My modern guild loves dirty Santa games and loves pincushions, so a recent challenge involved making a pincushion to swap. I found a nice cup and saucer at a thrift store and decided to make that into a pincushion.
I previously researched tutorials for making pincushions and learned that ground English walnut shells are one of the best types of stuffing for them. The shells are heavy (dense) enough to keep the pincushion from coming up with the pin you are trying to remove from it, and they are ground fine enough to allow pins to be stuck in easily. Ground walnut shells are available in pet stores, where folks apparently think I want them for my pet lizard to use as desert sand. (They’re mistaken about that, but I bought the ground walnut shells anyway.)
The problem was how to get the walnut shells firmly packed into a nice round ball that would fit smoothly into the cup. I solved that problem by rescuing a discarded athletic sock from the trash, which is why there’s a sock in the picture of the cup above!
I cut off the toe of the sock, stuffed it with ground walnut shells, and closed it tightly with a rubber band.
I patted the filled sock into shape so that it fit nicely in the cup.
Then I cut a circle of fabric and gathered the edge with a long machine stitch.
After drawing up the edge of the circle as much as I could around the base of the sock, I finished drawing it tight by adding another rubber band.
And before you ask, the size of the circle was a guess–I just used the largest circle on my circle cutting template.
Finally, I stuffed the whole thing into the cup, rubber band side down. It was heavy enough and fit tightly enough that it did not need to be glued in. I did glue the cup to the saucer, however.
Here are the pincushions made by the talented members of the Franklin Modern Quilt Guild. And just so you know, any quilts you see in the background are samples hanging at A Stitch in Time, where we meet. How great is that, to meet in a quilt shop?
Be warned: these are really just snapshots, not my best pictures. I tried to be as unobtrusive as possible when I took pictures, so there may be odd things in the background.
This last one is a “needle cushion”. Each square is to be labelled with a needle size,so partly-used machine needles can be stuck in and easily found when you need that size again:
While I’m showing some of the creativity in this group, here are the “share and inspire” offerings for this month:
Jane Threlkeld fused some of her orphan blocks onto backing and made this purse
Linda Harrison made these two quilts from Bonnie Christine fabrics for Art Gallery, and one of them won a prize:
And here is a bright, cheerful quilt by Lynda Doll:
Several of our members also belong to an art quilt group, and brought an example of one of their projects. As you can see, they each made a vase of flowers and the cut them all up and swapped quarters! The next step will be beads and baubles.
There’s always plenty of inspiration at these meetings!
One of my quilt groups has a pincushion exchange scheduled for next month, and the last program was a display of many creative pincushions. I wish I had taken pictures! Since this is quite a creative group, I’ll be sure to take some at the exchange.
Meanwhile, I needed to make a pincushion. Note that I don’t say I need a pincushion. That certainly is not the case. I have a number of pincushions, and yes, I use all of them. However, to say I need another would be pushing it!
There are lots of great pincushion ideas on Pinterest, so I just made my own Pincushion board to collect a few. Then I chose one I thought I could make, and here it is:
Dresden Pincushion, made from a free pattern at AllPeopleQuilt.com
I also noted that one of the bloggers I follow had gone crazy making pincushions, many of which were just little quilt blocks sewn together and filled. So I made a mini from some 2″ finished blocks I found in the orphan bin.
Then I went a little crazy myself, and took pictures of all my pincushions. Most of them were gifts from friends or family, which gives them special meaning.
And finally, a fun factoid: I learned in my research that it is best to stuff pincushions with crushed walnut shells to give them a little heft! And those crushed shells are sold as lizard litter in the pet store! Who knew?