Because life’s celebrations shouldn’t cost the Earth

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Appliqued Needle Book

Free Hand Machine Embroidered Needle Case

After a very wet week the rain finally stopped today and, as the sun came streaming in through my study windows, I was to be found happily stitching away creating this cute little needlecase.

As ever it's very much an upcycled project and regular readers will recognise the linen as being from a second hand pair of curtains which I have used for numerous previous projects.  The wonderfully kitsch floral print fabric was also sourced at a car boot sale and I just love its vintage vibe!

The adorable mother bird and babies work perfectly with the soft pastel colours and were based on a digital stamp designed by the very talented Wendy Massey over at 'Handmade Harbour'.  If you feel inspired to create your own applique or papercraft project with this cute stamp you can purchase it here.

The case has two large pockets on the front and back inside covers which are just the right size to hold a few essential sewing items such as embroidery scissors, unpicker or skeins of yarn.  I'm going to use it as a little travel sewing set and it will certainly be an improvement on the ripped plastic zipper bag I normally shove in my pocket!

I'm really pleased with how it turned out and the curved corners and top-stitching give the whole project a nice finished appearance. The word 'needles' was embroidered onto the front using my regular sewing machine and a technique known as free-hand or free-style machine embroidery.  This is basically a method of 'drawing' with your sewing machine by lowering the feed-dogs and then moving your fabric to create wording or designs.

Needle cases make great presents and my niece has just started sewing, having saved up her own money to buy her first sewing machine.  I'm sure she would be delighted to receive a case with her name embroidered on it xx

"Martha's new machine"


  1. Aww I love it - the fabrics and colours you have used are gorgeous x

  2. This is lovely Josie - I would never have considered transfering digi images to fabric applique. I can't wait to see what else you create at Handmade Harbour - looking forward to getting to know you over the coming 6 months.
    Teresa x

  3. So like... how COOL is THAT! amazing and beautiful... I am so looking forward to seeing more of your work and getting to know you on the Handmade Harbour design team this term! Your Canadian Teamie...

  4. Wow! This is beautiful! I am so impressed! What an excellent job!

  5. That appliqué is fab! and how awesome is it that your nice saved her own pennies to buy a sewing machine :D

  6. Hello Josie
    Just though I'd pop over and have a look at your blog too. Wow - you are incredibly talented and make such beautiful things. I look forward to following your projects.
    Best wishes and have a lovely weekend.

  7. Thanks for your kind comments on my blog. Just been reading through some of your posts. Gosh, you are SO clever !!!! I love your appliqué work - it's gorgeous xx

  8. I absolutely LOVE what you did with my digi, Josie! x

  9. Wendy, it is me that should be thanking you! Your adorable designs are just such a pleasure to use x

  10. Josie this needle pouch is absolutely adorable, I love it so much, I need to make one for me too, just lovely inspiration, thank you. All your designs are gorgeous. Thanks for popping by and leaving me a lovely message. When I get some free time I am going to make this lovely pouch. Take care
    Michelle xx

  11. Hi Josie and thank you for the sweet comment you left on my blog. I love your work and the idea of upcycling is a great one. I admire your free machine embroidery - something I'm trying to get to grips with. I love those digital stamps - something I hadn't heard of so thanks for the tip!
    Angie x

  12. This is very cute! Beautiful fabrics that go together so well, and very sweet design.
    I can so relate to shoving a ripped plastic bag into my carry bag! I went to a sewing meeting last night and found I forgot pins and other bits: I really NEED a craft bag with dedicated pockets: your compartment for scissors and other bits is just genius!
    I will take your post as motivation to propel myself into action on this, pinky promise!
    Thanks so much, just what I needed. And thanks for commenting on my blog too!

  13. Your case is adorable and so beautifully sewn! It will be very practical for keeping bits and pieces together for a project on the go. Thanks for your kind comment on my blog - I am very pleased to have found yours!

  14. This is very cute,as is your apprentice. Thanks for your comment,I have the cushion pad now,so one day the rusty piece will be finished.

  15. What a gorgeous needle book, love the upcycled fabrics