Tip: Filling Pincushions with Vase Filler

Pincushion-1I wanted to share a little tip I have for filling pincushions. I seem to give away almost all of the pincushions I make, and a few of the recipients have asked me what I fill them with, because it has a nice feel and weight. Now, I know it is common to fill pincushions partially with crushed walnut shells, but, because of allergy concerns {many of my pincushions go to swap partners, and swaps often ask for allergy info}, I looked for a risk-free alternative. My favorite: vase filler.

pincushoin-1These plastic beads, called Colorfill are great for pincushions. They have a nice weight and texture, are affordable, and won’t have any potential allergic reactions.

pincushoin-2Here’s a look vase filler a little closer. I stuff my pincushions half full with poly-fill and then put the beads in the bottom. I’ve never had a problem with the vase filler surfacing to the top.

I have heard that crushed walnut shells will help keep your pins and needles sharp, so that is one great advantage to them. I do have one pincushion filled with the walnut shells that I was given in a swap, and it’s lovely. I just find these vase filler beads an easy alternative to have on hand, especially since a swap partner or someone I’m gifting a pincushion to may have allergies.

What do you fill your pincushions with? Do you have a favorite way to weight them? Do I not know what I’m missing by not using the crushed walnut shells? I’d love to know!

Stash-Busting Blog Hop :: Retro Mama Scrap Happy Sewing

stash-busting blog hopHello and welcome to our stop on the Stash-Busting Blog Hop to celebrate Kim of Retro Mama’s new books Scrap Happy Sewing  {also on Amazon} and 50 Fat Quarter Makes {also on Amazon}. Since I love sewing with scraps, I was really excited to look through the book and find some adorable projects! The first one that caught my mind was the Scrap Patch Pincushion, which I could not help but make in rainbow colors:


I really thought the pleated side was a special touch too! I used a low volume text instead of the linen from the book, just because I thought it would be fun to show something a little different while using the same technique.

Pincushion-2But, then, when I went to write up my blog post, I noticed that there were already two of these pincushions in the blog hop {no wonder, it’s super adorable!}…so, since my parents are in town and helped entertain my kids, I quickly whipped up a matching rainbow Simply Strippy Sewing Kit:

Pincushion-&-Sewing-Kit-2I added one extra strip to my sewing kit and cut it 1/2″ wider than the pattern, because I wanted to fit a pair of sewing scissors inside. I loved how in the book Kim shows several options for the inside of the sewing kit and encourages the reader to be imaginative with theirs too. Here’s my inside:

Pincushion-&-Sewing-KitFor the scissor holder I just cut two additional wedges from the pincushion, but extended them about 1/2″, sewed right sides together, turned, and sewed it on top of one of the pockets! I used bright plastic snaps on my kit too, because I had them handy.

Pincushion-&-Sewing-Kit-1I’m glad I can send these two goodies home with my mom as a thank you for all her help while visiting this week! Having three little kids and living far from family can be rough sometimes, so it was a really nice treat to have my  mom around for so many reasons!

scrap happy sewing cover

Scrap Happy Sewing photo by Kim Kruzich

I’ve really enjoyed browsing through Scrap Happy Sewing too, the book is beautifully laid out, photographed, and the projects seem eye catching with easy to follow directions. I was given an ebook of both of Kim’s books and the patterns were so easy to print and I’ve enjoyed scrolling through them on my iPad. I’m thinking there are more projects in my future too, I’m thinking the On-a-Roll Crochet Hook Holder may be next, as I have a friend I know loves crochet!

Here’s the rest of the blog hop schedule, and visit Stitch, Craft, Create to enter to win a bundle of books and fabric here.


Thu 2nd  – Retro Mama

Tue 7th  – SCC

Wed 8th  – S.O.T.A.K Handmade

Thu 9th  – Fabricworm

Fri 10th  – Clover & Violet

Mon 13th  – Robot Mom Sews

Tue 14th  – Vivid Felicity

Wed 15th  – Cut To Pieces

Thu 16th  – Straight Grain

Fri 17th  – Sew Take A Hike

Mon 20th  – Vintage Grey

Tue 21st  – Miss Print

Wed 22nd  – Pink Penguin

Thu 23rd  – Sew Creative Blog

Fri 24th  – Follow the White Bunny

Mon 27th  – A Bright Corner

Tue 28th  – Sew Justine Sew

Wed 29th  – LRstitched

Thu 30th  – Pieced Brain

Washi Tape Pincushion

washi tape pincushionI love embroidery. It’s fun, relaxing, and has such a personalized result! So, today, after much delay, I’m releasing the Washi Tape Pincushion pattern. This cute little pincushion {with a little price tag of $2!} is now available in our shop.

Washi-Tape-Pincushoin-1The sample pincushion is stitched on Mochi Linen Dot and has some glittery Cotton + Steel Netorious on the back. I used Finca Perle thread for my stitching, Perle cotton is my favorite!

Washi-Tape-PincushoinIf this little pattern generates some interest, we’d love to do some more. As always, our shop is ever growing and evolving {though, there will also be more bags, of course!}.

There are also kits available, with the pattern included, at Sew Lux Fabric.

With our impending snowy weather, it seems like the perfect day to sit around and do some stitching. What’s your favorite sitting around project?

A Strawberry Pincushion Swap & Pillowcases

I  joined the strawberry pincushion swap that Erin at why not sew hosted. Thank you Erin, it was so much fun to be involved in this great idea. She paired us each with a partner. I made my strawberry pincushion using scraps of some of my favorite pink and red fabrics and a little strip of selvage. The pattern I used is from Heather Bailey’s fresh picked pincushions, I did change my pincushions just a little.

strawberry swap#1DSC_0816

Of course, who can make just one? Not me! I had fun cutting and sewing to make a couple more. I will be off to the post office today to put my package in the mail!

Strawberry swapDSC_0815

This is the most time I have had in a long time to work on a few of my WIP’s. It has felt so good digging into the piles and actually make my projects. I had come to the point of either cleaning up my sewing room and putting everything away, or finishing them. Thankfully finishing them won.

A couple of Christmas’s ago (that’s how long I have had this fabric) Jennie and I were planning to make each child a pillowcase so one for Silas, and one for Tommy and one for Chloe, (my two other sweet grandchildren). Norah was a baby that year, but now she is old enough to use a small travel size pillow, so I made a couple for her too!! I did use Jennie’s tutorial  for one and just made the others with the amount of fabric that I had.

Tommy’s, his matches the quilt Jennie made for him.

Tommy pillowcaseDSC_0824

This is Chloe’s, her pillowcase is made using Jennie’s tutorial, I must admit I did a lot of taking out of seams because french seams are just something I had never sewn before. I sure do like the end result of them.

Chloe pillowcaseDSC_0822

And Norah’s too!! Hers were small so I had enough fabric left over from Chloe’s so I easily made her two. Don’t you just love that Little Red Riding Hood fabric of Tasha Noel’s? I do!

Norah's pillowcasesDSC_0827

I am planning to make Silas a special pillowcase too, I am just waiting for the fabric for his to arrive. I will show you when it is finished.

Now I can check a few more things off the list and move on to some other projects waiting to be finished.

Have a great day!

Do tell us what you are sewing these days, we love to hear!!

Patchwork Pillow, Pincushion and Notion Holder, Plus!

Although the Covert Robin gift exchange wrapped up a little while ago, not all gifts made it to their destination. So Jennie and I had the opportunity to send some special gifts to Connie, we thought we would share them here with you.

We had so much fun and hopefully she will enjoy her package when it arrives in the mail!

First is one of my favorite, fun magazines Mollie Makes, each and every one of these magazines are so cute and filled with the sweetest ideas and projects. Look at those puppies, and the little bird felt project that is included!!


This is the pincushion and notion holder I made for some  notions that can be used while traveling or just about anywhere you may be sewing or stitching. The fabric I used is Verna by Kate Spain, I still love it!!


Next, I included some of my favorite notions. I use all of these items almost every day that I sew, either with my machine or by hand.


A couple of patterns.


Now, for the best and final gift, this sweet patchwork pillow that Jennie made! Isn’t it so cute, I could see one on a  chair in my house, hint, hint!!


These are a few of the things we have been sewing up lately and for a special reason.

Have a great weekend!