Sunday, June 19, 2011


The most recent swap at my branch of the Modern Quilt Guild was a pincushion swap. I love swapping with the ladies in my group because, even though we all classify ourselves as "modern" quilters to some degree, everyone's handmade items always look completely different. Pincushions are also usually quick and easy to make, and they serve a purpose which I love! 

I got really productive for a short window of time and was able to make two pincushions for the swap. I brought this one:

and this one:

I was super lucky to get these two little gems in returns. The amazing bird with vintage hat pins was made by Victoria of The Granny Diaries, and the darling embroidered and appliqued linen cushion was made by Sarah of Stash Resolution.

Ummmm, how awesome are they?!?!?  (Answer: Totally awesome.)

If you are now totally inspired to go make your own pincushion or organize your own swap, do it! Pincushions are as simple or as difficult as you want to make them, and are a great place to let your creativity run free and try something new. 

Striped & Tufted Pincushion Tutorial

Gather your supplies: Stuffing (Fiber Fil), bowl to trace around, scissors, fabric pen, large decorative button (Note: A button with holes as shown will work, but one with a shaft is much easier for this project), embroidery floss, large eyed needle, thimble, a pieced fabric panel large enough to cut out two circles (size of your bowl).

Trace two circles (using the bowl/glass as a template) onto the fabric panel. Cut out the circles. Place them right sides together. Pin and sew around the outside edge using 1/4" seam. Leave a small opening for turning; make sure the opening is not on a seam.

Turn the pincushion right side out. Press the edges of the opening under 1/4" with a hot iron. Stuff the pincushion very full with Fiber Fil. 

Handstitch the opening closed. I have little tags that say "PS I love you". I stitched one of the tags into the opening. You could do something similar with a doubled piece of coordinating ribbon. Or, you can just stitch the opening closed without anything in it. Your call. I just like the little extra touches.

Cut a fairly long piece of embroidery floss (use all 6 strands). Thread one end through the needle and knot the other end. Stitch up through the back of the pincushion directly in the center. Wrapping the thread around one edge, stitch up through the center of the pincushion in the same way; the thread will wrap around the edge and will tuft as you pull. Continue doing this as much as you like to create the tufting in the cushion. When you have finished adding tufting to the cushion, your needle and thread will be on the top side of the cushion.

Thread the needle through the shaft of a large button. Stitch back down through the center of the cushion, pulling the thread tight. The shaft of the button should sink down into the center of the cushion very easily. 

Turn the cushion to the back. Cut off the needle, leaving about a 6" long tail. Split the embroidery floss into two sections and tie 4–5 tight knots to secure the button and the tufting. Trim the thread tails close to the knots.

All done! Stick some pins in and you're good to sew!

Happy stitching!



karen marie said...

So cute! You're right, I AM totally inspired to go stitch one of these up! <3

Sarah said...

Loved your pincushions, Kelly!