29 July 2011

A Bird Pincushion from old clothes - Just for Fun

I am a bit of hoarder and hate to throw anything out - especially favourite old clothes that have developed holes through long wear. August is birthday season in our household with 6 family birthdays and I have decided to make some presents. Efemeraink's blog always features stunning creations and a few months ago I fell in love with this Bird Pin Cushion. She very kindly sent me a copy of her pattern and it languished on my to do board for a while. Inspiration struck when I saw the old clothes pile and wondered if I could use it to make a bird. The original was done in felt and there is a reason for this - linen, denim and stretch hoody material do not work in the same way.

 As I have yet to get to grips with eldest daughter's sewing machine which she left with me before departing to Singapore for 2 years I decided to hand sew it. As I am also (yet again) giving up smoking I felt occupying my hands with sewing rather than chocolate would be a good move.
After cutting out all the pieces I realised due to the fraying on the denim wings blanket stitching two pieces together would work better. I need to work on this stitch as it is a little wobbly.
I did not have any bakers twine to wrap round the cushion so threaded a large scrapping needle with ribbon to create a similar effect.
The beak is a piece of foam and the ric rac crest evolved to hide some of my  uneven areas and to make it easier to stuff the bird through the head. 
He is a little different from the original and my sewing needs work but I love him and now don't want to give him to my quilting mother in law. I think I have caught the bug and went out and found some felt today and I have drawn a pattern for a mouse on cheese pin cushion which will be next and I have plans for an aviary of birds...
I have entered this in the Just for Fun Challenge Blog - check out the inspiring ideas and creations here.


  1. Hi Sally. Fab project. I like the "wobbly" stiches it gives it more character.
    Regards Florence

  2. Your pin cushion is adorable. thanks for your nice comment on my blog.

  3. Wobbly stitching is good - keep the wobble! Cute pin cushion, great way to dip in to the recycled clothing pile!

  4. Wow Sally this is fantastic ! Love your bird wobbly stitching and all I am so jealous I can't even see to thread a needle with my glasses on ! He/she is super cute just love it.


  5. Fantastic pin cushion,love it,

  6. What a fab take on Efemera inks pincushion and a great way of upcycling :)
    Thank you for sharing your creations with us at Juft for Fun
    Von x

  7. I absolutely love this little pincushion, that little birdie is fab and there's absolutely nothing wrong with your stitches! xx

  8. WOW brilliant bird pin cushion fantastic way to use treasured old fabrics. Your stitches look great from here, thank you for sharing this with us at Just for Fun XOXO Zoe

  9. Gorgeous pin cushion and great use of favorite old clothes. Hugs Sandra XX

  10. Love it! It's quirky and such "fun" which is what the swap is supposed to be about.
    I too am not a stitcher but you made a better job of blanket stitch than I do - far better!
    I've also given up smoking (nearly 10 months now)and apart from the weight gain am so glad I have. Know what you mean though about chocolates - as my rear end confirms. Thank you for sharing with us on JFF. Hugs, Neet x

  11. Thanks for your lovely comment on my entry. I purchased the soluble fabric from a lady who had bought more than she could use(!) but you could probably get it from any good fabric shop, or I found it here
    Suze xx

  12. So lovely-what a clever designs and you made your pincushion so well from old clothes.