Friday, July 3, 2020

Pincushion Reveal & Minnie Belle

I am happy to report that my pincushion project can be ticked off of my list of "things to do".  I have to laugh at how many hours I devoted to this little thing. :-D  But I am in love with it.

After working for a week on the cross stitch embroidery (yes a WEEK) it was time to get our my dear vintage Singer Featherweight sewing machine to sew the front to the cotton backing.  Meet Minnie Belle.  She's little but mighty. We have the most adorable member of Portland Women's Forum named Minnie Belle, she is African American and is 102 (or 3!) and has the best stories to tell.  So, when I got my cute little machine I named her after Minnie Belle.  I told her that I named it after her and she got a big kick out of that.

She is in her original carrying case and has all her fittings. There is an inset tray above the machine that holds all kinds of things such as the cord, foot pedal, bobbins, pins, etc.  I think she was built in 1946.

Here she is ready to go.  I have to admit it's been awhile since she's been set free from her confines and I had to hope I remembered how to wind a bobbin and run the thread through all the right places to the needle.  Dayle's mother was a professional seamstress and sewed for Jantzen for years.  So Dayle learned things from her about how to care for and use a sewing machine.  Which came in handy.. plus the book helped.

Minnie Belle has a lovely engraved panel on the front of it.

She came with two vintage oil cans.  The woman who we bought it from was wonderful.  She buys these darlings when she finds them, services them, replaces parts and test drives them for a month before finding a new home for them.  :-)

The book that came with it.  

 Can you believe I couldn't find a spool of white thread?  Well, if you knew how much crafty stuff is in our "office" you might believe it.  But I digress.  I would have to drive to town to buy one spool of thread.  Then I thought that maybe I could trade a dozen eggs for a spool of thread from my dear friend Bev who lives at the bottom of the same road we live on.  A phone call later and after catching up on the latest.. her husband Gary drove up and dropped off a bag and took the eggs.  When I looked in the bag I was amazed and so happy to see she'd gifted me with some fabric too!  I had mentioned I wanted to make some face masks but didn't have a fabric stash.  Bev is an absolute doll and so generous.  Thanks, BEV!!

So.. after finally embroidering in some more fireworks and fixing a few errors on the project.. I sat down in front of the machine, and sewed the backing to the cross-stitch.  After I was done I looked at it and OOOO MMMM GGGG!  I sewed the fabric on the wrong side!  Deep breath.  Pick, pick, pick..... I looked on in horror as the aida cloth was coming apart... lesson learned.. cut the aida wider when trimming.. sigh...

Pick, pick, pick.. almost done.

Let's try this AGAIN.  And yes, the back of it is pretty messy.

And then.. turning the work, stuffing it with raw cotton batting and getting out the needle and thread to sew the bottom closed.  My sewing box is a neat old Shaker box.. here's a fun idea, if you're a blogger, why not share your sewing box?

My needle holder is cute on the outside but pretty crazy on the inside.  I've had to tape down the foil holders with printed tape.  I have a new idea, I want to cross-stitch a new project and use it as the cover for a hand-made needle holder with felt pages.  I've googled my fingers off to find a kit or design and am coming up empty.  Suggestions?

I have collected several spools of this wonderful linen hand-sewing thread.  Heavy duty stuff.  I must tell you that I had a devil of a time sewing the bottom up as the aida had pulled out and I had to sew into the cross-stitches to close it up.  Not a pretty bottom.. but don't tell anyone.. I'm just glad it's done.  :-)

Betsy Ross is trying to take credit for all my hard work.  :-)


I am very pleased with my little pincushion.  Pattern by my blog friend Helen Philipps in her Etsy shop.  I did some changes - I made the flag more of an American flag and added more fireworks bursting in the air.  

Dayle brought in some fresh roses this afternoon.  :-)

And so.. that's it.  Now back to working on my purple shawl.  :-)

-:¦:-·:*'''''*:·-:¦:-* HAPPY 4th of JULY! *·-:¦:-·:*'''''*:·-:¦:-

((hugs)), Teresa :-)  


  1. Oh, it's lovely! I can't tell you how many masks I sewed the front to the back with the wrong side... it happens to us all but it sure is frustrating! Anyway, your pincushion is worth all of the trouble and shame on Betsy trying to take credit for you hard work! Happy 4th of July!

  2. well done, Teresa. There's always Youtube for bobbin winding and sewing questions. My sewing box is a plastic one from after high school, very boring. Your featherweight is a treasure. thanks again for sharing. Be safe and stay well. Happy 4th♥

  3. Thanks for sharing your celebratory pincushion-making narrative and great photos, dear Teresa! I think the pincushion turned out beautifully! Bravo for your perseverance and creativity! ❤️💙Happy 4th of July!❤️💙((hugs))

  4. I love it! That was one speedy stitching.
    We used to have a machine just like that one when I was a kid. I learned to sew on it. I have no idea what ever became of it. I sure wished I had it now. It was a real workhorse that never played tricks on you like the new ones do. Araignee

  5. Ann Wood Handmade has a pretty cool pattern for a needle book.

  6. Thanks for getting Minnie Belle out of her case. She is of course, so beautiful and lovely to use. ;-). The pincushion is great. I’ve had a google on needlebook case kits too, and can’t turn up much either. I did find this, how to make a piece of cross-stitch into a needlebook, I’m sure a clever lady like you could do that. Happy 4th July. CN x

    1. Thanks for looking for me. I do believe I will have to design one of my own. -:¦:-·:*'""*:·.-:¦:-·* HAPPY 4th of JULY! *·-:¦:-·:*'''''*:·-:¦:-

  7. Hi Teresa. 45 minutes it will be officially the 4th of July, so I'll wish you one just a bit early. Your pincushion is absolutely wonderful. I Love it. So patriotic. Picking is so tedious but unfortunately, it sometimes has to be done.
    I haven't seen a needlecase with cross-stitch but I could sure used one myself. I should see what I can find too.
    We hope you and Dayle are having a wonderful weekend. Last we heard there have been about 8 groups through our house since yesterday morning. I sure hope it sells soon before I have a chance to panic and change my mind. lol
    Happy 4th of July my dear friend. Stay safe.

  8. You've made a lovely job of it, and I love your sewing machine and your Shaker sewing box, absolutely gorgeous. I have my grandmother's old wicker sewing box which is lined with the softest velvet, completely faded, except on the undersides. I love it. And a little felt needle case that my mother's late cousin made for me when I was little. I have a bad habit of putting a couple of needles in the felt cover, which has worn it through over the years. It's lovely to have these things though. I hope you have a lovely day Teresa. CJ xx

  9. Love your blog Theresa, your photos are beautiful. Crafthouse Magic and Vintage sewing box for needle cases. Emma at vintage sewing box has a free pattern for a hexie needle case with felt inside.

  10. Happy 4th of July Teresa! Your little pincushion came out well. I really love your sewing machine, it looks so dainty and elegant, none of my machines come close.

  11. Teresa!! Your pincushion is fabulous. You did such a beautiful job on it and your stitches are so neat and tidy. I can't tell you how many times I've sewn the wrong sides together when making pincushions...obviously either very tired or just not paying close attention. It is grustrating though. Hope you and Dayle are enjoying a nice 4th of July weekend!

  12. Oh you did it! I can't believe you had to carefully take so much out!! It s a darling patriotic pillow.
    I love your shaker box !! Im still recovering from yesterdays debacles. BUt I slept well, and Teresa, just going back to my old knit shop , make my heart happy yesterday. IT felt so good to walk in there. The ride out was empty country roads lined with corn. I hope my comments have been coming through. Im using fieman's computer now but have been working with the new kindle all week. Love you!!!

  13. Bev sounds like a wonderful neighbor to have! :Love your cushion, it looks absolutely perfect to me. Happy 4th Teresa, stay safe.

  14. Hello Teresa. Just wanted to say Happy Fourth July to you and your family. xxxxx

  15. Fabulous Teresa and happy 4th to you all. I have my nannas felt type needle holder a friend gifted her in the very early 1900 😀😀

  16. Hello Teresa! Your pincushion is just darling. Jennifer Reynolds from has very detailed tutorials for making felt needle cases. Happy Fourth of July! We’re in Australia but this date is important to my husband and I as it is our wedding anniversary. My husband chose this date as it was his Independence Day to be married to me❤️

  17. I like your 4th of July counted cross Stitch piece. I've not done that in awhile. Megan has a Singer sewing machine like yours. 1943. It belonged to a friend's grandma. One Megan found in a storage unit she cleared out for her friend since friend lives out of state. I'll help her figure out how to use it since she's rarely seen. I like your Betsy Ross doll. I am feeling a bit better today. Thinking about driving a bit Monday in area by home b4 going elsewhere. Most likely working 2 days this week. Thurs vacation day. Not sure where we'll go. Not staying home all day. ×------× :*} Becky 🌈

  18. Wonderful work! You did a great job cross stitching your pincushion and I love all your pictures!! Sorry to be so late commenting on this sweet post....but I've had a big break from the computer/blogging etc and have only just returned! Hugs XXX


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