Storts Market

by Lesley Storts


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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


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»Playing with Wool«

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Many years ago (so many I can’t really remember when, which brings up unfinished projects, which may be a whole blog in and of itself 😉), I found the pattern Fit to Frame by Lori Smith at one of my local quilt shops. I like handwork because I can take it with me to kid events or other appointments where I find myself sitting and waiting. The blocks did not take me too long to blanket stitch, maybe 4-6 month and only when I was out and about, but quilting it took FOREVER because I could not make up my mind what I wanted to do.

I first thought I wanted to hand quilt it. I even started hand quilting it, but did not like it because the stitches were so light and small and got lost in the background fabric which is flannel. My mom told me to use darker thread. So I bought the thread, unpicked all my quilting,  and then decided I should just machine quilt it. And I’m so glad I did. I’m happy to have it finished after all of the work I put in. Now I can enjoy it. My quilting was a simple free motion echo around the “shape” in each block, and stitching in the ditch around each block. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I enjoy working with wool and intend to start another quilt, but I have not yet decided what it will be. That has not stopped me from collecting wool. I have some from several years ago, but was inspired through and IG conversations I had with @nichole_meister about thrift store shopping for wool. I live close to a great thrift store that gives a 50% discount on prices twice a month so I marked my calendar and went shopping.

I purchased mostly skirts and a couple of dress jackets. After cutting everything apart I will probably never buy another jacket. Too many odd pieces and kind of labor intensive to cut up. I paid $1.50-$3.50 for the skirts. In the right picture at the top you can see I even found some leather. No plans for it either, but thought it would be good to add to my stash.

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I felted all of the pieces right when I brought them home and cut them apart after that. I definitely want to add some brighter, lighter pieces that have a little “electricity” to them.

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The only thing I’ve made with my “new” wool is a pincushion. I like the way it turned out. The texture is different than cotton and gives it an overall softer look.

Happy Quilting! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎


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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! ▶︎▶︎▶︎