I came across a nice little tutorial for hardcover needle books and thought they would make lovely gifts for sewing friends. You will find the tutorial here.
I have a solid green fabric that I like to use for my Tiny World Pincushions and thought it would also be nice as the base fabric for a needle book cover. Olive green is a great neutral in my opinion! But it is a plain fabric so I cut some leaves from felt. I just use the acrylic craft felt. I also pulled out some of my beads and variegated cotton threads for embellishments.
I started by blanket stitching the small leaf to the larger leaf with two strands of DMC variegated embroidery floss. I then added some French knots to the tips of the blanket stitch. Again I used two strands of DMC variegated floss. I finished the leaf with a small running stitch around the outside edge of the leaf with you guessed it, two strands of DMC variegated floss. The leaf was then hand stitched to the green fabric with regular cotton sewing thread and I added a little green stem with a chain stitch (once again, two strands of floss). The final touch was a couple of beads stitched to the centre of the leaf to add a little sparkle but it would be just as nice with a lazy daisy flower or a little sequin with a bead centre. You could also embroider a herringbone stitch or any other stitch that tickles your fancy!
This is the finished needle book and I think it is very pretty!
When opened up you can see it is lined with a subtle green striped fabric. There are two pockets on the inside cover. I trimmed the edge of the pocket with green ribbon. I think my sewing machine needle is dull so there is a little puckering that just wouldn't press out. Also the lining fabric is a fairly tight weave so that may be part of the problem. I'll change out the needle and try it again.
The pages in the needle book are also made of felt.
The pattern calls for two pockets in the back of the needle book however since the left side is hand stitched closed I found that it made two pockets a little too snug even though I trimmed the cardboard down so that it was a little less wide than the pattern called for. As a result I removed the stitching that made the divided the pockets on the back so there now a single pocket. The needle book ties shut with two ribbons.
Wouldn't one of these hardcover needle books make a nice gift for a quilting friend? Put it in a fabric bowl with a spool of thread, a fat quarter of matching fabric, and a package of needles or pins and wrap it up with cellophane and some pretty curly ribbons! You will find the free pattern for the bowl on Brigitte Giblin's blog.
Until I post again, have fun making hardcover needle books!