I had the loveliest time making this pincushion yesterday. Having never made a strawberry pincushion before I wisely did a practice run on Saturday with some scrap fabric and felt. Once I was sure of how it worked this softer, more elegant version came to life as the star of today's tutorial.
Before we begin, download the free templates for the strawberry shapes here and trace them onto a piece of template plastic. You could also paste the pages onto a piece of thin cardboard (from a cereal box) and once dry cut them out.
For the body of my pincushion I've cut from an embroidered linen shirt purchased for $2 at the op shop (goodwill/charity store), and for the leafy section across the top a lovely olive/gold tonal from the upcoming "Memory Lane" fabrics by Tilda.
When you have made your two templates from the pattern sheet, trace the larger one onto the fabric you'll be using for the body of the strawberry and fuse a piece of Parlan, wadding or thin Pellon behind it. Cut out the shape.
Cut a 4" x 8" piece of fabric for your leaf section, fold in half right sides together and trace the leaf shape onto one side...
Sew along the traced line...
Cut around the shape leaving a 1/8" seam...
Cut a straight line across the centre of the leaf, being careful to cut through only one layer of the fabric.
Clip into the corners between each leaf but don't cut through the sewn line.
Turn right side out, carefully pushing out the edges of each leaf with a rounded tool such as a knitting needle or chopstick. Press flat.
Fold the body of the strawberry in half, right sides facing, and sew down the side with a 1/4" seam and turn right side out.
Sew a line of running stitch around the top, about an 1/8" from the edge, with two strands of thread or some Perle #12 cotton. Leave both ends of the thread free as we will gather this later.
If you have a glass jar or mug place the pincushion inside to keep it stable while you fill it.
I've used ground walnut shells because they keep pins sharp and the unnoticeable residue of walnut oil prevents pins and needles from rusting.
(ground walnut shells can be purchased at pet stores in the reptile section)
Fill to about 1/2" from the top.
NOTE: do not give anything with walnut shells to a person with a nut allergy.
Other options for filling pincushions are polyester toy filling or wool scraps.
Carefully gather the top of the strawberry pincushion by pulling both ends of the running stitch thread tight and tying in a secure knot.
There will be a little opening but don't worry as that is covered in the next step.
Pin the leaf section (with the cut side facing down) over the top of the pincushion opening by pushing the pins down into the filling.
Very carefully blind stitch around the edges of the leaves, securing them to the strawberry. Keep your stitches small and close together as this will prevent the filling from spilling out later.
(Note: If you find this too difficult you could blanket stitch around the leaves instead)
Sew pearl beads to the point of each leaf.
Randomly sew tiny gold seed beads across the strawberry.
Choose some ribbon. Mine is a tarnished silk one from a small supply I collected many years ago.
Sew the centre of the ribbon to the middle of the leaf section.
Sew a button with plenty of bling to the top of the strawberry pincushion.
And there you are!
You have an elegant strawberry pincushion.
Hubby said this looked 'almost Christmassy' and 'would make a lovely ornament'.
He's a man of few words is my Mr E, so I thought this was a lovely compliment and a great idea but if I was making one as an ornament I think simple polyester stuffing would be best as it's lighter than ground walnut shells.
Hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and I'd love to know if you're going to make one!