Pincushion & Needle Book in One!

Jenni, our fabulous fabric designer, has left for New York City. Sad for us, exciting for her!

As a going away gift I wanted to make her a needle book because she said she could use one. Fortunately, I saw a clever needle book with a built-in pincushion on Diane Guilleland’s fun website CraftyPod. Jenni wrote a recent blog about  Hampton Hues and how much she liked the coral coloration. Not much fabric in this project, but I chose 6766 Beach Breeze Melon for the pincushion and 6753 Mum’s Delight Multi for the pocket.


I haven’t worked with plastic canvas in a long time! I actually found a craft booklet for plastic canvas stitches. Reading through it felt like opening a time warp back to the 1970’s when I did all sorts of crafts like making plastic canvas tissue box covers,  macramé, and  sand candles. Sorry, waxing nostalgic there for a moment.

Anyway, based on Diane’s instructions, I used #10 plastic canvas for the front and back of the book and round plastic canvas for the ring that secures the pincushion. I did start with #5 perle cotton on the borders but had to double the thread, so I switched to one strand of #3 perle cotton which covered the canvas well.  Other supplies included my favorite thimble, #22 tapestry needles, and a piece of card stock.


After selecting a complicated stitch called the Six Trip Herringbone Stitch to cover the front, I soon realized it would be better to make it just a border. I think I used a tent stitch for the rest of the front and back and an overcast stitch for the edges.


The pincushion is made by folding and basting the edges of a circle of fabric, stuffing it with fiberfill, inserting a circle of card stock, gathering the stitches, and sewing it to the plastic canvas ring.


The Jumbo Wonder Clips worked well to secure the ring and pincushion to the front to be sewn together with #5 perle cotton.


The pages of the needle book are formed with two pieces of wool felt cut precisely to fit the covers and sewn together down the center. The first and last pages are glued to the covers around the edges.

Laying in bed the night before Jenni left, I thought…It needs a pocket for a needle threader and some NeedleGrip-Its!
Note to self: Next time sew the pocket on before the felt is glued to the front!


Jenni likes to do embroidery with #5 perle cotton, so I also included a package of #24 chenille needles that work well it.  I added my favorite Black Gold #9 Needles – Appliqué/Sharps.


We had a fun going away lunch where I gave Jenni her gift.


In the photo below, a picture of Jenni was placed on a top shelf of the fabric wall to provide ongoing inspiration from our fabric diva. Jenni did make us promise it would not be turned into a shrine with candles!

Bye-bye Jenni! We will miss you! Happy new adventures!




  1. Jenna - April 21, 2014

    You always make such adorable gifts, Ann. Lovely post.

  2. Dawn - April 21, 2014

    This is so darling and thoughtful, I may have to make one for myself… and my mom. 🙂

  3. Ann - April 21, 2014

    Thanks Jenna & Dawn! I want to make on for myself too.

  4. Jenny Moore - April 21, 2014

    what a beautiful gift that she will treasure forever.

  5. Jenni - April 22, 2014

    I love it so much!!!!! Thank you!!! Miss you!

  6. Teri - April 29, 2014

    The perfect gift for Jenni! Out of one of her favorite fabric lines and she can use it for one of her amazing embroidery projects.

  7. Diane Gilleland - May 19, 2014

    This post makes me all kinds of happy! Ann, I love your needle book – that fancy stitch border on the cover is a wonderful idea. And the pocket is genius, too. Thank you so much for sharing your process of making!

    • Ann - May 19, 2014

      Thank you Diane for the inspiration and the helpful instructions! I plan to continue following your blog to see what other fun ideas you come up with. Thanks again!