Turn your desktop chaos into a productive work space with a coordinating trio of catchalls made from embroidery hoops. Mix and match your favorite patterned fabrics, and whip up three fun and functional organizers that feature pockets for pens, pencils, and letters, crisscrossed ribbons for tucking and pinning pictures and receipts, and felt loops for keeping keys at the ready. 

Designer: Amy Berger

Materials for String It Hoop

  • 10"-diameter wooden
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Fat quarter (18x22") of fabric
  • 45" length of 1/8"-wide grosgrain ribbon
  • Sewing needle
  • Sewing thread to match ribbon
  • Tacky glue
  • 2"-tall wooden clothespins

Assemble the String It Hoop

1. Remove inner ring from embroidery hoop. Lay fabric right side up over the inner ring, positioning the portion of fabric you wish to frame. Put embroidery hoop back together, pushing fabric between the pieces to hold it in place. Tighten the screw and adjust fabric tension as needed.

2. Lay grosgrain ribbon in a zigzag pattern across the framed fabric; place a pin where ribbon changes direction at each end. Trim ribbon ends if necessary.

3. Secure ribbon to the fabric with a few small stitches using doubled sewing thread and a sewing needle; remove pins.

4. Turn embroidery hoop over and trim fabric close to the embroidery hoop edges.

5. Run a thin line of tacky glue along the inner ring back edge, and press fabric edges into glue to prevent fraying; let dry.

6. Pin clothespins to ribbon.

Materials for Hold It Hoop

  • 10"-diameter wooden embroidery hoop
  • 2 fat quarters (18x22" each) of coordinating fabrics (background and pocket)
  • Tacky glue

Assemble the Hold It Hoop

1. Fold fabric for pocket in half with wrong sides together to measure 18x11". Using a straight stitch on the sewing machine, topstitch 1/8" from the folded edge along its length. Topstitch a second straight line approximately 3/8" below the first topstitched line (Diagram 1). This is the top pocket edge.

2. Fold pocket in half to measure 9x11"; finger-press or use an iron to crease. Unfold pocket and lay it on top of background fabric, aligning bottom and side edges (Diagram 2).

3. Topstitch a straight, vertical seam along pocket crease line, creating a pocket divider and joining pocket to background fabric (Diagram 3).

4. Remove inner ring from embroidery hoop. Lay fabric right side up over the inner ring, positioning the portion of fabric you wish to frame. Put embroidery hoop back together, pushing fabric between the pieces to hold it in place. Tighten the screw and adjust fabric tension as needed.

5. Turn embroidery hoop over and trim fabric close to the embroidery hoop edges.

6. Run a thin line of tacky glue along the inner ring back edge, and press fabric edges into glue to prevent fraying; let dr

Materials for In/Out Hoop

  • 14-1/2"-diameter wooden embroidery hoop
  • 3 fat quarters (18x22" each) of coordinating fabrics (background, pocket No. 1, pocket No. 2)
  • Ruler
  • Air-soluble marking pen
  • Computer and printer
  • 3⁄4"-wide iron-on veneer
  • 1/2x16" felt strip
  • 1-1/4"-diameter hinged metal rings
  • Tacky glue

Assemble the In/Out Hoop

1. Fold background fabric in half with wrong sides together to measure 9x22"; press.

2. Fold pocket No. 1 and pocket No. 2 fabrics in half with wrong sides together to measure 11x18" each; press.

3. Place pocket No. 2 on top of pocket No. 3 with pressed edges at top and aligning all edges. Measure 7" from left of top right-hand corner; mark. Measure 7" down from top right-hand corner; mark. Using a ruler and air-soluble marking pen, connect the marks to form a diagonal line (Diagram 1).

4. Using a straight stitch, stitch along the drawn line. Trim off corner 1/2" beyond stitched line (Diagram 2). Press seam allowances open.

5. Open pocket panel and press (Diagram 3).

6. Use computer and printer to choose a typeface and print the words "In" and "Out" onto paper in the size you want (use a font size that produces letters less than 3/4" tall). Cut a piece of iron-on veneer to fit each word. Apply temporary adhesive to the back of each veneer piece, and attach veneer over each word on the printed samples. Feed the paper back through the printer to print the words on veneer.

7. Remove adhesive from each piece of veneer. Following manufacturer's instructions, use an iron to attach a veneer word to each pocket.

8. Unfold background fabric so the crease is vertical. Measure 4" down from top along vertical crease; mark. Measure 1" down from first mark, staying on the vertical crease; mark. Continue marking in this manner until you have a total of nine marks.

9. Place the felt strip along the vertical crease. Topstitch the piece to the background fabric at each mark with a short horizontal seam, leaving a short raised half loop between each seam (Diagram 4). Note: Insert your index finger under the felt strip as a guideline to determine how high each raised portion should be.

10. Place the pocket panel on top of the background fabric, aligning the pocket divider seam with the vertical crease on the background fabric, just below the felt loop line. Sew in the ditch of the divider pocket line to secure the pocket panel to the background fabric.

11. Remove inner ring from embroidery hoop. Lay fabric right side up over the inner ring, positioning the portion of fabric you wish to frame. Put embroidery hoop back together, pushing fabric between the pieces to hold it in place. Tighten the screw and adjust fabric tension as needed.

12. Turn embroidery hoop over and trim fabric close to the embroidery hoop edges.

13. Run a thin line of tacky glue along the inner ring back edge, and press fabric edges into glue to prevent fraying; let dry.

14. Attach hinged rings to felt loops.

Advertisement