Cotton prints mixed with wools, delicate beads, and a careful choice of threads give a needle case a vintage flair. Stitch around the appliqués with contrasting thread and the flowers may appear whimsical; matching thread may yield a more romantic, traditional look. Cotton fabrics are from the Sachet Potpourri line by Faye Burgos for Marcus Fabrics.
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Inspired by "Sew Your Seeds" from designer Sue Spargo

Quiltmaker: Laura Boehnke


  • 1/4 yard multicolor floral (appliqué base, lining)
  • 7x12" piece tan felted wool (cover)
  • 7" square piece pink felted wool (flower appliqués, page)
  • Scrap of blue felted wool (flower appliqués)
  • Scraps of pink, blue, brown, and cream prints and florals (flower appliqués)
  • Scrap of green felted wool (leaf appliqués)
  • 4x7" piece light green felted wool (grass appliqués)
  • 7x12" thin cotton batting
  • Seed beads: 13 pink, 17 blue, and one black (optional)
  • 1/4 yard baby rickrack: pink
  • Lightweight fusible web
  • 1/4" hole punch (optional)
  • Pinking shears or rotary cutter with wavy blade
  • Straw needle: No. 11

Finished needle case: 10-1/2x6" open, 3-1/2x6" closed

Fabrics are 100% cotton unless otherwise specified. Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

Click on "Download this Project" for full-size appliqué patterns.

To felt your own wool, machine-wash it in a hot-water-wash, cool-rinse cycle with a small amount of detergent; machine-dry on high heat and steam-press. To use fusible web for appliquéing pieces, complete the following steps.

1.  Lay fusible web, paper side up, over patterns. Use a pencil to trace each pattern the number of times indicated in cutting instructions, leaving 1/2" between tracings. Cut out each fusible-web shape roughly 1/4" outside traced lines.

2.  Following manufacturer's instructions, press fusible-web shapes onto wrong sides of designated fabrics; let cool. Cut out fabric shapes on drawn lines. Peel off paper backings.

From multicolor floral, cut:

  • 1--6-1/2x11" lining rectangle
  • 1 of Pattern A

From tan wool, cut:

  • 1--6-1/2x11" rectangle

From pink wool, cut:

  • 1--5-1/2x6" rectangle, trimming each edge with pinking shears
  • 12 of Pattern E (or use 1/4" hole punch to punch twelve 1/4" wool circles)

From blue wool, cut:

  • 17 of Pattern E (or use 1/4" hole punch to punch seventeen 1/4" wool circles)

From pink, blue, brown, and cream prints and florals, cut:

  • 1 each of patterns B, C, D, I, J, M, N, Q, and R
  • 3 of Pattern K
  • 2 of Pattern 0

From green wool, cut:

  • 3 each of patterns F and G

From light green wool, cut:

  • 1 each of patterns H, L, and P

From batting, cut:

  • 1--6-1/2x11" rectangle

Appliqué Needle Case Front

1. Position multicolor floral A appliqué base on bottom edge of tan wool 6-1/2x11" rectangle; fuse in place (Appliqué Placement Diagram). Using matching thread, machine-blanket-stitch scallop edge in place.


2. Referring to Appliqué Placement Diagram, arrange all remaining appliqués except Q bird body and R bird wing on tan rectangle and appliqué base. Cut rickrack into three stems; position stems, tucking ends under flower and grass pieces. Fuse all pieces in place.

3. Using threads that match or contrast appliqués as desired, machine-blanket-stitch or zigzag stitch around all appliqué shapes except E circles. Straight-stitch a vein through center of each leaf (Appliqué Placement Diagram).

Add Beading

1. Referring to photo and Appliqué Placement Diagram, add a pink small bead to center of each pink E circle using cotton thread and a No. 11 straw needle. Add a pink seed bead, to center of D oval.

To add a bead, bring needle up at A, the point where bead is desired (Seed Bead Stitching Diagram). Thread seed bead onto needle, then insert the needle back into fabric at B, just to the right of A. Take a tiny backstitch to anchor.


2.  Using blue seed beads, repeat Step 1 to add a bead to each blue E circle.


Assemble Needle Case

1. Layer appliquéd and embellished tan wool rectangle and multicolor floral lining rectangle with right sides together. Place batting rectangle on top. Sew around all edges, leaving a 2" opening for turning (Diagram 1).


2. Clip corners and turn needle case right side out. Hand-sew opening closed.

3. Position pink wool 5-1/2x6" rectangle on lining side of needle case so its center is 3-1/2" from left-hand edge of needle case (Diagram 2). Machine-straight-stitch through center of pink rectangle to make page. Then stitch 3-1/2" from right-hand edge of needle case.


4. Fold pink wool page in half on stitched line (Diagram 3). Appliqué Q bird and R wing in place on first page (Bird Appliqué Diagram). If desired, a black seed bead for the bird's eye to complete needle case.