Want to Know What Else is in My Workbasket?

Laying tools help keep those threads under control - and they can be really pretty, too!

Picking up where we left off last time,

let’s finish our look at the essential components of any stitcher’s workbasket.

Since we’ve already chatted about scissors and needles, let’s dive a little deeper into my workbasket and see what we can find.

Of course, there’s a laying tool…

Okay. There are several, but I reeaaalllly like laying tools. They’re so pretty – and so functional – and oh-so-collectible! 😉

And since I’m embroiderer, too, I find myself using one more times than not.

Never heard of a laying tool? No worries. I’ll tell you a little about them…

A laying tool is basically a little stick that you can use to keep your threads under control.

And a laying tool is essential when you work with more than one ply of a divisible thread in your needle. Use it to stroke the plies and keep them flat, so they lay smoothly on the surface of your canvas – or to tension your thread as you make a stitch.

Wood and metal laying tools are the most common, but you can also find them made of glass, bone, plastic – and even porcupine quills! You may also use a trolley needle, a mattress needle, or a large tapestry needle as a laying tool, if you prefer.

Most needlework shops carry a variety of different kinds, so you can test drive one before you make a purchase. (And I highly recommend test driving anything that costs more than $25, if at all possible.)

Eye spy…a needle minder.

What the heck is a needle minder? Well, it’s really just a fancy magnet, but it sure does come in handy when you’re stitching. Just pop it onto your canvas and – Voilá! You have a handy place to park your threaded needle between stitching sessions.

Did I mention that these little beauties are collectible, too? In fact, I know several stitchers who like to match their needle minder to their project. (Think jack-o-lantern needle minder paired with a cutie-pie Halloween canvas.)

Match a needle minder to your next needlepoint project!


And finally, there’s the ever helpful – and essential – needle threader.

It may seem like such a wee tiny thing to get soooo excited over, but these little gadgets have saved my sanity more times than I can count!

Yes, I have magnifiers that can help my poor ol’ eyes, but it’s not just seeing the eye of the needle that’s the problem.

I have limited time available to stitch and I don’t want to spend a single precious minute more than I absolutey have to with threading a needle.

All you have to do with these little gems is pop the hook into the eye of your needle, push the end of your thread through the wire, and pull! Then, my friend, you’re GOLDEN!

Just grab that threaded needle and start stitching!

Here’s a picture of my all-time favorite needle threader, in case you want to grab one for your project bag, too. (I mainly use the Tapestry/Chenille set, but the Threader Collection is mighty handy, too.)

You can get them here from The Silver Needle in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Just scroll to the bottom of the page to find them.)

The ultimate needle threader!



What’s your all-time favorite needlework tool or gadget? Tell me in the comments box below. I can’t wait to hear from you!

And remember, next week, we have our Kick Off Party for the Threadventure! I hope you’ll join me. Not sure what the Threadventure is all about? Click here and hop over and learn more. 🙂

Until next time…happy stitching!

Stitch with a smile!

PS: Are you on our Serendipity Needleworks NeedleNotes list? That’s where we share tips, ideas, events, and cheer each other on and I’d love to have you join me, so click here to subscribe. I’ll see you there! 😉




4 thoughts on “Want to Know What Else is in My Workbasket?”

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Marcia! You just made my day!! I hope you and yours have a safe and happy 4th of July.

  1. Had to give this some thought on what I like the most in my work basket/ tote. Two tools I enjoy the most is my layering tool just learned how to us and absolutely love the difference on the canvas.thread. Also I just enjoy.collecting the needle minders. Love your post please continue your enthusiasm is just so contagious. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    • Hi Charlette
      Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m tickled to know that you enjoy reading my posts. And thank you, too, for sharing your favorite tools. You’re so right about laying tools – they make ALL the difference when it comes to making your stitches look neat.
      I’m a pushover for needle minders, myself. It’s hard to choose a favorite one – and I’ve succumbed to starting my own collection, including buying special ones for larger projects to go along with the theme of the canvas. (I know – a wee bit eccentric, but I LOVE how they sparkle on my canvas.)
      Thank you again for stopping by – and happy stitching!!


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Serendipity Needleworks

Hi, I’m Ellen. A needlepoint teacher and author dedicated to helping motivated but overwhelmed stitchers at every stage find exactly what they need to stitch with confidence. Whether you’re just dipping your toe into the needlepoint world or you’re ready to take your skills to the next level, I’ve fine-tuned a learning experience just for you.

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