Tree Stump Pincushion

As part of 30 Days of Pincushions, Tina has generously provided this pincushion for one Sew Weekly reader to win! Additionally, she's providing Sew Weekly readers with a 15% discount off anything at her shop. Instructions on the discount and how to win this pincushion can be found at the bottom of this post.

image from Name: Tina Rodas
Shop name: hi tree!
Location: Los Angeles, CA
How long on Etsy: February of 2008

Why do you craft?
That is a loaded question, and something I feel very passionate about. I craft to challenge myself. With every single thing I make, regardless of if I have made the same item 1,000 times, which in most cases I have, I evolve, My aesthetic evolves, my skills evolve, my vision evolves, EVERYTHING about what I do evolves. It is a never ending process of evolution. It is the single most fulfilling thing I have ever done, aside from creating a real, live, breathing human. I will continue that evolutionary process until I stop breathing. This is why, if you love to create, you should never ever stop. Even when you are having a total creative block, it is important to revisit something you have already made in the past and make it again and again and again. Every time you remake that object you learn something new. I promise.

Who (or what) is an inspiration for your pincushions? 
The inspiration for my tree stumps came from an interesting (if you ask me) source.I always see my work as being really happy and cute. I felt the need to make something a little sad and twisted. The tree stumps don't look sad, but if you think about it…they are dead trees! Sad face. Other than that, they stem from my overwhelming need to move the hi tree design aesthetic into the 3rd dimension. Next thing you know, I will be applying the same design principles to big tree trunks with twisted branches. It's all part of the evolution. 

Any new projects you want to tackle? 
I would love to do a HUGE forest installation in an art gallery or museum complete with large versions of my hi tree® tree designs, mushrooms, life sized tree stumps, felt grass and life sized unicorns. Mark my words: One day, this WILL happen.

Thanks, Tina! Be sure to visit her Etsy shop and check out her other pincushions for sale! Sew Weekly readers will receive 15% off their orders by using the discount code: SEWWEEKLY at checkout.

Want to win this pincushion? You just have to answer the following question:

What's one ambitious project of yours that you're going to MAKE happen?

Each giveaway is open for twenty-four hours from the time of posting. Please only post one comment in each thread. Winners will be announced each Monday in April. Winners can only win once but are encouraged to answer all the questions! 



Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


Comments are closed.

  1. A dress, just any dress… BY MY OWN, without mum’s help. That’s THE project, sewing any item of clothing with no expert hands on the side. I hope I’m able to do that by October, when I get my PhD…lots of free time coming..

  2. it may not be very abitious to some of you but, for me who has had limited dressmaking skills I am going to make (starting this week infact) and dress to wear to my sisters wedding. Her wedding will be very traditional with lots of young and glamerous types all very shopaholics, I plan to wear something I made!!!

  3. My project that I’m determined to do one day (ideally within the next 6 months – that’s the time limit I’m setting myself for it!) isn’t actually anything to do with sewing for a change – I want to learn to make basic furniture, and build a bookcase and a couple of sets of drawers myself! (Scary!)

  4. sewing my first clothing piece since 7th grade – a tunic! I’m actually starting today!! =)

  5. I’m oddly over-confident for someone who just starting sewing again for the first time since she was 14. I’ll see a pattern and as a reflex my mind will go “oh, that’s too hard for you”, but I’ll instantly realise that the voice in my head is my mother/middle school sewing teacher/aunt, and the moment I realise the voice isn’t mine all fears (unduly!) go away.
    Over the next few weeks I am making a pair of WWII overalls, though, and people are always saying that trousers are difficult to get right. I’m, of course, over-confident it’ll be fine.

  6. Hrm….in terms of ambitious projects, I’d say a historical corset. But that’s a ways down the road for when I take a corsetting course. Right now I am more focused on VOLUME. Must sew more and get productivity up. Maybe push for 2 hours a day of sewing with larger blocks on my days off (which are not a lot since I’m a workaholic, too bad my job isn’t sewing related!)

  7. The perfect sundress. With the perfect bodice, straps, fabric, length, ect… I am on my second and I always make the mistake of trying to combine two fabrics and the dress goes from great to a little strange.

  8. A tailored jacket, handstitched padding and hair canvas…the lot…before next winter, it makes me hyperventilate thinking about it. I know, I know, little bites of the elephant and it won’t be soooo bad. Doing lots of research now. Wish me luck!

  9. I want to make one of those quilts for my graduating son out of his old t-shirts from activities he participated in over the years.

  10. Fitted pants!!! I’ve never done pants before, but I want to get over my trouser fear!

  11. I want to start drafting my own patterns!

  12. A thoughtful wardrobe made by me. I want all the pieces to work together either in color or shape.

  13. I’d really like to design my own dress from scratch this year. And while an entirely homemade wardrobe isn’t necessarily something I’m trying to do fast, I can see it happening one day.

  14. Mastering the uneven grading a 50s pattern by reducing the bust without altering the waist and hip. I’m a self taught sewer and getting the fit right has almost driven me insane – I have a very, VERY large pile of discarded muslins! I’m determined to eventually get the pattern right – though it may take all year as I have to tackle it in small doses (repetitive failure is discouraging!)

  15. Love the tree stump and mushrooms! So cute!
    I want to reupholster two midcentury modern chairs!

  16. Very natural and cute. I am determined to finish this night-gown I started. It is sew based off a vintage pattern from the 1800’s.

  17. I really want to make a go to dress that I can remake in endless combinations and designs. That pincushion is amazing!!

  18. Actually I just finished it yesterday. I decided I would make a vintage shirt from the early 50’s and do everything based on that time frame. I flat felled all the seams, covered buttons with fabric and handmade the buttonholes. All went pretty well but I admit the handmade buttonholes were really challenging. Now I want to try it again on a more complex pattern, draft the shape to fit me more exactly and do as much by hand as possible so either buttonholes or hand picked zipper!
    And I do love your pincushions, they are really fun!

  19. it’s not terribly ambitious (for me, anyway), but i’m gearing up to make my own handmade western shirt – you know, those crazy button-ups that you see at the rodeo, with the embroidery & piping & pearl snaps. i want to do my embroidery by hand and i want to construct it like a classic men’s shirt – flat-felled seams & all. i have my pattern & fabric, but i’m still picking up pieces and getting ready to master my muslin.

  20. I plan on opening my own retail-boutique store front! It is terrifying in so many ways, but exhilirating too. I am still in the early stages, but I am determined to make it happen.

  21. I would love to be able to design knit and sewn garments. Sometimes I feel like I’m not actually creative, just someone who’s able to follow instructions.

  22. Sew my first dress with an awesome fabric I just bought at my local fabric store!

  23. One ambitious goal of mine is to make a dress from a 1938 repro pattern for the SeaBee Ball (it’s a Navy thing). It’s so elegant and simple but I have yet to make any dress so I’m a little nervous. It WILL happen though, oh yes, it will happen!

  24. My ambitious project is to make myself a corset. I’ve never dealt with grommets or any kind of boning and, frankly, they seem so intimidating, but I will (one day) make one!!

  25. My late 1830s outfit–I have the chemise and a petticoat done! But there’s so much more to work on…

  26. One of the vintage dress patterns I’ve been collecting…since I’m bigger than most of these patterns, I will have to do some serious grading up.

  27. Shannon Burchard

    I intend to attempt a gown for a formal occasion.

  28. margueritedesigns

    Finishing my suit, of which I’ve made the tartan skirt. There’s a plain jacket to match, which I keep putting off, because I want to get it right. I want it to happen thought!

  29. buttonholes. for me, that’s ambitious.

  30. A hand tailored suit, a tailored wool coat, and a fully boned and structured dress. I like being ambitious with most things I do, and usually it gets me in a lot of trouble. ;)

  31. I really want to tackle a raincoat. I love the new rain coat fabrics.. They are so bright and pretty and you cant buy a raincoat in those pretty colors.
    I have never sewed that fabric I am nervous to attempt it..

  32. my next ambition pattern is the colette macaron dress. The Colette patterns do not fit my figure very well, so i know it will be a challenge.

  33. My t shirt quilt. I started cutting it out in 2007. Someday it will be complete!!

  34. Ok, it’s the foundation of my crafting but yet it always gets pushed to the side. I MUST organize my craft room. Right now it looks like an explosion of crafts has taken place. Trying to keep up with sewing challenges, knitting goals, and cross stitch projects has finally taken it’s toll of my craft room. My big project before the summer is to take stock and clean out my craft room for more crafting zen.

  35. Queen-size quilt for my and my husband’s bed. The size is a challenge for me and of course I picked not the simplest of designs, Denyse Schmidt’s Single Girl pattern.

  36. A wall hanging quilt in memorial of the victims of Japan’s quake and tsunami. I’m not much of a quilter, but I continue to feel compelled to do this.

  37. I love the trees they are all so cute.
    One ambitious project? I think it is to actually sew all the things I have cut out over the past two years and then from there decide what I am really good at and sew more of it.

  38. i want to make a skirt for myself. never done that before.

  39. I love that pincushin!
    I’m going to make enough clothes so I have at least half my wardrobe homemade!

  40. for me, it is really ambitious to think i will sew a whole dress with lining and invisible zipper! i will do it eventually!

  41. An ambitious project? I’m going to major in fashion in the next 2 years. My sewing skills are currently around zero. But I will learn and I will complete a plus-size bridal collection in time for my college’s annual fashion show 2 years from now.

  42. For non sewing projects, I am trying to grow my own vegetables this summer! It is ambitious as I have no prior gardening skills and hopefully my thumbs are greener than I think.
    With regards to sewing, I want to sew a shirt for my husband. The man has requested that I make him new shirts, and I’m afraid of tackling it given my limited sewing skills.

  43. For sewing related projects, that would be making a summer dress for my Mom that she’d actually like and wear. For someone who isn’t all that picky about her clothes, she’s being especially stubborn about exactly what she wants in a summer dress. Talk about a challenge! I’m looking forward to it!
    In non-sewing related stuff, actually, the biggest and most ambitious project right now is completing my M.Sc. thesis. I’ve been plowing away at this for nearly 3 years, and I’m looking forward to finishing it up so that it’ll stop interfering with my sewing time! :)

  44. I’m hoping to buy a crewel wool sample kit and make that up this summer. But I’m working on a laceweight stole for my grandmother and I’m going to keep at it, even if I have to unpick it every other row.