In May and June the Dutch MQG organized a pincushion swap and of course I participated. I had to make something for Erica, which is great because last year she made me a very beautiful mini quilt so it was nice to make her something in return.
Everyone had to make an inspirational mosaic and answer some questions so their swap partner could get some ideas. Erica likes green and nature and wanted a small pincushion with room on the sides to stick needles in. The pincushions in her mosaic contained a lot of triangles (my favourite!) and fussy cutting which I decided to incorporate into my own design.
I played around in Adobe Illustrator to create a foundation paper piecing pattern to use for the top of the pincushion. The block was originally 4 inches but as I started assembling it this felt too large for a small pincushion and I reduced it to 3 inches. Oh, and yes, I do remind myself to check the printer settings before printing FPP patterns.
I was super happy to find a fabric that I could cut a ball like flowery thing out of that somewhat resembled the flowery pictures that she put in her mosaic. That fabric also contained several other smaller items that I fussy cut for the corners. I picked some green and yellow-green fabrics to work with that purple fabric and as a fellow lover of green I am very pleased with how it all turned out.
The sides are 1 3/8’’ high which was mainly determined by the print that I wanted to fussy cut. The sides were sewn to the top and bottom using Y-seams and this came together without problems. Y-seams don’t scare me. I filled the pincushion with lavender scented crushed walnut shells. This was the first time I used this type of filling and I really like how it feels when you push the pins into the shells. Apparently it helps to keep your pins and needles sharp. I also like that it adds some weight to the pincushion so that it sits a bit more stable. The lavender smell is great; it reminds me of summer vacations in southern France with my parents.
My guild’s theme for this quarter is scraps so I made a scrap card to send with the pincushion. As part of the swap we also included 50 grams of our own scraps in our package so we’d all get some new fabrics to play with. I chose a variety of sizes and shapes and a combination of prints and solids.
You are probably also curious to see what I got in return. Ingrid made me a pincushion from the Deluxe pattern of Heidi Staples. I love the fussy cutting of the text fabrics that she included. This pincushion has a pocket that can be used to put a pair of scissors in but I prefer to keep my scissors elsewhere so I used the nine patch to organize the different types of pins that I use most often. The top of the pocket can be used to clip wonderclips on, I think this feature will really come in handy. The scraps that I received were very different from the fabrics that I currently have in my scrap box so they were a very good addition to add some more variety to my projects. All in all, I consider this another very successful swap!
I do love a pretty pincushion, but I mainly keep them for hand sewing, because beside my machine I like a small metal tray for my pins. I do think the wonderclip idea is very good, and I might steal that for a future project of my own.
I must admit I had never really looked into the different pincushion designs until this swap. The wonderclip feature can be executed in different ways. Here it’s a pocket but I’ve also seen flaps sewn to one side or around the pincushion for the same purpose. I used to keep them in a jar in my trolley but I think this solution will turn out to be more convenient than grabbing the jar and tidying it away again when I am done.
I am blown away with your precision and beautiful design. It’s not surprising that you are not afraid of Y-seams !! Anyone who can make such a perfect pincushion from tiny pieces would find Y-seams a breeze.
Thank you! I find that the paper foundation really helps with those small pieces. I would probably not try this without that line to follow when sewing.
You can never have enough pincushions can you and I like the idea of clipping the wonderclips to the pocket top.
Can you believe that until now I’ve only used one and was constantly chasing it around the room because it was never in the spot I needed it?
I love your pincushions Emmely! Pincushions are a great way to use up small scraps, as giveaways … and you can never have enough 🙂 … I still have one I made for the Chicken Run back in 2014 (?)… It was a kind of blog hop with chicken-pincushions …
Thank you! I am happily using the one I received.
Great job! I absolutely love it, especially how you did 4 different points. I don’t have the patience to do piecing/quilting.
Thank you! I find it relaxing to play with these small pieces of fabric but I know it’s not the same for everyone. 😉
I am impressed by your lovely pincushion!
The pincushion you made is lovely, what a great gift the person on the pincushion exchange got! And that pincushion you received is pretty awesome too!
Thank you! It was a very good swap. 🙂