Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Free Christmas pattern number 2...


I love making a new pincushion from fabric scraps, especially during a change of season or when beginning a quilt project.

Back in 2014 I designed this "Noel" pincushion as part of a set of Christmas projects, and at that time I was also designing for some Australian sewing magazines, which sadly have since closed due to the rapid rise of the digital age. Anyhow, at that time I often designed with fabrics and colours that were not really my style but 'hit the brief' for magazines which wanted to show projects in various themes to suit as many different magazine customers as possible. That's why I made the original version of 'Noel' in a very country blue. 

Now don't get me wrong, I still loved this pinnie! But over the years I've thought about remaking it in fabrics that show my own style...and this weekend I did just that. Naturally, with my current love of crochet edging, I ditched the binding part of my pattern and opted for some lacy, almost gathered in appearance, crochet.

The yarn is 4ply crochet cotton, from that op-shop bargain bag I found recently. One of the colours was a perfect match to the vintage Tilda fabric I used as the stitchery/applique background. 

The floral applique and scissor pocket fabric is from a beautiful old piece of Barefoot Roses by Tanya Whelan, one of my favourite fabrics lines ever. 

Now, I am no crochet expert, as I have said before, and I cannot do graphs or anything like that to explain how I do an edging, nor do I intend learning - life is to be slowed, not wound up these days - but the best I can describe it is to say that (in UK terms), I blanket stitch the stitches slightly less than a 1/4" apart...and when I begin the crochet I do a full row all around of double chain (chain in the US).

Then, for that nicely gathered look, I crochet into every single stitch of that first row. So I start in a corner and do three trebles (UK) into one stitch on the row below, then a chain (not into a stitch) and  then into the next stitch on the row below I do another three trebles and another chain (also not into a stitch). From there I continue a pattern of one dc, three trebles, one dc, three trebles, into every stitch on the row below. Between each of the dc and three trebles I do a simple chain that does not go into any stitches on the row below. This creates the gathered effect because it's so full. 

Normally when I crochet my edges I skip a stich on the row below when I do a chain between the dc and the three trebles...but not with this pincushion edging. And that's about as technical as I will ever be with crochet edging. I just use what I have and sometimes fudge the corners a little, but in the end it looks lovely and I am satisfied and quite pleased with the end result. 

Getting back to my magazine days when I designed to a script a lot of the time, it really stretched me as a designer, and I learned a lot of skills along the way. I only began designing in 2009 at age 50...so I had a lot to learn. But by 2015, I stepped away from the magazines and decided to design for my own pleasure, and that's when my first Stitchery Club began. 

I learned back then to stay true to myself. And though over the years I dabble in different styles and fabrics, I find myself always returning to my first love - that soft, shabby chic almost, style. Another favourite is old 1930's, and sometimes fabrics with a real vintage look about them catch my eye and inspire a project, but the stream of gentle florals always runs true in the end. I'm not a fan of gaudy or bright prints, and I do not like Christmas fabrics or any novelty prints to be honest. 

Knowing your personal style is so important. It defines you, and it brings JOY to your work. Don't be concerned about what others (or me!) like...create the way you like, make items that bring a touch of *you* to your home environment. My one concession though, is when I make for others...always be mindful of their style and make things that reflect them and not yourself. :-) 

You are unique in more ways than you will ever know this side of heaven. Created by the Master's hand, He made you to be just that, YOU. If you make this pincushion, choose the fabrics that make your heart soar. As you decorate your home to celebrate Jesus, do it in such a way that it shows the beautifully unique style the Father impressed upon your mind when you were first made in His image.  

Our God CREATES, He did it from the very beginning, and we are made in His image. So we can create too. I prayed every day for two years that He would bless me with a touch of His own creativity. And one day in 2009, that prayer was answered and a gift I'd not previously had, was given. To this day I am still astounded that at age 50 He taught me something new, and He opened doors for me that I could not have opened myself...and He blessed this blog, my writing, and my heart. 

Today, He still teaches me, corrects me, stretches me beyond what I can do alone, and at time he re-directs my path, tells me when to slow down or lay down certain things, and shines a light on the things that matter most - His Son. 

He also prods me to write more and more about this beautifully gifted homemaker life, and the high importance it plays in the family, from the days of babies and toddlers, to the latter years of grand-children, rocking chairs, and fewer sunsets at the end of the day. 

Today my mind is stayed on Him, on the gift of His own Son, on the depth of LOVE for all mankind that brought about a birth, a ministry, a death and a resurrection...all delivered as a gift for you and I who love, obey and believe in Jesus to receive. 

"Noel, noel...noel, noel....born is the King of Israel."

Use the link below to download the pattern.

DOWNLOAD Noel Pincushion pattern

If you missed the first of my five free 2023 Christmas patterns go HERE

God bless you...

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Kay said...

You are so right, being true to yourself and knowing the heart of yourself is so important. X

Lin said...

Thank you Jennifer, lovely post. xx

Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
Yes, there is a fabric out there to suit every individual and a project just waiting to be teamed up :)
hugs, take care,

Jo said...

You have shared many a beautiful stitchery for everyone to love. So, Thankyou.

Tammy said...

Dearest Jennifer,
Thank you for the beautiful pattern. It is very pretty Dear. I love reading your post today . Our Christmas tree is up. We enjoy looking at the lights on it. I most enjoy it when I see it lit up in the wee morning hours when I get up and am enjoying my cup of hot tea.

Linnie said...

I love to read your thoughts and your patterns. Thank you for sharing.

Allie said...

OH that is gorgeous - what a lovely finish to that pincushion! Mom and I used to crochet all the time, I made my first afghan while in the military - wobbly, uneven, but soft and warm, lol! Don't think I ever did trim though, look what I missed! Wow.
I remember those early days of your designing - I think we "met" in 2009? Can't remember. How far the Lord has brought you! Your staying true to yourself has resulted in your patterns being instantly recognizable, you have such a soft and feminine style, always honoring our Lord. Love you girl!

Anonymous said...

I so love reading your posts about how very important domesticity and housekeeping is. You are a true joy to my soul and a calm presence in your words! Thank you!

Annabel said...

We have very similar taste in colours and decor! Some things just make my heart sing! Your crochet edging finishes off the project perfectly. Over time some colours suddenly appeal to me in a new way but dreamy soft and shabby things are just delicious to me! Crochet edges are going to feature strongly in my 2024 projects! xxx

Dawn said...

Thank you so much for this lovely post! Your wonderful creativity does indeed come from the Creator of all things and what a gift you have been given. Oh that we would all remember to ask God to show us or give us gifts- He is happy to do so because loves us so much! Thank you for sharing this beautiful message with your readers.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the crochet pattern!

Anonymous said...

Thank you friend very nice