Holding the popular 3″ round, Lee’s Magnetic Needle Case is another option for all those wonderful and popular round canvases. It is currently available in six colors (black, violet, red, green, maroon, and teal). The size is 6″ long by 4.5″ high and 2″ deep. It opens, as you see with a sturdy snap on a leather tab. The opening for the stitching is the same size as the luggage tag (I just measured both). Inside both the bottom and top have strong magnets and are covered with tan suede cloth. There is also a thin unattached divider which you can use on either side to hide what’s below.
Those are the basic specifications for this case. It certainly is another option for finishing 3″ rounds yourself. Because I stitch these often, I’m always looking for new ways to use them.
I bought the canvas and case together and stitched the canvas with this in mind. I stitched the background in Scotch which made it a bit thicker and smaller once stitched. I found it was far more difficult to center the canvas in the tool box opening than in other LNA products.
That could be because the top has two thick pieces of leather sewn together. Each layer is thicker than the ones on the luggage tags. They are significantly thicker than the metallic leather you find on several of Lee’s products. It’s twice the thickness of the leather in the leather trays, which was thick enough to make them difficult to finish.
On the good side, the thickness means that the leather won’t get out of shape as you finish it. On the bad side the thick leather it very stiff. You will need to use a butter knife to insert the edges of the canvas under the leather. I have rarely needed to do this on luggage tags, purses, or boxes. Thick leather also means that you can’t easily reposition the needlepoint once placed. For me, this meant that my design is off center slightly.
This thick leather also means you see the needlepoint as if down a bit of a well. I vastly prefer the flatter look of the tags, boxes, and leather trays.
I can understand the company wanting a sturdy case, but both the top and bottom are nearly 1/2″ thick. With the top a fair amount of this is taken up by those two layers of leather above the insert. If these layers are needed, and I don’t see that they are, why isn’t one above and the other below the insert. There’s lots of other stuff below the insert, another layer of leather, if needed, would not be noticed.
The bottom is completely colored leather and just as thick. The hinge is covered with more leather. The case, because of all this leather, has a classy, elegant look, almost like a small evening bag, The case feels heavy for its size and that probably helps keep it stable during use.
Inside my case I am keeping spare needles, a couple of needleminders, and a pair of scissors. The magnetic bottom is strong enough to keep everything in place when upside down. The black divider can go on top or on bottom.
I did find that the interior space was cramped, there is only about an inch of space when closed, less if you use the divider. The leather construction, including the hinge, also cuts into the usable interior space. If your tools are small, this isn’t a problem, but if I had wanted to include in my case both a laying tool and my portable ort container, they could not all fit.
When testing it, I had to play around a bit to find a combination of tools that would work and allow me to close the box. If you fill both the top and bottom you will have to place things even more carefully so they will not interfere with each other, keeping the box from closing. Ultimately because it holds so little, I made this my “emergency” tool kit, keeping it near my stitching chair in case I run out.
That, I think, captures this case in a nutshell. It can be very pretty but it’s usefulness is limited. I’m happy to have something pretty and nearby to hold tools but I only use it in an emergency.
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
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