Needle book Christmas Gifts (and a giveaway!) / by Riane Menardi

For Christmas gifts this year, I'm making needle books for my sewing-inclined friends. Not only have I wanted to make these FOREVER, but they make adorable, personal and useful gifts. You're able to customize the fabrics to your friends' tastes — and you can use a lot of fun prints. I think I used four different fabrics in this little guy! 

This was a good way for me to experiment with (ahem, buy) small amounts of fabric I've been lusting after and put them to good use. It's also a great stashbuster. 

I mixed and matched a few different tutorials, but mostly used this one by Sew She Sews. Mine is much smaller than hers, and I altered the pocket (I just used one folded piece rather than a lining). But the basic technique is the same. I also embellished the felt by stitching on bits of novelty fabric. I've been waiting for a good excuse to use the darling Japanese print. (How cute are those deer and squirrels?)

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Materials

  • Scrap of linen for lining (about 10" x 8")
  • Scrap of quilting cotton for exterior (about 10" x 8")
  • Scrap of quilting cotton, linen or upholstery fabric for pocket (about 8" x 8")
  • Scrap of batting (about 10" x 8")
  • Scrap of wool felt about 7" x 4"
  • Strip of fabric 2-1/4" x 36" for binding
  • Button
  • Elastic cord
  • Optional: scraps of accent fabric to embellish felt

Instructions

Finished size: About 4" x 6" folded

  1. Make a quilt sandwich with your exterior fabric, linen lining and batting.
  2. Quilt as desired. 
  3. Square up to about 8" x 6".
  4. Lay needle book down with linen facing up. Set aside.
  5. Fold pocket fabric in half lengthwise and press. From the folded side, fold over again about 1/4". This will be the top of your pocket. Top stitch this in place.
  6. Place the pocket on top of the needle book with the raw edges matching. Set aside.
  7. If you're using accent fabric, applique it onto the felt with a zig-zag stitch.
  8. Place the felt in the middle of your needle book, about 1" from the top and bottom. Mark the middle of your book and the middle of the felt — this is the "spine" of your book. Pin all layers in place (including the pocket) and, using a walking foot, stitch a line down the middle. Square up any rough edges.
  9. Cut a 2-1/4" strip long enough to bind the needle book. (I used two 18" strips.)
  10. Stitch the binding on as you would with a quilt. When you're doing this, place a loop of elastic on the back of your needle book (raw edges facing in). Slip it between the exterior layer of your needle book and the binding. Back stitch over the elastic a few times to secure it in place.
  11. Hand stitch the binding down. 
  12. Add the button to the front of the needle book, and you're done! 

Like this pattern? Drop a note in the comments about what you'd carry in your needle case, and I'll send a kit to one lucky winner. But I get to pick the fabric :) You can also purchase a kit in my shop! 

Thanks friends!