When I first saw this adorable panel print designed by Cori Dantini for Blend fabrics, I knew just how I wanted to use it. It's called Good Company. There are 4'' squares with the most delightful woodland animals... foxes, birds, squirrels, owls and a hedgehog! By the way, there's a larger panel too with 12'' squares.
Anywhoooo, I made pincushions to give as gifts to my sisters and sewing friends this year. They were very easy... do you want to see how?
You will need small amounts of:
fabric (like this panel print or similar),
tiny pom pom trim,
and some fiberfill or other stuffing.
Start by cutting apart the panel to get approximately 4'' squares. You could substitute a similar fabric with squares or rectangles of about the same size. I totally loved doing this project without ever picking up a ruler.
Lay each piece on top of some wool/rayon blend felt (mine is from National Non-Wovens) and cut out a square or rectangle the same size for the back. I love the texture of felt and think it makes a perfect pincushion bottom.
Fuse the fabric pieces to the interfacing scraps. I save so many interfacing scraps because I hate throwing them out, and this was the perfect opportunity to use up a few.
Stabilizing your pincushion tops prevents them from looking lumpy from the fiberfill, and gives the pins that satisfying 'pop' when you stick them through. Try it.
Install the zipper foot on your sewing machine and adjust your sewing machine to the longest stitch length (for basting). Baste the pom pom trim around the interfaced piece of fabric, stitching approximately 1/4'' from the edge. The pom poms should be facing the center of the fabric square. Overlap the ends at the bottom with the raw ends hanging off the raw edge of the fabric.
Keep the zipper foot on your sewing machine (you'll use it for all the sewing in the project).
Place the fabric piece on top of it's matching piece of felt with the pom poms sandwiched in the middle. You may pin if you wish, but I found it easier to just hold it together and make small adjustments as I sewed, if necessary.
In the picture above, you can see ends of the pom pom trim sticking out a little at the edge closest to you. Start sewing on any other side than the one with the trim ends. Sew for about an inch on one side, pivot, and then sew around the square.
Use the basting stitches as a guide and do your best to sew right on top of them.
When you get around to the same side that you started on, sew for about an inch and then backstitch. Make sure you leave at least 2-2 1/2'' to turn the pincushion right side out.
Trim the corners, turn right side out, and gently press the corners out with a turning tool.
Stuff with fiberfill or another pincushion filling. I've heard of other fillings like crushed walnut shells. That sounds interesting but fiberfil is what I had on hand and it works great.
Lastly, stitch up the opening by hand.
This same project would make the cutest bean bag game too using beans instead of fiberfill. That might just end up under our tree this year.
More pincushion tutorials and other gifty things are found in my Crafty Little Things to Sew tutorial archives.