Besides familiar names such as Jody, Annie Lane, and Orna, there’s a host of individuals making great accessories for stitching on Etsy. Recently I bought magnetic needle minders from several Etsy stores. They vary in material, design and quality. I thought I’d review them all in this single post.
The links go to the Etsy stores. Because these makers are small companies, they may not have similar items in stock currently.
The most intriguing of the magnets was this ladybug Needle Nanny (top of post) from Clay by Kim. Unlike most polymer clay items I’ve seen, the ladybug is the only clay item on it. It’s 3-D and sticks up from the leaf, which is broader and flat. Below it is a round thicker piece of wood that has a broad channel cut through it. Your needle can rest either on the leaf or in the channel. The rare earth magnet is glued to the wooden round.
It’s an intriguing idea. I like the versatility. This kind of storage would be essential if the top was rounded or more 3-D. I’d love it if more makers did this.
Made from wood, the cat needle minder is from A Needle Runs through It. The maker has several different styles of minders. They use rare earth magnets. The wood is etched and textured, then stained lightly. I loved the style of my sleepy kitty and its flat surface held my needle securely. If height is a concern for you, this magnet is close to the surface.
My only concern is that ultimately the wood might break, especially if you are not kind to your stitching. I have had this problem with larger ceramic magnets in the past. If you have many magnets, keep these for pieces that won’t travel with you.
The Stitch On magnet from Designs by Lisa has a resin-covered top on a Scrabble tile. This makes it very sturdy. It also uses rare earth magnets. It’s smaller than most of the other magnets I tested.
This designer has magnets of this type in several styles and has other accessories to match. I like the small size of these magnets because they will work well with smaller canvases and pieces with smaller margins.
Also from polymer clay is this flower needle minder from Willowbend Cottage. It’s the flat style more typical of the magnets from companies such as Zecca. It is made from a complex cane that is assembled and reduced in size before being sliced and baked. The slices are backed with rare earth magnets to create the minder.
This magnet’s design is far more complex than most magnets of this kind you’ll find in your local shop. That’s one of the things I like best about it. In shops, the more complex designs usually have lots of bling with rhinestones, crystals, or enamel. These designs have a quiet elegance that I really like.
The magnet is about 3/4″ in diameter which makes it larger, but not too large. It’s flat surface and strong magnet hold the needle well.
The embroidered needle minder from Itty Bitty Bunnies was my least favorite. It’s made with a tiny piece of embroidery on fabric that’s put on a covered button form and then finished with ceramic magnets.
Because it uses a button form, the top is rounded. That means magnets won’t stay flat on it. Because the form is hard and the fabric not padded, you cannot stick the needle into the magnet to secure it. Because it is using weaker magnets, the thickness of the form is a problem, making it feel as if the magnet is not held securely.
The only way I could get the magnet to stay flat and steady on top of the magnet is to poke it through the stitches themselves. That isn’t good for the long-term beauty of the minder.
I loved all the magnets I tried except the embroidered one and I would buy them all again.
This is only a small selection of the minders available on Etsy. I found them by doing a search on “magnetic needle minder.” Be cautious when purchasing to check on the shipping prices. I found prices for both magnets and shipping to vary wildly.
If you live outside the US look for makers in your country. I found plenty of these in both Canada and the UK. By shopping closer to home, you’ll save lots on shipping.