June 2, 2013

Sorting out the needles

Once upon a time ... I used to grab whatever needle was sticking out of my pincushion when I wanted to do some stitching. Sometimes it might be too thick or too thin and I would search for another more suitable one, but generally whatever was on hand would do the job.

Eventually it dawned on me that needles are really tools and just as tools are designed for a specific purpose, so needles come in different shapes which makes them suitable for a particular type of stitching. So I bought packets of the various types of needles, used them for the purpose for which they were designed and put the needles in whatever pretty little needlecase was on hand.  Eventually I had a needlecase full of different types of needles, all used for their specific purpose.  Only problem was, next time I needed a needle, I didn't have a clue which one was which!

The solution was to design a needlecase that wasn't for needles as such, but for packets of needles.

I've probably had enough experience now working with all the different types of needles that I could work out fairly quickly their sizes and shapes, but it's much easier to keep them in their separate packets, so that is what I do.  The design has six pockets and I find that number is sufficient for my choice of needles.  I tend to use four different types - Crewel/Embroidery, Betweens/Quilting, Milliner/Straw, and Chenille which leaves a couple of spare pockets for the extra crewel sizes I use. 

My "Butterfly and Roses" needlecase is a different version of the needle packet design, this one with silk ribbon embroidery and plenty of my favourite grub roses:

Butterflies on the pockets:

There are three different types of needles used here: Milliner/Straw for the grub roses, Chenille for the silk ribbon and two sizes of crewel needles for the embroidery.

The pattern is now available for purchase here or if you prefer instant download, you can go to my Craftsy store here.

I have also now put last year's Block of the Month Quilt into one pattern. "Thoughts in Thread" can be found on my wall-quilt page or over at the Craftsy store.

Apart from preparing the patterns for sale, procrastination seems to be the name of the game that I've been playing lately. The thought of getting a rotary cutter and cutting board out of the cupboard hasn't excited me at all!  I've had a table runner hanging in my sewing room waiting to be quilted and another project that only needs two lines of quilting and they have both been sitting there waiting for more than a week!  Well, I ALWAYS put off quilting things by machine, so that's nothing new!  I have just felt like curling up in my recliner and doing hand-embroidery.  At least I have completed an embroidered cushion cover top. I'll blame the cooler weather for the negative effects it has on my life!  This week the machine will need to get into action to meet the deadlines, so I will have to break my "Go Slow" strike!

One thing that did excite me this week was to receive my copy of Australian Craft & Decorating magazine, Vol 24 No 2. I was quite delighted with how they put the profile article together:

It really was a good week - we caught up with two of our daughters-in-law and two grandsons and had a meal together.  Mind you, I should not have indulged in the chocolate mud cake! I'll blame the need for comfort food on the cool weather too!

Happy stitching!


Sharon said...

What a clever idea Val... I have just spent the best part of an hour looking for one of my needles.. :( I think it must be 'on the run' so to speak...

Susan In Texas said...

Val, your needle case is just darling! Another beautiful design. :)

Happy stitching,
Susan in Texas

Susan said...

Just love your work.

Linda Crosby said...

Great idea for all those nasty little needles that just seem to disappear when I need them. Well done!!

Marie said...

Bonjour Val,
Voila exactement mon probleme,je ne trouve pas la place qu'il faut pour ranger mes cartonnettes d'aiguilles
je préfere les laisser dans l'étuit!
Une belle pochette ,en plus joliment brodé car elle est admirable!
c'est une superbe idée!!!
Amitiée et bonne semaine

Ondrea said...

Val, the needle packets keeper is a fantastic idea! Have you looked in your pincushion lately? I found over 30 needles in a large pincushion a few months ago!!!

I am sorry to hear that you are a bit out of sorts with the weather but I think we all experience it. Have you tried using some pure essential oils such as geranium in an oil burner to lift your spirits? I put a drop in pincushions when I make them for pressies. Angel hugs.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of the needle packet case. Not only is it practical, but you've designed something truly beautiful.