Tartlet Tins Needles & Pins: Mollie Makes Pincushions

Cathe-Holden-Pin-Cushion-05 Issue 6 of Mollie Makes US Edition has arrived featuring another of my simple and fun projects. But this latest issue also features several of my very dear friends!Cathe-Holden-Pin-Cushion-09 My local art buddy, weekly coffee pal, creative motivator, and extremely talented illustrator and designer, Nicky Ovitt, opens up her inspiring vintage Petaluma home and studio for a tour you’re going to love. She also shares a full page pattern design from her latest fabric collection for you to gift wrap with!Nicky-Ovitt-MM My New Orleans pal, contributor and designer of craft projects for major family, home & garden magazines, craft book author, lifestyle blogger, and a very special friend I’ve had the privilege of beach-weekending and CHA conferencing with, Suzonne Stirling, shares her adorable felt pinecone project. And Kerry Goulder, a beautiful soul I always look forward to visiting with at creative functions, also known as Kid Giddy, has a wonderful feature of her book in this issue, Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love: 18 Toy Patterns for the Storytelling Sewist. This is one magazine I’ll especially cherish.

Here’s my contribution:Cathe-Holden-Pin-Cushion-10Tartlet Tins Needles & PinsHolden_pincushion.closer1

Custom tartlet pincushions are not only down-right adorable, but really quite practical. Organize your sewing nook’s pins and needles neatly by use, or craft sweet, personalized gifts for your favorite sewists.


  • Fluted tin tartlet size 2.5 – 3.5 inches
  • Colorful small-print cotton fabric
  • 8.5” x 11” Inkjet printable cotton fabric sheet
  • White craft felt
  • Beacon 527 Multi-Use Glue
  • Pillow stuffing, new or recycled
  • Washers or pennies for weights
  • Embroidery thread and needle
  • Buttons or other embellishments

Step 1: Using your computer, type desired word(s) using a display font sized to fit within the diameter of tartlet’s wide opening, allowing a 3/8-1/2-inch margin all around. Color the text to coordinate with your small-print fabric, and print centered in one half of a sheet of printable cotton. If making more than one pincushion, print a second text area centered in the other half of the sheet. To download a PDF file of the words I used in my project, click HERE.Holden_pincushion.step1Step 2: To create the decorative trim, cut or tear a one-inch strip of small-print fabric the length of the circumference of the tartlet opening, plus two inches. With an iron, press the strip in half lengthwise.Holden_pincushion.step2Step 3: Apply a light coating of glue around the upper inside wall of the tartlet. Use a cotton swab to spread the glue into the fluted areas. Press the folded trim into the upper portion of the tartlet keeping 3/16” of the folded area above the edge.Holden_pincushion.step3Step 4: Place trimmed tartlet upside down and centered over the text-printed fabric. Use a ruler and pencil to measure several one-inch marks around the circumference of the tart opening. Connect the marks by drawing one continuous line freehand, creating a cutting template. Use fabric scissors to trim out printed fabric along cut line.Holden_pincushion.step4Step 5: Similar to step 4, draw and trim out a shape of craft felt ¼-3/8” larger than tartlet opening.Holden_pincushion.step6Step 6: Place the text-printed shape centered over the felt round and embellish the surface with embroidery stitching, buttons or other embellishments, careful to keep all within ¾” of outer edge of felt shape.Holden_pincushion.step5Step 7: Use remaining embroidery thread or standard sewing thread to hand-stitch around the text-printed fabric, 3/8”-1/2” from outer edge, leaving long pulling thread sections at beginning and end of stitching. Tie ends loosely and cinch stitching to create a pocket and place pillow stuffing inside to desired denseness. Tighten stitching to desired shape, securely knot thread and tuck remaining lengths up and into the stuffing.Holden_pincushion.step7Step 8: Glue washers or pennies to the bottom of the tartlet tin to add additional weight to the final pincushion.Holden_pincushion.step8Step 9: Spread a generous amount of glue in the bottom and along the walls of the tartlet tin, and up onto the lower half of the fabric trim.Holden_pincushion.step9Step 10: Place stuffed cushion into the tartlet and press into shape. Allow to dry overnight before loading with pins or needles.Holden_pincushion.step10Holden_pincushion.opener3Cathe-Holden-Pin-Cushion-04TIPS

  • Stitch through or around printed text to add dimension to the word(s).Cathe-Holden-Pin-Cushion-06
  • Glue color-coordinating narrow ribbon around the tartlet, just below the top edge.Holden_pincushion.closer9
  • When attaching embellishments be careful to allow room on the surface of the cushion for pins and needles to come and go with ease.Cathe-Holden-Pin-Cushion-03
  • Attach small purchased embellishments, jewelry charms, or buttons to your cushion, or craft your own like a tiny stack of safety-pinned fabric swatches, hand-stitched and tangled thread-nests with glued-in miniature plastic eggs, and tiny leaves cut from velvet ribbon.Cathe-Holden-Pin-Cushion-02
  • Use additional empty tartlet tins to store safety-pins and loose buttons.Cathe-Holden-Pin-Cushion-08

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A Craftsman’s Legacy

When I was a kid, some of my favorite moments were watching Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood episodes featuring how things were made and the people who made them. I am so fascinated to learn the trades, skills and talents of others. Though we currently have many options for do-it-youself and how-to videos online and on TV, it’s a rare thing to peek inside the studio, life and workings of most artisans and craftsmen. Eric Gorges, a custom motorcycle builder from Detroit is out to change that.

10497901_10202595880319331_8746073057377005822_oEric travels the country to discover and share the challenges and rewards of highly skilled craftsmen and women.

“In the first season of A Craftsman’s Legacy, Gorges, who builds motorcycles, visits thirteen craftspeople including a woodworker, glassblower, guitar maker, stone carver, goldsmith, potter, saddle maker, gun maker, blacksmith, book maker, bladesmith, boat maker, and basket weaver, and tries his hand at each of their skills.  Acting as an apprentice, he learns the history and traditions of each craft and its value in our modern-day culture.”

I’ve had the opportunity to watch one full episode of A Craftsman’s Legacy featuring glass blower April Wagner. Together April and Eric discuss everything from artist vs. craftsman, setting up a full studio, her path to becoming the talented glass blower and business woman she is today, and living the dream of making a living crafting by hand and the rewards and sacrifices that come with it. April’s breathtaking gallery of work is featured throughout the episode. Once the ovens are fired, April teaches Eric the basics of making a simple drinking glass, a very fascinating process that clearly takes many years of practice, trial and error. So more than just watching an object being made, you will come away enriched from stepping into the day in the life of the person behind the craft, and appreciate the blood sweat and tears of a craftsman’s legacy.

Airing will begin in early September on American Public Television, check your local listings or the show’s website after September 4, 2014 for details.

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WorldLabel.com Botanical Label Panels

WL-CH-Floral-Panel-Labels-Image01 Whether you’ve begun scheming handmade & homemade gifts for the Fall and Winter holidays, or just need a good reason to begin organizing your stash, I’ve designed some vintage botanical label panels courtesy of WorldLabel.com just for you. Head over to the WorldLabel.com blog for more details, free digital downloads in five different colors, and a crafty list of ideas for use.WL-CH-Floral-Panel-Labels-Assortment All of the free PDF label files are made fillable, so you can type in any wording, or print and write by hand. Enjoy!WL-CH-Floral-Panel-Labels-Brown

Small speech bubble5 Comments | Posted in Free Clip Art, Free digital collage sheets, Free digital downloads, Free PDF files, free vintage art, Labels, WorldLabel.com | Tagged , ,
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