Completed: Another cathedral window pincushion

I’ve been getting quite a few visitors to my blog looking for cathedral window pincushions and a tutorial to make one as I made one back in August last year. So I thought I would make another one and maybe try my hand at a tutorial whilst I was at it.

It’s amazing the difference a year makes. I found it so much easier to make this one and I think my stitching is much neater and less visible. It is a bit of a monster at 5″ square though – possibly more of a small doll’s cushion than a pincushion!

One of the new things this time round was machine stitching round one of the windows (the blue and brown one). I hand-stitched the other one (the pink and green one) and I’m not entirely sure which I like best. I also used a ladder stitch to close the ends up which looks a lot neater than whip stitching.

Tutorial to follow once I’ve waded through all my photos and got it written up!

Stopping for safety reasons…

Not really the error message you want to see from your sewing machine, is it, especially when it’s new, shiny and very expensive. But I guess if I’ve just made my needle look like this, then it’s just as well it stopped.

I thought I’d have a bit of fun and have my first attempt at FMQ on my Janome 7700. I dropped the feed dogs, selected stitch 100 (which I thought was the right one for doing a nice wiggly line) and the machine told me to attach foot QB-H which is the big monster FMQ foot.

I got the foot on (it’s a bit of a faff manoeuvring it around the dual feed device, but I got there in the end), hit the start button and the machine took one stitch then the needle position shifted and it hit the foot. Not ideal, really.

So I went back to the manual, which admittedly I should have read a bit more thoroughly. But I kinda assumed that the machine wouldn’t tell me to put on a foot which would end up bending the needle. I guess I won’t be making that mistake again.

What I think happened is that stitch 100 is a wiggly stitch that should be done with the feed dogs up. To FMQ, I should have used stitch 1 (straight stitch) with the feed dogs down. It also seems that if the feed dogs are down, the machine will say to use foot QB-H, regardless of the stitch selected and even if this will result in the needle hitting the foot. I’ll have to remember that.

Anyway, I’ve never bent a needle before this and it kind of freaked me out so went back to straight stitch and made some pin cushions. I’ll come back to FMQ once I’ve plucked up some more courage!

Oh and when I showed hubby the red one, he said “great wonky log cabin”. LOL, I guess he’s picked up more quilting stuff than I realised!

Joy in the New Year challenge update

Well, I had a whopping 2 UFOs for Jacquie’s Joy in the New Year challenge. With that few it should have been pretty easy to get them done, right? Well, 1 out of 2 ain’t bad, I suppose!

I finished the colour wheel embroidery, but I’m afraid the wild flower pincushion made from mini hexagons has bit the dust. I tried making some 1/2″ hexagons over Christmas but the fiddlyness drove me crazy so I only got as far as this (it’s less than 1.5″ across):

Hexagon flower made from 1/2" hexagons

I’m undecided as to whether I’m going to continue with this. Maybe I’ll make the odd hexagon here and there. For now though, this is going to remain a UFO. I wonder if that’s a sign of the way 2010 is going to go?!

Fab surprise!

I got home this evening to find a parcel waiting for me from my friend Ashley! It has 2 lots of satin blanket binding and a pack of crushed walnut shells to use as a pincushion filler from my friend Ashley! Wow, what a fab thing to come home to. Thank you so much Ashley! Now I have even more reason to finish my wild flower pincushion…

Slightly off topic, Ashley is in the States, I’m in the UK, and the walnut shells are “Crushed English Walnut Shells”. I was going to point out the amusement factor of having English Walnut shells shipped to me from the States, until I decided to check that the English Walnut tree is actually English. Turns out (and I quote wikipedia) “it’s native in a region stretching from the Balkans eastward to the Himalayas and southwest China.” . Just as well I checked… :)

Joy in the New Year challenge

Joy in the New Year Challenge

I’m sure you’ve come across the Joy in the New Year challenge that Jacquie has started which is a challenge to finish up as many WIP’s as possible before the start of 2010. Now I’ve got a few projects on the go or about-to-be-on-the-go at the moment, but most have hard deadlines like Christmas or baby due dates so I’m not worried about getting them finished. However there are a couple of projects that I really want to do, but without hard deadlines, I think they may loose out in my time rationing.

So I’ve decided to put these non-deadline projects down for Jacquie’s challenge:

  1. Wild flower hexagon pincushion, which has been sitting in my Current Projects list for _ages_
  2. Colour wheel embroidery

I really want to get both of these done and now I have a hard deadline for them there’s no way they’ll get lost and forgotten about. Sorted!

Oh and on the Ponies and Cars front, I’m giving the suggestions from Elle and Cheryl a go and have washed the fabric and will make a test block at the weekend to see how the fabric holds up. Fingers crossed…

Wild flower pincushion ideas

I’ve been thinking about the wild flower, mini hexagon pin cushion idea and I think I’m going to give it a go! I’ve been debating colour schemes and have got two possibilities. The first is based on a sunflower – green base and sides with bright yellow petals and a yellow and black hexagon top. The other idea is a daisy – green base and sides again but with white petals and a pale yellow hexagon top.

I have some bright yellow and black spotted fabric which could form part of the hexagon top for the sunflower idea, but other than that I’ve not got anything suitable. So I guess that means I need to go fabric shopping. What a disaster… ;)

Wild flower pincushion

I mentioned that I really liked a pincushion with mini hexagons made by duniris. Well, the caption for her pic referred to the pattern’s designer and after a quick google, I’ve found the pattern. I think this may be my next project…

Completed: Cathedral Window pincushion

I woke up horribly early this morning so decided to get going on my pincushion. I’m pleased with the outcome but had I known how fiddly cathedral windows are, I think I would have gone with another design!

As I haven’t made a cathedral window block before, I followed a couple of online tutorials. I mainly used this one from Making Ends Meet, but instead of hand-stitching the two squares together, I machine-stitched them, following this tutorial from hyena in petticoats.

The fabric was left over from my first baby quilt and was cut to size with a rotary cutter following this tutorial from the purl bee. It was my first attempt at rotary cutting and it seemed to work well.

Cathedral Window Pincushion

So what did I learn from this project?

  1. I NEVER EVER want to make a full cathedral window quilt. The pincushion only has 2 windows and it drove me up the wall!
  2. Rotary cutting is much easier and more accurate than using scissors to cut fabric
  3. Keep a quick-unpick handy when sewing (not that I needed one during this project, of course…)

EDIT 5th July 2010: I’m now working on a tutorial for this and hope to have it up here soon!

Cathedral Window pincushion

So I thought making something small would be a good way to practice rotary cutting. I’ve decided to make a pincushion from 2 cathedral window squares which I think look really pretty. I had a book with a good tutorial but unfortunately that book was from the library and I returned it last week. DOH!

I can’t find any pincushion tutorials online, but I found this tutorial for making a cathedral window quilt. I was still quite confused though (no reflection on the tutorial which is ace – I found the book tutorial confusing as well). So I decided to make a paper version. It’s amazing how much clearer everything is when you actually have something in front of you. Here’s my paper cathedral window:

Paper cathedral windowI’m planning on making the real thing at the weekend.

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