Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sewing thingies for the sewing room...

New year, cleaner loft? ummm. No! But I did take time to brighten it up a couple days ago.

First, my pin cushion. Much loved, much used. I cannot tell you how nice it is to have a 'roll' that fits right in front of my machine. And is long enough for me to segregate my pins by type.

I made my first one back in 2011, and it was looking pretty drab after 6 years. So, a new one. I took the oldie apart, both to re-use the sand bag that was inside and to retrieve any lost sewing needles. The latter was gratifying - I rescued 12 needles, most of them self-threading needles that I use all the time to sink thread tails.

The pin cushion is easy to make. It's basically a rectangular bag, finished at about 7" x 3", with a opening on the side for inserting the innards.  Inside, on the bottom, I have a fabric bag of super-fine sand that I found at PetsMart (bird department). The bag is sewn from a high-thread count fabric and hasn't leaked at all. On top of the bag, poly batting and fiberfill, stuffed in until I just couldn't stuff any more. And the opening is just hand-sewn to close.

Those sewing needles. Usually they're on a magnetic card that's stuck on the metal base of my lamp. This works great, because they're right at hand and not populating my pin cushion. I still see this Singer notion at JoAnns, it comes with a few needles and is very inexpensive.

Next up, a notions tray for the little things I use constantly at the machine. Seam ripper, measuring tape, long tweezers, Frixion pen, hem gauge, 7" ruler, spool caps...lots of stuff :-) I've been using a pasta bowl from my dinnerware, which bugged me no end. Making a quilted fabric replacement was easy peasy, I should have done this sooner.

The materials are simple: A top, bottom, and batting layer, all cut at 10" x 12", then sewn as a bag, turned right side out, and quilted. 

Ta dum!

I've made these trays so many times as travel gifts. Most of them are smaller, about 7" x 5" - they pack flat and have snaps to close the corners. They're great for holding jewelry, change, and keys on a hotel nightstand. And in my living room right now, this one has the notions I'm using while basting a bunch of quilt blocks.

I'm glad I took the time to spruce up the loft, but it was just exhausting. LOL - actually I'd rather be sewing.

Bye for now! Coco


  1. Very cute. I love organizing my sewing space. I try to do it at least once a week. How do you like those thread snips BTW?

    1. I.LOVE.THESE.SNIPS! I have them everywhere - by my serger, by my SM, on my end table in the L.R., in my hand-sewing basket...One pair was my Mom's, and after I inherited it, I ordered more online for less than $3 each. Hers is 'sturdier' but they all work great.

  2. Oh my are these "sewing thingies" great! I've got make 'em especially the long pin cushion to segregate my pins. Thanks for sharing, Coco! Karen

    1. Thanks, Karen. You will love a pin cushion like this one! I used to get so frustrated with the tomato cushions - they're hard and the pins are never on top!

  3. What cute clever ideas! Do you think snips can be sharpened? I have my mom's but they are dull. I would like to keep them.

    1. Thanks, Linda. And I admit I have no idea if snips can be sharpened - I've never even had scissors's easier to get new ones :-)

  4. Ooh, great ideas. Such a fun way to use up some small, pretty, scraps of fabrics. I picked up some crushed walnuts at a craft show and they are supposed to be pretty good for pincushions too!

    1. Thanks! I've read that crushed walnuts are good as well - if you make a cushion with them, hope you'll let us know how they work for you. Have always wondered, because they're so woody...

  5. Wow, this is great! I'd love to see more of your work. By the way, I've also seen some pretty interesting decor ideas here: and I can't wait for my home to be improved soon!

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I love it that you came by...and thank you for your comments! Coco