Paper Pieced Pincushion

Now how’s that for alliteration for a post title?

I mentioned in my post What I Did During My Blogging Vacation, that recently I’d been reading lots of crafting books to include Patchwork Please by Ayumi Takahashi.

Patchwork Please!: Colorful Zakka Projects to Stitch and Give - Takahashi, Ayumi

I am OBSESSED with the adorable pincushions on the front cover of this book. The pincushions are made from fabric scraps (a plus!) but they are (foundation) PAPER PIECED (a minus).

Here is how I feel about FOUNDATION paper piecing (not English Paper Piecing like fun type with hexies, but the other paper piecing):

If you are bad in life and go to the “Underworld” when you die, as your punishment you will be made to do foundation paper piecing all day (so live a good life as that is way too terrible an eternal torture)…

Did I mention I do not like foundation paper piecing?

But I really want to make the pin cushion, so I put my “big girl panties on” and proceeded with the pattern.

I had fun rifling through my modern prints fabric scraps to find some coordinated scraps as well as some interesting selvage pieces for the sides of the pin cushion:

After watching a tutorial on foundation paper piecing, and rewinding like 100 times (okay maybe a little less) to learn every nuance of the torturous technique, I successfully paper pieced the top of the pincushion:

And voila – a pincushion was born!

I used leftover bits of canvas from making tote bags (see post Tote, Tote, Tote Bags) as the background fabric for the top of the pincushion. I loved making the fabric covered button for the pincushion – I think it is adorable!

As much as I wanted to keep it, I decided to send it as a surprise to my friend Wendy (the one who wrote the series of posts last year as a guest blogger on the Quarantine Quilt she made with her neighbors 4 boys ages 2 – 8 – Quarantine Quilts).

She sent me a photo of the pincushion in it’s new home in her sewing room:

35 thoughts on “Paper Pieced Pincushion”

  1. I love what you made (and rather enjoyed your description of your sheer enthusiasm for foundation paper piercing). Pincushions are great projects and I really love the shape of those – they’re super cute!

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  2. That is SO cute! I can see why you felt compelled to make it, notwithstanding your dislike of paper piecing. I am not sure I could do it. I am not very good with fiddly things that take fine muscle coordination. But yours is terrific. πŸ™‚

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  3. Kudos to you for tackling a disliked ‘technique’ all for the sake of the prized finished product! I’m wondering if your revisiting of paper piecing with the resultant fantastic finish has given you a desire to continue with this technique?
    BTW: I’m no PaperPiecer, either!

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  4. One can never have enough pin cushions. Your pincushions are so precise and cute. I love that you used selvage. I have a collection of selvage and ties used to hold fat quarter bundles that are begging to be used. I have tried and failed at paper piecing so many times. Maybe I will give it another try.

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    1. Thanks so much, they probably look more precise than they actually were, I had to do some trimming to make it all work. You should definitely do something fun with your selvage and ties. Do you have a subscription to Cratsy? They had a $5 for first year special and I found a fantastic paper piecing class on there (which I think I have memorized from watching it over and over – ha!)

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  5. The whole pincushion (and not only the covered button) is adorable. Absolutely adorable, in fact. So that paper piecing was worth doing. I too do not enjoy the process, but the paper pieced method always gives a precise and perfect product. (I cheated and checked the thesaurus for a synonym for ‘result’ that begins with a ‘p’).

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  6. The final product is beautiful and I love that you gave it as a gift, for your friend will always think of you when she reaches for a pin. My favorite pincushion was made for me by my Nana and is filled with her hair. It was one of her last sewing projects before arthritis robbed her of her ability to handle needles & pins. She told me that once upon a time before fiber fill existed (she was born in 1910) you filled pin cushions with hair because it kept needles & pins from rusting.

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  7. I love the shape of the pincushion and the effect of the fabric covered button. I would love it if it was just a simple 4 square version, no paper piecing needed, I guessing revealingly fascination with box cushions, I think the shape is cat? Anyway. I love what you did and admire your perseverance.

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      1. Yes, I get that about the challenge and I think you met it perfectly. And the pieced paper pattern is just exquisite. I think I was remembering some cushions my grandparents had, that box shape, and the pincushion so strongly reminded me how much I like that shape. Odd what strikes you, isn’t it, about an object?!!!

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  8. My attitude to paper piecing may be yet darker than yours. I would do it only for an effect I could get in no other way. I think I’d draft templates first ( except for some designs that have teeny pieces, and if i nap the desire to do those usually passes. )

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  9. Sew beautiful! Those colours and patterns together are cheerful and sweet. The method looks really detailed and intricate, kind of like origami? (is this why the method is torturous? lol). Bravo for doing the hard thing!

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    1. Foundation paper piecing is just tedious as it involves stitching to paper, having to think backwards in how you lay out, and then you have to remove the paper foundation from your piece. But you can do some really cool and accurate piecing with it. Thanks so much on your compliments – I just love the little pincushion πŸ™‚

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