Sunday, 3 June 2007


I've been thinking a little about Needlebooks. I do this occasionally. In this case these two started me off:


They were in the old sewing basket my friend Wemyss has allowed me to look through. The one on the left is just folded upholstry braid.

Open, they look like this:


Needlebooks are something that someone who sews uses a lot, and in these days they are mostly handmade - and thus either a loved gift or something made by she who sews herself. So they often show individuality and ingenuity. I have to admit that if I am sewing with a group of people I often covertly check out their needlebooks!

So, here is mine:


It was made in a very early round robin, and is now a bit scuffed, and a few charms have fallen off. But it is well-loved and well-used.

Here is the inside. When I am working it sits beside me open, and gets used a bit as a pincushion. So most of my favourite needles are on the front page. I don't use a pincushion. I had a nice, flat little felt one once, but still couldn't work out where my needles were. Until I discovered it swallowed needles - I found 32 inside, completely within that small pincushion.


To make this one was actually a little complex, as it has batting and cardboard inside the covers, and you have to think hard to get the batting on the right side. That is, the inside, so as to use that as a sort of pincushion without the pins coming through to the front. The pages are just cut from commercial felt.

Aaaah, yes, pages. I have seen flannellette just edged with pinking shears, or Doctor Flannel (have been down that road before - think it is a peculiar Australianism). In one of those above, I was fascinated to see the pages edged in blanket stitch.

The closer on this one is from an old necklace, and is too fiddly. So it doesn't get used. Somewhere I have a magnetic closer for a bracelet that is due to go on there.

Some have little pockets inside the cover, front and/or back. There are instructions for making one up on Annie website.

Sometimes you actually find commercial ones in old needlebaskets, given out as advertising material, or maybe bought with needles in them.

And, finally, here is another that means a lot to me. This one belonged to my late mother-in-law, who was a wonderful needlewoman. Except no-one else in the family claimed it, so I was able to ask for it at the end. It was well-loved and well-used too - and I had to do a lot of cleaning on it. But I keep it and love it in her memory.


So, if you have read this far, you must love needlebooks too. Do you have one that you would like to share? If you have, please post it on your own blog and leave a comment here, with the URL, so we can all have a look. Then, when you are sewing somewhere with a group, and start looking covertly at what needlebooks others use, you will know that you have friends out there who have just the same fascination. I will consolidate any comments after a few days, so you can skip around them easily.

After I have had a look and enjoyed them too.

Late note: Ooooh, and if you are on Flickr, just search by a tag of "Needlebooks", there are some others on there. So if you are uploading there, and use that tag ........ Could be a fun way to lose an hour.


Blogger Tannia said...

I am really enjoying your posts about workbaskets and neelebooks, etc.....thanks for sharing!

PS: where in Victoria are you?

11:21 am  
Blogger CameoRoze said...

I like this challenge! I've posted images of my needlebooks on my blog and talked a bit about how I use them.

Take a look:
Studio Window

Cameo @-->-->---

12:05 pm  
Blogger crazyhaberdasher said...

They are fascinating aren't they.....making use of the available materials and turning them into something beautiful and functional and many given as gifts too. No matter how simple or how ellaborate, they were greatly appreciated. My collection of handmade needle books are spread around a number of packing boxes at present - I would love to have another look. I will try to find them if possible and take some pics and post them for you to take a look.
Thanks for sharing these.

7:31 pm  
Blogger kay susan said...

Hi Linda - my poor needlebook is up on the blog at

11:29 pm  
Blogger threadspider said...

Thanks so much for sharing this-it has been a portal back in time for me. I am sure that I made a needlebook back in the 1960s when I was at school. We listened to the newly released Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club band in the lesson-our teacher decided it was such a landmark piece of music!
It's about time I made another one!uhlbqgaw

4:49 am  
Blogger Helen said...

Hi Linda. I have a posting on my blog of a needlebook I made for a recent swap. Co-incidentally it just happens to be in your favourite colour (purple?) and check out the initial on it (It was for a Lynette)LOL

9:29 pm  
Blogger Cathy said...

How fun! I found you just this morning by following a link to a link--you know how that goes and then I saw your needlebook entry, so I decided to make my entry for today--July 19 about needlebooks and here is the link to my blog....

I've enjoyed reading about the needlebooks and so much more on your blog. Thank you!

Cathy :)

2:58 am  

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