I know there are a million different pincushions out there and that stray pins can easily be poked into almost any nearby object, but I also know that pins can walk and after finding them in all sorts of odd locations, and forgetting one or two that I'd laced through my pants (ouch!). I came up with this. My all-time-favourite style of pincushion. It's felt, it's sturdy, it's cute, and best of all --- it has a wristband (also useful for hanging it onto your sewing machine)!
This is my entry for the Sew Useful contest and is available for sale in my etsy shop. Go see it here: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6348656
Step 1: Get You Supplies Together
two: 3" x 2.5" pieces of felt
one: length of 1" wide elastic (usually sold for use in waistbands) the diameter of you wrist plus an inch.
one: piece of knit fabric to cover the elastic (a piece from an old t-shirt would be perfect).*
one: reference drawing
one: 2" square piece of scrap cardboard or plastic
blunt end embroidery needle
sewing machine or needle and thread
pinking sheers *
Step 2: Transferring Image
1: Find your reference image and transfer it onto the top felt square. To do this I use a washable crayola marker and draw my design onto the square. The markers are cheap, reliable, easy to find, and most importantly wash up in a second.
2: If your floss is 6 stranded cut a comfortable length to work with and split the stands. What you want to end up with is a 3 strand piece of floss in a workable length.
3: Thread your embroidery needle and tie a knot in the end of the floss.
Step 3: Stitch on Your Image
4: Starting from the bottom pierce the felt, pull your thread, and go back through the felt about an eighth of an inch along your line. STOP, do not pull your thread tight yet, to secure your floss pass it through the thread just above your knot and pull.
5: Push you needle back through the felt passing through the threads in your first stitch. Continue on in this manner until you've covered the outline of your image.
6: For the patchwork stitches and eyes make one stitch the desired length on top off your original line.
7: Finish by passing thread through last stitch and pulling tight.
8: Rinse your piece under cold water to remove your ink outline. If you are concerned about your floss bleeding use a bowl of cold water mixed with vinegar to fix the colour.
9: Hang to dry
Step 4: Making the Wrist Band
10: Cut out a piece of 1" elastic the diameter of your wrist plus one inch.
11: Cut a piece of knit the length of the elastic minus one inch. If you have them use pinking shears to cut the fabric this will help prevent fraying. (*The knit casing is optional.)
12. Fold your fabric right sides together and sew a tube the width of your elastic. You may want to use a zig zag stitch, my machine is straight stitch only so I sew two rows with low tension for stretch and extra strength.
13. Turn your tube inside out. Do this by pushing one end through the tube using a pencil or stick.
14. String your elastic through the tube. Use a pair of tweezers or a large safety pin to help you pull it through.
Step 5: Attach the Wristband
15: Cut two 1" slits in the bottom felt square and pass the elastic and casing through the slits.
16: Overlap the last 1" of elastic and stitch in a square, then X pattern for strength.
17: Cut two narrow slits in your backing and pass it under the elastic. Place a few pieces of stuffing under the elastic to make sure the stitching and raw ends of the casing stay hidden in the cushion.
Step 6: Finish the Edges
18: Place the embroidered top over the bottom, matching all the edges.
19: Holding the pieces securely together (use a safety pin if need be) finish them with a blanket stitch. Thread and knot your needle, starting from the inside of one piece pass up, back down and through to secure, then pass through the bottom half, back through the top of the top half. DO NOT pull this stick tight! You don't want a noticeable loop, but you do want enough slack to finish your edge.
20. Run the thread from to to bottom, passing through the loop created by the previous stitch before starting the next stitch. Continue in this manner until the first three sides are secured.
21. Don't forget to stuff the cushion before securing the last side. I used scrap pieces felt as fill, this gives a nice firm cushion that hold it shape and keeps my pins and needles shiny and sharp.
22. For the last stitch pass your thread through the first stitch pass though new loop to create a knot, pull tight and pull thread end into the inside of the cushion, pull tight and clip the thread.
Step 7: Ta-da!
One finished, functional, and fun pincushion.