I was fixing one of these to use tonight, and it occurred to me that I don't think I've shown these to you before. I'm not much for gadgets and notions, but sometimes someone tells me about something to try, and then I can't imagine getting along without whatever the thing is. This is one of those things, and it's quite inexpensive too!
What are they? Rolls or "keepers" for applique blocks of the month or embroidery--or virtually any other project you want to keep together and wrinkle free for long periods of time.
Start with a roll the length you need--24" is a nice size since it's longer than most blocks. My roll is about 3 feet long, but I have a variety of lengths, and although I could cut this shorter, there's not much I could do with the piece I cut off, so I'll leave this one long. Also, use a nice, sturdy roll--not the flimsy kind that paper towels come on. The cardboard roll inside a roll of batting is excellent and can be cut into a couple lengths. Mailing tubes are also nice and sturdy although you don't want one that's too wide in diameter.
Next, cut a piece of batting a few inches longer on each end and wide enough to wrap around the roll about twice.
Roll the batting around the tube and tuck the ends in.
As you finish each block or embroidery piece, wrap it around the tube, "good" side toward the inside to protect it.
Tie a ribbon around the tube to hold everything together--a ribbon that "matches" the theme of the project will help identify the right tube next time you're ready to work on that project. For instance, a blue with white polka dot ribbon tells me that tube holds the Country Cottages BOM, and a zebra striped ribbon tells me that particular tube holds Harrington and Hannah (okay, zebra = animals, and that was as close as I had to bunnies!). Although it's not in the bucket right now, an orange ribbon identifies the Autumn House tube.
My embroidery expert, Gran, first showed me the tube idea for embroidery, and later, our applique expert, Imelda, showed our stitchery group the same thing, which she used for her applique projects--something I hadn't even thought about before. I hope this idea works for you too!