Nolichucky West

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Vintage Notions and Pincushions

A month or so back I wrote about vintage spools of thread.  As I wrote earlier I have inherited Mother’s sewing supplies, and also Aunt Barbara’s. I probably have Aunt Ruby’s and Grandma Margaret’s too. I could never resist a bag of sewing supplies in a thrift store, especially if I discovered a vintage wooden spool peeking out or a vintage needle book. I have now organized the little vintage suitcases and toy picnic baskets where I keep my sewing tools and supplies; needles, hooks and eyes, snaps, thimbles, and spools of thread. Now that the thread was sorted and organized it was time to turn my attention to the sewing notions.

As I cleaned and organized the supplies I sorted them on the little tomato pincushions and the chair pincushion I keep sitting in a box that stays open on a shelf near my sewing machine.

Here is a peek inside the little box where I keep my needles and pins. The box itself was a thrift store rescue that I lined with my favorite scrapbook paper. Also tucked amongst the tomato pincushions are two flower fairies and a tiny toy bear, holding onto a scrap of lace and providing a bit of whimsy.

The other notions such as hooks and eyes, snaps, thimbles, are hidden in a little suitcase high on a shelf. Now they are all ready when I need them. I decided to make another pincushion with the abundant supplies that I have.

The green candle holder on the far right of this photo has been sitting on a shelf for years. Sometimes a candle has been in it, sometimes it held a bird’s nest. I know nothing of it’s history, it could be a priceless family heirloom, or it could be something my folks picked up at a Cracker Barrel on one of their road trips. I have always admired it, so I’m going to give it another role.
I assembled most of my supplies on a tray to work on the porch, although I may only be out there a few minutes. Summer is dragging on and we are still enjoying 100 degree days.

I will be creating the top of my pincushion from a scrap of an embroidered vintage pillow case, quilt batting, and polyester fiberfill. I plan to dye some of the pearl topped corsage pins green to accent the color of the candle holder. Then I will add nice supply of pins, needles, and safety pins to the pincushion.

This embroidered scrap had been cleaned a few times, but still had quite a few stains. While cutting around the stains I will make sure I have my favorite part of the embroidered design centered for the top of the pincushion.
The fiberfill is rolled into a ball and secured inside the quilt batting with a rubber band. It took a few tries to get the right amount of fluff so it would fit perfectly on top of the candle holder.
The embroidered scrap is then smoothed over the quilt batting ball. After securing with a rubber band and testing it out on top of the candle holder I trimmed the excess fabric away.
Hot glue will work quickly to keep the fabric ball in place, but may fail if the weather is too hot so I use fabric glue as well. If future generations decide they would like to put a candle back in this candle holder I feel certain they will be able to peel away the glue to restore it to it’s original use.
Here is how it looks so far. I’m thinking about adding some trim around the edge .
I brought out a variety of trims to try but settled on the green rick rack.
Now I think it needs a button.
There is the button, hiding the edges where the rick rack ends meet. I am using Tim Holtz’ alcohol ink in lettuce to dye the tips of the white corsage pins.
Needle nose pliers will pry the lid off, then I can just stick the pearly end of the pin into the ink.
It dries quickly but I have my tiny bottle cap pincushion ready to hold the pins after I dye them. Now I am ready to add all of the other pins and needles.
I have been looking at the little well at the bottom of the candle holder and decided it would make a perfect place to keep some other sewing supplies.
Scissors, thread, a thimble, and measuring tape will fit perfectly. A string of buttons hangs from one of the safety pins. I think its finished.

I had fun creating this pincushion that is now more of a sewing kit. I’m going to peruse the house to see if I can round up any other odds and ends as candidates for another.

Thanks for listening. Take care.

P.S. There are some needle books and notions available in my Etsy shop.

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