Needle Nests...AtoZ Letter N

Quilters are notorious nesters. The Nesting Phenomenon among Needleworkers goes as far back as, well, the first needles. That would be back in the cave man days when needles were made from bone and were used to sew animal hides together. The oldest known bone sewing needle was one found in what is now southwestern France and has been estimated to be over 25,000 years old.

I can just imagine how the Neanderthal Needleworker must have treasured and protected that Needle....with a Needle Case/Keeper or my personal favorite...Nest.

There are as many different versions of Needle Nests as there are Needleworkers.  As collectors of Needles and Needle Cases/Keepers/Nests, the BeeGals have put together this display to share with you a bit of history and their Needle Treasures.
Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern; it will come out a rose by and by.
Life is like that - one stitch at a time taken patiently and the pattern will come out all right like the embroidery.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
The knowledge of needle making was also used to make fish hooks in England.
The country became well known for high quality fish hooks as well as sewing needles in the middle of the 17th century.
"I will not allow my creative spirit and need to knit to be thwarted by a lack of materials."
Metal needles were handcrafted before the industrial age. The process began with cutting wire long enough to make two needles. Then points were ground on either end of the wire, the wire was flattened in the middle and eyes punched out. The needles were then separated. This operation is still followed today, but machines now do the work instead of people.
Thanks to Alma for sharing her Knitting Needle Collection....her Knitting story HERE.
Thanks to the Armadillos...Irene, Bea, Sudie and Mae for sharing their Vintage Needle Collections and their stories
As I was wrapping up the interviews and photographing the collections, 
 I noticed the flyer from Moda's Blog...The Cutting Table...on the Armadillo's quilting frame. 
In a teasing tone, I asked, "So, Irene (she's the youngest at 75) which of these Tattoos are you getting.
You know they do those with a NEEDLE...right?"
She winked at her older sister and said, "These young whipper snappers are such whimps. 
I'm not worried about Tattoo Needle Sticks...why we've had worse needle pricks on our eyeballs...wink wink."
Bea picked up the flyer and pointed to the 'Skull and Scissors',
"I'm thinking of getting this one on my right Bicep. 
 Sister likes the 'Heart' and thought about putting it on her left Boob."
"Really", I said as I picked up the flyer for a closer look.
"Yeah, but then we remembered she doesn't have a 'TankTop' low cut enough to show it off,
so it's going on her ankle....she wears capris and flipflops all summer.
See Ya tomorrow for Letter O


  1. Sue what an amazing collection! All together they look like art; really! And the ladies attitudes towards tattoos, hilarious!

  2. Oh, that I was brave enough to do the skull tattoo. I have needle cases too, most of them made by me. We all have favorites that need to be protected. I wrote about Needles today too but it's the town in California.


  3. 25,000 years. That's one old needle!

    Love what the ladies say about tattoos!

  4. Love the feisty spirit!

  5. "Needle Nest" is much cuter than "pin cushion."

  6. I like the term Needle nest-- makes me think of cosy things instead of sharp ones!

    Damyanti @Daily(w)rite
    Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2013

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    AZ blogs on Social Media

  7. I use the magnetic holders, but it is usually hard to find my needles among all my pins! My daughter has a little needle case that she made.

    Rinelle Grey

  8. That's a collection for sure! And fun to see ! :)

  9. Hi Sue ... yes we were/are for all I know a nation of needle makers - I worked for an export agency that exported needle machines to Eastern Europe ..

    .. then there are Cornish Netting Needles for the fishnets .. made of bone or wood ...

    History is so interesting .. sadly I'm not really a crafter .. cheers Hilary


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