"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away?"

Author: Unknown

Monday, March 03, 2014

Needle Book......What The Heck Is That?

        That's exactly what i said to an internet friend a couple of months ago. I have been a sewer most of my life. Many years ago I bought an embroidery machine, so I havent done much hand embroidery, but I enjoy learning new skills. Last year by chance,  a wonderfully talented lady contacted me about a crochet project, and we have been friends ever since. She is very knowledgeable and skilled when it comes to sewing, embroidery, and other skills. I have been learning a lot from her. She is an excellent teacher. A few months ago she mentioned about needle books. I have never heard of them or even seen one before. She explained how it was used to store all your needles in one safe place. I usually tended to just stick them in my projects, stick them in pin cushions to be lost among my straight pins etc. We are at opposite ends of the spectrum. I tend to just rush into things headlong, and figure it out as i go. I am also very disorganized. She is extremely organized and plans about making plans for a project.  She is slowly rubbing off on me. Maybe one of these days when I go looking for a certain tool or pattern, I will know exactly where its at,lol.
       She suggested I should make a needle book. At first I wasnt real enthused about the idea. I wasnt sure I would even use one. so I started researching these online. Looking through pinterest and Google at all the beautiful books created by others. It wasnt long before I was hooked. I had to have one. Another thing she has taught me is that when I plan a project for myself  dont be afraid to use your nice materials. I have always saved the good things for when I was working on something for someone else. Sadly to say my pin cushion is one I threw together using a plastic  container and padded the lid. I used old scraps that werent very attractive. So now its time to take car of ME.
       I saw cute needle books online that were pieced from cute prints, and had easy felt pages. Some had hand embroidery on the covers, and ribbon embroidery. Some were shaped like apples. My  teacher/friend sent me some beautiful ,purple  crushed velvet. I decided I was going to use this for my book cover. I also plan on some ribbon embroidery on the cover. She discussed using wool felt or flannel for the pages. I liked the simplicity and ease of using the felt, but when she showed me a pic of how she stitches around the edges of her flannel pages, I was in love. I tried linen, but just didnt get the look I wanted. So I used some white felt. I cut my pages 4.5" x 6". These will then be folded in half to a 4.5" x 3".I found some cute little trim in my storage and decided to use it rather than hand embroidery the flowers, but it could certainly be done either way. I used dark purple embroidery floss to make a french knot in the center of each flower to hold the trim in place.
Then I found some purple rick rack. I thought this would look pretty and add some color in the center of the page. I will stick the needles in under this. I used some cream color floss to couch it to my flannel page. i also took some matching thread to stitch the ends down and prevent raveling.  I wanted some labels on the pages to try and keep me a little more organized. I tried free-handing them on ribbon. Like I said "no plans", just "jump in" and go for it.....Didnt work. The letters were all different sizes. I didnt want to fool with the embroidery machine. I also didnt want to print them out on my printer. So I remembered I had some cross stitch fabric. So I first embroidered the letters on then cut it out. I took some more matching thread and whipped stitched the edges down to my flannel. I liked this look. I think i am done with these, and now on to the cover. Check back here for more pics and instructions on putting this whole thing together.

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