Monday, November 9, 2015

Time for Some Slow Stitching

I've been building pretty good size quilt tops of late. Yesterday I felt the need of something smaller, more intimate. Didn't have it in me to begin a brand new project so after some rummaging around I came up with a needlebook cover I'd started many months ago: 

This was what the front looked like when I abandoned it. The first thing I did yesterday was to remove about 50% of the embellishments. I changed out the yellow flower beads for purple ones and did some lazy daisy stitches down either side of that panel in perle cotton (size 5 I think).

The stitches are a bit dorky looking to me but I pressed on, inspired by this bit of metal I found in a local bead shop recently.

This is how the whole cover looks today:

I used seed stitches in a variegated embroidery floss in that central panel. That's where the cover will fold so I wanted to avoid three dimensional embellishments in that area. 

Here's a closer look at the upper left corner:

The owl and the branch on which he's sitting are two separate bits of brass. There are still two rather large areas I have to figure out how to decorate but I'm pleased to have made this much progress, especially when this project stalled so early in the process originally. 

For those who are new to The Magpie's Nest, this is the first needlebook I made, the one in which I keep my hand sewing needles:

It's made of printed corduroy scraps. I wanted one that was a little less bulky and maybe more summer-like in color. Now I'm not sure I'll be keeping this one for myself. I hesitate to put a spider web and resident on a piece when someone else might be creeped out by it!


  1. Gotta love that 'embrace imperfection'! The perfect motto.
    Your needlebooks are wonderful. (And spiders aren't creepy! Spiders eat the bugs I don't like!)

  2. Sometimes a tiny project is refreshing after the big stuff! This is seriously pretty, and I do prefer it in its new form. How about some butterflies instead of spiders? Nothing to creep anyone out there, and a chance to do some pretty embroidery.

  3. I love what you have done on this current needle book uses my favorite colors and a small hand sewing project is such a refreshing change of pace. thank you for reminding me of the joy in working on smaller projects. Cher at

  4. Little handwork projects are a great change of pace and your crazy patched needle case is lovely, I like your embellishments. Spiders are meant to be for good luck on cq so maybe a pretty web and a tiny occupant. I usually fill large areas with either a tree, sweeping branches and lots of leaves and tiny french or silk ribbon flowers, or a vine of some sort, with similar embellishments, and trailing across into other blocks, pulls the blocks together nicely and you can always hide a little spider in amongst the leaves. Don't forget to show us when it's finished :)

  5. A lovely fresh green - I like the touches of lilac on it. I can understand wanting to work on a small project after lots of big ones but I'm not too good about going back to things and re-doing them. I like spiders - I go to great lengths to remove them from the house without harming them - but my eldest daughter hates them and has been known to wake up her sister in the middle of the night to get rid of one for her.

  6. Both of them are beautiful. You've certainly beaded a lot! In my opinion, spider webs and spiders are endemic to crazy quilting. It's traditional to have them. Maybe a small web with no resident spider, if you are worried about that not being understood by the recipient?


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