Storts Market

by Lesley Storts


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»Pincushion Factory«

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A fun, little expensive hobby has started at my house over the past couple of months. Last year at the National Quilt Association’s show, I bought a pincushion made by up-cycling an old salt cellar. I loved it! I do not know the name of the woman I bought it from, but it has spurred much enthusiasm to make these – as you can tell from my stockpile of salt cellars (most of which I acquired in one day – ahem).  Living in the midwest, there are plenty of places to hunt for salt cellars. The whole process has become a family affair and we have had a great time.

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We, meaning my kids and mother-in-law, have spent time looking at antique stores, at stores where vendors rent a booth space, and yard sales for the salt cellars or other appropriate glass bases. Some of the bases are glass candle holders or old ash trays. No, I don’t smoke. Yes, I like the glass.  Back in June, we spent the day over in Springfield, OH, at several different antique stores and it was a salt cellar B.O.N.A.N.Z.A!

fabric basket 2pincushion supplies

The “jewelry” for the pincushion is a matching pin. We have made the pins starting with various tops – pearl balls, glass beads, and shapes such as a butterfly. The beads are almost all glass minus a few exceptions for some flower bases or skulls. The other exception is when my other daughter makes custom pin tops out of clay and bakes it onto the pin. We purchased the majority of our beads at a local store – 1 Stop Bead Shop. The owner was so helpful and it was so great to be able to touch and see the beads we were selecting. The store has an incredible collection.

bead box

The whole process is so fun because each pincushion is unique and because it is a short-term project. I’ve noticed when I’m making a quilt that takes a long time and I like to insert shorter projects just so that I can feel like I’m finishing something. Because they are so easy to make, we’ve made a lot.  My husband must be worried because he said that maybe we should try selling a few before making any more. I told him, “Umm…..ok?” Then noticed over the next few days that the pincushions seemed to multiplying on their own – so much for slowing down the process.

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single gray multi pincushion on metal tray collage pincushions x6

I can even come home after a long day at work and sit down and have the energy to complete one of the pincushions. It’s a very relaxing process. I do have to confess that my daughter has made the majority of the pincushions. (I’ve only made three… hahaha.) She has improved the technique that I first taught her and tweaked the process along the way. The pincushions we are making today are better because of her! I hope to have them for sale on Etsy soon!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @lesleystorts. Happy Crafting! ▶︎▶︎▶︎