Friday, July 20, 2012

Stack 'O' Pin Cushions

Four-Patch Stack
A few weeks ago, I showed you a pile of fifty or more 3-1/2" four-patch blocks that have been collecting dust in my stash.

These blocks have been bugging me for a long time. Pretty little squares in bright colors. Several clumps of duplicate blocks, some pairs of duplicates, and several one-of-a-kind four-patches. Not enough of any one color combination to make anything. . . . or so I thought. I used the GREAT Summer Orphan Block Challenge as an excuse to make these four-patches into something.

I showed you how I took four matching four-patch blocks, or almost matching blocks, did a little cutting, added some embroidery and beading, and sewed them into cute pin cushions.
Pin Cushion Stack

These were so much fun to make, that I kept going! A hot afternoon, and a spare hour in a soft chair on the porch one day. An evening in front of the TV on another day. Little by litte, step by step, and now the stack of blocks has become a stack of pin cushions!

While all this pin-cushion making was going on, two additions to our avian family joined us. Doodle (in front) is a sun conure, and Woodstock is a jenday conure.
Woodstock (in back) and Doodle (in front)

So, why bring this up in the middle of a discussion about pin cushions? With the new birds, we started using crushed walnut shell litter on the bottom of their play pen. The crushed walnut shells also make a great stuffing for pin cushions.

So some of my pin cushions in the stack are stuffed with batting scraps, and some are stuffed with the walnut shell litter. Everything in the construction is the same, just fill the pin cushion with the litter using a small funnel. The walnut shells are available in most pet stores, and make the pin cushion a little more weighty, so pins release nicely as they are removed from the pin cushion. Just thought you'd like to know.

So far, I've made 15 pin cushions from orphan four-patch blocks. I've already given a couple away. At four four-patches each, that's a total of 60 'orphans' that aren't 'orphans' anymore! That's a great feeling!

I still have a few more pin cushions I'd like to make. I'm a big proponent of having a different pin cushion for each on-going project I'm working on. But 15 seems a bit much. So, I'll be using them throughout the year at teaching events or as door prizes.

ALSO, I'm throwing one pin cushion into the Grand Prize Package for the GREAT Summer Orphan Block Challenge!

I've kept a handful of blue and white four-patches aside for something a little different. But I think maybe it's time for me to switch gears. Don't you agree?

So, here's my next target.

"On deck"

These tan and blue (did I say I love working with blue) 12" blocks have been hanging around for some time now--at least a couple of years. They are classic quilt blocks that were part of a series of block patterns by Kaye England. I enjoyed making the blocks using specialty rulers she designed, but I fell out of love with the fabric I was using. Or something else came up. Or, I don't know. How do these things ever happen? One day, you are excited about a project, the next you're not, but the orphan blocks are left, and they wait their turn.

Well, it's their turn. These blocks are 'on deck' for the next Orphan project coming from my sewing room. Stay tuned and let's see what they become.

Happy Stitching!

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