Friday, October 19, 2018

The Booby Bird and the H pincushion...

October is breast cancer awareness month and though I have never been confronted by it myself I do have many friends who have come face to face with this nasty and invasive disease.

In 2015 I was asked to design a pattern for a local Townsville group who were holding a stitch-in to raise funds for breast cancer research and for those of us who have friends or family fighting BC you understand the need to give, to do 'something', so this simple design was my way of doing what I could, and though just a small drop in an ocean of many needs I realised how important it is for us on the sidelines to have an opportunity to show how much we care.

Often when someone close informs us of their breast cancer diagnosis, we want to rush in and 'make it better' but knowing we cannot there grows within us a need to express our love and care for them in a tangible 'more than words' way. 

As a quilter or embroiderer, card maker or baker, gardener or yarn lover, we have skills which can be put to use making or doing for the one who is facing this trial; we have love in our hearts and prayers to lift before God as we pour our love (and sometimes tears) into the gift offering we are creating.

I'm offering you this "Booby Bird" pattern today, to stitch for someone you love or know of, who is right now fighting breast cancer or has fought it in the past. In fact you may be that person and need to stitch it for your precious self. xxx

I'll keep this pattern permanently in my shop as a free gift so you're welcome to share the link with all your sewing friends or craft guilds.

This week in our Alphabet Pincushions Stitch-a-long we are going to make the H pinnie...

The background fabric I've used with this one is a material which was quite popular when I first taught myself to embroider late in 2005. Perhaps you've used it before?

Often it was used in country style designs so as a newbie to stitchery they tended to be the type of patterns I chose to make. I liked the rustic, almost bobbly texture of this more open-weave texture of fabric but when it became difficult to find in local quilt stores I discovered the joy of linen instead and that soon led me on to a love of pastels and shabby chic so I waved goodbye to country style and turned a new corner.

When I found this scrap of Osnaberg in my tub of background fabric materials I thought why not mix it with a pastel floral print and see how they marry?
Quite well it seems!

I like how the round applique sits right in the centre of the square pincushion, don't you?
It's a simple pattern but quite pretty, and all three features shine through - the Osnaberg, the floral print, and the embroidered H.

In your pattern this week I've included the applique circle with the H inside it so you can stitch the H by itself or finish your pinnie as I have done.

Filling your pinnies with crushed walnut shells gives them a gentle weightiness and the pincushion looks lovely and smooth and never puckers or balls up as they do with polyester stuffing.
If you're looking for crushed walnut shells you can buy good sized bags at your local pet supplies store in the reptile section. 

This pattern will be free to download until November 2nd here or here

The A to E patterns are now a $2 purchase for the set here in my shop.

The links to F and G are free until November 2nd and can be found here and here.

Many of my Gentle Domesticity Group members have been stitching the Alphabet Pincushions each week so I thought you may like to see a few. Marie Gibson and her good friend Joy Plumridge like to spend time sewing together and I'm sure they bounce ideas off each other because their pinnies are lovely.

The buttons Marie has added down the borders of her F are so pretty, and the purple fabrics on her G pinnie really catch the eye...

Joy's fabric choices made my heart flutter, aren't they beautiful?

Both Marie and Joy have chosen their threads to blend with the colours in their feature fabrics and I really encourage you to follow that method when embroidering any design.
When you blend fabric and thread there is a beautiful flow from one to the other, but as I often instruct my Club members, blog readers and in my patternschoose the fabric first because it's much easier to find the right threads afterwards. 

Tomorrow we're celebrating Ross's birthday so he, Blossom and the girls will be here for lunch and to have fun in the pool, but before that our city is hosting The Garage Sale Trail for the first time and you know that Mr E and I will be off to see what we can find. It's on all weekend so we may go hunting a few times between the birthday lunch and the very big front yard project I will tell you more about next week.

God bless YOUR weekend, may it be what you need, whether that is peaceful, celebratory, adventurous, productive or a time of total rest, I pray it fills your heart to overflowing with goodness.



  1. Woo Hoo! A whole weekend of Garage Sales. You guys will love that!! Go out, come home, have a cuppa.......repeat!

  2. I love this alphabet series. I plan to stitch them on one piece as one pillow!

  3. Jenny, those pincushions are just so very lovely. I was lying in bed last night reading your Sheila Walsh book and I looked at the perfect stitching on the little bookmark you sent and thought how talented and generous you are. All the best at the garage sales and I hope you find what you need. My husband went to garage sales for many years and because we have never moved he has accumulated lots of 'stuff' but I am sure you won't do that. LOL!

  4. Thank you Jenny that is another stunning pincushion. Just wanted to wish Ross a very Happy Birthday and hope you and Mr E find some excellent bargains. Guida

  5. Another pretty letter and I love the pink bird. Thanks for being so generous. It was fun to see how others stitched up their pinnies.... such creative people out there! Enjoy your weekend!

  6. Thank you for the beautiful patterns! Have a great time at the garage sale.

  7. Oh, you will be having a weekend full of fun!!! Could you please show those of us who really don't do much hand work just how you close up your pinnie after it is filled with crushed walnut shells? I have a pinnie sitting on my ironing board, waiting to be filled and sewn shut, but I don't want crushed walnut shells all over the house so I'd like to know the best way to close it up it looks as good as yours do!!

  8. What gorgeous photos.Lovely pin cushions.

    Two reminded me of my step mam & made me smile. She collected those little cottages on one photo & there was one with an angel. When she had dementia she pencilled in a face on one of those angels I had bought her. Thanks for the memories.

  9. Hello Jenny, I think it is special that you designed the Booby Bird to support Breast Cancer. Every ray of sunshine that is shown not only helps the individual but could be helping a Daughter or Granddaughter with strength and support while helping their loved one. We are blessed to have you as a extraordinary giving designer. You and Mr. E will be having a fun filled weekend with family, gardening and garage sales!! My husband and I have so much fun at garage sales. Plus, we have purchased some fantastic items for our home and crafts. Have a spectacular time this weekend Jenny!

  10. I just love your booby bird, what a sweet pattern and lovely gesture.


  11. Your weekend sounds lovely, if somewhat busy. Lots to do with a new house and a birthday! I will expect some more pictures of beautiful babies. =) Thank you for another great embroidery-appliqué pattern! I do like the o in the middle of that osnaburg. I have some pink linen gifted by a friend which is somewhat like that, and it may wind up in a pincushion for her. I wish a lovely weekend and some healing rest for you, too.

  12. Me encantan tus bordados, tus diseños y te admiro y te sigo. bss

  13. Hello Jenny. I sewed a Booby Bird when you first released the pattern - fortunately it is still in my drawer! Have a great weekend. xx

  14. I recently posted on my own blog that I was perplexed that people seemed to stop by but don't comment and then I realized that I do the same thing so I have decided to recitify that situation and at least say "hi" when I visit so the blogger knows I was there. I especially enjoy your blog, your embroidery is flawless and so lovely and I so enjoy just looking at the photos. I have been doing some form of needlework since I was about 5 years old and so appreciate the craft and love looking at your photos. Until next time....

    1. I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment as I understand what you mean. Bless you heaps.

  15. Love the Booby bird, and the "H" pincushion!! Thank you dear heart. And it's lovely seeing what others create with your designs! Enjoy the birthday celebration, Happy Birthday to Ross!!! We have a similar garage sale thing here, miles and miles, I LOVE it...such treasures to be found!!! Enjoy!

  16. Thank you Jenny Dear for your continued lovely stitchery designs. The pinnies shared by the ladies are indeed gorgeous and really show off your designs. Happy Birthday to Ross. Enjoy such a weekend Garage Sale Trail adventure. Rainy Blustery Day here...<3


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