Thursday, April 16, 2009

Little favorites...........

Some time ago, I took pictures of a few of my pincushions. It was my good intention to post them here. I never intended that my posts here would be so few and so far apart. I'll try to do better starting now............

My interest in pincushions came from my mother. She has always enjoyed sewing and still does a bit of hand-piecing and quilting. She has many favorite treasures that she has collected or made over the years and she has given me a number of them in recent years. She made the little quilt that you see on the wooden rack. Then she took little sugar bowls from old doll dishes that were missing their lids and made them into tiny pincushions. You can see how small they are as I placed a quarter near them so you could compare size.

I love the potbelly stove pincushion in this photo and it even has a pincushion in it!! It is sitting on a braided mat that is made of jersey fabrics, likely from the 1940's. I bought it many years ago at a thrift shop called "The Crowded Closet" in Iowa City. If you are in Iowa City, don't miss it. My sister goes there often.

I'll have more pincushions to share again soon!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A new version of the Turkish Rose Pincushion....

Thought I'd share this slightly different version of my pincushion. Instead of stitching the rose in place I only stitched it at the center. First, though, I took a purple permannt marker to the cut-out rose shape and lightly made lines from the center out, then I did the same with a permanent red marker. Next, I took a wet paint brush (do this on a paper towel to absorb any color) and "painted" over these strokes with water to mute the colors. I let it dry and then the center circle was stitched in place and I added some long stitches (Perle cotton) over the colored area. I used the same pink to blanket stitch around the petals of the rose. Finally, I tacked the completed rose to the center of the pincushion for a three-dimensional effect. I was thinking I should have done that to the leaves but I'll do that another time.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pass the Pickles, please............

The winner of the kit for the Pickled Pink Pincushion is #8, Isabella at "I love to stitch"! However, everyone one of you that left a comment about your favorite pickles is a winner because I will send each of you the wool to make the pincushion! I took a look at my stash and there is plenty of pink wool to make up a kit of fabrics for each of you. I can do about four kits in woolfelt so if you prefer that and are one of the first four to respond to this message, then you'll get the woolfelt kits. I'll get them all cut and in the mail by the middle of next week. Just send me your "snail mail" address and they will be in the mail. Isabella's kit will be complete with embroidery floss, washer, etc. I will send just the wool fabrics required to make the pincushion to the rest of you as I am guessing that if you can get the wool then you can add the floss or Perle cotton and get a washer from the hardware store or your husband's workshop. :-)
This was fun! Pass the fun along. Share the pattern with friends and make them smile, too.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A chance to win a kit for the "Pickled Pink Pincushion"!

If you would like to enter your name in a drawing for a little woolfelt kit to make the "Pickled Pink Pincushion", just leave your name and tell me what your favorite pickle is in the comments section of this post.
My favorite is a recipe that my friend Deloras gave me years ago for Bread and Butter Refrigerator slices. Yum!
Be sure to leave an email address or your blog link so that I may contact you if you win. I'll draw a winner on Thursday, October 30th at noon! :-)

Monday, October 20, 2008

The "Pickled Pink Pincushion" Tutorial

The following photos will enhance the directions on the "Pickled Pink Pincushion" pattern. If you have any questions, please e-mail me. I appreciate all comments, both positive and constructive criticisms. :-) Note: pattern page can be found here. For the story that inspired the pincushion design click here. For a chance to win a kit to make the pincushion click here.

Now, fix a cup of tea or coffee, gather your supplies and you'll be ready to start this little project!

First, gather the supplies and materials listed on the pattern sheet. Cut out pattern pieces. I use separate scissors (the orange handled ones) for cutting paper and the tiny ones for cutting the small pieces.

I prefer those flat headed flower pins for my wool and woolfelt projects. They are more costly than regular pins but work so much better. And I never lose one of them!! You can find them at Michael's, JoAnn's, etc. I used woolfelt for this project. I prewash all my woolfelt. For this project, I wanted the fluffiness that comes with drying it in the dryer. Had I wanted a smoother, flatter finish all I would need to do is steam it flat with my iron. I prefer to cut each pincushion square individually. When cutting the tiny circles from lavender and the red comma shapes, I hold the tiny pattern pieces on the woolfelt between my thumb and index finger and just cut around them. Accuracy is not important. If you don't like the shape you cut, then cut another one. If the shape is too big, cut it down to size desired.

Next, position all the pieces on one piece of the pink pincushion square. When you are satisfied with placement, then use gluestick (sparingly) and glue pieces in place. This technique means no pins get in your way and pieces won't slip as you stitch.

With the pieces glued in place, you are ready to begin stitching. I like to use the blanket stitch to outline my pieces but you may use whatever stitch you desire to secure the pieces. I have used embroidery floss in this example (3 strands for embroider of pickle, etc. and 4 strands for outer rim of pincushion) but you can also use Perle cotton. In the photo above, I have already completed the stitching on the pickle. I added some running stitches on the pickle to indicate the lines you see on real pickles. Next I am stitching the tiny circles in place. In the photo below, you can see a close-up of how I stitch these. Notice that the pin is securing my first loop and so when I am done stitching all the way around the circle, I will just insert my needle where the pin is and you will not be able to tell where the initial stitching was begun. Oh, and here and now I must apologize, as I have been told that I buttonhole stitch the wrong way but it's how I learned from my mother and she learned it from Mary Dellechiesa in the 1940's. It worked for them and it works for me, so I am not about to change now!!

Working with woolfelt is like stitching through butter. I just love sewing on it. Wool is nice, too, but woolfelt is often thicker and it never frays.

So, all the stitching is done on the top piece of the pincushion. It's ready to have the back piece added.

Match up your two pink pincushion squares and pin together as shown in photo above. Again, I use that "pin in the loop" technique so that one cannot tell where my stitching begins and ends.

In the photo above, you can see a close-up of the way I begin stitching the two pincushion squares together. You will stitch around three sides and then you'll be ready to stuff the pincushion.

I see that I forgot to list fiberfill on the supply list on the pattern sheet but most of us have a bit of that in our sewing rooms. The washer may be in your husband's workshop (if he has one) or head to the hardware store for one. They are very inexpensive and provide a great solid, heavy base for your pincushion. Stuff the pincushion firmly, making sure to fill each corner, too.

When the pincushion is almost completely stuffed, insert the washer at the bottom of the pincushion. Sometimes, I stitch batting around the washer - as shown above - so that it does not wear through the woolfelt. My advice is that if this is a pincushion that will get heavy use, add the batting cover. If it's "just for looks", it's not necessary.

Your pincushion is almost finished. Using those long pins, pinch the opening closed and secure with pins. Finish buttonhole stitching along the last edge. I don't use knots but instead secure the thread by stitching in between the layers, first one direction, then back and then back again. This way you can hide your stitches, no lumps from knots and I have never had a project come undone!

Here's the finished project with pins in place and ready for use.

And if it's "just for show" well, here you go - it's ready to add to your pincushion collection!!
Hope you have enjoyed this little pincushion project. There is, of course, a story behind the pincushion and that will come later this evening. Time to take a break and head out to a library meeting. There are more pincushion projects planned for the future so do come back again!!!

The Pickled Pink Pincushion!

Here it is! My first tutorial! Let's hope I didn't forget some important step in the process! For those of you who have come over from my main blog "A Legacy of Stitches", welcome to this new blog. I knew right from the start of my blogging adventure that blogging was a wonderful way to share my creativity. Yep, I am having way too much fun. There's a story behind this little pincushion and so it was important to post it now, this very week. It will follow shortly, here now is the pattern sheet. The tutorial photos come next! Enjoy!!
To print the pattern sheet, right click and save the file and then print. If that doesn't work for you, send me an e-mail and I will send you a pdf file of the pattern.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tomorrow, tomorrow...........

Yes, tomorrow will bring a tutorial for a fun little pincushion called the "Pickled Pink Pincushion". Come and see what it's all about!