A Pin Cushion Story

Pregnancy Update and Paper Piecing

Because those totally go together, right?

About that baby sewing challenge. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Let’s face the facts. I’m 36. I was 27 when I had my third baby. Those nine years, although wonderful, haven’t done much for my ability to handle pregnancy. I remember being pregnant with my first two kids and nothing slowed me down. I was invincible. Six years later, with baby #3, I remember thinking, this is a bit harder than the first two. Now, at 38+ weeks, I’m barely walking (she’s sitting on a nerve) and have been having pretty serious contractions for the last three weeks. Sewing has not been a priority. Getting out of bed has been. 🙂

That being said, I feel pretty good today. So good that I keep thinking I can walk (wrong!!) and trying to clean house. I’ve piddled a bit but decided a small sewing project would be just the thing. You can sit down and sew, right?

While blog binge reading Fresh Lemons today, I found a fun paper pieced template for a spool block/pin cushion. It was from a Good Neighbors Pin Cushion Party back in September where another of my favorite bloggers to stalk read, Amanda of Crazy Mom Quilts, came out with a fabric line and there was a round up and all that good stuff. (All the information on that is in the link with the pattern.)

I’ve been wanting to try paper piecing for ages. I’ve done one paper pieced quilt (my Wacky Web Selvage Quilt) but it was very improvisational and a bit different than actually doing a paper pieced design. Every one of those blocks was a surprise! Today, I decided, was the day to get started. Besides, I can manage a pin cushion, right? So I gathered some yummy scraps, printed the pattern and got started.

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I read Faith’s tutorial for paper piecing  immediately after trying to figure it out on my own from reading past tutorials but not having it right in front of me. Go ahead and make sure you read a paper piecing tutorial before getting started – and maybe print an extra pattern piece. I’m just sayin’. It might help.

This picture doesn’t look like much but I started getting excited as it came together. This really was a lot of fun.

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I did find out that my iron is not nearly close enough to my sewing machine (did I mention walking is painful?) so I will have to do some adjusting if I do more paper piecing.

Here it is, all sewn to the paper.

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One other thing I need to get is another rotary cutter for cutting paper. This would have been much easier to square up if I’d been able to use a rotary cutter while it was attached to the paper. I had to peel the paper off without squaring it up and then square it up like you would any other block. I managed to not leave enough of a seam allowance so instead of finishing up at 4 1/2″ it’s more like 4 1/4″. That’s a pretty small block for 14 pieces of fabric! Wow!

EDITED: By the way, after rereading the tutorial, I realized I still goofed up. I should have trimmed the pattern before sewing it to the paper. Hey guys, read the tutorial carefully. Oooopppps! 🙂

And here is the finished product.

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Okay, not quite finished. I want to fill it with crushed walnut shells. I’ll have to go purchase those on Wednesday at my local quilt shop. I didn’t want to wait to share though. I think it’s so freaking cute. I may make another for my sister-in-law just for fun!!

One more picture and I’m done. 🙂 I’m in love…with my pin cushion and paper piecing!

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