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07 June 2016

A Quick & Easy Project

If you follow me on Facebook, you saw my post last night, asking you to guess what was in the photo.  Today, I'm not only going to tell you what it is, but how to make it!

Most of the photos I share on Facebook are taken with my smartphone at my worktable, and I depend upon a wide variety of containers to keep my supplies organized.  My yarn is corralled in baskets, boxes, and canvas bins ....


... while miscellaneous supplies and works-in-progress are stored in my collection of Coy Huff baskets.


My tools are kept in all kinds of suitable (and unsuitable) vessels.  My double-pointed knitting needles, crochet hooks and scissors are in a unusual trio of ceramic pots.


 The one on the left is a piece of Japanese pottery I bought at an art fair, held at the Yuko-En Japanese Garden in Georgetown, Kentucky.  The one on the right is a little McCoy cream pitcher that I found in a flea market for $2.00.  The one in the center was made by my friend Susan Burge, who owns Elements Clay Studio LLC in Lawrenceburg.  Don't let the name fool you: Susan's studio also serves as a gallery for other artists.  By the way, she makes fantastic yarn bowls.  I gave my friend Anna one for Christmas many years ago.

I keep my straight pins in a sauce dish from my set of Chinese dishes, and my T-pins (and felt pens and gel pens) in a plain glass spice jar.


Whatever I'm working on at the moment finds a home in one of the $1.00 wire baskets I found at the Dollar Tree in Frankfort ...


... and the flowers, leaves, and snowflakes I make when I just want a quick, small project to keep my hands occupied are stored in a clear kitchen canister I found at Wal-Mart.


All of my organization has been working well, except when it comes to my sewing needles.  I have quite a variety:  cross-stitch, crewel, doll, embroidery, yarn, beading.  I could never find anything that was the right size to hold them all, yet didn't take up too much room on the table.



I ended up dropping them into an empty medicine bottle, which wasn't an optimal solution.  The doll and beading needles were much taller than the bottle, so it tipped over every time the table was bumped, or when I reached across to get something else.  After crawling around on the rug for the umpteenth time, collecting spilled needles, I decided to come up with a better solution.

Our foremothers believed that things should be not only useful, but also beautiful.  So I took a leaf from their book (pun intended!) and put together this sweet little needle book.


This is such a quick and easy project, especially if (like me) you have some stray leaves and flowers lying around.  But you could also use bits of lace, embroidery, beading, applique, etc.  Whatever embellishment takes your fancy would be just perfect, because this little beauty should make you happy when you look at it.




Before I share the instructions with you (as usual, I made them up as I went along), let me give credit where it's due.  The crocheted fern leaf and the violets are made from patterns by Lucy over at Attic 24.  The rolled rose is made from a pattern by Susan Pinner.  All of the yarn used in the embellishments and the blanket stitching is my old standby, Palette from Knit Picks. After checking local shops, chain stores, and my friend's quilt shop for 100% wool felt (without success), I finally found it on Etsy, sold by The Felt Pod.  The beads at the center of the violets are from Michael's.

Now, for the instructions!  I'm not a professional designer, so PLEASE comment below or email me at illbringthestring@gmail.com with any questions you have or errors you find.  One note -- you'll see that I haven't specified the size of the felt pieces.  That's entirely up to you.  The ones I used ended up being about 8" x 5" (20cm x 12.5cm).







The possibilities for this project are limited only by your imagination!  They make great treats for yourself, but also great gifts for crafty friends and family.  I don't do craft fairs and bazaars, but I'm willing to bet they'd go like hotcakes.  Feel free to use this pattern to make things for yourself, for gifts, for charity or for sale, and share this post with anyone you know who might like to make a little needlebook.

I'll be back later this week with project updates and farm news.  Let me know in the comments below if you like my little needlebook pattern! ;)

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