How to sew a pinwheel needle book

This vintage-style needle book by Laura Pritchard will make a lovely quick gift to sew up for patchwork-loving pals. Read on to find out how to sew your own!

Folded Pinwheel patchwork 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 Deputy Editor and patchwork pro, Laura Pritchard. We hope you enjoy sewing it!

Finished size

Approximately 4in square.


Felt – 7½in x 8½in (this is enough for one ‘page’, you will need more for additional pages).

Optional – buttons, ribbons and embroidery floss.

This project is part of a pair! Find out how to stitch a Cathedral Window Pin Cushion to match – they make great gifts or treat your own sewing space to a little hand-sewn loveliness!

You Will Need

  • Green fabric (5in square)
  • Cream fabric (5in square)
  • Lining fabric (8½in x 4½in)
  • Two backing fabrics (2½in x 5in of each.)

Cutting out

Step 1

Cut each of the green and cream fabrics into four x 2½in squares.

Step 2

Cut each of the backing fabrics into two x 2½in squares.

Step 3

From the felt cut one x piece 3in x 7in and one x piece 4½in x 8½in.

Making the needle book

Step 1

Press each of the cream 2½in 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 2

Place each folded square on top of a green 2½in square, so the 90 degree corner is aligned with the bottom right corner (Fig 2A). Stitch in place with a small seam, ⅛in or less (Fig 2B).

How-to-sew-a-Pinwheel-needle-book step 5


Step 3

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.

Pinwheel quilt block diagram

Step 4

Stitch the four backing squares together into a four patch.


Step 5

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

Step 6

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

Pinwheel notebook diagram

Step 7

Place the needle book exterior and lining piece right sides together. Sandwich the bookmark between them aligned with the centre seam. Place the 4½in x 8½in 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 8

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 9

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


Finishing touches

Step 1

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 2

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.

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