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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Can You Help with Needlework Gift Ideas?


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I’ve gotten a few e-mails lately asking for gift recommendations for aunts, friends, moms, and so forth who like needlework, embroidery, cross stitch, needlepoint, and other needle ‘n thread type arts. I decided to compile a little list and ask readers to contribute their ideas – will you help me help the “clueless” who want to give the needleworkers in their lives the “perfect” Christmas present??!

Here are a few samples from e-mail inquiries. Some of them made me chuckle!

Hey, my mom likes stuff like you write about and she has two dogs and a cat. Can you give me any ideas for Christmas? Help!

Or this one:

I gotta get my sister something this year and she likes sewing. What should I get her? I’m clueless!

Some are rather generic, some are more specific:

What do you get someone who has everything for Christmas who likes hardanger embroidery and cross stitch embroidery?

But I like this one best – it’s sweet!

My aunt whose old has this sewing thing thats round and sits in front of her and she sews designs on it. It sticks out on a arm thing infront of her with cloth in it. She makes pretty things for presents for people and at church. I want to get her something nice for Christmas and that’s what she likes! Can you send me some ideas? I have $16, but I can spend a little more maybe if its a lot. My brother found your website on google for me. Thanks. (Signed by an 8-year old!)

I’ve been waiting for the Muse to strike before answering these questions and a couple more like them. But then I had a brilliant thought! If you read this website regularly, chances are you’re a needleworker, and if you’re a needleworker, you have some “favorite” toys, or you’ve probably run across little accessories and so forth that you’d like to have.

Would you please share some ideas? If I compile a list from your input, it will be much more interesting and diverse than one that I come up with on my own! Thanks!



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(14) Comments

  1. I remember you said something about thread winders a while back. The mother of pearl ones are pretty and would make a nice little gift or stocking stuffer.

    What about a gift certificate to a favorite needlework store?

  2. The obvious gift would be a gift certificate to a local shop where she/he can pick out supplies/patterns of their choice.

    For the financially challenged with some time on their hands – you could make a cd of all the different freebie patterns you can find – organized by technique (cross stitch/hardanger/blackwork….) and category (historical/whimsy/ sampler…).

  3. Really good, cute embroidery scissors. I love my stork scissors.

    An antique needle case.

    Colorful magnifiying eyeglasses.

    A small gift bag full of all different colors of DMC embroidery floss, including some of the variegated and other specialty ones.

    A small cross-stitch kit, perhaps a Christmas design with the fittings to make an ornament out of the finished piece.

    A set of eight placemat-sized pieces of Aida.

  4. I think that I would like to make a Sampler with various techniques
    Lace, cutwork type old and antique with cross stitch, hardanguer.
    A design with a little snow-houses, some lady, tree .. on linen fabric, count 32, in soft colors …
    Some ideas for my dear friend Mary
    A big kiss

  5. This is a link to a place that my daughter and I always visit while on vacation in the lakes region of New Hampshire every summer.


    It’s a great place to get new ideas and poke around for that perfect little new gadget for the needle artist.

    A gift certificate to Keepsake Needlearts would make a nice gift.

  6. I agree with combo gifts, like a selection of threads. Gift certificates are always nice to receive and easy to give.

    A friend of mine gave me a wooden holder for scraps of threads, called a soldier’s friend as a gift. It has a place in the core to store needles. This might make a good special gift!


  7. Not on Christmas ….

    If you google eowynsartifacts
    you’ll find another calligrapher/illuminator/embroiderer.

    He/She is working on a big shield with dragon heads with satin stitch etc, atm.

  8. That keepsakeneedlearts site that Mary Grace recommended is great!

    I *need* the magnetic frog pin keep and most of the celtic designs.

    Useful for you in that it has a whole section of gift ideas. Maybe a bit expensive for your 8 year old applicant tho. 🙂

  9. If any one needs more hip or non-traditional patterns for the younger generation of stitchers out there, sublimestitching.com has some really great ones.

    Also lacetales.com has some really cute vintage and vintage inspired patterns…
    I just finished one with a cat washing birds in a washtub and hanging them out on a line to dry! It’s supposed to be sweet, but I thought it was hilariously gruesome!

  10. Thank you for the link to keepsakeneedlearts. What an awesome site. Lots of toys there!

    Here a few things off the top of my mind that your young writer might consider:

    scissors case

    needle case (I saw some small wooden ones that can be decorated)

    embroidery scissors (you can never have too many scissors can you?)

    A necklace, chain, or leash for attaching scissors and needle cases.

    an assortment of floss from Weeks Dye Works

    That’s a few things from my wish list.


  11. Something old is always nice for needleworkers. Visit antique stores or holiday craft fairs to pick up really luscious and rare items

  12. Thanks, all, for the really good ideas!! They’re brilliant!

    I’ve responded to the queries I’ve received and referred them here for ideas, as well as sending some links to shopping places and some ideas for “local” shops where gifts could be found. They’re very appreciative of the input!

    Keep the ideas coming!

  13. I highly recommend eBay for unusual vintage items stitchers might enjoy. Search in “vintage sewing” and be amazed at the variety! Old cardboard needlecases, complete with all usable needles and wonderful graphics are very reasonably priced and make lovely gifts. Charming emery strawberries and pincushions galore can be had for very little cash if you look.

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