I was inspired to make a simple needlebook today – I’ve been needing one for a while, I keep my needles in a fancy Kauri wood toothpick holder but I’ve been thinking of upgrading.
Now I would have loved to do the apple or owl style that’s out there (and I will, the minute I have a spare dollar for some red and brown felt), but I was compelled to use what was in my Tardis Craft Cupboard.
So I raided my shoebox of fabric scraps, the bag of embroidery threads, the tub of ribbons. It’s not fancy, but it’s a simple needlebook with one purpose: needle storage.
While I was getting all the gear together, I made a fascinating, if slightly belated discovery… the bag of embroidery threads that I’ll be using from now until doomsday – a hand-me-down from a co-worker’s husband who found it somewhere else – contained some beige floss, wrapped around a paper tube.
I’ve never paid it any mind until today when I caught a glimpse of a red postal stamp. I took the thread off and discovered it was an envelope from Sydney Trades Hall sent to its recipients on 19 April 1945! I don’t know if that means all the thread is nearly 70 years old (holy moly!) or just the one on the envelope.
Back to the needlebook. Here’s what I had available, hot pink flannel, grey linen (from a separate hand-me-down bag of fabric), some pink & orange cotton fabric that I loved when I bought it but only had two 3″ squares left, and some orange floss from the bag of oldies but goodies.
What I used:
- Pinking shears
- Two rectangles of fabric – one linen, one felty
- Smaller rectangles of felt for the ‘needle’ pages within
- Embroidery floss and regular cotton thread
- Applique paper
What I did:
I cut the rectangles out the same size for the outer and inner ‘needlebook’ cover.
Using estimates of where the hem would be, I folded the rectangle in half and sewed the embellishments on the ‘front’ first. I appliqued a heart and square. A running stitch around the square and a chain stitch on the heart.
Putting the big rectangles right sides facing, I sewed them together. I left a an opening so I could put the material the right way round. I used a running stitch to close the gap and around the edge of the whole book, because I liked the orange on the hot-pink.
A quick running stitch to attach the ‘needle’ pages to the book and it looks great in contrasting colour thread on the spine of the ‘book’.
Voila. A home for my two dozen needles!