Treasure by Margaret Lee

10th February 2023

When it’s time to select your next project to stitch, chances are you’ll be considering some of the following criteria before making your decision:

  1. Techniques the project uses
  2. Materials required and associated costs
  3. Time it takes to complete and level of difficulty 
  4. The finish/construction/usability  
  5. It’s beauty and aesthetic appeal 

This week, we’re showcasing a project that we reckon might just get a tick next to quite a few items on the above list and it’s no wonder when you consider the designer.

Margaret Lee has been part of the Inspirations family for as long as we can remember, with her first project appearing way back in Inspirations issue #21.

Not only is Margaret a highly accomplished stitcher, designer and tutor she is also an astute businesswoman travelling the world working fulltime in her own successful needlework business.

Along the way, Margaret has become both an authority and evangelist for techniques such as Chinese Embroidery and Japanese-style Bead Embroidery.

In fact, her approach is considered to be a world first, that of teaching Chinese/Japanese embroidery techniques to the western world, earning her a huge following of loyal devotees.

Quite a few of the most admired projects we have ever published are designed by Margaret herself, and/or feature a form of Chinese Embroidery or Bead Embroidery, such is the popularity of these styles of needlework.

Margaret Lee’s Sen’nohana from A Passion for Needlework | Blakiston Creamery

One of the many things we love about working with Margaret is that she is such an innovator and entrepreneur. Everything she designs is done so with meticulous planning and careful thoughtfulness as to the stitching experience, the quality of materials, the finish of the piece and it’s end use.

Which brings us to our feature project for this week, Treasure by Margaret Lee.

A wonderfully glamorous and elegant zipped card wallet perfect for storing your collection of credit / club / discount / member / medical / needleguide… the list goes on, cards.

Let’s now put our above checklist to use and see how well the project Treasure measures up.


If you are not familiar with Japanese-style Bead Embroidery, it’s a technique drawn from the traditional practice of Japanese silk embroidery and adopts a more disciplined and planned approach to the embroidery and design process. Easy to learn and very enjoyable to stitch, Margaret has an entire book dedicated to teaching the ‘Art of Bead Embroidery Japanese-Style’ that you can check out HERE. The results of this technique are stunning.

Materials and Cost

Who can resist the allure of shimmering, sparkling beads? Utilising a series of different size and coloured Toho glass seed beads, the finished piece is both eye catching and extremely hard wearing. And the cost? For AU$131 or AU$111.35 for subscribers, you can purchase a Ready-to-Stitch kit that includes everything you need including the card wallet insert with premium quality zip, printed fabrics and a printed pattern with all the instructions. Now that’s good value for money!

Time and Difficulty

With a finished size measuring 8cm x 11cm wide (3 ⅛” x 4 ¼”) the compact size of this card wallet makes it the perfect project to either start your Japanese-style Bead Embroidery journey or add it to your ‘Smaller Projects To Do’ list.

Finished Construction/Usability

Clever. That’s how we would describe this design. When you’re looking for something that’s not a framed piece, needlework accessory or an ornamental piece your options narrow, so how great it is that Margaret created a practical project to show off our embroidery that we get to use day in day out.

Beauty and Aesthetic Appeal

We repeat, who can resist the allure of shimmering, sparkling beads? An array of repeating floral motifs sprawl across both sides of the card wallet to magnificent effect. Once finished this is a beautiful piece to behold.

By our count that adds up to five ticks for our list, which means we might just have another Margaret Lee super-popular design on our hands.

Just before we go, two quick notes for you: One of the reasons Margaret is so successful in all she does is because nothing is left to chance. Margaret spent months and months sourcing the highest quality zip she could get her hands on for this project.

This meant tracking down the same zip manufacturer that one of the world’s most iconic fashion houses use for their luxury handbags.

We’re sworn to secrecy as to which designer they supply, but when you operate the zip… OH MY! it’s that good. And the best part is all our Ready-to-Stitch kits include this same zip courtesy of Margaret.

Finally, just a note to let you know the Treasure Ready-to-Stitch kit is one of our new generation Handpicked products that now include a printed pattern as part of the purchase, so you don’t need to buy instructions separately.

Make Your Own Treasure

Option 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Treasure by Margaret Lee is a sparkling card wallet embellished with a range of glass beads.

Printed Patterns

Treasure – HP Print

Digital Patterns

Treasure – HP Digital

Option 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit with Printed Pattern Included

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Treasure includes everything you need to re-create this fabulous card wallet: Fabrics (inc. with pre-printed design), card wallet base with zip, embroidery threads, beads, needles and printed instructions.


Treasure – HP Kit

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