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