It is an on-going joke among my stitching friends that I pretty much only stitch small canvases. I find myself thinking that even something 8″ square is “too big.” When it comes to needle minders, this poses a problem. The tendency of late has been for magnets that are bigger and often with more bling. I find myself searching to find magnets that are small enough that I can fit them onto my canvas and stitch without pushing them around constantly.
You can imagine how surprised I was when Amy Bunger’s current newsletter had tiny needleminders, called Blingy Magnets, from Rogue Needlepoint. They come in a variety of witty groups. You buy the group and they are priced by whether there are two, three, or four magnets in the group. I bought two pairs: stop sign with Route 66 sign, and coffee cup with Starbucks sign.
As they should, the magnet glued to the back of each enameled front is small enough so it cannot be seen. I the case of the coffee cup that is a very small 1/8″ round. The backs are all 1/4″ rounds. They are all rare earth magnets, strong for their size.
How Small Are They?
I thought it would be good to show you visually just how small these magnets are. On this Little Shoppe Cookie Canvas, I arranged several magnets from my stash. The canvas is mounted on 6″ stretcher bars and the cookie itself is about 2 5/8″ in diameter.
The heart is a Puffin & Co. needleminder. It’s 1 3/4″ across. The blue crab is a Big Buddy from The Meredith Collection. It’s about 1.5″ across. While these are two of my bigger magnets, There are many that are bigger.
The owl is from Accoutrements and is 1″ square. It is typical of the many magnets that have pictures of canvases on them. This is one of Raymond Crawford’s owls. The round is a 3/4″ button magnet that I made myself. Quilt Dots are also this size.
Because I mostly do small canvases, my magnet collection is skewed towards smaller magnets. As you can see all of these magnets work comfortably with the 2″ margins on this canvas. But these generous margins are not always found on smaller canvases. Many small canvases have margins of 1.5″ inches or less. The larger magnets shown here become crowded on the canvas.
Until now, the smallest magnets I had were Needle Bling from The Meredith Collection, seen on the center left. These rounds are about 3/8″ in diameter. That seems small, but the Rogue magnet is only 1/4″ — and some are even smaller!
I tested the magnet as part of my normal stitching. Even though they are small, the magnets are strong enough to hold a couple of needles. I also found that their small size kept them from interfering when they were near the place where I was stitching.
As long as you are only using the minders to hold your needles, they are great. The magnets did not hold up as well when it came to holding my scissors. I use very lightweight titanium scissors. The 4″ ones would stay on the magnet as long as it was flat. If I turned the frame over or on its side (to put it back into the bag), the scissors would fall off. I did find that my smaller (2.5″) scissors would stay on the magnet better.
Because I do not use metal laying tools I could not test them, but I am confident these magnets are not strong enough to hold them.
If you are fumble-fingered you may find that the small size is a problem.You can make it easier to put on the canvas by switching to a larger magnet for the back. Just check to make sure it works with the decorative front before you do. I found I could manage by attaching the magnet near the edge of the frame initially, then moving it to where I wanted it to be.
In short, these magnets are not only adorable, they make great needle minders for smaller canvases.
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
Leave a Reply