Have you noticed that before beginning a stitch-along I tend to make a new pincushion first?
I can't wait to start the "Joy to the World" Stitch-along which I'll be sharing with you from this coming Friday and continuing through each Friday of November, but as is my habit a pretty new pincushion needed to be made before anything else. And of course, I always share those with you too.
I've made this almost as quilt which you stuff or fill. The front of the NOEL pincushion when completed has the stitchery and two borders; then I place some scrap cotton quilt wadding (batting) behind it before quilting. If I had more time this would have been a lovely hand quilting escape but I chose to machine quilt simple lines so I could use my hand quilting time on the 'big project' of our stitch-along.
The back of the pincushion is made in two same-size pieces sewn together along one long end and a 2" opening left in the centre. This allows for filling the pincushion with crushed walnut shells....
If you don't use crushed walnut shells, or prefer poly (or wool) stuffing, the opening needs to be 4".
NOTE: I often get asked where to purchase crushed walnut shells. I used to buy them from the pet store in the reptile section but recently that source dried up. Now I buy a large bag from the BBQ shop because people use them to smoke meat. Hopefully one source or the other will have what you need.
Pinning the back and front together as you would a quilt I made a length of binding and attached it around all sides.
The final step was to the fill the pincushion (I use a funnel to fill it) and slip stitch the back opening closed with many tiny stitches so that the crushed walnut shells do not escape.
I've included all the steps and materials list inside the FREE Noel Pincushion pattern which you can download from the link below...
I think you'll have time to make your own version of my pincushion before we begin "Joy to the World" on Friday.
Yesterday I finally had a free day to piece all the stitcheries and finish the quilt top...
Today I plan to sandwich the quilt, hopefully hand quilt and bind. Mr E has insisted I take things easy for the rest of the week as the past seven days have been quite exhausting with a deep spring clean of the house and then his nasty accident.
Thank you for all your prayers and care! Honestly, we feel so blessed and so grateful for the kindness shown. He's recovering well after a shaky start, and is back at work though that brings it's own problems as he needs to stand and walk most of the day (he teaches in a workshop at school and must walk around to keep an eye on students with tools). He uses a cane now, but once he gets home the stress of being on his ankle and foot all day has taken a toll and he must rest till the next day.
Remember recently I wrote just how much of an impact Luke 14 and 'counting the cost' has had on me? Though I have known this verse, read it hundreds of time over the years, sometimes the Lord impresses a message on your heart for the very season you are in...and this is the message for my season.
How often, I wonder, do we genuinely step back and count the cost of a decision we make? Do we ask ourselves "will this align with God's Word, or does it eventually go against it?"
Our state had an election last weekend and I was saddened by "Christians" who voted for the party which endorses abortion, even right up until birth...do they not know, have they not been taught, that this is murder? That in voting for a political party which supports abortion they become complicit in the murders? Why is this not taught from the pulpit I wonder?
"Thou shalt not murder"...written by the finger of God Himself on stone.
I know of many Christian women who walk in heartbreak and lifelong grief over abortion because they have gone through it...and I am one of those women. I have never gotten over it, and to be honest, I never intended to share this on my blog...BUT, truth like this cannot be hidden, it must be brought into the Light. And my sweet Jesus forgave me of my sin because I truly repented and though my sin is now removed by the blood of our Saviour there are still the consequences to live with - the deep grief, the regret and the sorrow of making the wrong choice. It has been decades now, but still I long for that child.
If only I had counted the cost. My life was at risk but out of fear I did not fully count the cost.
Life has many costs to count, they come day by day, and to fully follow Jesus' instruction to count the cost we need to unlearn the habits today of a quick and rarely thought-through response which has become almost part of our nature through the 'training' of social media and television.
We need to think before we speak, count before we spend, humble ourselves and lift others up - not tear them down to exalt ourselves.
Please understand I am not condemning anyone, for so many have a veil over their eyes and it's not until the Holy Spirit removes the veil and reveals truth that you and I can see clearly where our feet have strayed to the wide worldly road and away from the narrow Godly path.
All those years ago I needed Him to tear away that veil for me, and He did...just hours after I had been complicit in the taking of my unborn child's life.
Over the years I have shared my story in church women's groups and been brought to tears by the many beautiful women who fell to their knees in grief and sorrow, confessing they too had been through abortion and had been too frightened to tell their Christian sisters. They felt trapped in a dark hole of shame that would not let them out...but then, after my own story, these women came forward and wept, were washed in the blood of the Lamb, made whole and loved on by almost every other woman in the room. Yes, like me, most of them still carry the consequences of deep grief and loss...but we also look forward to Jesus' return when we shall be reunited with those children.
Dear sister, dear friend, if this is your story, you are not alone. I am praying for you today and trusting our faithful Lord to gather you in His ever loving, ever forgiving arms, and give you the comfort you have needed.
Beloved, I care about each one of you...