Simple Needlebook

I was inspired to make a simple needlebook today – I’ve been needing one for a while, I keep my needles in a fancy Kauri wood toothpick holder but I’ve been thinking of upgrading.

Needlebook2

Now I would have loved to do the apple or owl style that’s out there (and I will, the minute I have a spare dollar for some red and brown felt), but I was compelled to use what was in my Tardis Craft Cupboard.

So I raided my shoebox of fabric scraps, the bag of embroidery threads, the tub of ribbons. It’s not fancy, but it’s a simple needlebook with one purpose: needle storage.

While I was getting all the gear together, I made a fascinating, if slightly belated discovery… the bag of embroidery threads that I’ll be using from now until doomsday – a hand-me-down from a co-worker’s husband who found it somewhere else – contained some beige floss, wrapped around a paper tube.

I’ve never paid it any mind until today when I caught a glimpse of a red postal stamp. I took the thread off and discovered it was an envelope from Sydney Trades Hall sent to its recipients on 19 April 1945! I don’t know if that means all the thread is nearly 70 years old (holy moly!) or just the one on the envelope.

Discovery

Back to the needlebook. Here’s what I had available, hot pink flannel, grey linen (from a  separate hand-me-down bag of fabric), some pink & orange cotton fabric that I loved when I bought it but only had two 3″ squares left, and some orange floss from the bag of oldies but goodies.

NeedleBook1

What I used:

  1. Pinking shears
  2. Two rectangles of fabric – one linen, one felty
  3. Smaller rectangles of felt for the ‘needle’ pages within
  4. Embroidery floss and regular cotton thread
  5. Applique paper

What I did:

I cut the rectangles out the same size for the outer and inner ‘needlebook’ cover.

Using estimates of where the hem would be, I folded the rectangle in half and sewed the embellishments on the ‘front’ first. I appliqued a heart and square. A running stitch around the square and a chain stitch on the heart.

Putting the big rectangles right sides facing, I sewed them together. I left a an opening so I could put the material the right way round. I used a running stitch to close the gap and around the edge of the whole book, because I liked the orange on the hot-pink.

A quick running stitch to attach the ‘needle’ pages to the book and it looks great in contrasting colour thread on the spine of the ‘book’.

Voila. A home for my two dozen needles!

Dream Catch Me

DreamcatcherAnyone who knows me in the real, knows that  I’ve read the Lucy Maud Montgomery Anne of Green Gables books ad nauseam. From the age of 11 or 12, I ‘ve read them at least once a year. Never gets old. Don’t know how the author did it. I guess, it’s because when you read as a kid, you hear a different story to the one you hear at 22 or 32. Anyway. The connection today is Anne’s House of Dreams. I’ll get there, I promise.

I saw, on Pinterest, a pretty picture of a hoop looped with yarn catching a heart in the centre, and when I read the comments, I saw that it was a dreamcatcher in progress.

It looked a little different to the Dreamcatchers of mine and my brother’s youth, but it made me look up dreamcatchers on the internet.

I found this gorgeous website explaining how to make them. I like their notions: the first one is never perfect; place a bead in the third or fourth round to represent the spider of the web – perfect for this time of year, Autumn with all the spiders busy making their webs. And my favourite part: the dreams you want to catch are decided when you make it.

 

DreamCatcherDIY

So as I made mine – a prototype I think, there will be more I’m sure (watch out for your Christmas gifts guys!) – I thought what dreams I wanted this one to catch and I decided, it’s a this house dreamcatcher.

The same website has a lovely couple of paragraphs on the origins of these and I love that children’s dreamcatchers are different from adults and are expected not to last: As our dreams change throughout our lives, so should the webs we weave.

This was a quick naptime project. Completed in way less than an hour!

Dreamcatcher2

I used an embroidery hoop, embroidery floss, three feathers pinched from my Valentines Wreath (it’s looking ever so bald now!), and four beads from a Christmas decoration. I know, Little Miss Pinch-It. I’ve hooked it on the door of Marshmallow’s bedroom for now until it finds a real home. I hope it catches his dreams (he’s still asleep!)

What my daydream is that one day he and I will get to make a Hula-Hoop-sized Dreamcatcher together. Watch this space!