Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Free Embroidered Etui Pattern (Needle Book)


Amazon Books

An “etui” is a small ornamented case that is used to hold needlework tools (needles, scissors, etc.) The name comes from the old French estui, meaning prison. Etuis come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, renditions… some are shaped like boxes, some are simple needlebooks with slots for scissors and maybe a little pocket for threads.

I stumbled upon a website called Giulia Punti Antichi, which is home to an Italian family who work together in the embroidery design business. Giulia has some beautiful stuff on her website! Much of it is counted thread techniques. She’s designed some beautiful biscornu patterns, and some really lovely “etui” type projects.

Giulia also features some free patterns on her website. The one that caught my eye was the Assisi Swan etui.

Assisi Swan Etui Pattern in PDF

The Assisi Swan Etui from Giulia Punti Antichi (update: 2021, the link is no longer working – no indication where this resource can be found) is a pretty little Assisi work pattern for a book that holds needles and scissors. The design is in PDF format. The pattern is free and it includes finishing instructions.

Take a look around Giulia Punti Antichi – it’s really a neat site full of all kinds of inspiring ideas! As a designer, her kits are for sale through different European retailers (I didn’t see evidence of their being available in the States?), and in each kit’s description, she indicates the retailer who sells it.

One other interesting note about her designs and her kit descriptions: she goes into detail about the things that inspire her in creating her designs – which is nice! You get a sense of the area of Italy she’s from (Tuscany) and its beauties.

Keep in mind when looking at European embroidery retailers: the Euro is strong against the dollar. Right now, it costs us more than $1.40 to “purchase” one euro. And then there’s shipping! So it may be better to find out if she has a distributor in the States… (I didn’t find one! If you do, let us know!)


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(6) Comments

  1. Thanks for your delightful article concerning my designs and my web site. Please be aware that we have a distributor in USA and we price our designs in Euro = USD when they “leave Europe”, in order to keep the price low and cover shipping charges and Custom duties. In our “where to buy” page there is a list of shops in USA, Canada and Uk, plus Australia.
    We decided to act in this way to help stitchers who are rightly scared about the Euro currency.
    Thanks again for your exquisite comments. I am very touched….
    Giulia Manfredini
    Giulia Punti Antichi

  2. Ah, thank you, Giulia – I will add that to my “embroidery resources” – your designs are really lovely! My favorite is the Shaker box.

    I have a niece living in Naples presently – I told her to Go To Tuscany at her first opportunity, and I’m sure she will. It’s a beautiful area of Italy, and you capture very nicely in your desciptions of your designs.

    Thanks for the information on suppliers in the US!


  3. Mary, Stitching Bibs and Bobs, an online store, sells GPA designs and the prices are very good!! Beside, Giulia is my friend , I love her designs and have almost all of them 🙂

    Happy Stitching day!!

  4. Thanks, mayte! Stitching Bits and Bobs is a neat site with all kinds of embroidery goods available – to find Giulia’s designs, I went to “search” and typed in Giulia – and sure enough! They all came up!

    Thanks again for the resource!


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