Sunday, June 09, 2013

Walker Caddy Tutorial

 walker caddie 2 002

 I took some photos as I made my second walker caddie, so that I could explain a few points in the construction, in case someone else wanted to make one.
walker caddie 2 004

 You only need a small amount of fabric for these & either contrasting ribbon or bias seam binding to finish the edges.
  walker caddy tut 002

 I cut a piece approximately 14" wide & the full width of the fabric, which is usually somewhere between 42"- 45".

If you use pre-quilted fabric, it makes construction quicker, as you don't have to do any free motion quilting to hold the top fashion fabric, batting & lining together.

I always keep an eye out for remnants of pre-quilted fabrics, since you don't need very much & it can be quite pricey if you don't have a discount coupon.
You can also make a "mini quilt sandwich" consisting of your favorite outer layer of fabric, batting & a coordinating lining fabric.  You can quilt this any way you like...diagonals, straight lines, free motion...whatever!

Have FUN & get a little practice in at the same time.

walker caddy tut 003
Decide which fabric side you want to show the most, as the front pockets & fold it up on both ends to form the 2 pockets.

Leave approximately 4-6" of open area between them, to fit over the top bar of the walker.  This type of "saddlebag" carrier is more stable than one with loops & buttons or Velcro as it doesn't pull on such connections.

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 You can either hem both of the top edges of the pockets & apply decorative ribbon ties, like I did on the one below or you can use seam binding to cover the raw edges, without hemming.

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 Be sure to heat seal the raw ends of the ribbon with flame so it doesn't unravel.

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 If you're using seam binding, remember to fold in each open end a wee bit & stitch it closed before you apply it to the pocket so that the ends of the ties are finished nicely.
IMPORTANT:  Remember to sew your ribbon or binding onto the top of the pockets BEFORE you stitch up the sides!
(ask me how I know this)  

walker caddy tut 007

 Now fold in & pin your ribbons or seam binding ends onto the middle of the caddy, to keep them safely out of the way when you attache the outside seam binding all around the caddy.

I basted the entire perimeter first, just to make sure my pockets stayed square, but that is up to you.

walker caddy tut 008

 I put ties on the bottom edge of the caddy, to keep it from swinging back & forth while walking.
You don't want anything banging into a recent post-op knee replacement!  Ouch!

 In hindsight, I think it would much nicer if ALL of the ties were attached to the underside of the caddy.  I will do it that way next time & not extend the ribbon or the seam binding beyond the pockets on the front.
 walker caddy tut 009

 This photo, above, shows how I have one lower ribbon on the front, pinned in place, at the bottom.  There is another one on the other side of the caddy, on opposite corners. 
walker caddy tut 010

 Either this type of seam binding or ribbon will work for the ties.  I made them approximately 12" long on each side, so one would have plenty of length to work with.
Remember, this might be an elderly person who is trying to tie the loose ends & their fingers don't work as well as they once did. 

walker caddy with binding 001

 After you've applied seam binding all around the perimeter, just as if you were binding a quilt, you can stitch down the pockets, making them any width you want.

walker caddie 2 003 
 I made a narrow divided section to hold a pen & another wider section to fit a cup or a paper back book into.  Be sure to leave one section for glasses or a cell phone, too...VERY IMPORTANT to advise them to keep a cell phone handy at all times, in case of an emergency!

It took my sister awhile to get used to putting things into the caddy so that she would have them with her when she moved about, instead of setting them on the bedside table, but it sure has come in handy, once she got into the habit of using it!!
Oh & be sure to use a BIG button on one of the pockets...easier for arthritic fingers... & just attach a loop of seam binding to hold it closed.  It is easy to just stitch that onto the inside of the pocket after you've determined where you want your button located.

You can also put an additional hidden pocket on the underneath side, for extra security, such as a wallet or Medicare card.
I applied a strip of Velcro hook & loop tape to the undersides of the caddy, just to help stabilize it a bit more. 
I hope you NEVER have to use one of these, but if you know someone who needs a walker, these really help to keep things handy for them.

Plus, if you do one with a funny embroidered saying, like this:

golfing walker caddie 002

it becomes a "conversation starter" & a source of laughter for everyone & who doesn't need a good laugh?
I'm linking to Susan's Between Naps on The Porch for
Metamorphosis Monday as well as
Yvonne's StoneGable for Tutorials, Tips & Tidbits.
Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House today.

I hope this tutorial is helpful & please feel free to post a question if something isn't clear to you.  I'm not the best teacher, that's for sure!


  1. This is so cool, Rett! Thank for sharing your pattern. I may have to make one for Mom Grace. I think that she'd really like it.

  2. Cute and very functional Rett! This is a neat idea:@)

  3. That's just adorable. My mom uses a walker these days so I can't wait to share this one.

  4. What a fabulous tutorial, dear Rett! I have never made one of these caddies yet, but I know where to turn to when I do. What a wonderful, practical gift for those who use a walker. You're the best!! xo

  5. Hi Rett, Hope all is well with you and your family. The tutorial was great, it explained it very well and a wonderful idea. Have a Blessed week!!! Jen xo

  6. I loved the tutorial and wanted to add it to my sewing board on Pinterest, but was blocked by your site. You don't allow pinning? That's a surprise and a big disappointment, as I doubt I'll remember where to find this tutorial again. Oh well. You might want to think about adding Pinterest 'pin' buttons to your site and allowing folks to pin from it. So much easier to keep up with projects using those boards.

  7. Hi Diana,
    Thank you for even thinking that my tut is worthy of pinning! I'm sorry you were not able to do so.
    A long time ago, when Pinterest first started, there was talk of them "owning" all the photographs that were pinned onto their site. Suspicions were that they intended to publish books, using the photos. That was why I made my site 'non-pinable'. I get upset when I see things pinned to wrong sources & the original poster doesn't get credit for all their hard work, too.

    I have pinned this topic to my own Sewing Ideas board & you are welcome to repin it to your own from there.

    Sewing Ideas

    Thanks again for loving the tutorial. You made my day!


  8. I just think this is the best idea. Luckily, no one in my family needs a walker right now but you just never know when someone might and this would not only be convenient, it also makes it less ugly. Good for you!

  9. This post brought tears to my eyes, Rett. My mother would have loved to have this caddy on her walker. And it would have helped her find her own walker in the "walker parking lot" going into the assisted living center's dining room. We tied a blue ribbon on her walker but one of your wonderful caddys would have been so much prettier. This is a great idea.

    1. Gosh, Cathy, I would have been happy to make your Mom one, had I known she was needing a walker!
      You've pointed out another good use for them...identification. I never thought about that aspect, as the people I've made them for, so far, have just been using them after discharge from the hospital. No one else around them was using one!


  10. What a cool idea. I think my sweet hubby is heading for one of these in the not too distant future. His would be "I'd Rather Be Fishing"! Thanks for the tutorial, I am pinning so I will have it when the time comes..

  11. OOPS! So sorry, I didn't know your site doesn't allow pinning. However, I know where to come back.

    1. I have such mixed emotions about allowing "pinning". I see soooo many fabulous photos & projects that don't link back properly to their creators. On the other hand, I freq. pin my own projects, just to be able to share them with others.

      This one is is the link:
      if you want to go there & repin it to one of your boards.
      I'm sorry to hear your hubby isn't walking too well. The caddies are a real help with glasses, books, cell phones, hearing aids...all the necessary items!
      I hope you make one for him soon so it will be ready for him if & when he needs it.
      Thanks for your lovely compliments, too. Most appreciated!

  12. I love this I'm not much of a sewer really but I'm going to try this one

  13. Hi Rett!
    I took it upon myself this year to make a bunch of these (at least 40) and hand them out to the folks at the assisted living facility in my community throughout this upcoming holiday season. I had a wonderful lady donate two HUGE bags of all kinds of different fabrics to me earlier today. As I'm ironing, measuring and cutting out fabric for my first caddie, I'm getting a little confused. You mention batting and backing fabric..but I don't see anywhere in your directions where this step comes in. Did I miss something? Do I just sandwich all 3 pieces (top fabric, batting and backing fabric) together, pin them and then fold both sides up to make the pockets?? Can you pretty please clarify this for me when you get a minute. This beginner would really appreciate it. Thank you :-)

  14. I'm so sorry for the confusion, Michsweetie15! I probably forgot to address using 3 layers as I used pre-quilted fabric in all 3 projects.

    Yes, you would lay your backing fabric, pretty side DOWN, the layer your batting & place last layer on top of the batting. I would put some binding or ribbon across the top ends of what will be the pockets BEFORE you sew up the sides.
    Also, it works out better if you put the ties in the BACK area of the pockets...I forgot to do that.
    AND sew on your little button loop before you stitch up those sides too, as it is MUCH easier to put it on beforehand. You can easily add the button to the right place afterward the sides are sewn but the loop is tough to do afterwards.

    I'm so thrilled that you are making some of these for the folks in assisted living! It warms my ♥ to hear that.

    Please feel free to ask again if you run into a snag. I am NOT a good teacher but I'll be happy to help any way I can.

  15. Do u ever make and sale these? Yours are really cute.

    1. Thank you for the compliment, Rochell, but I don't sell anything I make. I only sew for love, not money.
      I hope you can find someone near you who could make one for you, following my tutorial. Good Luck!

  16. Dear Rett;
    Our quilt guild is making walker bags for the nursing homes in our area and would like your permission to use your design. It looks easy and very functional just what we are looking for. Thank you for posting instructions and pictures. May we have your permission to use your pattern to make walker bags for our elderly friends.
    Janice Young President of Sedville Crazy Quilters Sedalia Mo.
    ps im an RN that has sent all my time in surgery as circulator then private duty to general surgeon and now work part time helping ortho dr when he does totals.
    again await your permission Janice

    1. Yes, go right ahead & make as many as you like!

  17. Thank you for sharing your wonderful pattern, your generosity will help others create cherished gifts for others to enjoy. I plan to make one for my grandma that celebrated her 102nd birthday in February. Hope mine is half as pretty as yours!

  18. How wonderful that you still have your Grandmother to celebrate her birthday! Please give her a "Happy Birthday" hug from me? I hope your walker caddie comes together easily for you & that it helps to make her life easier by having things close at hand. Thanks for stopping by!

  19. Thursday September 14, 2017
    Rettabug, What a treasure you are! Just imagine, as I grow more mature, my circle of friends do too, and several of them have gotten extra wheels. Hence, the need for a charming walker bag. My first one was sent to a dear friend, who said she ripped open the package and tied it on as fast as she could! How that made my heart smile.And I live up the street from an assisted living center, so when I make a new project I take several to them for their 'gift closet'. They love my tryouts. So again, thank you for this simple and elegant labor of love. Bless you.

  20. In the golf one about how big is that pocket?

    1. Peggy, please forgive my delay in answering your question? The embroidered "I'd rather be golfing" front pocket measures 8" high & 15" wide. I hope that helps. I have a similar size pocket, not embroidered, on the back.

  21. This is amazing. I'm having a hip replacement the end of June and will be using a walker when I come home for a couple of weeks. I'm starting this in few days so I'll be ready!

  22. I really like your walker caddy design and am wondering if I could use your design? I plan to sell them locally. In Canada.

    1. Yes, you are very welcome to use the walker caddy design. I'm never going to sell it or even make them for sale. I wish you good luck!

  23. Thanks for sharing your pattern. I'm making walker cady for my sister-in-law and my mother (90) who will starting to use her walker in the house in the near future. I have lots of fabric for quilting projects in my stash, and batting. Add some coordinating trims from my stash and I think it's a go!

    1. I'm happy to hear this post has proven useful for you! I know it certainly has helped the many people I have given them to as gifts.

  24. You do not list a supply list. I would love to have the list so I can begin making some for the senior citizens in my area.

  25. Thanks for sharing this tutorial. I've made my Dad two similar ones from a bought pattern and he thinks they're fabulous - and so do his carers!


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