I was recently very impressed with my sister’s sashiko stitching. I had to try it. A few weeks ago I bought sashiko materials for a wee pincushion, and tried stitching a simple design with the intention of impressing her back:


Now, I enjoyed the stitching, but the thing I found most pleasing was the resulting pincushion-object. It was so neat! so wee! such a simple and satisfying design! And it fastened with *bobbles*, for crissakes.




how canny a thing is that?

Then a worrying haze descended. I was so enamoured of the prototype, I had to make another. This was clearly an appealing object that might be rendered in different ways, without sashiko stitching, using different fabrics . . .


. . . or several different fabrics . . .


Mr B returned home from a long run to find me frenetically turning out pincushions. “Look at them!” I shrieked, “they have bobbles!” “That’s right,” he nodded, backing nervously towards the door, “whatever you say. . .”

I have now managed to stop forming bobbles and Mr B has not packed me off to the puzzle factory. I do, however, have more pincushions than I know what to do with. I have given several away as gifts, but there are a few of the beggars left as testimony to my craft insanity. To save me from myself, just leave a comment on my blog between now and March 20th. I’ll select the ‘winner’ at random, and post you a pincushion.

48 thoughts on “win a pincushion!

  1. wow. i don’t even know HOW to blog. but i teach at a montessori school, and we start out every week with an hour or so of sashiko quilting. by the end of the year each child has a beautiful quilt to take home, totally self-designed and made (we help with the ironing). so i’ve been thinking…….pin cushions. they like to take the needles to their own tables and thread them and tie them off themselves as they get older (our kids are ages 6-9). so i am looking for good ideas for them to make their own pinscushions. btw, i have a hockey star who just got named team captain and his mother emailed me that he wanted to stitch the new letter on his hockey uniform himself! so my little sewers are learning life skills, but mostly are so excited about using their creative selves to make–well, everything they can think of. now i will try to post a comment on your blog. and i would like to know how to make your fabulous pincushions!


  2. those are too cute! I’m scouring over the site you mentioned to get the kit! it looks like they dont have it anymore. i am sad:( but they are cute so i am happy :)


  3. I haven’t started sewing yet which is just as well. As it is, I struggle to find time to squeeze in a bit of knitting and spinning.

    Fantastic bobbles!


  4. I second all the comments about wanting to know where the design came from or if it’s your own – it’s so satisfyingly neat! I am itching to turn on my sewing machine now :)


  5. oh no!! another thing to learn! – i have never heard of this shashiko before – but i can see why you were hooked – and the wee bobble thingys? excellent!
    please can i go in the draw?

    thank you



  6. So cute! is it a pattern that came with the materials, or something you made up? (i feel a bizarre need to surround myself with pincushions now, *and* it might earn me brownie points for having places other than sofa arms to put my pins in! :)


  7. Have you seen the Otedama (Japanese juggling toys) in the current issue of Craft magazine (the American O’Reilly published one – craftzine.com)? Really good fun (my children are desperate to make them) and an interesting story about their post WWII popularity and their use a a food smuggling medium.


  8. Kate you did make me smile! I’ve often stood in front of my DH waving something excitedly in his face expecting a great reaction….. only to be met with a very puzzled look on his face, and I can see his brain trying to process the various reactions that he may/should give. The pincushions are beautiful.


  9. Oh my, I would love one! I always worry about sewing cushion-type things because I have no idea how you sew up the last side. Whenever I do it, it looks unsymmetrical. Maybe I should try with a little pin cushion!


  10. I am loving your bobbly pincushions of delight: they are beautiful.

    Did you make up the design?

    I love how you can put needles and pins into the wraparound fabric and the bobbles are wonderful!


    I can’t wait to see your Messy Tuesday photos!


  11. They are soooo lovely. I feel like I might have to make them in the near future as well, the bobbles are so appealing. Thanks for your comment about messy tuesdays – can’t wait to see your photos next week!


  12. Those are adorable – I can see how you would become obsessed with making them. I can also see that sometimes it must be a little weird to be the significant other of a craftster.


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