Storts Market

by Lesley Storts


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Sharon Holland Kismet Fabric Pincushions

Chance. Destiny. Karma. All synonyms for the word kismet. This was a new word for me that I learned when Sharon Holland released her Kismet line, by Art Gallery Fabrics in November 2020. This fabric has been on my radar for some time, but my busy life kept me from completing a pincushion batch until last month.

As I continue to make pincushions, I’ve created a system that makes the process easier. One of the steps, which helps me organize and streamline, is matching fabric and glass before I sit down to create. Matching requires thought and reflection when auditioning pieces. Because of this, I feel like I really become acquainted with the fabric. I enjoy this process so much!

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Salt Cellar Spotlight – Cut Glass Salt Cellar with Sharon Holland Fabric

I am starting a new series called “Salt Cellar Spotlight”. There are so many different salt cellars with seemingly endless opportunities for creating. I thought it would be interesting to highlight the salt cellars and a few details. I hope you find it interesting too!

SALT CELLAR SPOTLIGHT

Name of Salt Cellar: Tapered shape prism cut1
Size: 1 3/4″
Manufacturer: Unknown and difficult to pinpoint due to cut glass being made by the artist with slight alterations creating thousands of different patterns1.
Year Produced: Unable to pinpoint since manufacturer is not identified but consensus dates production between 1880-1920 and most likely around the turn of the 20th century1.
Interesting Salt Fact: Sodium and chloride are the chemicals combined together that we refer to as table salt. Sodium is required for human bodies to adequately function2.
Interesting Historical Fact (turn of 20th century): Scott Joplin wrote The Entertainer. I learned to play this iconic piece of piano music in my youth. NPR has an interesting article about Scott Joplin.

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What is a Salt Cellar?

What is a salt cellar? This is a question I get asked frequently. The short answer is that it is a dish to hold salt that has been ground or crushed. Many times this answer leads into more questions. Until the early 1900s, depending on the climate you lived in, salt would frequently clump up even if it had been recently ground or crushed. Morton Salt provides a short history of salt and their part in how we use and consume salt today. Morton Salt states they began adding an anti-caking agent so that salt would not clump. If you are familiar with their logo – a girl holding an umbrella and their slogan regarding salt free flowing even if it is raining – you now know where that originates! Free flowing salt was not available until the early 1900s. Prior to that, people needed a way to offer ground salt while dining, hence a salt cellar.

For me, this hobby has created a cascade of questions in the years that I have been collecting and making salt cellar pincushions. I have become interested in the history of salt and its importance for us physically as well as its societal role. I’ve learned so much! Thanks for joining me in my salt cellar journey. 

Happy glass shopping! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎


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Thrifting and Antiquing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

In June, my husband and I moved to Wisconsin. Moving is hard. We have not moved in a long time and I do not remember it being so difficult. In the past few weeks since the move, and months leading up to the move, thrifting and antique shopping has provided a needed distraction. Finding treasures as well as future stores to periodically visit has been fun and entertaining.

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Giucy Giuce Nonna and Pietra Pincushions

This batch of pincushions started with Nonna and Pietra fabrics sent to me by artist and fabric designer Giucy Giuce (AKA Giuseppe Ribaudo). The fabrics were manufactured by Andover Fabrics.

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Pincushion Workshop

In early December, I had the opportunity to teach a pincushion workshop to a group of quilters from the Central Ohio Modern Quilt Guild. I have wanted to teach a workshop for a long time.

It is important to me to have each class participant leave with a finished product. I determined that a lot of prep was necessary in order for a maker to take a completed pincushion home. One of the challenges of making a finished pincushion is the long drying time for glue. In order to accommodate that, I offered colored ceramic vessels that could be prepped prior to class. Additionally, working with a vessel that is a little larger than a traditional salt cellar is helpful when learning how to make pincushions. And as a bonus, the variety of colored ceramic dishes made matching fabrics an enjoyable process. 

Colored ceramic dishes

As participants worked through the process, I was able to help them troubleshoot a variety of issues. I enjoy teaching and was happy to have an opportunity to share tips that I have learned over the years. I am looking forward to teaching again! Thank you Central Ohio Modern Quilt Guild for inviting me to be a part of your group for the day.

Happy quilting and sewing! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎


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Lorraine Turner’s Calico Horses Fabric and Pincushions

Last fall, I drove out west with my daughter Lucy for her return back to college. While visiting in Utah, I made a trip to the The Quilter’s Lodge. Have you been there? It is a beautiful store as well as a venue to provide retreats for quilters. While browsing through all of the fabric, I found an interesting and colorful line. The fabric artist, Lorraine Turner, was new to me, and for good reason – she’s a new artist for Free Spirit Fabrics. Her first line, Calico Horses, had several prints that I felt would work well as pincushions.

The art throughout the fabric required planning for various cuts and matching up with different sizes of glass. I was originally going to use the large white milk glass hobnail ashtray, but the glass is so shallow that I didn’t really like the way the pincushion looked in that glass. So I found another large ashtray. I really like the finished product and feel like the glass complements the print.

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Uranium Glass Pincushions

I’m fascinated by uranium glass, sometimes called vaseline glass due to its yellow color. Officially, it is uranium glass because it has powdered uranium mixed in when the glass is being produced. I just think it’s kind of magical.

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Anna Maria Horner + Amber Lace Indiana Glass

A few months ago I made a quick stop after work at the Volunteers of America Thrift Store in Pickerington, Ohio. I found many pieces of glass that day including this one…

It can be challenging to make deep dish pincushions so I left this piece at the store. Fast forward one week later at a different thrift store and I found…

In my years of glass hunting, this is the first time I remember finding this Indiana lace glass and then finding it twice in a short period of time! The red one was half the price so I figured I would take a chance on it and see if I could make a pincushion out of it. Upon closer inspection of the glass, I noticed that the red coloring was peeling off in various places and I remembered the other one I found was amber. I decided to see if I could clean off the red film.

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Pincushion Pal

While on the constant hunt for glass through thrifting and antiquing, I find all kinds of interesting and unique pieces. At times, I do not even know the intended purpose of a piece. I buy unusual pieces with the thought that I may use it eventually. The ceramic glass that inspired the pincushion pal was purchased within the last couple of years and I had it for many months before deciding what to do with it.

Lucy and I thought it might be fun to create a little caddy that could be used for handwork. I mocked one up with the original glass.

After creating the pincushion and many discussions, Lucy and I thought this was a great addition to the pincushions we make so I started hunting for more glass pieces like this. While searching, I finally discovered the origin of the piece. The three holed ceramic dish is the base of a condiment set for a jelly jar and salt & pepper. I searched and found some whole sets on Ebay. I bought one but the base broke during shipping so I only have the jelly jar and salt & pepper.

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