Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pincushion o' plenty

It has been awhile since I finished one, but don't think for a second that I have left my pincushion obsession behind! This latest beauty was the November kit from the Shabby Fabrics Pincushion Club.

Cornucopia pincushion, side view

It is the Cornucopia pattern from Mary Jo Hiney Designs. (And I just noticed that she has a whole slew of other gorgeous pincushion designs available as well... oh, my!)

Cornucopia, back view

As much as I love the finished pincushion, I have to say that of all of the kits in the Pincushion Club I received, this one was my least favorite. The kit for this one included only the fabrics. Albeit, they were gorgeous silk fabrics, but in order to complete the pincushion as designed, additional embellishments are not just enhancements-- they are required to cover up holes and the like. I really wish that the kit had included some of those elements. Fortunately, I have a nice stash of beads, and I was able to procure some buttons and wired ribbon without too much difficulty. But it really felt like the "kit" was incomplete.

That said, if you want to make this gorgeous pincushion with these same lovely silk fabrics, Shabby Fabrics does still have kits available. Just be warned that you're gonna need more than silk to make this one.

Cornucopia, front view

The instructions were concise and clear and there wasn't anything too tricky. Turning the cornucopia right side out was a challenge as it was a very narrow opening, and then there was a bit of handwork (mostly long running stitches for gathering) and lots of hot glue involved. Hot glue is not my forte. I accidentally made a little glue puddle. It looked horrible and so I tried to cover my mistake with seed beads. That looked weird, so then I ended up adding little piles of seed beads all over to make it look less like a mistake. I think it was a pretty good save. Yay! My only other variance from the pattern was that I didn't use any paper products as she did (the original has a little paper fan and paper tag embellishments); instead I just added additional fabric and ribbon leaves to fill in those spaces.

Cornucopia, another side view

I really do love this design. Not only is it beautiful, but it also brings to mind thoughts and memories of autumn and Thanksgiving-- my favorite times of year!

Monday, June 18, 2012

End of year gifts

The end of the school year has come and gone. Big Bear is officially a preschool graduate-- Kindergarten, here we come! I'm still a little dumbstruck. While he is definitely ready to move on, I'm not sure I am. Ha!

Anyway, I managed to make a few end of year gifts for class coordinators and a couple of special friends. The gift of choice: The Circle Zip Earbud Pouch!

earbud pouch number one, closed

This awesomely smart and practical tutorial is from Erin of Dog Under My Desk. It is one of those, "Why didn't I think of that???" ideas that is quick, easy and fabulous. The instructions were clear and well illustrated.

earbud pouch number one, with zipper open

I made the first one (pictured above), from cutting to last stitch, in 40 minutes; the others were even faster. The trickiest part of the process was sewing the outside edge of the circle such that when it was turned right-side-out, it actually resulted in a circle. My advice is to just take it slowly and focus on small, even turns as you sew the seam on the outside edge. By the last one, I had finally figured it out and was feeling pretty pleased with the resulting shape.

three more earbud pouches

I had fun picking out fabrics. I decided to go with a print for the outside and then solids for the tab and lining.

Best of all, everyone loved the pouches. Yay! I was so pleased with the tutorial, I went ahead and purchased the pattern for Erin's Two-Zip Hipster. It looks like it will be an awesome going-to-the-park bag (a summer necessity!), so I hope to make one soon!