Sunday, December 20, 2020

Kicking off my BOM early with a bonus pincushion pattern...


My "POSIES" quilt is finished and hanging on the wall of my office area and now all I need do is write the twelve monthly patterns to share with you through 2021.

But before doing that I wanted to gift you a bonus "Posies" project that you can make between now and the end of this year, in time to use on January 1st when I'll launch the BOM with block 1.

My pattern for the Posies Pincushion has full instructions for the embroidery as well as making the pincushion which has a lovely sleeve which slips over the body of the pinnie and holds your scissors.

If you're not joining the "Posies" BOM in 2021 (some of my readers quilt but don't embroider) but still like the idea of a sleeved pincushion I have an alternative option for you which I've written about in the pattern...

Honestly, this style of pinnie really is one of my favourites and I wanted it to be something that tied in with Posies for next year, and hopefully a pinnie you'll make many times.

Oh goodness, imagine using all the twelve Posies stitchery blocks next year as'd have twelve sleeved pinnies to gift by Christmas 2021! Though you may also decide to simply make the quilt instead. Or both? Time will tell.

Blossom is rather taken with both of my new pincushions, saying "Wow, I love them, they are so bright and beautiful!" so I may just pass one along to my girl. 

Use the link below to download the free pattern.


If you look hard you can see a peek of my completed "POSIES" quilt hanging on the wall behind my pinnies (above and below)...

Something I keep meaning to write about is the filling I use when making pincushions. Probably for around five years now I've been buying bags of crushed walnut shells from the pet shop as it is used to line glass reptile enclosures. Now however, the pet shops have a different product for that purpose so I went hunting online early this year and discovered the same product, and cheaper too, was sold by BBQ stores for smoking meat.

I use a small funnel to fill the pincushion to avoid spillage and mess. Though admittedly I have still been known to scatter the cutting table with some if I overfill, but I just scoop it up and pop it back in the bag for the next pinnie.

If you google 'crushed walnut shells' you'll be able to find a local supplier or somewhere you can buy online. I highly recommend this as filling and it keeps your pins and needles sharp and clean.

The heat and humidity has sucked the life out of our early summer garden, though we've been very blessed to still be gathering vegetables in our tropical 'off season'. 

The wet season is late in arriving at our part of the tropics, though it's been flooding in other areas, and this is why we've been able to extend the growing time of cucumbers, tomatoes and even rockmelon...

But we picked the last cucumber and melon the other day as the rest of them are actually cooking on the vine due to the extreme heat and fierceness of the sun. Fortunately the tomatoes are soldiering on and our supply of spring onions (green onions) is still abundant. 

But once the rains arrive that will be it. Water and heat will bring mould to the garden and that's why we don't grow here in summer or early autumn. 

A jolly wonderful thing at this time of the year for me is plum season and as well as eating them like lollies I love to scatter slices over simple cakes because they almost caramelise during the  bake.

Day to day...

Thank you to some lovely readers who sent me cards and words of encouragement recently. I don't have your email addresses so can't thank you privately, but know your kindness meant the world to me. ((hugs))

It's been a very exhausting past few months with family accidents, a sick neighbour, barometric migraines off the scale due to the high humidity and heat, Blossom's pregnancy and the birth of Charlie David, caring for our precious granddaughters at times...

(fun with nana and poppy in the pool)

...diffficulties with my husband's employment, full time homemaking, keeping the garden going through water restrictions, four days with virtually no water in the home due to a critical rupture in our town's water treatment facility...and running a business single handed in the midst of it all.

Running on high adrenaline for a long period of time is not new to me and I knew from experience that once things settled I'd come crashing down - and I did. It began on Wednesday night and continued to carry me deeper into the valley of depression the next day. By Saturday I could not even smile as the darkness which shrouded my mind kept sucking me deeper into that awful mental space I want to avoid. 

As I write this I'm not out of the woods yet, but as this bout of depression is triggered by extreme weariness over a long period of time I know that it will pass long as I rest, as long as I  make myself a priority for a little while, as long as I sleep and as long as I take a break from work.

I have emails waiting to be answered which I've decided not to. I have people to call which I am also not going to do. Being a 'doer', which I naturally am, has driven me these past months, but it's time to step away for a little bit in order to rest and recover.

I am reminded of Elijah who after a fierce spiritual battle (and success) was so depleted that he ran away into the wilderness to collapse under a Broom tree and wished God would take his life...but the Lord knew what Elijah really needed was sleep, food, water, and more rest. You can read the story in 1 Kings 19.

So I'm taking a leaf out of God's Word and allowing myself the gift of rest before beginning fresh in 2021 with a number of fun things that I hope you'll join me for.

My sweet husband took me out to dinner last night to our favourite Indian restaurant and what a delight it was to have a lovely meal cooked for me! It's simple things which lift my spirit - flowers in a vase, eating a meal I did not prepare, sitting by the beach with my husband as the sun rises or sets, cuddling close my grandchildren...and going slowly through the day with no schedule or timetable to follow.

You may have been struggling lately too?

If so, know I am praying for you as I pray for myself, for despite the darkness which still hovers, I KNOW that my God is greater than the darkness and I TRUST Him to lead me out of the valley and into the Light of His hope for my future. 

May we all go slow as this year winds down and be at peace with one and all. May our hearts turn to Jesus and the gift He still is to everyone who calls upon His name. May we find the path out of our valleys and climb the mountain which leads to Light and life. 

God bless you one and all, and merry Christmas. I'll see you closer to New Year...

loving hugs,

PS: Memberships to Let's Stitch Again close on December 30th. Pop over here to find out more...


  1. Hi Jenny,
    Gorgeous pincushions ! What a great idea ! and thanks for the tip for the walnut shells ! I'm in ! I'll be giving this pincushion a go when my order of Tilda fabrics arrives. Posies ! a fresh start to 2021 !
    Running your own home based business and all the administration thet goes along with it...many customers forget about, don't realize well as all what you do can take its toll. Good to hear you know what the causes are and are setting boundries. Some businesses close shop for two weeks this time of year. Manditory reacharge and rest.
    Your Indian meal out looks good !
    Merry Christmas !

  2. Do the walnut shells ever stain your pinnies? I've been curious about that.
    Humidity is a health problem for me too - not migraines, but it is one of my biggest asthma triggers.
    It is such a cheery posy that you have stitched. It makes me smile just looking at it.
    Blessings on you!

  3. Dear Jenny, I too love the tip about the walnut shells! Thank you! I truly hope you can rest. It has been a year and a half! Look after yourself now. We need to stop and consider the year and soon we will feel up to thinking of 2021. But for now I am thinking how to appreciate this Christmas week. And tomorrow night hoping to see the star of Bethleham in the sky! They say this is the biggest thing in our lifetime and so rare. If I can see it I will feel blessed and think of the three wise men. The reason they were wise is they knew their scripture. I love this! With love and prayers,

  4. The pinnies are awesome! Such bright and cheerful colors and something to look forward to in 2021. I, too, use walnut shells and get them at the pet shop. Now I will need to check to see if our pet stores here in AZ are still stocking them! Thanks for the tip! I also use ground emery in small pincushions as it sharpens the pins, which is what the "strawberry" part of vintage "tomato" pincushions were filled with. You are in my prayers, dear Jenny, and I know our Lord and Savior will bring you through this bit of darkness into His light. Take care, Karin.

  5. As I read this post it came to mind that 'REST' is like medicine, and how Jesus withdrew Himself at times for much needed time to be alone. No sin in needing and taking rest. Rest, Jenny. Most of what we do will keep.
    Be well, Jenny.

  6. Rest, dear friend, and enjoy celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior with your family. Even knowing the price your body would be paying, you stood up and did what needed to be done for family and it is your turn to give yourself what you need. You are in my prayers. Be blessed this Christmas season as you have so richly blessed others.

  7. Muchas gracias por este alfiletero tan precioso!

    Cuídate mucho! Disfruta de los pequeños placeres diarios con la familia. Felices Fiestas de Navidad!!!

    Besos desde España,

  8. Always good to read about what is going on in your life. Sorry you are not feeling up to snuff but it sounds like you are on the mend. I so wish I had your faith as I have said many times. My life would probably be a bit better if I did. I am constantly struggling with my demons both mental and physical. My diabetes causes much struggle and frustration for me. Along with it comes extreme weight gain, aching of most of my body, and mental fatigue and depression. But I am always uplifted when I get a message from you and seeing beautiful Charlie David was such a wonderful gift! I look forward to watching him grow up as I have with the girls. They are my surrogate grandbabies. I hope you and Blossom don't mind if I share in the joy they bring you. I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas spent with your Lord. May He bring you peace and a year so much better than we have seen in a long time. I think we all need that! May the Faeries Shine Upon You Always my friend from across the pond! Cynthia

  9. Thank you for the lovely pincushion pattern. I am so sorry to read you have been struggling, I'm sending you a virtual hug xx

  10. Thank you for the pincushion pattern! It is lovely and full of smiles. Bless your heart.

  11. Thank you for the pin cushion pattern. It's extra special with the wrap for the scissors. You are in my prayers. Rest in Jesus' arms--let Him carry you until you are where you need to be to function well.

  12. Wishing you a peaceful and restful Christmas. x

  13. Rest well dear Jenny. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and lots of grand baby cuddles xx

  14. That is darling. Thank you so much.
    Happy Christmas!!

  15. That is darling. Thank you so much.
    Happy Christmas!!

  16. That is darling. Thank you so much.
    Happy Christmas!!

  17. Thank you for the beautiful pin cushion design pattern . It is gorgeous . I am so looking forward to the new year also. SO I can begin a new. I am so tired I could drop if I had the time to allow myself to do so...Life is crazy these days. Too much to do...The more I do it seems the more I am expected to do even more....I am weary for sure. In the USA I found the crushed walnut hulls at Pet smart but not in the reptile section instead marketed as cat litter. They had small bags and large bags. I bought it last year there. Wishing you you and your family a beautiful Christmas filled with love peace rest and blessings abound.

  18. So sorry that you haven't been feeling well. I have a bad habit of not taking care of myself. Take time to rest and enjoy those beautiful grandchildren of yours. Don't worry about us, we will be here when you are ready. I wish I could give you a big hug but I'll send prayers and blessings instead. Have a Merry Christmas and hopefully the new year will be full of blessings and better things for all of us. Love you, Jenny!

  19. Thank you for the pin cushion pattern. I'm sorry about how the stresses of life are affecting you just now. You are so wise to pull back and spend time resting and restoring your soul. I know the Lord will be your strength and your hope. Merry Christmas.

  20. Thank you for the beautiful pin cushion pattern. Praying for you to get the rest that you need and that you will enjoy a blessed Christmas with your family.

  21. I just want to say how lovely you are. Take a deep breath and do what you need to be well. Know that you are not alone. Merry Christmas to you and your family! Thank you for the bible story.

  22. Such pretty pincushions Jenny - I have been using crushed walnut shells for my pincushions for some time now. Sorry to hear that things are not so good for you - know that I am praying for you and I hope that you have a very Happy Christmas. There is no need to reply Jenny. xx

  23. Thank you very much or your precious pattern. Sorry for hear you are sad and sick. You are in my prayers. I wish you a fast recovering and a Happy Christmas. I agree with Lin, Jenny, I don't need a reply. I know you pray for all us too. Dios os bendiga. Feliz Navidad.

  24. I hope rest and contentment and the word of God give you the relief and blessings you need at this time, Jenny. I'll be praying for you. Thank you for the pattern. Enjoy this beautiful time of year when we ALL think of Jesus the way you do every day. Thank you for the example you set. Love, Susan

  25. Dearest Jenny, I’m sorry you deal with depression, it’s a terrible feeling I know. I am glad though that there are things that bring you great joy! Congratulations on you grandsons arrival. You have 3 beautiful grandchildren, I know they brighten your life. I have to thank you for all your inspiration. I read every newsletter from start to finish. You are a true genuine soul following gods word and I am learning through you, to live a more simple fulfilling life. Much love and many prayers to you .I will keep you in my prayers. God bless you and Merry Christmas!


  27. Thank you for the pin cushion pattern. Hoping the new year is good to you. and your family. Sending hugs.


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