Monday, July 14, 2008

Blanket Toss Pincushion



A few days ago I was searching for wool curly locks for wool felting and I came upon a site called Rushin' Tailor's Quilt Alaska in Skagway Alaska. This is a very cool site with lots of Made In Alaska items. I found this very unique pincushion called. "Blanket Toss". It is made by Alaska Creations but I could not find their website. I collect pincushions and thimbles and I just had to add this "Blanket Toss Pincushion" to my collection.

A bit of history about The Blanket Toss. The Blanket Toss today is used as a form of recreation and celebration. But the origin of the blanket toss had much more serious purpose.

Much of the coast of Northern and Western Alaska is barren and flat. The native people of this region would use a blanket made from the hide of a walrus to toss a member of their hunting party high into the air to spot game such as walrus, seal, whale and polar bear. This practice often meant the difference in the success of a hunt.

This pincushion represents not only the blanket toss but also the ingenuity of the Alaska Natives which helped them survive in their often harsh environment.

When I was a bush school nurse in Northern Alaska the children in the village would put on demostrations in the gym doing the Blanket Toss. So this pincushion will remind me of the wonderful experience I had working with the Athabascan Indian children in the Yukon-Koykuk School District North of Fairbanks, Alaska.

10 comments:

Solstitches said...

Great post Judy. I enjoyed learning about the tradition behind the blanket toss.
What a cute pincushion you have there to add to your collection. No wonder you just had to have it.
Hugs,
Margaret

Susan said...

What an adorable pincushion! You collect the neatest things.

Jacq said...

What a great pincushion with a nice story. Glad to see that you have your new counter up and already so many visitors.

LynnS said...

Judy, Thanks for sharing such an interesting story on this tradition from Alaska. Adorable pincushion!

CJ Stitching and Blooms said...

Hello Margaret, Jacq, Lynn, and Susan. Thanks for visiting my blog. Always nice to see you all. Glad you enjoyed seeing my new Pincushiona and reading the Alaskan story. Hugs Judy

Jackie said...

This pincushion is one of the cutest I've seen! I love it, the little eskimo faces upturned are so adorable! Thanks for sharing!
Jackie

CJ Stitching and Blooms said...

Hello Jackie, Thanks for visiting my blog. Glad you enjoying looking at my newest addition to my pincushion collection. Hugs Judy

Maggie R said...

Hi Judy,
Finally made it here to see what you are up to...... I just LOVE this pincushion.... It is the cutest.....IO didn't realize you collect them... hmmmmmm.!!??
PS .... got your stamp..... will send it along this week..
xoxoxoxo((((hugs))))
Maggie

CJ Stitching and Blooms said...

Hello Maggie, Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a message. Nice to see you again. Yup I do have a weee collection of pincushions which I adding too. VBG Hugs Judy

sawettin said...

Hi!
I was just browsing on the internet when i saw your blog...my mom is the one that makes all of blanket toss pincushions and we are actually called Northern Creations. We are located in Anchorage, AK but we sell our products to gift shops all over the state. Unfortunatley we do not have a website because it is just a small company my mom runs out of the house...have to pay all of those soccer and hockey bills! I think that it is so cool how everyone likes them! my mom has been making them for over 15 years! Thanks again for all of the positive comments everyone!

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