I FINALLY finished the pincushion caddy I started last week. The pattern can be found in Seams to Me: 24 New Reasons to Love Sewing by Anna Marie Horner. I have the book out on loan from the library and it has a lot of great projects in it so buy it or go check it out.
Back to the review: I started the pattern last week. I cut out the 8 wedge pieces and sewed them together and then was at a standstill because I did not have any double sided heavy fusible interfacing and didn't get around to picking some up till Tuesday this week. I used Peltex 2 which is super heavy, like posterboard. They also make it as a single sided fusible, which is called Peltex 1. So now that I had the Peltex 2, I assembled my inner tube and then proceeded to attach it to the outside ball. It did not fit (outside ball was too large). The pattern said to sew all of your seams for the 8 outside pieces at 3/8" (which was a challenge for me since I do not have a 3/8" marking on my machine). It suggested increasing the depth of your seams if it did not fit, so I guess they anticipated this happening. I resewed all of the seams at 1/2". And it still did not fit, but was much closer this time around. I then resewed every other seam at 5/8" and left the others at 1/2" and it finally fit. It's worth mentioning that the wedge pattern is not symmetrical (one end tapers more than another) but I ignored this fact so it could also contribute to the fitting. I would pay more attention to this next time and try to keep like ends of the 8 wedges together. I sewed the tube to the outer ball together with little trouble, but not without a few puckers. I would probably handsew this seam if I ever make it again.
Next is to sew the inside base of the tube to the bottom of the tube. I guess because of the fiddling I did with the outer ball seams it was a smidge too small (or maybe the non-symmetry??). I had sewed most of it before I realized though (by hand) so just made it work. When I say a smidge, I really mean a smidge. It just sorta curves up in the center so really a non-issue. You then baste (by hand) the outer ball to the edge of the bottom of the tube and then can start stuffing the ball. Mine is overstuffed, but I don't really care at this point. That could explain why it took me nearly 3 hours to stuff the darn thing. I used a large knitting needle to get the stuffing around to the side opposite the opening. I think if I ever make it again, I may leave two wedges partially open to help in the stuffing.
Lastly, you handsew a larger circle to the base of the cushion. Instead of using the method suggested in the book to form the bottom circle, (which involved aluminum foil and cardboard) I just used more of the Peltex 2. This worked well because I was able to fuse the raw edges to the wrong side of the circle. I used a piece of parchment paper to make sure the Peltex 2 did not stick to my iron or board.
I'm pretty sure I will make this again someday. My mom was oohing and aahing over it so I think she needs one too. And I'll know what to do differently next time. However, it is HUGE... that is really not a problem, I just was not prepared for how large it was going to be.
Here it is after it "swallowed" the husband's iPhone...
And the underside... I love the that print on the circle.. yes it is almost as tall as a 16 oz water bottle.
I really do love the finished pincushion. I used the Denyse Schmidt fabrics I've been hording for it. It is not a quick project. I think from start to finish, minus the week long rest period, it probably took me close to 8 hours. If you do not like handsewing, then look for another project. You handsew 4 seams in this project. I have the claw to prove it.
Oh, and I rewarded myself with some stash-enhancements today. One of the local quilt shops was having a ridiculous sale on fat quarters. Also hit Joann's for a few items, including some sharps needles, which are longer than the quilting needle I used for all the handsewing. I will certainly need them if I do any more handsewing to avoid the dreaded claw... my hand is still tingly.