How to sew pinwheel needle book

How to sew a pinwheel needlebook

12-days-of-christmas-logoWe don’t know about you, but we’re feeling pretty festive here at TQ towers. We’re loving posting our 12 days of Christmas daily quilty treats here on the blog. Today is day 4, and we’re sharing this free tutorial for how to sew a beautiful pinwheel needle book. And while we type, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas here in the office. Deputy Editor Fiona has decked out our desks with a lantern-full of fairy lights, and we’re getting ready for our team Christmas party later this week. We hope you’re enjoying our 12 days of seasonal sewing as much as we’re enjoying posting them! Today’s vintage-style needle book was created by our Technical Editor Laura, and we it will make a lovely quick gift to sew up for patchwork-loving pals. Read on to find out how to sew your own!

Day 4: How to sew a pinwheel needle book

Add a little vintage chic to your sewing room with this fun-to-piece needle book. Inspired by traditional pinwheel blocks, these are created simply using fabric folding techniques. This is the perfect mini project if you’re looking for quick-sew ideas or gift ideas for quilt-fans in the family! This project is designed and made by our very own Technical Editor and patchwork pro, Laura Pritchard. We hope you enjoy sewing it!

You will need

  • Green fabric – 5in square
  • Cream fabric – 5in square
  • Lining fabric – 8 ½in x 4 ½in
  • Two backing fabrics – 2 ½in x 5in of each.

Finished size

Approximately 4in square.


Felt – 7 ½in x 8 ½in (this is enough for one ‘page’, you will need more for additional pages).

Optional – buttons, ribbons and embroidery floss.

Fractions – due to font restraints, we can’t display fractions here on the website, so whenever one appears in this tutorial, we’ll display it in italics as follows: 8 1/2in (eight and a half inches) – so that it’s clear how much fabric you need to cut or pin!

Cutting out

Step one: Cut each of the green and cream fabrics into four x 2 ½in squares.

Step two: Cut each of the backing fabrics into two x 2 ½in squares.

Step three: From the felt cut one x piece 3in x 7in and one x piece 4 ½in x 8 ½in.

Making the needle book

Step four: Press each of the cream 2 ½in squares in half diagonally, wrong sides together. With the 90-degree corner bottom right, fold the bottom left point over to the right-angled corner and press (Fig 1). Repeat for all four squares.

Step five: Place each folded square on top of a green 2 ½in square, so the 90 degree corner is aligned with the bottom right corner (Fig 2A). Stitch in place with a small seam, in or less (Fig 2B).


Step six: Stitch the squares together into pairs. Then stitch the pairs into a four-patch. Make sure all the points of the pinwheel are facing in the directions depicted in Fig 3.


Step seven: Stitch the four backing squares together into a four patch.

Step eight: Optional – Make a bookmark with embroidery floss, by tying it into a tassel on a plaited string.

Step nine: Attach the front to the back along one edge (Fig 4). Press seam open.

Step 10: Place the needle book exterior and lining piece right sides together. Sandwich the bookmark between them aligned with the centre seam. Place the 4 ½in x 8 ½in piece of felt on top. Stitch all around the edge with a ¼in seam leaving a gap for turning along the bottom long edge.

Step 11: Clip the corners and turn the right way out through the hole. Push out the corners with a blunt pencil or similar. Press really well all over, folding in the seams at the gap.

Step 12: Top stitch all around the edge of the needle book approximately ¹/₁₆in – in from the edge.


Finishing touches

Step 13: Embellish the 3in x 7in piece of felt if you wish. We added fabric scraps, a ribbon trim and buttons. Fold in half to mark a crease in the centre. Press the needle book in half to mark a crease in the centre of that.

Step 14: Line up the centre of the felt with the centre of the needle book exterior and stitch along this line (Fig 5). Press the whole thing in half to finish and add a snap fastener if desired.

Open needlebook

Technical tip: Use pinking shears or a rotary cutter with a pinking blade to cut your felt pieces for neat and decorative edges.

Meet the designer

Our very own Technical Editor, Laura Pritchard has been sewing since she was a child and quilting for most of her adult life. Also known as her online alias, Dimple Stitch, Laura’s work has been published in several quilting and craft magazines. She lives in Bristol with her husband, cats and chickens, and regularly posts photos of work-in-progress and finished quilts other Instagram feed @lauradimplestitch

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