Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Frilly Star Doily Pincushion Tutorial

Have a vintage doily in your stash? Lets make a special pincushion!
It doesn't matter what size it is...it can be any shape!
Using this technique, you can create a professional looking pincushion pattern.
Make a pincushion for yourself or give one as a gift for your favorite stitcher.
Lets dive right in...

The Pattern Making Tools
small ruler

Pincushion Materials
Friction or Water soluble Marker
Thread (Matching the doily colors)
Needles Sewing Sharp & Soft Sculpture (2" long)
White Fabric or Fabric that sets off your doily (for under doily on top)
Backing Fabric (yellow dots for mine) for the bottom of your pincushion.
Polyester Fiberfill
2 Buttons (decorative one for the top, plain for the back)
Heavy Thread. I use perle cotton size 5.

Optional- I used a frilly doily shape to add a fun topper to my pincushion.

Step One- Trace around the doily onto plain paper. Be sure to mark the center point on your doily.
If you just went on from here to make your pincushion, it would probably be fine. But you may be disappointed in how wonky your points are. You also may have problems lining up your top and back fabric pieces.
This next step will give you a wonderful pattern that you can use for many other things. It will also fit great when you add your doily to the top. Its worth the extra effort.

1. Measure the point from the center of the doily out to the peaks and valleys. (the lines you traced in the previous step).
2. I measured just inside the doily outline for my first measurement. Ithen added 1/4 inch out. This will give me a comfortable seam allowance.

You may notice that the original line will sometimes be smaller or larger than your first markings. Don't fret. Doilies stretch a bit. Its easier to stretch a doily than it is to stretch cotton fabric.

Once you have your pattern measured, draw a line to connect your outer dots.
Cut along that line. This is your pattern!
I have no idea why I did not photograph the next stage. its one you have done many times.
I am using my classic tutorial to show you how I cut out my pattern, sew it, turn it and stuff it.

Next I sew the opening of the foundation together. I use a mattress stitch. It is nearly invisible when you take tiny stitches.

Once I have the foundation finished, I placed the doily on top. Just stretch it here and there till it fits perfectly.
Sew the doily onto the foundation using small stitches. Use a matching or an invisible thread.

I then threaded perle cotton through the back of the pincushion to the front and back a few times.
Then I added the frilly little doily to the top, added a button, came back down through the doily and then added the button to the back.

To finish off, tie a know around the bottom button. I may do this a few times to be sure all my knots are secure. Then just cut off any excess thread and you are finished!

Here are a few doily pincushions I made in other shapes-
This is a simple square doily on felted wool. I used needle felting on the wool to give it an ombre look. A little felt ball takes the place of the top button.

These doilies use a simple round pattern. The background fabric is linen.

I love how doilies work on wool. They seem to hold onto each other, making placement a breeze. This beautiful doily looks so pretty on soft gray.

I hope you try this technique. It works for many oddly shaped patterns.
Vintage doilies are treasures from the past. Perhaps they graced the arm of her favorite chair. Maybe they adorned an end table. They all were lovingly hand crocheted by someone who really cared to take the time to create something amazing. It is a special honor to find one of these handmade wonders. I can almost feel the happiness of their original makers, knowing that their creation has been taken out of the attic and given new life.

Its worth the extra time it takes to make your pincushion even and uniform. I hope this tutorial gives you the confidence to take on any shape.
All of my pincushions include an emery pocket which is hidden inside. This adds the a a great pin cleaning and sharpening element to my cushions. Go to my tutorial page to see how I do that. Emery makes your pincushion heavier than most and helps them to stay put on your work surface.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sassy, Springy Pincushions inspired by thoughts of Springtime.

Hi all! I just noticed my last post talked about cold and snow. Gosh its been such a long winter. We are just not getting some warmer days. Its spring on the calender, but Wisconsin weather kind of does its own thing. I will take each day of warmth and sunshine as a gift to cherish. Like my newest little house, I'm happy to snuggle up in my studio to work.

Its been so crazy this year. In past years, I had a nice long lull to recouperate from a long and busy holiday season of sewing and stitching. This year it just keeps getting busier! I had hoped to take a creative vacation last month but it never slowed down long enough to be able to relax and enjoy any kind of break. So, it looks like that rest will have to wait for later this April or maybe May. All I really wanted was to have some time to work on new projects. Since I can't find the time, I decided to make it! A day of play only adds fuel to the creative fire. When I stop loving what I do, it will be time for a very long break. In the meantime, my fingers are still flying!

Here are 2 pincushions I just finished. I think my brain has been wanting to play for so long, it only needed permission to come up with something fresh to share with you all. I put some new fabrics on my work table, grabbed my little frilly things, vintage flowers and a few tools and before I knew it, I had these pretty pincushions finished!
Here is a feminine little cutie made from a sweet blue rose print I recently found-

I didn't want it to be too "matchy matchy". I wanted to keep the design simple and fresh. I used my classic pincushion pattern as a basis for both of my new designs. You can find a tutorial here- http://fiberluscious.blogspot.com/p/classic-pincushion.html. Why not try one of your own! Its really easy peasy!

This next design kind of exploded out of me! I found adorable lacey vintage mini-doilies on Etsy at SimplyStephy. The fabric was the true inspiration. It just sang a song of spring. I decided to put the emery on a mini pincushion which sits on top of the main classic foundation. I used perle cotton to separate each section. I added some fun pins and before I knew it, I had a new pincushion to add to my Etsy shop- Fiberluscious.

I also have been working hard on many orders. I've met some great new people who have injected a dose of enthusiasm in my work. They have so many ideas for future pincushions. I wish I had a second set of hands to keep up with their wonderful ideas. There are so many!
Let me show you a few of the items I've been working on. A few are recreations of past designs. I'd like to think that each project has a unique twist. I think everyone deserves an original!

A little crazy quilt tribute to our favorite feathered friends-

I saw my first robin last week. It just has to be spring now!

Here is a Garden of Delight wool needle case. I have a few more just about ready to ship. I love creating this one!

I am not sure if I ever shared this pincushion with you. It came together using some lovely vintage feedsack fabrics and some cute embroidery designs.

Well, back to work for me! My grand daughter is due tomorrow so I have lots to do on my sewing day.
Hope you are feeling inspired and ready to work on your own creations. There are so many fun things to do and just so little time!