Last week we left off with a very wimpy unstuffed pin cushion shell.
To finish it up, I'm going to rely on my batting leftovers for stuffing. For my quilts, I'm a wool batting kinda gal. That means I have a lot of wool batting leftovers - pieces that are cut away from the quilt edges, or that are too small for another project.
You can use regular fiberfil if you prefer, but I've got the batting scraps, so I just start by cutting them into narrow strips. Any length.
(Forgive my horrible looking hands. My bi-weekly indulgent manicure isn't available at the moment. And my hands are chapped from all the extra soap and water. You can relate?)
Then I stuff the strips into the pin cushion until I can't get any more in. I like a tightly-packed pin cushion!
I'm always surprised by how many strips the little pin cushion swallows!
That leaves me with a gaping mouth that needs to be sewn closed.
It's at this point, I'm pretty glad I did the extra basting stitch and pre-pressed my seam allowances.
Make a quilted knot with your dry, unpolished fingers, thread the needle like normal and wrap the thread end around the needle shaft a good three or four times. Pull to tighten the knot on the needle, and pull the needle through (toward the upper left in the picture) while pinching the knot.
You should have a pretty sturdy knot at the very end of the thread. If you haven't done this before, you may need to practice a couple times.
Insert the needle into the seam allowance from the inside. You might have to do some needle acrobatics to get there, but then ladder stitch (sew in and out on one seam allowance, then sew in and out on the opposite seam allowance, and repeat) to close the opening.
I might sew it once, then turn the pin cushion and sew it again over the first stitches.
If you do the ladder stitches carefully, you won't see them. If you prefer to whip stitch you can do that too. If you are an English Paper Piecer these stitches are probably already familiar to you.
Once the opening is closed, I squish and knead the pin cushion until all the batting lumps are smoothed out and the stuffing is evenly distributed.
Then using perle cotton thread, two miniature buttons and a number 1 milliner needle (they are extra long and great for this part).
Knot the thread end with a quilters knot and sew a button in the middle of the top and bottom of the pin cushion. Pull firmly as you thread the needle through the button holes, passing through the pin cushion several times.
And there you have it! The top, embellished side, and the bottom plain side.
Now as for that stack of pin cushion parts I started with . . . if I finish one each week, I should be done with all of them in about 10 years!
Just kidding, more like 15.