Tag Archives: pincushion

Tiny Orphan Blocks

If you quilt and you read quilting blogs, it is a safe assumption to say that you are familiar with Amanda Jean Nyberg, queen of scrappy quilting. Amanda’s blog, Crazy Mom Quilts, is one of my favorites and has been since I discovered this community of bloggers. She uses every last bit of fabric and the things she creates are inspiring.

Among a million other projects, Amanda makes pin cushions. Lots and lots of them. They are adorable and to my knowledge, no two are alike.  Wanting a quick project to play with, I created a couple for myself.


The red, black and white pincushion is a tiny one, measuring at 3″ square. The top of it was a piece of an orphan block that was languishing on the stack.

image I quilted a bit of batting to the top and stitched front to back, right sides together. It is filled with crushed walnut shells, which, along with everything else in the world, are available on Amazon. According to Amanda, they are also sold as lizard bedding at pet stores (and are likely a better deal than I got with Amazon.)


This little guy was also an orphan block from last year’s Classic Stitches project. I had planned to make twenty of these little three inch blocks for my row of Pennsylvania blocks. After making two of the twenty, my brain was no longer able to deal with the tiny pieces. The result of this sudden inability to cope with miniscule pieces was a row of lovely six inch Pennsylvania blocks. My two 3 inch blocks were relegated to the orphan block pile. This lucky one was recently rescued. I made this one the same as the red one. Quilt a bit of batting to the front, stich front and back, right sides together and fill  with crushed walnut shells. Easy peasy! Find an orphan block and turn it into something cute. Very satisfying!

Linking to Oh Scrap, Linky Tuesday and Sew Cute Tuesday. Links to these are available at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Finish for the Week

This week seemed to just buzz by. Actually, time just seems to buzz by in general. Not much can be done to slow it down though. After a ridiculously dry January (.05″ of rain instead of our 11″ average) we are supposed to have a stormy weekend. I am looking forward to the rain, maybe as much as 4 inches will fall over the weekend.. The weather gurus on the news keep saying that this will not impact the drought and we are still in deep trouble for this coming summer. (This is mainly because it is too warm and we aren’t getting any snow. The snow pack is a huge source of our water later in the season.) Well, be that as it may, any rain is going to help. The news can be such a buzz kill….

Had a few nice finishes this week. I am working on a quilt for a donation to my daughter’s middle school. Got the quilt top done!



I was really not liking these blocks. They look better now that they are framed with the black and set on point. I made the sashing fairly wide to add some size to the quilt. It is a lap quilt and measures 58″ x 58″ now.


Not sure that the process for making these blocks is all that special. It is called the “ten minute block”. The best part of making them was timing myself to see if I could do the block in ten minutes, which I could. (Gotta find the fun wherever possible!) However, the finished block is a bit boring. If using only one fabric for the background of the block (like I did) then couldn’t the same effect be achieved by cutting a 12 block of fabric and just using applique to put the center accent on? It would be less work than cutting the five pieces that it takes to may it as shown in the “ten minute” block tutorials. If you are using different colors to make the 12″ block then the “ten minute” system makes more sense. (It also makes the blocks more interesting. Probably should have mixed it up a bit on these.)

At any rate, the quilt top is done. I have backing fabric ready to go. A trip to my LQS is in order for the binding, which is always a good thing!

I am trying something new! I signed up for my first mini quilt swap on Instagram. I have been reticient to do this. When I see the pictures that people are posting for their mini quilt swaps, it is so intimidating. Some of these are just gorgeous. The ten year old me rears her head in fear that whatever I make just might not be “good enough”. Oh well, I smacked her down for once and signed up anyway. 🙂  I got my partner assignment this morning. I am really excited about this project. The quilt has be be between 16″ and 20″ in size and must be shipped to my partner in early June. At least I have some time to decide what I want to make.  It is an Alison Glass swap so the fabric used must come from one of Alison’s lines. She has such gorgeous fabric so that will be fun to choose.

Finally, my heroine, Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts, posted some cute pictures of pincushions that she had made last week. I loved them and immediately started digging through scraps. I found a little piece that was leftover from the center of a mini quilt that I did last year, Garden Patch. It made a sweet center for the cushion. It is about 4″ square and I filled it with crushed walnut shells which gives it a nice heft. I love it!



I will be using the donation quilt shown above as my ALOYF goal for February. It is the obvious choice since I have to give it to the silent auction committee by March 1st. Also linking to a new linky party, Show Off Saturday, at Sew Can She.  Be sure to check this party out along with the others!

Linking up with Connie at Freemotion By the River, Lorna at Let’s Bee Social, and Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts. The links to all of these quilting queens are listed at the top of this page, under Link Ups.

A gift to cherish

I received a really special gift in the mail a few weeks ago.  It was from my middle child, Kyle, who now lives in Chicago.  We had been talking and emailing about the idea of my starting this blog.  I had explained what I wanted to do with it and had told him the name. He liked the story of how NeedleandFoot came about (which was blogged here).

Kyle has been teaching himself to carve over the past year or so.  He has made some pretty amazing items. He lives in a 4th floor apartment near the University of Chicago and has relegated a small corner of his living room to be his workshop. After talking about the story behind NeedleandFoot, he decided to carve something to commemorate the beginning of this blog.  He called me on Mother’s Day and told me that he was working on something and it would be mailed out shortly. I was thrilled to receive this handmade pincushion in the mail about a week later.


shoe pic 3

The shoe is reminds me of the story of The Elves and the Shoemaker. He carved it out of basswood and it looks just like an old fashioned shoe.  I love the details such as the heel and the look of the boot having been worn and conformed to the foot. He then made a pincushion out of a really heavy muslin.  (He hand sewed it since he doesn’t have a machine.) He lettered the name of my blog on the cushion. I believe he is in the hopes that I will use it as it is intended rather than tossing pins all over the floor for my wonderful husband to step on.  This was such a cool gift. So far it hasn’t migrated into my messy sewing room yet and I have yet to stick one pin into it.  It sits in the living room where it can be admired by others. I will treasure it always.


Linkin up to Anything Goes Monday at Stitch by Stitch and Show and Tell Tuesday at The Ties That Bind as well as Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River.