Rissa's 6 Pocket Needlebook
Rissa's Pieces, April 2002, all rights reserved.  

These instructions and graphics are for personal and educational use only.  Any other use is strictly prohibited without my explicit written consent.  Neither the instructions nor images should be reproduced on other pages, however, you may post a link to this page in any publication, electronic or hard copy.

An Embellished Needle Book

fjnbopen.jpg (39466 bytes)These instructions will help you create a needle book with six pockets for packages of needles and room to add felt pages if you so desire.  It resembles a fabric book.

flamjune.jpg (39933 bytes)This project was done completely backwards.  I had this great 4.75" x 5.75" image of Lord Leighton's Flaming June on half of a sheet of hot transfer paper.  When I contacted my partner in the recent Little Needlebook Swap, she gave me license to do whatever I chose, so I stared at that image until I found inspiration.  The photo to the left shows the embellished transfer on the cover of the finished Flaming June Needle Book.

Since the embellishment can be done in many different ways, I'll just describe what I did briefly.  I ironed the image onto the right side of a large rectangle of fine black cotton.  Then I decided to add some rayon bullion stitches to the image in different places.  Lastly, I wound three strands of chenille together and couched them using DMC cotton perle with a whip stitch to follow the *grain* of the twisted chenille.

Once it was completed, I took it to work and got positive feedback from men and women, stitchers and non-stitchers alike.  I knew I would be making this needle book again, so I figured I better reverse engineer my own creation to make a pattern! 

Step 1:

Prepare you material:

  • Cut two 14.5" x 7" rectangles of fabric and one 14.5" x 7" of batting. This includes a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  For the Flaming June needle book, I chose a polished black cotton and cotton quilt batting.

Nbpart1.jpg (136618 bytes)
Click on image to enlarge.

  • Cut one 14.5" x 3.75" rectangle out of your fabric, which also includes 1/4 inch seam allowances on the side and bottom and a half inch on the top.  This will be the base for the six pockets:

Nbpart2.jpg (148654 bytes)
Click on image to enlarge.

  • Cut two three inch pieces of rattail or other cording to use as closures, if you want a double closure.

Step 2:

Embellish one of the tall rectangles, remembering that when the book is closed, the right side will be the front cover and the left will be the back.  Mark the middle of the fabric (where the spine seams will be sewn) and the seam allowances, so that you will be able to stay within the working area. 

Step 3:

Pin the batting to  the wrong side of the unembellished tall rectangle and use any quilting or decorative stitch to secure it. For the Flaming June Needle Book, I used pairs of small hearts machine embroidered at intervals all over for stability.  I assume that this will area will be used for loose needles.

Step 4:

Take the short rectangle and carefully fold over a quarter inch on the long side, then fold it over again, iron and secure it with stitching.  This needs to be a reinforced seam, because packets of needles will be put into and pulled out of the pockets during normal use.  For the Flaming June Needle Book, I used a wide decorative stitch that gives the impression of scallops.  

Step 5:

Place the short rectangle pocket panel right side up on top of the right side of the inside panel (wrong side to right side) and pin in place along the bottom and sides.  Make loops out of the rattail closures and pin them to the right side of the embellished top piece, with the loops facing the middle of the piece and the blunt ends along the edge.  Place the embellished outside panel with right side facing the right side of the inside panel and pocket panel and pin in place.  You should have batting on one side and the back of the embellished cover on the other side of your "sandwich."  

Step 6:  

Sew along the seam allowance around all but a few inches on one side, leaving room to turn the work.  

Step 7:

Turn inside out and iron.  Your book should have smooth finished edges and the rattail loops should be securely sewn into place.  Hand sew the opening you used to turn the rectangle.  

Step 8:

Using the guide below, sew three lines through the middle of the needle book, each 1/4 inch apart.  This will create the spine of the book.  Next, decide if you want the stitches that separate the pockets compartments to go completely through your needle book or not.  For the Flaming June Needle Book, I thought it was best to only stitch through the pocket, the first layer of fabric and the batting, making sure I did not catch the outside cover.  

nbpart3.jpg (148232 bytes)
Click on image to enlarge.

Step 9:

Use your rattail loops to decide appropriate placement for your buttons and sew them in place.

Good luck!

- Rissa


Home Stitch Dictionary Gallery Instruction Blackwork Redwork Biscornu Basics Crazy Quilting Crewel Punch Needle Shadowwork Silk Ribbon Stumpwork Tassels Free Patterns MS NeedleArts Needle Felting Spinning I Love Crochet Knit Knut Clint Schaum Every Day Matters Search This Site Blog

The fine print:

This site is intended to be an educational site to share my passions. The images and ideas herein are my sole intellectual property, unless other wise noted, and I reserve and retain all rights. Linking to this site is perfectly acceptable, but reproducing any of the contents electronically or in print, without my express permission, is not.  


 Rissa Peace 1999-2013

This site last edited: 01/01/13