needlework essentials :: the wrap-up

needlework essentials series wrap up


Wow – part FIVE of this series, marking a whole month of needlework posts! As you can probably tell, I am just having a wee bit of fun getting addicted to needlework again. It is just the right kind of project for the season my life is in at the minute, where crafting needs to take a backseat to busy mamahood. But I’ve also had a great deal of fun using it as an inspiration and an excuse for other, tangentially related crafts. My actual stitching hasn’t really progressed much lately – my nightly downtime has been taken up winding my floss onto bobbins. Last week a parcel arrived, bearing my new floss box, as I couldn’t get the variety I wanted locally (thanks again, personal shopper AJ!), and it was quite the job to wind 50+ skeins of embroidery floss onto bobbins. Now it’s done though, it looks fabulous and makes my little OCD crafter heart sing to see all my pretty floss lined up in order by colour and then by shade.


This is just my cross-stitch collection, I have quite a few still to wind that are hiding in with my other embroidery. I really love this way of storing the floss, and then as you can see, my current working flosses live on a book ring on my thread minder, so I don’t need to be in and out of the box constantly. Looking at that picture there, I think I still have a bit of fidgeting to get the order of colours just right, I can see a pinkish purple in amongst the cool purples, for instance, but that’s just me overthinking and being a fuss-pot. I’ve always sorted by colour, and so it makes me happy when I get it in an order that looks pleasing to me. Whilst I know Car sorts (or used to) by number – I nearly had a heart attack when she showed me a picture of her box with the colours all over the place. I did manage to convert her to the rainbow system, but then I see she’s mixed up her perle cottons and her stranded floss (I have seperate boxes for each). I’m starting to think she is a lost cause! But it did get me thinking about what other people do, after I just took it for granted that floss gets sorted by colour. What’s you favourite way to store your stitching supplies? By number or colour? By type? All in together? I also love this idea from Pinterest for storing floss, but it wouldn’t work in my light-filled studio, everything fades so quickly! Plus I don’t know how they would fare with dust? But it’s super cute!

Sitting there in the middle is a packet of needles that I’ve been very slack about and haven’t yet tucked away neatly in my needlebook – the one I am currently using was a gift from Bee a couple of quilt camps ago. I do have one that I made as well, in a more traditional book style, but I really love the circular design of this one, plus it’s always lovely having a handmade something from a friend to keep me company as I craft. I can also then keep just my embroidery needles in the one book, and my sharps and quilting needles in the other, just to make life a bit easier for myself. Not sure how to tell between types? Or what the different needles mean? This article is a good summary of different hand sewing needles.

So it’s been fun, exploring the little things I’ve made and now use to make my stitching easier/more enjoyable/just because if it’s worth doing, it’s worth over crafting. If you’ve missed the last couple of posts, here’s what I’ve been blogging about:

needlwork wrap

I made some cute little mixed media needle minders for myself and some friends.

Keeping the lounge thread-free is a bit easier with my thread catcher

Losing little pieces of plied floss is less likely with a Jane Austen themed thread minder

And I keep it all together when out and about, or travelling, with a pouch.


And since I’m gathering everything in one handy post, I wanted to include some other links I found around the place that might be of use.

Like this tutorial from The Crafty Mummy on starting your embroidery without a knot (this is how I do it and it makes the back of the work so much neater – it’ll also help it lay flat when framing), and if you are looking for a great pattern to get started with cross-stitch, check out her free pattern series of rainbow blocks, starting with block 1 here. have a STACK of tips and techniques, and step by step guides to various stitches, indexed here, and some more photo stitch guides at lefthandednotions here.

If you’d like to see what’s inspiring me in the way of embroidery, I pin all my stitching related stuff to this board.

What have I forgotten? Let me (and everyone else) know with a link in the comments if there is a fab tutorial we should know about.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this little series, it’s been a blast on my end! Today is also my last post until after Easter. I will be taking the next few days “off”, from blogging and social media, to celebrate the Easter season, and also enjoy some downtime with my family, so there will be no “this week” post on Sunday. My unplugged time will extend out to the remainder of the school holidays, so I have scheduled a couple of posts for next week, but the regular schedule is on hold until after school resumes. Have a fabulous Easter, a wonderful last week of holidays (or for my Queensland friends, a great first week back at school), and I will see you all after ANZAC Day.

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