Needlepoint for Beginners - make a gingham needle book
Keep your needles safe and sound inside this needlepoint needle book! A great way to learn needlepoint, this project uses plastic canvas, three colours and two simple needlepoint stitches to create an adorable gingham design. Making a new stitching accessory is always fun, and having a place to hold your needles is always smart.
The pattern for the gingham stitching is easy to remember so you don't need to keep looking at a chart. Plus, it's a pretty fast project, so you can make these for all your stitching friends, and maybe even pair it with a magnetic needle minder and a fresh pack of needles.
Tools and Supplies
- 10-count plastic canvas
- Tapestry wool in 3 gingham-friendly shades (we used DMC 7666, 7005, and Ecru)
- tapestry needle
- 40cm of Thin Ribbon
- Glue like Hi-Tack glue
- 20x30cm piece of 100% wool felt (we used Strawberry Field)
- Embroidery Thread (we used DMC 817)
- Embroidery needle
Cut a piece of the deepest shade of tapestry wool to about as long as your forearm. Thread your tapestry needle.
TIP: If you're finding it hard to thread the needle, try pinching the very end of the yarn and pushing it through the needle eye.
Starting in the corner of your plastic canvas, bring the needle up through the farthest hold to the left and the second row down. Go back down one hole to the right and in the top row. This makes one angled tent stitch.
Hold a short tail of yarn on the back of the plastic canvas.
Come back up in the hole directly below the stitch, then make another angled tent stitch, working into the hole one over and on the top row.
As you make the first row of tent stitches, make sure that the back of the stitches are going over the little tail on the back. This secures the yarn without trying to tie a knot (which would just pull through the holes).
For the first block of the gingham pattern, make four tent stitches, then work back and forth to form a total of four rows.
You can carry the yarn to the next square of the gingham design, but when you want to end off a piece of yarn, slide the needle through the back of a few stitches.
Similarly, when you want to start a new piece of yarn, you can stitch over the tail or slide it through the back of a few existing stitches.
Make the next block in the medium shade of tapestry wool. Stitch seven angled stitches, with the first like a tent stitch, then growing longer and then shorter again. All together they form a square called Scottish stitch.
Alternate between the deepest shade with tent stitch and the medium shade with scottish stitch for the first row, making a total of 11 squares.
For the next row, alternate between the medium shade with scottish stitch and the lightest shade with tent stitch.
Repeat these two rows twice, ending with a row like the first. You should have seven rows all together.
Cut around the design, trimming the plastic canvas close enough to the edge of the stitches that there aren't any grid bits sticking out. Be careful not to cut too much which weakens the plastic and could even cut your stitches.
Whip stitch around the edge of the rectangle.
Stitch through the corners three times so there's a stitch on each side and one directly on the corner. This will cover the plastic canvas well.
Centre the ribbon going across the back of the needlepoint and glue it at the ends and near the center.
Cut a 7x11cm piece of felt, then cut it in half. Glue it onto the back of the needlepoint, lining up the outside edges. There will be a small gap in the middle.
Using 3 strands of embroidery thread and a sharp embroidery needle, stitch through the felt, ribbon and the plastic canvas to secure the layers. The glue holds it a little, but this helps it last without tugging as you use the needle book.
Cut two pieces of felt for the pages. Make one 7x10cm and the other 7x9.5cm. Lay the smaller one centered on the larger one.
Place the pages in the centre of the needle book cover and use a needle and embroidery thread to stitch through the pages and the cover.
As you go through the cover, make sure you are stitching through the holes in the plastic canvas and not through the plastic. Your stitches should be centered and evenly spaced on the grid.
Go through the pages and cover several times, then secure the end of your embroidery floss with a knot between the pages and the cover.
You should have a long stitch in the middle of the pages and one on the outside of the cover.
Fill the pages with needles, organising the pages by the different types of needles you use: sharps for embroidery, tiny quilting needles, ballpoint cross stitch needles, and more!
Tie your needle book closed with a simple bow at the side.
Many thanks to Mollie Johanson for this tutorial.