Let the stitch-along begin!
Are you ready? Have you got that tub of fabric scraps by your cutting table ready to reduce it's volume?
Scrappy quilts of any size are a great way to move all those small cuts leftover from larger projects.
My Scrappy Vintage Kitchen will finish as a small wall quilt so I've chosen my favourite scraps for each block.
Our first block is "Milk & Cookies" and you can see I've used a variety of embroidery stitches to add depth and interest to the small designs. Chain stitch, stem stitch, backstitch, lazy daisy, satin stitch, cross stitch and a colonial knot...all in a wee design which we'll trim to 3½" before adding borders to complete a 6½" Bright Hopes quilt block.
I love the Bright Hopes block because each side border overlaps the one before.
You might want to use four different fabrics for the borders, or do matching sides, but I chose to do mine with an almost diagonal finish.
The complete pattern for My Scrappy Vintage Kitchen is HERE in my Etsy Shop
Would you like to make a practice Bright Hopes block first?
And then you can finish it as a pincushion because every new project needs a new pincushion, right?
Hey, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
For our practice Bright Hopes block I chose to fussy cut the centre square instead of using another stitchery and I've chosen four different fabrics for the border. You can really see how each one overlaps the other now, can't you.
You'll need one 3½" square for the centre and four 2" x 5" border fabrics.
Perhaps you've got a sweet little print that's just busting to offer up a fussy cut for that centre square? The gorgeous pixelated roses in mine are from an old Bonnie & Camille line, Vintage Picnic, and it fit perfectly into the measurement I required.
Choose two prints for the borders as I've done with "Milk & Cookies" or four different ones for an effect like my pincushion.
I've used ¼" seams when sewing this block and the pincushion.
To begin the overlapping borders you'll need to sew one of the 2" x 5" fabric pieces down one side of the 3½" square - BUT you must leave an inch unstitched. (photo below)
You'll see why later.
Press the stitched part of the border away from the centre square.
Sew the next three borders across the bottom, side and top of the centre square.
Now we'll finish sewing the first border in place...
...and press our completed Bright Hopes block.
To make my pincushion I first fused a piece of Parlan behind the block but you could use thin Pellon or quilt wadding if you prefer.
I've hand quilted a ¼" outside the seams in Perle 12 cottons, matching the thread with the gingham fabric colours.
In the ditch between centre square and borders I stem stitched in cream Perle 12 thread.
I love the effect of hand quilting don't you?
At this point I decided to add a little red gingham tag at the bottom left corner to balance out the red gingham border opposite. After trimming away the excess Parlan I stitched the tag in place with a scant seam, less than ¼".
Lay your pincushion face down onto the right side of your backing.
NOTE: I use crushed walnut shells inside my pincushions as they help keep pins and needles sharp and free from rust, so my pincushion backing is made of two separate pieces with reinforced seams along the join and just a 1½" opening to fill the pincushion with the crushed shells through a funnel.
Sew the backing to the pincushion front around all four sides if you're using my technique, or if you're using just one square of fabric leave an opening of 2" along one side for turning out.
Pull the pincushion right side out (either backing method, do the same) and push out the corners with a rounded tool such as a large knitting needle.
Slip stich the opening closed after you fill the pincushion.
When using crushed walnut shells do lots of tiny stitches so they don't fall out.
And now you have a Bright Hopes pincushion.
Like the vintage button I stitched to the red tag?
Have to say, this was a big week and I've just spent three full days at my computer, in the sewing room, processing photos, formatting patterns and now writing this blog post - but I've enjoyed every minute!
There was a time when I did a lot of tutorials because I genuinely enjoy teaching things, mostly simple things, and that's because when I discovered hand embroidery and quilting in late 2005, living in a one room cabin near a waterfall with my husband and homeschooling our two youngest kids, I had no choice but to teach myself so Blossom and I could make what we saw in the craft magazines a friend had loaned us.
Sharing stuff with you, be it a stitchery or a tutorial, brings me great joy.
And I hope it brings you joy too.
Just in case you didn't know...
Crushed walnut shells are bought from pet stores in the reptile section.
I've added more patterns HERE to my Etsy Shop if you have a hankering to stitch other pretty things.
Have a blessed and fruitful weekend, friends!
I'll leave you with a photo taken just after dawn yesterday of a honeyeater enjoying the sweet nectar from one of our many native Grevilleas.