19 May 2014

Beauty is only skin deep

A few years ago I made a pin cushion out of a pineapple paper pieced pattern. One reason was because all I had was a "tomato" pin cushion and the other was that I had never tried to do paper piecing. It came out beautiful and in my favorite colors. It was lots of fun to do as well.

I'm not sure if you can tell from this photo but the fabric was very course. It was the first fabric I ever bought to dye and I had no idea what I was getting. I bought it on eBay. It was so thick and course the needles had a hard time piercing the fabric. As you can see I had to try to get the needles into the tiny space below each seam. The directions I was following said to fill with fine sand to keep the needles sharp. Well, that's all well and good IF you can get the needle through the fabric.

So I was thinking I needed a new pin cushion that was more user friendly. I have been dyeing these thin soft t-shirts and I thought about using an old t-shirt but I threw the old holey one away. I started to audition fabrics by sticking a needle into it. It also had to be a close enough weave to hold my new filling product Crushed English Walnut Shells. I now have enough crushed walnut shelves to last the rest of my life and five friends lives as well.

Well, the winner of the fabric audition was an off cut of some IKEA linen curtains that came with this house. It may not be beautiful but the needles slide right in...

Now I decided to make another one and tart it up with a thermofax screen print.

This was a thermofax screen Lyric made for me. I am very fortunate to have 2 Ginkgo trees on the street behind my house. Later in year, when the leaves are out, I will offer to send Ginkgo leaves to those of you who are interested.

I wanted to see if the fabric paint would make it more difficult to stab a needle in. Passed the test!


  1. Love your experimentation process, & your pin cushios....a book I'm reading reminds me of your creative approach: The Trickster's Hat: A Mischievous Apprenticeship in Creativity by Nick Bantock. Those pin cushion tomatoes go way back I think, I remember my mom's.

  2. What a wonderful piece of art, to stich your pins, in. If you're offering to send out Ginkgo leaves...pick me...pick me. I'll swap something, for them.


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