Pincushion Fun – But the Cosmos were Against Me!
I love aprons, teapots, pumpkins and pincushions. Except for the aprons they are all short, round and fluffy. I am sure there is some psychological analysis that is possible there (Freud comes to mind). Instead, I am going to simply share a pincushion pattern that caught my eye in a quilting magazine some time ago. Today I am feeling brave and decided to attempt to make it. Of course, I am going to share with my quilting buddies the process and any tips or corrections I find along the way.
We are not off to a good start. I found the link for the pattern by Better Homes and Gardens.
Their website is notorious for advertising links and “jumping through the hoop” sign ups to simply gain access to the information. So, I decided to bite and give my adapted sign up information and move forward. I really wanted the pattern.
Let me explain what I mean by adapted signup information. Some time ago, I was curious about how information was shared and how I would receive mailers or emails from unsolicited sources. The strange part was that the content was often something of interest – how did they know? I decided on my next form to offer a shortened version of my first and last name. This would be my code information. If something came to me with that as my name, I knew it had been sold or shared without my consent. It proved to be interesting. It also gave me insight into the entire process. Anyway, back to the project!
Hoops jumped, ready to download. It doesn’t. Second try, still no. Not to be discouraged I returned to the webpage. Most of the instructions were there, so it wouldn’t be difficult for me to fill in the gaps and attempt the pincushion. Worst case scenario: I would end up with a misshapen, unusable product and a few hours of effort I would never regain. It was worth the risk.
Off to the stash! I pulled some fabrics, buttons and trims. With my groupings chosen I am getting excited about this new project!
Based on the size of the finished pincushion, I cut two pieces (top and bottom) 4 ½” square. For the sides, I cut one long strip 1 ½” x 17”. Sew the short ends together to make a circle, press seam open. You will need to snip the edge slightly to ease the corners. Lay the circle flat, it is two thicknesses. Where the fabric is folded (two places) put a pin. This has marked the circle into halves. Now bring the pins together and lay flat again, this time the pins are meeting in the center. Place two more pins on each fold. The circle is now marked into fourths. Where each pin is placed, make a snip for the corner along both sides (top and bottom).
Before sewing, mark a center point on the top and bottom piece, this will help when it is time for the ribbon after stuffing.
Pin the circle to one of the squares, right sides together. The snips will go on the corners. Sew all around, ¼” from the edge.
Repeat for the other side of the strip and the remaining square. Leave a small opening in the seam for turning right side out and stuffing.
Turn right side out through opening.
Stuff the booger, and stuff it good. I want it to hold pins and that takes it being snug. Got that finished and whip stitched it closed.
Hooray! I think I am almost done.
Wrong! I start to feed the ribbon through and it is nearly impossible. I give it to Michael, he returns with pliers.
The pliers help. But it is still a struggle. The problem is going through the pin cushion and not catching the ribbon you have previously pulled through. It took several attempts to find the right spot. But finally, it was done.
Thankfully the buttons will cover the carnage. From pulling the ribbon so aggressively, I tore the hole open a bit more than I would have liked.
Done! I am happy with the outcome but didn’t expect it really to be so much work.
I am going to try it again, this time I want to use rickrack. That was impossible. Trash that idea. I picked up some cheap craft ribbon at Walmart, this worked perfectly! I did still struggle with catching the ribbon on the pull through, but pliers were not needed. The trick again is not to catch the previously pulled ribbon loops when you needle through.
Ready to start the third and I figured, “Why not try to download the pattern one more time.” It worked. It stinkin’ worked. At this point I am feeling there is some reason I am being made to struggle and suffer making these cute pin stickers. The size was a bit smaller than mine, but I had successfully completed three of the four I wanted to make. So, I tossed the printed pattern aside and continued!
What did I learn?
- Websites with bad links stink. It would have been nice to have had the pattern and complete directions before tackling the project.
- Practice makes perfect. I really didn’t need four pin cushions but each time I made one it was easier and I picked up new tricks to help me do a better job.
- Good ideas in theory sometimes require big tools. Without the pliers I would not have been able to complete the first pincushion, and that my quilting friends would have been a sad day. Another blunder would have been sent to the island of misfit quilt projects.
- Understand that sometimes you NEED to walk away from a project and give it some time. Try to download the information later. Try to work after you rest and think. Realize that sometimes there are forces greater than your own that are keeping you from completion!
Overall, I think the project is worth a go. Thinner (cheaper) ribbon was easier, the rick rack was impossible. Be patient and expect it to take a while to go through the stuffing. These little cuties would make great door prizes or retreat gifts. I did improve with each pincushion and the time was decreased (along with my frustration level).
I like the finished product and isn’t that all that matters?
Tia – 1: Cosmos - 0