Keep your needles, scissors, and thread close at hand in an embroidered sewing roll made with fabrics that reflect your style.
Download this Project

Based on an original project by designer Donna Gilbert

From American Patchwork & Quilting, April 1997


  • 18x22" piece (fat quarter) each red, green, and yellow print (outside, inside, pocket, appliqués)
  • 3" square brown felted wool (pincushion)
  • 3" square cotton batting
  • Embroidery floss: brown, green, and gold

Finished sewing roll: 4x11"

Quantities specified for 44/45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics. All measurements include a 1/4" seam allowance unless otherwise indicated.

Cut Fabrics

Click on "Download this Project" to download the full-size patterns.

From red print, cut:

  • 1 of Pattern A
  • 3 of Pattern B

From green print, cut:

  • 1 of Pattern A
  • 1 of Pattern C

From yellow print, cut:

  • 1 -- 1-1/2x22" tie strip
  • 3 -- 3-1/4x4-1/2" pocket rectangles
  • 1 of Pattern B

From brown wool, cut:

  • 1 of Pattern D

From cotton batting, cut:

  • 1 of Pattern D

Prepare Sewing Roll, Yo-yos, and Ties

Prepare Sewing Roll

1. Press under 1/2" along a 4-1/2" side of each yellow print 3-1/4x4-1/2" rectangle. Press under  1/2" along straight edge of green print C piece. Machine-stitch 1/4" from each folded edge.

2. Using a marking tool, draw placement and stitching lines on the A piece that will be used as the inside.

Make Tie

1. Press tie strip in half lengthwise. Let cool, then open up strip. With wrong sides together, fold each raw edge toward center and press in place.

2. Fold tie strip in half lengthwise and machine-stitch close to edges. Knot ends of tie and trim excess fabric beyond knot.

Make Flowers

1. Fold one red or yellow print B circle in half once, and in half again, to find center; finger-press along folds to crease. Unfold circle.

2. With wrong side to inside, fold a portion of outer edge to center of circle (Yo-Yo Flower Diagram). Continue folding outer edge in until entire outer edge meets in center. Tack edge in center with a small stitch to secure to make a folded yo-yo flower.


3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to make four folded yo-yo flowers total.

Assemble Sewing Roll

1. With right sides together, align raw edge of top pocket with designated placement line on Pattern A. The raw edge will be even with the straight line on pattern piece. The dashed line is the stitching line.

2. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, stitch pocket to A piece. Flip pocket right side up; press.

3. Continue adding remaining pocket pieces in this manner.

4. With right sides facing up, pin rounded pocket at bottom of A piece, aligning raw edges. Baste all of the pockets with a scant 1/4" along straight sides of A piece.

5. Fold tie in half and baste the fold to the right side of the A piece with pockets. Tuck the ends of the tie in the first pocket so they won't get caught in seams.

6. With right sides together, layer the A pieces; sew together, leaving a 2" opening along one straight side for turning. Turn sewing roll right side out; slip-stitch opening closed.

Finish Sewing Roll

1. Layer batting and wool rectangles to make a pincushion. Using two strands of brown floss, sew pincushion to rounded pocket, trimming wool along round edge, if necessary. Be sure to only stitch through pocket layer.

2. Referring to photograph, draw placement of flower stem and leaves. Using three strands of green floss, backstitch stem. To backstitch, pull your needle up at A. Insert it back into the fabric at B, and bring it up at C. Push your needle down at D, and bring it up at E. Continue in the same manner.


3. Use lazy daisy stitches to make the leaves. Hide the knots inside pocket. To make a lazy daisy stitch, pull your needle up at A, make a U shape with the floss, and insert your needle back into the fabric at B, about 1/16" away from A. Bring your needle up at C and bring it down at D to secure the stitch.


4. Using six strands of gold floss, attach folded yo-yo flower. Knot twice and trim ends.

5. Group remaining folded yo-yo flowers along top of sewing roll; baste. Repeat Step 3 to stitch each in place. Using two strands of green floss, make groupings of lazy daisy leaves around flowers. Be careful not to stitch through to front; hide your knots under flowers.

6. To use, roll toward the end with the tie. Wrap tie around sewing roll and knot loosely to hold it closed.