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Portable Picnic-Utensil Roll

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2010


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

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

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

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