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 #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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»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! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎