Pincushion challenge on Instagram

I know I have been rather absent here, for which I am most apologetic. I have been in a frenzy of making, writing, planning… I will have more to tell you about all of that, but in the mean time I thought I’d tell you about the fun Instagram challenge I joined in with in August. Tinkerellen (well worth a follow on IG, she is so talented and an all round sweet person) set up the hashtag #pinnieparade and challenged us to share a photo of a handmade pincushion every day of the month. I confess I mostly shared pics of pincushions I’ve made over the last 6 years or so (and I have made a LOT), but I did make some new ones:

Pinnie parade day 11a
This one is made with some left-over stitched strips of silk tweed I sewed together when I created this leaf brooch. These gorgeous fabrics are from Beyond Measure.


Liberty blue pincushion
For this pincushion I used some tiny Liberty lawn and Oakshott cotton blocks that I had made for a miniature quilt which didn’t happen! The main theme to this blog post is, NEVER THROW ANYTHING AWAY!


Pinnie parade day 15
A square hexie pincushion I made as a sample for my class in English Paper Piecing at Hollies Haberdashery. It’s a bit on the large size for a pincushion, but easier for my beginner-stitchers to sew together!


Pinnie parade day 18
For this little pinnie I used some triangles I cut a long time ago when I made this mini-quilt for the Schnitzel and Boo swap back in late 2015.  So yes, scraps and orphan blocks are never wasted – I try and make sure I store them in ziplock bags so I can find them easily when an idea comes to mind.


Pinnie parade day 7
Lovely Sarah from the fabulous Duck Egg Threads sent me some of this gorgeous Liberty print, Adelajda, because she know it is my favourite. I couldn’t resist making a heart with it, and adding some hand crocheted lace. Makes me very happy, this pincuhsion – if it appeals to you, you can find it in my Etsy shop.


Pinnie parade day 23
Some more tiny bits of Liberty that I found in my ‘leftovers’ box – I can’t remember what I made these strips for, but I think they look right at home where they are now. This one is also for sale over in my Etsy shop, if it takes your fancy.


Pinnie parade day 25
There’s a story behind this one.. I was listening to the wonderful musician Chris Thile on YouTube last night talking about the uniqueness of each individual’s inner response to music… he finished with the brilliant affirmation – You’re It! Got me thinking that as stitchers we all see things differently and make things differently, according to our unique inner vision and perceptions of colours, patterns, fabrics, textures, moods, etc. Such a hopeful thought when self-criticism is dominating. I thought I’d try and remind myself of this on a daily basis with a new pincushion for my workroom.


Pinnie parade day 21
And last, but not least, and probably my favourite – this one is made with some of my favourite scraps, pieced together willy-nilly, just for fun.

Hope you enjoy all the pics! Instagram has such a lovely quilting and sewing community,it’s well worth joining if you have been wary of yet more social media. I generally find it a fairly positive place, and Instagram challenges like this one are a great non-pressured way to expand your creativity (and use up fabric scraps!).

Using colour palettes for mini-patchwork

I wanted to share my latest piece of miniature patchwork hoop art with you. It’s a 3 inch embroidery hoop with a 1.5 inch flying geese patchwork block. The geese are 3/8 inch high and are foundation pieced (SO much easier for miniature patchwork). I’ve added a border of yarn-dyed Essex linen to finish the project.

Mini patchwork flying geese hoop art inspired by 100 days of curated colour

I am working on lots of these hoops at the moment. Firstly because I love making them, secondly because I have been commissioned to make some by a friend, and thirdly because I hope to sell some in the retail space at the newly refurbished Spode Heritage Centre – my studio is also located on the Spode Works site, and I am so proud to be there, I would be blown away to be able to have stock in their shop!

I’ve been using the colour palettes I’ve been putting together for my #100daysofcuratedcolour project on Instagram for inspiration. This particular hoop was inspired by Day 57/100:

Color curated moodboard by Very Berry for #the100dayproject - 57/100 green pink peach lilac

This is the original image on Design Seeds that I used to put the palette together in the first place. I hope you can see the connections!

I’ve used tiny pieces of fabric from my vast quantity of Liberty lawn scraps, that take up (can you believe) an entire 6-drawer Trofast unit from Ikea! When faced with a scrap mountain of this size, having the colour palette photos to work with is a huge advantage, because it gives me somewhere to start, instead of randomly rummages around in the piles of scraps. For an easily-overwhelmed stitcher, it’s such a bonus to have them.

You can find (almost) all of the colour palettes I’ve made so far over on Pinterest, or through my Instagram tag #100daysofcuratedcolour – if you’d like to see more, and maybe use them to inspire your own work.

The cute little 3 inch hoops are available from my lovely sponsors Cloud Craft, who also sell the amazing Snipster scissors pictured too. Do support my writing here at Very Berry by visiting my sponsors.

100 Days of Curated Colour – Week 11

Back in April I started the #the100dayproject – an Instagram art project that’s being undertaken by 1000s of people. Of course, when you start one of these longish-term projects (I am curating 100 colour flatlay photos of fabrics and haberdashery, inspired by colour palettes from Design Seeds – #100daysofcuratedcolour), you have no idea what life is going to throw at you in the meantime. The past few weeks have been a slog – I am having one of those times when I am being reminded on all sides of our insecurity, impermanence and fragility, as friends and family struggle with illness, difficult times and downright appalling tragedy. The little gang of us here at home are all fine, but our hearts are aching for our dear friends and family.

One hundred days of curated colour header

So, muddling about with bits of fabric and thread, colours and prints, focusing on these small but beautiful harmonies of colour, enjoying the gorgeous photos on Design Seeds has been a blessed relief. It has been good to have a very structured creative project to focus on and enjoy. I hope you are enjoying them too. I have just a couple of weeks to go on Instagram, but I am a bit behind on here, so maybe 3 more posts (I should be able to do the math, but don’t have energy!

Color curated moodboard by Very Berry for #the100dayproject - 71/100 blue yellow grey

71/100: Design Seeds – Color Collage: Color Confetti

Color curated moodboard by Very Berry for #the100dayproject - 72/100 red purple grey blue lilac

72/100: Design Seeds – Market Hues: Fresh Hues

Color curated moodboard by Very Berry for #the100dayproject - 73/100 pink lilac blue

73/100: Design Seeds: Heavenly Hues: Color Set

Color curated moodboard by Very Berry for #the100dayproject - 74/100 blue red green

74/100: Design Seeds – Wanderlust: Color View

Color curated moodboard by Very Berry for #the100dayproject - 75/100 green brown grey

75/100: Design Seeds – Flora: Flora Tones

Color curated moodboard by Very Berry for #the100dayproject - 76/100 coral pink green blue cream

76/100: Design Seeds – Flora: Flora Tones

the100daysproject day 77Color curated moodboard by Very Berry for #the100dayproject - 77/100 blue green mustard yellow

77/100: Design Seeds – Wanderlust: Mental Vacation

Not sure if I have an overwhelming favourite this week, although I do like (quite surprisingly for me!) 76, which is so fresh and pretty. On Instagram 73 was the clear winner, although 75 had some fans too. I always love to know your favourites, so do let me know.