Adorable afternoon projects: handmade pincushions (+ fabric giveaway!)

Pincushion Appeal

Are you a “pincushion enthusiast?” If you are—or want to be—get ready to fall in love with Just Another Button Company, led by mother-daughter team Cecile McPeak and Rachel Martin. The popularity of these clever button designers has soared with the introduction of their charming pincushion designs. Now they’ve joined us to share their patterns in book form with you—and they invite you to become a pincushion enthusiast too!

Romance pincushion from Pincushion AppealThe projects in Pincushion Appeal make it easy to transform scraps of wool and floss into fluttering birds, jolly Santas, and even a bride and groom. Embellish your pincushions with buttons, pins, beads, appliqués, and more. If you like, you can even purchase one of six special embellishment kits so your pincushions look just like the projects in the book. Best of all? You can make most of these sweet projects in an afternoon.

Today Cecile is here at Stitch This! to talk more about being a pincushion enthusiast, and to share a few ideas for making the projects in Pincushion Appeal your own. Thanks for being here, Cecile!

Weeks Dye WorksGIVEAWAY ALERT! Our friends at Weeks Dye Works have provided a luxurious bundle of eight wool fat quarters to give away to you! Find out how you can win this beautiful stack PLUS a copy of Pincushion Appeal at the bottom of this post.

Wool fat quarters from Weeks Dye Works

Cecile McPeak and Rachel MartinCreative people love pincushions—it’s no secret. We collect pincushions and “pin” pictures of them because they make us happy. Some of us make pincushions—but we ALL should!

Pincushions are simple to make, inexpensive, and fast. Plus, each one is a little bit of art—your own art! The new book Pincushion Appeal is perfect for the creative crowd. Eight pincushions with full-sized patterns and beautiful photographs are all-new designs from us—Cecile McPeak and Rachel Martin—designers for Just Another Button Company™.

In the book, we describe the fabric, supplies, and tools used to create the pincushions, and we give you lots of sewing tips. Beginners will be delighted by the simplicity of sewing with felted wool and will also find the illustrated hand stitches very helpful. Experienced sewists can choose to machine sew pincushion seams and will have fun sorting through fabric stashes for creative ways to make pincushions with a unique look.

Pincushion designs from Pincushion Appeal
“Measuring Mushroom” and “Succulent Garden”

Pincushion designs from Pincushion Appeal
“Splash” and “Mr. and Mrs. Spoolkeep”

Pincushion designs from Pincushion Appeal
“Nesting Bird” and “Snowglobe”

Each of the pincushions in Pincushion Appeal begins with our favorite (and easy to find) Weeks Dye Works felted wool, National Non-Wovens WoolFelt, and premade felted wool balls from HandBEHG Felts. Wool is so easy to work with—no issues with raw edges or frayed seams!

Have fun creating appeal of your own—you can use the patterns in the book with a variety of fabrics. As you see in the photo (below right), the original Santa pincushion in the book features seafoam houndstooth felted wool. Rachel loves Santa stand-ups and was inspired to make another pincushion from merlot houndstooth (below left).

Santa pincushions

But why limit yourself to wool? The Santa in the center of the photo above is sewn from cotton print. We even cut beard and mustache shapes from two layers of cotton fabric, fused together with an adhesive layer, to make a polka-dot beard for the red Santa.

Click this link to find a downloadable pattern for cutting the optional scalloped edge used on the red Santa. Print the image to use it for a gusset pattern instead of the gusset shown in the book. (The image should measure 7″ from top to bottom when printed.)

Scalloped edge pattern for Santa pincushion

Create your own art by adding imaginative trims and buttons. Did you notice how Rachel used vintage ribbon trim at the edges of the coat on the cotton Santa? Some of the embellishments we used are available prepackaged from Just Another Button Company—you can purchase them through Martingale.

Romance Kit for Pincushion Appeal
Kit for the “Romance” pincushion shown; see all six companion kits

Combine these pins and buttons with unique notions you make or find. The large pins shown on our Santas are assembled from collectible buttons and beaded appliqués glued to hat-pin findings. Looking for the perfect embellishment is part of the fun!

Here’s one more tip for making the Santa pincushions—learn our trick in the video below for bending and shaping the tall Santa hats. We use a secret ingredient, hidden inside the hats. Can you guess what it is?

Watch the “How to Make Pincushions: Express Yourself!” video on YouTube

Join us as you create some pincushion appeal of your own. On our blog, Rachel and I will share ideas for making, embellishing, and displaying your pincushions. We’ll also help you find specialty items we used in Pincushion Appeal and new things we discover as we create more appeal!

Pincushion Enthusiast

Pincushion AppealThanks for sharing your fun tips for personalizing pincushions, Cecile!

Have you made pincushions before—and do you use them for holding pins, decorating spaces, or both? Tell us in the comments and you could win a copy of Pincushion Appeal PLUS the gorgeous bundle of wool fabric from Weeks Dye Works! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck!


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