We are so excited to launch our “Year of Pincushions” series for 2021!
As quilters, it is easy for many of us to get bogged down in large and ambitious quilt projects that never end. Or get stuck in a rut making “quick and easy” quilts that don’t always feel that rewarding in the end. This year, I invite you to put aside some of your large ambitions and join us in making small and exquisite projects by making pincushion quilt patterns.
Pincushions are great little projects. They are inexpensive to make and they don’t take up lots of space in your overfilled quilting shelves and closets. They are also a great way to use up scraps, showcase some of your super-special fabrics, and try new quilting techniques.
Pincushions make lovely gifts for fellow quilters, embroidery enthusiasts, and sewists of all kinds. However, I have to admit that my selfish reason for wanting to create a year of pincushions is that I love how they look in my sewing room.
Beautiful patchwork pincushions partner beautifully with antique wooden spools, old thimbles, cute scissors…and let us not forget handmade pins… Every month, we will show you some inspiring ways that we are partnering our pincushions with sweet sewing accessories, both vintage and new.
We will use a variety of techniques throughout the year to create our pincushions patterns. Some of the techniques you will see include:
- English Paper Piecing
- Foundation Paper Piecing
- Hand Applique
- Machine Applique
- Traditional Machine piecing
- Embroidered embellishments
As you can see, there will be both hand and machine work included, but in many cases, you will be able to swap one technique for another depending on your preference. For example, I may create a sample with needle-turn hand-applique but the pattern is just as suited for raw-edge machine-applique.
Pincushion Materials Needed
The fabric requirements for making pincushions are small. In general, these will be great projects for the scrap basket and for utilizing precut bundles like 5” charm packs/stackers, 2 ½ inch jelly rolls, and fat-eight bundles. You can pick a fabric collection or style that you want to keep consistent from pincushion to pincushion or you can do a fresh take on fabric style and color scheme for each pincushion. It’s all up to you but we will give you detailed fabric requirements and suggestions for each month.
Some non-fabric supplies that will come in handy are as follows:
- A fusible woven interfacing: to line your pincushion panels before assembly. We are using a brand called ShapeFlex. The interfacing adds integrity to your pincushion shapes and makes them stronger.
- Fusible web: For machine applique, you will need a fusible web. We recommend Heat’n Bond Lite for most uses. Another lovely brand that is less stiff is Soft Fuse.
- Lightweight Starch or sizing: We prefer Mary Ellen Best Press for most purposes.
- Thread, general purpose for hand and machine: We are using mostly Auriful 50wt Cotton Mako. However, for the hand applique, we are using YLI silk thread, which has a lovely ability to hide and become invisible in the final project.
- Hand sewing needles: Clover Black Gold needles is the only brand that I personally use for any type of hand sewing. For the pincushions, I recommend getting a pack of size 10 needles (and maybe a wire needle threader since the eyes on these needles are tiny). Make sure you also have a good thimble on hand. We are fans of the leather Thimble Pads from Colonial Needle.
Where Do I Get My Pincushion Patterns?
Our “Year of Pincushion” patterns are released around the 1st of each month. The patterns are available as instant download digital PDF patterns. Browse our shop to see the latest pincushion quilt patterns or use the list below to see each month:
- January Pincushion
- February Pincushion
- March Pincushion
- April Pincushion
- May Pincushion
- June Pincushion
- July Pincushion (Available July 1st)
- August Pincushion (Available August 1st)
- September Pincushion (Available September 1st)
- October Pincushion (Available October 1st)
- November Pincushion (Available November 1st)
- December Pincushion (Available December 1st)
Please Join Us! Make all 12 for a gorgeous series or make one of your favorites.
Want to show us what you make? Use #yearofpincushions on Instagram.
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