A Bit of a Scrap and Stuff(ing)

My blogging friend Kate and her friend Gun in Sweden host a regular monthly Scraphappy challenge where you can make anything you like out of scraps and link up with others to show and tell.  This is my first time.  It might be my last or it might not.  It’s that relaxed 😉  Just join in if you fancy a bit of ‘scrapping’.

I saw several examples of the hexagon pin cushion/caddy in blogland – notably on Ali’s blog, Thimberlina – and decided it would be a good project to do with my sewing ‘buddy’ who I see on Wednesday afternoons for a chat – in French, God help me (and her even more so) – and a craft session.  Here is the free tutorial we used.

Hexagon Pin Cushion/Caddy

I’m not 100% satisfied with the outcome because – dare I say it – I’m not a good stuffer.  This is why I don’t make toys.  How do you know when you’ve stuffed enough and when to stop?  How does half a bag of stuffing disappear into a teeny tiny object?  What do you do about the lumps?  Usually I avoid anything that needs stuffing but, as I had a few scraps sent to me courtesy of my Secret Sewing Santa and Kate was nagging  encouraging me to join in her Scraphappy challenge I thought I’d give it a go.  Plus, I am always looking for new projects to try out on a Wednesday afternoon over tea and cake (there is always home baked cake – why else would I go?) so I thought I’d throw caution to the wind and take on a stuffing project.

stan'slegacyThis is how I know how much stuffing (and polystyrene beads)  can fit into a small object – in this case a fabric doorstop – as my dog kindly demonstrated it for me when he was a puppy and was left unsupervised overnight.

Now, this is a tried and tested project and many people have made these caddies.  However, may I respectfully suggest that, should you make one yourself, try to use cardboard thicker than a cereal box for the inner walls.  This way, if you want to stuff a little more firmly, the walls won’t bulge out so easily.

Hexangon Pin Cushion

Also, if you turn the joined up outer hexagons inside out and push inside the interior, then sew right side to right side across the top, it makes it easier to hide the hand stitching – although anybody who has zoomed in on my photos may doubt the veracity of this.  (This will make more sense if you actually decide to make one of these and read the tutorial.  Hopefully.)

Hexagon Pin Cushion Caddy

A handy little caddy/pincushion which turned out to be quite a bit bigger than I expected – which was a good thing – and a useful way to use up some scraps.  However, I think I will be sticking to this one example as the amount of teeny, tiny hand stitching required seems out of proportion to the value of the finished object but that’s just my opinion and I know there are plenty who will disagree.  In any case, I really, really, don’t like the stuffing part.

In other news, I am on the final leg arm of my boyfriend cardigan.  Thankfully, it appears my fears it would only fit an orang-utan were unfounded. Once the raglan sleeves were sewn in place the length of them seemed to take on vaguely normal proportions – so much so that I might not even need to fold the cuffs back.

You won’t remember but the cardigan is a sort of steely grey colour so I ordered these metal buttons online and, while I was there, added this ribbon to my basket too.  Oh, and a teensy bit of fabric.  Well, you have to justify the cost of shipping don’t you?

Metal buttons

How about you? Do you give a stuff about stuffing?





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  1. #1 by katechiconi on February 14, 2016 - 21:08

    I will really have to try and train you not to immediately point out every tiny and virtually invisible defect in your work. Every time you post about something, I have to look really hard to see the defect you’re so upset about! This is a lovely pincushion/caddy, and if you don’t want to make any more like it, then, well… stuff it! 🙂

    • #2 by tialys on February 15, 2016 - 10:31

      I know, it’s a fault of mine. Oops! There I go again! 😉

      • #3 by katechiconi on February 15, 2016 - 13:15

        I rest my case… Next time, try “Look at the lovely pincushion/caddy I made, I’m really pleased with it.” Do stop being so *English* about it, you do lovely work!

  2. #4 by http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com on February 14, 2016 - 21:09

    This looks like a useful project, and I don’t mind the amount of hand stitching (justification for watching TV). I think I would stuff it with lentils, beans or chickpeas, to give it the stability of weight (I am very clumsy!) When my latest scrap project is finished, I shall come back to your tutorial. My daughter makes juggling “balls”, pyramid shape and stuffs with small beans, and they’re great fun.

    • #5 by tialys on February 15, 2016 - 10:30

      Good idea Viv but I would definitely use slightly thicker card for the interior in that case.

  3. #6 by nanacathy2 on February 14, 2016 - 21:54

    I agree about stuffing, I have learned over the years that you need far more than you would ever think possible. Love your caddy by the way, super use of scraps. Buttons and ribbons are lovely, of course you have to justify the postage!

    • #7 by tialys on February 15, 2016 - 10:29

      I used to make footstools/pouffes, whatever you want to call them but I stopped in the end because of the amount of stuffing needed and the length of time needed to get it all shaped just right.

      • #8 by http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com on February 15, 2016 - 14:06

        I made a pouffe once, based on 3 car (mini) tyres stuck together and stuffed with newspapers., with a plywood base. The top was a thick piece of foam, the whole covered with curtain lining and I made a washable loose cover. It was a great success and lasted about 30 years!

      • #9 by tialys on February 15, 2016 - 14:16

        Now that I’d like to see! No photos I suppose?

      • #10 by http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com on February 15, 2016 - 16:56

        Long before the days of digital cameras, and expensive film was reserved for special occasons!

  4. #11 by Jan Marriott on February 14, 2016 - 22:27

    I only stuff turkeys, sometimes a chicken.
    I think this is a great project to help you curb your fabric buying – if you want to.

    • #12 by tialys on February 15, 2016 - 10:27

      Well, even though I only lasted 4.5 months, it has slowed me down a little so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

  5. #13 by sew2pro on February 14, 2016 - 22:37

    I can never find my pincushion so this big and obvious one would be a good one for me but… I still haven’t fattened up the skinny Ikea cushions on the sofa which are looking a bit flat despite the opulent cushion cover fabric. I don’t like stuffing much either but if anyone can recommend a cheap source of filler, I might be tempted to give it a go.

    Lovely scraps by the way.

    • #14 by katechiconi on February 15, 2016 - 08:40

      Tumble drier fluff, sheep’s wool off fences, dog hair, old towels wrapped round the cushion pad, unusably small fabric scraps, batting scraps. I’ve tried them all with varying degrees of success. Very fine sand is good for pin cushions because it sharpens the pins when you push them in.

      • #15 by tialys on February 15, 2016 - 10:24

        Well, I’ve seen a book called ‘Knitting with Dog Hair’ so nothing surprises me – although if you’d said ‘belly button fluff’ I might have been a bit taken aback.

      • #16 by katechiconi on February 15, 2016 - 13:13

        That’s one substance I tend not to preserve… at least, not on purpose! I’m told spun dog hair is nice and soft.

    • #17 by tialys on February 15, 2016 - 10:25

      Well, Kate’s given you some useful filler tips now so no excuses.

  6. #18 by Jan Marriott on February 14, 2016 - 22:39

    Lynn,do you subscribe to Barbara Brackmans blogs…..she is the best quilt historian. Thought of you when I saw this corn-cob pincushion this morning.Civil War Quilts

    |   | |   | |   |   |   |   |   | | Civil War QuiltsDetail of an appliqued table cover by Persis Ripley Bradbury “Made by P.R.B. 1864.” | | | | View on civilwarquilts.blogspo… | Preview by Yahoo | | | |   |



    • #19 by tialys on February 15, 2016 - 10:24

      I’ll have to have a look Jan, thanks.

  7. #20 by Dartmoor Yarns on February 14, 2016 - 22:50

    Looks fab to me. Oh don’t dogs just know how to make all those bits of fluff go a long way!

  8. #23 by Thimberlina on February 15, 2016 - 11:37

    I’m with you on the time versus outcome thingy being disproportionate. But I took mine to do whilst we were away for a few days so was glad to have a mobile project, and with not a lot else to do on an evening it was a godsend.
    PS I’ll be posting some good news later……..

    • #24 by tialys on February 15, 2016 - 12:14

      You’re right! It’s a very good mobile project. I know you were talking about getting more into patchwork and quilting this year and, if you do, hand quilting is a good thing to take on your travels, especially small pieces or quilt as you go blocks or even some English paper pieced hexies. My hand quilting leaves a lot to be desired so I tend to do it by machine but I have taken things away on holiday with me to quilt by hand before now.
      P.S. I’m intrigued by your P.S. 😮

  9. #25 by Postcard from Gibraltar on February 15, 2016 - 15:25

    I haven’t got much experience with stuffing so couldn’t possibly give advice but I really like your pincushion, it’s gorgeous!

  10. #27 by navybluethreads on February 16, 2016 - 21:14

    Have only tried my hand at stuffing recently, and totally with you: it is far more difficult than it looks! Like you, I end up with lumps and bumps and general unevenness all over…. Mmmm! Your end result looks good though, maybe it if proves useful, it might be worth reconsidering?

    • #28 by tialys on February 17, 2016 - 00:31

      I nearly never say never as far as sewing projects go so it is possible – but unlikely.

  11. #29 by sewchet on February 17, 2016 - 11:56

    I saw this on Ali’s blog, too, and have contemplated making it as it looks quite unusual. Stuffing isn’t my favourite task either, especially the inevitable hand sewing that accompanies it. I LOVE the button ribbon!

    • #30 by tialys on February 21, 2016 - 12:25

      There is a lot of hand sewing involved – possibly as much as the sewing box – which made me think I’d rather spend the time making another one of those 😉 Still, as Ali says, it is a good portable project and useful too.

  12. #31 by nettyg on February 21, 2016 - 12:07

    Little bits at a time and patience are the keys, turning and smoothing as you go, and having good stuffer tools. I like your pincushion caddy and perhaps the lumps and bumps are only visible to you?

    • #32 by tialys on February 21, 2016 - 12:23

      I do tend to be hyper critical of my work and the caddy was easier than, say, a toy where the wrong stuffing technique can result in what’s supposed to be a mouse looking like an elephant – or vice versa.

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