It’s that time of year again when gift suggestions for embroiderers might come in handy for those of you who are looking for … well, gift suggestions for embroiderers. One fun thing about needlework as a hobby is that you can accessorize, and golly, today, there are lots of options for needlework accessories. There are storage options, organizational options, materials options, and – my favorite – tools options. I have some “accessorized” tools that I’d like to show you, and that you might find to be fun gifts for avid stitchers.
Now, by “accessorized” embroidery tools, I’m talking about those kinds of tools that serve a utilitarian purpose while at the same time being unique, attractive, or just fun. Can you embroider without these tools? Certainly. Can you enjoy your needlework with out them? Of course! But are they nice to have? Definitely! “Accessorized” needlework tools are for the embroiderer who has the basics but is avid enough about stitching to go beyond the basics in outfitting a work basket.
Dazzling Ornaments is a small individually-owned business that specializes in tools and accessories for the stitcher, and having had the opportunity to look at some of these accessories up-close, I think they would make great gifts for the stitchers in your life (or for you, if you don’t have any other stitchers around!). They’d make great little additions to guild ornament swaps or holiday gift swaps, and they’d be perfect as stocking stuffers.
The tools I’ve seen up close are the scissor fob sets (with the “Little Helper” tool string) and the laying tools.
The scissor fob set includes a scissor fob and a little tool chain. The tool chain includes two different needle threaders, a tapestry needle strung on the end (perfect for moving thread aside, counting beads or threads, etc.), and a small, very strong magnet on the end, to mount needles on while stitching, or to mount to your own needle-minder – or to help you find needles (it found one on my living room carpet!)
There’s a hook (like a French wire earing hook) on one end of the chain, too. The hook is perfect for hanging the tool string on canvas, as it loops easily over stretched canvas so that you can have the string right on hand. Even on linen, though, I can hang it right on the edge of my work, by catching the hook in the edge of my fabric. That way, when I need a tool like a needle threader, it’s right there, within easy reach.
The scissor fob itself has a metallic elastic loop on one end for attaching your scissors. The elastic loop was developed in answer to lobster claw hooks that can scratch the finish on the handles of fine scissors.
On the other end, the fob has three little off-shoots, where you can connect more tools if you want, or you can use one of them to attach your scissor fob to a chatelain, which are also offered at Dazzling Ornaments. The chatelains, in fact, are quite beautiful. I’ve never used one, but these are created for the modern needleworker – they don’t attach to your clothes as they used to in the past. Instead, they hang around the neck, so you can keep your tools right with you while stitching. This is a great concept, I think, for the traveling stitcher – in the car, or on the plane (depending on the tool), or even when you go to needlework gatherings where you’re working in a group – a great way to keep your tools handy, without having to lay them down and risk losing them.
Dazzling Ornaments also makes laying tools. These tools are carved from either bone or wood, and then finished with layers of acrylic, then polished and buffed to get the smooth surface necessary for the laying tool. The top of each tool is finished with a bead display. They have a whole line of different laying tools, each one unique.
With the tool I handled, I liked the overall feel of it, and the ornamental top was firmly attached. The only thing I would be sort of wary about was the glitter finish. There were a couple tiny spots towards the top where I could feel the glitter through the clear acrylic outer layer…. and, if I were working with flat silk, that could be disastrous. With regular stranded thread, though, it didn’t pose a problem. If you work with flat silk, you could forego the glitter finish for one of the other finishes. If you don’t work with flat silk, I don’t think any slight (very minor) imperfections in this area would cause any difficulties.
The laying tools are actually a wonder. I was perusing the Dazzling Ornaments blog, and I thought the color selections were amazing and the amount of work that goes into creating the tools is really quite incredible!
I think the concept behind this company is really neat! For the stitcher who has everything, these types of tools are a fun addition to the work basket. They may not be used all the time, but at stitch outings and so forth, it’s nice to have a tool display that is unique. Plus, I like the idea of supporting small businesses that make unique tools for the stitcher.
So if you’ve got stitchers on your gift-giving list this year, do take a look at the Dazzling Ornaments website to see what unique accessorized tools are available!