Mermaid Title


My passion of studying 16th and 17th century needlework lead me to fall in love with the mermaid motifs found on samplers and stumpwork pieces.  So often the motifs depict the mermaid holding a comb and mirror, so it seemed natural to reproduce one of these mysterious creatures in needlework to decorate the back of a hand mirror.
I spent a lot of time trying to find the perfect hand mirror to attach the mermaid embroidery to. Finally, I realized my passion is to teach special needlework techniques, not spending my time to source hand mirrors and so, I decided that making the hand mirror frame and the mirror itself should be part of the needlework project.
As I worked on the design, I decided a fish tail would make a unique handle and as soon as I sketched it up, I imagined a pair of embroidery scissors slipping into that shape. At this point the mirror became not just a decorated hand mirror but an accessory for the needleworker. I couldn't just stop there; needleworkers also need a place to store their thread, needles, pins and tape measure.  And so, a tidal wave of designs for other accoutrements started rolling through my head.

Originally, I created the Mermaid Looking Glass for ‘A Mirror To My Art’ competition organized by Needleprint.  Additional information can be found on the Needleprint Blog by clicking this LINK.

I am pleased to offer the Mermaid Needlework Treasures Online Tutorial, which will provide you with step by step instructions and the materials to create the four needleworkers accoutrements:

1. Mermaid Looking Glass, which holds embroidery scissors within the fish tail shaped handle.
2. Scallop Shell Thread Keep, containing two wooden spools, two mother-of-pearl fish thread winders and a mermaid's comb thread winder.
3. Fish Pincushion to store needles and pins.
4.  Snail that conceals a wind up tape measure.
Below you will find details for each of the four items:
Mermaid Looking Glass
10 1/4“ in x 5 1/4" and 5/8" thick

Looking Glass Details

Mermaid Mirror details


Scallop Shell Thread Keep

stands 4" tall, 4 1/4" wide with the base 1 1/2" deep and 9 1/2" across when open.

Scallop Thread Keep details


Fish Pincushion

3“ x 13/8" x 5/8"

Fish Pincushion details


Snail Tape Measure

2 1/8“ x 1 3/4" x 1"

Snail Tape Measure details