Tuesday, November 15, 2016

TUTORIAL - pincushion with a secret...

I said I'd share four pincushion tutorials this month, and I really do try to keep my word. 
The first three styles came easy to me because I designed them before I made them, but this fourth pincushion pattern wasn't quite as accommodating.
It wasn't due to lack of an idea, but rather because I had three and could only use one.

So this morning I stood silent in my sewing room with fabric, stitchery, buttons and a blank stare for the longest of times, hesitating to pick up my scissors or the rotary cutter for fear of making the wrong decision and regretting it soon after.

I like the quilter's rule, "measure twice, cut once", because it makes you sure in your mind before you embark on a journey of no return with regards to slicing and dicing a perfectly good piece of fabric, but try as I may this rule would not work with my 'which pincushion should I make?' quandry.

I decided to gather yesterday's washing off the clothesline, put the breakfast dishes away, and decide on a menu for tonight's dinner - clearing my mind of what perplexed it most. And you know what? It worked!
I didn't have to choose between those three pincushion ideas after all because I came up with a completely new pattern instead!!

There really is wisdom in walking away and doing something completely different to rest your little grey cells. I think Hercule Poirot would approve of that?

Shall we begin?

The stitchery on the front of the pincushion (Sew & Sew) is one my Stitchery Club members will receive in their November patterns on Thursday. 
If you are not a Stitchery Club member you can purchase the November issue from my shop on that day. 

BUT what about using a stitchery you already have or fussy cutting a piece of pretty fabric instead!?

To make a pincushion the same size as mine trim your stitchery to 3 1/2" x 7 1/2".

You will also need -

A fat quarter of feature fabric from which you will cut -
one, 3 1/2" x 7 1/2" piece
two, 5 1/2" x 9 1/2" pieces

Two, 5 1/2" x 9 1/2" pieces of fusible Parlan or thin fusible Pellon
One button
Crushed walnut shells or polyester stuffing

Let's Sew!

Place the stitchery right side down on the 3 1/2" x 7 1/2" piece of fabric  and pin all the way around.
(note: I have cut my fabric larger so that it's easier for you to see in the tutorial)
Sew the two pieces together with a 1/4" seam leaving a 2" opening along one narrow end.

Turn right side out, and blind stitch or ladder stitch the opening closed.

Fuse the Parlan (or thin Pellon) behind the two pieces of 5 1/2" x 9 1/2" fabric.

Centre your stitchery on one of the pieces of fabric and pin in place. 

Secure the stitchery 'pocket' to the fabric by sewing a line of running stitch with 2 strands of embroidery thread across the top, left side, and bottom of the 'pocket', about a 1/4" inside the edge. Leave the right side open.
I used a cream thread to blend with my stitchery background fabric.

Sew a button in position about 1" from the top right edge of the stitchery 'pocket'. 

Lay the remaining piece of fabric right side down over the front of your pincushion and pin the two pieces together. Sew around all four sides with a 1/4" seam. leaving a 3" opening along the narrow end opposite the button end. 

Turn right side out, gently pushing the corners out with a large rounded tool such as a big wooden knitting needle or a chopstick.

I chose crushed walnut shells for this pincushion because I am using the pocket to hide my scissors therefore I need the pincushion to sit flatter than a polyester stuffed one would normally be inclined to do.
(If you use polyester stuffing, don't over fill this pincushion.)

The easiest way to fill a pincushion with crushed walnut shells is with a kitchen funnel.

Fill the pincushion about 2/3 of the way but no more.
Slip stitch or ladder stitch the opening closed, keeping your stitches very close together.

The final step was to make a little twisted tie for my scissors from six strands of embroidery thread and then I could hide them inside the pocket of this pretty new pincushion!

Now you've seen this made, I'm pretty sure you can figure out how to make the same kind of pincushion using stitcheries of different sizes. In fact, you could omit the hidden pocket too, if you like. 
We've all got some UFO stitcheries, cross-stitches, mini quilt blocks...perhaps you could give them a home as pincushions and get a head start on 2017's birthday or swap gifts?

Whatever you do, be sure to have fun!

Would you like to see my smallest pincushion?
When Blossom was a wee little thing, long before I taught myself to hand embroider, she would sit and sew tiny bits and pieces for her dolls and sometimes she'd come out with precious things for me.
I could make simple dresses for her or her sisters, and I could hem curtains and do some rather nice cross-stitch by following a pattern, but that was the extent of my sewing skills pre-2005.
One day, whilst I was relaxing with a newly purchased cross-stitch design, she drew close to my side and gave me this precious little pincushion as somewhere to keep my needle when not in use.
It's only a inch long and tightly packed with scraps of thread. She was just a small child when she made it and completely self taught with needle and thread...

I think you can appreciate why I treasure it so.

What small things in life do you hold dear?



Createology said...

Triple success dear. Lovely pincushion you have created and shared with us. This style with the Stitchery hidden pocket would also be divine as a sachet when filled with lavender and a sweet love note for the recipient included in the pocket. It would also be fun to stuff with holiday potpourri and a candy cane held in the pocket. Oh Dear my mind is filled with delightful ideas. Thank you for your wonderful inspirations.

Alenushka22222 said...

Jenny, thank you for an interesting and very detailed masterclass! And why exactly was the shell of walnut chosen for stuffing?

Baa. xxx said...

Love what Blosssom made you. Treasure!! Love that you had 3 ideas to choose from and then another idea! - it is perfect!

Christine B said...

What a fabulous pincushion you decided upon Jenny! Love this clever design with the scissor pocket! How marvellous is that dear little pincushion made by Blossom! Definitely a treasure to be cherished! Christine x

KimM said...

Sew, sew sweet! I can see many fnthese in my future. Thank you for sharing.

Little Quiltsong said...

This pincushion is super cute. Love the added scissor pocket. Love your smallest pincushion too - my sewing room has many of my children's first sewing projects around - they are sweet memories to be treasured.


Muito obrigada pela gentileza.

Summer said...

Such a pretty cushion ♥

Brenda said...

Good Morning Jenny! Your pincushion tutorial today just solved a wee bit of a problem I am having. Oh, it is nothing to worry about. But, I love it, this pincushion is fabulous and I can not wait to make one or two here in a short time. I so adore your special treasure; it is just so special. Thank you for sharing this with us along with the great tutorial. Have a fantastic creative day.

Anonymous said...

I love this new one, too! Oh, dear, which shall I do for my gift? They are all so wonderful. I was so touched to see Blossom's first pincushion gift to you, and I completely understand your keeping it and cherishing it. Somewhere in storage, I still have a grape juice can painted gold, missing half it's gold macaroni now, which was a pencil can gift one year. A LONG time ago. Thank you for sharing that with us.

Melody said...

I'd treasure a little pincushion like Blossom's charming gift. Very precious. Thank you for the fabulous tutorial too.

Bluequilt said...

Thank you so much for your beautiful work and your lovely admission of having excess mugs. Thank you for your Christian values and being the special person you are. I can't do without my local Stem church cookbook and the cookbook that I put together that has a lot of older recipes from the past. I love the pretty fabric used in your apron. It is certainly cheerful and would lift anyone's spirits. Thank you for all your wonderful tutorials. Bless you

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog so much and was glad to read that you plan to continue next year. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent! Nancy

living from glory to glory said...

Hello, You have a lovely blog and the gift and talents the Lord has given you are wonderful! Loved the glimpse into your sewing room!
Happy Thanksgiving, Blessings, Roxy

Ondrea said...

I think that teeny pincushion is the best one ever! Thanks for your latest pincushion idea and design. One can never have enough.

Maggie said...

Thank you so much for the lovely blog...you have given me so many ideas. You are such a talented lady I look forward to your next e-mails...I don't know how I found you but thank you from British Columbia

Nancy Jo said...

Hello Jenny! This is my first time at the computer since my surgery and I couldn't have logged on at a more perfect time...This was such a lovely post and tutorial!!! You always inspire with both your words and your beautiful designs. I was also delighted with "Createology's" comment as wonderful ideas for this project started to flood her mind. It truly put a smile both on my face and in my heart. Thank you sweet friend for always sharing your talents with us. Due to complications from my surgery I won't be sewing any quilts for a while longer, but I'm finally able to get out of bed after 4 weeks and start working on some of my favorite Elefantz stitcherys. I suspect this 'pin cushion with a secret' will be one of my first projects. Oh my gosh, what a treasure your tiny pin cushion is! I have to say that like your tiny gift from a young Blossom, there is nothing so dear to my heart as my own tiny gifts fom long ago that I always keep near, Sending big hugs and keeping you and yours in prayer always. Nancy Jo

Helen Philipps said...

Your new pincushion is gorgeous...all your work is so beautiful, Jenny! And that dear tiny pincushion made by your daughter when she was a little girl is just adorable!
Helen xox

janice15 said...

I love this new pincushion.. And love your tiny one too. Lovely day with love Janice

Elvira said...

Muy bonito, práctico y original, que tiene todo lo que a mí me gusta.
Un beso fuerte

Águeda said...

Honestly, I do not think you can find a pincushion better than your little pincushion: It's stuffed with your daughter's love. This is a jewel made of cloth.
Thank you very much for all the tutorials. This pincushion pocket scissors is very handy. I did not know that you could use crushed walnut shell as a filling. Thank you for everything you teach me.
Hugs. God bless you.

Susan said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial. I adore your patterns, you do such lovely work. I have a couple of questions regarding the red cording attached to the scissors. First of all, how do you make it? and How do you attach it to the button? I hope I am giving you an idea for a future tutorial. Many thanks!

MissesStitches said...

That really is a precious little pin cushion! We do treasure those little gifts from our little ones, don't we!