textile book tutorial part one – organizing and assembling

*This tutorial is divided into two parts. This is part 1, part 2 is here. Please read both completely before beginning (start here with part 1).

book made form cotton and linen fabric scraps rest on a worn blue table with sewing notions and a pile of scraps

The easiest way to understand how this little textile book is constructed is to watch the video of the last step –  assembling it –  first.   After that we can talk about creating the pages etc.

Don’t see the video? – find it here.

I’m using the book as a 100 day stitch book project – my first two pages are above. If you are stitching along with me stitch your pages before you assemble the book. I’m sharing the assembly tutorial now so you know where we are headed. Plus it’s a really cool way to make a textile book that you could use for all sorts of things.

Learn more about the stitchbook project here 

To create your pages you need 20 rectangles – 7 X 5.5 inches – you can use the page template download below to make them.  Ignore the other marks on the pattern for now – just cut the rectangles. I’m using cotton and linen for the pages

Stitch whatever you like on your rectangles, embroidery, collage, mess around, try stuff, meander. Leave about 1/2 inch margin all around the edge to make book assembly easy.

To make the book  you will need these  templates:

download the page template here

download the page chart here

Before assembling the book finish stitching on each of your 20 rectangles however you like – (I’m using plain fabric rectangles for the demonstration book today).

Clearly mark the  – right side –  of each of the 20 finished pages with its number using masking tape and a sharpie marker.

The book has 20 pages, including cover and back. There are five sections – each composed of 4 rectangles/pages.

3 sections have slots.

and 2 sections have tabs.

Use the page chart to layout the sections.  For example The first section (a slot section) would look like this.

Use pages 6 and 1 for the front and 2 and 5 for the back of section one.  We are looking at the right sides of the fabric.

And here it is assembled – front and back – page 5 is on the back of page 6 and page 2 is behind one. Use the chart and it all works out.

Below is section 2 – a tab section.

Lay out your 20 numbered pages in 5 sections following the chart and then use the instructions here to sew the slot and tab sections.

With all your sections sewn assemble the book.

assembling the book

Get set up by laying out out your pages just like the left hand column of the chart. Then follow along with the video at the top of this post.

PS – the designer of the slot tab method of binding books is Michael Budiansky – checkout the handmade books blog for more– it’s a cool site.


  1. RaeJean Barone

    HI I am working along with you each day…..I just want to make sure I am following along correctly. We are stitching the pages FIRST then we will assemble….is that correct?

    Thanks…have a blast with this project.

    • Hi RaeJean – so glad you’re having fun with it and yes – from the post above:

      “Before assembling the book finish stitching on each of your 20 rectangles however you like – (I’m using plain fabric rectangles for the demonstration book today).”

  2. Jacqueline Ann Galleymore

    Oh! My goodness. Thank you for the instructions of how to assemble the book. Really enjoying the process of creating the book.

  3. Denise Carpenter

    Love this Miss Wood! Thank you for assembly video. Will start this weekend ❤️

  4. Thank you for this wonderful textile book project. The assembling is amazingly clever.

  5. Vicki Kimball

    Oh this is so wonderful… thank you for the pattern and instructions. I love how your brain works!!!

  6. That is genius! What an awesome project. You’re so generous sharing your patterns and tutorials. Thank you!

  7. Lindsay Jensen

    This looks so fun, I may become an “overachiever”. Can’t wait to start.

  8. I was doing the 100 day project as am embroidered stitch sampler in a beehive hexagon pattern, but it wasn’t really moving me….until I saw this! Not going to try and catch up, just somewhat starting over.
    Thank you!

  9. If I want to make fewer pages, will it work to assemble sections 1, 2, 3 as on your page plan? With page 1 being the cover ?

  10. curious question…do you ever layer with Batting ?
    I am halfway finished with my pages !!

    • annwood

      Hi Deb – I did not use batting for the example book and don’t plan to use it for my finished pages – but you could certainly try it!

  11. Julie Huff

    I have been ogling this project for a month. Today I BEGIN! Look at me being all brave.

  12. Kathy Atria

    Hi. I finally finished all 20 blocks. I understand how they work from your tutorial, but I’m having trouble picturing how you would put the four blocks together to form the tab block. If you have a picture or demonstration as to how you attached them, I’d appreciate seeing it. I’m going to try to do it on my own, but I don’t want to have to rip out seams with my embroidered blocks.

    This is a fun project. I made mine to symbolize things that are important to me. Thanks for sharing it.

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