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Friday, April 15, 2016

Loopy Academy Sewing Edition

Loopy Academy pincushion project 
Today's blog post was supposed to be something completely different.  Then, yesterday afternoon I started working on my pincushion for Loopy Academy and I was so excited to get it all made and finished, that it became today's blog post.  The other thing will wait!
Loopy Academy pincushion project
My search for a pincushion idea was similar to the table runner idea.  I pinned a number of pincushions, but there were two themes that kept reappearing: birds and storage.  There are all kinds of bird pincushions out there, from tiny sparrows, to chickens, to owls and beyond.  By storage, I mean pincushions with pockets or places to put the things that get used with pincushions like rulers, thread, scissors and thimbles.  Yesterday, I just decided to make a bird and add a loop for scissors under a wing.  I chose Joel Dewberry's Bird Sachet pattern (scroll down for the link) because it looked like it would be big enough for the scissors, but simple enough that halfway through the process I wasn't surrounded by 200 bird parts wondering why I hadn't made a little square pillow and gotten it all over with.  I stuck to the pattern pretty closely, although I didn't hand embroider the wing, I just machine quilted it, and when I sewed the wings onto the body, I decided they needed a button there.  I also used a button, not a bead, for the eye.
Loopy Academy pincushion project
Another thing I had discovered while searching for a pincushion idea or just in the general discussion of the project on Ravelry, is that stuffing a pincushion with walnut shells is good for keeping pins and needles sharp.  I also figured it would add some weight to the pincushion, which is always nice.  You can get walnut shells marketed for sewing projects but they're really expensive packaged that way.  I went to Amazon and got a bag of walnut shells sold for reptile bedding.  It was much cheaper and now I'll be able to make pincushions forever!  (Who are we kidding, my great, great grandkids will have pincushion stuffing.)  I've obviously never used walnut shells in a sewing project and I had concerns about bits of walnut shell coming out of my pincushion and making a huge mess all over the house.  To (hopefully) prevent this, I turned the stitch length down to 1.5mm and attached fusible fleece to all of the pieces of the bird.  I thought the fleece would make the seams that much tighter and less likely to leak walnut pieces.  When it came time to stuff the pincushion, I stuffed the head very firmly with polyfil and then got Caleb to hold the bird so I could pour the walnut shells in.  I'd pour some in and then we'd bounce the bird gently and poke at the shells to pack it all in tightly.  The bird took a surprising amount of walnut shells!  Once it was packed as tight as we could get it, I added some polyfil just in the place where I'd handsew the bird closed.  I've sewn stuffed animals up before, so working around polyfil is something I'm OK with.  I wasn't sure I wanted to sew a seam with walnut shells right in the seam.  Also, I figured the polyfil would keep the walnut shells from leaking out my hand sewing.
Loopy Academy pincushion project
Now I have a finished bird pincushion!  Her name is Bagel (Caleb named her).  She has a nice weight to her, and she's ready to get to work, holding pins and scissors for me!

Have a great weekend!

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Blogger kayT said...

I love that pretty bird! I totally agree about the buttons on the wings. I never knew about stuffing with walnut shells. I hope they do in fact keep things sharp since you had to go to some trouble to get them. Since you have so many extras, I guess you could go into the pincushion-making business...eh, probably not.

1:53 PM  

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