Tag Archives: pin cushion


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?


Pin cushion done!

Nina With Freckles - Pin cushion finished 2015-07-23

This little project, a pin cushion made by the pattern in Camille Roskelley’s Playful Piecing Techniques on Craftsy, which was started back in March (this year, phew, not 2014), finally got the last seam sewn by hand about a week ago.

I had stuffed it with cushion filling in late spring, I think, but sewing by hand wasn’t an attractive thought, until I got annoyed by using the magnetic pin dish by Prym. Turns out I’m not fond of the magnetism going on, although admittedly it’s a useful device when you manage to throw half your pin box upside down on the floor…

Anyway, here it is in use now:

Nina With Freckles - Pin cushion finished with pins 2015-07-23

I can’t recommend enough these pins for quilting by Clover, by the way. They are the finest and sharpest pins I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with!

Finishing projects will hopefully be my middle name one day. Stay tuned, there’s more coming up in a moment!

Pretty pin cushion in need of filling

NWF Pin cushion 2 2015-03-25

Ah, I finally made a pin cushion! Well, it’s almost done, because I still have to hunt down some good filling, but the patchwork and quilting is done. It is lovely, simply wonderful to finish sewing projects!

Craftsy - Camille Roskelley - Playful Piecing TechniquesThe pattern is by Camille Roskelley and it is the first project of the Playful Piecing Techniques Craftsy class. Ever since watching the first lesson last year, I’ve been meaning to make one of these nifty contraptions, but my research into fillings took me to a standstill. Apparently crushed walnut shells or similar would be one of the best materials, but after having searched some local pet-shop websites, I’m still standing in square zero. Next step is to stop by a pet store and then to check with one of the fabric shops.

Since I started the project the other evening, the lighting wasn’t very nice, which is why the progress photos appear only now, after you have seen the more vivid colours:

NWF Pin cushion 1 2015-03-25

The quilting that Camille does is quite simple, but I need to practice more than straight lines. Using my walking foot, I did indeed quilt straight, but the pivoting and loss of first guide line still throws me off a bit in my precision. I also embraced a quality this time that fits with “Done is better than perfect”, which quite frankly should be observed even more around here. Oh, and I started the whole thing by drawing an X with a hera marker, but probably drew it too lightly or didn’t have enough light in my working area, because I barely saw either line.

The choices of quilting threads were interesting. I have inherited a bunch of 50-weight cotton threads in all sorts of colours, and while one might seem suitable at first, once it’s been quilted in place it no longer looks as smashing. The green, dark navy, and violet were the only options, but the turquoise got a first line quilted in another thread. Colour-wise it was better, but its weight clearly around 30 or heavier even (I’m not very good at estimating thread weight yet), so I ripped it out again. My seam ripper is excellent, by the way, and it seems to have earned the red dot award a couple or so years ago, so I’m not reluctant to use it at all.

Anyway, since I managed to fit five lines in each quadrant of the back, and since three fit into the coloured areas, I added two more in the white areas of the top in an attempt at echoing the design. The quilting feels like I’m still practicing, so I’m okay with a slightly wonky result.

I did, however, rip out the last middle seam, or I know the half-millimetre shift in the centre would have annoyed me to no end forever and ever, so the second time I did pin the whole seam properly. Watching the Bernina used in several Craftsy classes makes me think it’s not just me, but currently a new machine is out of the question. At least I corrected what I could :)

How many pin cushions do you have? And what shape and size are they? I’m thinking my appliqué needles might want their own.