This Mega Needle Book is the Ultimate Quilter's travel companion. It's bigger than usual for a needle book (9" Square), so it has space to carry all of the hand quilting supplies you might need for a larger project - the pockets even have enough space for a folded Fat Quarter of fabric and your EPP templates!
To make your own version of this scrappy needle book using your fabric scraps you will need:
- Four fabric scraps or orphan quilt blocks 9 & 1/2” square .
- One rectangle of fabric 6 1/2” x 18 1/2”
- One Rectangle of fabric 7 1/2” x 18 1/2”
- One rectangle of batting (any kind - just use what you have in your stash!) measuring 9”x 18”
- Two sheets of Felt measuring 7” x 14”
- Safety Pins or spray baste
- A button
- A small (1”) piece of elastic.
- All your normal quilting supplies (thread, sewing machine scissors etc)
For one of my fabric squares, I used my Free-Bee paper pieced Bumble Bee quilt block which you can download free when you sign up to my email newsletter here. https://view.flodesk.com/pages/6171db31ce1180e9a55d5d63
Because the aim of my project was to use up scraps, The rest of the fabric squares were gathered from scraps out of my stash - cut and sewn together to make a 9 1/2” square where necessary (like with the black and white squares):
First take the two squares you plan to use for the inside of the needle book, and place them right side together, and sew one edge together to make a rectangle measuring 9 1/2”x 18 1/2”. Press the seam open to reduce bulk in the spine area.
Fold the inner lining in half lengthways and make a small crease with your finger on the mid point of the right hand edge. Make a loop with the elastic and pin it to to the raw edge of the fabric. With the loop facing inward towards the centre of the book as shown below:
To create the internal pockets, take the two long rectangles and sew them together along one of the long edges and press the seam the the darker side.
Fold the fabric over long-ways with wrong side of the fabric together so the the raw edges of the fabric line up. You should be able to see the seam on the front of the fabric as shown here:
Press along the top to create a fold, then top stitch along the length of the fabric just above the seam.
Fold the fabric in half so that the short edges meet and make a small crease using your finger to mark the mid point. Then unfold and fold the short edges toward the centre to find the 1/4 mark. Mark these lines using chalk, or washable marker:
Place the pocket section on top of the inner lining and align with the bottom raw edges.
Pin the pockets in place and use a baste stitch (a large stitch in the seam allowance which can easily be removed later if you wish) to hold the pocket securely in place.
Top-stitch along the two lines that you marked on the pocket fabric. Place the inner section of the needle book to one side for now.
To construct the outer shell of the needle book:
Place the quilt block that you are using for the outer back of the needle book right side up on a flat surface. Place the quilt block you wish to use for the front of your needle book right side down on top. (if you are using an orphan block for the front, as I have done, make sure that it is orientated the correct way up). Pin the blocks together and sew down the right-hand side of the block to make a rectangle measuring 9 1/2”x 18 1/2”. Press the seam open to reduce bulk in the spine area.
Take your outer lining fabrics and place them on a flat surface with the right side down. Place your batting on top of the fabric, ensuring that it is placed centrally with 1/4” of the fabric showing on every side. Carefully flip both pieces over so that the right side of the fabric is facing up. Use safety pins or spray baste to attach the batting to the fabric. (IMPORTANT: If using pins make sure they are fastened on the top of the fabric!)
You may choose to quilt the outer lining and batting together at this point if you wish.
With your inner and outer linings right side together, stitch around the outsider the book, 1/2” from the edge of the fabric, you should sew on the batting and ensure to catch all the layers and the elastic. Make sure to leave a 3” gap at the bottom turning.
Push the fabric through the opening to turn your needle book right side out using your finger or a chopstick to ensure the corners are pushed out fully.
Press around the edges and ensure the opening is tucked away in line with the rest of the seam allowance.
Top stitch 1/8” away from the edge around the entire outer edge of the needle book so that you close the opening where you turned the fabric. You may then choose to do an optional second line of topstitching 1/4" from the first line if you wish. This will help the needle book to retain its shape with frequent use, and give it a nice finished look. It will also help to secure the quilt batting in place if you have chosen not to quilt the layers of the outer shell.
Fold one of your felt pieces in half so the short edges meet and crease with your finger, then mark with Chalk or a washable marker. Place your felt pieces in the middle of the book ensuring they are centred within the book and the centre lines up with the middle seam of your inner lining. Pin in place.
Top stitch along the line you marked earlier to secure your felt pages.
Add your button to the front of the book to complete your beautiful scrappy needle book!
If you are keen to find some more beautiful projects and do some more scrap-busting make sure you check out these blogs posts by the other talented designers in this blog hop hosted by Quilting Room with Mel!