I get questions in my shop about emery. Its a lovely little black sand that sharpens and cleans your pins and needles every time you use your pincushion. Emery also gives your pincushion a nice weighty feel, so your pincushion doesn't scoot away from you when you poke into it. I love it.
Emery comes Naxos- A beautiful Greek Island. Its the only place where pure emery can be found.
Acording to Greek mythology, Naxos was a hot place back in the day. It turns out that 2 giant brothers, Otus and Ephialtes were at war with the gods, so the beautiful Artemis married Otus in order to bring peace to the island. I tell ya, if women ran the world....
Well back to Emery.
If you use a lot of emery, like I do, you'll find it gets everywhere. I found a little trick to keep it in my pincushions and off of the floor.
Here is what you need.
You'll also need a frosting bag, a straw, cellophane tape, a scissors and a clip or barrette.
1. Cut the tip off of the frosting bag, just big enough to accommodate the straw. You want it to be a tight fit, but not pinched.
2. Cut a piece of straw about 1 inch long and put it into frosting bag. Push it through so it extends about 1/4" inch past the bag.
3. Using tape, secure the straw onto the bag.
4. Fill the bag with emery.
5. Fold over the end of the bag and secure with a piece of tape. Don't go nuts here, you'll need to open and close the bag to refill it from time to time.
I don't fill my entire pincushion with emery. I like the look of a softer filling, like polyester fiberfill. It makes them look plump and soft. But I do like to access that emery when my needles get dull. I have also heard that using emery all of the time may wear off the steel plating on some types of pins.
So I create a little emery pocket that sits inside the pincushion. It is almost as wide as the pincushion I'm making and about 1/2" thick. I then stuff the remaining cavity with polyester fiberfill so it is jammed packed and very plump.
When I'm finished filling my pincushion pocket, I just use a barrette to close off the tip of the bag. I like the barrette because it doesn't squash the straw and is easy to open and close with one hand.
So get some emery. Use it in your next pincushion!