The ‘Not Going Anywhere’ Pin Cushion

I’ve shown you my newest pin cushion earlier and now I’m giving you a little tutorial on the improved version (or take three, as I call it). I have to apologise for the quality of the pictures; it was a dark and rainy day today. I wonder where the summer scampered off to as it most definitely has skipped Switzerland this year.

1. Decide on the size you would like your pin cushion to be. I wanted mine to be a little bit narrower than the width of my machine which is about 4.5″ so I settled for 4.25″. I also wanted my pin cushion to not take up too much space and decided that I wanted it to be 2.5″ high. I then added 0.5″ seam allowance and ended up with a rectangle 4.75″ x 5.5″ (4.25 + 0.5 = 4.75 / 2.5 x 2 + 0.5 = 5.5).

Pin Cushion Tutorial

2. I pieced my pin cushion but that isn’t necessary. I’m sure it would look great made in one print too. If you are piecing your pin cushion remember that you won’t be able to see the back so don’t put a treasured scrap at the top or bottom of your rectangle (guess how I know?!).

Pin Cushion Tutorial

3. Sew the short sides together leaving a gap in the middle so you can turn your pin cushion inside out later.

Pin Cushion Tutorial

4. For the ties measure around the side bit of your machine. As you can see my total is 22.5″. Now subtract the width of your pin cushion, then add 3″ for seam allowance and overlap then divide all of it by two. In my case that is (22.5 – 4.25 + 3 ) : 2 = 10.625. I decided to round up to 11″. I cut the fabric for my ties 2″ x 11″, folded in 0.5″ on one side, then folded it lengthwise in half and pressed it well. Then I folded the outer edges into the centre crease and pressed again giving me a tie which is 0.5″ wide. Top stitch close to the edge.

Pin Cushion Tutorial

5. Pin the ties onto the sides of your pin cushion about 0.5″ from the top.

Pin cushion Tutorial

To make sure that you don’t catch the ties in the seam poke them through the gap in the back of your pin cushion.

Pin Cushion Tutorial

6. Sew down the sides of your pin cushion. Clip the corners and turn it inside out.

Pin Cushion Tutorial

7. Fill your pin cushion with poly fill and sew the gap closed with a whip stitch or ladder stitch. Pin Cushion Tutorial8. Hold your pin cushion in place and mark where you need to put your popper or velcro to give a nice tight fit. I used a turquoise popper.

Pin Cushion Tutorial I added 4″ when I calculated the length of the ties but realised it was more than I really needed and this is why I changed it to 3″ in this tutorial.

9. If you’d like to add a little scissor holder, you need to mark where on the tie you’d like to put it.

Pin Cushion Tutorial

10. Cut a piece of fabric 1.5″ x 2″. Fold it in half, press, then fold the edges into the centre and press again to give you a piece that is 0.5″ x 1.5″ big. Top stitch close to the edge. Fold about 0.25″ in on both sides, pin onto your tie and sew close to the edge.

Pin Cushion Tutorial

Attach your pin cushion to your machine and get sewing.

Pin Cushion Tutorial

If you have any questions regarding this tutorial, please don’t hesitate to ask (This tutorial was written while I was sitting on the sofa with a nasty cold feeling very sorry for myself and not thinking clearly so I might have to edit it a bit once I’m feeling better).

 

Swapping

The IG Mini Swap email – in which my partner has been revealed to me – arrived yesterday. All I can say about my partner is that it is someone who’s work I admire tremendously and who’s style is so totally different from mine that my head is spinning. In reality I’m quaking in my boots; worried I might produce something my partner doesn’t like.

We were asked to make a mosaic to show our partners what we like and here’s mine:

IG Mini Swap Mosaic

I could’ve chosen many more but thought I’d keep it simple.

Right, I’m off to stalk my partner a bit more. TTFN!

Can You Have Too Many Pin Cushions?

I normally would answer ‘yes’ to that question as, to be honest, I simply haven’t got enough pins to fill that I have made and received. However, despite having a million and one pin cushions, the one next to my machine seems to vanish on a regular basis. I had a brainwave this week and made another pin cushion after all. One that won’t disappear; one that is attached to my sewing machine.

Pin Cushion

I literally whipped that up in about ten minutes, using a cheapo ribbon and popper to attach it to the machine.

I’ve already used it to sew another one as I thought I would write a quick tutorial on how I made it (I’m sure you can imagine how I made it but sometimes it’s just nice to not have to think about measurements and construction). Imagine my embarrassment when I managed to cut the ties too short. What is it they say ‘measure twice, cut once’? More like ‘measure once, cut twice’ in this house. So the tutorial will have to wait till next week when Little Miss Bossy-Boots is in Kindergarten.

Pin Cushion

For this pin cushion I’ve added a little scissors holder (a very fancy description for a piece of ribbon attached to the tie) as those seem to go walkabouts all of the time too.

Jackpot!

After every swap I participate in I say that I won’t do it again; but I always do. The last swap I joined was the Schnitzel & Boo mini quilt swap and you may remember the half circles I cut and started appliquéing. I can now reveal that I made this quilt, which I named ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’ for Amy. I met Amy at the Fat Quarterly Retreat 2012 and 2013 and it was just lovely to make something for someone I really, really like.

Over the Hills and Far AwayI sent her the mini with some extras but none of these were recorded here at Shark’s Dinner. That’s right, I was so excited about sending the package that I never took a photograph. Blogger of the year? Don’t think so…

Over the Hills and Far Away

The design of this mini was something I cooked up for a big quilt. I was going to do the backgrounds in greens and yellows and do the half circles in light blue. The fabric pull has been sitting in my cupboard for two years now but the quilt still hasn’t been made.

Anyway, let me show you now what I received in this swap and you will understand why I keep joining these swaps again and again. This one is a stunner and I feel like the luckiest girl around. Alison is one talented lady!

Tea with Kate Spain

As always, the photo bomber had to have his say too. I love everything about this mini: the colours, the fabric, the beautiful execution. I mean just look at the details:Tea with Kate Spain

The cake looks good enough to eat, doesn’t it? And look at the blackberries.Tea with Kate Spain

Tea, anyone? I’d love a tea pot like that. The FMQ is just incredible too.

Tea with Kate Spain

Little Miss Bossy-Boots tried to get me to hang it in her bedroom but I denied her the pleasure and have hung it in the sewing/craft room instead. I really would have loved to have it in the kitchen but I have no walls I can hang it on. So it’s joined the other minis on the wall and I love looking at it and being inspired by it. There were some extras too, a cute pink ribbon and some 3D stickers for card making but Little Miss Bossy-Boots got her little hands on those before I had a chance to take pictures (Hmm, I’m sensing a theme here). I definitely hit the jackpot here.

PS Oops, I’ve done it again. Sandy, aka Curly Boy, is organising a swap and I’ve signed up. If you’d like to join too, hop on over to his blog and fill out the form. You’ve got three days to do so!