Thursday, May 31, 2012

Taking Out The Tool Collection

View looking down the table
My quilt study group offered me the opportunity to give a presentation on needlework tools.
It was quite an adventure figuring out how to transport and display even part of my collection.  We meet at a local quilt shop and space is limited.
I used two tables at the front with chairs facing the tables.  The group doesn't have a projector so I 'talked' my way through my PowerPoint presentation, holding up pictures as needed.  Next, we went back through the items on the tables.  Afterwards people were free to come up and have closer looks.  Some took pictures and looked at the reference books I brought.

The tables were over flowing
 Last year I promised some of you I'd show how I "Take the tools on the road".  This time I used Riker specimen cases in two depths for the smaller pieces.  They are glass topped and contain sheets of padding.  Here you can see them stacked on the table.  Ideally I would have had space to place the tools by era with the corresponding era of needlework in front of the case.

A few of my needle cases

The shallow cases are for the smaller pieces - like needle cases.
In this case I included photographs with the needle cases open, showing how they store thread and needles.  In some examples the lid is a thimble.
I also enlarged photos to show the signatures on some of the art and signatures on the cases.
The cases worked OK, I somehow managed to crack three of the glass covers during loading/transport so I have some glass work to do.

End of the second table

The other end of table two.

In future posts I will share all of these pieces with you.  It was nice to share them in person with others and have 'live' discussions.

Members also brought pieces from their collections and shared with the group.

Do you have some older needlework tools?  If so what is your favorite?  I can't chose a favorite...

Have a great weekend!


  1. I am sure it was a good presentation. You put a lot of time and work into getting everything ready. And I can see some wonderful items in your collection.

  2. Would have loved to see your beautiful and interesting collection. Maybe you should do a book?

  3. Oh gosh, I so wish I'd been there for your talk!!!! It must have been wonderful! I love how you transport your pieces -- very clever! Sorry about the broken glass. I wish I had an older needlework tool collection, but I don't. I often think about buying a piece and starting one, but that's a dangerous road to go down. lol!

  4. What a wonderful collection!! Wish i could have been there and seen them in person!! I don't really have a favorite - except my great grandmother's monogrammed thimble!


  5. Your tool collection is amazing! I rarely see items like these. My favorite piece is a great grandmother's sewing implement that contains some pincushions mounted on a metal base that turns. It also holds little spools of thread. So pleased that I inherited it!

  6. Wow, would have love to been there to see your presentation. I have a few treasures of my grandmother and greatgrandmother's. Thanks for sharing yours!

    :) Carolyn

  7. Wow, you have a TON of stuff! I have a seam ripper and a pin cushion :)

  8. that must have been so much fun to be a part of. i wish that i could have been there~!!~

    i think that presenting the items within the glass cases was a very good idea.

    i LOVE those litte needlecases~! and now am wondering about just how many different kinds/types were made . . . as Margaret said "that's a dangerous road to go down".

    Donna's idea of a book is a great one and i'll second the motion.

    i think that my own favorite needlework item is the stork scissors that my great grandmother gave me many many years ago. i was quite young and i still remember feeling so validated as a "real" needleworker when she gave them to me.
    i still think of her with great love every time i look at those scissors.


  9. It would be fascinating seeing some of these lovely tools in person. What a great presentation. Glad the cases mostly worked for you.

    I don't have any really old tools, though my great grandmother's gold thimble was given to me, and I have a lot of my grandmother's sewing things that are vintage, but not antique. I would love to have one of those "sewing birds" that clamp onto a table--they are so neat!

  10. Hi Dawn,

    I have been away from the internet and so not able to read and comment as I would like. Your collection looks so interesting and something that would be fun to see. If only those pieces could talk - the stories they could tell, huh? I would also liked to have heard you give your presentation, I am sure it was delightful. :)



Thanks for your comments!