Making a Crazy Patchwork Bookmark

Christine Linton © 2009

Home - Articles  - Readers' Showcase  - Novices - Search-

The first time I thought of making bookmarks was when I opened a box of teabags and looked at the card inserts that separated the lines of teabags. Being in a creative mood at the time (is there any other mood?) I immediately thought “that would make a good bookmark; perhaps I could cover it with some fabric," and it went on from there. As I had just been looking at the CQMagOnline website, I thought of crazy patchwork and raided my satin and velvet bags (that’s how I organize my fabric stash, in drawers divided with bags). My trusty tins of ribbons, braid, and embroidery threads, all added their inspiration to the images coming together in my head.

Here are the instructions, but I am sure you will find your own ideas for variations.  Personally, I’ve never been able to follow a pattern, because I always think of something I would like better.


  • Calico, about 6” x 8”
  • Card, 1 ¾” x 5 ½” from teabag box (or any other type of card)
  • Small strips of satin, velvet, velour, or brocade, approximately five is ideal
  • Stranded cotton or silk threads for embroidery
  • Fabric glue

Order of work:

  1. Cut a rectangle from the calico, and double the size of the card with ¼” to ½” seams added.
  2. Start positioning the strips in place, leaving the edges raw but cut off any fraying edges. Pin them in place. I suggest you alternate thick and thin fabrics.
  3. Flip the bookmark over and trim edges to about 1" outside of cutting line. Tack around edges.
  4. Now embroider the raw edges with stitches such as Feather Stitch and Herringbone.
  5. When finished stitching, take the card and put a squiggle of glue down one side – not too close to the edge.  Lay it, glue side down, on the left side of the wrong side of the patchwork, exactly next to the centre line/ Fold the patchwork closed to check the position of card, and move if necessary while glue is still wet.
  6. Put another line of glue down the other side of card and press your patchwork down on to it. Press down under a book until dry, after making sure the card is centrally placed.
  7. When dry, take a needle with appropriate colour thread, using a Whipstitch, oversew the edges to the inside using your needle to manipulate the fabric into place. Every few stitches, sew two stitches in the same place to hold it steady.
  8. The corners are the most awkward part, so take it slowly.
  9. When finished, make a tassel to attach to the centre of one end.

Making the tassel:

Using the same threads you used for the embroidery, and directly from the skein, loop the threads around a pencil until the tassel is the thickness you want – I suggest alternating the colours, but that is up to you.

As you pull each loop around the pencil, close it up to the others with your finger, and make all the loops approximately the same length; the length of the bookmark is ideal.

Take another length of any one of them, measuring it to four times the length of the loops. Leave one long end free, wind it around the loops about ten times as shown, each “round” abutting the one above.

Tie the two loose ends together with a double knot to secure. This is still your working thread.

Taking a large-eyed needle, thread the longest end of your working thread and take it through the “rounds,” and then through the loop where the pencil is, two or three times.  You can now remove the pencil and loop the thread around your top loops. Hold the area flat with your fingers while you do this to make it easier.

Use the rest of the thread in the needle to attach tassel to centre top of the bookmark using three or four stitches through top loop/bookmark, taking the final thread back through the tassel and down.

Cut loops and level ends.

Visit Christine's blog for more information:

Home - Articles  - Readers' Showcase  - Novices - Search-

Copyright © 2002 - 2011, All Rights Reserved
Editor: Published by: Pretty Impressive Stuff