Yay! Here's a little tutorial on how I make my needlebooks. They're super easy, fast, and fun... so let's get started.
12- 1.5" fabric squares in assorted prints for patchwork back
1- base fabric for front: 3.5" x 4.5", appliqued/embroidered any way you like
1- strip of fabric for "book binding": 1.5" x 4.5"
1- inside fabric: 7.5" x 4.5"
1- piece of batting: 8" x 5"
2- pieces of felt 6.75" x 3.75", finished with decorative scissors if you like
hair elastic or ribbon, and button
Floss (I use perle cotton, no. 8)
Use a scant 1/4" seam allowance throughout this tutorial...
- Step 1: I always start with the back patchwork. Sew your 12 squares together, butting the seams so the squares align nicely. Then decorate the front of the needlebook using any design you like.
- Step 2: Place patchwork back and "book binding' piece right sides facing and stitch together. Press open and then stitch the decorated front to the "book binding". Press open (I tend to cut my pieces slightly bigger than needed and then square off with my rotary cutter and a quilting square once I've stitched them together). Lay your finished piece on top of the batting.
- Step 3: Now I do some handquilting with my perle cotton floss through the needlebook cover and the batting. I also did some embroidery on the front. (Added a little tag, too, for fun).
- Step 4: Sew the hair elastic or ribbon right on top of the patchwork end (centered), with the loop facing inward.
- Step 5: With right sides facing, pin the 7.5" x 4.5" inside fabric to your needlebook cover. Stitch all the way around, leaving an opening so you can turn it right side out. (I've left my opening at the top of the patchwork back.)
- Step 6: Turn your needlebook cover right side out, push out the corners and iron flat. Slip stitch the opening closed. I am a very messy slip-stitcher ;)
- Step 7: Next, I stitch by hand around the outside of the needlebook cover and up the two sides of the "book binding" using my perle cotton floss. At the end of the stitching, make a knot, insert your needle back into the same hole the floss is coming out... push your needle about two inches away before pulling it up. Tug the knot under the cotton and into the batting. Snip your floss and make sure the tails disappear. I always bury my knots!
- Step 8: Next, add your felt "pages." (I embellished mine a little ahead of time but this can be done afterwards as well.) Center them inside the book and stitch in place. I start about a half inch from the top, backstitch, stitch all the way down and finish again with back stitches. Use pins as your guides.
It's nice and centered. See? Also, I usually wait until after the pages are sewn in before trimming them with my scallop scissors. (Mine are from Fiskars but they no longer make them. Here is a similar pair of scallop shears. And yes, they really are that expensive. You might find them cheaper on Amazon or eBay.)
- Step 9: Lastly, add a button, and you're done!
How to sew a button? Knot your thread. Push your needle through from the opposite side of where the button will be. Pull the knot through to the batting. Hide those tails inside the fabric. Make a few stitches to secure the knot. Stitch through the button holes several times and pull your needle out the back side. Make a knot and bury it. That's all! ;)
Whew! I honestly live in fear of making tutorials even for simple things like this because... let's just say because. If I've left something out or something is not clear, please don't hesitate to ask me any questions... I'll do my best to answer. And now I get to send this little needlebook off to it's birthday recipient.
Happy sewing! xo amy