Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pincushion Tutorial: Day 95

How About Joining Me To Make A Project?
Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tonight I made a China Cup Pincushion.
My invitation goes out for you to make one, too.
The instructions are straightforward and simple.

What you will need:

1.  A China cup
2. A small scrap of felted sweater
3. Thread
4. Needle
5. Small amount of Polyfil stuffing
6. Glue (see below)
7. Fancy pins, buttons (optional)
8. Oh, yes, your 2 hands!

This is the China cup that I retrieved for 50 cents at a local thrift store.
I made a pattern by drawing around the rim of the cup, then allowing about 1" extra.
Cut your sweater piece from this pattern.

Once you have cut out your circle of fabric, thread your needle and start a running stitch around the edge approximately 1/4" to 3/8" from the outer edge. Do not knot the thread end, but leave enough extra that you can let the tail hang out to tie it to the opposite end.

These will be the gathering stitches to pull this into a nice little ball for the cushion.
I used a heavier thread, more like an embroidery weight. You can also use quilting thread. Use your imagination. I like something a bit heavier so when it is gathered it won't break and will hold together well.

Once you have stitched around the entire circle pull the threads so that the edges will stand up around the future ball.

Put the polyfil into this little "cup" with extra billowing out.
As you draw up the threads you can push the extra stuffing inside to make the pincushion firm.

Now you can start drawing up the gathering threads.

At this point pull the threads as tight as you can to close the opening.
Tie the threads.
I like to leave the threads and push them inside the ball.

Chop sticks are the best tool (and so very technically scientific!) to stuff the threads inside the ball.
They are also excellent for arranging the stuffing if it needs mushing around.

Part of the beauty of these chop sticks in particular is the squared tops, though any wooden, non polished chop stick is fine. The rough surface keeps it from sliding.

Now all you have to do is plop the ball into the China cup.
You may glue it to keep it from sliding around. I use E-6000 which will bond fabric and ceramic.
This glue also works on many other materials.
Please be sure to read the instructions so you are using it safely.

You may decorate your pincushion with pretty pins and perhaps some buttons.
Maybe a ribbon, too.
(You know how I love ribbons.)

Enjoy your pincushion!


  1. Love this! I will be trying one as soon as I have time!

  2. Hi Resweater!
    I think you will enjoy making this pincushion. It is simple and fast to make, and is pretty. Makes a nice addition to your sewing space.