V I V A Z I V A ! n e w s l e t t e r

▪volume number: 0902▪ F R E E Cell Phone Case Design

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1. Anatolie Free Bracelet Design

I hope you enjoyed stitching the Anatolie Bracelet!

I received a suggestion from one of my subscribers who made up the bracelet.
She came up with another method for fastening it.

She says, “If you sew a small cord in a loop at one end of the bracelet, you can add a decorative button on the other end for a very pretty way of fastening it.” A great idea! Thanks for the suggestion, Carole.

2. Dutch Iris Handbag

I hope you’ve had a chance to look at the finished Dutch Iris Handbag on the website. Click here if you want to have a quick look. I’m very pleased with the results!

As I was stitching the wide back pocket for the handbag, I got really excited with the idea of suggesting it as a small clutch bag as well!

It’s just the perfect size! It’s called ‘Iris Buds’.

The same design now works two different ways!


Two of my handbag designs, Black Chrysler and Cat on the Hot Tin Roof, have back pockets; one for change, keys, etc, and the other for your cell phone.

The cell phone pockets also work well as separate cell phone cases!

The photo at right shows our model wearing the new cell phone case as a mini-belt bag. Handy for that important call!

You can stitch the design and then attach it to your favourite belt. (See sewing tips below)

Or you can stitch the same design twice and make it up as a small case for your handbag.

I’ll be adding more of these mobile phone case designs to the website soon.

If you like the belt bag idea, check out all the larger belt-bag designs on the website.


I’ve chosen the Bargello stitch for Your Stitch to Try this time.

It’s a stitch with many names! It’s also known as the Florentine Stitch or the Hungarian stitch. I believe the stitch originated in Hungary during the Middle Ages. It then spread throughout Europe after being used in the 17th century for decorating the Bargello palace in Florence, Italy.

It is made up of vertical stitches, set up in a way to form waves or zigzags in gradated tones. (see centre photo below)

It’s easier than it looks!

  • Once you get the first row in place, it’s only a matter of repeating it with the second colour, then the third, etc.
  • As you can see, it’s the most effective if you use gradated tones to give a three-dimensional appearance.
  • So get out a scrap of canvas and some left-over yarn, and use the above grid at left as your guide, starting with A.
  • Use a different colour for each row to make it easy to see the pattern developing like the above right photo.

Now it’s time to try it as I designed it for the Hot Links Cell Phone case… this newsletter’s free design.


The photo at right is what you want this new stitch to look like when you’ve finished practicing it.

Don’t worry what colours you use at this stage, but make sure the colour in each row is different, so you can see the effect.

  • Again take a piece of scrap canvas to practice with.
  • Practice the stitch with left-over cotton yarn.

    (The final design is in cotton, so you’ll have a better ‘feel’ for the final effect this way)

  • Because the cotton yarn is normally thinner than wool yarn, I recommend you double it on your needle for the Bargello stitch (only), in order to cover the canvas properly.
  • Using the grid on the right as your guide, start at A, and create the first row as shown, in the direction of the arrow. Note that the stitches go over 3 canvas threads.
  • Then continue with a second colour for the next (middle) row down, again starting from right to left.
  • Note that the third (bottom) row is stitched over 2 canvas threads only.

Keep practicing until you feel confident that you’ve got it! Then you are ready to stitch the free design!



Wear it on your belt or put it in your handbag… either way its sizzling hot colours will set off your summer whites, or complement today’s vibrant colours that everyone loves to wear when it’s hot!

The size of the finished needlepoint cell phone case is approx. 3 ½” wide x 5” high (approx. 8.8 cm x 13 cm)… large enough for most cell phones.

The cotton yarns for the Bargello stitch are in a range of gradated tones from acidic yellow and yellowy-greens, to vibrant oranges and hot fuchsias!

The rest of the case is stitched in the Basketweave Tent stitch, in white, light grey, mauve and black cotton yarn.


I’m including two coloured charts for your reference at different gauges, so you’ll have no trouble getting the canvas in your area.

Please note:

  • I have indicated the centre line, both horizontally and vertically, of the design on the charts for your reference.
  • I’ve also indicated thin black outlines at the top of both charts just to show you where the white yarn colour is stitched to.

This first chart above is for canvas at 12 holes per inch

This second one above is for canvas at 13 holes per inch.


All the yarn colours are from the DMC Soft Cotton Colour Range, which are readily available at your local needlepoint shop or online.

You will need two skeins each for the white, grey and mauve colours and one skein each for the rest of the colours.

Colours as stitched:

Colours for BARGELLO stitches:

Yellows: from Top to Bottom

  • #2145
  • #2142
  • #2218

Oranges : from Top to Bottom

  • #2921
  • #2360
  • #2156

Fuchsias : from Top to Bottom

  • #2916
  • #2718
  • #2309

BASKETWEAVE stitch in remaining colours:

  • #2170 - grey
  • #2310 – black
  • white
  • #2121 – mauve
  • Centre accent colours
    • #2218 – yellow
    • #2807 – blue


    You will also need :

  • mono evenweave or interlock canvas at 12 or 13 gauge,
    approx. 7” x 10” (approx. 18 x 25 cm )

  • Needlepoint Needle:
    • For 13-canvas, use size 20 needle
    • For 12-mesh canvas, use size 18 needle
  • Masking Tape
  • Waterproof pen
  • Scissors

Go to the ZIVA site for more detail info on the materials required.


  • Start by putting masking tape on the canvas edges to protect the yarns from getting frayed.
  • Count 41 stitches across and 60 stitches down and outline the outside rectangle of the case with a waterproof pen.
  • Start with stitching the mauve colour in the basketweave tent stitch down the right side of the canvas.
  • Then stitch the grey colour in the tent stitch in an outline around the shape for the Bargello stitch, starting at the top right
  • Note that the canvas holes are shared between the Bargello and the tent stitch
  • Stitch the Bargello stitch in the gradated yellows in the top right, just as you had practiced it. Don’t forget to double the yarn so the canvas doesn’t show through.
  • The design on the top left mirrors the top right
  • You’ll notice that the design is repeated: Stitch the top including the top yellow shapes and the white ‘link’ shape below it according to the chart.
  • After that, you only need to repeat the design as you stitch down the canvas.
  • Always use the grey colour to outline your shapes before your fill them in. (as indicated in photo)
  • Refer back to the chart for finishing the bottom


  • If you don’t want to wear it on your belt, you could stitch it a second time so the design is on both sides to make a mobile phone case for your handbag.
    The yarn quantities I’ve included in this newsletter will be enough to do this.
  • If you’re using 13 gauge canvas, you may not need to double the yarn for the Bargello stitch. Practice it first and judge for yourself.
  • If you do double the cotton thread, make sure it doesn’t twist as you stitch it.
    Keeping the thread straight gives a wonderful smooth appearance, and shows off the lovely dull sheen of the rich cotton colours.



The cell phone case was made up in light grey cotton fabric for the backing, with 1” bottom and side panels in the same fabric.
It was finished off with a light grey lining, and a snap closure.(A Velcro closure would work as well.)

But the finishing fabric colour could be bolder! Why not a fuchsia or purple? Any colour from the cell phone case palette will work.

For thinner cell phones, you might consider a knife edge finish, instead of the 1” panels.

To wear the case as a Mini-Belt Bag

  • The same light grey fabric was also used to sew a full width narrow channel on the back for slipping the belt through.
  • Another idea: You could also make a wide loop of the same finishing fabric on the back, and attach it with Velcro over your belt to fit any belt width.

As a cell phone case for your handbag:

  • You could make it up as described above… simply without the back channel.
  • You could also stitch the design twice to have the design on both sides: even alternate the vibrant Bargello colours the second time! Why not!

Go to the ZIVA website for more tips on sewing needlepoint


Add a border in one of the colours to create a larger case for your glasses if you prefer!!

Use your imagination and make it your own creation!

Send me a photo of what you’ve done. I’d love to see it and put it on the site!


That’s still me!

I’ve been asked this question several times:

Do you include the yarns with your painted canvas?

When I create my needlepoint designs, I have certain yarn colours in mind. I always include a list of these colours with their quantities with your hand painted canvas.

This allows you to find the best price for yarn possible, whether it’s from suppliers on-line who ship world-wide or from your local needlepoint shop.

As a designer, I’d rather remain independent and work with the right yarns for the right project for my client, and not be tied down to one manufacturer.

Also, you may prefer a certain yarn manufacturer, so I’d rather develop the colours to suit your yarn preference.


New designs in the works!

New belt, piano bench and seat cover designs will be on the site in the next few months!

The next VIVA ZIVA! Newsletter #0903 will be issued in October 2009 .

I’ll be including:

  • New Design & Updates
  • A new Stitch to Try with a
  • Free needlepoint design of a picture frame . Perfect to make up as a gift for the holiday season!
  • And lots of other features!
  • Please contact me if there is a particular stitch you’d like me to use for a free design in a future newsletter!

    Share this newsletter with friends and relatives.
    They can also go to my subscription page on the site to get on the mailing list for the next VIVA ZIVA! Newsletter

    Looking forward to sending you the next newsletter!

    Best wishes,

    Sylvia McLeod