Friday, May 28, 2010


Years ago I started collecting Vintage Needle books. They are beautiful, full of history, fairly inexpensive and I find them very facinating. Most the needle books that you may find in antique shops follow a common theme of women sewing, often times with their children. 

These vintage needle books contained only needles and some of them a tiny needle threader.
Very few are dated, and most were produced from the 1920's thru the 1950's or so. Many were promotional giveaways and clearly made for advertising. A picture or a logo of a product are usually found on the cover and nothing on the cover indicates "needles".

I also enjoy handmade needle books. They are so quick and easy to make, and can be made in a endless variety of styles! 
This needle book was made by a dear friend of mine. She is a not only a dear friend, but a beautiful seamstress and quilter! She used the paper pieceing quilting technique to make this darling needle book.
This needle book was I project that I designed while taking a SAGA (Smocking Arts Guild of America) Coorespondence Course for the SAGA Artisan Program. 
Part of my lesson was to create a sampler of stitches that I had learned in the smocking course and use that sampler in a project. I created a window on the front of a needle book to insert my smocked sampler. The inside of the needle book contains several felt "pages" for placing needles of various sizes.
The other day I got an e-mail from a past customer, who used one of my past Southern Stitches design freebies and made this beautiful needle book! She asked if I still had the needle book available along with the lettering. I was pleased to tell her that I thought that I still had the instructions and download. I promised her that I would post it on my blog for a free download. 
You can download the FREE needle book instructions and machine embroidery design file HERE. Please note that the flower design on the front of the needle book shown above is a different design from what is in the zip-file. 
I also have two other alphabets that are free that you can use to design your own needle book HERE! If you want more of a selection of alphabets, I have quite a few to choose from on my Machine Embroideries 1 page.
I hope you enjoy the freebie and I would love to see and hear about needle books that you have made or collect!


Thistlerose said...

I love to collect old needlework items as well. And, I've made a few needlecases and can't tell you haw many more I have waiting to start.

I keep a large glass container in my sewing workshop that holds old knitting and crocet needles. As I use up old wooden thread spools, I toss them in there and now admit to adding new ones.
Old and new together, items of beginings and endings!

Stephanie in Fayetteville said...

TY, Laurie, for kindly taking the time to post your original needlecase project link from some years back. The woven rick rack trim accent on that is very nice.

As you know, that project of yours came to mind when I was deciding what type of needlecase I would make. I was thinking of many needle books and needle cases I have seen over time and then deciding what the version I did should look like.

You already know your lower case wording of "my needlecase" was a life saver! As I had mentioned to you previously, I did use capital letters M and N from an alphabet I bought years ago from Tina's Cross Stitch called the Sweet and Simple Alphabet.
I also need to thank Sonia Showalter, an artist and digitizer, for her Heirloom Roses design motif I used on the version of the needlecase in the photo you kindly posted.

Hopefully some of your other blog readers will write in about needlecases they have seen or made.

Thanks again for your needlecase inspiration!

Stephanie in NY

Jeannie B. said...

How very nice. I love seeing your collections!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Its been a bit since I have had a chance to stop by...What a great collection! How many needlebooks do you have?

I recently wrote about some unfinished quilts on my most recent post. I would love if you had some time to take a peek. :o) I looked at some Bernninas on Friday and would love to have one that embroiders for monogramming, but they are quite expensive.

Blessings & Aloha!

Julia said...

I have several old needle books, and I love them, too. The handmade ones are wonderful!

Through the Needle's Eye said...

Enjoyed your article on needle books. What a great way to capture a bit of the past through collecting these beautiful little giveaways from the past!


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