Saturday, November 23, 2013

A new tiny world teacup pincushion and a New Tutorial: Hop to it!

I recently purchased four tiny Wedgewood cups at the local thrift shop and I though they would be perfect for more tiny world make-do pincushions. But what comes in fours? The seasons of course!

Here is the first season, Autumn!

I embroidered leaves on the ground with some lovely variegated floss.

The other three seasons are in the works. If you would like to win a free copy of the Mimi Kirchner Make-Do Tiny World Pincushion pattern so you can make your own scroll down to the bottom of this post to find out how to enter.

It is nice to hide surprises in quilts. My Mom will hide a coin in the quilt sandwich (the year on the coin is the year the quilt was made). I like hiding things like initials or grasshoppers! They are a little surprise for the recipient of the quilt. And my favourite surprise is a grasshopper like this little fellow or a cricket!

I made quilts for two children and told them I hid a grasshopper in each quilt. They had loads of fun searching for their grasshoppers! Do you remember my Lazy Girl quilt top? I thought it would benefit from a hidden grasshopper so today I'll demonstrate how I make them!

I love this fabric because it is loaded with all sorts of interesting flowers and leaves that can easily be converted into "bugs" - a veritable metamorphosis!

I cut out the portion of the fabric I want to use for he body making sure to leave a seam allowance of roughly 1/8" all around.

I pin the body where it will be stitched being sure the tip the back end down a little. I often for a colour that is similar to the grasshopper so it is camouflaged!

I needle-turn appliqué the body in place. I'll use two strands of two colours of floss to embroider the legs and antennae. I like red and green but you can use whatever colours tickle your fancy!

First step is to use two strands of red floss to stitch a line for the thigh.

Next I use two strands of green floss to stitch all around the red line to make a nice chubby thigh!

For the last part of the hind leg I stitch the shin and a little foot pointing backwards. I weave my floss through the stitches on the wrong side and bring my needle up through the fabric just a little ahead of the thigh.

I stitch the next little leg and then weave my floss through the stitches on the wrong side and bring my needle up near the front where I will stitch the third and final leg.

Once the leg is stitched I weave my floss through the stitches on the wrong side and bring my needle up through the head just below the edge.

I stitch the antenna and then weave my floss through the stitches on the wrong side and bring my needle up just a little in front of the first antenna right at the edge of the applique.
 I stitch the last antenna and I am done!
You can always use your Sakura Pigma pens to add details such as an eye or shading or you could add a little bead for an eye!
Here are some examples of the grasshoppers that I've added to quilts and other projects.
There was a little knick in the backing fabric of my quilt Centre Ice so I covered it up with a grasshopper. So little hidden appliqués can be used to cover mistakes! Read about how my Mom used killer bees to camouflage some problems.
This one was hidden in Orange Crush. If you visit my Patterns by Karen H tab you will find a free pattern for this quilt.
This critter is hiding in a tote bag. I used variegated thread for the antennae!
 This one is hiding in my Lazy Punk quilt.
And one last grasshopper with and inchworm and a bee and from my quilt Flora and Fauna, Parts of the Garden. Want to make a bee? Read all about it here!
And now here's the info about my give-away! You could win a Tiny World Make-Do Pincushion pattern from Mimi Kirchner. Mimi posted pictures of her newest teacup pincushions on her blog. To enter the draw for the pattern go my November 21 post and leave a comment!  I will reply to each comment so if you don't hear back from me it is likely because you are a no reply/anonymous blogger so you'll need to provide an email address in your comment in a format such as name(at)emailhost(dot)com. The winner will be announced on November 27th!
For now I want to get back to my Love Entwined quilt so until I post again, happy sewing!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Janet! They are so much fun to make. Isn't it nice to have these little details in a quilt? I think so!

  2. I love your grasshoppers. Lately I have been including quirky fabrics such as coffee beans in my quilts. My nephew's quilt has a few camo fabrics since he is military, not really a surprise for him.

    1. It's so great to have a little personal signature for your quilt. The coffee beans fabric sounds interesting. As far as the camo fabric goes it might not be a surprise but it is special nonetheless!

  3. So darn cute, great tutorial I will try this for sure when I ever get settled.

    1. Thanks Bunny! I hope you'll post pictures on your blog when you make them!

  4. Adorable. I love the idea of hiding something in your quilts. Thanks for a great tutorial.

    1. You are very welcome Paula! Heather commented that she uses coffee bean fabric in her quilts so that is another way of personalizing a quilt and making it special!

  5. Love the grasshopper Karen! I think I need my own signature item to hide. I'll have to think on that! And the seasonal tiny worlds are going to be adorable!

    1. How about a molar given you moniker? It is a cold day today so maybe it is a good time to start working on the spring pincushion (a little wishful thinking maybe)!

  6. Fun grasshopper! I also think it is a genius way to cover a wee mistake.

    Thanks so much for sharing :)


    1. I got the idea from my Mom. She made a quilt "Afrika" and there were some problems with the quilting. Rather than rip it out she just covered them up with African killer bees! They were functional and added so much interest to the quilt that she added a bunch of them!

  7. Oh yes Karen,
    that was the one, Iove it, thank you.