Fabric scraps for scrappy log cabin
Interesting fabric scrap for fussy cut center
Slightly larger fabric for back and inside
Ribbon or bias tape
Rotary cutter, cutting mat, ruler
1. Decide on the image you want for the center. I’m making this for my partner in the Make Mine Modern swap so I want the center to be sewing related and I’m going to be using colorful scraps. I’ve chosen this sewing machine image. I precut around my shape with scissors and then use my cutting mat and rotary cutter to trim, leaving a 3/8 inch border around the image.
4. Sew strip to fussy cut center with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, right sides together. Press seam open and choose your second 1 inch strip, line up, trim to match and sew on with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Press this seam open, choose your third strip, trim to fit and sew. Do this until you have your desired size. I did two complete rounds of 1 inch strips for my needle book.
5. Choose a backing fabric and cut to match the size of the needle book top. Place backing fabric right side up and needle book top right side down and sew along one side. The side you decide to sew up is where the “spine” of your needle book will be. Sew with a 1/4 inch seam and then press seam open.6. Choose your interior fabric and cut to fit the size of needle book and backing fabric. I use my need book top as a template for cutting the inside fabric. Cut a piece of wool felt to go inside the book. The felt should be at least 3/4 inch smaller than your interior fabric on all sides. In can be considerably smaller. 7. Fold the interior fabric in half and finger press. Fold the felt in half and finger press. Open fabrics back up and line up the finger pressed creases. Pin. Sew down the middle of the lined up crease. I use this opportunity to use one of the decorative stitches on my machine.8. Choose the ribbon or bias tape that you will use to tie your needle book closed. Cut two lengths of ribbon, slightly longer than the log cabin front of your book. Stack the interior fabric right side up and place the ribbon or bias tape in the middle of the short side of the interior fabric, one on each side. Make sure the length of the ribbon is laying across the interior fabric (inside your sandwich, rather than hanging out the edges). Stack needle book top, right side down, on top of the interior fabric and ribbon. Pin.
9. Sew, with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, all the way around the needle book, leaving a two inch opening to turn the book. Trim corners and turn right side out. Iron, turning the open two inches inside as you press.
Please let me know if you have any questions or share links to needle books you make in the comments. The options are only as limited as your scrap supply. What you decide to include as your fussy cut center will dictate the shape of your needle book. Because the sewing machine image I choose for this one was square, I ended up with a more square finished shape. The other needle books I’ve made started with a rectangular shape and so finished out as a rectangle. The choice is yours. Happy sewing!