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How To Make a Mega Needle Book: A Scrap-Busting Sewing Project.

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!

The scrap-busting ultimate needle book is a quilters friend when travelling - it can hold full fat quarters of fabric, several spools of thread and so many pins and needles!

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)

Bumble Bee Quilt Block Pattern, and other supplies needed to make a Needle Book.

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.

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):

I love fabric scraps and one way to use them when you make this needle book is to take odd sized quilting scraps and sew them together to achieve the size needed for the sewing project.

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.

Black and White Quilt blocks made using fabric scraps and joined together to make a lining for a Needle Book.

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:

In order to attach your elastic to the needle book, pick the right side of the inner lining up and fold along the short edge to find the middle point. You will then be able to place your elastic on the fabric so it is in the middle and pin it there.

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. 

Sew two fabric rectangles together to create the internal pockets of your needle book. These will be where you can store some thread snips, cottons and any other small quilting supplies you wish.

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:

With wrong side together, top stitch along the visible seam of the pocket lining fabric for your needle book.

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:

Use a washable marker to mark lines on the pocket lining. These pockets will be where you store thread, scissors or other quilt related notions

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. 

A basting stitch (a large stitch in the seam allowance) will help to hold the layers of the inner lining together while you construct your outer shell of the needle book in this quilting project.

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.

This photo shows how to place your quilt blocks in order to have them oriented the correct way when you finish your ultimate quilters needle-book! The Bumble Bee quilt block needs to be facing up and you should sew the right hand side together.

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!)

The batting used in the outer shell of the Mega Needle book will help to stabilise the form. Quilting the layers is optional,.

You may choose to quilt the outer lining and batting together at this point if you wish. 

Place your inner and outer wheels right side together and use pins to hold them in place.

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. 

Sew the layers of your needle book together. Make sure that you use a half inch seam and catch all layers of your quilt sandwich!

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. 

Once you have sewn around the outer edge of the needle book, you will need to turn it, by pushing the fabric through the right side.

Press around the edges and ensure the opening is tucked away in line with the rest of the seam allowance.

Use your iron to press the fabric around the edge of the needle book.

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.

Use a 1/4” seam to top-stitch around the edge of the outer shell. This will help to hold the book to its proper form and stabilise the quilt batting.

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. 

To create the felt pages of your needle book you will need to fold them in half and then pin them into the centre of your book.

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!

This Mega Needle book is so cute with this foundation paper pieced bumble bee pattern., I added a pretty flower button to the front and it’s complete!

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!

Happy Quilting!