Projects that take a long and circuitous route often end up being my favourite. These needle books started simply because when I stopped selling single packets of shapes about a year ago, I had some 1" houses left that I had cut accidentally. I couldn't not baste those cute little houses! I had no idea what they would be, but the houses, sewn into plusses, were a fun little mindless play while putting our house up for sale.
Mindless play with no pressure for it to become anything used to be how I started all my quilts. I do it much less these days. Partly because all that play has lead to a long backlog of quilts wanting to become patterns and kits, and partly because these days our household relies on my regular income and so I've put more pressure on myself to be strategically productive.
These 1" houses are pretty tiny – not much bigger than 1" squares – and so after a play, I definitely knew I didn't want to make a whole quilt. I put them away so they could wait for the perfect ending. This is the main reason I love having multiple projects on the go at once. Once my plusses had done their job of providing me with some no-pressure creating, I could set them aside and keep working on something that did have a clear direction, while these scrappy plusses waited.
The Plus Needle Book is Born
The plusses found their place late last year when unpacking my sewing room into my new home at the same time as mulling over a good monthly prize for my Hexie Harvest club. They would make sweet needle books! They contained enough EPP to be personal and special, but not too much as to be cumbersome. With the quick addition of scrap wadding and lining, and a little felt, the finish came easily. These needle books are a lovely weekend project and make great gifts for quilters, or for your yourself.
Now, I've made a free, downloadable EPP pattern so that you can make your own! Complete with printable templates, clear colour diagrams and photos, you could have your own sweet Plus Needle Book by the end of the week!
(While the Plus Needle Book is a great beginner project, if you need some help to get started with EPP, I've created a collection of beginner friendly tutorials to get you started here.)
Free EPP Needle Book Pattern
Grab your complete Needle Book pattern by clicking the button below!