Sunday, November 11, 2012

One of life’s great questions answered!

Some time ago I posted about cleaning out my red tomato pincushion.  You can find that post here.  I remember being astounded at finding so many objects that had sunk inside nearly out of reach.

The other day I noticed crumbs on my cutting table.  Looking more closely I saw that the poor pincushion was leaking its sawdust stuffing.  I considered a mending job, but saw that there were too many breaks in the fabric.  Sadly I decided that this was the end of the line – the pincushion had been my mother’s and could easily be 50 years old.  The fabric had stood up very well during its long life.


As I held the pincushion and pondered its fate something poked my finger and I realized that even though I had removed 15 needles last year, there must still be a few left inside.  How many, I wondered – perhaps as many as 10?

Working over a dishpan I cut open the pincushion with scissors.  As I shook out the sawdust there was a glimpse of something shiny inside. Needles! (and a lump of mud mixed in with the sawdust!)


I carefully removed the needles and shook out more sawdust.  More needles!  More sawdust.  This is what I had when I had sifted through the last of the stuffing:


There were 67 needles inside!  A couple of sewing machine needles, several tapestry needles, LOTS of “ordinary needles” – sharps in various sizes.  Many of these must be left over from Mum’s days of sewing.  She sewed clothing and loved to finish hems and buttonholes with her fine hand-stitching.  I also found about a packet worth of my favourite crewel needles, the ones that are lovely and fine to sew with, but have a long eye that is easy to thread. 

To think that all these years I have been wondering where needles all go when they disappear.  I know that it is called a PIN cushion – perhaps that should be a hint that it will swallow the needles if I am foolish enough to put them there. 



Now the needles are tucked away (safely in a needle-book made of felt) and I should have enough to last for many years. But I feel rather bereft when I see the empty dish where the tomato used to sit. Even though I have plenty of other pin-cushions I know I will have to replace that red tomato.



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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Snowflake Preemie Quilt

I’ve been enjoying playing with the Asterisk quilt block that has showed up on the Web.  One good set of instructions is here.
Asterisk preemie quilt

Sixteen six-inch blocks and one ten-inch block made a 36” square quilt which will be added to the collection for the preemies at our regional hospital.  The fabric came from my stash.  Batting and flannel backing were donated.
Small projects are such a great way to try out a pattern, use a bit of fabric and make something that will brighten someone’s day.
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