Something new….

So whilst I was at Festival of Quilts I took the Intro to Hand Embroidery workshop. It has been a craft that has been on my list for ages but as most things it’s where to start. The lovely Sarah Humphreys of Edward and the White Bear led it and I was soon hooked…

The brief was to do an sampler for a needlebook case- as the class was only an hour long we took it home to finish and finally last night I got to the stage where I was happy with it.


I always seem to like trying to complicate things…. I wanted to do a scene with a river, fields and the sky. My attempt at ploughed fields let’s not even go there so I stuck with the vines and yes I did intentionally do a wormhole in the sky instead of the sun…


Et.. voila the finished needlebook. Matthew commented on the poor fish but overall I like it and I’m sure once I’ve practiced a few more I look back and see how far I’ve become..


Straightaway I traced my next project onto linen and started stitching, altho now I kinda wished I used Kona Snow instead of linen but next time…  I need to find some variegated brown thread as the kitties seem to be crying out for that! But now I need to choose between variegated black or some vintage style cosmos. Decisions.. decisions…

Is anyone else thinking of going to the West Country Quilt Show in Bristol in November? Sarah is teaching the hand embroidery class there… and also a free motion quilting one which I can’t wait to try as my skills are non existent. And I’m waiting to see what class Alicia Merrett is doing as I loved her satellite map quilts from the Festival.

Hope you are all having a lovely bank holiday. Very wet and dark here today I best stay in and try to catch up on one of my million projects 🙂



Needlebook Tutorial

Following on from the Come Quilt With Me posts…. This is such a quick and easy make you will be hooked in no time! It is also a very friendly scrap busting project so no excuse to not being able to play.

Handmade NeedlebookFor my needlebook (above) I used bits from my scrap basket and some lonely squares that I had lying around.


  • 7.5 x 4.5″ cotton pieces. You’ll need one for the front and one for the lining
  • Roughly 8.5 x 5.5″ piece of wadding
  • Roughly 6.75 x 3.75″ piece of felt
  • Button
  • Elastic (Hair elastic is good!)

For this needlebook I used a mixture of scraps and squares and cut the design down to the required size (7.5 x 4.5″). Feel free to do whatever inspires you 🙂 If you wanted to have a binding in the middle like I have cut 1.5 x 4.5″ of fabric for the binding and sew to two pieces of 3.5 x 4.5″

Basting Quilting

Take your front piece and smooth it out over some wadding ready to quilt. Make sure you leave enough wadding on the outside of the piece in case it moves when quilting.

Baste as desired. You can use basting spray, thread, pins or curved safety pins. My personal choice are the safety pins as it makes the basting a breeze and easy to take out without damaging the fabrics.

Quilted FrontOnce you have basted you are ready to quilt. Being a small project you can quilt by hand or run it through the machine, the stitches, thread colours etc are up to you.

For mine I handquilted using embroidery thread, a random running stitch all over the front (I rather like the effect). Once you have finished trim off the excess wadding and neaten up the edges

Secure ElasticNow you can figure out where to put your elastic. Fold it over and baste it into place. * Next time I will be using hair elastic as its thinner and prettier. *


Right sides together, line up your front piece with the lining and sew leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance around the edge. Backstitch at the beginning and end to secure your seams. *If your pieces don’t line up take the time to trim else you might end up with a wonky corner like I have in your finished project 🙂
Mind the gap
Don’t sew all the way around, leave a gap of about 10-12 cm this will be where you will turn your project inside out.  Clip around the curves (taking care not to snip into your seams) as this helps create perfect corners as there will be less fabric bulk.
Gently turn inside out and flatten. The opening you can either slip stitch shut or ieave it for when you edge stitch.
Topstich Closeup
Slowly stitch as close to the edge as you can taking care when you go over the thicker points. This will add something extra as a finish to your needle book.
Felt Inner
Now you can add the felt inner piece. Mark where you want the spine to be, line it up and cut to the  desired size and stitch down the middle backstitching at the beginning and end to secure. For something extra you can use scalloped scissors to add scallop curves to the edges of your felt.
Add the button to the front- close your book and work out the best place by pulling the elastic over. Hand stitch it into place hiding the knot under the button or within the wadding.
And you are done! How was that? Would love to see your finished needle books so pop it over on the Flickr group 🙂 and from here the possibilities are endless!
You could make a bigger version and have felt on one side for your needles and the other add a pocket to hold small scissors and other notions.
Happy Stitching.