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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Resources For Some of those Must-Haves


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Lately, I’ve mentioned a couple useful needlework related items that are great accessories, and here are some resources for those…

The first is the Bohin ceramic pencil that is great for transferring embroidery designs by tracing. It provides a hard, fine line for transfers, which is removable by erasing or rinsing.

There are a variety of colors of ceramic chalk refils available, and the pencil comes with white ceramic chalk refils, suitable for transfering on dark and medium fabrics, as well as light fabrics that are shiny, such as silk. I’ve used the greenish-blue ceramic chalk on this project, and I’ve got the grey and yellow as well, though I haven’t used them yet.

When I wrote the first time about the Bohin pencil, I received many inquiries about where to find it, as well as some recommendations from readers about online shops that carry it.

Here’s a short list:

Country Traditions – this is an online quilting shop. The pencil is $12.95, and it comes with white ceramic chalk. They mention that other colors of the refil chalks are available. I suppose you need to inquire about them. I haven’t personally done business here, but it looks like a decent resource.

Berlin Embroidery – Tanja Berlin’s company, located in Canada, sells the pencil with a package of white and grey chalks, for $17.95 (Canadian). She recommends the use of the pencil with the prick-and-pounce method of design transfer. I’ve ordered often from Tanja Berlin – she’s an excellent resource.

At Ginger’s Needleworks and Quilting, you can find the colored refil leads, the eraser refils, and the original blue pencil. The pencil is $11.50, the ceramic lead refils are $5.79, and the eraser refils are $4.69. I haven’t shopped here, but it looks like a nice online resource.

The second nice accessory and organizational helpmate is the Mesh Zippered Project Bag that I featured in my May Give-Away. I’ve found these zippered bags to be very durable, they come in convenient sizes to house your projects (especially for on-the-go needlework), and they “breathe,” unlike plastic zip-locks. I like the zipper closure and the convenient sizes.

You can find these bags online now at Threads in Bloom, where Sharon carries four sizes:

12″ x 9″ – perfect for toting a whole project around, including 8.5 x 11″ instructional pages (I’m planning to separate my new Trish Burr kits into this sized bag, so I can transport them with me when I go on vacation this summer). I’ll even be able to fit the framed up fabric (on stretcher bars) in the bag. They’re $3.60 / bag.

10″ x 8″ – a medium-sized bag, for $2.75

8″ x 5.5″ – a medium-small bag, good for little projects, for $2.50

6″ x 5″ – a small bag, which I’ve found perfect for placing all the threads for a project in, along with sheathed scissors, for $2.00.

You might wonder what makes these mesh / plastic zipper bags so special, as opposed to using just a plain zip-lock. Welp… let’s see. They’re more durable than a regular plastic bag, because they’re reinforced with mesh (which also allows them to breathe); they have a real zipper closing, which makes them very easy to use and re-use; they’re also clear (you can see what’s in them); and they tuck easily into larger bags. You can label the outsides of the pouches, too, with any low-tack label, masking tape, or what-have-you. Then, when you move on to a different project, just remove the label. I think they’re great for organization and I like their reusability.

So, there you have a few good sources for accessories for your stitching! If you’re planning on going anywhere this summer (I’m planning on a short little road trip), you can set up your stitching projects before you go, using the Bohin pencil, and then store them individually in the mesh bags.

It’s questionable whether I’ll actually ever be that organized before I hit the road at the end of June…. but…. that’s my plan, anyway!


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(3) Comments

  1. With the number of animals and amout of free hair floating around here, the mesh bags SOUND good, but would never work for me. 🙁

    I am drooling over the pencil, though–most of what I’ve tried to use (chalk type transfer stuff and pencils) simply vibrates right off the fabric as I work and then PooF! No more design all of a sudden.

    So yep, I’m REALLY grateful for the ‘where do I get..’ information!

  2. Sorry, I went back to your first message about the Bohin pencil and just read your comment on the sewlines.

    The sewline pencil itself is pink but we can buy here refills in at least 4 colours : white, grey/black, green and pink

    I’m pretty sure they are almost the same as the Bohin pencils.

    Thanks for sharing al your ideas!

  3. I have one more source for the Bohin pencils:

    Hedgehog Handworks

    They have the Bohin with one lead pack for $11.50 (US dollars). The lead refills are $5.80. Hedgehog has grey or white lead. It's not listed on the site, but I just asked the owner last week about these pencils and she sent me the info about pricing. (It looks like Tanja Berlin might still be a bit cheaper especially since I have to pay California sales tax.)

    I believe the pencils are being sourced through Access Commodities so anyone who carries Au Ver a Soie, Gilt Sylke Twist, Hardwicke Manor hoops or any number of things available from Access Commodities should be able to order the Bohin pencils.

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