To launch a new, exciting year of sewing Scandibee blocks, we kicked off with a pin-cushion swap in December. Eight of us have chosen to continue in 2016, whereas Anne in the Netherlands, Lizzie in Sweden, Nina in England, and Synnøve in Norway decided to focus on other new adventures. In their place we now have Jenny in England, Karen and Maja in Denmark, and Louise in Sweden. Welcome ladies!

Other news from Scandibee is that there are more hives, not just ours anymore! The interest for Ruth’s idea became so huge that she decided to expand, and hence the hashtag for our hive in the new year is #scandibeehive1 although you can check out the main one as well.

Since Instagram improved group messaging, we decided to skip Flickr as a communication platform, because turns out quite a few of us forgot to log on there. Emails and Instagram worked very well in the end of 2015.

But pin cushion, what was that about? In December 2014 we swapped mug rugs, so for this year’s getting-to-know-each-other gift we chose the humble, but very useful pin cushion.

I happened to have Marica as my secret swap partner, which is why my November blocks for her were at tad late. Postage has increased ridiculously in the past year within and in particular out of Finland, so I wanted to catch more birds at once. Of course they increased it even more in February, but we decided to drop the extras, and instead send blocks only this year.

Nina With Freckles - Scandibee 2015 pin cushion swap 1 2016-03-14

A couple of years ago I made some small, scrappy improv panels, possibly to be used as mug rugs, but never used them. One looked nice enough to work well with Marica’s inspiration mosaic, which included natural linen as background, and so I chopped it up in three parts, cut two strips of linen of the same size, and made the side panels slightly wider. Unfortunately I can’t recall the exact sizes anymore, but I think the strip widths in the middle ended up being 1” wide finished.

For the backing of the pin-cushion top I used a piece of seersucker that I had in my stash. Since it would face the stuffing, I just needed something to keep the batting in place. The hand quilting I decided to embellish my pin cushion with went through these three layers, after which I placed the pin-cushion bottom and this sandwich right sides together, sewed most of the sides shut with a quarter-inch seam allowance, filled the pin cushion, and hand-sewed the open seam closed.

Nina With Freckles - Scandibee 2015 pin cushion swap 2 2016-03-14

Due to a happy coincidence, my Aurifil 28-weight thread box contained the right colours for this project! I stitched with greenish yellow, light green, light blue, and light violet, whcih all matched perfectly the fabric colours.

Here’s my inspiration mosaic for my own secret swap partner:

Nina With Freckles - Scandibee 2015 pin cushion swap 4 2016-03-14

Clockwise from top left (with permission), Instagram users: 1. @sewgoclimbing, 2. @jeliquilts, 3. @a_craftycleverness, 4. @sewingroomsecrets.

In return, I got this cute, flat pin cushion made by Maja in Copenhagen. With our own postage system in mind, where letters thicker than 20 mm are considered parcels with astronomical fees required, I mentioned my short appliqué pins being in need of a proper home.

Nina With Freckles - Scandibee 2015 pin cushion swap 3 2016-03-14

They are a third or so the length of a normal pin, and I think they sit very well on this modern, graphic design. Thanks once again, Maja!

Have you committed to a bee this year? Or made the contrary decision?


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