Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Basket, A Button, A Pincushion

Here I am, back in the Nest, after an absence due to a death in the family, then a bout with "that bug." I am still not feeling great, but am better and that is a big deal. It has been a few weeks since I have spent any time in the Nest and of all things, I have felt guilty about it. So, now, I am back in my precious little studio and feeling desperate to post something that might be of interest to somebody.

Since I never know who is reading my posts...if anyone...I try to write about things that interest me....after all, on any given day, I could be the only person reading my blog posts. Since I have not been productive the last few weeks, today I wondered what to talk about. I have a pincushion class coming up at the next "Quilt Arkansas 2009" (September '09) and have not made the class sample. It's important that I get it done by Dec. 15th, as samples are needed to photograph for the retreat booklet and the deadline is looming. So, today, pincushions are on my mind.

This one will be traveling to a friend in France after the first of the year. It's simple, really, and was great fun to make. Let me tell you a bit about it.

I began with a small scrap of an old dresser scarf in a linen like fabric. I think I used the original scarf to make one of the aprons for the dolls in my etsy shop. I save scraps like that. There was just enough to make two pincushions. (I have yet to finish the second, but I will soon and it won't be identical to this one.) Being old fabric, I thought it needed a little updating, so I painted the fabric. After the paint is dry, I sand it lightly with a very fine sandpaper. It's so cool to see the very faint difference it makes in the fabric...but, oh, so nice! And, by the way, I used a watered down acrylic paint (on damp fabric) and when dry, ironed it to set the color. I don't know if you can tell in these photos, but it's a really cool thing to do...this one is in pink/green/yellow/blue. Very pale coloring, almost like watercolor. I like it very much.

I knew I was going to embroider a basket on this fabric, cover a 2 inch button form with it, then bead the edges. After, that...all was up for grabs. So, I embroidered the basket and made the button. As you know, I love baskets and I also LOVE sewing French Knots. I just don't think you can beat a tiny basket filled with French Knot simple and so much FUN to sew! With pale yellow seed beads, I then beaded the edge of the button. This step, also, is so much fun to do! Next, I cut out two 5
1/2 inch circles of the same painted fabric, added a lining on each, sewed the circle and turned it right side out.

Stuffing came next. My least favorite step in making anything is the stuffing. I just hate it, but it's a necessary evil. I don't know about you, but, to me, stuffing a circle was difficult, since I want my circles to stay circular. Because I also like things to look as if they were made by a human hand, I didn't stress too much over this part of the work. I did want it really firm though. After stuffing the pincushion, I sewed the embroidered button in the center, using a small button on the backside of the pincushion to prevent the thread from tearing the fabric.

Next, I sewed the blue glass butterfly bead to the top, just to the right of the basket. It looked so very plain, I decided a pretty edging sewn around the center seam of the pincushion would look great. And it did. But, I wanted to go another step and add some beads in a little scallop design. There you have it. A basket, a button, a pincushion!

Hope you are well and take care til we meet again....Pat


Marty52 said...

This is beautiful... so very delicate and airy!

Christine said...

Pat, I'm sure there are quite a few regular readers, VBG. I really like the details on this pincushion and your description is very helpful. I'm always looking for ideas to adapt for my children's stitching classes. Of course, theirs won't be as "professional" looking as yours is, but the principle of an embellished covered button on top of a decorated pincushion is very do-able for the kids.

I like the detail of your treatment of the background fabric too, light sanding you say? I can imagine how that would give a nice smooth texture to the fabric.

I'm sure the recipient will be pleased with your gift, it's delightful.

Thanks for sharing

Unknown said...

Oh, this is so very pretty! I need to learn how to make pincushions so I can put my tatting on them. Wadda ya mean...Ya don't think anyone is reading your posts!?! Don't be silly! I do!

Caron at Michigan Quilts said...

Pat, this pincushion is BEAUTIFUL! It has the look of an antique with the coloring of contemporary. Love the beadwork around the edge! Very pretty!

Gaby Bee said...

Your pincushion is enchanting, wish I could reach out and touch it.
Have a wonderful upcoming weekend!

Gaby xo

Gayle said...

This is the type of fiber art that speaks to my heart. Absolutely beautiful!

I hope you are handling the holidays ok with your recent loss. I've been thinking about you and your family.

Amy Munson said...

Pat, I like the beaded edge, looks fantastic.

Tina Marie the Willow Witch said...

Pat, I just love it!

Judy said...

Hi Pat,
I'm so impressed with the pincushion. The french knots are so perfect. I love the butterfly too!! Your french friend is very lucky to receive one of your beautiful pincushions. Your detailed work is so beautiful. I love looking at all your details. I'm so glad your life is getting back to normal. Hugs and have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

Hi, your pincushion is just so pretty and so girlie. Thank you for the instructions on how you made it - I love the idea of covering a button form. Sure wish I was that "French Friend" you speak of.

Robin said...

OMG! I am soooooo happy I discovered your blog (or you discovered mine, I guess)...

I LOVE this pincushion... everything about it, especially the French knot flower basket and the painted fabric. I am going to try that... what a great way to take ordinary fabric and make it something personal and unique!!!! Thanks for posting about this.

Keep writing about things you love... that's always the key to a good blog (in my opinion)!

Have you tried painting fabrics with dyes? I recently took a class with Ann Johnston... you can see the results here.

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.