A Needle Case for your needle packets

Who doesn’t need a special something to hold their needle packets?  Since I use a lot of different types of needles in my embroidery, I like to keep them in their packets.  I’ve made a needle case to organize my packets that will help me find the needles I need easily.

To make the needle case, you’ll need:

  • your finished embroidery, 12 inches long by 6 inches wide
  • light weight cotton for the lining, 27 inches long by 6 inches wide
  • #12 perle cotton
  • a small length of ribbon
  • 2 pieces of skirtex or light weight cardboard, 5-1/2 inches by 5 inches each
  • a hot iron

I stitched a stumpwork design for my needle case but the finishing instructions will work for surface and counted embroidery, including cross stitch and crazy quilting. 

Click here for the needle case instructions (pdf)

I hope you will enjoy making your own needle case and will find this tutorial useful.  If you have any questions or need clarification on any of the steps, leave a comment here and I will try to answer in this section for everyone’s benefit.

Stawberry fob finishing

Summer Quaker Strawberry for Amy in SC
Hello all,

I’m running a bit late this month but have finally cobbled together some photos and text for Strawberry fob finishing.

First gather your equipment…

first gather your equipment
For this project you will need:

  • Stitched project – some suggestions: Prairie Schooler chart 100 – American Strawberries & chart 101- Prairie Strawberries (used for this tutorial), Anita’s little Stitches designs, Blackbird Designs – there is a strawberry fob in the Secret Garden pattern (OOP) from the Loose Feathers series of 2006 and a Blackbird Designs also designed a fabulous quaker strawberry for the 2006 Annual Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments issue (I’m sure this one is still available).
  • Interfacing
  • Ribbon, felt
  • Stuffing
  • Scissors, needle, thread, pins.
  • Iron

And you can see in this photo, I also made sure I had a cup of tea to work with.
Iron on the interfacing on the reverse side of your stitching
Take your stitched piece and iron a piece of interfacing to the reverse of the stitching.
pin the template on and cut around
Make a semi-circle template, pin to the stitching and cut around. You can see I have mucked up centering this up with the “quiltish” strawberry above – this is not really a problem for this finishing technique.
fold and finger press the straight seam
Next, finger-press a small seam along the straight edge. Make this seam as close to the stitching as possible.
use a ladder stitch to join the straight seams
Fold the semi-circle to form a cone (see above). Stitch the straight seams together. I like to use a ladder stitch to do this, but you can use a sewing machine if you wish (I find it is easier to do this by hand).

you might be able to make out the ladder stitch from this photo
I kinda hoped you’d be able to see the ladder stitch in this photo. If you pull it nice and tight it disappears into the seam. I’m pretty pleased with the join for this strawberry.

run a gathering stitch around the edge of the cone shape
If you used the ladder stitch to join the seam, secure the thread and then run a gathering stitch around the top of the cone around 1/2 an inch from the top.

add stuffing and pull the running stitch gather.
Draw the gathers together a little and stuff your strawberry – I’ve used hobbyfill.

gathering the top of the strawberry
Draw the gathers tighter and run a few stitches across the “opening” and pull these tight to secure your thread. You can insert a hanger at this point if you wish, stitch through it as you secure your thread.

Top of the strawberry with felt cap in place, tacked down.

For my first strawberry, I’ve attached a felt cap. I cut the felt out using the template in the pattern (Prairie Schooler pattern 101: Prairie Strawberries) and tacked it to the strawberry.

sewind down the felt cap

Next, I stitched around the felt using a buttonhole stitch – making sure I caught the linen beneath. Then I attached the second felt star (template from the prairie schooler pattern) using buttonhole stitch.

felt wool cap all complete

Attach a hanger to the top. I made a loop of ribbon and secured with tiny tacking stitches and slipped a bead over the ribbon to hide the stitches.

Another pretty way to finish the strawberry is to tie ribbons around the hanger – I learned this technique from Janie Hubble from The Cat’s Whiskers Design Studio at a class last year.

attaching hanger and first ribbon bow for a ribbon capped strawberry
Here’s the other design I stitched from Prairie Strawberries by Prairie Schooler. You can see in the photo I have gathered the top and inserted the hanger. I’ve cut a length of ribbon and tied it in a bow around the hanger. Just keep tying bows around the hanger – pushing them down towards the strawberry. Have them facing in different directions.

ribbon cap all done

When you are satisfied with the ribbons, trim the ends and you are done.

The completed strawberries out in my little garden

Here are the two finished strawberries. I love them! – So cute!
I hope you will enjoy making your own strawberries too and will find this tutorial useful.

August FAL theme

The first theme for our new FAL themed months is stitching accessories!

This month’s class is a pinkeep, so we’ve decided to tie the theme in with the class, so that people who want to do the class will have a chance to participate. However, we’ve decided to expand the theme to include all types of stitching accessories, such as scissor fobs, biscornu, needlecases, scissor cases, pincushions, tape measure covers and needlerolls, so there are plenty of finishing choices.

I’ll post some tutorial links and pictures of finished accessories to (hopefully) give you some inspiration in separate posts below.

Happy finishing!

August FAL – stitching accessories tutorials

If you’ve never attempted any of these types of finishes before, here’s some tutorial links to get you started. I’ve pulled out the most basic, straightforward tutorials with beginners in mind but there are many others on the tutorial links page:

  • Biscornu here – very clear instructions with loads of pictures
  • Mattress pincushions here – in French but with loads of pictures. I used this one for my first mattress pincushion and found it easy to do from just the pictures.
  • Needlecases here and a slightly different style here
  • Needlerolls here – nice, clear tutorial with good explanations and pictures
  • Scissor fob here
  • Scissor case here – in French with lots of pictures and scissor pocket here (Becky will be doing a class on this one at a later date too, which will have more step-by-step photos if you want to wait for that)
  • Tape measure cover here – in Japanese with lots of pictures. I’ve used this one myself and found it very clear and easy to use

August FAL – inspiration!

Looking for inspiration for this month’s theme?

Try The World’s Largest Collection of Smalls blog as a starting point for loads of pictures of stitching accessories, which are all grouped by category. Check out everyone’s gorgeous scissor fobs, needlecases, pincushions, needlerolls, pinkeeps, biscornu, scissor pockets, and tape measure covers, along with all the other beautiful finishes

Think outside the box: for example, mini biscornu make wonderful scissor fobs, like this cute patriotic fob by Linda in Iceland:

and these 3 colourful fobs by Melanie in Australia:


Or why not try out a strawberry fob, like this one by Blackbird Designs in last year’s JCS ornament issue, beautifully stitched and finished by Cathymk:

More thinking outside the box; needlerolls don’t necessarily have to be vertical designs – here’s one I made using a horizontal design, which I adapted slightly (Homeward at Last by JBW Designs):


and if you don’t fancy the idea of hemstitching the ends, just use banding, like this one stitched by AnneS:


If you’ve got plenty of time on your hands, why not create a matching set of accessories, like this beautiful set of LHN designs stitched by Becky:

or these fabulous Quaker accessories stitched by Nicki?


I couldn’t find a tutorial for a needleminder, but the basic idea is quite straightforward. Michelle has made a couple of beautiful needleminders recently (I’m totally drooling over the Quaker one):




Sarah Moon (top) and Flower of Courage needleminders, stitched by Michelle (Cozyegg)

The instructions she used came with a kit but think metal ornament finishing forms, magnets (inside and out) and any kind of trim for the edging and it’s not too hard to work out how to create your own. Or you could try a basic pincushion or fob with magnets inside to hold your needles or pick up dropped pins, like these great examples by Barbara:


and Lelia:

And finally, if you’re up for a challenge and want to try something completely different, what about a chatelaine to hold stitching tools? Here’s an example of one designed by Guilia Punti Antichi:


and a gorgeous one created to her own design by Helen:


So what are you waiting for? Drag out your stitched pieces and your finishing supplies and get finishing! And don’t forget to post your finishes to the blog so we can all admire them. If you’ve not already signed up to post on here you’ll need a WordPress account (free, no need to create a blog) and then you’ll need to email me to add you as an author so you can post. It’s quick and painless (honest!)

Have fun!