Category Archives: Stitching

Americana Beaded Needle Case EGA Project

Last night I attended the first Embroiderer’s Guild of America meeting of the new year. With the new year, a few newly elected officers began their duties. One of the new officers is my friend Liz, who is in charge of Programs this year. As Program Director, Liz plans and conducts, you guessed it, a program for each meeting. Sandie was Program Director for the past three years, and she suggested that Liz take over the position in 2010. Liz started working with Sandie and began planning the 2010 projects towards the end of last year.

Last night Liz taught us how to make a beaded needle case. Basically, it is a small wooden needle case, about 2.5-inches high by 0.5-inches wide, that is covered with tubular peyote stitch beadwork. Liz designed a red, white, blue, and gold pattern that she named Americana. She wrote a wonderful set of detailed instructions with lots of diagrams showing how to do the peyote stitches and a color pattern illustrating the design.

The hardest part of the project is getting started. To get started, you string on the beads for the first two rows and then hold it around the needle case to test the size. It turns out that wooden needle cases vary in size. The size variation isn’t really noticeable when you look at them, which is fine if you are going to paint it or decorate it in some other manner, but when you are doing a beaded cover for the needle case, size matters. The cover needs to be just right; not too big and not too small. You can compensate for some size variations—if the wooden case is too big you can sand it down with #60 sandpaper, and if it’s too small, wrap the needle case with clear vinyl to increase the diameter a bit.

My wooden needle case was too big, as were many of them, so I had to sand mine down to size. It was about 3 beads (size 11 delicas) too wide. After I finished sanding, I started beading and managed to complete seven rows! After about the fourth row, I was beginning to get the rhythm of the peyote stitch and move along a little faster. Liz helped me with the tension on the initial rows, which formed a better base moving forward through the pattern. Next month, Liz will show us how to bead and attach the round top and bottom pieces of the needle case.

beads and wooden needle cases

delica beads and wooden needle cases

seven rows done

Seven rows completed

Here’s a link to an excellent video by Beth Murr of Until We Bead Again that shows how to do tubular peyote around a needlecase:

And here’s a link to Beth’s video that shows how to make and attach the circular piece at the top of the neeedlecase:

Beautiful Tatting From Val

Beautiful tatting from Valerie

My friend Val tatted this beautiful piece and gave it to me for my birthday. Isn’t it gorgeous? I love it! She put it into the plastic pouch of a little purse-sized notebook. I could add the tatted piece as an embellishment to an embroidery, but for now I’m going to leave it in the notebook and think of Val every time I open it to jot down some notes or make a list.

Not only did she give me this lovely gift, she wrapped it in birthday paper instead of Christmas paper, bringing to mind memories of my dear Mother making sure all my birthday gifts came wrapped appropriately for my birthday at Christmas time.

Ornament Exchange

Last night I attended the second annual Christmas ornament exchange with several of my friends. We had such fun exchanging stitched ornaments in 2008 that we decided to do it again for 2009. And after seeing how happy everyone was tonight, I’m pretty sure we’re going to exchange ornaments again next year. It’s not a random exchange, we draw names at the beginning of the year. Then. during the year, we stitch in secret (okay, some of us, and I’m not naming names here, stitched out in the open, with the intended recipient none the wiser), doing our best to make a gift our exchange partner will love.

Look at the ornament I received from my wonderful friend Val! Isn’t it beautiful? I love it! A precious little angel stitched on linen in my favorite color (it’s green for those whose monitors need a color adjustment). Plus, the ornament is made into a little bag that Val filled with Christmas candy corn because she knows candy corn is a favorite of mine. And the gift packaging was amazing too. Val put it into a big box with a bar across the top and tied the candy-filled ornament to it so it looked like it was hanging off a tree branch, while gently cradled in tissue paper snow.

ornament from val - front

The beautiful ornament I received from Val

ornament from Val - back

Back of ornament from Val

My exchange partner was my dear friend Sue. For her, I stitched the Prairie Schooler 2004 Santa, and changed the message from “Merry Christmas” to “Don’t Stop Believin'” because she is the #1 fan of the band Journey. Get the double entendre? Journey song and believe in Santa forever? Sue liked it, and I am so happy. This was the first piece I finished in the flat padded style. My friend Liz helped me make the twisted cording for it a couple of nights ago at our EGA meeting—right in front of Sue! LOL.

Don't Stop Believin'

2004 Prairie Schooler Santa for Sue