Magical Emery

Magical Emery

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....
There's more- it seems that Theseus dumped Ariadne of Crete on Naxos after she helped him slay the Minotaur and get out of the Labyrinth. Again...women. We rock.

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.
Emery. I get mine from LoveLaurie on Etsy. She's great and fast! Check out her pincushions when you are there.
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.
I use my emery bag to fill that pocket. Just insert the straw tip into a small muslin circle (sewn into a small pincushion shape).
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!


jackie said...

That's a good tip, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your tips about filling a cushion with emery, and the handy way to use an icing bag - very creative and useful! thanks for sharing