Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Classic Pincushion Revisited

I am constantly trying to find new designs for my Etsy Shop. I have made thousands of pincushions since 2009. Perhaps the most accommodating and most innovative designs comes from the simple Classic Pincushion. What is that? Well, it is simply 2 circles of fabric, sewn around the outside, stuffed and then closed with a mattress stitch. What comes next is totally up to you. I just want to show you a few ways I have taken that simple design a few steps further.

You can add a button to the middle as shown above and you have a lovely pincushion. It provides lots of room for your pins and needles and its easy to make. You can find my tutorial on the classic pincushion on my tutorial page.

Like the pincushion above, I added another layer of functionality and fun. The top layer of this pincushion has 2 layers, a beautiful print and a layer of cotton blend batting. Before putting the top to the bottom, I added lots of free motion stitching around the print's design elements. It holds your pins firmly and keeps them from migrating to the inside polyester fiberfill.

You can use patchwork for the top and or the bottom to create a pretty pincushion. This pincushion is double sided! Just flip it over when you want something a little different!

My favorite and most popular pincushion has lots of embroidery. I divided the top into 8 sections. Each section has a different flower embroidered with embroidery floss. I've made so many I've lost count. There is a complete tutorial on my blog which starts here. I'm considering putting this pattern and all of the embroidery together in one place and adding it to my Etsy shop. I'd love your comments on that. It is obviously free here, but due to my lack of expertise on how to create better organized, multiple posts, I've made it a challenge to follow here. Sorry. Wish I had the time to figure that out. I'm not even sure on how to do a pattern on Etsy, but I promise, in my slower times I'll work on it. This version was requested by a lovely client of mine and I think it is stunning in all purple! Gosh I love the collaborative process!!!

I altered the circle shape and created a classic oval pincushion. Layers of applique with an adorable kitty print made all the difference. You will find more of these in my shop as time goes by. They are just too fun to make.

I found a lovely set of vintage napkins with pretty applique. Where the silverware went, I just left it open so you can put your seam ripper somewhere handy. I know I use my seam ripper a lot!

Here is another vintage version. This time I used a pretty vintage crochet doiley on top of a pretty solid fabric. I just love the red and cream color combination. Its just so stunning and simple.

This version has a crazy patch top with lots of embroidery, vintage bits and pieces and some beading. I wanted it to have a more modern look with a generous nod to the past. I love how no matter how much things change, they always stay the same.

If one layer of pincushions is good, how about 2? This one also has a vintage crochet frilly embellishment. Wish I could find more because I'd love to make more of this version. As the vintage trend goes on, I'm finding that it gets harder to find the really special pieces I love to use. Wish I lived closer to a small town with lots of real antique stores to scour. I love hunting down treasures to repurpose.

This next pincushion takes the construction a step further. I created a gathered strip of matching fabric, oh, about 1 3/4 inches wide and 3 times as long as the outer dimension of the circle. I evenly gathered each edge. To make it a bit easier to put together, I always stabilize my gathering with a basting stitch. that way it stays gathered evenly while I put the top and bottom layers together. This pincushion has a quilted top with free motion stitching. A few sparkly beads adorn the top design. I try to let the fabric talk to me. It often tells me how to design.

Speaking of the fabric speaking, sometimes a simple design offers great results. I love this nature printed fabrics. I love birds and often find ways to add them to my work. Here is simply added some embroidery stitches to the bird print to give it some texture and dimension.

If a circle is great, why stop there? The same construction can be applied to a square or a rectangle. Again, just let the fabric guide you.

I could go on and on. The classic is perfect for teaching someone to sew and for giving yourself a few great sewing tools for your next project. Try using vintage or orphan quilt blocks in your next pincushion. Make a matching needle case. Just dive into the joy of designing. There are many ways to skin a cat and many more ways to make a pincushion. Please note, no cats were harmed in this blog post. But a few kittys were used to spark my imagination.

Have fun! check out my Etsy shop and see what other designs I am working on. I'd be happy to help you with your sewing projects so don't be afraid to request a tutorial. If I can find the time, I'd love to share my ideas with you!

Happy sewing!