First I swooned. Then I stitched.

Dear friends,

While searching the internet recently for embroidery inspiration, I stumbled across this creation . . . so charming, so lovely, so startlingly original that I swooned.


Source: Etsy

For days, I was obsessed with the notion of a stuffed pear. In the same way I get obsessed with an elaborate dessert and plan it over and over again in my head, I was inspired by this delightful combination of crazy quilting, embroidery and fiber art. I was determined to replicate the design.

So I spent Saturday afternoon making a prototype. Because I had no idea if I my experiment would be a rousing success or a colossal failure, I kept it simple — where simple equals starting at 1:30 pm and finishing at 7:30 pm. So, yeah, even simple art takes time. But I was happy with the result.


I had no idea before today that six hours stitching nothing more than a pincushion (or a windowsill tchotchke) could be such a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Had I adorned my pear as lavishly as the inspiration photo, I would have spent two or three afternoons stitching. Today, I just wanted to finish. To know whether or not my fading eyesight and increasingly stiff fingers could pull off such a thing. The answer, apparently, is yes, so next time I’ll take all the time I need to bling my baby up.

Speaking of next time, I recently ducked into a flea market on my way home from work and found a vintage quilt for a song. It was terribly tattered around the edges and ripped down one side. But at $17, enough of the quilt was intact that I couldn’t pass it up, especially since the top was made from a lovely shade of faded cotton the exact color of Jadite. (If you read this post last year, you know I have a kitchen full of Jadite dishes. The serene seafoam color associated with these vintage dishes is a shade I simply can’t resist.)

I envisioned cutting up my tattered quilt for a number of craft projects, including another pear pincushion. But before I cut into my vintage treasure, I had to know I could pull it off.  Today’s prototype pear made from inexpensive fat quarters purchased at Wal-Mart gave me the courage I need to stretch my sewing wings a bit more.  Now I’ve got more designs than I can keep up with swimming through my mind, all competing for my limited weekend  crafting time.

The good news is I won’t be bored for pretty much the rest of my life.

With gratitude {for my kickin’ new sewing machine, limitless inspiration, and enough spare time to pursue my textile dreams vigorously},

Joan, who thinks the internet is the coolest thing ever for crafters and is especially grateful to the lovely people who post free patterns and tutorials like this one


  1. Joan-Marie, I love your green pear! I may put my sister to the challenge of creating a Surprise Pear for you. My sister loves a challenge (and a commission). Stay tuned and watch out! You’ve unleashed a Pear-a-thon.

  2. Mdel — I totally know what you mean. After I made the first and realized I could do it, I dreamed of a pear series like a painter who explores one topic endlessly. Can’t you just SEE a bowl of them on my kitchen counter?

  3. Yes, I can see a bowl of them, or a row of them, or an aerial medley dropping from the ceiling. Fabric Foundry has a pear on the drawing table right now. The challenge IS ON!

  4. Oh my! What a great way to start a Monday morning . . . so excited!

  5. I like your pear even better than your inspiration (ins-pear-ation?)! Fabulous. So happy you’ve found a crafty groove to soothe your soul, and I can’t wait for some hand-crafted lovelies made expressly for me by YOU!!! xoxoxo


  1. […] was totally worth the wait . . . A trio of pears to complement my own (featured here), each more lovely than the last. Here’s my […]

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