lobsterdesigns: (Fish baby quilt)
[personal profile] lobsterdesigns
These little things are addictive. My mother's just had eye surgery, and while attempting to cheer her up and get us off the topic of painkillers, I started talking about quilting. Turns out she'd like a needle case too, please. Here it is in all its glory.

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The pincushion didn't scan well, and photographed even worse, but that gives you an idea, and you can see the fabric used here. I cut two 4 1/2" circles, after having drawn a seam line 1/4" in on the inside and marked the centres on the outside, and sewed most of the way around with the tiniest backstitch I've ever done. Then I turned it inside out, stuffed it with bits of cut-up batting, sewed up the gap (slip-stitch, went over it twice), and used the marks I'd made on the centres to go through it with an embroidery needle and a full strand of light pink embroidery thread, pulling it slightly tight. I ended up with a somewhat dubious knot of thread on one side, and put a small cape amethyst bead in the centre on the other. I've included a larger faceted opaline glass bead with the parcel, plus a card mentioning "optional extra bling", in case my mother wants to add it; I did try it, but it didn't look so good when it was secured with thread. After looking up other pincushions on the internet, I am now developing a pincushion inferiority complex since there are so many fabulous designs out there. But hey, mine still look fairly pretty, do the job, are unencumbered by ribbon or beads in the working area, and the division into sections is really useful for the different types of pins and needles I use.

The needle case is about 6" x 4" in the end, which meant that I ended up doing ridiculously small curved piecing. That said, I can scan it in if anyone wants the pattern, since you can always enlarge it. I designed it myself, and was obviously channelling Rennie Mackintosh. At least I know that I can do such small piecing, but I'll avoid doing that again if I can, at least using curves. Mind you, I got rather nifty with the pins, so I'm sure it did my technique some good. I was bad and ignored the "cut all pieces that will go on the outside so that the outside edge runs parallel with the grain" rule for the two light green/pink pieces that are on the left and right side, and while it looks good, they're right in that it does end up distorting. It's the first time I've ever had to square up a block afterwards. After that I carefully pressed in the outside 1/4", mitring the corners, and pinned it from the front, pinning the two pieces of 3mm green ribbon in place. I used dark green felt which had adhesive on one side and placed that on the back of the pieced section, then machine sewed around the edge using the walking foot and a thread I hadn't quite planned on using (it turns out that my new bobbins are the wrong size, so I had little choice). I cut another piece of white felt, a little smaller than the outside piece to allow for when it was folded, and sewed that on down the spine of the needle case. I'm still not too experienced with the machine and it wasn't too happy about the felt, which is why there's the odd dodgy bit in the sewing line and the white felt somehow ended up higher than I'd pinned it. However, I think the piecing came out strikingly enough that no one will really notice.

I'm really rather proud of it, and I think my mother will love it. She asked for pink, and by God she is getting pink! It gave me a chance to experiment with creating botanical designs and using different greens, plus those hot pinks that I intend to combine with orange and greens for a wall hanging (probably depicting lilies).
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