Tasmanian Needle Tidy by Betsy Morgan

6th May 2022

Inspiration comes from all over the place, but one thing that is almost guaranteed to get the creative ideas flowing is travel. We may not have been able to travel as much in recent years as we did before, but even small trips to new places can invite ideas and new creations.

It was travel that gave Betsy Morgan the inspiration for Tasmanian Needle Tidy from her latest book Willing Hands 2. As only Betsy can, she’s memorialised all the wonderful things she experienced on her trip to Tasmania, Australia, in this delightful project.

The idea for the needle tidy came from a special find Betsy made at the Salamanca Markets in Hobart.

There she found an old, suede pocket that was tagged as a ‘needle tidy’ – something she’d never heard of before.

When she opened it, she discovered wool pages ready for holding needles and a small pocket with ‘odds and ends’ inscribed on it. She knew she had to create something just like it.

Betsy gathered up all the magical experiences she had had on her trip to Tasmania. She had kept note of the flowers she’d seen, the wallabies she’d watched from her hotel window and the waves and scenery of a fantastic boat trip she’d enjoyed. All of these things and more then went into the gorgeous, sampler design that decorates the Tasmanian Needle Tidy.

Rather than suede, Betsy’s project is made from fine natural linen on which the beautiful design is stitched, and a soft, violet silk dupion for the lining. This colour choice complements the bright threads that she’s selected for the stitching. 

When you open the tidy completely, you can see all the wonderful details arrayed along the surface – the flowers, the waves and right down the bottom, the two wallabies nibbling grass worked in Assisi stitch.

True to the original artifact, Betsy has included a pocket with the words ‘odds and ends’ stitched on it.

She’s also added two violet-coloured felt pages for needles. As an extra surprise, the project includes a scissor fob decorated with a delightful violet-coloured flower, which fits with the rest of the project perfectly.

Some people remember their trips through photographs. Others write travel journals. People like Betsy Morgan memorialise their trips by stitching. But we’re very grateful she does, as it means we get to vicariously relive her experiences through stitching her memories. 

We might not be able to travel as much ourselves, but we can travel in spirit to wonderful places with this gorgeous project.

Make Your Own Tasmanian Needle Tidy

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Tasmanian Needle Tidy by Betsy Morgan is a beautiful folding etui with twisted cord closure.

Printed Books

Willing Hands 2

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Tasmanian Needle Tidy includes everything* you need to re-create this beautiful etui: Fabrics (unprinted), interfacings, interlining, wool felt, button, sewing threads, embroidery threads and needles.


Tasmanian Needle Tidy – WH2 Kit

*Please Note: To cater for flexibility of purchase, instructions are not included with our kits. For step-by-step directions on how to create this project, please refer to the book.

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