Life in the American West must have been hard, going out to settle a land that people knew very little about. The more I read about it the more I am glad I have neighbors closer than 10 miles away and I am glad for all the modern conveniences we have today i.e. hot shower. The one thing I find most interesting about a life without much is that they learned to “make do”. In my many years as an antique dealer I have seen many doll cradles made out of packing crates, dolls made from worn socks, and mismatched fabric scraps made into doll bedding. I have also run across pin cushions made from many different items. So this week I am making a completely “make do” pin cushion. There is one rule in making this pin cushion…you can not buy anything. You must make it from what you have in your home.
I am making mine out of a vintage basket I have had forever, a piece of an old cutter quilt, ( I tea dyed the quilt piece so it matched my primitive décor), I had in my fabric box, buttons I have, pins and so on. Even the fiber fill was the stuffing from an old pillow. I bought nothing to make my pincushion.Step 1 – Find a small box, old teacup, small basket or some other small container.
Step 2 – Take a piece of fabric and cut it into a circle. The size will depend on the size item you are using. Place your item in the middle of your fabric piece and then mark it out all the way around as tall as the piece is. If your item is 3” tall then the circle should extend 3” from the outer edge of the item all the way around.
Step 3 – Thread a needle with a good strong thread. If all you have is regular sewing thread then double it. Now take a running stitch all the way around the edge and start to pull. The fabric will start to gather in a ball. Start to add stuffing to your fabric ball. Stuff it good and full. You want this to be a good fat pin cushion.
Step 4 – When you have lots of stuffing inside pull the thread tight so it closes at the top, know it off. You will now have a fabric ball. You are going to place your fabric ball into your container. I first add a little glue, (I already have it), around the inner rim about an inch down. This just keeps it in. If yours stays in without it, then you can skip the glue step.
Step 5 – You now have a pin cushion. You can add little items to it if you want to just sit it on a shelf. I intend to use mine. (I keep sticking the needles in the arm of the chair and forgetting about them. With two little grandsons running about and one husband, I knew it was time for a pin cushion I could use and then just put up on a shelf.)
I like to see how many things I can “make do” with. It is my goal to lessen my impact on this planet and see if I can make what I need out f what I already have, before I buy anything new.
Hope you enjoyed and maybe you too can “make do” as much as possible. Thanks for reading, Faith