Saturday, July 3, 2021

The making of a needle book, a Make Nine finish

When I rediscovered English paper piecing [EPP] during the 2020 pandemic lockdown, I was following several EPPers and EPP stitch-alongs on Instagram. In addition to the brilliant tips and cleverly pieced projects found in the posts, I was in awe of the beautiful, handmade needle books I discovered. A needle book was swiftly added to my Project Wish List. 

Assembling a needle book.

My needle book: gathering materials and requirements

Excited to get a new needle book underway, I decided to source materials from the stash for this project. Gathering various fabric bits—a pile of 3/4" hexies from an EPP online sew-along, fabric samples and leftovers, orphan EPP pieces and a package of felted wool charms—I set off to cobble together my own needle book.

The size of the needle book was dictated by the pieced patchwork of 3/4" hexies. This piece was used on the book's outside cover.

A patchwork piece of 3/4 inch hexagons for the outside cover of the book.
The Husky dog is from Best in Show from PBS Fabrics.

Book pages were made from favorite fabric scraps from several fabric companies I rep. Wool charm squares were attached to book pages for various needles and pins it would store.

Wool felt hand stitched on yarn-dyed woven from Diamond Textiles.

Wool felt charm squares for needles and pins.
Squares are hand stitched on cotton fabrics.

Orphan diamonds from an unfinished EPP block were perfect for pockets.

Appliqued pockets from orphan EPP star. Fabrics from M&S Textiles.

A zippered pocket was a handy addition.

Zippered pocket on the inside cover. The floral is a digital print from P&B Textiles.
The background fabric is from a collection from Art Gallery Fabrics.

Book assembly and finishing

I debated whether to nest the folios into a single signature vs. to bind them separately. Referencing a bookbinding book, I decided to sew them to the cover as individual signatures.

Sewing the signatures to the cover.

The other dilemma was how to close the book. I tried several configurations and options but the final outcome was a button-and-loop closure.  A seam in the cover was unpicked to insert a knit fabric button loop.

A knit fabric button loop created the closure.

With the signatures stitched to the cover, it was time to appliqué the hexagon patchwork to the outside cover. Sewing on the button was the final detail.

Appliqueing the hexagon patchwork to the cover.

A Make Nine 2021 finish

Here is the finished needle book. Another Make Nine 2021 finish! This project fulfills my "Wild Card" prompt. I like the fussy-cut image of the Husky on the front as it reminds me of our Yuki dog... making it extra special.

Completed Needle Book. A #makenine project for 2021.

Great progress, I must admit. Six of my 2021 Make Nine projects are now complete. I'm feeling pretty confident that the goal will be met this year.

Make Nine 2021 progress grid. 6 of 9 projects complete.

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