that before a lesson begins, she welcomes the newcomer to the club with a gift of a needle book.
Club members who joined before needle books were given to newcomers can buy one in the club. Nonmembers who want a needle book can buy them at PORA’s Del Sol Arts & Crafts Gallery, 13823 W. Camino del Sol in Sun City West.
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