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Pincushions...

Pincushions...

Written by: 
cnelson

While I can't be 100% sure, I'm fairly sure I made my first pincushion about twenty years ago.  It wasn't pretty, and it was stuffed with polyester fiberfill.  It was lumpy and bumpy, and not anything close to round.  But I was still hooked on making these little things.  

In the years since that first pinnie, I've probably made over 200 pincushions and published five patterns - Pollo Loco, Tuffets, Fruit Salad, Sweet Liberty Tuffets and Morsel.  

And a book.

This is Pin Pals and it started shipping yesterday - November 15.  

Most of the pinnies in this book were made in July 2017 as part of a "pincushion a day" challenge.  In July 2016, Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts challenged herself to make something every day, and because pincushions are small - and fun - she made 31 pincushions.  I thought it was the coolest idea ever so I asked if I could crash her party join the fun.  

So in the month of July 2017, I made 49 pincushions in 31 days.  I might have gone a little overboard.  

As I posted to Instagram every day, folks kept asking if there was going to be a pattern or book... to which a book publisher started thinking "I can make that happen".  Pin Pals!  

Pincushions and instructions were delivered in January - most of it anyway - and presto!  A few of the pinnies in the book are new, meaning that I didn't make them during the month-long challenge.  I had the idea but ran out of days - crazy how that happens!  

I can share that there were days I had a plan and the plan worked.  Other days... not so much.  Some of my favorites were just simple squares and rectangles sewn together.  

The Pin Pals book has a lot of tips and ideas, not because I am any kind of pincushion expert but because making a lot of pinnies means I experiment a lot, and I've figured out what works for me.  

Like the threads in the pictures - Aurifil's 80wt. thread.  It's perfect for machine-quilting on small blocks.  

Why yes, I made a 4" finished "Swoon" block - it seemed like a good idea at the time.  The mini Monkey Wrench blocks really are mini - they finish at 3" across.  (They're like potato chips... try making just one.)

I will happily share that I had grand ideas about making a huge dent in my scrap bin but that didn't happen.  Not. even. close.  I started saving ever-smaller pieces because that 3/4" strip that too small for a quilt is perfect for a string-pincushion!.

Everyone asks if I'm keeping all of the pincushions.  No.  Some were made for friends, others were claimed by friends as soon as they were posted.  I'm also asked if I actually use them.  Not really - I have used my hand-made pinnies over the years but honestly, they're mostly decorative.  

Because the nice folks at Martingale generously sent me a box of books to share, that's what I'm going to do.  

Leave a comment by Midnight on Sunday, November 17, CST and you're entered to win one of three prizes.  Each prize will have a signed Pin Pals book and a pinnie-goodie-box.  (The boxes are filled with a few of my favorite pinnie-making things - Aurifil's 80wt. thread for machine-quilting and Moda Mini Charm packs.)

Happy Friday!

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