Folk Art Needlepoint: 20 Projects Adapted from Objects in the American Folk Art Museum by Ruth Peltason. Potter Craft (September 9, 2008)

In this age of craft books that are funky beyond funky, I found myself (a not so old mum and [I think] a pretty groovy craft chick) totally in love with this book of traditional needlework projects. Each of the projects has been inspired from an object from the American Folk Art Museum.

When I first opened up Folk Art Needlepoint, I was prepared for a very traditional (staid) book of needlepoint, with old fashioned designs in old fashioned colours. But it wasn’t long before the simplicity of the authors’ approach got under my skin in the best possible way. They selected twenty objects from the American Folk Art Museum, including furniture, oil paintings and textiles.

Projects in the book range from decorative frames and pillows, to footstools, glasses cases and pincushions, the objects that inspired the projects are included in the book with some detailed contextual information.

Not only is this book well written, beautifully photographed and well referenced, it is a lovely collection of objects which only add to the enjoyment of making the projects, and also open a connection with the traditional craft of needlework in the context of other traditional crafts and folk art.

About the reviewer: Kate is a busy mother of four and has far too many craft projects on the go at any one time. These could include, but are not limited to, crochet, sewing, dyeing, paper making, spinning, felting and bookbinding. Kate has challenges in the areas of finishing things, saying no and craft supplies storage. She makes babyslings in her freetime – find them here.


I like to do a lot of my handwork as I patiently wait for life to run it’s course. It keeps my craft room full of great gift items and my hands out of mischief. Plus, it makes the time go faster than any gossip magazine I have ever read!

I keep a couple of traveling kits always ready to go. I have a small felt stuffed toy kit and an embroidery kit packed up in cute little wicker suitcases which I got at the thrift store. I never unpack the tools in these, to eliminate frustration on the road.

In My Felt Stuffie Kit I keep:
Small sharp scissors
A couple spools of thread
A few cards of embroidery floss on a key-ring
A needle book with pins and needles
A small book I made with envelopes with patterns inside
A baggie with poly-fill
A couple of tiny baggies with eyes ( beads and glass eyes)
And b.b.s to weigh down the bums the top heavy critters
A few pipe-cleaners and a wire cutter for armatures
And, of course, small scraps of felt.

In my Embroidery Kit I keep:
Small sharp scissors
Carded embroidery floss on a ring
A hoop
A project and a folded back up project
Extra needles

It is amazing how much you can accomplish in the waiting areas of the world.

There a plenty of great resources for free and inexpensive patterns (often offering the instant gratification of ‘download-ability’) which you can use to fill your new kits with addictive projects.

Check out:
The Puchi Collective’s Pet patterns
Futuregirl’s Sealife
Allsorts Scottie (I would make him 50% smaller.. because I like them smaller)
Turkey Feather’s Lambkin

I also just gobble up the cute Japanese felt toy books:
Like this one, or this one.

As for Embroidery patterns, I love:
Turkey Feathers PatternBee
Florisita’s Vintage Transfer Finds
Mrs. Stitchy Britches

Author: bitty Betty

So, pack it up, and get crafting!
So much to sew, so little time.


Mithi has created these hand-sewn ‘sewing’ illustrations – just fabulous