My system for storing needles is efficient (lazy): I leave the needles in their original packaging until I need to use them, and keep all packages in a ziplock bag. Stylish? No. Easy? Yes.
However, I’ve seen some lovely needle books around the internets, and thought that might be a more elegant storage solution than the plastic bag. I have some nice, thick wool felt for the inner pages, and I’m going to challenge my meager hand-sewing skills by adding pockets for scissors and notions.
I vacillated over the cover. I drew up two that I liked: a tree of life motif, and a carnation design. Carnations are not my favorite flower in real life (ex-florist snobbery showing itself, I’m afraid) but I love the somewhat stylized abstraction of carnations that show up in embroidery, as per this example:
I’ve drawn the design onto some mystery fabric. I don’t think it’s linen, because the weave is extremely even. I backed the design with fusible interfacing (a first for me! I feel that I should have gone with a heavier interfacing, but the felt I’m going to sew to it is fairly sturdy in and of itself, so it will give it some firmness and bulk) and backed it all over with a piece of muslin. Now it’s mounted and ready to go:
I like the restrained palette of the Elizabethan piece above, although I’m not going to make my carnations beige. The blues, however, are appealing.
I’ve already learned something for next time: Even though my intention is to embroider over the “outside” lines, it would have been cleverer not to draw them in. It very much looked like I was drawing over one line of weave when I had the fabric on my light box, but actually, the line wobbles a bit. Next time, I will mark the intersections with pins and baste across later.