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While I can't be 100% sure, I'm fairly sure I made my first pincushion about twenty years ago. It wasn't pretty, and it was stuffed with polyester fiberfill. It was lumpy and bumpy, and not anything close to round. But I was still hooked on making these little things.
In the years since that first pinnie, I've probably made over 200 pincushions and published five patterns - Pollo Loco, Tuffets, Fruit Salad, Sweet Liberty Tuffets and Morsel.
And a book.
This is Pin Pals and it started shipping yesterday - November 15.
Most of the pinnies in this book were made in July 2017 as part of a "pincushion a day" challenge. In July 2016, Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts challenged herself to make something every day, and because pincushions are small - and fun - she made 31 pincushions. I thought it was the coolest idea ever so I asked if I could
crash her party join the fun.
So in the month of July 2017, I made 49 pincushions in 31 days. I might have gone a little overboard.
As I posted to Instagram every day, folks kept asking if there was going to be a pattern or book... to which a book publisher started thinking "I can make that happen". Pin Pals!
Pincushions and instructions were delivered in January - most of it anyway - and presto! A few of the pinnies in the book are new, meaning that I didn't make them during the month-long challenge. I had the idea but ran out of days - crazy how that happens!
I can share that there were days I had a plan and the plan worked. Other days... not so much. Some of my favorites were just simple squares and rectangles sewn together.
The Pin Pals book has a lot of tips and ideas, not because I am any kind of pincushion expert but because making a lot of pinnies means I experiment a lot, and I've figured out what works for me.
Like the threads in the pictures - Aurifil's 80wt. thread. It's perfect for machine-quilting on small blocks.
Why yes, I made a 4" finished "Swoon" block - it seemed like a good idea at the time. The mini Monkey Wrench blocks really are mini - they finish at 3" across. (They're like potato chips... try making just one.)
I will happily share that I had grand ideas about making a huge dent in my scrap bin but that didn't happen. Not. even. close. I started saving ever-smaller pieces because that 3/4" strip that too small for a quilt is perfect for a string-pincushion!.
Everyone asks if I'm keeping all of the pincushions. No. Some were made for friends, others were claimed by friends as soon as they were posted. I'm also asked if I actually use them. Not really - I have used my hand-made pinnies over the years but honestly, they're mostly decorative.
Because the nice folks at Martingale generously sent me a box of books to share, that's what I'm going to do.
Leave a comment by Midnight on Sunday, November 17, CST and you're entered to win one of three prizes. Each prize will have a signed Pin Pals book and a pinnie-goodie-box. (The boxes are filled with a few of my favorite pinnie-making things - Aurifil's 80wt. thread for machine-quilting and Moda Mini Charm packs.)