Monday, June 29, 2015

Sunflower Bedspring Pincushion Tutorial

Who doesn't like pincushions?  

Not me, that's for sure!  I'm passionate about you probably already know! 

I've seen several different styles of bedspring pincushions similar to the one I made while surfing the internet, so I'm not going to claim this as my original idea. This particular design however, including the dimensions, drawings and how I put it together is.

Here it is, all finished with an updated photo showing the bedspring.

If you'd like to make one of your own, follow along with me.

On a piece of strong cardboard, cut out four each at 7" and 4" and two at 3".

Cut out the 7" circle from the gold plaid wool, the 4" circle from the green wool and the 3" circle from the brown plaid wool. 

Draw and cut out a leaf template from the cardboard.  Mine is about 3 1/2" long by 2" at the widest part.  Trace and cut out 6 separate leaves.  Two pieces will be used for each individual leaf.  I cut 4 from the dark green wool and 2 from the yellow-green wool.   

From the largest gold 7" circle, sew a running stitch about 1/4" in from the edge and all around the perimeter, leaving a tail at each end.

Center the 4" cardboard cutout inside the circle... 

and gather by pulling on both ends of the thread.  Tie off.

This is how the underside of the flower will look.

Repeat this procedure cutting the yellow-green wool at 4" in diameter and using the 3" cardboard template inside. 

Hot glue the WRONG sides of both circles together.

Using either a rotary cutter...or a wool strip cutter if you have one...cut about 30 strips at 1/4" width by whatever length of wool you are using.  Subcut approximately 15 - 7" lengths for the first row and 15 - 4" lengths for the second or top row of 'petals'.

Using the smallest or 3" circle, center and trace the outside edge to use as a guide for the 'petal' placement.   

Hot glue ONE end of each strip around the perimeter and then the other end of each strip on top of the corresponding strip. 

Repeat with the shorter strips to form the second  row of 'petals'.

Cut the brown circle at 4" in diameter.  Repeat the gathering step as above.  

Don't forget to leave two long ends for gathering.

Before adding the cardboard insert, stuff with polyester fiberfill...

then place the 3" cardboard circle on top of the stuffing.  Pull the two ends of thread to gather it closed and tie off.  This step can be a bit fidgety where you might have to either take out or add stuffing as needed. 

Hot glue the center to the top of the flower.

Blanket stitch the two pieces of each leaf together around the entire perimeter then... 

back stitch the center vein.

Randomly add some #6 glass beads to the top then glue the three leaves to the underside of the sunflower pincushion.

Hot glue the flower to the bedspring and...

Voila!  It's all done!!!

Easy peasy, huh?

Have fun and enjoy!

Happy stitching!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

New Project

Supplies all gathered and now the fun begins!

Can you guess what it's going to be?

Stay tuned...step by step tutorial with photos to follow as soon as it's done either later today or tomorrow.

Guess I'd better get busy, huh?

Happy stitching!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Out & About

After some much needed rain yesterday, we awoke this morning to bright blue skies and sunny, coolish weather.  I'm sure once the sun rises higher in the sky, the air will warm up nicely.  

This morning was my first real venture out to our local Farmers & Traders Market in Annapolis Royal in over a year.  

We arrived shortly after 8 a.m. before it got too crowded.

Thanks to my trusty, not Mr. Painted Quilt...although he is never too far from my side when we are out and about...but Ralph, who provides the confidence and ability, enabling me to leave the house.

We did manage to purchase some fresh, local strawberries, two different varieties of lettuce, some green onions and a dozen free range brown eggs.  I got everything washed and put away before I remembered to take a picture.  

Next time!

After leaving the market, we went into Digby to pick up a few staples at the supermarket.  

En route, we drove past the harbor... 

 where the scallop and lobster fishing fleet dock.

When we returned home, I took a few more photos around the outside of our house.

This view of the side of the house shows the workshop on the left and the red barn in the background.

And of course Ollie is never too far away.

Fresh strawberry and rhubarb pie is on the agenda for this afternoon so I'd better get busy, huh?

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Around The House

Yesterday, I picked up my project piece for the Spring 2016 issue of Primitive Quilts & Projects magazine from my friend Lisa who did the quilting for me. 

After sewing on the binding last night, all that now remains is to attach the hanging sleeve which is used for photography purposes and that'll be another project that can be crossed off my 'to do' list.

I love finishes!  What a great feeling!  

So that's one down and another one to go for the Winter 2016 issue.  The design for that one is done.  Now I just have to 'bring it to life' but I've got lots of time to do that because the deadline isn't until later this year.

In the interim, Mr. Painted Quilt, Ollie and I have been working our collective butts off tending to the outside of the house.

Because of the health issues that have plagued me over the last three years, we had sadly neglected the flower beds to the point where the weeds were reigning victorious.

Two days and approximately 6 hours of work later, as of this afternoon, we have declared ourselves the winners against the weeds in the flower beds immediately surrounding the house. We have one more large bed to do in the back yard, the one that Mr. PQ dug for me the first summer we moved here back in 2011.  That's next on the agenda which hopefully we'll get to on Friday, unless it rains.

Our kitchen garden is right outside the back door.  It's small but mighty and provides us with fresh strawberry rhubarb, chives, beef steak tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and hot banana peppers, Mr. PQ's faves.

The gardens were horribly overgrown and neglected when we bought the house and as a result, we've replaced about 95% of the plants and shrubs in all the flower beds since then.

The side of the house gets the early morning sun and the Japanese maple, broad-leaf variegated hosta and hydrangea seem to flourish here.

This next shot is at the corner where the two walkways meet, the one towards the back entrance of our house and the one that leads to the front.

There's a huge red bleeding heart, an early blooming pink rhododendron, a red weigela, a favorite of the hummingbirds and a VERY prolific solomon's seal.

And that's when the camera battery died so there'll be more to come.

I did manage to take the next two photos of the house and grounds a couple of days ago after our first outdoor marathon with the flower beds and grass mowing.

The side...

 And the front...

Another week or so and we should be caught up.  After that, it'll just be upkeep, maintenance and enjoying the fruits of our labor.

Oh...and I've even managed to fit in some sewing time...but more on that later!

Happy stitching!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Pear PDF Pattern

Wow!  I didn't realize how many of us like pears, or pear pincushions!  Cool!

It would take forever to email everyone who asked for a copy of the pattern that I used to make my pear so forgive me if I take the easy way out and just provide you with the link to the PDF folder that I created.  

I also included very brief instructions as to how I constructed my pear.  I'm sure you won't even need them once you see how easy it is.  What I realize now is that I forgot to include the final step and that is to embroider the feather stitch on each of the seam lines using the thread or floss of your choice.  I used Valdani 12 wt black.

Click HERE for the link to the PDF file. 

Several of you also asked for a source for hand dyed cotton velvet.  The source I was going to use before I was gifted with Shirley's velvet samples is Blackberry Primitives.  Click HERE for the link to their website and go to "Hand Dyed Velvet" to see their awesome selection.

I'd love to see all your pears when they're done so please send me a picture if you think of it.

That's it!  Have fun and enjoy!

Happy stitching!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Gifts from friends!

A while back I read on Facebook about a source for 100% cotton velvet.  

I designed a few things that I wanted to make from velvet fabric so I book marked the site...or thought I save for a 'rainy day'.  That day came a couple of weeks ago but when I went into my bookmarks to pull up the site, it wasn't there!


I belong to a couple of forums on Facebook so I posted on one of them to ask for the source and of course the help arrived probably a minute after I clicked on "post".  So off I went to the site with every intention of placing the order but hemmed and hawed after choking at the shipping charges from the US to Canada.  I just couldn't justify spending that kind of money on shipping for a relatively small order.

Lo and behold, a couple of days later, I received an email from Shirley, a new quilting, rug hooking and painting friend who happens to live in close proximity, telling me that she had some velvet upholstery samples that she'd be willing to part with if I would like them.

Well, Y-E-S!!!  

To make a long storey short, Mr. Painted Quilt drove me over to Shirley's place where she gifted me with these!

Aren't they lovely?

I have so many plans for all the things I'd like to make with the rest of the samples but here's my first project.

A velvet pear pincushion!

Oh, and the stem is actually made with a branch from our pear tree!

Thanks so much again for your generosity, Shirley.

NOTE:  If you'd like to make one, just let me know in the comments and I'll PDF my pattern for you to download.

Happy stitching!