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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Stitcher’s Christmas 2019 #4: Needlework Goodies Galore!


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Good morning, and Happy Monday all around!

Today is the fourth installment of A Stitcher’s Christmas – my yearly series of give-aways running up to Christmas, featuring delightful needlework products from small businesses around the globe!

At the end of today’s article, I’ll announce the winners for last Wednesday’s installment, where three winners will each receive a beautiful hand-turned wood tool from Stitch In Turn. So read on to the end for the winner list.

Today’s give-away is courtesy of Needle in a Haystack in Alameda, California. It features all kinds of delectable goodies for stitching!

Stitcher's Christmas 2019: Needle in a Haystack embroidery goodies

Needle in a Haystack is a locally owned needlework shop located in the San Francisco area, in Alameda, California. It’s been in operation for 21 years, since 1998! And that’s saying a lot, these days!

Haystack (or “the ‘stack,” as I fondly call it) is one of the few brick and mortar needlework shops left in the US with a stocked online inventory (with a regular shopping cart feature, so it’s easy to shop with them online), which offers on a wide array of supplies for a wide range of needlework techniques, including fine surface embroidery.

Cathe, the owner, is a wealth of information when it comes to the needlework industry, materials, threads, and so forth. She has been known to help many a customer out of a quandary. I hear from folks all the time who tell me “Cathe said to try….” or “Cathe suggested…”

If I had to nail down one thing about Needle in a Haystack that I particularly appreciate (aside from their online inventory!) it is their customer service. They are reliable and their staff is friendly, helpful, and efficient.

Stitcher's Christmas 2019: Needle in a Haystack embroidery goodies

Today’s give-away features two prizes, one each for two winners.

The prizes are a delightful collection of needlework goodies that will start a stash for newbies or enhance your stash if you already have supplies on hand:

Fabric, including a piece of Tailor’s Chalk white linen (this is the linen I used on my Snowflakes ornaments) and a piece of 45-count Florence linen in white

Threads, including Trebizond silk, a spool of Silk & Wire, Silk Cartisan, and the new Silk Satin Chenille.

Tools, including a 5″ Hardwicke Manor embroidery hoop (the best hoops you’ll find on the market today), a pack of the Bohin Vintage needle collection, and a pin keep made by Cathe. The pin keep is part of Cathe’s new product line, which includes needle books and pin keeps, and made by her.

Stitcher's Christmas 2019: Needle in a Haystack embroidery goodies

With the gifts in today’s give-away, you’ll have a chance to try out some new fabrics and threads, and to enjoy some fun additions to your embroidery tools and supplies.

Stitcher's Christmas 2019: Needle in a Haystack embroidery goodies

You’ll also end up flush with needles! This is a terrific set of good quality needles in a variety of types and sizes.

(Haystack has a fantastic selection of all types of needles, if you’ve been looking for a one-stop shop for good needles.)

Give-Away Guidelines

This give-away has ended. Thanks to all who participated!

1. Leave a comment on the comment form below. If you’re not sure how to get to the comment form, click on this link – it will take you straight there. Your comment must be left on the website on today’s article, not on any other article. Comments submitted via email are not eligible and I am not able to reply to them due to time constraints. Please do not comment as a reply to another comment. Replies are not counted.

2. Be sure that your comment has a name on it that is recognizable as yours. For example, Kris is a pretty common name, so if your name is Kris, you might put your last name or your last initial, (Kris Kringle or Kris K). Or you might put a recognizable-to-you nick name (please not Santa Clause). Or you might add a reference to where you live – for example, “Kris in Christmas Cove, FL” or something like that.

The reason I particularly mention this one is that it reduces confusion when the winner is announced. It’s always hard to disappoint people if they mistake the name for their own!

3. Make certain your email address on the comment form is entered correctly, so that I can email you if you win. Leave the “website” line of the comment form empty. Please Do Not Put your personal contact information in the comment box itself. In other words, don’t sign your comment with your email address or your mailing address! That’s just an invitation for spam.

4. In your comment, answer the following question:

What is your favorite, most-reached-for needlework tool (besides your needle or scissors), and why?

5. Leave your comment before 5:00 AM central time (Kansas, USA) Friday, December 13th. The winners will be randomly drawn that morning and will be announced at the end of that day’s give-away.

So go forth and comment, and by Christmas, you may have a whole new collection of Fun Stuff to dabble with!

The give-aways for A Stitcher’s Christmas are open to everyone, but please be aware that, if you are subject to customs or duty fees, they are your responsibility.

Stitcher's Christmas 2019 #1 Winner Announced

Tool Winners!

As promised, are the winners from the second installment of A Stitcher’s Christmas which featured three tools from Stitch In Turn.

The winners, randomly drawn by a random number generator, are:

Jacqui from Fredericksburg – the seam ripper
Heidi Aurich – the telescoping magnet
Kathy in Charlotte NC – the laying tool & case

I’ll drop you all a line today with further information!

Remember that a Stitcher’s Christmas #3 – Pink Delight, a silk ribbon embroidery kit from Di van Niekerk – is still running, and you can join in on that one until Wednesday morning!

Hope your week’s off to a great start!


(1,332) Comments

  1. My most relied-on tools are the pouches I keep things in. I have a set of makeup pouches – one for my needles and scissors, one for oorts. And a bigger mesh zip-up pouch for my main WIPs.

    1. I reach for my I pair of angle pin-point tweezers! They help turn out delicate corners, pull out cut threads, pick up beads…their usefulness never ends!

  2. My trolley needle! I find it easier to use than a laying tool, especially since I hold a hoop in my hand, and it’s harder to misplace since it’s on my finger.

  3. My favorite, most-reached-for needlework tool would have to be a toss up between the bees wax I use to “tame” the ends of my metallic threads and the heat erasable pens I use to draw designs onto my fabric. I really do enjoy these contest and of course the chance to win such great prizes! Thanks Mary, your website is my go-to for all my embroidery!

  4. It’s my scroll frame. Its supporting bars are at a gentle 90 degrees, so the frame holds itself up. Without this, I’d only be able to do tiny projects on small hoops, but with it, I’ve been able to do much larger and more satisfying pieces.

  5. The item I reach for most is a good pair of tweezers. These are essential when doing goldwork to insure the turns, especially if the turn is more than 90 degrees. In stumpwork they come in handy for holding beads and other small items until they can be stitched down. And, of course, in removing threads and stitches for various reasons.

  6. I have what is called mono vision contacts so I can see both far and near without the need for readers. That being said I have a collection of readers for 1.25 to 7.00 for magnifying purposes and they are the bombe!!

  7. This looks amazing. And Kudos to a brick and mortar store that is still surviving in today’s market conditions! Bravo!!

  8. My favorite tool has to be my laying tool because it keeps my threads in line and helps my projects look good. My only problem is keeping it close because it likes to disappear! Answer – get two!

  9. My most reached-for needlework tool is my needle minder. I can have several needles on it at a time and always know where my needles are – better than sticking them in the arm of the chair!

  10. My ott lamp and magnifier are my most reached for tools and necessary for me to stitch! I have vision issues so good lighting and magnification is a must

  11. I ALWAYS use my special magnifying glasses that I had my optometrist make for me to stitch with. I love working on high count fabrics and couldn’t stitch without them!

  12. My favourite needlework tool is definitely my laying tool. It is a sterling silver gem which I treated myself to many years ago at an ANG seminar. It’s probably been used for thousands of hours as it works perfectly for laying threads (particularly in canvaswork), as that is my specialty. I like it because the tip is not too sharp so it doesn’t split threads or stab me too often. If I ever found another I’d buy it, but alas, no such luck.

  13. The name hint is a good idea Mary! I’ll just use my full name…doubt that will be confusing …ha!

  14. I’m not a great artist even with a stencil, so my most used tool is the water erasable transfer pen

  15. So often I reach for an old fashioned orange wood cuticle stick! It can help lay threads, direct and point threads, ribbons, and fabrics in the way intended, while also lifting away stray fuzzies.
    Thanks for this opportunity!

  16. Loved reading the article about Haystack! I so admire your articles and would love to visit the shop in Ca. Thank you.

  17. What is your favorite, most-reached-for needlework tool (besides your needle or scissors), and why?

    I would say my most reached for tool is my needle threader to allow me to thread most threads in various needle eyes.

  18. I don’t currently have many needlework tools outside of the usual, scissors, needles, hoops, and such because I lack a good place for storing everything. Fortunately that will change soon! So, currently I’d say my embroidery stand. My husband got for me last year for Christmas and it has really helped when I need both hands free for my needlework! It is adjustable too so I can use it on a table or have it on the floor. It isn’t one of the super fancy ones out there that I dream about having some day but this one works very nicely for my needs currently and I love it!

  19. At the moment, the tool I’m using most often is my HugLight, a bendable light that goes around my neck. I’m doing a lot of stitching during my commute, and this provides light when it’s dark outside. I’ve had it for years and I love it.

  20. Besides my scissors I’d have to say my tweezers are my other go to tool. Because teeny tiny threads…

  21. thanks for the chance to win and for the great introduction to Haystack. My favorite tool for needlework is my needle threader – old eyes just can’t see that eye in the needle very well.

  22. At the moment, my favorite tool is my leather thimble. Some projects are just tougher to needle and the leather thimble stays on (my gorgeous silver one sometimes flies off) and it doesn’t seem to care if I have nails this week or not, and it does the job of keeping me from being poked. Next week it might be thread conditioner, but today it’s my timble–

  23. Another great give away! Thank you!
    Needleminder! For years, I would insert my needle into the fabric but inevitably would lose track of my needle and resort to looking on the floor on my hands and knees to recover a favorite needle. Now I use a needleminder and it has changed my life!

  24. Honestly, the tools I use the most are my needle minder and my pincushion. If I didn’t have them I think I would spend a year’s salary in needles 🙂

  25. Most reached for needlework tool – my clip-on magnifiers. I’m simply ‘blind’ without them.

    PS Thank you Mary for your wonderful service.

  26. Whow! What a great gift and perfect for my plan for January.stitching…stitching…with No interruptions!!!

  27. My most reached for needlework tool is my squissors – a cross between tweezers and scissors for cutting hardanger and I also use them for buttonholes in dressmaking.

  28. My most reached for needlework tool (after needle and scissors) is magnification. For me, this is usually in the form of readers. I prefer counted needlework, particularly reproduction or antique style samplers, and like to work on higher count fabrics – 36 to 40 count. And it’s much easier to stitch if you can actually see the fabric!

  29. Although it depends on the project, right now I really love using Jenny’s Little Laying Tool

  30. May favourite needle work tool are my hoops on a stalk with the attached sit on holder. This allows me to work with both hands which really makes the stitching go faster and is somehow more accurate and flowing. I am rubbish at stitching in hand and holding the fabric or hoop makes my left hand cramp which makes stitching a chore, not a goal.

  31. I have a variety of hoops that I choose. Very common ones in different sizes. I have never tried Hardwicke Manor one…going to hop over to the site to learn more! Thank you for all the tips!

  32. What is your favorite, most-reached-for needlework tool (besides your needle or scissors), and why?

    A: Seam ripper, because there is almost always a mistake to correct.

  33. Howdy!

    I think my most-often used tool (besides scissors and needle) is a highlighter, so I can keep track of where I am on my enormous cross-stitch projects. Or maybe it’s my Ott Light. Or maybe my DMC thread sample card. Or a good hoop. Or…

    Oh, dear. I think I know now why my stitching nest is so cluttered…

  34. I love my laying tools. Use it for everything, even a single stand,find my tension stays even.


  35. My favourite tool would have to be my melor. Traditionally used for goldwork, but it’s on the table beside me whenever I stitch any technique. It’s a wonderful laying tool, it smoothes laid threads, it is great for poking stuffing into tight corners for pin cushions or biscornu, and is wonderful for manipulating threads. All in all, indispensable!
    Thanks to you and your wonderful suppliers for these fabulous goodies, what a fun thing to enter… and maybe come out a winner.

  36. I always reach for my thimble first. Cannot imagine making any stitches without it. It is a favorite silver thimble that I have had forever and besides being perfectly functional, it reminds me of my grandmother and stitching with her.

  37. I’m always reaching for a rule of some sort…to straighten something, center a design or even scratch my back!!

  38. The tool I most often reach for while stitching is my magnifying headset. Even with the best light, I still need to use these. ☺️

  39. My go to tool is my seam ripper. I’m always experimenting so I’m always making mistakes so I’m always taking out stitches. It might not be my favorite tool but it’s my most used.

  40. I must say my laying tool. I have been expanding into some canvas work and found that this little tool is a must. When working with more than one thread it lays them down side by side. No twisting and the result is perfection itself.

    As an aside, thank you Mary for your email every week. You are truly an inspiration to us all. I have learned so much from you. Again thank you!

  41. Light!! Thats my favorite got to have tool besides needle and scissors! I have a variety of desk, floor, travel lights depending on my stitching situation- but good light is a must have!

  42. Probably my most-used tool aside from needle and scissors is my needle threader—not the wimpy ones with thin wire, but the flat metal kind with hooks on the ends. I have carefully kept the same one for years.

  43. My favorite essential tool is post it notes. I use them to keep track of where I am on the pattern. I’d be lidt otherwise. Thanks for the giveaway.

  44. I believe it would be a tape measure. I use it to decide where it start a stitching and to measure my linen.

  45. Having just started back into embroidery from before my sons were born, the oldest being 30, my stash of stuff is quite limited. I found two plastic hoops in my stash so I’m making do with them for now. I do reach for either one of those when I start a new project. I don’t have much in the area of tools at this point. Unless you would consider the instruction videos on your website as a tool, they are invaluable to me at this time! Thank you Mary!

  46. Thank you Mary and Needle in a Haystack for the terrific giveaway. My favorite tool is my laying tool. It is useful in so many ways.

  47. My favorite needlework tool is … well, to be honest, I’m not sure mine is just a tool … my reading glasses. I pop them on over my regular bifocals and I am ready for any fabric. It makes using 40 count a breeze.

  48. My favorite essential tool is post it notes. I use them to keep track of where I am on the pattern. I’d be lost otherwise. Thanks for the giveaway.

  49. GOOD LIGHTING-need I say more??? just try doing anything detailed in bad light, and either the eyestrain or the headache from the super concentration on trying to refocus tween pattern/source of inspiration and fabric will make the experience a miserable one
    melanie in hopewell

  50. Needle in a Haystack looks like heaven! I may have to plan a vacation to Alameda, with empty suitcases lol.
    My go to tools when working on a project are a pair of cheater eyeglasses and my Grandma’s embroidery hoop (old wooden one with a spring…not ideal perhaps but the feel in the hands..sigh..). But I believe a magnifying light or stand hoop will be on my Christmas list this year. I get too caught up in working and forget to take care of my eyes and body.
    On a side note, I find your blog an absolute treasure. You are a wealth of knowledge, both in your craft and the resources you employ. Thank you for all you do to carry on the tradition of teaching others so these arts stay alive!

  51. My favorite needlework tool are my sit on embroidery stands. It’s SO much easier to have both hands to work with!! I don’t know why I didn’t do this years ago.

  52. Ooh I hope I win (and also you win, and you, and you)! My favorite needlework tool would be the little backpack I keep my current projects in. It keeps the project safe from picking up more than the minimum foreign materials, such as, er, catfur. Thank you Mary!

  53. Oh my gosh, there are so many! But I truly love my water soluble pen, and my Frixion Slim heat erasable pen. They make it so easy to transfer a pattern and then disappear when I’m done. 🙂

  54. My most reached for tool is my hoop stand that sits under my leg while I sew. It frees me to better guide stitches a d use 2 hands if needed.

  55. The tool that I reach for the most is my magnification lamp; it is most helpful in assuring that my stitches are placed correctly.

  56. My light/magnifier stand, actually ordered from Needle in a Haystack!
    Beautiful give aways! Thank You! Mary Kay

  57. One of my favorite tools I us is my needle minder. When working on a piece that especially has multiple colors it keeps my needles and threads just where I need them.

  58. My useful addition to needleworking is a small magnetic white board that I use to hold patterns and instructions while stitching. Always interested in your column and humor is a joy.

  59. I love stitching, everything I do gets stitched and beaded, so my favorite and most used stitching tool is a good portable LED light. Thank you for this opportunity, your emails are the best that I receive each day, pHurst

  60. The tool I reach for the most (besides needles and scissors) is a magnetic needle-minder. I used to always just “pin” my needle in the fabric, but now I couldn’t get along without one of my needle-minders… I have a growing collection!

  61. My table top OTT light us my must have tool. It does help me to see where my needle needs to go. Even with my glasses I sometimes have a hard time.

  62. My most reached for needlework tool besides needle and scissors is my threader shaped like a hummingbird. Next to that are my reading glasses that I only wear for embroidery as they are 3.o just so I can see everything well.
    Thank you so much for this newsletter. It is a joy to receive every week.

  63. Hi Mary,

    My most reached for tool is my laying tool. I have several and there is always at least one within reach when I’m stitching.

    Thanks so much for another fun-filled holiday give-away season. You’re the best!

    Warmest regards,
    Sandra F. in upstate NY

  64. My grandmother’s thimble… it is well worn but it fits perfectly and I always feel like she is stitching with me.

  65. I think my favorite tool would be my super pointy tweezers. They help a lot when removing thread from cut work or the nubbys that get left after I’ve had to rip out my mistakes.

  66. Good embroidery hoops! (I confess I buy them at the dime store but I have never been able to resist a rare-on-the-ground Ben Franklin).

  67. I would have to say my needle minder. I used to just put them in the arm rest of my chair until a guest unexpectedly found one! Ouch!

  68. The most used needlework item I use besides needles and Dr. Slick microtip “hair” scissors is my lighted tweezers! I love the lighted ones! I can pull out loose or messed up threads, tighten up some areas, etc. I also use the Pearl P. Pereira “appliqué stiletto” a lot.

    I do many kinds of needlework, including punch needle, so I use a lot of tools. Hope I win!

    Love your blog…it’s my all time favorite thing on the Internet!

    Mary Anne

  69. I’d actually like to list two of my most essential needlework tools because they go hand in hand for me. First is my full spectrum floor lamp that sits next to my needlework chair. It provides excellent light for clarity, detail, and color matching. Second, I have two strengths of magnifying glasses that clip on to my eyeglasses. One is for routine stitching and the other is for very up-close work such as silk gauze embroidery. Both of these tools greatly reduce eye strain for me and make my needlework much more relaxing.

    Jennifer B. in NEPA

  70. I have to have my peepers! I used to be able to stitch without glasses, but age is catching up with me.

  71. My favorite most reached for tool is my telescoping magnet. I inevitably drop a favorite pin or needle or can’t reach my thread snips and this wonderful tool helps me not to be disrupted from my work. I no longer have to get up out of my comfy recliner, set my lap app aside with my needle project and crawl around the floor looking for things that are hard to see at 11:00 at night. This tool might not be as beautiful as my scissors or as sought special needles and pins, but it sure is my favorite when I can just keep on stitching.

  72. My favorite needlework tool is my light! I often want to work on a project in the evening, and need more light than a regular lamp can shed.

  73. Favorite tool other than Needle and scissors —-what do I reach for the most?………. I think it is my thimble. I don’t usually use it for embroidery, but for ALL plain sewing it has to be on my finger or I can’t work.

  74. My most reached for tool has to be my magnifying glasses but if you don’t count that as a tool then it would be my magnifying lamp. My eyes are getting older (but surely not me) and I need all the help I can get to continue to do my favorite thing.

  75. Favorite tool other than scissors and needles would probably be my pin cushion. I don’t yet own a needle minder (I plan to make one once I find the right small dish/item).

  76. I reach for Thread magic conditioner a lot! If I am having trouble taming my threads, it is quite helpful! However, a close second is my Scotch tape! I live in a dog and cat-blessed home. So by keeping clear adhesive tape around, whenever I see a stray hair on my work, it is so easy to clear and dispose of!

  77. Oddly enough, my most reached-for tool is a straight pin. As an avid counted cross-stitcher, I use a sharp straight pin for several tasks – to separate my stranded floss after I have cut a length and looped it through the floss holder for the project at hand. I also use the pin to help ‘un-knot’ my thread – I slip the pin point through the knot to keep it from pulling tighter as I figure out how to detangle. I use the pin to separate the threads in my stitches and smooth them out if I see an area after the fact that doesn’t look quite right to me. And of course, pins are good for placeholders.

    1. Cindy, my comment came right under yours and I saw you posted scissors. Don’t want you to lose your chance. Can’t use scissors per instructions. Repost and good luck.

  78. This was tuff but I came to the conclusion that it is my tablet. I use it for stitch guides, tutorials, inspiration, patterns and Needle ‘n Thread for all of that.

  79. My sit-upon hoop Made a long time ago by a friend’s husband Let’s me use both hands while stitching

    1. Hello Jacqui from Ontario, Canada. I too am from there! Hamilton Ontario. Now living in Arizona, USA, still Canadian at heart! Merry Christmas and cheers, Gloria

  80. My go to tool is a very small pin cushion roll created by a stitching friend who has passed away. Stitched under the heart is the word “Friend”, (I think it is a Sweetheart Tree adapted design) not only is it so handy but it makes me smile and I think of a time when there was a “Circle of Friends” that did swaps and round-robins and gossiped, laughed and cried together. A word on Cathe and NIAH I Love, love, love Cathe and her team at NIAH! and you are right, they are a wealth of knowledge and always come up with alternatives for a fabulous buying experience. Cath’s customer service is immeasurable

  81. Although it might seem odd at first read, my favorite go to needlework tool other than scissors and needles are my reading glasses. Right! They are essential, along with great lighting of course, to get stitches laid exactly how they need to be.
    Once again, thank you and the fabulous vendors for offering wares and fun.

  82. A favorite tool of mine is my self threading needle. which enables me to bury threads on the back of my work.

  83. Osteoarthritis has gotten to my hands. When I developed a knobby thimble finger I had to drop hand quilting because I could not get a thimble to fit or to stay on and I tried many. But in the last couple of years there have appeared thimbles with silicone rubber bodies and metal tips. The silicone stretches over the knob and voila! I can hand quilt again though not as much and certainly hand sew and embroider or applique using this thimble when needed.

  84. My favorite go to tools is my pin cushion/thread holder. I’m always looking for a spot to park my needle and the pin cushion works for that and then the thread holder takes care of organizing the threads.

  85. Besides a good needle, I need my reading glasses to help me see what I am doing. I have several and love my 4.0 ones for working on linen!

  86. Maybe this isn’t really a tool, but I’d be lost without my clip-on magnifiers for my glasses!

  87. favorite tool – needle thread. I like it simply because my eyesight is not what it used to be and needlework is not something I am willing to give up. It is an everyday activity and pleasure.

    Cheryl F. from Tyler Texas

  88. I have an OTT Light that clips on to my embroidery hoop/frame with a magnifier. That is my most treasured embroidery tool.

  89. My favorite tool is my stronger pair of reading glasses I keep in each needlework kit I have going….
    You gotta to see to believe don’t you know!

  90. My favorite most frequently used (and in this case, it means every time I stitch) is my very portable free standing lamp with magnifier. ‘Nuf said.

  91. My favorite item to reach for is a rubber thimble. I can’t use a beautiful metal one because of metal allergy!

  92. My most reached for needlework tool are my magnifiers-large, small, glasses, all of them are necessities!

  93. My favorite needlework tool is my Lawrey needlework stand! It is the perfect way to hold my work in progress!

  94. Two must haves…glasses and a good light because nothing makes me feel old and frustrated more than seeing a blur of colors when I want to play with needles and threads.

  95. I must totally agree with Mary Needle I n a Haystack is a fantastic store and I use it a lot for kitting out projects I am doing. In fact this past weekend I just sent in another an order. I don’t go looking up each thread for a project I scan the materials list page for a project and send that to them to kit it all out and they send it on to me when complete. Works great and they keep me informed. I have never had a problem with them service is always great and they are very knowledgeable so if a thread is no longer available they now what to substitute. This store is an invaluable resource when you don’t have a LNS close by.

  96. The tool I find myself using a lot is from Compustitch, the Star Detailor (http://stardetailors.com/). I purchased it from my LNS, and it is worth its weight in gold! I have two bad habits: 1) using floss down to the last tiny bit, to the point where the tail isn’t long enough to be easily pulled under to secure the end, and 2) trimming tails at the end of the project a little too enthusiastically.

    The Star Detailor easily helps too-small tails become snug and secure, without a needle. I love it!

  97. Hmm…my favorite tool rather depends on which needlework I’m doing. Pliers for bead weaving. Pillow for needlelace. Hoop for surface embroidery. And I always have a cat or two handy to supply extra fiber.

  98. Lately, my most-reached-for needlework tool seems to be a needle threader. I think that it’s time to update my magnification!

  99. Based on your description and the wonderful goodies in the give-away, Needle in a Haystack is now on my list of places to visit! My favorite needlework tool is my needle threader (because I am almost 70=-)!

  100. The tools that I “depend on” are: my magnetic board, magnetic ruler & a pencil! I make copies of the chart. I attach the first copy of the pattern on the magnetic board, & place the magnetic ruler on the chart as a placement guide. I also like to use a stiletto, to ensure the stitch is not too tight or too loose! Lastly, if I am stitching a high thread count of 40, I use my Ott light stand, then I attach the magnifier on the Ott light stand. I am ready to go.
    Almost forgot to mention, I also rely on my Millennium Frame.

  101. The needlework tool I use the most are my magnetic needle minders. I have a collection of them to use on every project. They keep me from losing needles while working on things.

  102. I have a lovely, small sterling silver laying tool that I bought over 30 years ago when I first branched out from cross-stitching. I love it for the way it looks and for it’s usefulness!

  103. It really depends on the needlework that I’m doing. If it’s canvas work, it would probably be a laying tool. If I’m doing goldwork, then my tweezers, which I also use as a mellor. For cross stitch, then I usually just need my needles and scissor, and I guess my pencil which I use to mark my completed stitches.

  104. I love my magnetic needle holder. I have it on a large, long-term project in a frame so if I have to quit working in the middle of a thread, I just park it and leave it ’til next time. No worries about “hole marks” in my fabric.

  105. Hi Mary,
    my most reached for item is my Beatrix Potter Peter rabbit tin which holds everything I need to embroider with.
    Best wishes to all xx

  106. My most reached for tool is my Smasta tool kit. It is designed as a pencil and mobile phone case, but it is perfect for carrying all of my tools: scissors, telescoping magnet, laying tools, needles, tweezers, highlighter, post-it tabs, et al. It zips up for travel and when unzipped, it is a weighted, stand up case that takes up very little real estate on a stitching table. Love it!

  107. My lighted magnifying glass- It is the only way I can do some of the stitches without going completely cross eyed.

  108. My favorite needlework tool is probably going to give away my age, because it’s my magnifier with light! These days I can’t really expect to do any type of needlework without having extra magnification and extra light as my eyesight just isn’t what it was when I first started to embroider at age 6. I especially appreciate having two-in-one lighted magnification as that seems to give far better results than either a magnifier or good lighting by itself. I use either one that hangs around my neck, or a telescoping version that clamps onto a work surface.
    Thanks for all these wonderful give-aways Mary! I rarely win things, but it’s fun to try! 😉

  109. My favorite tool is an sliver antique sewing awl. It was listed as a short knitting needle on Ebay. Since there was only one they were asking about $10.00 in the buy it now offer. I bought it now!!!!
    I use it so much (mostly for ripping out stitches) that I made a place for it in both my Strawberry Frye and Work Box by Carolyn Pearce.

  110. My favorite needle work tool is my box of threads wound on those cardboard “thingys”. I find it easier to find the thread I want and to pull off what I need and keep it all neat. Yes, I am a bit of a neat freak!

  111. My most reached for needlework tool is my magnetic needle keeper ( shaped like a hare). Used properly on my frame or hoop it keeps needles to hand but it is also brilliant at hoovering up the needles that somehow find their way to the bottom of my work bag. I love it because what I thought was a whimsical bit of tat is in fact useful and reminds me to be slower to judge and quicker to learn every day.

  112. Hi Mary,
    My “must have” for stitching is adequate lighting. I have several portable Ott Lights and I also have the Phive light that you had recommended some time ago. I love it! Wishing you a Happy Holiday.

  113. Actually, my most reached for needlework tool is my magnifying glasses. I can no longer see the designs adequately without them, and then I couldn’t stitch. What a disaster!

  114. My favorite tool(s) other than scissors and needles are stretcher bars. With stretcher bars I don’t risk damaging the ground fabric as I have done putting a hoop over silk. (Yes, it was wrapped.) The tacks/staples are all at the very outside edge of the fabric. If they leave holes, I can trim that narrow strip off. I get even tension over the entire fabric. Most pieces don’t need to be blocked which is especially important when using fabric or threads that aren’t washable.

  115. It would have to be my stylus. I use it to help keep fabric in place under the presser foot or to help hold gathers in place. It use is constantly.

  116. My stitching magnifiers are next most important tool. My eyes have changed a lot over a few years and I want to be able to continue to stitch fine embroidery. I can’t stitch without them!

  117. Oh, my goodness!!! I won! And such a lovely gift to win! Thank you, so much, Mary! I will be waiting at my mailbox with bated breath!

  118. My most reached for tool is my small Ivation magnifier table light. I use it all the time. The big clamp works on my stretcher bars and the legs on the lamp make it perfect for table use.

  119. My favourite tool after needles and scissors is my sit on frame. I just couldn’t manage to do some of the embroidery work I do without it, especially goldwork, as most of that requires you to use two hands at the same time! Also, it’s invaluable for keeping my linen tight so that I can again use both hands when doing embroidery, especially satin stitch, and even for just making sure my needles go through the fabric in the right position, which I find more difficult if just holding the material with one hand. The other advantage is when I’m doing French knots and bullion stitches, they are much more even [especially when using the correct needles!!] when in my frame, and again, the frame leaves both hands free to create the stitches. It’s definitely my third ‘can’t do without’ tool after needles and scissors!!!

  120. Since I stitch designs with a lot is bead embellishments, I have to say, my threader. I use an ultra fine wire beader. It does not have a more distinctive name, but is carried in most fine shops The line has three sizes-heavy duty, regular, and ultra fine. It is packaged as one of each or as 2 of a kind. I never see it listed when threaders are evaluated, but I have tried them all, and for me, it is the best. The wire never pulls loose. It has gone through needles and beads that have stopped every flat metal threader I’ve tried, as well as other wire threaders, even brand-name ones. I have started seeing it packaged with different names on it. I could not stitch without it.

  121. I really like having my comfy chair when stitching, but tend to grab a cuppa tea as well. Have a blessed day….and love the vintage vibe the essentials from the ‘stack’ has. ;0) Anita from WV

  122. My most reached for and used tool is my magnifying light. Unfortunately have reached the age where my eyes just don’t work like they used to.

  123. This whole contest is so much fun. I really got a chuckle out of the needle keep! This is also a new contact for me. Happy to find them.

  124. My absolute must have is my “Teeny Tiny Travel Tote” from Froncie Quinn of Hoopla Patterns. It holds everything you would need to sew, cut, mark templates. It’s a great tool. No affiliation, just a long time satisfied customer. I love the Hardwicke Manner hoop that I purchased from Needle in a Haystack! Thank you Mary.

  125. Thanks! I reach for my thimble almost every time I have a needle in hand. Thanks for your fabulous newsletter and website!

    All the best,

  126. I can’t do without my box lids! I know it sounds silly but they make perfect trays for keeping individual projects tidy and safe. I can pick the whole lid up and store it it a drawer to keep curious paws out! (I have four nosey cats). When I’m done with the project, I tidy everything away and gather threads, needles, etc, for my new project and put those on the lid ready to begin.
    Thank you for this amazing giveaway, Mary!

  127. Hi Everyone, My favorite tool is my sewing thimble. I can’t do embroidery if I don’t have it. My fingers are thin, so, it’s hard to find the right one, a very little one. I found one last year and get three of them. So easy to lost… I wish I will have one of those prizes!

  128. I always add a magnetic needle minder onto the project. A safe way to keep track of the needles and the needles are available immediately for use.

  129. My needle threader is my favorite tool. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to thread that needle.

  130. I couldn’t work without a good strong pair of magnifying glasses. At the moment I am wearing a pair with only one arm, which is annoying but better than nothing since I forgot to pack others for a day of stitching with friends.

  131. My seam ripper because I am a perfectionist and cannot stand to have work done with stitches that are not perfect. Krind

  132. My favorite tool that I can’t live without is the Star De-Tailor tool or in a pinch, a wire needle threader. It’s great for tucking in loose threads or threads that end up too short to finish because you’ve just got to get that last stitch in!

  133. I love my lamp and magnifier. I wouldn’t be able to stitch without them. I also love my laying tool 🙂 Kim R. from Rochester NY

  134. After needles and scissors I enjoy a good quality hoop. Like the ones made by Hardwicke Manor. I would really enjoy winning this kit. Thanks Mary!

  135. The tool I always reach for alongside my needle and scissors is my antique silver thimble. I have used a thimble ever since I can remember and this one was given to me by a dear stitching friend.

  136. My favorite “go-to” while I’m stitching is the Snag Dab It for “pretty-ing up” wonky stitches.

  137. My most reached for tool is my laying tool. I have learned over the years it is most dependable for achieving straight, evenly placed stitches – I love it! And thank you for these give-aways! Even if I don’t win I always learn about something new – thank you!

  138. The most recent, as a matter of fact just the day before yesterday, reached for tool would be an embroidery hoop. This hoop is vintage, made of metal with a cork lining. The reason I reached for it was, honestly, not to use it to hold fabric for stitching but to figure out if it would be the right size to use for framing completed stitching!

  139. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of stitching with linen thread on vintage Swedish designs and I can’t do without my beeswax first the thread.

  140. Needlenhaystack is an A-Z wealth of shopping for anyone just starting out to the advance crafters in needle work. A great one stop shopping.

  141. Good lighting is essential to stitching for me, I own several good lamps with and without magnifying lens.

  142. My favorite needlework tool is not a needlework tool at all. My Mom purchased a small magnetic dish at a hardware store and gave it to me because I was always misplacing needles. Now, I do not stitch without this little dish by my side! The only drawback is that the magnet is so powerful that sometimes it picks up other objects that are nearby- barrettes, spoons, etc… I really do love it though!

  143. My most-reached-for needlework tool is definitely my magnifying glass. (And, boy do I have a collection of them!) As I’ve gotten older and my distance vision has gotten worse, it has affected my near vision acuity to the point of tears. I wish someone had warned me when I was younger that this would happen. I’ve left far too many projects for ‘when I retire!’

  144. Many thanks for all the great shopping referrals. I occasionally visit Oakland so will added this Alameda store to my list of laces to visit. I’m always looking for hand work tools. Lighting is my most important and the first thing I reach for when sitting to embroider.
    Aloha, Melanie from Papalani

  145. My favorite tool is my Trolly Needle. I have learned that I can wear it on my left thumb when doing cross stitch and keep all of the threads flat. I use it on my left index finger when working on larger pieces that I can’t hold in my hand. It has taken time and perseverance to accomplish this but it is worth it.

  146. I am new to embroidery, other than dishtowels I made while I was younger.
    The tool I use most is the dreaded seam ripper. Thank goodness for those little tools.
    At 79 I make quite a few mistakes plus I would love to increase my “stash”
    Thank you

  147. Love the stash enhancement. Also nice to see the brick and mortar shop still alive and well on the west coast.

    I have to admit that my favorite needlework tool would have to be my floor stands. I own several, but my favorite has to be my Gazelle. I also love my Lokscroll frames made by the same maker.

    Thank you for sharing information and stitching.

  148. The tool I always reach for is my thimble. It’s a finger thimble made out of leather with an elastic velvet band. It slides over any finger and fits perfectly. It’s protective but the leather is soft and comfortable. I bought it in Dallas a few years ago and I wish I had bought two.

  149. My most reached-for tool is my magnifier-light. I couldn’t stitch without it! It lets me easily see my errors, and the stitches needed, as my eyes are growing older and don’t see as well as they once did. What a lovely giveaway Mary! Thanks for the chance to win some new goodies. Merry Christmas!

  150. My favorite tool(?) is my pincushion with its variety of common pins & needles in different thicknesses and lengths. It is constantly by my side when I do handwork at home. When traveling, I take along a needle book….

  151. I think your emails are terrific. Makes me feel I am there with you. My favorite tool is my needlethreader. (Old eyes need help)

  152. My needle threader is my necessary tool. It saves me so much time. And the next is my needle minder.

  153. As I stated last year, my favorite needlework tool is the Star De-Tailor from CompuStitch (looks like a glorified needle threader). Its primary use is to weave in thread tails on the back side of embroidery. It also helps me finish a last stitch when the floss is too short for the needle. On occasion, I have also repaired torn or pulled threads in beloved garments! I am so fond of this item that I have one in every stitching tote!

  154. A good light. I can do without many things for stitching, but my eyes need good lighting. I use a variety of desk lamps, book lights, and even head lamps (for those stitch-in-bed moments).

  155. The tool I reach for most often is my laying tool. I have lots of opportunities to use it, and it makes the stitches look so nice.

  156. My LED Desk Lamp allows me to see my work under bright light so is the tool I find the most indispensable – if I can’t see what I’m doing, it doesn’t matter what other items I may be using!

  157. After scissors and needles, my most used needlework tool would be my Hardwicke Manor hoops. They are truly the best hoops on the market. I love how smooth they are finished and the variety of sizes and widths make your options such a wonderful choice. I also love how they feel in your hand when stitching; no other hoops come close to equaling them. Thank you for this opportunity.

  158. As my eyes are getting old, I really appreciate having a needle threader available at all times. I keep it on a ribbon, right along side my scissors.

  159. OH boy this is a hard one. First I never do anything without my lights: I use both Ott lights and Stella, both floor and table models. This is critical due to visual deterioration in the last few years. Number two: my sandpaper board, a critical tool to keep me and my work steady. Mary, all the gifts are wonderful. I’m making a personal Christmas list after visiting all the web sites (I’m in big trouble!! HA)

  160. My favorite needlework tool is my stitching caddy. It is a lovely wooden open tray I received at Spring Fling several years ago (hosted by Stitchville USA). I keep needles, scissors, needle threaders, etc all handy in one place.

  161. The pattern or picture is my most reached for “tool” if I am not following lines on my fabric – LOL! Besides that, I frequently reach for a needle threader or my size 14 crochet hook to fish thread ends through backs of stitches or to “punch” a hole in the fabric for an eyelet. LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT – however I can get it.

  162. What a great way to try new fabric and threads along with the great needles and a hoop! Thank you. My favorite tool besides my scissors and needles would be my 4 or 6 inch Harwicke Manor wooden embroidery hoop. Cannot stitch without it. Thank you again for the chance to win. Happy Holiday!!!

  163. My BLT (Best Laying Tool). It rests on my magnetic needle minder so it is always close at hand. Besides laying threads, it is also useful for slightly enlarging the holes in my canvas if needed.

  164. I love my needleminders. I used to lose my needles all of the time, but not now. Thanks for the chance. Teal

  165. Aside from my fabric, thread, scissors and needle, my most-reached-for needlework tool is actually my threader. At my age, I can’t sew without one! Of course, that assumes I already have my “cheaters” on!

  166. Good morning.I enjoy reading your emails every morning over my second cup of coffee.
    The tool I go for is my thread laying tool. It is never out of my sight or my hand. I use a lot of silk threads and my laying tool is always there to make me lay my threads perfectly.
    Thanks for the wonderful goodies you always find Mary. Hope everyone has a very merry
    Christmas and happy new year

  167. Thank you Kathe for this giveaway gift!

    Besides the usual stitching tools, I frequently reach for my little screw driver to tighten the screw on my hoop. I use it when setting up for a stitching session, and from time to time during the day if I feel my fabric getting loose.

  168. Yay! Now I know where to order the Soie d’Alger threads, and the Au Ver a Soie metallic braid for your snowflakes! Thank you, Mary. Also nice to have a source for linen. There is only two shops in the 50 mile radius of my house that offer any type of linen, and none this fine.

    Mary in Texas

  169. I love my frixion pens! These work the best for me to transfer patterns. And a hot iron is all it takes for the lines to disappear like magic!

  170. Tools we need them to make our lives easy. As I have grown older I find that my needle minder is the to I use the most. It’s just a little two piece magnet set that I attach to my stitching so I can drop my needle on. It seems the older I get needles and coffee cups go missing more often.

  171. My most reached for tool is a tiny little threader that is in the shape of a cat. It is so cute! And I can thread almost any needle with any thread with it.

  172. I always look forward to Mary’s posts and all the beautiful work. I am a novice embroiderer and want to try all the stitches! My goal is to develop my embroidery skills enough to work on projects to give to my grandkids. Something to remember that Grandma made especially for them.

  173. My must have tool is my thimble. I’ve got an arthritis bump on my thimble finger and tried all types of solutions around the pain. I now swear by (instead of at, like the others that I tried) my soft plastic thimble with a metal rim and tip. And the company’s customer service was great – they sent me a new one when the first broke after years of use! (Now if I could only find the perfect solution for the under-the-fabric much-pricked finger)

  174. Love this package, and enjoy the newsletters from “The Stack” and of course there is the small fact that Cathe is the only other Cathe that I know of, and that is pretty special!!!

  175. I need to use an embroidery hoop to work on any kind of embroidery. I learned that way and I continue to use it all the time.

  176. What wonderful sewing goodies! I sure could use them! I am embroidering every day. Right now making an embroidered quilt for my granddaughter.

  177. My favorite tool to use are my hoop or q snaps for holding my needle work. I couldn’t stitch without them.

  178. My needle threader, of which I have several including a butterfly and a bird, is one my most used tools.

  179. I use either my “star detailer” or my “dololly” to tuck in my ending stitches because I am notoriously prone to using the last little bit of thread that I can!

  180. Oh Mary, another lovely give away! Thank you to you and all the wonderful vendors who have made these give aways possible.
    You have been busy little elves!

  181. Hi Mary, I like using either a 6 inch or 12 inch ruler and sometimes a tape measure for preparing my fabric and cutting my threads and various other things while stitching. This would be my favorite tool because I can’t imagine not being able to measure at various stages in a project.

  182. My favorite tool which I rarely stitch anything without is my magnifying lamp which I learned about from Mary (thanks for all your wealth of information, Mary). What a wonderful aid it has been for me and has improved my final pieces immensely. My lamp has made my stitching life happier and simpler.

  183. Besides needles and scissors, the tool I reach for most is the Stitch Fixer. One end looks like the eye end of a needle, but open on top so that you can push thread ends through to the other side. The other side is not quite a hook, but bent at an angle. I use that end all the time. I use it to rip out stitches, pull out knots, and to count on my fabric. The Stitch Fixer comes in the same sizes as needles.

  184. Josie from Texas loves the wooden hoops I ordered years ago from Germany. Embroidery is my passion to add texture and interest to my quilting.

  185. I am a tool junkie. Part of the fun of any project is using my collection of tools. As I gather my materials before I jump Into a new project, I enjoy laying them all out in preparation. Needlework then tools rock!

  186. Absolutely loverly! Can’t wait to try all these wonderful goodies. The “Stack” is the best.

  187. Hello. Besides good scissors, my favourite needlework tools are needlecases to hold special tools. And small portal pincushions to have with every project. Every designer it seems to have patterns to entice us, for pincushions. These make very doable projects in various stitch techniques. Joyce Howell

  188. Maybe this doesn’t count as a tool, but the bright LED lamp plus magnifier is in constant use at our home, and I couldn’t have done many of my recent projects without it. (It’s one of the ones Mary recommended, and I love it.)

    If that doesn’t count, then I’m going to go with tweezers.

    Happy Monday, everyone!
    Karla B

  189. Good Morning,

    I use the laying tool that wraps around my finger at first it hard to use now it is like second nature.

    Jamie C Cerda

  190. Although I don’t comment often, I follow your posts regularly. I love your style, Mary. You’re top notch.
    That said, I’d love to own all the goodies in this giveaway 🙂 It would encourage me to get back to stitching.

  191. A great favourite for me is my mellor. It pushes threads to where I want them, makes holes and generally controls my work.

  192. My favourite stitching tool, is not actually a tool per say, but if I didn’t reach for it I would never be able to stitch……it is my 3.0 reading glasses I use to do fine stitching!

  193. I, too, love Needle in a Haystack, and visit their website often.

    Sadly, the needlework tool I reach for most often these days is a needle threader. I have lots, and I’m always buying more, but they break easily. The ones I prefer are the ones that are squared off, but they don’t often fit in the eye of the needle I’m using, so I also need the others.

    Thanks, Mary, for these wonderful giveaways!

  194. My f. avorite tool(s) are the incredible choice of colors available today. They inspire me when I think “I can’t do this,” and lead me to gasp in delight when I finish a project.

  195. My favorite most-reached-for needlework tool is my Hardwicke Manor embroidery hoop. Used plastic hoops as a child and into adulthood until I found these hoops. They are wonderful!

  196. Hmmm. My most used tool, besides scissors and needle must be my computer. It is invaluable for finding, storing, printing and creating embroidery designs. It can show me techniques, allow me to read inspiring needlework articles, and order supplies and designs from all over the world. I guess it is not technically a “needlework tool”, but it has certainly made my embroidery life easier and more enjoyable!

  197. My favorite “tool” is my cheater glasses. I tried a pair and was amazed at how much they helped. I only use them when I embroider so they really are an embroider tool.

  198. My favorite tool is now my scissor/tool block! My friend built it for me using ideas we gleaned from other blocks. It is small 2″ x 4″ x 2.5″ and holds my metal ruler, 2 scissors, 2 spools, tekobari, other laying tool, 2 bobbins, and has a magnet on the side for needles. It’s perfect for all of my stitching, including goldwork embroidery.

  199. Love your site. Looks like a great store.
    Must have are scissors, any shape or size. I attach a ribbon so I can easily find them on my work table or when traveling.

  200. This one required some thought. The tool I didn’t think I needed and now can’t stitch without is my magnetic needle minder. I’m beyond conscientious about keeping track of my needles. I worry that I will lose one and someone will step on it, or sit on it. It really eases my mind to know where my needle is.

  201. My most favorite needlework tool other than scissors and needles is my magnifier! It fits like a headlamp and came with 2 different degrees of magnification. I am 67 years old as of today!…so I NEED MAGNIFICATION!! I would love one of those hoops, in fact, that is on my Christmas list!

  202. The embroidery tool – my favorite – is something I cherish because I found it at a Goodwill store years ago. It is a wooden embroidery hoop with a woman’s name penciled inside. It was in a box with embroidery floss, needles and a few have finished embroidery linens. I was just a kid, but enjoyed trying to finish the dresser scarf embroidery as expertly as she was doing before it was given up.

  203. Good morning, Mary! My next most reached for, without a doubt, is my magnifying glasses! Would not be able to do my beautiful, tiny SRE stitches and flowers without them!

  204. The tool I use often is m=y Boo Boo stick. I am forever making mistakes and take out more stitches than I put in. My Boo Boo stick has come to my rescue in those instances. It helps me tidy up the linen so that I can continue with my stitching.

  205. I think my telescopic magnetic wand, as I’m terrible for dropping pins, and this makes finding them so much easier, and pain free!

  206. I reach for my very bright light. I am older and need that extra light. I also reach for the needle threader for help threading my needles. I’m grateful that I have these tools to help me.

    Thank you so much,
    Linda Goode
    from Wyoming

  207. I think my favorite tool is my magnetic wand! I’m very movement challenged, and getting down on the floor to pick up something I dropped is awful. I got the wand, and voila!! Its no longer a problem.

  208. My favorite needlework tool is my needle threader. I don’t care how many other techniques I try, I have trouble threading any brand needle with the exception of the stitchy-bob needle. They are rather expensive so I don’t have many of them. I do a lot of full cover and large projects so I keep many needles threaded and ready to go.

  209. I have a small collection of hoops and frames which help to keep my embroidery projects nice and taut and ensure my stitches sit well.

  210. My favourite tool would be a toss up between my extra strong readers and my washout crayola markers depending on the type of embroidery. The latter wash out every time and the range of colours help.

  211. My go to tool when stitching is my needle threader. I have several sizes for different size threads.

  212. My favourite tool is my wooden laying tool, makes my stitches lay so nice and flat, especially good for ribbon and multiple strands. Thanks for the opportunity to win this package.

  213. I like perusing their website … lots of fun goodies!! They sure have put together a lovely package for you to gift-away! 🙂

    1. *Addendum… I was so excited by the goodies, I forget to share my favorite tool. Sadly, it’s my reading glasses. LOL! I cannot work for too long without them these day!! 🙂

  214. My most reached for tool is my Infila Antomatic needle threader. Tired eyes and a bit past middle age has made needle threading a nightmare. This little gadget works great on most project threads and saves a lot of time and frustration!

  215. Janis P in HB

    I probably reach or go searching for my Beam n Read light that hangs around my neck. I use it for most of my handwork. My glasses are great, but the extra light really helps on these aging eyes. Probably should buy a couple more of those Beam n Reads for my many projects. I also keep a supply of thimbles in each of my project bags. I finally learned to rely on them for appliqué/quilting, and embroidery. I have my mom’s and grandma’s sterling silver thimbles, but I find the little green clover thimble has such nice deep dimples, it works the best for me.

  216. My new aficot. I am making 1/4” hems on linen napkins. The aficot smoothes the folds before and after stitching and makes precision and neatness possible.

  217. Many thanks to Cathe Ray and the Haystack staff for a wonderful collection of “goodies”!! To pick a favorite needlework tool is almost like picking between your children. BUT I would have to say that specific needles; Bohin tapestry needles used to be my favorites but as I do more stitching on high end linen and blackwork, my favorite needle is now the John James #10 ball point bead embroidery needle.


  218. My favorite sewing/embroidery tool is the little round leather stick on fingertip protector that keeps the fingers safe from needle sticks.

  219. In my old age I have developed neuropathy in my hands and legs. So when I stitch, needles and pins and all sorts of other stuff seem to end up on the floor. So my telescoping magnet helps me so much in picking up the pins and needles. That is my very favorite go-to tool in my sewing kit.

  220. My favourite tool after needles and scissors would be my small powerful magnet that I keep on my work, it holds my needle safe so I don’t have to spend time searching for dropped ones.

  221. Believe me, I know how odd this sounds – the thing I reach for the most right now are paper towels. I’m working on an applique project with a LOT of embroidery embellishment and I need to use the hoops for some of the stitching. I place paper towels between the hoop and my stitching. It keeps the stitches from getting squashed.

  222. My favorite tool is my hardwicke manor hoop. It keeps my work very tight and feels good to hold. I have every size. They are fantastic!

  223. I’m a serious novice at embroidering (and I’m not kissing up), your tutorial videos are probably my most used “tool” at this point, there are times I watch them over and over trying to learn a stitch I need for a project. So thank you for making them and offering them to us so freely. Thanks, also, for these lovely give-aways, makes Christmas even more fun! Your posts are always inspiring and I often recommend your website to my friends.

  224. I reach for my sewing magnifiers immediately. I have used the same MagEyes headset with interchangeable lens for years. They have accommodated my changing vision over the years and despite trying other methods, I always return to the same headset.

  225. The one item I will not stitch without is my Dazor magnifier lamp. It not only provides good light so I can see exactly where to put the needle, but it keeps my eyes from straining. It also keeps me sitting more erectly without the usual stitcher’s slump. Both are important when you reach the seventh decade! As for where to put my needle, well I prefer to stitch on fine linen of 40 count or more so the lamp is invaluable!

  226. My favorite tool by far is my needle minder. I love it above all the other tools I have. With cats, it is frequently necessary to stop suddenly when they jump up into my lap. Being able to drop my needle and not worry that it will end up in a foot or paw is priceless.

  227. My light is the tool I need the most. West Coast winters are dark during the day and for night time my light lets me stitch forever.

  228. What a wonderful pack of goodies! Thanks for always gifting us every Christmas! My favourite needlework tool is the laying tool that I use for embroidery and other needleworks. I do a lot of Hungarian embroidery since the age of 3, am now 64. I make and sell Hungarian embroidered hearts and Hungarian men and women ornaments dressed in Hungarian costumes. We used to use long needles to lay the silk threads years ago. Now with my laying tool it is faster and much easier. Hungarian embroidery is perfectly laid side by side and with close stittches. I love the laying tool being offered that includes the case. Mine is kept in a felt bag I made with of course, Hungarian embroidery on it.

  229. My favourite tool is my Lowery stand. It holds all the frames and hoops I will ever use, and is permanently to my left, next to my needlework table. I’ve owned it for more than 30 years, but being metal, is indestructible. I can also use it in the garden, and have made an attractive sand bag, which which to anchor the base plate.

    Love hearing from you regularly.

  230. My favorite tool is my thread caddy from Barnetts Laptop hoops. I use it every day for embroidery and hand quilting. Hand made by Harry in Massachusetts. Threads and tools for a project all in one place. I never have to wonder where anything is. Couldn’t live without it.

  231. My favorite tool is a sewing tools bag my stitching friend made for me. It carries all my essentials. It easy to take along to classes or have at my magic chair. It unzips and there are my pencils, scissors, needles, pins etc. it is especially dear to me as it was made by my stitching friend with whom we have shared many needle held hours

  232. What is your favorite, most-reached-for needlework tool (besides your needle or scissors), and why?

    First, what a lovely store referral – thank you! When I do have to shop online I like to order from a “bricks and mortar” store – so this is a great connection.

    My most reached for tool, besides my needle and scissors is my very tiny crochet hook – I can use it as a laying tool, but it also sorts out little notes and holds things when necessary 🙂


  233. My needle keeper. It is magnetic and I keep it next to e or in the corner of my project. Those who sit in chair appreciate it too! The don’ t accidentally find my lost needles when they sit down.
    Stacy jenk America.

  234. My favorite ‘tool’s is my Hardwick embroidery hoop. Holds fabric nice and taught and it is comfortable to hold.

  235. Can’t do without my needle threader. They seem to disappear a lot, so I have several!!
    DD in Montana

  236. My favorite item to keep close by when doing handwork is a pair of tiny Gingher gold-plated embroidery scissors that I won in a giveaway many years ago. Their retail value then was $40, so I was impressed with them, to say the least. 🙂 At that point, I didn’t have much in the top of the line mode so they were and still are very special to me.

  237. My most used tool would be a ruler or templates for marking seams on my crazy quilt blocks

  238. I have a comfy chair for stitching which works with my bad back BUT I cannot stitch for long because I find myself bending forward or sideways or whatever and then my back lets me know for the next few days. I found a lap desk at a yard sale and it makes a huge difference. It is flat so it will hold my work and raises that work to a comfortable level eliminating back strain. I am going to tweak it a little by attaching something to hold some accessories and possibly gluing a magnet to the board.

  239. I have to say that my magnetic board on which I hold my cross stitch patterns or whatever needlework type pattern I may be doing at the time is very useful to me. I can keep track of my last stitches if I have to leave my work. It’s also handy because I can temporarily place my needle on it as it magnetized.
    P.S. I enjoy your website and I have purchased from Needle in a Haystack— they are great!

  240. My most used tool is a highlighter to highlight the stitches I have stitched on my cross stitch. Now say that fast! LOL
    Have a great day Stitchers!

  241. I recently got back into cross stitch after a hiatus of more than 15 years….so moving from 14 count Aida to 40 count linen has been quite an adjustment so I would say my most reached for “tool” is my magnifying light so that I can see the actual square to stitch in!

  242. My go to tool beside the needle and scissors would be the hoops.
    I have found myself using hoops more often now a days.
    And I love my Hardwicke Manor hoops. Enjoy your stitching ladies.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  243. My favorite tool for stitching is my wooden laying tool. There is just something to feeling its smooth surface and then using that surface to perfectly lay my stitches. There is such satisfaction gained from having perfectly layed stitches on any piece.

  244. My most used sewing notion is my seam ripper. I have a nice wooden handled one, much like what you just gave away.

  245. Love, love, love “the stack’s” hoops. I won’t buy anywhere else. I must have a hoop, wrapped bottom part, in order to stitch. Good hoops that really tighten are hard to find. I have several sizes.

  246. What beautiful gifts. I’m almost speechless, there have been so many lovely things to get my stitchy fingers on.
    We are a lucky bunch of stitchers to have these gifts presented to us.
    Thank you to Mary and all her stitching friends.

  247. Now my favorite tool for needlework is my magnifier to help me see my work close up! I easily continue to do my needlework because of this tool!
    I hope I’m the winner for the Needle in a Haystack package!
    Thank you!
    Sharon Soldo

  248. My favorite needlework tool is my “Sharon’s Laying Tool.” It is long enough to fit comfortably in my hand without “finger fatigue” and using it has improved my stitching so much.

  249. My most-reached-for and favourite needlework tool are my snips!
    I have a good collection of small embroidery scissors in a rainbow of colours but I prefer using my snips.

    And may I take a moment to Thank you Mary for another wonderful year! You inspire me with all your new projects and teach me so many things about needlework. Time for you to take a bow!

  250. My favorite tool, outside the essentials, is my sheep needle minder. It is a little wooden sheep with coils of real wool attached. Very sheepy, super cute, and does double-duty as a needle conditioner in a pinch.

  251. The snow is softly falling but I am inside stitching with my cup of coffee. Could life be much better? Yes! I could win a group of needlework treasures to play with. My third most-used tool would be a tiny crochet hook to tidy up the back of my embroideries without having to re-thread a needle. The size depends on what thread I’m using.

  252. I have a small library of embroidery reference books and I have an IPad. They are both close by as I sew because I always need to check something . My embroidery reference books are in a rolling type of a bookcase . They are first out of the door in case of emergency.

  253. My favourite most reached for tool is a propelling pencil with a very fine lead to remark details on my embroidery as I usually work on things that I have marked up myself. Granny from Zimbabwe hi

  254. my favourite tool is well used and tried. my great grandfather was a blacksmith and he made for his daughter a set of small clamps to help her hold layers of various thicknesses together. it works!

  255. Following and reading your blog has helped me with my embroidery and other needlework projects. Thank you for what you do and how well you do it

  256. My most relied on and frequently used item in my “equipment” stash is my needle threader. (of course after the needles and scissors). Actually, I have a selection of threaders depending on the thread I’m using. They range from the bulk standard thin wire ones with the plastic handle to the cute and useful hummingbird style for the very delicate threads. And then there is the flat/wide metal Clover threader for those heavy decorative threads. They are either in my needle keeper for the current project or in my zipper bag that includes my favorite scissors, thimble and marker.

  257. I use my grandmother’s hat pin to help me pick out, pick around or just in general to clean up stitches that need to lay down nicer.

  258. My favorite needlework tool is my magnetic needle minder. It’s painted with a delightful little hedgehog! I collect hedgehogs and this minder was a gift from my daughter. It’s very useful as when I stitch I am always losing needles and threaders! I have done cross stitch for years but recently discovered embroidery and I’m teaching myself embroidery stitches. I’m left handed so that is sometimes a challenge. Love your blog Mary!

  259. Most reached-for needlework tool other than needles and scissors? It would have to be my flexible, portable Jansjö LED Work Lamp. Good light makes all the difference! Thanks for the fun give-aways, Mary.

  260. Aside from my needles and scissors, my most reached for tool is my Uncle Bill’s tweezers. They are fantastic for picking out pieces of fiber when I have to undo some of my stitching. They are also great for precise removal of stray fibers shed by certain threads. Also, this doesn’t happen often and not usually associated with stitching, but they are the best at removing splinters, even the tiniest.

  261. I would love to win one of these fantastic packages. I like using different fabric and a variety of threads and have a beautiful thimble that I enjoy using. Karen T from Ontario.

  262. I would have to say that my beeswax is most most used “tool”- I cannot do any plain sewing without it! However, for embroidery I rely most on my tweezers and a laying tool. They are indispensable tools and can be used in a variety of ways to insure flat, even stitches and proper placement of stitches.

  263. My favorite tool is a dental tool for scraping teeth that my dentist gave me. Perfect for frogging stitches!!!

    Thank you, Mary!

  264. My clear ruler with grid marks! I measure everything – to center a motif, to line up a border. The see-through ruler makes that easy.

  265. What a fine give-away plethora! Yet, Mary, you give us a difficult challenge – naming our most reached for tool while excluding our needles. The monies I have spent on searching for the perfect needles in the past two months – absolute silliness! So disregarding those needles the most reached for tool has been the bar of pure bees wax. I’ve been working Hazel Blomkamp’s Late Harvest and the wax has helped immensely in taming those threads into small needle eyes as well as easing the way in needle lacing the beads for the luminous grapes. Thank you and thanks to Needle in a Haystack for their incredible selection of stitching accoutrements!

  266. Well, lately my most reached for embroidery tool outside of needles and scissors is my little screwdriver with the fat wooden ergonomic handle and the blade that is just the right size to fit the screws in embroidery hoops. It’s also short enough to fit in my little kit I carry everywhere with scissors, needles, collapsible origami ort box and current working threads.

    I can no longer tighten screws on hoops with just my hands to make them tight enough to do the job. Then if I’ve managed to get the hoop tight enough, I can’t easily loosen the screw or nut. I’m having to use only hoops that can tighten and loosen with a screwdriver so I keep that little tool at the ready at all times.

  267. As my eyes have aged, my magnifying lamp has become increasingly valuable to me. If such a tool did not yet exist I would have to invent it myself in order to keep stitching!

  268. My Hardwicke hoops are one of my favorite tools. When making smalls and stitching small samplers I use a hoop because of the arthritis in my hands. It is the easiest to hold. Hardwicke makes the best hoops.

  269. This is a difficult question but I think the answer for me are my Hardwicke wooden hoops,I love how they keep your designs snug whilst stitching is happening.

    Sue Thomas

  270. Don’t know if others consider it a tool, but I do. It’s plastic boxes. They allow me to easily transport projects and keep everything neat and tidy. And you can easily see what is in each box or label and relabel them. I use them every time I stitch.

  271. My fave needlework tool is my plain old needle threader! It would be time consuming and frustrating without it!

  272. I must say I have 100 gadgets that I use with my stitching. I admit I have quite a gadget problem. But the thing I always go to,The one thing I will always need are my stitching glasses. Regular magnifiers can give me a headache, so I had my optometrist make me a pair of glasses with my prescription but with magnification. I absolutely love them! I also try never to stitch without good light. I have a light problem also. I won’t even tell you how many I have. I love the Needle in a haystack website. It’s one I browse frequently. Thanks for your days of Christmas Giveaways. I was like to see what you’re interested in! Merry Christmas and a blessed new year.

  273. Hmmm, that would be a “toss up” I would say. My “over my other glasses” reading glasses, my magnifier light (Yes, I use both together quite often with the tiny linen count I often use), my frames for holding the work, whether the one that sits in my lap or the floor stands, and when doing my x stitch I hold my laying tool in my right hand along with the needle (which passes back and forth from right to left hand depending on whether it’s on top or underneath the fabric). I don’t think I would want to be without any of them!

  274. If I have to choose another, I must choose 2. 1st my Ott Light, couldn’t stitch without it. 2nd my Mageyes magnifier, couldn’t stitch without those either. Love your Christmas give away even though I don’t win, lol.
    St Augustine Florida

  275. It may be a bit of “cheat” but my favorite needle-working tool is the Needlenthread website! I always have my phone next to me while I stitch in case I have a question and can just check Mary’s website for an answer or tip. It’s like having a coach with you all the time. Thanks!
    I also recently tried the Elbesee Seat Frame which is a game-changer. Both hands free!

  276. Love the needle minder!!!
    The most picked item would be my little lanyard I made that has my tiny scissors on one side and small pincushion on other…..

  277. Lately I am really loving the small Fiskars “children’s” scissors. They are blunt tip so don’t damage fabric (or myself), they cut both fabric (small cuts) and thread well, and they are relatively inexpensive—only a few dollars each. Amazon sells a ten-pack!

  278. The mighty Tekobari is my trusted tool to get a grip on things. With it I can adjust, burnish, lay, pick, remove, smooth, straighten, and tap. Inspite of being round, it does not roll away…. so…sometimes, as a last resort, I talk to it.

  279. My absolute favourite go to item is my Great Aunt Amelia’s bone thimble. It’s over a hundred years old now and I sadly barely knew her so it is very special to me.

  280. My favorite tool to reach for is my thimble. I love using one, it makes me feel like a grown up.

  281. There are two tools for which I reach regularly. One of course is my laying tool so I can make my multi strand stitches look pretty! The other took is Dritz’ “Snag Nab It”. Since I mostly work on canvas, when those pesky really tiny thread come popping through to the front from the back, I use the “Snag Nab It” to push them right back down from where they came. Quite handy, indeed.
    Thank you!

  282. My new favorite needlework tool is my laying tool. It is about 4.5 inches long and has a smooth stainless steel shaft and a lovely, slim wooden handle (maybe rosewood). It fits my hand perfectly in both size and weight. It has definitely been a key factor in improving the quality of my stitching.

  283. Of course I need a good needle and thread, but after that I need my pattern — can’t make a lovely stitchery without a clear pattern!
    thanks Mary!!

  284. My magnifying bifocals that are extremely hand when doing delicate detail work. Also my hand sewing gloves that are great when work for long periods of times.

  285. My favorite needlework tool is a laying tool. I love using this tool when I am working on a cross stitch project and embroidery project. I can even use a laying tool when machine piecing quilt blocks.

  286. I was trying to think of my most reached-for tool – was it my laying tool, my sticky bead mat? But no, it’s my magnifiers. I have ones that clip on my glasses and I can’t stitch without them. They flip up when I want to see in the distance and flip down for close work. I’ve been known to put them on to read fine print or pull slivers. Most of my stitching friends wear them too and when we need to look at each other during a conversation, flip, flip, flip up go the magnifiers almost in unison.

  287. My absolute favorite tool (if this counts as a tool) is my relatively new System 4 needlework stand (which I purchased from Needle in a Haystack!). If that does not count, I must say my laying tool. I use it frequently to adjust, jiggle, smooth, or tension stitches all the time. Plus, the stand (first time using one) has got me going with both hands, so I am using all tools more now.

  288. Most used? Probably my needle threader, specifically a Clover 8611. If you yank on the tip too roughly you’ll break it, but otherwise it’s perfect for what I need. I’d been shredding floss with the other sort of threaders I’d been using, and this design really stops that.

  289. My favorite tool is actually my Needlework System 4 table-top stand with frame clamp. I love using this well made stand rather than holding my hoop or frame in my hand because it allows me to use both hands when working on my project.

  290. Ellen in San Mateo Ca, my favorite embroidery tool is my Comfort thimble. I am very particular when it comes to my thimble. I only like one kind. They are hard to find and when I loose one I have to run out and get another or two or three right away, even though I have several in different places for just that reason.

  291. Hi, Mary,

    The tool I reach for is my magnifiers. I can’t stitch without them.

    If magnifiers don’t count as a needlework tool, then the tool I reach for is a hands-free hoop, the kind with a base that slides under me.

    Beth B in Charlottesville, VA

  292. My favorite tool & most needed is my OTT lamp. It makes it so much easier to read the patterns & eliminates eye strain!

    Stephanie D

  293. My grandmother’s thimble is always on my finger. It fits me perfectly. I found it in a drawer of her treadle sewing machine when it came to live with me. I often think of her when I’m stitching.

  294. Besides needles and scissors, hoops are important to me. Especially hoops that hold the fabric taunt are my choice. Investing in good hoops makes such a difference when stitching.

  295. My most-reached-for needlework tool is probably my magnifier, which clips onto my glasses. I need it to start my day of stitching and it is close at hand.

  296. My favorite needle work tool is my Klass & Gessmann hoop and fanny stand. It is my second hoop from them, I got my first when I was 10 and it lasted me 40 years before it was lost when my roof collapsed from a heavy snow. They are well made hoops and the fanny stand is the best thing ever. I can work with my hoop with 2 hands now! My old one had a screw clamp that could attach to a chair arm or a table so I never really used the clamp. The fanny stand lets me sit in my chair and be comfortable while I stitch.

  297. Embarrassingly, my most used tool is a microthreader from Puffin and company. I do a lot of appliqué and the threader is perfect for the very thin silk thread I use. I often shop at Haystack; it’s a great website.

  298. After a needle and scissors my most reached for “tool” is a reference book of stitches such as Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches. Reference books are a good reminder of the abundance of interesting stitches that one can incorporate into a project.

    SLK from JNU

  299. My favorite tool are my hoops and frames that I use for embroidery, needlepoint could not do without them.

  300. Well, I really don’t know. It’s good to embroider with the fabric well taut in a good hoop and it’s nice to use a thimble. But I learnt to embroider without them, so…. Since I have to choose one of them, I’ll choose the hoop.

  301. I love that needle keep! I think I need one. My favorite tools have actually come to be a stumpwork tool set I picked up at NIAH! It’s tiny tweezers, scissors and a few different types of pluses. I thought it would just be useful for stumpwork but I use them all the time on detailed pieces and love them.

  302. My favorite needle work tool, and tool in general, is my table top Ott Lite. Without good lighting, any type of hand work can be very frustrating!

  303. My favorite, most-reached-for needlework tool is a small project bag where I keep a variety of sewing-related necessities, e.g. laying tool, magnifying glass, seam ripper, etc.

  304. My most used tool is a dental tool that allows me to Frog Stitch without accidentally flinging my needle across the room. Many times your Dental Hygienist will share their old tools with you free of charge.

  305. I have just started goldwork and love using a mellor. It makes everything look more professional.

  306. My most reached for needlework tool is a little bottle brush looking thing – picks up pieces left after ripping out – something I do more than I like. Think it is called a boo boo stick…..

    Thank you

  307. My favorite tool besides needle and scissors is my needle minders. Always using one to two! Thanks!

  308. Does a magnifying lamp count as a tool? I find mine indispensable.
    But if if that is more accessory than tool, then my favorite tool must be the Puffin micro needle-threader, which I bought from Needle in a Haystack, a wonderful store.
    Thank you, Mary, and thank you, Needle in a Haystack.

  309. My organizer bags. I keep all the needs for each project in a separate bag and I’m ready to grab ‘n go!
    Thanks so much, Mary.


  310. My favorite tool, after needle and a hoop is probably my lighting! It is an absolute must for certain times of the year. After that – my laying tool… I love to make those stitches ling up straight with no twisted threads.

  311. This is hard. My favorite needlework tool is my handturned wood handled seam ripper and awl. I would rather feel wood in my hand than plastic when having to frog stitch.

  312. My favorite tool is my seam ripper. I am new to embroidery again after a ten year break. I was actually just wanting to make some red work dish towels. I found your website and traced the folk flower pattern just using a pencil. But now I just can’t stop. Your website is a great resource and is so inspiring.

  313. My hand turned laying tool is my favorite tool. It’s beautiful and so useful. Besides using it for embroidery I use it when I hand quilt. If I have to pull the thread back to re do a line of bad stitches it’s just right for that task too.

  314. My favorite must have when embroidering is a good hoop. Scissors, needles and thread plus good fabric are important too. But a good hoop is critical for me to be successful

  315. My definite go-to is my Lowery floor stand. It will hold everything from hoops to stretcher bars to scroll bars without taking up much floor space. It also easily breaks down into small enough pieces that it will fit into an overnight bag for traveling. I’ve never regretted buying it.

  316. Other than scissors and needles, I most often need a hoop— either for quilting or for embroidery! Todays prizes look wonderful!! Thank you for the chance to win!!

  317. A lint box! or whatever you would call the small container you use to collect all your threat ends and clippings:)

  318. I am a beginner. I would say my iron is important. I use it to transfer patterns and before I start a project to get my fabric nice and neat.

  319. A hard question to answer but the most used tool would probably be my pin cushion and my little thread snips! Thank you for the link to this wonderful store! Oh the variety.

  320. My most convenient tool is a size 12 crochet hook. If you have a stray thread on the back of your project, use use this to pull it under other threads.

  321. The tool I use the most besides scissors is my magnetic needle minder. Many of the embroideries or needlepoint I do change colors frequently, and it is so nice to not have to continually thread needles.

  322. I am just learning to embroider – it is so fun and relaxing!

    What is your favorite, most-reached-for needlework tool (besides your needle or scissors), and why?

    My pincushion – I’m not the best at this craft yet and I keep having to undo my stitches when I’ve counted wrong or have a tricky knot! I have a cute pincushion my 8 year old daughter put together for me so I tend to use that when I’m sewing around her! (She reminds me that she made it FOR ME so I HAVE to use it!)

  323. My most reached for needlework tool whenever I sit down to stitch is always a needle magnet of some type. I like the ones you can sit on a table or one attached to my working piece.

  324. The needlework tool that I always reach for first is my magnifying glasses! I wouldn’t be able to thread my needle without them.

  325. Apart from my needle my most used tool is an old blunt needle… I use it to gently unpick stitches without disturbing the fabric or other stitches. I find it very precise!

  326. My most reached for tool is my floor Ott light. I can use it in any room where I decide to stitch. Have not tried taking it to bed yet, but that’s not saying I won’t.

    Margaret Huntington Station, NY momob6@optonline.net

    Enjoy all your TV shows, and many tutorials.

  327. The tool that I reach for most is my bone and/or wooden laying tool. I would have first said my Stella table lamp but I can’t reach for that when I am not home.

  328. When working on my needlework, I automatically reach for my lighted magnifying glass by Ottlite so I can see the details on my handwork. It’s almost a necessity these days as my eyes get older and older!

  329. Since my eyesight has been on a decline my lighted magnifyer and needlethreader have been essential. Those with a varied assortment of hoop sizes make it easyier to work on designs.

  330. I love my little trolley needle, a permanent finger attachment when doing cross stitch. I also have several wood turned laying tools with tips of different thicknesses a good friend made for me. When embroidering a show piece or special gift, or especially items that are not going to receive a lot of use and washings, I find I am becoming more picky about the way my threads lay, especially the silk threads.

  331. I would say my tweezers or melor. I’m loving gold work again and I’m trying some new ways with metal threads, I love wrapped purl purl.

  332. My favorite, most-reached-for needlework tool has to be my magnification lamp. Because without it I would not be able to see to stitch. I have several. A Dazor in my family room, a Dublin in my living room and for on the go I take my Daylight Halo. I have had several others but these are my favorites. I use a JAT stand, a couple of types of hoops and millennium frames to stitch with too. My favorite small tool would be one of many needle minders.
    I have met Cathe, she is a lovely person.

  333. My most reached for tool is my floor Ott light. I can use it in any room where I decide to stitch. Have not tried taking it to bed yet, but that’s not saying I won’t.

    Margaret Huntington Station, NY

    Enjoy all your TV shows, and many tutorials.

    This is my only entrance into this contest….perhaps I’ve said similar things in other comments. Don’t know where you’ve gotten such incorrect info.

  334. I never start or finish a piece of needlework without my magnifying lamp.
    Even with excellent eyesight, it’s a valuable tool.

  335. I don’t have a most reached for embroidery tool! The constants in my embroidery are something to half-watch as I work and now-a-days my glasses for fine work. I do love my boxes of DMC though I’ve started buying some overdyed threads. That’s about it!

  336. I’m not sure these classify as tools but I use two purse size booklets of embroidery stitches all the time.

  337. Hi Mary,

    The needlework tool I use the most is my Ott light (or lights). They provide bright, intense light right where I need it. Thanks for the give away.

  338. I don’t know if it technically qualifies as a tool but the thing I reach for most often after needle and scissors (and hoop or frame) would be the needle book I made for myself in 2005 (I dated it so I know that for sure!). Meanwhile, I need one of those pin keeps that says “Don’t touch my chocolate. I have needles!” ’cause I don’t drink coffee. 😉

  339. My most reached for needlework tool, besides the usual, is my laying tool. I use a non-traditional laying tool, a beading awl. It has a cushioned handle and a metal tip. It’s good for more than just using as a laying tool. It can make holes bigger, help get knots out of threads, etc.

  340. Sadly, my most reached for tool is usually the seam ripper. Bleh. I keep practicing, though….

  341. My trolley needle is the greatest. Keeps my thread smooth & don’t have to pick it up & put it down.

  342. Now THOSE are “goodie bags”!! Thank you to “the Haystack”!!
    After needles and scissors, I must vote for the almighty HOOP! (well, there is “magnification and light”, but those are boring!!) I do most all my embroidery with hoops — all sizes and configurations. The inner rings are wrapped (most of them, anyway), and they hang on vintage coat hooks on the wall. Ready and waiting…..

  343. I love the selection of tools and stitching supplies from Needle in a Haystack, and I REALLY like their service. You get prompt and accurate feedback on when your order will be ready to ship. If there’s a problem, they give you an honest answer.

  344. My favorite tool is my needle threaders. I have 5 or 6 different ones and with “older” eyes my needle threaders and a bright light are essential. Love your newsletters.

  345. My go to embroidery tool besides my needles and scissors would have to be a handmade laying tool. It was made with a yarn needle and a polymer clay handle. It fits perfectly in my hand while laying floss or threads. Thank you for the chance to win the goodie bags.

  346. It’s a tied between my work lights and my needle threader as my hands get stiffer from arthritis and my eyes need the extra help to get the stitches in just the right place.

  347. I do a lot of non-embroidery, so wax is one of my favorite tools. But for embroidery, probably a laying tool/little awl/very large tapestry needle that I’ve never actually used for stitching…

  348. My favourite tools are my collection of needle threaders. I have a depth perception problem, so trying to thread a needle has always been an adventure. Needle threaders make it so much easier!

  349. Unfortunately, after my needles and scissors, my most useful (so, I guess, favorite) is the seam ripper. I must admit that I do a lot of reverse sewing because sometimes I just can’t live with boo-boo’s.

  350. My most reached for tool is my Evertite stretcher bars. They may not be reached for the most often, but they are ALWAYS the first thing I reach for when starting a new piece of needlework. I have them in all sizes and am addicted to how tight they hold the fabric. They have spoiled me!

  351. My most reached for needlework tool other than my needle and scissors is Uncle Bill’s tweezers to pick fuzz off my fabric or to catch a thread tail. Thanks for the generous giveaway.

  352. My favorite tool is a small wooden device that is used to tighten the wing nuts on my scroll frame. It’s about 4 inches long with a groove on one side that just fits the wing nuts

  353. The tool that I use the most after scissors is my laying tool. I love the look of laid threads, especially silk.

  354. My favorite needlework tool — which I used last night on an a small but troublesome part of a larger embroidery — is a nice, fat and pretty blunt tapestry needle that I use to pick out stitches 🙂 It was especially handy because not only was I eliminating a block of satin stitches (easy), but also trying to carefully pick out two rows of tight stem stitches without disturbing anything other than the offending bits (much more dangerous).
    I tried to keep the cursing to a minimum and am happy to see a nicely cleaned up spot ready for another try today!

  355. My needle threader is my most valuable tool because, well, those needles eyes are difficult for me to thread.

  356. Right now, I reach for my magnifer/light. Working on stitching over 1, I especially need it at night when my old eyes feel tired. Second, is my laying too.

  357. My most reached-for tool is my needle threader. I work with several colors at a time, and have several needles threaded to work on my designs. My needle threader is essential to keep all colors handy!

  358. My next most reached for tool is my pincushion. It’s a lovely handmade wool felted dark pink and purple one (purchased from the maker) roughly the same size and shape as the old fashioned red tomatoes. I happened to have some wool felt in coordinating colors, so I made a needle strawberry and attached it. The only problem was that I thought it would be cute to put beads on the strawberry to resemble seeds, so you have to be careful where you put the needle!

  359. I love your blog and especially your videos. My favorite tool is the hoop. i know some people stitch in hand but i just love using a hoop. I need to use a magnifying light and the hoop helps enormously. Someday i hope to get a sit on english style frame.

  360. My trusted magnifying glasses for sure. I would be lost without them with all the small details of embroidery.

  361. My favorite needlework tool os my iron-on transfer pen! It has a fine point nib and I just love it!

  362. My most used needlework tool besides needle and scissors are my half-moon reading glasses (aka “Mrs. Claus” glasses according to my husband). They allow me to see my needlework and also look over the glasses to view the TV. Technically those aren’t “needlework” tools so if I had to specify something else I’d say my needle minder – it keeps me from losing my needles!

  363. My Light is my favorite! It is very bright and shines right over my right shoulder. Good lighting is essential when stitching!!!!

  364. My most-used needlework tool would have to be my portable Ott light. Even when I’m stitching during the day, the light helps so much.

  365. my most used needlework tool is my teko bari. I love the way it sits in my hand, the smoothness when stroking /laying the fibers is perfect. I have three teko bari’s but the long one, that I have had since about 2000 is my fvourite. I use it whenever threads need to be laid precisely.

  366. My most reached for tool is my needle threader. Every time I use it I think of my granddaughter because I made her one to match.

  367. My favorite stitching tool is my bunny, magnetic needle minder. I used to stick needles in the arm of my chair until my husband ended up with one in his hand. Oops!

  368. My favorite tool is a stitch (a.k.a. seam) ripper. Its great when you have large areas to pick out. Mine also has a rubber tip which you rub gently over the fabric and it removes the little fuzzies left behind.

  369. My most reached for tool is my overhead, floor-stand light. I’m constantly adjusting so I can see better. Second to that are my small round magnets that I stick on everything to hold my needles, scissors, etc. Thanks! Liz.

  370. After needle and scissors, I go for my 5″ hoop. This hoop is old ( about 40 yrs) and blue plastic. It does not have the lip, which is why I prefer it. The biggest reason why I use this more than anything, including Qsnaps and scroll rods, is because it fits my hand. I can hold it in my hand and reach the back with my fingers to feel the needle and thread. I also use a trolley needle on my left thumb with which to lay threads. There is a lot going on with my left hand! I also have a small square of plastic with slots in it for the pattern which fits over the screw on the hoop. It also is old and only fits this screw on this hoop. The screws on newer hoops are too thick on which to fit the pattern holder. My old 5″ hoop does it all for me!

  371. My most used tool is any one of my laying tools. I have 4. 2 I use for embroidery, 1 for wool crewel work, and the last I acquired to use with needlepoint. They are such handy things!

  372. The tool I cannot stitch without is my chatelaine. I actually feel naked without it’s comforting weight! It holds all of my essentials — thimble (another “can’t live without”), extra needles, scissors, tweezers, and a few other little things that fit in the pocket. Mine was made by my mother and I’ve used it for over 20 years. Sadly, it is now falling apart, and needs to be replaced.

  373. I reach for a ruler a lot in my needlework- I always check the fabric count of the linen before starting to make sure it is adequate for the piece in mind…making sure I’ll have a suitable border for how the piece will be finished. Whether to be framed. Or sewn into a pillow or making an ornament.

    Tedra Raden, Phoenix. AZ

  374. My magnifying glass and my glasses. Love your website and video tutorials Mary. I’ve learnt so much from you. Thanks

  375. My most reached for tool is my burling irons! I have 3 cats at home, and I am forever finding cat hair! The other tool that I use all the time is the new Pattern Keeper app for my full coverage cross stitch projects. Can’t imagine stitching without either one!

  376. My favorite sewing tool is a clamp that I used to pull the needle out when it’s stuck! Thanks for the giveaways!

  377. What a lovely assortment of gifts you have for today’s drawing. I consider my LED magnifying light as my favorite tool, but if that doesn’t count, then it is my snag nab-it.

  378. What an interesting question I’m looking forward to reading the responses! For me, I’d have to say “bag of threads”. I rarely use patterns, and even when I do, I like to play around with my threads and make final selections as I go. Switch a colour here, add a different texture there…always a choice to be made!

    Cheers and luck to everyone

  379. My favorite needlework tools are my tiny blue “ort” bowl and my magnetic needle keeper.

    Pick me!

  380. I have only recently learned about the value of a laying tool so would consider that as my most reached for tool.

  381. I regularly reach for both my readers glasses as well as a tiny crochet hook. I use it for a laying tool as well as adjusting some stitches that I wish to finagle into just the right spot and tension.

  382. My favorite notion is my Ott light because of the obvious reason, which is I can’t see good without it.
    If I had to choose another I’d say silicone finger tip guards.

  383. I have a little organizer pouch a friend made me that holds all my necessities! It’s always ready to go!

  384. I cannot stitch without my clip on magnifying glasses so I would have to say that would be my most reached for tool.

  385. My favorite and most used needlework tool is definitely my Dublin CraftLite (from Needle in a Haystack, incidentally!) . The extra light it provides helps me do my best quality stitching, and as time goes by and my eyes age, I find myself using the magnifying lens more and more. I especially appreciate its flexible goose neck, allowing me to put the light at just the right angle.

  386. I’d have to say that my most-reached-for tool is definitely my needle threader! It’s one of those little plastic ones made to look like a hummingbird, and not only is it adorable, it’s teeny-tiny hook makes getting the thread through the eye of the needle (always the bane of my existence) so much easier.

    This particular giveaway looks absolutely delightful — I’ve got my fingers crossed!

  387. As, do most of us, I have many tools to help with my passion. If I had to pick one other than scissors, it would be my BLT (Best Laying Tool). In the past, I have used large, blunt point needles, but I love the BLT because it fits well in my hand and is easy to get threads to behave and lay smoothly on the fabric.

  388. Oh my goodness I’m just salivating over these gorgeous goodies! And I’m always in need of more needles and good hoops. What a treat! My favorite secondary needlework tool is my little thread-cutter pendant. So handy for toting around projects where poky sharp scissors would be awkward.

  389. My magnifier light. I couldn’t do without it.
    Also want to add my two cents about Needle In A Haystack. They have helped me choose an alternative thread or fabric on numerous occasions and are always ever so helpful. Many thanks.

  390. My most reached for tool is the Best Laying Tool. Just as critical, though not exactly a tool, are my CraftOptic glasses. Thank you for that recommendation Mary.

    I shop at NIAH regularly, they have a great selection of linen. I hope they can stay in business another 21 years!

  391. Picking my favorite tool depends on what type of stitching I’m doing. However I find my self reaching for my Puffin Compnay Micro Threader very often. I love how it helps me out so many times.

  392. My favorite needlework tool has to be my laying tool. I have a lovely wood one from Stitch in Turn that is a pleasure to use.

  393. my go to “tool”. is my Stella light…. My eyes need all the help they can get:). I could not do w/o good light!
    Gwen Ziegler

  394. My favorite tool is my leather thimble- although I only use it when hand quilting and not usually when embroidering!

  395. My most reached for needlework tool besides scissors and needle, is my hoop. I love to have a piece of linen held taught in my hoop.

  396. My favorite tool is my chart holder that stands up so I can glance over and see the chart without having move or pick it up.

  397. I love Needle in a Haystack, such an amazing on-line store. I am swooning over those needle packs! My most reached for tool aside from scissors or needles, is definitely my needle threader! Makes my stitching time so much easier!

  398. I use my ink transfer pens of all colors. The sky is the limit for free handing patterns or little drawings my family does.

  399. I am a relative newcomer to embroidery but love these features you have on great shops online. You guides are so precise and your opinions are great. I never know where to find those wonderful little items that help make embroidery easier and fun. Today’s reference to the “Stack” is just one of those gems!I went to her shop and browsed!!!!

  400. My most reaches for tool is definitely my needleminder. It’s fantastic not just for keeping needles at the ready, but I also use it to hold my needle threader, which saves me MUCH frustration. I hated having to look around for it, and for spending any extra stitching time with persnickety rebellious threads that didn’t wish to fall in line.

  401. Hi Mary
    Without a doubt, my favourite, most reached for embroidery tool is my pin cushion. Or should I say, cushions? I have four now. Three I made and one that another person made, we had a pin cushion exchange. I just love the look and feel of them, brightly patterned with various needles with colourful bits of thread and multi coloured pins poking out at all angles.

    Thank you again for arranging these remarkably generous and superior quality giveaways. You are a classy gal, through and through.

    Jess in St. Marys Canada

  402. My favorite and most reached for tool used in embroidery is a laying tool because it helps me get the threads to smooth down just right.

  403. I used my magnetic needle minders all the time. Don’t want to lose needles in the carpet or in the couch . . . Ouch!!
    What an amazing prize!

  404. My most reached for needlework tool is my wooden hoop which has a solid tightening screw with notch in the screw head to make tightening the hoop easy and effective.
    I must add that Needle in a Haystack is my go to online resource Their needle workers gift Mary’s Needlenthread.com readers is an eye popping generous stash of goodies.

  405. My most reached for needlework tool, it’s your site. It is an indispensable tool for me. Whether searching for ideas, refreshing long lost information and skills or learning new skills, techniques and acquiring new knowledge, it’s your site. And yes, sometimes I just need to read and dream. So thank you.

  406. I reach most often for my needle threader. I just can’t seem to learn to do it without one.

  407. One of my most reached for tools is a clamp to hold my hoop with the embroidery in it to my table. That way I have both hands free for stitching. Ana-Maria K

  408. My favorite most reached for tool, is my needle threader. It’s the quickest way for me to thread my needle.

  409. I can’t stitch without a needle-keeping magnet on my fabric, held by a magnet on the back! And because I still somehow manage to drop needles, I always have my extending wand magnet with a light on the end to help find & retrieve the ones that get away!

  410. A good light with daylight wavelengths is so important to me. I can’t imagine picking up needle and thread without one.

  411. I love this website. Thank you for helping me indulge my stitching habit!
    My most relied on tool is my natural daylight lamp, especially with the shorter days.

  412. My most reached for needlework tool is my double hook needle threader. One end is a larger hook than the other, so will work with many size needles.

  413. It’s a toss-up between my clip-on magnifier glasses and tweezers. If I didn’t use the magnifiers I probably wouldn’t see all the bits of fluff and dog hair that I need the tweezers for, but I couldn’t see where to put the stitches, either! 🙂

  414. What is your favorite, most-reached-for needlework tool (besides your needle or scissors), and why?

    After needle and thread, my go to tool has to be my DMC color card. I love picking my own colors and that card is a great resource.

  415. Thanks Mary, for another fun Stitcher’s Christmas series of giveaways! And to the sponsors/donors that make it possible!

    I am a ‘gadget gal’ when it comes to stitching. I use lots of tools and goodies to make stitching easier. I have to say that after my scissors and needles I MUST have good light! With or without magnification, depends on what I’m working on and where I am, but I supplement the room light with a color-corrected lamp or lamp and magnifier combo. I have several and love them all, I just use them for different things and in different places in my studio, home and/or when traveling.

  416. Hi!! My very favorite and very needed “tool” are my machinger gloves. I do not know if they fall in the tool category but I need them to grasp my needle and pull my needle through some challenging times. If purchased to be snug – they are not intrusive to my movements. Thank you for the chance. This gift really makes my heart sing!!

  417. I agree with Mary that the consumer service is very good at Needle in a Haystack. I appreciate that and their online inventory which is a huge help.
    My go to tool is probably my magnifying glass. It’s just part of what I need to do the job.

  418. I am fairly new to embroidery, so I do not have any other go-to tools, other than my needles and scissors. I find your posts both instructional and inspirational, and I Thank You!!

  419. My favorite needlework tool is some type of magnifying tool — be it a floor standing or headset magnifying glass. I seem to be looking for it more often than not… maybe it’s an aging thing 🙂

  420. What a wonderful prize! I love the service I get from “The Stack”. My most reached for tool is either my needle threader or my needle nabber. I sometimes have trouble grasping my needle when I am securing my thread tails on the back.
    Thank you for all you do for us, Mary.

  421. My favourite go-to item that I absolutely could not do without when I am creating Brazilian Embroidery items is my wooden laying tool.
    It makes creating bullions so much easier

  422. This collection of goodies looks fabulous. I’d particularly love the chance to try the Tailor’s Chalk linen – it’s not something I’ve come across before. My favourite go-to tools are my needle nannies. I have a handful, and they’re to be found on the hoops and frames of whatever is live. My other, new favourite is a lovely velvet lined beading tray from Jenny Adin-Christie. It’s perfect for cutting gold wire threads, but it also holds sequins and beads beautifully. ANd because it has a magnet underneath, it holds my needles in place when I’m doing tiny projects that don’t have room for a needle nanny.

  423. My magnifying glasses! Can’t do anything close up without them.
    Thank you for this opportunity.

  424. My most reached for tool has to be the NeedlenThread website! The how to videos are a life saver. Followed by my light. 🙂

  425. Since I haven’t stitched in many years this is a tough question, but Needle and Thread is a great inspiration for ideas and things I want to try. This gift selection would make a great addition to my supply cabinet that I am working to fill.
    Lorri in Renton

  426. This shop might actually influence my decision whether or not to visit Alameda for the first time during the next year!

  427. Thank you again Mary! What a beautiful set of goodies! I have two tools that I find are indispensable: my lay tool and my rubber needle puller! My lay tool helps me make ideal French knots and my rubber needle puller makes pulling that tiny needle through the fabric oh so much easier!

  428. I think my go to embroidery tool is my leather thimble. I find that I really like using it. I don’t care for the metal ones. Thank you for this great opportunity. And a Merry Christmas to you, Mary.

  429. I keep each project in a separate pouch (learned that tip from you, Mary), so the mesh pouches are a must. My husband made me scroll frames in 4 sizes in oak about 15 years ago, and they are in use for various projects all the time. The fact that my husband contributed this element to aid my hobby adds to their value to me.

    My other favorite tool is my magnifying light – my vision is such that if I am not in good sunlight, I need assistance to clearly see my stitching.

  430. Without a doubt it’s my Morgan hoop. I like this hoop best out of all the hoops I have because it’s two hoops in one, both different sizes, I can use it on my lap without holding it which leaves both hands free to sew, and it folds down to almost nothing which makes it great for traveling.

  431. I have to be honest – I always include my ripper. Unfortunately there are many times I need to go back and remove some errant stitches!

  432. My favorite needlework & most reached for tool besides scissors & needles would have to be my magnifying light. I could not work on any project without it (and trust me I have tried).

  433. After my needles and scissors, my most used notion is my MagEyes. It’s hard to stitch when you can’t see what you’re doing 😉

  434. My “go to” needlework tool is my organizer, better know as a cosmetic case. Holds everything needed for my project. And it’s grab and go!

  435. My go to tool in needlework has to be my head torch! I live in a very old house – about 300 years old – and it has very little light plus the big walnut tree outside adds shadow. My head torch means I can sew whatever the light and even thread needles! I also find it useful for colour selection as it has a clean light. I couldn’t live without it!

  436. My favorite tool is a challenge to come up with, though lately I’m obsessed with the proper needle. If it doesn’t slide through easily or if it doesn’t thread easily, it’s headed for the trash. My favorite needle of late is a ball point needle that seems perfect when counting linen for counted cross stitch.

  437. My favorite tool is my portable light. As I get older and my vision deteriorates, I couldn’t enjoy doing embroidery without it. Dr Dianna

  438. If using the term loosely (ie not necessarily hand held), I have to say my stands. Without them I’d be much slower since I couldn’t stitch two-handed.
    If it must be handheld than I would say my laying tool.

  439. My most used and favorite tool is my old school adjustable 6” ruler. It has a sliding knob on the inside of the ruler and I can measure down to 1/8”. Because of the exact nature of some of my hand projects, it’s right next to my scissors, floss and needles. I use it constantly and would struggle without it.

  440. your project light that clips on to the frame. Small enough to carry with you and is bright.

  441. Oh my…NIaH..one of my favorite shopping sites online!!My always- used needlework tool are the little clip-on magnifiers for my glasses…can’t do it without them these days!

  442. After sitting in my favorite chair for stitching, I reach for my hoop and fabric I am going to stitch with. Having the pattern in hand, I turn on the light (my eyes are not as good as they once were) put my feet up and start stitching. Needles, thread and scissors are all necessary, but the fabric and hoop are important also.

  443. Unless I’m doing something like goldwork I don’t usually use a lot of tools. But ever since I turned 40 I’ve been reaching for a lamp more and more often. As soon as it starts to get close to sunset (or if a cloud happens to pass in front of the sun!) I’m reaching for the switch on my stitching lamp!

  444. My favorite needle work tool is mu needle threader. I am older, age 76, and some of my senses are weak, including my eyes, So while I wait to ‘courage up’ for cataract surgery, I use it so I can keep stitching in my retirement. I can now thread all my needles because of it!

  445. Stitch diagrams -have a great book from Emily Bishop (Cross N Patch) plus Thea Duck at Victoria Sampler has great diagrams for specialty stitches.

  446. My most reached-for tool would have to be a chopstick ! I use this for turning out corners, taping a pin to the end (to heat over a candle to melt organza) and for many other odd jobs !

  447. I don’t know if you would call a book a tool, but in the last couple of years I have discovered a whole
    wealth of new stitches….not the basics that Grandma taught us. I have collected a few books that have
    a wide variety of stitches and I keep them close to my chair and try to use a new one on every project I
    work on. You have had a hand in this learning experience also, one of the reasons I check your site quite often.

  448. I can’t say scissors? Dang.

    Extra magnification. My eyes are going anyway, and my optometrist has me on this wonky “one contact stronger than the other” that’s supposed to make my distance vision more flexible but really messes with close-up stuff.

  449. My favorite tool is an antique gold thimble whose origin is unknown, but I like to imagine generations of women before me using it in a variety of needlework projects.

  450. Good morning, my go to tool is my tweezers. I am doing Stump work leaves & flowers to go on a very small birdcage & shaping as I stitch. SO much fun. My second would have to be wooden egg I’ve brought in the last month. My hands get a wee bit sweaty when its warm so I roll it in my hands & it works wonderfully. Thank you for the chance. Kind regards, Leigh Day, New Zealand ( I can pay the postage :-))

  451. I love to see and support independent brick and mortar stores. It’s a plus that Needle in a Haystack has a nice website, as well.

  452. Aloha, embroidery friends! 🙂

    Although I find myself often wishing that my laying tool wasn’t in my other embroidery kit *all the way* on the other side of the house, the tool i rely on most are my assortment of tiny tins and magnets to keep my pre-threaded needles organized and untangled between stitching sessions. It is so lovely to be able to open one of my tins and start stitching with the right color right away!

  453. First my friends because stitching is so much more fun.. Then my magnifying light because my eyes are as old as me. And then my wooden laying tool because it’s so much fun to fiddle with if need a break from stitching.

  454. My favorite tool to reach for is my magnifying light. As I get older my eyes have naturally aged with me
    And the magnifier has brought joy back into stitching again.

  455. My go-to accessory is my laying tool. It takes a little more time, but makes my stitches look oh so much better!!

  456. My eyes are getting older faster than the rest of my body, so I’d have to say I reach for the needle threader!

  457. A very important item when stitching is my stella lamp. Without it I have a hard time stitching.

  458. My favorite tool is my snag grabber. If a stitch isn’t laying “just right”, I “snag it” & it is perfect!

  459. Lately, my most-reached-for needlework tool has been a needle threader. My next purchase will have to be some sort of magnifier!

  460. The thing I always grab is my needlework systems 4 floor stand. It holds my piece in its hoop so my hands are free. Also keeps things near and clean and out of the way,you can turn it over without taking it out of the stand, hold the hoop right and works well for cross stitch and embroidery.Makes sitting in any chair comfortable.

  461. After my needle and scissors I always reach for my magnet board to hold my place on my pattern. I have them in 2 sizes and of course I have to have more than one to accommodate multiple projects! I don’t know what I’d do without one.

  462. Oh this is easy. My sturdy needle threaders. I have three different sizes to accommodate the various needles I use. Why? I have an essential tremor and slow onset macular degeneration. They’ve slowed me down but I’ll be darned if I’ll let them take me away from a lifelong love of stitching!

  463. Definitely the ripper. And this prize looks amazing because I have not known or ever used these products in this giveaway and would sure like to try them.

  464. I would love to win this as I don’t have a hoop! And the thread & needles look great Thanks for doing the contest !

  465. My favorite needlework tool is my Ottlight. I’m 77 and need all the light I can get. My second favorite is my glasses –for the same reason!

  466. My most reached for tool these days is my magnifier that hangs around my neck. 🙂 I hate my bifocals.

  467. My most-used, although not favorite, is my seam ripper. It is hard for me to visualize things, so I just have to try different options until I find the right one. My new favorite will probably be that purple teacup pinkeep. 😉

  468. My favorite needlework tool is actually a piece of furniture. I have a chair made precisely to my measurements by my late father who was a superb upholsterer. The seat allows my feet to hit the floor while my back is supported firmly upright – which is next to impossible on any other chair if you’re 4’11” tall. This means I can stitch comfortably for hours.

  469. Besides my needles and scissors the things I absolutely can’t embroider without are my pincushion(s), reading glasses and light. I can’t say any of these are favorites, but they are surely necessary. And since glasses and lights are difficult to make “pretty” my pincushion has to be especially beautiful.

  470. My favorite needlework tool is a wooden hoop. I have small ones for handwork and larger ones for free-motion quilting on my sewing machine. I’ve also used small ones as frames for finished pieces. I appreciate how wooden hoops feel in your hands and make it a pleasure to do needlework anytime, any place.

  471. My most commonly reached for tool is either my Thread Zapper or travel hair straightener. I use the Thread Zapper instead of scissors for any thread that frays – not so much with embroidery but often with Rainbow Gallery threads for needlepoint. I don’t leave home without my travel hair straightener because it is so quick and easy to “iron” any thread straight. I find it is much easier to sew without kinks in the threads especially the EdMar threads.

    Merry Christmas

  472. My most reached for stitching tool is my Mag-eyes because I can’t see to stitch without them! I’ve used them for at least 20 years now & love them. They might look funny to others, but who cares as long as one can stitch!
    I would love to win the assortment from Needle in a Haystack. I order frequently from Cathe & agree that they are a wonderful shop. Thanks for the opportunity!

  473. My go to tool besides needle and scissors have been my reading glasses. In the last year my eyes have gotten so bad. I’ve had glasses since I was a little girl but only needed them to see distance. I loved being able to take my glasses off to read, sew, and stitch. But, not any longer, I need them or I just can’t see to stitch anything. I wouldn’t normally think of this as a tool, but it is necessary. The other thing I just started using which is really helpful in keeping me organized is a lunch tray from dollar tree. It keeps my needles in one area, my scissors, small ruler, and pens in another area and any threads or beads in another. A friend showed it to me and I went right away to get one. And the best part is it was only a dollar.

  474. My most important piece of stitching is a beautiful piece of fabric to embroider on. I like something that is easy to transfer a clear pattern onto. Whether I am transferring by light box or by an iron on transfer, I like something that is smooth and with and even weave. I like fabric that will allow me to see crisp lines in the fabric because my eyes are 60 something years old. I have never tried the tailor’s chalk linen which I have put on my list for my next purchase.

  475. My tweezers and my laying tool are my favorite embroidery tools. (other than my scissors of course!)

  476. My fave item is my excellent magnifier light. With my eyes getting older, and stitching a lot in the evenings, I can’t be without this LED light. It’s an easy to use floor standing lamp that is able to be reconstituted as a desk lamp, so either way I’m good to see what I am doing!

  477. I never pick up a piece of stitching without using my Needlework System 4 I have a table system and use it on my lap or the table – the best investment I have ever made!!

    (I am also looking at the Craft Optics system but with the exchange rate as it is currently I think I will have to wait for that)

    Love the blog – it is interesting and really useful for various reasons

  478. The most important tool for me to use while embroidering has to be the hoop itself. I like a nice rounded-edged hoop not too large.

    Thank you,


  479. Favorites are sometimes hard to decide, but as I’ve aged I’ve come to rely more and more on the magnifying lens that is attached to my lamp. So for today, that’s my favorite tool. Ask me tomorrow and you may get a different answer.

  480. Hmm, I would have to say stretcher bars, since I do mainly needlepoint. Laying tools and magnets are close seconds.

  481. My essential is my Daylight magnifying floor lamp. There would be no stitching without it.

  482. The tool I reach for the most is tweezers. I use them for getting knots, dog hairs or Thread pieces off my embroidery.

  483. It’s so simple but the light I bought myself last year, one recommended by you! It’s made all the difference in my embroidery!

  484. My two needle threaders are near to my heart. One is standard size, and the other is for extra’fine work. They make it possible for me to keep stitching even with essential tremor.

  485. I use my frogger the most. Sad to say, I change my mind often and then expect perfection. Rippit. Rippit.

  486. Tool I use the most? Easy. I use my frogger the most. Sad to say, I change my mind often and then expect perfection. Rippit. Rippit.

  487. The needlework tool I use the most is my thimble because i can’t sew without it. I worked a five year tailoring apprenticeship that began 63 years ago and have sewn and therefore used my thimble almost every day since. It’s part of my identity and I couldn’t be without it.

  488. I am a faithful customer of Needle in a Haystack. In fact, the last time in the Bay Area, we made a special trip to go see the shop. I especially like all the unusual types of thread
    I first met Cathe when she came up here to offer goods for sale at a stitch-in here at Ft. Worden, put on by I can’t remember who, but a great time was had by all! I purchased a nail file on a glass holder. I used it until I completely wore it out!

  489. My favorite tool is a needleminder – being able to drop my needle onto a magnet and not worry about where it is at any moment is a luxury! I always make sure I have a magnet on each piece to park my needle as I’m working away!!!

  490. Hi Mary! Thank you for your Christmas goody giveaways!! I think after my needles and scissors, my most reached for tool would be my tweezers!

  491. My needle case, first thing I stitched when joining guild many years ago. Stitched using Deerfield’s techniques. Love it.

  492. My most reached for item when working on my embroidery is my magnifying light. I find it gives me smaller stitches and I am always pleased with my work when I use it. The magnifying light is part of my arm!

  493. My favorite sewing tool is my Magnifying Stand Lamp, it isn’t fancy but very practical . I sew Cross Stitch on 32count Linen, using the lamp enables me to see my work in better detail. It has served me loyally for approximately 20yrs, even with the taped together power lead which one of our dogs chewed on when they were a puppy. My husband often borrows it when working on fishing reels. I’d be lost without it.

  494. The tool I reach for most are my mechanical chalk pencils. I have several in different colors.

  495. My most-reached-for tool is my Needle Easel, a device for holding my needlework (mounted on stretcher bars or a scroll frame) so I have both hands free to manipulate my needle and thread.

  496. Because I’m still a beginner w/fancy embroidery stitches, the thing I cannot stitch without is my iPad Mini. I can remember stitch names, but not how to work them/get started – I need video tutorials or picture directions to help.

  497. My favourite tool is my laying tool. This lovely tool is from Jenny Adin Christie’s workshop and not only looks good and feels good to hold but is easy to use. I love it!

  498. Over the past few years, my favorite tool has become my needle threader. I wish I could find a sturdy holster to put it into for easier handling, about the size of a guitar pick. Any suggestions?

  499. I suppose my most reached for tool is my wire threader which both eases eye strain and just soothes my impatience to get the thread in the needle so I can start stitching! I do have a couple of more charming threaders, which I use if they are compatible with the thread and needle, but for me the wire ones are the workhorses of threaders and I keep a ready supply. That said, I certainly have more beloved and beautiful tools, but threaders probably win the most-reached-for contest.
    Thanks so much to Cathe and to you, Mary for this enticing collection!

  500. My most reached for needlework tool used to be my seam ripper, but is now my pencil. I find that if I draw the stitches the way I want them I make fewer mistakes and the stitches look better together.

  501. My favorite needlework tool is the heat erasable pen! So I can transfer my patterns and designs precisely without worrying about the marks being visible in the final work.

  502. After my scissors and needles, the tool I reach for most often is my Elbesee Embroidery Lap Stand.
    I love the hands free approach!

  503. I saw Cathe’s needle and pin keeps at the Attic last month. They are Fab! My fav tool is a Bohin needle. I am addicted.

  504. I couldn’t stitch at night without my Dublin magnifier light. I have excellent natural light during the day but at night I’d be lost without a magnifying light.

  505. My most reached for needlework tool after a needle and pair of scissors is — my Ottlite. The light is very helpful for aging eyes and for color matching. I bought the lamp at Mary’s suggestion and it has been worth every penny!

  506. Since I don’t use a lot of tools other than needles and scissors I guess my answer would be a needle threader and sometimes magnification and good lighting.

  507. My favourite tool, besides my needle & scissors are two things that do the same thing- Thread Heaven & beeswax. I find these items indispensable when stitching to condition the thread & ease stitching. I could not do embroidery so well without them.

  508. My go to tool is called a Dololly ( or something like that!) It is great for ending those short threads or re-tucking those threads that have come loose.

  509. I always enjoy getting your newsletter ! They are always full of wonderful tips, good general information, and encouragement in ample supply ! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and love of embroidery !

  510. One of my favourite and most loved tools would have to be my tape measure. I usually use it when transferring design and measuring up for projects. I keep one in my handbag so if I am shopping for fabric, threads, ribbons, braids or embellishments I can quickly check sizes.

  511. My favourite needlework tool after needles and scissors are my embroidery hoops and frames. I am looking forward to using a Hardwicke Manor hoop as I have read some great reviews. Only yesterday I found the Needle in a Haustack online site and ordered a hoop (along with a few more tools I couldn’t resist). A great site so easy to use

  512. What is your favorite, most-reached-for needlework tool (besides your needle or scissors), and why? – Right now, it is a toss up between my BLT and my curling iron. both help me to lay my threads smoothly so they look good.

  513. My most favorite, cannot stitch without tool is my leather thimble. My fingers do not seem to work right if I do not have my thimble on my finger!

  514. This might seem silly, but it’s a small case by Yazzi where I can carry the tools and many of the threads for my on the go project. I stitch away from home a fair amount of the time. Whether I am stitching an ornament, crazy quilting or attaching the binding for a quilt, this little organizational case carries what I need.

  515. My beautiful aficot from Jenny Adin-Christie. The shape is based on a lobster claw, it’s made of beautiful smooth wood, and it fits my hand perfectly. I use it for laying threads and polishing my finished satin stitch.

  516. The tool I have to use most often is a magnifier with a light. Because I want delicate things to be as accurate as possible.

  517. I have a Hardwick Manor hoop and I love it! I use it all the time. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!

  518. Thank you for the give away. I love all needle work. It keeps me busy during these long cold winters in New York.

  519. Right now, for my current project, my Frixon pen is my favorite tool. I’m using it, with Kathy Seaman Shaw’s templates, to mark my crazy quilt stitches.

  520. I think my most used tool would be a (borrowed!) pincushion. It’s a little red rectangle, when in use I poke my needles in “upright”, and when I stick my embroidery supplies in a bag to work outside of the house, I tuck them in “sideways” so only the eye is peeking out of the fabric.

  521. My best tool right now is a chart of embroidery stitches that I use as a guide while I am still learning embroidery stitches and styles.

    Laurie C – Spotsylvania, VA

  522. It is hard to chose my favorite tool. It is a toss up between my beam and read light that shines directly on my fabric, a good smaller hoop to hold my work tightly, or my frixon pens for marking my patterns.

  523. I love my snippets which hang around my neck on a braided cord for convenient cutting of threads.

  524. My most reached for go-to tool is a bit of a reach, definition wise. It’s my Favorites page of Needlework sites that offer online tutorials, hints, helpful suggestions, and supplies. I’d be lost without them! I’ve learned so much and figured out a ton of fixes for some “impossible” mistakes. They are my inspiration pages and my how-to’s. I can’t even tell you how many endless hours I’ve spent online in the middle of the night when the dreaded insomnia hits. And that’s usually when I find something totally unexpected that seems so perfect for a project I’m working on, or one I can’t wait to start. I’m totally addicted!

  525. My most reached-for (because it’s vital) needlework tool is my magnifying light – without it, there wouldn’t be much progress made!

  526. It’s a tie! As my eyes age, I use my magnifier more. (I have one on a swing arm attached to my light, which I use for some work, but I also have a little hand lens that I grab occasionally.) BUT I probably use my telescoping magnet as often, for I’m forever losing a needle into the depths of my chair or the carpeting, and I daren’t leave one where one of my furry friends might step on it. Thanks again, Mary and “the Stack.”

  527. My most reached for needlework tool is my needle puller. Really provides an assist when I find my needle in a ‘tight situation’.

  528. My needle minder! I like to use a magnetic one with a pin cushion on top so I can be sure I will not knock off my needles accidentally.

  529. My most reached for piece of equipment when I embroider is my LED magnified floor lamp. My eyes spasm when I try close-up work. when I magnify my work my eyes aren’t stressed and do not spasm.

  530. My favorite needlework tool that I use almost all of the time is my light/magnifier combo. I keep it next to my stitching chair and I don’t think I would get much done without it.

  531. Greetings all, my go to tool is a thimble. Mostly I use the metal with the lip around the top, but sometimes they slip off so I use the Clover silicon one. It had s metal tip which catches the needle like the metal ones. Thank you Mary, hope all have a great holiday

  532. My most reached tool is without a doubt my thimble. If I do not have it on my finger I will end up with a boo-boo and a stain on my project. (this has happened more than once!)
    Have a lovely day Mary
    Thank you

  533. My favourite needlework tool is a thread mover, affectionately known as a third finger. It is a tapestry needle set into a turned wooden base and I use it to move threads out of the way so I can insert my needle into the correct place more easily.
    As I am a goldworker, often working in fine detail, I find this tool invaluable.
    Sharyn AUS

  534. I love going to NIHS in Alameda. My friend and I try to journey there once a year.
    My favorite needlework tool is scissors. I love a good pair of scissors especially ones appropriate for the job…like Hardanger, embroidery, or applique scissors.

  535. My most important go to tool is my Ott Light. I know Mary has another light she likes, but mine was a gift I can’t live without. I have it by my favorite chair and it has meant that I can stitch late into the night.

  536. Well, I am going to say my iron…. It isn’t a “needlework” tool per se – but it is a tool that I use frequently when I do any kind of needlework. I rely constantly on my iron whether I am hand piecing, quilting, or embroidery. I literally could not work without my iron.

  537. Hello Mary, my most reached for tool is probably my pins and pin cushion gifted to me by my best friend. I just love it, it was a special gift. I just love this gift, I’ve never tried bohin needles and have a very small stash of fabric and linen as we live on a limited budget and therefore I have to have a reason for every purchase. Thank you for the opportunity. Regards Mandy xx

  538. I get a lot of use out of a needlebox (hey, you said not scissors or needles, but this is different!) that I made out of an Altoids box. We had a class in my chapter of the EGA on a lovely little embroidery designed by Anne Marie Hoffmann. We had the option of mounting it on an Altoids box. While I love boxes, I really didn’t want just another piece laying around, so I decided to make it useful. I mounted a piece of magnetic vinyl (the kind people put their business cards on) on the inside lid, and constructed a fold-out multi-page felt needlebook for the inside of the box. The box holds a needle threader and as I am stitching, I can park my needles on the magnet. I have it handy for every project!

  539. My most important accessory is my combo led light and magnifier, because I could no longer do needlework without it. I’ve been stitching for seventy years and loving every minute of it!

  540. I need good light to stitch, so I wear a flexible light around my neck. It’s very handy!

  541. If I CAN’T mention my scissors (or their little cousin, the seam ripper) my favorite tool is probably my metal board and strip magnet. It helps me keep my place when I am stitching, especially with cross stitch and blackwork. Otherwise, I’d be distracted by squirrels too much and lose my place!

  542. My most reached for tool (after scissors & needles) is my phone, so I can take a picture to document what I’m doing.

  543. My favorite took is probably also my least expensive. It shouldn’t be the most reached for, but probably is. It is the Star De-Tailor. The little loop of wire you use when you haven’t left yourself enough thread to fasten.

  544. I think it would be a draw for my favourite needlework tool after my scissors between my light magnifier and some type of hoop or frame. I don’t stitch in hand, and will use a spring hoop even for ornaments. However I’m very fond of my light too if I had to choose I’m not sure Thanks for this opportunity despite being far away I consider the Haystack one of my LNS!

  545. My light box is the start of just about everything I make. I rarely but kits. I like to embroider wildflowers based on botanical drawings. And I also fashion my own kaleidoscope designs using yours as a jumping off point (I’ve done most of the designs in your ebook and loved doing them).

  546. A seam ripper. I still make mistakes and since I don’t like the way they look, I take them out and redo.

  547. My most favorite tool is my magnifier/light. Why? you ask……………because I’m getting older and I can’t see!!! ha ha. It let’s me see those fine details in my work. I love it and a great investment.

  548. My most-reached-for needlework tool is my magnifying glass with a light that clips on to my table. It is handy to see better and does not need hands to hold it. Look Ma! No hands!

  549. My ripper is my best friend (besides scissors & needles) because often I do a set of stitches and decide I am not happy with them.

  550. Not sure if it qualifies as an actual needlework tool, but an essential bit of stitching kit for me is my daylight magnifier. It sits by my chair in the lounge, ready to be pulled across when I start stitching. I also have a couple of small portable magnifiers for stitching away from home. Although sometimes I can work without magnification (e.g. cross stitch on Aida fabric) it makes life so much easier for anything else. Love the thought of possibly adding such lovely goodies to my stash. Thank you for the dreams.

  551. My favorite needlework tool is a sewing tweezers. I can remove random threads and or fuzz that i sometimes find on my stitching fabric and not worry about disturbing my stitches – Rosann P from NC

  552. Yeah, that would be the needle minder,usually I use quite a few on a project:one for needles, one for scissors, one for the pattern, etc. They are quite useful.

  553. Hi Mary,
    My favorite tool (is it a tool? ) is the teeny set of magnets (~3/16″ discs) I attach to whatever I’m working on. One magnet goes over, and one goes under, the fabric, and my needles and pins love that magnet! I’m much better at keeping track of needles now.
    June House

  554. My Dazor magnifying light is always at my side. The light is nice and bright while the magnification is needed to help see stitches on smaller count fabric. I’d love to try your snowflakes on that lovely fabric.

  555. This looks really exciting! I am contemplating entering our National Exhibition in July 2020. It would be great to work on some different fabric and experiment with some new techniques.

  556. I’ve had great help from”the ‘Stack” and appreciate their wide assortment of offerings!

    There are 2 tools that I reach for most frequently, and I’m not sure which wins out: needle threader or tweezers. Being disabled, I am mostly one-handed in embroidery, and need help in threading my needle, and if there are any problems with my last stitch, the tweezers help in different ways to rectify or undo it.

  557. Reading glasses and my iPad. Between online stitch dictonaries, tutorials and using it as a lightbox, my iPad is indispensible when I’m working on a project.

  558. Light. Light. Light. My house is too dark, especially in the winter when I love to cozy up to stitch so a nice, good light is a must. Husband is a bear, he likes his dark caves so my portable lamps get a workout.

  559. Believe it or not, it’s my readers. I had some not very successful cataract surgery (things went wrong and among other things caused a detached retina). So I’ve come back pretty slowly to needlework. Once I admitted to myself that it wasn’t going to get back without readers they have become a very important tool.

  560. Thanks for the great giveaways, Mary. I am also a very happy customer of Needle in a Haystack.
    The item I reach for most often is my laying tool. There is nothing quite so satisfying as having all the threads lined up in a neat row. And with the silk, the light plays on the fibers and makes magic.

  561. My most-reached-for needlework tool (besides your needle or scissors) is my needle threaders. I’m frequently working with multiple strands, especially on canvas, and it’s so much easier this way. I like the flat double-ended threader, sometimes called a muriel style. And beading needles — the eye is so tiny! My go-to tool there is the Ultra-Fine Threader. Thanks to you and Needle in a Haystack for a wonderful offering.

  562. For me, its a magnifying lens! I have one that clips on my project, I’ve had it for years. It has become more and more necessary over the years, sigh. But I’m too ornery to give up my love for needlework! So that’s that.

  563. I love my pouches to keep things together. I stitch in an easy chair, and things tend to slide. With a pouch I can keep things contained and nearby.
    The gifts today look amazing!

  564. My most reached for tool is a ruler. For some reason, I’m always needing it to measure my work and make sure I’m in a straight line on the fabric. I also need a good light source but that’s for reading and other projects, too.

  565. My love is fine embroidery and I couldn’t manage without my magnifying light.

  566. My favorite tool is probably my laying tool.to keep those threads straight.
    If my magnifier counts it might beat that out.
    Hope all have Happy Holidays!

  567. My glasses are my next most important tool after needles and scissors. they might not really be a needlework tool in other people’s worlds, but they are in mine! After that is my needle threader.

  568. My needle threader is probably what I want next to me and is used most often.
    Love Needle in a Haystack.

  569. My favorite tool after scissors and needles is my ott light. It is essential for fine work especially when I stitch at night. It doesn’t bother my husband but I can see my work. As I age good light is more and more important

  570. My most-used tool is probably my tweezers. They’re small, metal, and pointy, and great for either pulling out stitches that just didn’t work, or sometimes teasing out a knot in my thread

  571. My most reached for tool is my laying tool. It feels great in my hand and I love the way my stitches lick when using it.

  572. My most reached for tool after my scissors and needles is my magnifiers – can’t do much stitching without those – I have three sets and have just bought a fourth set that have a light on as well. Always enjoy your website Mary – just about to get started on a snowflake or two or three 🙂 MichelleinScotland

  573. I love my BLT – Shay Pendray’s Best Laying Tool for how easy it to use for laying threads smoothly or piercing holes for eyelets. I learned about by doing a search for embroidery laying tools several years ago, and up popped Mary’s blog! My lucky day – a perfect tool and a great teacher all in one fell swoop! Thank you, Mary!

  574. I would love to try a 5″ Hardwicke Manor embroidery hoop. Mine is from Taiwan. Lol Or the needle keep looks so awesome!!! Makes me want to embroider!!! Pam Wesselink