DIY project: Ombré iphone case

I’ve been carrying around this needlepoint project all summer – to children’s birthday parties, tennis lessons, even to the beach. Since nothing says “I’m the cool mom” like a little needlepoint, I often try to deflect questions when I’m out and about with my needlepoint. When someone says, “what is that?” my answer is usually something along the lines of “oh, just a little project I’m working on” and try to keep on chatting about youth soccer, the merits of organic produce, or when exactly is the right time to get a child his first mobile phone. Because those topics are so much more scintillating than needlepoint.

Now that I’ve finished it, I can say all the humiliation was totally worth it, since I finally have my very own ombré needlepoint iphone case.  I really love it. It’s super soft and pretty. Plus, I added an interior pocket for my headphones and a loop for clipping my keyring. It has its flaws (I hate the snap closure, colors on the flap don’t line up right, etc.) but overall, it still thrills me. Now, I’m wondering: is the dowdiness of needlepoint couterbalanced by the trendiness of ombré?

UPDATE 2015: Since this post, I’ve made a lot of iphone casesand I’ve become a better blogger. If you’re here because you’re interested in learning how to make a needlepoint iphone case, I’ve posted a tutorial here: Needlepoint Phone Case tutorial

Needlepoint coaster project

needlepoint.coasters copy

This past winter, I took up needlepoint again after about a 10 year hiatus. I decided to start with coasters, since (1) they didn’t feel like too much of a commitment and (2) I found this great tutorial at the Purl Bee on how to make coasters. (My previous foray into needlepoint coasters ended with me finishing them in an improvisational, ad-hoc way that left my coasters thicker at the edges and not great for seting under tippy wine glasses.) This time, my coasters are flat and I’ve backed them with wool felt.

I am so happy to have discovered the Purl Bee’s method for preparing the canvas to make coasters. I am also happy to have used the vintage needlepoint books given to me by my mother in law. Leafing through her books form the ’60’s and 70’s, I  was inspired to try new, geometric fancy stitches, rather than my usual basketweave stitch.

needlpoint coaster style 1

For the first two coasters, I used a stitch called Scottish Stitch from Carolyn Ambuter’s Complete Book of Needlepoint, where puffy diagonal “scottish stitches” are framed with regular basket weave/tent stitch.

needlpoint coaster style 2

For the second two coasters, I used a flat stitch diamond to make puffy diamonds of color and then outlined with V-stitches, from  A Pageant of Pattern for Needlepoint by Shirlee Lantz and Maggie Lane (pg. 202).

I used the same colors for all 4 coasters to create a unified set, but varied the placement of colors to keep things interesting. In the end, they seem like a bit of a scruffy bunch, but I’ll be thrilled to use them now that they’re done.

scruffy bunch of needlepoint coasters