Aware that I really must stop sticking in-use pins into the arms of our sofa (it really isn't safe), I knew I had ot make a pin cushion. I was not really looking forward to it because it brought back memories of the 1st weeks of senior school - a pin cushion was the 1st thing we made in 'Needlework' lessons (god it sounds like I was at school in the 19th century). I seem to remember that mine was in the shape of a tortoise, & its legs never did look right.
But I was inspired to get going after seeing a picture of a fab pin cushion in one of my 'new' books. I went mad on www.greenmetropolis.com the other day and ordered a few really good value craft books. My favourite purchase is 'Embroidery - An introduction to the basic skills and techniques of the craft' by Diana Springall (out of print but currently available for 1p on Amazon Marketplace - how do they do that??). It was published in 1980 but it has some absolutely gorgeous ideas in it. This (left) is the pattern that inspired me. I really like those slightly rounded squares & the very simple shapes. As you can see my version (right) doesn't have an awful lot in common with the Springall version. I've used felt rather than silk, I haven't bothered with piping & I didn't need to do trapunto because the felt is raised enough as it is. I am really pleased with the way the colours blend in the felt - although I think the white could be replaced by cream felt for a slightly less startling effect. I messed up the corners (I machine sewed the edges) - I should have made them much more rounded, and as a result they are too pointy. Next time I will also put the squares closer together in the middle of the cushion - at the minute I think it looks a bit like they are sliding off down the sides... but overall I am rather pleased with the effect & I will certainly get a lot of use out of it. And hey, now my family are all out of danger (until they find the pin cushion that is).
While I am on the subject of the Springall book I have to post a picture of one of her othe designs - this really wonderful felt elephant. I just think this is just great - I love the slightly psychedelic effect that you get from those pink, purple & gold swirls. I am not sure that my skills are quite up to something like this (and I certainly don't have time to try) but I might have a go at adapting the techniques she describes to make something a bit less complicated & a little smaller. I think I'll try another pin cushion first - I have an idea that pink, sage green, pale blue & white might go together quite well.