Monday, December 8, 2014

Making Pin Cushions

Needing a pin cushion for a Central Florida MQG swap in December, my online searches turned up several options, and I had to try them out to see which one I wanted to give.

The first design is a free Riley Blake pattern - Little Birdie Pincushions found here. (Link updated 5/13/17.)

What's that adage? A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush? What does that mean?!

Then, deciding the birds were too small, I found this pattern for a Pin Cushion Caddy. It's a design by Anna Maria Horner found in her book "Seams to Me: 24 New Reasons to Sew." I don't own the book, but I found the free pattern here. Apparently there are some measurement issues with book instructions, so I printed Anna Maria's own corrections here. Then, I found this tutorial for accurately calculating all the pieces, and I used it too! Just call me Sherlock.

Using all three helps, this is how it went.


It's not an easy pin cushion to sew. When I got to this point, I thought I was preparing a couple racks of lamb. 


I ended up chucking this one. Even after attempting several times to resew the seam that joins the outside to the inner tube, I couldn't avoid the tucks. What a failure!

The final pin cushion, a hexagon pin cushion caddy, came from this tutorial.

Since my bloggy friend, Vreni, had made this one, she advised me to reduce it by 25 percent, and that's what I did. It's entirely hand-sewn, so it took quite a while to make, but I'm proud of it. It has some of my favorite fabrics in it - Anna Maria Horner, Mimosa, and my special Terra Australis. 

What I'm not so proud of are these two pictures! I pride myself in taking good photos, and obviously I goofed! I'd say the camera was on the wrong setting. But, since the pin cushion now belongs to someone else, this is the best I can offer. You can see all 18 swapped pin cushions on our Central Florida MQG blog, here.

Better pictures next post. Promise. Linda

14 comments:

  1. What a cute pincushion caddy. Thanks for showing it. I've bookmarked the tutorial.

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  2. Love this caddy. Can't believe that it is hand sewn.

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  3. I admire your tenacity on finding the perfect pin cushion Linda! I hope the recipient appreciated it!

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  4. Congratulations on your persistence. The results are great.

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  5. wow, you go to some length to get it just right, don't you? Even for a pin cushion. I admire your persistence (like others said it before me). I love your hexie caddy, the fabrics and colours are fabulous. I'm sure the recipient was very happy. Which one did you get?

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  6. Your word for 2014 should have been persistence!! I love making pin cushions and yours are adorable!!

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  7. So cheery and functional!! Wonderful pin cushion - I'm sure the recipient is delighted with it. The bird in hand adage - it's better to hold on to a sure thing than to lose it by going for more than what you have. Obviously not always applicable, but good advice in some situations. For example, if you have a family to feed, it may be better to suck it up and keep a decent-paying job with benefits than to quit it and then apply to other jobs. If you won during a sit-down at a Craps table, it might be better to take that win and walk away than to risk it trying for more. Etc. . .

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  8. Your final pincushion is lovely. I just made my very first one for our guild party this week. Like you I looked at several tutorials including the one you used. So many cute ideas I found it hard to choose. Will be posting mine tomorrow with a pic.

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  9. That is a really cool pin cushion....did you make one for yourself too? I've made a few selvage pin cushions lately to test out an original design I'll be teaching for guild in January...they were quick and easy!

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  10. It turned out very cute. I heard this was a hard one to make!

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  11. I'm wondering--is the pincushion at the end also meant to hold scraps? Or more pins? in that little well. If so, that is brilliant to have a place to put whatever. I do like the little bird, though. I'm not a pin cushion user, but I've decided they can be like works of art, especially in your hands!

    Elizabeth

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  12. You are an amazing lady. I really admire how you stick with something until you get it perfect. That is such a cute pin cushion.

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  13. Cute pincushions! The tutorial for the Little Birdies is now located here: http://www.quiltscapesqs.com/2016/07/little-birdie-pincushion-tutorial.html

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