I think I have hand sewing needles in pretty much every room in the house. I have all kinds of fun doo-dads to hold my needles – traditional pincushions, magnetic sorts, needle books, needle minders – I never get tired of finding fun little creations to hold all my needles. So please allow me to pitch yet another idea for a simple and fun hand stitched needle book!
This one has a front and back made from 100% wool felt, with a stitched-on scrap of felt on the inside to house your needles and a plant-dyed scrap or two stitched on the front. Use what you’ve got in your scrap bin, or, while I’ve got them in stock, pick up a kit here and stitch along with me!
Alright – shall we get to it? You need two pieces of sturdy fabric for the front and back, measuring 2.5 x 3 inches. If you want to use wool, I’d use felted wool. My kits include the wool felt already cut to size. The wool scrap on the inside can be any size you want. Mine measures 2.5 x 1.75 inches. For the front – anything goes! Plan out your scraps and get a design you like, or just get started and see how it ends up.
Start with your front piece, and mark or score a stitch line about 1/4 inch from the left side edge. You’ll stitch on this line later to attach the front to the back. Right now you need it to determine the area you have to stitch on your scraps.
A note about marking – on dark wool like this (or any color, really) you can use a chalk marker. In my experience, however, the chalk marks didn’t really come off the wool felt so well. I had more success using a hera marker & acrylic ruler to measure and mark the line.
Keeping that left-side stitch line in mind, place your small scraps where you’d like them. When you find just the right positioning for your scraps, add a dab of glue under each piece to hold it in place. I prefer to use a fabric glue pen. You can also use pins or wonder clips.
Mark your stitch lines on the front piece with your hera marker and ruler. My lines are appx. 1/4 inch apart.
Now stitch! There are no rules, just do what you like! I am crazy about this Valdani variegated perle cotton, in the color Muddy Pots. It’s that brownish pink color I tend to get most often with avocado dyeing or dyeing with bitter dock. Just lovely. In the limited edition kits in the shop, I’ve included a ball of this gorgeous thread. You can use several different kinds of thread or floss – it’s up to you. I just use the one color on mine. I recommend a chenille #24 needle. It works perfectly with both perle cotton and wool floss, which I’ll use to attach the front and back pieces together.
Once you’ve got your front piece done, get your back piece. Mark or score your 1/4 inch stitch line on the left side edge, just like the front piece. Place the smaller piece of wool on top and center it between your marked stitch line and the right side edge. Whip stitch the top edge of the smaller piece to attach it to the back piece. You might like to add a whip stitch or two on the bottom to keep the wool from scooching around. See, we’re almost done already!
Now, let’s finish! Put your front and back pieces together. This is a great moment to pull out your Wonder Clips. I don’t use mine all the time, but when I do, they are SO USEFUL! Clip them on, leaving the left edge and your stitch line exposed. If you need to, re-mark or score your 1/4 inch stitch line. I’ve included a length of Laine St Pierre wool blend floss in black (or matching the color of the wool felt in your kit). I’ve included more than you need, in case you want to play around with the number of strands you want to use. I used two strands. Tuck your knot away and just do a running stitch all the way up your stitch line. Make a knot and voilà, you’ve got a needle book!
I’ve put together an optional tool kit for you that includes:
• hera marker
• acrylic ruler (inches)
• mini cutting mat
• 10-piece wonder clips set
• temporary glue pen for fabric
These are tools you can use with all kinds of projects and will always come in handy. They are not required to make this needle book. I would, however, argue that using these tools will make the process easier and more efficient.
Clink here to get your optional kit.
The basic project kit I’ve put together includes two pieces of wool felt, cotton scraps for the front piece and a swatch of wool felt to go inside your needle book. Also included is one #24 chenille needle, a length of wool floss, and one ball or skein of thread. I’ve made a few different variations for you, which you can find here. These are a fun and quick project and make inexpensive, lovely gifts. Click here to pick up your project kit or finished needle book!
How did yours turn out? I’d love to see it! Use hashtag #handcraeft or tag @handcraeft on social media and share your project!
Thanks for hanging out with me. I hope you’ve enjoyed your project! If you have any questions, I’m here. You can reach out via social media, email, or the contact page here on the site.