Another Needlework Nibble – the Butterfly Pinpad

The Butterfly Nibble, instructions and materials

The Butterfly Nibble, instructions and materials

There is yet another Needlework Nibble available from Thistle Threads! This involves a particularly fine gold thread, and some stranded silk.

This one is a tiny butterfly, outlined in gold, highlighted in pale green silk, and then finished as a pinpad. I have discovered in the past two years that I really enjoy working these little pieces, and they are a great way to find out about different threads, stitches or techniques without being entirely overwhelmed by the scale of the project.

Beginning The Butterfly Pinpad

Beginning The Butterfly Pinpad

I’m suffering from tennis elbow at the moment (owing to the housework, not the embroidery!), so I am particularly interested in smaller projects that allow me to make visible progress in short spans of time. I thought that this might be one of them, but actually the stitches are so hair-raisingly small that I’m no longer sure that is the case.

The stitches are only a couple of millimetres long, and with my arm in its present state, what you see here is the result of two half-hour sessions!


  1. coral-seas says:

    Haha! Half way through your post I was thinking I’d like to do something small and quick so maybe I should do this butterfly. Now I can see that might be a mistake, the last thing I need right now is another WISP!

    I hope your elbow recovers soon.

  2. Lady Fi says:

    Oh, this is going to be lovely when you finish it.

  3. Hugs and quick healing wishes from Chilly Hollow!

  4. Penny says:

    Lovely, tiny work! Hope you are soon pain free and ready to take on anything and everything.

  5. karen says:

    I admire your persistence undertaking such tiny, detailed work with a housework related injury! No good ever came of housework I just knew it!

  6. MeganH says:

    Your poor elbow…..I do keep thinking of you in tennis whites

  7. Carolyn says:

    Tennis elbow is painfull. Has the doctor prescribed injections or just rest? Either way it is agoing to cramp your style. Love that butterfly.

  8. Hope the elbow improves soon! I have just had a look at the website – I am very temted to order a kit – as if I didn’t already have enough kits all shouting “make me next”!!

  9. elisabeth in CT says:

    You have my deepest empathy and sympathy…ouch! I indulged in stitching today until my own right elbow tendonitis (an old enemy) started to whine at me. So I put it down and went online, only to stumble across your post. The irritation is awful; when I stitch for too long, it hurts, but when I don’t stitch enough, I’m an old crosspatch. Let’s hope we both get well soon and get on with making our pinkeeps and cabinets!

  10. Anita says:

    The butterfly is so cute! I also like to do tiny projects..Tennis elbow is painful ,suffered from it once few years back…take care.

  11. Jan says:

    How big is this butterfly going to be? Sounds very small. Hope you’re feeling better by now and will soon be stitching happily away.

  12. He’s so cute! 🙂

    My mum had tennis elbow – she was quite perturbed since she doesn’t play tennis! I hope yours clears up soon.

  13. Terrie says:

    Tennis elbow is irritated. Wish you speedy healing. Doing embroidery is not too much energy but still need streching actions. Take care.

  14. Kathy says:

    Hi Rachel,
    Your idea is good but it may be that the reality is no where near your dreams…small sometimes takes f o r e v e r. Tiny stitches take a long time to fill up tiny spaces. But either way it’s going to be a gorgeous piece when it’s done.
    Take it easy and don’t do any permanent damage to your elbow… you have a lot of years left to stitch!
    Liebe Grusse,