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Pin Sharpening - Pin Cushion - Step by Step Guide

We'd been thinking about dull pins a while back and had heard that wire wool could be a good solution. So off the back of that we decided to create our own pin sharpening pin cushion.

Fancy giving it a go too?

Here's how we went about it....

Tools / Materials you'll need:

Cup & Saucer (we got this one from a charity shop).

Small piece of fabric - amount will depend on the size of your cup.

Scissors, Needle & thread, glue gun and super glue, a little bit of toy stuffing and some wire wool.

Step 1

Draw a circle approximately twice the size of the cup you are using (see picture above).

Step 2

Super glue your cup to the saucer

Step 3

Sew a running stitch the whole way around the edge of the fabric circle.

Step 4

Keeping the needle and thread attached, draw up the edges of the circle a little.

Step 5

Add a little bit of stuffing to the piece of fabric.

Step 6

Add the wire wool.

Step 7

Draw in the edges of the circle and sew together - fix the end and cut off the needle and remaining thread.

Step 8

Add lots of glue to the bottom of the cushion you have created and then stick to the cup and saucer.

Step 9 (Optional)

Add some embroidery scissors using some ribbon, to the handle of the cup. Now you have a pin cushion, little tray for holding other notions and some scissors all in one place - perfect!

Best Press - Favourite Sewing Notions

Mary Ellen's Best Press " the clear starch alternative" Scent Free 499ml (15.9 FL OZ)

We LOVE this spray,  it seriously makes a difference and if you are a maker or quilter, we think you'll love it too.

 

Just shake the bottle, spray onto your fabric and press.

If you are sewing small patchwork pieces, or any sewing that includes triangles, like flying geese, half square triangles etc. you will LOVE this. It dramatically improves your accuracy as the fabric is held very stable - it's our favourite secret patchwork accuracy weapon!

A light spray of Mary Ellen's Best Press, makes the fabric crisp, so it's much easier to rotary cut. Ideal when you are cutting fabric on the bias too, as it stops it from stretching out of shape when sewing. It's perfect if you want to get your seams crisp but not stiff.

Unlike starch, Mary Ellen's Best Press doesn't flake or leave a nasty residue, it's guaranteed to become a staple in your sewing box as it will have a really positive impact on your project.

Let us know what you think, we'd love to have your opinion too 🙂

5 of the best easily portable, sun lounger-friendly crafts!

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Okay, okay, okay, so it's not the best idea to pack chunky yarn on your summer holidays to finish off the wool blanket that you started 6 months previously, when it was freezing cold and you benefited from your project's thermal properties! And a sewing machine might be frowned upon at check-in. So what does constitute a holiday-friendly craft, and what sort of projects lend themselves to laying by the poolside?

1. Embroidery - A classic.  Embroidery has come a long way since your granny's day and yet there is still something really kitsch about it that we can't get enough of. When done well, embroidery tells a story of old skills meeting modern day themes and is a great way to feature elements from your holiday complete with date, as a reminder of your trip. Endless opportunities and easily transportable, the humble embroidery hoop gets our vote. Find ours here.

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2. Brooch Making - If you're missing home, this little kit gives you the opportunity to hand make with love, something for two friends or relatives, with one left over for you. The kit is small enough to keep you on the right side of your in-flight arm rest, and sufficiently fuss-free that you won't get in a tangle with your knickerbocker glory. If you're already a Tilda fan then this needs no introduction. It's all there for you, packaged up in a gorgeous gift bag. Go on, treat yourself, you're on holiday! Tilda Country Escape Brooches kit.

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3. Felt - Small enough to not compete with your baggage allowance and charmingly simple and relaxing to handle. We love to hand sew felt because it's effortless and methodical and feeds the soul! Here are some heart magnets to add to your to-do list. Felt is available in 3 different sizes, 16 inch squares, half metre and full metre. (Image credit.)

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4. Crochet - So satisfying to watch those loops transform into something mysterious and inexplicable! One of our favourite holiday pastimes are crochet bears for a very worthy charity called 'Teddies for Tragedies' who send the bears to children in crisis. They are currently experiencing distribution issues, however the charity that provides the crochet pattern has advocated using this to create bear donations for your local children's ward. The Toronto branch has provided a crochet pattern online. The bears are small enough to be easy to handle and you'll feel good about making someone else feel good! For our stunning selection of crochet hooks whatever you're making, look no further.

Gilliangladrag Crochet Hooks

5. English Paper Piecing - This is a really holiday-worthy art because it allows the time to spread out your pieces and think about placement. Pack your desired paper pieces and your fat quarters and get lost in the art of cutting and placing. Our broad selection of paper pieces.

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All that's left is to wish you a very bon vacance! One where you truly enjoy yourself, relax and fend off project homesickness.

Yours, wearing in my espadrilles x

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This one is for you, quilter friends: Seams Sew Easy! Seam guide by Lori Holt

Image 1We are really excited to announce the arrival of the 'Seams Sew Easy!' seam guide By Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet fame.

Lori has designed this ingenious seam guide with the intention of temporarily adhering it to your sewing machine bed for expert results that achieve a perfect 1/4" seam, and ensure that your corner square triangle construction is effortless!

Here are the steps to get this up and running and aligned perfectly with your machine. The seam guide comes in one whole piece which then needs a few snips from you before you can get started (but it's so worth it). Here we go:

1. The first step is to place the Seams Sew Easy! template under your machine foot, lining up the needle hole printed on the template with the needle of your own machine as shown (unthread your machine beforehand) and pierce the hole.

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2. Lift your needle and sewing foot and remove the template from the machine. The rectangle of dotted lines marks where we'll be cutting next.

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3. Using a craft knife or sharp pair of scissors, cut out the centre rectangle from the inside, starting at the punched hole that has been pre cut for your ease and keep this central piece as you will need it later on for your sewing machine needle placement and template alignment.

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4. Now that this part is done, you can line your seam guide back up on your sewing machine bed with the rectangle placed back in position. Your machine needle should align back up with the dot printed on your guide.

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5. Double check that the guide is straight against the printed grids and the vertical markings on your machine bed before securing the guide in place with scrapbooking tape at either side.

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6. The central rectangle that acted as a guide for your sewing machine needle can now be removed (the one we cut earlier). Your guide is now safely and straightly in place!

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You will now be able to execute half square triangles, flying geese and snowballs like the pro that you are!

What will you make?! hello@poppiesandpolkadots.co.uk

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Yours, seamingly! x

 

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