Thursday, March 2, 2017

Pillow and Tools

My friend Carolyn does bobbin lace. When I told her I was going to come down south for a visit, she asked me for a favor. She wanted a pillow, not just any pillow but a Simon Toustou pillow for bobbin lace. Now Simon doesn't speak English, so I agreed to act as a go between for Carolyn so she can place her order. I figured I'd share pictures here for those who are curious on what it looks like.

There are different versions of the pillow you can get. You can get just a flat pillow (in different sizes) or do what Carolyn did and get it with the roller at the top. That roller allows you to make lace edgings. Simon has different options for the velvet and the wood. This particular pillow is 22" (still no idea how I'm going to carry it) with a 6" roller and the wood Carolyn went with was cherry wood.

 The pillow has 3 drawers that are lined with the same velvet. What's this!?

Did I forget to mention I placed my own order with Simon. I saw these when I went to Nicolet last summer and always said if I got any embroidery tools I'd get them handmade. Simon is actually the vendor who told me the story of the fuseaux de marriƩ. So from left to right: Luneville, piquoir mandarin (or pricker), stiletto, stylus, stitch fixer and Hedebo. Except for the Hedebo which is cherry wood, the rest are all made from rosewood. Most of these tools are made for bobbin lace makers in mind but they easily work very well for other embroidery techniques.

I've been wanting to try the luneville ever since learning all about bead embroidery. In the majority of fashion houses, beading is done with this tiny needle that is more like a tiny crochet hook. Now mine doesn't have a needle quite yet. I'm still waiting for it, but I'm looking forward to playing with it this summer.

A piquoir mandarin is actually a pricker. There were two versions of it, but I decided to go with the one that allows me to change the needle. The gold cap at the head unscrews so you can take the needle out. This tool will be great for transfer designs using the prick and pounce method.

I found that while transferring designs, a stylus is key. I've tried using a regular pencil (when I could find one, haven't we all just switched to mechanical by now?) and I'm always afraid of pressing too hard and piercing through the design. This stylus has a rounded tip at the end to prevent that.

A stiletto with bone at one end, cause it's pretty :P But I'm sure I'll find some use for it.

The stitch fixed is mainly designed for bobbin lace. What I really wanted was the fork end, it would be great for shoving thread back into place.

And at last the Hedebo stick. Isn't it pretty? Hedebo embroidery has a lot of rings in it and this tapered stick is used to make sure the size are consistent. Here is a video showing how it's used. You can also use it for other things like tatting. It should prove very useful when I start my seminar class on Hedebo embroidery.

By the way I got fabulous news, Alison messaged me and she will be uploading Pearl Butterfly lesson 4 Friday night. That's Australian time, so for me that would mean tomorrow morning I can download the new lesson at work and be ready to start stitching as soon as I get home =D I'm so happy I don't have to wait another week!


  1. beautiful! i want the pillow and I want the needlework tools! The Hebedo stick is also useful for casalguidi... I can't remember now what we used it for (we used a chopstick but the teacher had a Hebedo stick), but I remember it would have been useful!!

  2. What wonderful tools - I am sure they are a joy to use!

  3. What beautiful tools! I'm always drawn to beautiful tools. Lucky you! I hope you have enjoyed your pearl butterfly stitching today!

  4. I was wondering where you get the needle for the pricker tool?

    1. The needle is just a regular sharp sewing needle. You pick the one you need based on the size of the hole you want to make.