Saturday, 22 January 2011

Useful and beautiful…

As William Morris said:
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
Years ago, when I was living in what felt like a bit of a nightmare, I actually painted this quote onto my bathroom wall so that I could read it and hold on to what it meant at frequent intervals throughout the day. I had to live in a flat that was totally hideous but as a temporary measure, which made it slightly more bearable. The bathroom in particular freaked me out.  I say bathroom, it didn’t actually have a bath and if it wasn’t so grotty, today it would have been fashionably called a wet room. The very worst thing about it for me was that there was a black seat on the toilet and every time I looked in there, it reminded me of a public convenience! Oh, and sliding door! 
Moving on.
After my little sewing session last week, I decided that it was high time indeed to actually make something else from one of my many sewing books.  I’m terrible at getting carried away adding books to my Amazon wishlist.  Then on a whim, buying a couple now and then, only to have them sitting pretty on my bookshelf.
The reason I bought this book was for the wonderful pin cushion caddy.  This often happens. I buy a whole book for the sake of one project.

Pin cushion caddy close-up

I’m more than happy with the way it turned out and, going with the flow, I thought I would use more of my precious FMF.

Pin cushion caddy (2)

But, and there is a very big BUT.  It actually turned out to be a nightmare.  I happily started cutting out the pattern and then the fabrics, taking extra care at double-checking the instructions as I went.  It all seemed to going smoothly until I reached the crucial stage of actually bringing the whole thing together.

Pin cushion caddy nightmare!

Was it me or was there something seriously going wrong here?  The outer cushion seemed to be two whole segments too big for the inner tube.  Having unpicked it a couple of times and altered my seam allowances, I made the wise decision to calmly put it down and eat.
With a clearer head, I went in search of answers on the internet and eventually found myself here.  So, it wasn’t just me!  There was a very detailed response from Anna Maria herself.  In the end, I took out the two surplus segments and started making progress again.

Pin cushion caddy work mess!
I’m trying not to get too disheartened over this frustrating episode, but I find it extremely annoying that it almost the done thing to check out the errata on books these days before you actually start something.
Moan over because despite it all, I am loving this useful and beautiful little item to pieces.


  1. What a brilliant idea... useful and so beautiful! Not sure I'd have the patience to make one though.

  2. It id perfectly lovely, though I do have to agree with you on the errata thing. Does no-one have their patterns tested independently?!

  3. Oh it is gorgeous. But I know just what you mean about the errata in craft (and cookery) books--aaargh!

    K x

  4. I think it's gorgeous. I can empathise though. I sat here the other night faffing about with cardboard diamond templates thinking I would knock up a quick cushion (as you do) Half an hour layer I threw the lot in the bin in a major strop and made a cup of tea instead. No patience. Grr.x


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