My sewing is often influenced by my mood - for this project I was feeling happy, a sense of modern whimsy and wanting to reach for something NEW took over. As the pattern is my own and I have made a few versions now, that bit is familiar but you can still experiment with something you've made before. The needle case can be a quick make or a nice way to incorporate a bit of patchwork or embroidery.

This is why I decided to make another and test out some 'new to me' embroidery stitches. As it's only a small project and not on display, it doesn't really matter if it's not great or I found I didn't enjoy sewing certain stitches.

Wouldn't you know that the opposite became true?! I found three embroidery stitches I really like and, even though I didn't labour over my fabric choices, the mix of fabrics turned out well. There may need to be more snap decisions in my future.

I was lucky enough to be chosen as an Aurifil Artisan for 2019 and the threads I used came from a selection I was sent by the fabulous team at Aurifil (more on that later).

Aren't the wooden spools just beautiful. The coral and linen shades are so me and I thought they would go well with blue. I picked out Ink Thunder, Sonata by Amy Sinibaldi, drew some circles as a guide and hooped it up. With absolutely no plan for what stitches to use; after a quick flick through saved IG posts and other work for inspiration, I chose to attempt a Pekinese Stitch

Clearly as this is my first go it's far from perfect and it probably would have been better to make those loops less loopy but it was so very fun to stitch. I kept all six strands of the Aurifloss together as I wanted a dramatic chunky look.

It is satisfying and nails modern whimsy perfectly!

Knotted stitches appeal to me, having done very few I went for a simple stitch called Pearl Knot Stitch for the inner circle. It is very pretty and works so well in coral. Actually it reminds me of some coral earrings my mum has, a very 60s vibe. For this stitch I separated the thread and used 3 strands. It was easy, no terrible knotting when separating and 3 strands still gives good definition to the stitch. Aurifloss also has a nice sheen, not shiny or matte, sort of like a subtle highlighter.

The outer circle began with a chain stitch and I went back to using all 6 strands. I sew a reverse chain stitch as it's far easier to keep the stitches neat, you have more control over the length of the stitch. To do this you start with a small straight stitch, come up a stitch length away (which determines the length of your stitch) and then loop the thread under the first stitch you made, go back through the same hole you came out of and repeat looping the thread under the threads of the last stitch you made.

I have done chain stitch many times but what I haven't done before is a Back Stitched Chain Stitch - perfect for two colours. It's a cool stitch, very braid like.

I had to follow my own pattern from this point, it's been a while since I made the last patchwork version Stitchy Pie - and I'm glad because there are some important steps to get a good finish that I had forgotten!

Using Aurifil 50 weight for the rest of the stitching and construction of the needle case, it actually wasn't my intention to use white... I sat at my machine and started sewing without thinking but I went with it because it gives a nice contrast and it's fine enough that it doesn't dominate the hand stitching.  

My alphabet rubber stamps helped me label some of the sections of the needle case, I have written the types of needles on past versions using a fine permanent pen and it could also be embroidered. The lining is Arroyo by Erin Dollar on Essex Yard Dyed in Mist and the felt is this gorgeous Heathered Felt.

Again on a whim, I picked Grid Bits in Gold, Carkai by Carolyn Friedlander for the binding. It keeps that modern theme and the lines are a nice contrast to the loops and curves. I machine sewed the binding to the outside and hand stitched it down using Aurifil 50 weight. It's a narrower binding than for a quilt but I use the same thread for quilts too and they have all withstood plenty of washing and being thrown around.

To finish off I picked out a mint green Kam snap. It would have been safer to go with blue but this colour called to me.

Now needles can be perfectly organised and safe inside the pie! To get the Stitchy Pie needle case pattern click here.

This is the amazing delivery I had from Aurifil...

As an Aurifil Artisan I am lucky to get to work with these stunning threads. I have used Aurifil for over 7 years, I can't wait to share more projects with you and, as always, try new things. 

I love the packs with the variety of weights, such a fun way to play about experimenting with how the thread weights can give a different look to a project and using them to discover what works well for the type of project and you. It's impossible to deny though that my favourite Aurifil is cones, big cones that last forever! For a lot of my sewing I use 50 weight thread - for machine patchwork piecing, sometimes quilting, for binding and general sewing projects. I also tend to use a neutral colour most of the time so a cone of a blending neutral colour is ideal.

The boxes are also awesome. A great way to protect and store thread. Here is the selection I received in my Artisan Collection:

And as a reminder to my future self, these are the colours:

That makes me want to make some rainbows, even one made with neutral colours. I'm thinking a rainbow Stitchy Pie would be incredible! If you fancy whipping one up, find the needle case pattern here.

Have you tried any techniques or stitches that are 'new to you' recently? If not, may the mood strike you for some impulsive crafting and experimenting soon!

p.s. to those of you that have sent messages or emails I truly do appreciate you reaching out. Currently my life is in a season of flux and family life keeps me very busy, leaving me little time. Please know I am grateful and will try to respond to any questions. Commenting right here on the blog or on instagram is best - those are the two places I'm at! ♡