Sunday, August 30, 2009

My pincushion sampler

I didn't mean to be gone so long, but work (real work) has been very busy. I have been working longer days and this cuts into my art time! Sometimes life is like that.

My 89 year old grandmother is moving to So. Carolina/No. Georgia area. It is about as far away from where I live as you can get in the continenal US. It has made me sad, but I keep thinking about the wonders of technology such as the internet, web cams, and cell phones, so I plan to make use of all of these to keep in touch. She has lived with my younger brother and his family for several years now. The economy in the small So. Oregon town my brother was working in is always hit very hard every time there is a recession. He found a better job back east and so Gran decided to make the move with his family.

My grandmother is the person who taught me how to sew, crochet, knit, and how to be creative in general so she is very much a part of who I am. Because of the move she has given me what she had left of her material and her sewing machine. The sewing machine I have been using is the one she taught me to sew on when I was in the fifth grade. That means it is somewhere in the range of 35-40 years old! I had'nt stopped to think about this until I recently wanted to purchase a free motion foot that would fit it. Sometimes it is just better NOT to figure these things out.

The "new" machine is about 25 years old. These are both Husqvarna/Viking machines which I will say are work horses. The new machine is computerized and changes stitches at the push of a button. State of the art for it's time. All that said finally leads me to the project I am posting today.

I have been practicing free motion stitching. I am still not that great but will keep at it. The change of machines has meant that I have to re-learn how to set the machine up for this. I was practicing the other day on some 5 inch muslin squares. When I finished one I thought I would sew another square onto the "sandwich" to finish the edges and see if I could make something of it. Once I turned it right side out I had the cutest little pillow--so I thought pincushion. As I was looking at the muslin color though, I thought all of my pins are white headed, so it is going to be difficult to see them. So, I grab some turquoise fabric paint and dry brushed it on -- not entirely solid as I liked the texture. I then appliqued a flower and some leaves on the center and finished with a bright sparkly button.

So I was able to practice my free motion stitching, and hand applique which I had not done before!
This was one of those projects that just happened--I had no idea I was going to make a pincushion yesterday and at the end of the day there it was. Each step played off the step before and if I hadn't made the first step it wouldn't have happened at all. So the lesson learned for me is just take a step, any step, and you never know what will happen.
Hope to be back soon! Take care, Denise