This project has been designed by Lisa Marie Olson of Tigerlily Makes. Lisa has recently published her first book ‘Felt Wonderland’ published by Search Press. The book is a complete guide to wet felting and making your own felt, with some embroidery and needle felting techniques added, and is priced at £9.99. Order your copy here.
Make this pretty pincushion using pre-made wool felt, or make your own using the wet felting and needle felting techniques explored in Lisa’s book.
You will need…
15–30g of merino in colours of your choice to make your own wet felt by following the techniques in Lisa’s book. If you want to use pre-made felt, Cloud Craft have a great selection of wool felts
Small amounts of co-ordinating pre-felt
Hot glue gun or fabric glue
A small amount of toy stuffing
For the decorative detail:
Pompom trim (approximately 40cm long for a small pincushion)
Satin piping trim (approximately 40cm long for a small pincushion)
Scraps of pre-felt for centre back detail
Paper templates for flowers and hearts
A button of your choice
Long sewing needle
You will need three different colours of felt and enough to make two squares for each cushion. If you make your own felt, Lisa recommends that you make two colours at a time by laying the fibres next to each other; lay one colour horizontally, then lay the next colour horizontally next to that. Then repeat each colour with the fibres laid vertically. The pincushion is made up of three differently sized cushions in different colours. Press each felt piece before use, as it makes it more condensed, looks neater and is easier to work with.
The pincushions in this stack measure – Large 5 x 5 inches, Medium 4 x 4 inches and Small 3 x 3 inches
These pin cushions can be done in any number of sizes to suit.
Tip: Keep sizes equal for each square by decreasing in increments of 1 inch or 1 1/2 inch so if your first square is 6 x 6 inches make the next size down 5 x 5 inches and so on.
1. Cut felt pieces
Cut two pieces of each chosen colour as follows:
Large – 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches
Medium – 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches
Small – 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches
2. Decorate felt
Using white or natural pre-felt, cut out flower shapes, heart shapes and dots.
Apply flowers, hearts and dots as you wish to one piece of each colour. You won’t need to embellish the bottom squares as very little of this will be visible. You can needle felt the embellishments onto the background felt or handstitch them on as you wish.
3. Stitch pincushion without trim
For cushions without a trim, place right sides together and stitch a seam of approximately 1/4 inch around all four sides. Cut a slit in the centre back piece and then continue with step 6 onwards to finish the cushion.
4. Stitch pincushion with trim
For cushions with a trim, pin the edging trim (or satin piping) to the right side of the square. The trim part should be facing in the direction of the cushion centre, on the embellished side. Place this all the way round the four sides, pinning as you go.
You will need to bend and stretch the trim into place at the corners and cross the ends over, leaving some overlap where the two ends meet.
Sew the side where the raw edge is exposed, but keep as close to the start of the edging as you can.
When you reach the corner where the trim overlaps, take the machine back and forth to secure the thread.
5. Assembling the pincushion
Cut a slit into the centre of the second piece of the cushion that is big enough to get the stuffing in and to turn inside out after sewing.
Place the bottom part of the cushion over the top part, right sides facing, and pin all round.
Sew the two pieces together, trying to keep the stitching in the same place as the stitched trim.
Turn right sides out, check that the corners are in situ and the overlapped trim ends have matched well, leaving no gaps in the edging. Turn back to the wrong side and trim off the excess seam allowance.
6. Stuffing the pincushion
Turn back the right way and stuff the cushion with toy stuffing until you are happy with the shape.
7. Handstitch the opening
Now hand stitch the opening closed – it doesn’t have to be particularly neat as this will be covered with the piece of pre-felt.
8. Embellishment on small pincushion
With your embroidery thread held double, attach the button embellishment to the front of the smallest cushion by taking the needle right through from the back of the cushion to the front. You only need to add a button to the top cushion if you are making the stack.
Tie a knot at the back of the cushion and then snip off the excess embroidery thread.
Fix a piece of pre-felt to the bottom of each cushion you make, except for the very bottom one, which needs to remain uncovered until you have sewn all five together. Make the other four in the same way.
Stack the pincushions together and sew the three pincushions together by passing a thread and long needle through all layers, securing within the lowest pincushion.