Storts Market

by Lesley Storts


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»Pincushion Particulars Post #4«

Fabric designer and quilt pattern maker Robin Pickens has created several lines of fabric with Moda Fabrics. I used fabric from Painted Meadow, Dandi Annie, and Dear Mum to create this batch of pincushions.

One piece of glass that I’ve had for some time is an old log salt cellar. I’ve had many thoughts over the years regarding what fabric to put in this glass and when I saw the bug fabric from Robin’s Dear Mum line, it seemed like it would be a perfect match with the glass log.

You can see in the second picture, the salt cellar without the pincushion, the damage around the inside edge. This is so common with salt cellars. It is evidence of the salt cellar being used for its original intent. In researching this particular salt cellar, one reference book states that Portland Glass, located in Portland, Maine, was the producer of this salt cellar. However, the authors make a notation that the attribution to Portland Glass is questionable. After a research endeavor, I could not find evidence either way or any other glass company credited with producing this salt.

Reference books state that this glass was made around 1860. Portland Glass company was in business from 1863-1873. I find the history associated with salt cellars so interesting. When I learned of its age, I began to wonder what else was going on in 1860s. Here’s a short history recap (some with links):

Abraham Lincoln voted in as President of the United States (1860)
Elevator Safety Brakes Patented (1861) – Interesting Podcast about Elevators
American Civil War (1861-1865)
Typewriter Patented (1868)
Traffic Light used for first time (1868)
Tungsten Steel Patented (1868)

This list gives a peek into items and inventions that still impact almost everyone’s lives today! If only that little salt cellar could talk, it might have some interesting information to share.

One more bit of trivia. I really enjoy listening to all kinds of music and put together a Spotify playlist of songs written around the 1860’s. If you were in the right place, you may have had the opportunity to hear them:

Lesley’s 1860’s Playlist

Robin’s attention to detail made using her fabric especially fun and interesting in making pincushions.

To see all of the pincushions up close, visit my Instagram @lesleystorts and @stortsmarket.

Happy Crafting and Quilting! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎


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»Pincushion Particulars Post #3«

This batch of pincushions was created using beautiful fabric designed by Anna Maria Horner.

Anna recently moved her brick and mortar store, Craft South, to a new location. One of her staff members contacted me about providing a batch of pincushions showcasing Anna’s fabrics. I was so honored to be asked and excited! I was given the freedom to use any of my AMH fabric. I do not have all of Anna’s fabric, but I have lot.

Pulling glass and fabric to put together is one of my favorite parts of the process in creating pincushions. I had a hard time editing myself to the batch I made.

Uranium glass, also known as vaseline glass, is a favorite! I’m always on the hunt for that glass. Paying attention to details such as the green in the flower and the matching green in the glass is something I watch for often.

Blue glass + fabric + button + thread = a happy maker – me! To see a little video of the pincushions, head over to my Instagram @lesleystorts.

Happy Crafting and Quilting! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎


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»Pincushion Particulars Post #2«

Reclaim – to retrieve or recover

When Lucy and I first started making pincushions, we frequented many antique shops hunting for just the right salt cellars. Over time, we started noticing other small dishes and finally ventured into different pieces to test if they would work. Ashtrays are a very common find. Some of the ashtrays we have found are made in beautiful patterns with interesting glass. Reclaiming and repurposing the glass spurs our imaginations and provides inspiration for creating.

Pretty pieces of glass can be designated for various uses. Additionally, if I “contain” something, even on my bathroom counter or dresser, it just looks neater – even if it’s messy in the container. I appreciate the various options, but making pincushions is usually my preference with pieces I bring home.

This pincushion is made with Extempore Fancy fabric designed by Sharon Holland and produced by Art Gallery Fabrics.

Happy Crafting and Quilting! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎


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»Pincushion Particulars Post #1«

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 ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎