#1 Needle Roll,  Craft with Racaire,  Embroidery,  Embroidery Accessories,  German Brick Stitch,  German Brick Stitch Pattern #2,  Medieval Embroidery,  Needle Rolls,  Thank you gift package

Craft with Racaire – Needle-roll #1

german-brick-stitch_generalBefore I “restarted” my new blog, I told a friend of mine that I have many possible projects I could start with for my new section “Craft with Racaire”.

I told her that I could start with a German Brick Stitch needle-roll, a Klosterstich needle-book, a 12th century fillet, a Reliquary box with bead embroidery based on a rather rare 13th century Pearl Ciborium or based on a period extant piece, another pull-over dress/underdress with revisiting my last recent pattern, a tight fitted bliaut, a linen veil with a period bird pattern, the “We have Dragons” project, a pouch, a hood with daggings,… – just to name a few possibilities. …and yes, all projects were thought to include more or less embroidery like German Brick Stitch, Klosterstich, Refilsaum,…

I asked her what she would like to see as my first project. She replied, a needle-roll would be good to start with. I admit that this was not really the answer I expected. *lol* But well, I thought, then let’s make a needle roll. I am sure that I and furthermore also you too – with my instructions and help – can do a lovely small needle-roll with German Brick Stitch embroidery rather easily. 😀

…and I anyway need an embroidered gift for my “thank you gift package” for my “Patches for Racaires 12th century wedding dress project” fun project – don’t forget, one lot per patch. Like always, the lucky winner gets all and in this special case Racaire’s “thank you gift package”.

Btw. if you are interested into seeing & learning one of the above mentioned techniques or would like to see one of them as my next “Craft with Racaire” project & tutorial – just let me know. I already have technical fact sheets for Klosterstich & Refilsaum ready. Short note before I return to the topic – I still have all my old postings and photos I shared with you during the last 9 years in my archives – if you want to see a special one of them reblogged or revisited, let me know.

“Craft with Racaire” project .1
Needle-roll #1 with German Brick Stitch #2


For the very first “Craft with Racaire” project we are going to make a Needle-Roll with German Brick Stitch embroidery and tassels together – I will guide you through every single step:

  • 1st step & posting
    This step is about getting all the materials for the embroidery together and some basic tips & hints concerning choosing your materials.
    (just follow the list underneath)
  • 2nd step
    Here I will explain to you how to read the chart of my German Brick Stitch Pattern #2. Furthermore I will provide tips and tricks how you can simplify your life when you are working on German Brick Stitch embroidery & we will start with the embroidery.
  • 3rd step
    During this step we will assemble the needle-roll. You will also get a detailed list of what you will need for the assembling of your needle-roll.
  • 4th step
    After the assembling we will do the finishing work & seam treatment at the borders.
  • 5th step
    Finally we will finish the needle-roll – we will make the cords for the closing & rather basic and easy tassels.

To get started with the embroidery you will need:[emember_protected not_for=4 do_not_show_restricted_msg=1]

…I am sorry, but this content is restricted to users with Premium membership.

  1. 1 embroidery frame
  2. some fabric, slightly bigger than the embroidery frame
  3. some wool thread in 2 or more different colors
  4. 1 (or more) embroidery needles without point
  5. 1 good pair of (embroidery) scissors

FAQs based on many years of blogging and embroidery project experience:

to 1.) In principle you can take every embroidery frame you have. Most convenient for this project would be a round embroidery frame which is slightly bigger than the size of the needle-roll you want to embroider.

to 2) I normally use linen fabric from my stash where I can see the weave clearly enough to count the stitch and which fits to the used thread or vice versa. You can use any fabric you wish (and/or have). If you are not sure and want to find out if your wool thread and fabric and needle fit together the best would be to make a small test piece:


  • How to find the best combination of
    needle + thread + fabric + technique for your project:
    You should be able to pull your thread through your needle. This is normally the time when you can see if the needle is too big or too small for the usage with your thread.
    The embroidery needle should pass/go easily through the fabric. If you need force to do that then the needle is normally too thick for the fabric. If it “falls” through the fabric, then the fabric is too wide concerning the weaving. Pull the thread through the fabric too – a little bit of resistance is good. Too much resistance means you should use thinner thread or another fabric which is less fine woven.
    Normally you want to use one special technique or a special fabric or a special thread – therefore you should focus on this certain part and try to assemble the rest fitting to it.
    Last but not least, there is one important step left – you need to try the technique. Why? That is easily answered – lets think you found the perfect combination of needle + thread + fabric, that doesn’t mean that it also works well with your technique. While one combination might work well with German Brick Stitch, Refilsaum,… it might be too tight when you use it with Klosterstich. Or vice versa – you can also get the problem that while it works great with Klosterstich, it might look rather poor and thin with German Brick Stitch and Refilsaum…
    Therefore, if you want to be sure that you have the perfect combination you need to try your thread + needle + fabric + technique… – just some minutes invested at this point and you can save yourself from a lot of displeasure – trust me, been there years ago, tried it already *lol* – especially when you are going to work at a large project.

to 3.) I know that many people find it difficult to find a good color combination. I found a rather easy solution for this point that works great for me long time ago. When you want to combine 3 colors together – take this 3 wool balls/hanks/… and put them on a neutral colored ground (white is best for this purpose). Take at least one minute to look at your combination and just ask yourself – is this color combination pleasing me? Do I have a good feeling when I look at it? Does it make me happy? …and most important: Do I like it?!? I only use a certain color combination if I can answer all this questions with “yes” – as soon as I reach a no, I change one of the colors – you can always come back to a certain color combination later.
Something else I use to tell newcomers about colors – try to find colors that are not too similar – you don’t do anything good to yourself if you embroider white and light cream unless you really want to go for something like whitework… Dare it! Use bright colors! They are period!!! …and what does the best handmade embroidery bring you when you can’t see and enjoy it? 😀

to 4.) In nearly every shop for sewing accessories I have seen packages of embroidery needles with needles in different sizes in one package. If you just get started, I recommend to take one of the packages with mixed needle sizes.
I normally prefer embroidery needles without point for techniques like German Brick Stitch, Klosterstich and Refilsaum. For techniques like Surface Couching I prefer fine needles with point… Looking at my own needle-roll I think that it is good to have a nice selection of different sized embroidery needles with and without point as well as some sewing needles – also in different sizes.

to 5.) Well, you won’t really need a pair of fine embroidery scissors for German Brick Stitch, Klosterstich or Bayeux Stitch or to get started – but if you want to do more embroidery I would recommend to get one… You will need at least one pair of “normal” scissors while you will be working at this project.

In the next posting I will introduce you to my German Brick Stitch Pattern #2 and I will let you know some of my tips and tricks.

You can see more photos of embroidery with this pattern #2 here: Medieval Embroidery – German Brick Stitch – helpful sources & embroidery for needle-roll #1.

If you already want to try some German Brick Stitch, you can find many helpful links and my German Brick Stitch Pattern #1 on the “German Brick Stitch” page – a sub-page of the “Premium Content” page.

Best regards Racaire