I'd seen the Effie & Ollie pincushion by Heather Bailey online, and when I wandered across it my local quilt store I had to get it. I googled it and found out a couple things -
1. people like to make them and sell them on etsy
2. stuffing the legs full enough so it will actually stand up seemed to be a daunting task, let alone stand up tall enough so the trunk isn't touching the ground.
I was too intimidated to make it so it's hung there on my corkboard for several months taunting me.
When the pincushion swap came up, I saw that my swap partner, Debbie at SewZalot.com, had some adorable animals in her projects, so it seemed like a fortuitous time to buckle down and try it. I'll say a bit about the pattern - It was mostly straightforward, but had to re-do part of it when I struggled with one of the 90 degree angles when it didn't line up correctly (there are some challenging angles awhich I hadn't worked with before), and other reviews I read were right, it IS a bit difficult to sew the last pieces on with all the curves and small pieces, mainly to get it to go together perfectly at the front point between the eyes.
Also, the opening on the elephant's stomach got stretched a bit when stuffing it, so I'd also recommend that minimally you baste back the seam allowances before stuffing, so it can be stitched closed more neatly than I was able to accomplish.
Now the pincushion I received, well my partner went all out. More details of her project are here. She managed to combine the theme of orange/blue/green with the fact that it's just about Halloween. I love her play on the orange to make it look like a pumpkin, how awesome is that? Not only that but she paid attention to every detail and included all these wonderful touches and extras (the flower pins!!! the little scissors with a hand stitched pouch!!! even a glittery spider!!!!). I love how it's a pincushion on one side and a roomy carrying pouch on the other, and she filled it with color coordinated sewing goodies!
|Apples to Oranges Sewing kit - done by Sewzalot|
And now it's time for a disclaimer -I just need to put a big rant here at the end. Projects swaps can be stressful! I am now pretty sure my sewing skills aren't ready to share with the world. I almost scratched the elephant and tried something different (simple) but stubbornly went ahead, and then I just panicked for a couple weeks until it was time to mail it. Phew!
I did cut out the fabric for an elephant for myself, and in retrospect it's obvious I should have made mine first to work out any kinks but I had my hands full with quilts, so I didn't, and it still hasn't gotten sewn together yet. If I do get brave enough to tackle a swap again, I'm taking a lesson from Debbie on how to make my swap item extra special.