Me and my new friend….

So, I have been spending some daytime hours writing lessons and wrangling with produce, and trying to knock off thousands of phone calls and such that needed to be done. (setting up eye appt, dealing with insurance, payments to ortho, info needed on competitive rates, etc…lots of quick but time consuming phone calls)

So, last evening I needed a break. I closed myself off in my office with my new best friend and began some quick work with scraps on things for the church fund raising project this winter. Here is an excerpt about it from the parish newsletter:

A century and a half ago, the women of St. ***** came together and formed the Ladies’ Sewing Society to raise the funds for much of the architectural additions and furnishings we see in our church today. Over the course of 40 years, with the products of their hands, they paid not only for the organ, but also for extensive renovations to the church building. With the ladies as our model, we are coming together to raise money, this time not for our own parish, but for aid in our community, our country, and the world. We’re asking parishioners and friends of St. Matthew’s (female and male, old and young) to use their hands and their creativity to support this effort. With the somewhat cumbersome title St. **** Festival of the Society Tree we’re hoping the “FeST” will become an annual tradition – a way not only to fund worthy projects, but also to come together as a community to celebrate our creativity, our talents, and our heritage.

So, what to make?I had tried to make pincushions, ala Heather Bailey, from a magazine I bought in the spring. But mine did not come out all cute and puffy as hers did, and it took some time…and I am a pretty skilled sewer. Part of it was learning the speed of the new machine, and part was probably rushing through, but I was not pleased with how wonky mine looked. I decided this was something I would try again when I was feeling the sewing mojo flowing and not feeling the need for instant gratification.

Edges are wonky... just not quite right
Maybe it was the colors I chose.. the lack of ribbon for the trim..

So, I turned to some other tutorials I had seen, for something quick and easy and that would use up scraps…

First, I made a kleenex cover using a tutorial from Stardust Shoes. This was quick and easy, and worked well.

Washed out color because it was late at night and I am no photographer....
Washed out color because it was late at night and I am no photographer....

Now, I might make more of these, but maybe they need some embellishment to make them look special. Will have to think about my scraps of lace and such…and last night, I wanted foolproof and thinkproof.

So it was back to pincushions, and something I had seen while going through my bloglines read with my daily tea break. My sister and I had made coasters like these many moons ago, out of Christmas fabrics, as gifts. So I already knew the process. What I liked was the innovation to pincushion… so I tried my hand at it, thanks to the lovely tutorial here at Pondered in My Heart.

Quick, easy, puffy and cute with vintage buttons to boot....
Quick, easy, puffy and cute with vintage buttons to boot....

In the search for the buttons suitable for the pincushions, I came across some tiny doll buttons which my grandmother and mother had used when making our doll and barbie clothes. There was a discussion about Barbie at Little Jenny Wren the other day, and it was fun to find these relics in my grandmother’s button box.

30 cents for a card of teeny buttons....one set is yellow, the other white.
30 cents for a card of teeny buttons....one set is yellow, the other white.

And for a better idea of scale, here are some larger buttons.. the largest are size 7/16ths… just about 1/2 inch.

7/16ths on far right
7/16ths on far right

Sorry the pictures are not better. My camera has been held hostage by other members of the family during the daylight hours, so I knew it was take the shot at night, or not at all. And again, I am no photographer, or I might have been able to light these better.

In any case, my grandmothers treasure trove has some oddments in it, that I don’t fully understand.

Some glitter from Nana's button box.
Some glitter from Nana's button box.

See the round button by the baby buttons… there are 5 of them in the box. They are covered on top with rhinestones or something, and they are large.. and heavy..round spheres, which is not immediately obvious in the picture here. They must stand a good 3/4 inch high, and I believe she told me one time they were on a fancy jacket. The other thing that is shiny, has a rhinestone chain attached. There are actually 2 rows next to each other, which come apart as if to make a button hole at intervals along the chain. However, the shiny button on the end does not fit through it, so not sure what this was, or what it went on, but it sure glitters.

Anyway, back to my first wonky pincushion. I used it throughout the evening, because in spite of its lack of prettiness, it is functional. And as I used it, I thought of the coaster I use for my tea when I am working back here. It came from a box of lace and fabric and knitting needles an aunt gave me for Christmas one year. I may have blogged about it before. As an object, it was clearly someone’s very homemade embroidery practice.. young or old, who knows. It is double sided, and quite charming, in an unattractive sort of way. And very usable, just like my pincushion.

3inX4in, brown and pink thread, dingy muslin, with stiches from other side coming through this side..
3inX4in, brown and pink thread, dingy muslin, with stiches from other side coming through this side..
Other side of coaster, orangy, pink and green...handstitched around edge, with some sort of cotton wadding in between.
Other side of coaster, orangy, pink and green...handstitched around edge, with some sort of cotton wadding in between.

New friends and old friends and soon to be better friends…. and a nice quiet evening sewing for a good cause.

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3 thoughts on “Me and my new friend….

  1. I love your description: quite charming in an unattractive way!

    Thanks for your sympathy in your comment on my sad post. The problems of being a clingy mum!

  2. I have a link to the Heather Bailey blog on my blog, and I was going to make her pin cushions, as I don’t have a pin cushion. I like yours, and don’t think they are wobbly.

    Great blog,

    Gill from Canada

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