Turtle Pincushions

I’ve been in craft-mode lately (as you can tell from recent posts). I’m taking a vacation from more serious projects and letting myself goof off, putting together little things for the fun of it, like the Christmas ornaments I finally finished.

Last week, I stopped in the local quilt shop and was struck by a cute pattern on the counter: Henrietta Turtle, a pincushion designed by Heather Bailey. The pattern hopped in my bag and I was cutting out fabric before I knew it. I made two turtles at once, one for me, one for a gift. I think the total time involved per pincushion was one to two hours (a very rough estimate). Here are the ones I made:

Before I put it together, I didn’t realize that the turtle actually rests on her stomach, not her legs. The gusset for the stomach looks like it makes the legs the only point of contact with the table, but when you stuff it, the tummy bulges out and winds up being the support.

I found this pattern rather fussy – lots of directions about where and how to clip the curves, for example. I probably made things hard on myself by using regular stabilizer instead of the iron-on kind, but it was all I had available at the time. I also quickly got frustrated working with the tiny pattern pieces to make the cute felt flower that gets sewn to the shell, which is why I wound up improvising my own designs instead.

In the end, the turtles did not come out as nicely finished as a would have liked (a couple wonky seams) but the worst of it is hidden under the shell.For some reason, when I stitched up the stuffing hole in the back, I gave the poor critters scoliosis. Still, it was a fun little project do, and I particularly enjoyed picking out the fabrics and making the embellishments.

P.S. For those wondering why I made myself yet another pincushion this year, all I have to say is: you can never have too many pincushions.

Author: Kit Dunsmore

Kit is a writer and an artist who adores living in Colorado. Whether she's hiking in the mountains or walking the prairies, she's always watching the wildlife in order to learn more about the natural world.

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