Saturday, 27 September 2014

Pretty Pincushion

Well here we are again and this time I have made you a pin cushion. It is a hexie shape and it has some pretty embroidery and my favourite red and white gingham on the bottom.

Now the sewing here is very straight forward but all the rage at the moment is patchwork combined with embroidery so I thought that I would walk you through some embroidery stitches. There are only two so please don't panic if you are new to this!

Here is what we are aiming to produce this time...

We will work with a french knot and a detached chain or lazy daisy stitch.

Okay, so what will we need? Gather a piece of pink fabric with a very subtle print. This is a new idea too. The old fashioned way of doing embroidery was to use plain cloth or linen. Using subtle prints is fresh and new.

You will need a couple of fabrics, 20cm sq. One of them is the subtle print (I have used a Tilda Nina pink) and one is a bold red and white gingham (don't ask, it just works!). You will also need some embroidery threads. I have used Anchor #1344 (variegated), #9046 (red) and #256 (green). Finally, you need some polyester stuffing, a small lace daisy, a little bit of ribbon for a tab and two buttons, red and pink.

You also need your usual sewing requirements including a water soluble marker and a small embroidery hoop.

TIP: keep your pins really sharp by stuffing the pin cushion with steel wool (the un-soaped variety).

So lets get started! Draw yourself a large hexie template. these are available online or you can draft it yourself. It will need to be 
3 3/4". This included seam allowance.

You will see by my photo that I have cut the hexies out of my fabric already. Don't do this until after the embroidery is finished if you are a beginner. It is easy to draw the hexie shape onto the fabric with the water soluble marker and then embroider and cut out afterwards. 

Draw the shape on and then draw the flower pattern. This is very easy. You only need to draw three small circles and then a few sets of straight, short lines for the leaves. position the sets of embroidery about 4 cm in from each hexie corner.

Doesn't look an awful lot to go on does it! Well, have a look at the finished work and then we will go back and construct the flowers a bit at a time...

It is super pretty and the red centres instead of the usual yellow pick up the red and white gingham nicely.

So how do we achieve this marvel? Let's look at it step by step.
Firstly, put the fabric into your embroidery hoop to keep it tight and draw a circle about 1 cm diameter with the water soluble marker...

If you need to, you can show the positions of the petals with five straight lines radiating out from the centre...

Next, thread the needle with your chosen colour (work with three strands of embroidery floss) and bring the thread up through the centre of the circle

Take the needle back right next to where you brought the thread up and then bring it up again on the outside of the circle. Loop the thread around it and pull the thread to make the petal.

Secure the petal by making a small stitch at the top (the outside of the circle). Begin again in the centre to make the next petal, using your lines as a guide.

When you have made all five, go to the next flower or, if there isn't one, fasten the thread neatly on the back and let's make the centre.

The centre is a classic french knot. You begin by bringing the needle up through the centre...

Then take it down again and bring it up next to the first bit....

Wrap the needle about three times and then, holding the wrap gently, draw the needle and thread up so that the knot sits on the fabric....

See what I mean....

Finally, take the excess thread back down and secure on the back neatly and out of sight.

There you go! Now remove the water soluble marker lines and it will look lovely. These stitches may take a little practice but they are worth it and they add a whole new dimension to your work.

Well, do the embroidery and then cut out the hexie shape and it should look something like this...

Take the little piece of ribbon, fold it in half and and sew it on half way along one side of the hexie...

Now place the two hexies right sides together and sew all the way around the edge, leaving a small gap for turning out. Clip across the corners to reduce bulk.

Turn out and stuff well. Slip stitch the opening closed. Now position your lace daisy and red button in the middle of the front and the pink button on the back and hand sew into place, drawing the pincushion in to give it a contoured shape as you go....

Why the button on the back? Well for one, it looks better because it hides the thread and more importantly, it stops the thread from pulling out through the fabric. It is under quite a lot of pressure because of the stuffing. Here it is from the back...

And the finished thing!

This doesn't have to be a pincushion either. Consider it as a lavender bag in your wardrobe or to freshen the air in your car. Very versatile indeed and super pretty!

Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial.

hugs and kisses