Archive for the ‘Pincushions and Needlecases’ Category

This is a very short post to share a pincushion I made for a recent swap.  It is constructed of decorator silk and embellished with stitching, beads and pretty laces.

for Lisa

Until next time…

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 1 John 2:18)



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This morning I made a trip to the post office to mail my share in an Easter pincushion swap.  Its forever home is across the big pond in Australia.   The pincushion is made of felted wool and is five inches in diameter.  It’ll hold a lot of pins!

Side view:

It was a beautiful day…perfect for a little thrifting.  My find of the day was a pre-WWII silk kimono.  My good-natured, sweetheart modeled it for me so I could take pictures of it.  All he needs now is a sword.  🙂

Back view:

Lining view: 

Pattern closeup:

Unless I change my mind, I’ll take a pair of scissors to this lovely kimono and cut it into pieces for use in crazy quilt blocks.  At this point I’m feeling a bit conflicted with that idea…but it doesn’t fit me (I wish), and I can’t imagine my sweetie putting it on again.  I will give it some thought before I start cutting, but of this I am sure…If I do it will make many beautiful additions to a crazy quilt blocks.

Until next time…

A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.  Ecclesiastes 7:1

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Juli hosted a giveaway on her blog  A Crazy Quilting Adventure a couple of weeks ago.  Once again, my random number won!  I’m enjoying this streak of wonderfully good fortune I’ve had lately.  (and continue to give God the glory for blessing me richly…)  Juli gave away a yummy, strawberry pincushion she made herself and a fabric pack of the winner’s choice from her Etsy shop.  I opted to have Juli pick the fabric pack.  She sent red of which I had very little.  It’s funny how that worked!  Check out her blog and see the cool platypus Juli made and entered into a crazy quilting contest…and won!  Thank you, Juli!  I love my strawberry and will make good use of the generous, red fabric pack.  I love the touch a handwritten note adds.

Friday evening I received an email from a yahoo group friend telling me about a great teaching video she found online.  You get three guess what the subject is… She asked if I would be interested in it.  Today a video arrived in the mail…drop-shipped from the seller.  It is 160 minutes of crazy quilt instruction, ideas, eye candy…what a treat!  Thank you, Pam.  I look forward to watching it…over and over.  You are such a sweetheart!  (If you are interested in the video, check back later when the new crazy quilt resource page I am building appears.)

And now for my WIP…

Last week I shared my first naked fancy fabric block.  It’s not complete, but I’ve spent between twenty-five to thirty hours working on it during the evening hours over the past week.  The butterfly is pinned, because I am not sure it will remain there.  The square is laying in a place I pass by frequently so I can glance over and see how the butterfly placement strikes me.  We’ll see.  I wasn’t sure how I would like working on the slick, fancy fabrics, because I am a 100% cotton kind of girl, but I’ve really enjoyed the finery feel as I stitched.  Working on this square has caused me to see the need of keeping a journal of the blocks I make and embellish.  The thread colors I chose to use in this square are very similar to colors in my stash I did not choose to use.  I did not write down the numbers and found it very difficult, if not impossible, to match the color when it came time to use that particular thread again…hence I was not always successful.  From here on out a record of the color used in each seam will be noted in a journal.  It’s a good thing there are no rules set in stone when crazy quilting…

This morning a class taught by Christen Brown on crazy quilt embellishing began.  I’m excited about being part of the class, because Christen turns out beautiful work.  She makes it look effortless…The class is four weeks long (online) so my fancy fabric WIP block will take a back seat for a while.  I’m sure to pick it up and work on it from time to time, but the bulk of my stitching efforts will be focused on the class.  Hopefully we will see some great improvements in my work.  🙂

Until next time…

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

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If you read my last post, you know I am hooked on crazy quilting.  As with most arts and hobbies, materials for crazy quilting can run into bucks quickly.  All my fun money has gone into beads, ribbon, trims, etc., lately.  Still I wanted/needed more.  I was playing the “waiting for more fun money” game and using the bits and pieces in my stash in the meantime.  Being a child of God who truly believes God wants us to have the desires of our heart, I told Him I wanted/needed more things to us in my new favorite pastime.  One day last week I read a Yahoo groups update telling of a crazy quilt blog giveaway at Nicki Lees RavioLee Dreams.  I clicked on the link and saw the lovely goodies the owner was giving away.  I almost did not throw my name in the pot, because it was my first visit to this blog.  I’m so glad I did, because God used the giveaway to give me my heart’s desire and a new bloggy friend.  That’s the kind of God He is.  He uses people to bless people and throws in extra bonuses all the time.  The picture below is representative of the giveaway goodies I won.   One hundred and fourteen people threw their names into this giveaway pot, and my name was chosen!  I feel so blessed!  I can hardly wait to receive and begin using the wonderful new crazy quilting “candy”.

Moving on to my latest block…

Last night I finished my fifth crazy block.  I’m still prone to remove the flower pot button and do something differently in that space, but I’m not sure at this point.  When I look at the overall block the button seems out-of-place.  Hopefully before the daylight hours are passed today I will make it into my sewing room to sew another naked block to embellish.  My hands will feel lost and idle this evening if I don’t.

Saturday was a rainy, dreary day in Mississippi, but the mailman delivered a package of sunshine to my house.  I received my half of the most recent pincushion swap I participated in at Art4Mail.  The lady I was partnered with (Pam G.) had never taken part in a pincushion swap, and from what I understand she had never made a pincushion.  She’s a natural.  The pincushion she made is beautiful.  I hope she will make many more, and I would be happy to swap with her again…any time.  I loved the pincushion she sent to me instantly…and the extras were wonderful.  (The chocolate is all gone…but the trims and beads are still waiting to be used.  Soon.)

Close up front…I love the colors…the fabric combination.  The embellishments are sweet.

Back view…

Here is the pincushion Pat received…

The pincushion swap closes out my blessing, block and happy mail post, but I’ll be back soon with another block…and no telling what else.  I seem to be getting over the three month slump I was in.  Hallelujah.

Until next time…

I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39

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A few days ago I shared my share of the latest needlecase swap I participated in through Art4Mail (button on sidebar).  My swap partner Chris received hers yesterday, and said she loves it.  Lucky me…mine from Chris also arrived in yesterday’s mail.  My package was “double the pleasure, double the fun” (do you have the Double Mint gum jingle dancing in your head now?), because it contained not only my beautiful needlecase but a celebrate fall pincushion.  I was fortunate enough to be paired with Chris on both swaps.  (My share of the celebrate fall swap was the acorn pincushion I shared in October.)  Today I’m showcasinging both of the wonderful pieces I received.  I just love Chris’ fine crafting.

Celebrate Fall pincushion…

This pincushion is crafted using wool felt and embellished with a pieced, wool felt chrysanthemum on the top, and bits of wool felt in the shape of leaves along the edge, and fine stitching.  Tiny rick-rack adorns two seams.  (I love, love, love the rick-rack touch.)

side view…

As if I would forget…the tag will help me remember who made this lovely pincushion! A tag is always a nice touch.

Next up…my beautiful needlecase.

Chris told me she used a pattern by Crabapple Hill.  She did it great justice!  Chris’ stitching and embellishing is beautiful…the fabric choices are lovely and perfect for the crazy quilt theme she used for the cover of the case.  The tiny scissors she added are nothing less than darling.  The pen will come in very handy for signing swap pieces.  I am sure I will use this beautiful needlecase often.

Needlecase closed:

Notice the ribbon embroidery flower on the left.  That’s a craft I’ve not tried…but this piece has prompted me to add it to my list of things to do.  Chris’ stitching is in a word…beautiful.  The closure system of the case is beautiful beadwork and a button within a button…very classy!

Inside view 1…

There are ample pockets on the inside.  Some are large enough to hold small templates (very quilter-friendly) and even a small ruler.  One pocket is PERFECT for a tea bag.  (That’s a very important feature to me.)  It also has needle-keeper pages with contrasting colors of wool felt and a small pincushion sandwiching a pocket made just right for a marking pen.  Chris added a pocket for a small pair of scissors (scissors included) with a ribbon to secure the scissors in transport.

Inside view 2…

This needlecase showcase would not be complete without a close-up of the darling scissors and beautiful bead closure.  Aren’t they perfect?

I thank Chris for these beautiful swap shares!  What a blessing to be on the receiving end of this one!

Until next time…

Me thinks it is a token of healthy and gentle characteristics, when women of high thoughts and accomplishments love to sew; especially as they are never more at home with their own hearts than while so occupied.

~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun, 1859

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For the past week I’ve been way under the weather, but the downtime made it possible for me to complete my share of a needlecase swap on schedule.  I’m pleased with the way it turned out, and before I call it a day I’d like to share it.  Blogging has been hard to keep up with lately…life gets so busy.  I’m afraid if I don’t post pictures now it won’t happen.

I decided on a crazy quilt theme for this swap.  It made for lots of hand embroidery embellishing which I’ve done over the past couple days while I’ve not felt like doing much other than sitting around resting.  Win, win.   All the fabrics are from the Tea Party collection by Susan Branch.  The closure is made of grosgrain ribbon.  The bow is stitched together and slips over the flower button.

Needlecase closed…

The inside is lined with yummy, raspberry-colored wool felt.  A pocket for holding small notions or a tea bag, a button-embellished pincushion for keeping pins and needles, and a pocket designed to hold a small pair of scissors complete the tri-fold interior.  Tiny snaps on the outer-edge corners help secure the notions.

I’m hoping my swap partner enjoys her needlecase as much as I enjoyed making it.   Thank you for looking.

If you are interested in taking part in fabric-based art swaps check out Art4Mail.  There’s a button on my sidebar.

Off topic but still sharing…My dad loved yellow roses.  Our yellow rose bush has been showing out this week with beautiful blooms.  In loving memory of Dad…he’s been gone almost two years, and I miss him every day.  I’m thankful for our hope in Jesus…that we will see Dad again.

Until next time…

Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.

~ Henry Ward Beecher   ~

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All morning I’ve entertained the best intentions of stopping by my blog to make a post.  It didn’t happen.  Evidence of a weekend spent crafting and going to church welcomed me when I eased out of bed and into the kitchen to brew a large mug of hot, strong, black tea.  What I saw made me rethink getting out of bed and reconsider returning.  I didn’t.  This entire Monday morning was spent in recovery mode.  I’ve almost reclaimed the space where we spend most of our inside time.  It’s astounding what a live-in ambiance two people can create in a weekend.  Good news is…I got spiritually recharged and have something pretty to show for much of the time.

The art swap group I belong to hosted a fall pincushion swap.  The theme was the only criteria other than making something to send you would like to receive.  After much thought I chose to make an acorn and visited blogs and Etsy’s for ideas and inspiration.  I found lots of acorns but none compared to this one by Crabbapple Hill Studio.  Rarely do I buy craft patterns, but I was hooked on using this one.  The detailed instructions did not disappoint me.  After making one to giveaway, making one for myself is a definite possibility…time allowing.  The pattern makes a really nice pincushion.

Here’s mine…soon to belong to someone else.  The pattern includes directions for making double-sided, fabric leaves and a little tag that serves as a needlecase.  If you’ve ever lost needles in a pincushion and had to “find” them by squeezing them out, you’ll appreciate the tag.  The only problem I had making any of the components of this project was with the Heat ‘n Bond I used when making the leaves.  I found it necessary to use a little Tacky Glue to help it fuse the layers together.  The cap of my acorn is made using a piece of a thrifted wool sweater I felted.  I filled it primarily with poly fiber with the exception of about two inches of emery sand in the bottom.  The little needlecase tag is made of wool felt and muslin.

(I ordered the yummy wool felt from Cleo And Me Patterns.  (Service from both of my sources was excellent.)

Fall has come and with it a blast of brilliant color.  My sweetheart surprised me with  a single, yellow daisy he found growing across the road.   Is it any wonder fall is the inspiration for a pincushion swap?  Certainly not.

Until next time:

And he changeth the times and the seasons:  he removeth kings, and setteth up kings:  he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding.  Daniel 2:21

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Transforming things that would otherwise be cast aside into something useful is especially therapeutic and after a tough couple of days emotionally, the need to create something was especially strong Saturday.  I decided to make a needlecase for a special friend.  (Doing something nice for someone else is also good therapy.)

To construct the needlecase I used two pieces of felted wool made from thrifted sweaters and  pieces of a patchwork quilt that had served its original purpose.  With the exception of the pockets it was all hand stitched.

It is made in the fashion of a tri-fold wallet.  Pictured below is the front.

Fully opened…The top pocket was made using a piece of the quilt border for the flap and sashing as the body of the pocket.  (I got the button-hole a wee bit off center…~sigh~)

The center section is a mini-pincushion made from the same wool as the outside of the needlecase.

The lower section is a pocket made from the same quilt square as the heart on the front section.

The back view…secured with ribbon ties:

If you enjoy a good read comment on the Redeeming Love Giveaway for a chance to win.  It is an exceptionally good book.  Click on the button on the sidebar.

Until next time…

The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.  Proverbs 12:13

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So often Tea Tuesday rolls around and passes by without my recognition…it’s early Monday evening.  I’m kicked back with a mug of relaxing Rooibos Chamomile Tea watching Antique Roadshow with my true love.  This tea is perfect for unwinding after a busy day.  With a little multi-tasking Tea Tuesday will come to be howbeit a wee bit early.

I’m sharing the wonderful needlecase I received in a one on one swap with Pat.  It is my latest treasure…Pat did a beautiful job of crafting the wonderful materials into a lovely work of art.  Notice the beautiful stitches…all hand stitched and so precise.    She used thrifted tatting and hand-dyed wool dyed by Patti.  The little pocket and pin keeper are cuttings from a vintage, handstitched quilt.

I love the appliqued flower…and the fabric used for the pin keeper.

And the sweet pocket and lovely applique leaves and embroidery stem work.

And Pat received this needlecase from me…I cross stitched the cover piece 20 or so years ago when my eyes were sharper and fingers nimble.  The body of the needlecase is felted wool from a thrifted sweater.  I cut a frame in the front for the stitched piece.

I made a mini pincushion using a piece of a sweater my dad used to wear…it’s attached to the front inside cover.  An adapted elastic ponytail elastic is attached between the the two fabric layers as part of a fastener.  A large round bead is sewn to the middle outside fold to complete the fastener.

I added a pocket made with a piece of eyelet lace from a thrifted roll of wide eyelet lace.  The background fabric is cut from a piece of cotton fabric I plan to make a tunic for myself.  The needle keeper is a piece of the same felted wool used for the front cover.   A very rustic dragonfly is stitched on the needle keeper wool.

If you are interested in getting in on a needlecase swap you might like to check out Art4Mail…there’s a button on my sidebar.

For more Tea On Tuesday posts click on over to Kimmie’s blog Art In Red Wagons  home of Tea On Tuesday.

Until next time…

The mug from the washstand was used as Becky’s tea cup, and the tea was so delicious that it was not necessary to pretend that it was anything but tea.  

-Frances Hodgson Burnett

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Clutter stifles my spirit…it overwhelms me.  It diminishes my productivity.  Almost two years ago I found it necessary to stash a WHOLE lot of stuff in my sewing room.  My machines were laboriously carried into our diningroom and placed on a small, sturdy table with drawers.  If I wanted to make something it was done in the center of our living space.  I would juggle machines back and forth from the small table to our diningroom table.  As time passed I dragged more and more stuff into that tiny space so it was convenient for sewing…at the same time more and more stuff was crammed into my sewing room.  Both got pretty depressing and creativity had to be forced…I wanted my sewing room back!  Losing my space wasn’t exactly a one person achievement…and reclaiming definitely wasn’t going to be a lone ranger job.  On Tuesday of this week my oldest daughter came and helped me.  We worked FIVE hours with time out taken for a short lunch and a tea break.  At the end of five hours we could see a light at the end of the tunnel.  A couple boxes and bags were filled to drop off at the Salvation Army.  For once I was depositing more than I drag home.  🙂  My daughter adopted three or four tall kitchen trash bags crammed full of yarn…all acrylic.  (Hanging my head in shame…five tall kitchen trash bags will be sent to the landfill the next time the trash is picked up.  I am a self-confessing pack rat who has to make myself throw something away if I can think of a use for it…even if I know I won’t ever get around to using it.  I was “green” when green was a color not a nearly mandated way of life.

I’ve continued working an hour or so a day since my daughter helped me…and finally the work is complete enough I can once again work in my room.  I’m so thankful to have my space back…humble though it may be.  Some shelves still need to be straightened and maybe a few more things thrown or given away, but not today. I’m ready to start using my reclaimed room.   There are changes I’d like to make to make more efficient use of my space, but like so many things in this life those changes will have to wait their turn.  In the meantime I’m just going to enjoy it…and hopefully never let it get out of control again.

Sharing a few pics…it feels almost like a GRAND OPENING…a first-time revealing.

One of our three dogs always join me in my sewing room…sometimes more…they are faithful friends.

This naked baby is celebrating our reclaimed space!

It feels so good to accomplish such a great task.  It was long dreaded and the relief is great!  Once this weekend has passed I’ll have the opportunity to put it to good use.

Until next time…

Clutter is stuck energy.  The word “clutter” derives from the Middle English word “clotter,” which means to coagulate – and that’s about as stuck as you can get.  ~ Karen Kingston

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