Storts Market

by Lesley Storts


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»Pincushions in Salt Cellars«

My adventure into making pincushions was not planned. I entered a quilt in the National Quilting Association’s (NQA) quilt show several years ago. While there, I was browsing through the vendors and came upon salt cellar pincushions. I was smitten. I bought 3, one for me and each of my daughters. The little salt cellar dishes are unique and charming. I wanted to make them and told my daughter, Lucy, that we should try to make them together. We live in the midwest and there is an abundance of antique stores here giving us ample opportunity to look for old glass. The following summer, after collecting some glass salt cellars, Lucy set out to make the pincushions. She had recently had ankle surgery and was non-weight bearing and looking for something to do because she was bored. She did an amazing job troubleshooting the pincushions. I had a basic idea of how to make them, but she perfected it! Several years and a thousand+ pincushions later, we still love making them – it’s so much fun! I’m a quilter, but now I feel like I’m a pincushion artist too. We have expanded the pincushion containers beyond the salt cellars, but salt cellars are how we started and still my favorite base to use in making the pincushions.

The books pictured above, The Open Salt Compendium and 5,000 Open Salts, A Collector’s Guide, catalog a large variety of salts and include the manufacturer and date of production. Another reference is Salty Comments which was written from 1984-2005 by Ed and Kay Berg. Their early newsletters were written on a typewriter and pictures of salt cellars were hand drawn.

Our process of sewing on a button with matching thread and creating a custom crystal and glass beaded pin gives each pincushion their own personality and appeal. My pincushion journey includes hunting for glass and looking for just the right fabric, or cut of fabric, to make the pincushions. I have met a lot of interesting people and learned so much along the way. I am sure I will continue enjoying the whole process.

Happy Crafting and Quilting! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎


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»Suzy Ultman Salt Cellar Pincushions«

The hunt for fabric to make salt cellar pincushions is always fun! When I spotted Suzy’s fabric at my LQS, Sew to Speak, I knew it would probably be a favorite.
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Suzy Ultman’s has such a fun style with her art and creations! The prints from Suzy’s Minis 2 are perfect for salt cellar pincushions because of their petite scale.

Another enjoyable part of the process was picking out accessories including buttons and creating the custom crystal bead pins. These little popsicles needed a very small button! I call it a micro button. I’ve had these in my stash for a long time and never really thought I’d use them.
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The term “cuteness overload”  is not an exaggeration with these prints!

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If you are interested in a pincushion, visit my Etsy shop! And keep up to date with pincushion progress on my IG @lesleystorts.

Happy Quilting! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎


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»Pins and Needles Craft Swap«

A couple of months ago I saw a swap on Instagram for pincushions and it did not take me long – about 3 minutes – to make the decision to participate. My pincushion pal and daughter, Lucy @sew.lucy, decided to join too. What a great decision! We both made pincushions that were totally new to us and had a great time doing it.

Living with a person who loves fabric and quilting crafts as much as I do is a huge bonus! She gave me a lot of feedback about my pincushion and made the saltcellar pincushion that I gave to my recipient. I helped her make her pincushion and we both learned a lot along the way.

Lucy made the carry-all pincushion by Anna Graham of @noodlehead. Her instructions were clearly written, easy to follow and allowed us to successfully create a beautiful pincushion for Lucy’s partner.

I have been cleaning out and organizing all different parts of my house since the late winter. In combing through the quilting supplies, I stumbled upon a pattern by Carrie Nelson that I bought some time ago and decided to use it for my pincushion. I had so much fun that I now have a favorite new quilt block – the log cabin.

Both of our partners stated that they love a lot of color. Tula Pink fabric provided a great palette for making our creations. Lucy made a special pincushion from the blue Swim Team Winham fabric since her partner is a swimmer. Packages were mailed off today! Hopefully our partners love their gifts as much as we did creating them 🙂

Happy Quilting ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎


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»A Study In Focus«

IMG_8835Saltcellar Pincushion made with Carolyn Friedlander’s Dentals in Green.

It has been almost a year since I began hunting for saltcellars and making pincushions. Lucy, one of my daughters, has been instrumental in helping perfect this little pieces of art. And as we have learned and grown in making these, an interesting thing has happened- I have come to appreciate fabric and the patterns in a different way. There is a  need to focus on small areas and what they have to offer in a saltcellar. The diameter of most saltcellars we use is about 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 inches. Some of the dishes are a little bigger, but generally they are small. This means that we have to maximize where we cut.

I love the color green and adore this fabric by Anna Maria Horner called Minutes in Glen. I was excited to use it in a pincushion and took special care to cut it so that I was able show an interesting part of the fabric.

Another beautiful and interesting fabric we’ve used is Tula Pink’s Bats in the Belfry in Plum. Depending on what you wanted to highlight with this fabric would depend on where you cut for the pincushion. This fabric offers many choices that would work well. Lucy made this pincushion and wanted to make sure to include blue so that it stood out.

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I love quilt making and will continue making quilts. I do appreciate though, the opportunity to look at fabric in a different way and that has come through making pincushions.

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Happy Crafting and Quilting! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎

Enjoy posts on IG at my sites @lesleystorts and @stortsmarket