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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Introducing Purple Posy, a Tape Measure Cozy!


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At the end of next week, I’ll be launching the kits for the first Stitch Snippet stitch-along of 2024. I’m very excited about it, and I hope you are, too!

Stitch Snippets is a series of stitch-alongs here on Needle ‘n Thread. The instructions are offered here on the website for free, for you to follow along at your own pace. If you are a member of the Needle ‘n Thread Community on Patreon, you’ll receive all the lessons for the stitch-along in a downloadable and printable PDF format, along with other little bits of instruction that we’ll talk about along the way.

With every stitch-along, my goal is to offer a project that results in something finished and ready to use or display. So whether the embroidery project results in a small framed piece for display (like Autumn Fire) or a needle and scissor wallet (like Cotton Quartet) or a bead-embroidered pincushion (like the Bee-Jeweled Pincushion), at the end of the whole step-by-step process, you’ll have a finished piece of embroidery that you can be mighty pleased with!

This approach will not only help you learn different aspects of embroidery, but it will also increase your confidence in finishing your own embroidery into beautiful and useful items.

Without further ado, then, I’d like to introduce you to Purple Posy, a tape measure cozy.

It’s a fun Snippet, with all kinds of great learning aspects to it!

Read on, and I’ll tell you what you can expect…

Stitch Snippet: Purple Posy Tape Measure Cozy

This year’s first Stitch Snippet is a tape measure cozy. Much like a teapot cozy, the embroidery encases the object within – in this case, a sturdy, retractable tailor’s tape measure.

For this project, we will embroider the top of the structure with a swirl of purple flowers and green leaves, with the flowers presented in an ombre-like shaded effect along the swirl. The flowers are accented with corresponding seed beads.

Stitch Snippet: Purple Posy Tape Measure Cozy

The base of the tape measure cover features a small coordinating accent swirl.

With the embroidery, we will learn how to subtly change the shade of the purple flowers along the swirl and we will learn three methods of making bullion knots. Two of those methods are fairly common. The third is a little more obscure and tricky, but the mastery of it allows for a different type of control over knots. For some, it may prove to be a new favorite method for making bullions!

We’ll also learn to embroider very easy, delicately curved leaves.

Stitch Snippet: Purple Posy Tape Measure Cozy

As we embroider the side of the tape measure cover, we’ll discover how to build out a decorative band with simple stitches and we’ll apply small seed beads for accents.

With the embroidery finished, we’ll build the cozy.

We’ll learn how to prepare the foundational materials for the top, bottom, and side of the cozy, and how to assemble them with the embroidered pieces into the tape measure cover.

We’ll sew the cover together and finish it with a decorative beaded edge.

Stitch Snippet: Purple Posy Tape Measure Cozy

And finally, to provide a pull for the tape measure, we’ll create a beautiful and serviceable fob using beading wire, specialty beads, and a charm.

The result will be a measuring tool for your work box that’s serviceable and charming.

About the Kit

So that you will have everything you need on hand to complete the project, I offer materials kits for the Stitch Snippets in my shop.

The kits for Purple Posy will be available to purchase next Friday, Feb 9th, at 10:00 AM Central time. If you want a kit, please mark your calendars! We only have a limited number of kits, and they take a long time to assemble, so if you want a kit, you’ll want to check in next Friday before they sell out. Members on Patreon will have their own special shopping night scheduled earlier in the week.

You’ll find all the materials you’ll need in the kit:

  • High quality linen ground fabric
  • Full skeins of embroidery floss
  • All the backing and foundational materials, including two different weights of template plastic and two different weights of stabilizer / padding
  • Three types of needles
  • Seed beads in two sizes
  • Specialty beads (including a large amethyst bead, two peridot crystal beads, crimps, and more)
  • A decorative charm
  • Flexible beading wire
  • A sturdy, retractable tailor’s tape measure (80″), featuring both imperial (inches) and metric (centimeter) markings. The inches are labeled at 1/8″ intervals. This tape measure is significantly larger than most retractable tape measures – it is 1/2″ wide with a large retraction button.

There are a few standard tools you’ll need to provide for the embroidery and finishing processes: a hoop or frame, needlework scissors, pins or clips to help with construction, sewing thread, and PVA glue. A pair of needle nose pliers and wire snips will also be helpful.

Stitch Snippet: Purple Posy Tape Measure Cozy

I was really happy to find a really good quality tape measure for the kit, so if you have a kit, you won’t need to hunt for a good tape measure. This one is much larger than most retractable tape measures (a full 80″ in length, and half an inch wide), with a large button for retraction. The labels on each 1/8″ marking are exceptionally serviceable, too. This is not the typical flimsy “swag” tape measure given away by shops. It’s quite a bit more beefy.

If you’re going through all the work to decorate the case, after all, there might as well be a decent tape measure inside!

Without the Kit?

Can you still work this project without the kit? Yes, you can! I’ll share the types of materials I’m using, sizes of beads, color numbers for threads, and so forth as the project progresses. Since there are many components to the kit, though, if you’re able to acquire the kit, it’ll be less frustrating than trying to source the materials.

Even if you’re not interested in creating the tape measure cozy, you can still follow along with the stitch-along and learn plenty of tips and techniques that you can apply to your own projects!

Between lessons, I’ll still be providing other useful embroidery content here on Needle ‘n Thread.

Coming Up!

So next Friday, February 9th, at 10:00 am (central time) is The Day! Mark your calendars, schedule your reminders, and pop in to grab your kit. The stitch along will start shortly after everyone has time to receive the kits in the post.

Next week, I also have another book to share with you. I’m considering setting up a pre-order set up for this one. I don’t want to run out and leave people disappointed!

And speaking of books, we have more copies of Life in Seasons that I reviewed earlier this week on their way. I should have those within a week to ten days, so keep an eye out if you’d like a copy. I’ll announce it when they’re back in stock.

There’s nothing quite like a new year to usher in all kinds of new and interesting books! There are quite a few on the horizon, and I’ll show them to you in depth as they become available!

And then there’s this, speaking of new…

Oh golly! I’ve got some gorgeous (and I mean gorgeous) new pre-finished linens in the shop, ready for you to embellish with your own embroidery. I’ll tell you all about them shortly! They include table toppers (small table cloths), runners, and various sized accent pieces. They’re perfect for hand embroidering. Oh yum yum yum. They’re something special. (And they’ve been a loooooong time coming!)

I’ve been testing the wool threads we chatted about earlier, and I’ll be sharing those results soon, too.

Whew! Life is delectably busy in the studio! Have a great weekend!

Tulip Needles in stock!


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(20) Comments

  1. Oh wow – it is very pretty. I hope I can participate and that it comes out even half as beautiful as yours.❤️. Can’t wait

  2. This is certainly a very pretty color scheme. If I weren’t international, I’d be tempted by the kit, despite having no particular wish to cover my tape measure.

    As it is, I can see the embroidered elements doing well on a number of other projects, so I’m looking forward to following along and getting inspired 🙂 Thank you for trying to keep the stitch snippets accessible to those without kits; the material information is appreciated.

  3. The Tape Measure project is beautiful. I’m still thinking if it’s something I want to do.

    Sometime in the future, it would be nice to have a project for a book cover, and maybe one for a box top.

  4. Is this something a beginner can do? I already ordered the kit so either I need to do some ‘homework’ to prepare or just take my time LOL! Just too pretty to not try. Your tutorials make things look easy so that gives me hope. 🙂 Thank you, Robin

    1. Sure! We’ll be going step-by-step through the project together. The embroidery is certainly not difficult, and I’ll talk about substitutions, if you find the bullion stitches daunting. There’s no part of the project that’s “hard” – but the construction takes patience and attention. But it’s not hard! There’s nothing really complicated about it.

  5. Hi Mary
    The year is running away from me again………

    I can’t get the Purple Posy kit from you (alas), but are you planning to make the design & list of materials available to your overseas fans?

    I have a tape measure that is not as big as your one, but is begging for a beautiful cover.


    1. Yes, I will include the supplies I used as we work through the project. I will also explain how to use whatever retractable tape measure you have – though admittedly, some of them are very small, so the design might not adapt as well to the smaller ones. But we’ll talk about all that!

    1. Hi, Jeannie – It’s a stitch-along here on the website, so weekly, I will post an installment. You’ll need to visit the website to get the latest articles that are posted, or you can sign up for the email newsletter (which brings the posts into your inbox). You’ll find the sign up form in the left column of the website when you’re on a computer. If you’re on a mobile phone, it’s part of the main menu, which appears when you click the “hamburger” (three stacked lines) in the top corner of the webpage. (www.needlenthread.com)

  6. Hello. As you know from my previous orders, I LOVE your websites and posts. As an adult educator for knitting and a few other homekeeping skills, I love how precise and thorough you are! I purchased the purple post kit a for gifts. I need to know what size hoop you think is best for that project? I will order your nice birch ines when you reply. Thanks so much! Be well, happy Mother’s Day!

    1. Hi, Terry – the 4″ hoop works fine for Purple Posy. You have to move it when working the side strip, but the round top and base fit perfectly.

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