Thursday, June 2

Strawberry Pincushion Tutorial


Before we begin this little tutorial, I must first thank Mariah who hosts the Crazy About Pincushions Yahoo group. Thank you, Mariah, for such a great group!! I have had so much fun since I joined sometime in 2008. I've participated in several swaps and have some lovely pincushions that I've received from members. The recent swap with a Strawberry theme really got me inspired. I love strawberries and can recall my Grandma Goldie picking strawberries in her garden. I tried growing strawberries but the birds enjoyed them before they ever got to my kitchen. Anyway............ Luann, one of the group moderators, came up with the idea for the Strawberry themed swap. Then Mariah posted a picture of a cone-shaped pincushion in a pretty strawberry print fabric with a beautiful bow. Something about it reminded me of an apple pincushion that my Aunt Marie made many years ago. I thought....what if I made a plump strawberry pincushion? And so I did! My first one was a little too long, not plump enough, so I made another one to send to my swap partner, Patti. She loved it. I thought ..... hmmmm......I should do a tutorial on this as it was fun and easy to do. So that's how this came to be. And now you can make one, too.

Here's what you'll need.........
One 8-1/2" square of cotton fabric in a red print for the strawberry (while I used gingham, you can use a print or a tone-on-tone)
One piece of batting
Perle cotton in green and red
One yard wire-edged ribbon
20" narrow red cording
One 4" square wool or woolfelt
Crushed walnut shells (found at your local pet store)
Large eye needle and sharp scissors

There is no pattern for this project. All you have to do is follow my instructions, cut and stitch. Start with your 8-1/2" square of fabric. See in the photo below how I trimmed the square to make what will become a cone shape...............


Note that for the bottom arc, you can measure in from the corners at 2-1/2" and cut the arc shape. This piece does not have to be exact. Remember, no real strawberry is exactly a certain shape. :-)
After you cut you strawberry piece from cotton, spray some Quilt Basting Spray on a batting scrap and then position the strawberry piece.
Next, trim away excess batting to shape of your cotton strawberry piece as shown in photo above.
You will fold over this piece as shown in the photo below.............
The pin .............
and sew a 1/4" seam along this edge.
When you have finished stitching, you'll have a cone shape like the one above.
Next, you'll take a needle and thread it with red Perle cotton (buttonhole twist works, too, just make sure it is a strong thread).  Sew around the end of the cone, then wrap thread around and secure with a knot.

Insert your hand in the cone and push base into your palm. In the final photo, I've put the cone over my hand to show you what your shape should look like.
Thread your needle with green Perle cotton and do a running stitch around the rim of the cone shape. Leave needle and thread in place and set this aside so you can make the leafy top.
Cut a 4" square of wool or woolfelt. Make a paper pattern by folding paper in half, then in half again and cut a pointed flower leaf shape. This doesn't have to be perfect. The tops of real strawberries are all different. :-) I used woolfelt for my leafy top and to get a mottled effect, I dipped a paint brush in bleach and dabbled it on the woolfelt. This removes some color and gives a more natural look. Place your paper pattern on the wool or woolfelt and cut around pattern piece.

Stuffing the cone is next and I used "Walnut Litter" that I bought at the pet store. In some pet stores, it's in the bird section and in others, you'll find it in the lizard stuff. I learned about using crushed walnut shells in the Crazy About Pincushions group. I love the weight they give a piece. And here I should mention.........the reason you need the batting is so the walnut shells will not protrude through your cotton fabric. Don't skip the batting as your pincushion will not have a nice smooth feel to it, if you do.
The cone shape can stand on it's own at this point but I recommend that you use a coffee cup to hold it in place. You don't want it to fall over and spill crushed walnut shells. I know. I speak from experience. :-)

I filled the cone shape about two thirds full. You can add more if needed. You'll want the pincushion to be firm, not squishy.  To keep the crushed walnut shells in place, I cut a 3" diameter circle of batting and place it over the top of the crushed walnut shells................

Now you can gather the thread and pull up the stitches to close the opening. I hope that makes sense. Secure this closing with a few stitches back and forth across the opening. Leave needle and thread in place for the next step........


Take your leafy top and fold it as shown below and cut a very small hole in the center. I got mine a little too large. It should be smaller than what you will see. You will notice the red cording has tape at each end to keep it from fraying when you knot the end......
Tie a knot in the cording as shown below and then insert this loop through the hole in your leafy top...........

Next, you will insert your needle and thread this knotted end and position it on the top of your strawberry.............

You can add a few extra stitches, as shown above, that will secure your leafy top to the strawberry. And now the strawberry is plump, juicy and finished...............
It's time to make the bow. Thread your needle with red Perle cotton. Then take your length of ribbon and fold it in half. Pin the very center of this ribbon to a center marking on a padded mat as shown below (or taped to a cutting mat).
Fold over ribbon about 2-1/2" on each side. Note position on padded mat. Position needle and thread for stitching......


At this point, I life the bow to stitch the center section...........

Fold over a second set of loops as shown above and then stitch through center section. Pull thread tightly so that the loops are secured.

Stitch the bow to the base of the corded loop and into the leaf shape. Tie a knot and you are finished............

Fluff your bow just right, add three pins for good luck and you have a gift for yourself or a favorite stitching friend!
Now, I said there would be a giveaway because I am celebrating three years of blogging fun and also, my birthday. I have a kit for this pincushion and if you leave me your name and e-mail link, someone will be a lucky winner of that kit. You'll also get the supplies needed to make the matching needlecase. That tutorial will be posted tomorrow. Come back then because there will be an additional giveaway, plus another one on Saturday and a special one on Sunday!!  Have a great day everyone!
Sandi

Edit: Winner of the kit for the pincushion and needlecase is Deserae who shared this comment.... I would love to make this pincushion! Happy birthday!
Congratulations! Your kit is on it's way!

44 comments:

Debbie said...

Happy birthday, Sandi! And happy 3rd blogiversary. Nice tutorial. One can never have too many pincushions...

Needled Mom said...

That is absolutely adorable! Thanks for the tutorial, Sandi.

Happy, happy birthday and happy blogaversary as well.

Marsha said...

Thanks for the great tutorial, that is so adorable!

sophie said...

Happy birthday-blogiversary Sandi.

Great tutorial! I'm glad to know about the walnut litter--it sounds perfect for pincushions. The strawberry pincushion looks delicious-I'd love to win a kit.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Great tutorial! You know we can't find the walnut shells in our area. I've checked at the pet stores and they don't seem to carry it anymore. I agree with Debbie, no one can have too many pincushions :-)

Litamora's Quilt & Design said...

Thanks for your kind words on my blog :o) You make a lot of beautiful things too! Nice turtorial, wanna try this one day :o)
that pincussion is just so cute!
Happy sewing,
Laila

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Happy Birthday and Happy three years of blogging Sandi! I love the strawberry pin cushion - you do such a great tutorial!

annemarie said...

Hope you have a wonderful birthday - this pincushion is great - love it and cannot wait to make one. Thanks for your excellent tutorial.

pirate said...

Many happy returns on your birthday!

I've come rather lately into the pincushion scene, and I think your strawberry is absolutely *adorable*!

I've bookmarked your tutorial for future use and look forward to the needlecase tutorial. :-)

GeeGee said...

Happy Birthday Sandi! Can't believe I've been following you for three years, Happy Blog Anniversary!!

Pat from FL and MI said...

Oh my, Sandi. I think the is the cutest pin cushion I've ever seen. Thanks for the tut. I'd love to win a kit. I'll be back tomorrow to see what's in store.
nana.quilts@gmail.com
Hope your B'day was super!

Sarah or Semmy said...

Happy Birthday, 2011! I loe the strawberry pin cushion, I learned a good thing from your tutorial, using the cup to hold the in progress item. also for posting the picture of the crushed walnut shells litter. That will make it be easier to find. Thanks for this tutorial Sandi. It is much appreciated.
Sarah in OK

Kathy in GA said...

I love it Sandi - maybe will have the chance to make it soon.
Very happy birthday and anniversary, mugrug buddy!
Kathy O in GA

Heide said...

Special Happy Birthday Wishes to you! I love strawberries and would love to win the kit. Our sewing group is having a Pincushion challenge this summer and I just bet this would be the winning entry! Can't wait to see the tutorial for the matching needle case. And Congrats for sticking with the blog for three years!

Heide / Escondido, CA

deserae said...

I would love to make this pincushion! Happy birthday!

Anonymous said...

what a great tutorial!! Thanks Sandi!
Great tip on the cup to assist!! I think, too, I'll see if I can find some crushed walnut litter tomorrow.
I can see more pincushions in my future :)
Gerda in Alberta
omax2 at jwvantuil dot com

Luann said...

Big hugs on your birthday Sandi! Your strawberry is as much of a delight as you are. Thanks so much for sharing! Luann

Me and My Stitches said...

Happy Birthday! Hope you had a great day! And, thanks for the tutorial. I bought a small bag of the walnut shells, but haven't tried them yet.

Carla said...

Great tutorial! I'm from CAPC too. Dollartistcarla at aol dot com

quiltsbycheryl said...

Very very cute!! Of course anything strawberry catches my eye. I started collecting strawberry things about 30 years ago....I am very 'picky' about the ones that I collect and this one is one of those!! I love it!! Thanks for the tutorial and the chance for a kit. Also Happy Birthday----we both turn 62 this month if I remember correctly?...?? I wish you many more!!

Sharon said...

Happy Birthday Sandi...I hope you had a nice one....I love the strawberry and can't wait to try it..thanks so much for sharing on your special day.

Jeanette said...

Happy Birthday Sandi & Happy Blogiversay. Love the pincushion & thanks for the tutorial. Hugs,

AKnativewoman said...

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday, Dear Sandi, Happy Birthday to you! A great tutorial, and a treat for someone to win - thanks for the opportunity!

Valerie said...

Happy Birthday Sandi and thanks for the tutorial!That pincushion is so cute!

Diane H said...

Best Wishes all around, Sandi! Love the tutorial - this time of year I can't get enough strawberries. Thanks for a chance.

Kathleen said...

Way cool pincushion!

Beth said...

Thank you so much for the great tutorial. The strawberry is so cute. You have the best ideas.
Happy Blogiversary and of course, Happy Birthday!

JILLfromWI said...

Happy Birthday!!!! Love the strawberry....trying to grow them on my own for the first time....hopefully I will get a few berries to enjoy.

Sunnybec said...

Happy Birthday. I have never made a pin cushion... maybe I will be lucky and win this one! Thanks for the tutorial. Linda

Anonymous said...

As always, you give such clear instructions that any of us can follow along. My sister-in-law, who has loved and collected strawberries for 30 years, will find this set tucked into her gift this Christmas. Plus a set for me, and sets for two quilter/sewer friends, and . . .

Owl Lady

Anonymous said...

This is so cute, and you make it look so easy to make! Would love the chance to win the kit. Thank you.

Marge HUEWE said...

Happy Birthday Sandi! Great tutorial and thanks for it.
Marge mhuewe@redlake.k12.mn.us

magicthimblecreations said...

I checked earlier yesterday for a post from you and it wasn't there. So I missed your Birthday, but still want to wish you the best. Thanks for the Tutorial about the pin cushion. I saw the walnut shells at the Quilt show, but am glad I waited to buy. I now know how to use them and where to buy them at what I am sure is a better price. We left WI Tuesday and the weather was wonderful. Back in KY and it is to be in the 90's for the next week with high humidity. Can't wait to move.

CncptThnkr said...

I love your pincushion!! It's perfect for summer.

Thank you for the fantastic tutorial. Your instructions are wonderfully written.

Belated Happy Birthday!

Pat

linmid said...

Love the strawberry pin cushion and am looking forward to making it. Again happy birthday and blogaversary.

linmid

linmid said...

Thanks for the tute. Can't wait to get some strawberry fabric and make several for friends. Again happy birthday and blogaversary.

JCnNC said...

Lovely pincushion and loved the tutorial. Happiest of all birthdays. Where do you get the crushed walnuts? Awesome opportunityl Judy C in NC

Ruthie's Place said...

Hi Sandi,
Happy Birthday, and of course blogiversary!!!!! What a lovely tutorial, your strawberry is just gorgeous. Loved the idea of using a cup to hold it up during filling.
Warm hugs,
Ruthie

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Oh my gosh, sew incredibly cute. I can't believe you've been blogging 3 years. I feel like I've been blogging forever but just started, too. You know.

Sandy in VA said...

Thanks so much Sandi for the tutorial - LOVE the pincushion! And your tutorial makes it so much easier to make. I've recently become addicted to pin-cushions - so thanks for the help!
Sandy in VA

Martha said...

Thank you for this lovely pincushion! It is adorable, elegantly presented! Love the way you keep your tutorial so neat and classy. I will be making one for me and a few for Xmas gifts.

Emily Wright said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I am loving pinchushions right now. You mentioned a yahoo group?I'm not sure how that works, but I would love to join. Anyways, thanks again!

carolscrapquilter said...

Love your blog...and love pincushions too!!! In fact, I have to get off this computer and go make a strawberry pincushion NOW! Good thing I still have a little lizard litter left!

shortcake said...

FYI if you can't find walnut shells, I use emery. For something this large it might cost a little bit more but you'll never have dull pins or needles. Love the tutorial. I'm making a bunch of them.

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