Stickin’ it to the pincushion

by craftapalooza on 01/03/2006

in Green Crafting, Whip Up Tutorials

You ready for this? Easy, quick and very satisfying pincushion.

Cut 2 circles from your chosen fabric. One side a woolen fabric like felt (at least 70% wool) or wool blanketing (the side you stick pins in) and a cotton fabric for the other side. You can make the diametre of this as large or small as you wish for your pincushion, up to you. The circles pictured here are 5 inches (approximately 130mm) in diametre (1/4 inch / 5mm seam allowance included).

cut 2 cirlces of fabric

Depending on the type of cotton fabric you use, you may need to iron on interfacing to prevent fraying of the edges.

Put the two pieces together right sides facing and sew on the sewing machine a hem around the edges. Oversew the start and finish of your sewing. Don’t forget to leave a gap between 1-2inches to turn out.

sew a 1/4 inch/5mm hem

Turn the pincushion right side out through the gap you’ve left.

Stuff the pincushion, stuff it well if you want a nice plump, firm finish. You can use polyfill (craft fill) or wool roving. Make sure to stuff using little tufts, don’t stuff in chunks of filling you’ll end up with a bumpy finish.

stuff it!

Once you’re satisfied with the firmness of your pincushion, slip stitch the opening closed.

Now comes the fun bit. Grab yourself the longest sewing needle you have and some embroidery thread (use all 6 strands), you’ll need quite a long piece, don’t cut it too short.

Tie a knot in one end of your thread (make it a decent knot, you don’t want it to slip/pull through the fabric) and starting from the felt side stick the needle and thread through the centre of your cushion through to the cotton side. Pull it tight and then loop it around the cushion over to the felt side and come up through the centre in the same place you started. You’ve done one petal.

From there continue doing the same thing, working in a figure 8 around the pincushion. So after the first petal wrap the thread around the opposite side of the first petal and come back up through the centre again. Continue until you have 8 plump petals, making sure you pull the thread tight each time so you get nice definition. You could also try a 3, 4, 5 or 6 petal version.

makin' petals

more petals


felt side

Then once you’re satisfied with your petals knot the thread whilst it’s still attached to the centre and then add your decoration to the centre of your cushion, or leave it bare. The one pictured here has a vintage button on one side and a self covered button in the same cotton fabric used on the other side.

vintage button

self-covered button

After I’d finished writing this :) I came across this tutorial which will also assist! via Redwork in Germany.

No pincushion would be complete without shrinky pins, here’s Hilary’s tutorial
There’s Bella Dia’s stunning work
Flickr: pincushion tag and group

Next week a tutorial, how to make your own customised tape measure cover. A simple, fun project.

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