Thursday, May 5, 2011

Roses are white, roses are blue; I love pin cushions, how 'bout you?

(All pictures are untouched, other than re-sized for a faster upload and watermarked. 
Colors should be true, but will vary depending on monitor settings.)

A latest Etsy find, Agusta aka "Gussie" is a Victorian, cottage-inspired teacup pin cushion by Nanas Trunk. Etsy never fails to amaze me on how many talented people inhabit the earth and how many creative individuals find positive ways to up-cycle the old into fabu. This piece was too good to pass, as the unique elegance and functionality was just the ticket for my studio color scheme. You might want to give this a whirl, but as for me, eh, I don't think I could have come up with a better combination.

If you haven't already seen on a past post, I crocheted a gown set. I actually finished two sets and am now on my third, but this time I thought I'd try white thread and make the gown an extravagant 32" long. I still have to take pics of the second gown; I'll get to it soon.

Jax is in a rapid growth spurt stage. It was starting to get really boring; mornings are usually occupied by a busy baby who works tirelessly to arrange his toys carelessly on the floor as I tag along behind picking up the trail. Now he sleeps all morning as his body grows rapidly.  I crocheted to a cup of coffee until my eyes crossed and my fingers pierced with pain. When is that kid going to wake up?! Taking a break, I thought a little dabble with ribbon rose practice would fill the time, when all of a sudden I remembered Frank had picked up a pack of miniature ribbon roses a while back. One thing led to another and I decided to turn these mini ribbon roses into pretty pins for my tea cup pin cushions to boot. If you would like to make a few of your own, you are in the right place!

(Tip: Cotton Bales make a unique pin cushion. You can find miniature cotton bales online. The one I used is already considered a miniature version and was once a make shift stocking holder last Christmas. The internet is a magical universe; surprise, surprise, these cotton bales are available in even smaller sizes, about 2 inches, which is a good scale for pin cushions and ornaments.

Little Bales of Cotton

To make ribbon rose pins for your pin cushion, you will need:

5/8" Ribbon Roses (A pack is about $1. 29 for an 8 piece pack)
Glue (I used Crafter's Pick "The Ultimate" adhesive, but use what suits you)

Out of the pack, the ribbon roses will need to be tacked along the bottom and each petal secured with a long piece of thread and needle. Over sew a couple times to lock the thread in place and weave in and out catching petals along the bottom perimeter and interior of the rose carefully. When all petals have been secured insert your needle and thread from the center bottom up through the center top and back down again. Take your pin and stick it through the rose, from the top, down the center middle and begin to stitch around the pin with the needle and thread gathering tightly for a snug fit. At this point the ribbon rose should be taut enough to hug the pin, but if you'd like to set it permanently, lift up the pin and dab a spot of adhesive between the pin head and the center of the ribbon rose. Push the pin back into place, swirling it around evenly distributing the glue. Allow to set before use.

... and you should have something that goes like this!

(If you noticed there is a blue birds egg nest pendant sitting between the pins. I got that on Etsy as well from Branches by Megan Darienzo. It's a sweet necklace that wears beautifully. Jewelry is not my thing, but every once in a while I find something I like and though I don't wear jewelry often, I still enjoy them in different ways. This is something I do like to put on when I'm feeling fancy-like.)

Oh and wait! There's this crafty crochet rose I've tried lately, I always wondered how to crochet a rose and now I can say, "You bet I can crochet a bad butt rose!", uh-uh, uh-uh (dancing and swoosh-shaking booty side-to-side).

I watched a tutorial on youtube which was sort of helpful. I had to watch it over and over (and over and over and over) again to understand it because she left out some steps and details. After several practice roses, I figured the darn thing out. Still, watch the video as it does help and I have to thank her for the pretty rose that she was happy to share. Note that I added four more double crochets (10 total) to form a thicker petal, whereas she uses six double crochets. Also, it doesn't state what size crochet hook to use and I'm guessing she's using worsted weight yarn. For this, I just grabbed whatever, but specifically for the sample above I used size I / 9 - 5.50mm crochet hook and left over worsted weighted acrylic yarn. The instructions are:

Chain 17 (for rose bud) 34 (for full rose)

1st Row: DC in fifth chain from hook, chain 1, DC in same st, chain 1, skip next chain *DC in next chain, chain 1, DC in same st, chain 1, skip next chain* repeat from star to end of row

2nd Row: Chain 3, 9 DC in 1st chain 1 space, *SC in next chain 1 space, Skip next DC, 10 DC in next chain 1 space, skip next DC* repeat from star to end of row.

Finish off leaving a long tail. Roll to form a rose. Tack in place with remaining tail weaving in and out starting from the bottom and around sticking the needle (embroidery needle) through the center and along the sides catching some yarn from the petals working back towards the center in this manner until you are satisfied that it is secured and extra lovely.


  1. Hi!
    Thanks for dropping by my blog and taking the troublke to leave a comment! Sorry to have disapointed you on the milk paint front. I havent used it, but became intrigued by it a year or so ago and am determined to make my own - i found a recipe in a book, and am happy to share that with you if you are looking for that sort of thing. There are also specialists that sell ready prepared milk paint too, but i havent looked into it recently.
    Good luck with it all! Sounds interesting what you are experimenting with!
    Love the little vintage cup pincushion idea!
    Am glad you did leave a comment as now i've found your blog - will def try those cute crochet roses - thanks for sharing the pattern.
    Gill x

  2. Hi Gill! I'm glad to have run into your blog as I have found some helpful hints and it's also nice to read through other posts. I have refinished furniture several times in the past, but there's always tips and hints that are helpful for the next project. I only learned about milk paint last year and really wanted to use it. I decided to find pieces of furniture on craigslist that I could play with and am currently using the brand Real Milk Paint. I am interested in seeing your recipe in a blog post with the results - sounds fun! I've tried many other techniques and paints, but am digging milk paint so much.


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