Storts Market

by Lesley Storts


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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.

Being able to capture the beautiful faces of three horses was a bonus!

Succulent Surprise was one of my favorite prints in this line. The saturated colors spanning the rainbow worked well with larger cuts, such as the one above in Ittala glass. The fabric is beautiful coming through the bottom of this interesting glass.

Hunting for small cuts of the succulent fabric was enjoyable for the salt cellar glass.

I was drawn to the Birdseye Mustang print because of its whimsy and variety of colors. Using a colored piece of glass works well to highlight the blue within the print as well as showcase the glass.

Pincushion Pals made with Lorraine’s fabric.

The glass color of the salt cellar below is a deep red, possibly “brick red”. Finding a snippet of fabric that shows off the glass and fabric at the same time requires patience in waiting for the right piece of fabric. I leave pieces of glass sitting out in my workspace waiting for inspiration. It’s surprising how many times I have a piece of glass there and happen to lay down a piece of fabric and the two seem like perfect companions.

The cut of fabric came from a cactus that was in the Calico Horses print. The picture below is the cactus but glued onto the bottom of the pincushion of the large ashtray. It’s easy to see the beautiful strokes of color used in the red glass salt cellar from this cut of fabric.

The Lupine Valley print has saturated colors of violet and periwinkle with touches of green and pale pink. This print is beautiful! The gentle scalloped edge of the clear pedestal glass seemed like a perfect match with this fabric.

This print also works well for smaller fussy cuts.

This batch of pincushions have all been sent to new homes. Little pieces of art from Lorraine and I have been sent all over the world! I had orders from Australia, Finland (a first for me), and from all across the U.S. Making the pincushions and matching pins is such a pleasure. I am grateful and happy that I’m not the only one who enjoys them!

Happy quilting and sewing! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎


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Uranium Glass Pincushions

I’m fascinated by uranium glass, sometimes called vaseline glass due to its yellow color. Officially, it is uranium glass because it has powdered uranium mixed in when the glass is being produced. I just think it’s kind of magical.

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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! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎