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Portable Picnic-Utensil Roll




With a few straight seams, a piece of fabric becomes a portable case for picnic cutlery. Unrolled, it doubles as a place mat. We used Japanese hemp yardage with a narrow selvage-to-selvage width (about 17 inches), so the sides didn't need to be hemmed. Other sturdy fabrics will work as well.

Resources Woven hemp fabric, from Kiteya Soho, Polyester herringbone tape, 9 mm width,


  • Square of fabric
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Sewing supplies and sewing machine
  • Straightedge
  • Disappearing-ink fabric pen
  • Napkin and utensils
  • Twill tape


  1. Step 1

    Lay fabric with selvage edges on the left and right sides. Fold up the bottom 1/2 inch; press with iron. Then fold up the bottom 5 inches to make a deep pocket; press with iron. 

  2. Step 2

    Pin along the left and right sides of pocket. Stitch sides with an 1/8-inch seam allowance. 

  3. Step 3

    Using straightedge and fabric pen, draw a few vertical lines on 1 side of pocket, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Leave a space on the other side of pocket wide enough to fit a folded napkin. Stitch along marked lines. 

  4. Step 4

    Cut an 18-inch length of twill tape. Tuck 1 end under, and sew it to the right side of fabric at its midpoint. 

  5. Step 5

    Fringe the top unfinished edge of fabric by pulling out a few threads. 

  6. Step 6

    Insert utensils and napkin into slots. Roll fabric from the left, and tie with twill tape. 

Martha Stewart Living, June 2010



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