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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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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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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»Patty Young Fabric and Pincushions«

My latest batch of pincushions was made using Patty Young‘s fabric line, Lucy’s Garden, by Riley Blake Designs. In an Instagram post, Patty talked about her inspiration for this colorful line. I realized after reading about Patty’s inspiration, that there is a definite ‘art deco’ feel to the prints in this fabric. That element is so appealing to me and probably one reason I really like this line. In addition, I have a daughter named Lucy who was named after 2 grandmothers – so I really like that name.

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»Robin Pickens Fabric and Pincushions«

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.

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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! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎