Tuesday, December 15, 2015

gift exchane needlebooks

I came up with the grand idea to do a gift exchange in my bee for Christmas.

Only a couple people wanted to do it but they are excellent sewists so I am excited to see what they made.
Previous years I suggested a notions exchange, a pin cushion exchange, a fabric exchange and others. This year I suggested a needle book. The top left is mine, the top right is Bern's and the bottom is the one I received, from Cindy.
 Here is a shot of them opened up. Look at Bern's with the place for thread, binding clips, little scissor holder. Cindy's is so detailed, and I love the needle threader pocket as well as reinforced felt pin area.
Look at the exquisite workmanship and beading...
I would have been happy with either case made by my sew sisters, but Cindy I just love this and all the time and design that went into it.
To me, it's  interesting how three people will approach a challenge differently and showcase their individual styles so strongly. Cindy plans a project, carefully does her very best work always, and does careful perfect stitches often by hand with special threads. Her bead work is perfectly aligned, the design is sweet and colorful and so well made.
Bern is a very accomplished quilt maker with a long arm quilting business. She is so friendly and open to trying new things as well as always there as a friend to contribute. She made a thoughtful case any sewer would love to own and keep with their travel supplies. She also chose happy fabric, quilted it with tiny  eyelet stitches, has an organized place for everything. She said the pattern was free online, but she made changes of course!

I jumped right in cutting fabric, then deciding what to put where! So typical of me. I love ArtFabric's hand dyed perle cotton thread so I started in with hand embroidery wherever it seems right. I folded and refolded, to place things. I found words on ribbons to attach the felt squares inside so a person sees "create, believe, imagine" while they stitch. I put a scrapbooking cardboard word on the back next to a wild bird to remind you to sing. I liked it so much I made one for me!

This one has an old shoelace handle because it's the perfect color! Mine has words I needed to see on it.

I make my art because I am driven to express myself that way. I share it with you as I believe the connections made between creative people spark all of us.
I am writing a pattern for it. Is anyone interested? I am considering paying it forward by making it a freebie....
I have appreciated all the free patterns online over the years, and this would be a way to pay back...


  1. Hi LeeAnna,
    They all look great! All the same thing, but personal and different in their own way! Enjoy!
    That's a sweet idea to share a pattern!
    Take care,

  2. So practical and fun needlebooks.

  3. Gosh, that'd be so super--I would definitely be interested--I use my one needlebook that I received in a swap two years ago all the time....hugs, Julierose (P.S. Is Cole ready for Santa???)

    1. well, he hasn't done one lick of shopping... guess he's ready to receive Santa if he can continue to be good that is. (he has been good lately)

  4. "LeAnna said, "I make my art because I am driven to express myself that way. I share it with you as I believe the connections made between creative people spark all of us" I for one could not have said it any better! And challenges, be it one word or a color or a song..... is showing each of us something .... and what comes out is so varied,creative and is a treasure of time well spent and shared!! sonja

  5. they are fabulous, specially the blue on is just great! we made needlebooks in school once, maaaany moons ago. the teacher wrote a letter to my parents: your daughter is not able to finish ONE needlebook within one year, so: F ... ugh...

  6. They're all lovely. It's always interesting to see how differently people will branch out from the same starting point.

  7. Neat little needle books. I use several for different projects or to store different needles in. I made some with silk ribbon flowers on the fronts and gave them as Christmas gifts to my small group. This year our guild exchanged mug rugs. We had two long tables of them turned in to exchange--all so different. I posted pics on the guild's blog for December... www.pinebeltquilters.com.

  8. They are really lovely! I find things like this make me so happy as I reach for them time and time again!

  9. Such a fun exchange. Looks like everyone was able to show their own personality and style.

  10. Your needle cases are so cute and have a personality all their own. Nice stitching.

  11. What a fun post! They are all so very beautiful and all with different personalities : )

  12. Thanks for showing us these lovely treasures!

  13. All three needle books are darling! What a fun exchange!

  14. Very cute. Of course, I'd love a free pattern for this. Thank you.