Folded Star Pincushions Tutorial

Folded Star Pincushions Tutorial
 Pincushions Patchwork Tutorial. Easy to make, makes a useful project or an excellent gift.

 The above pincushions are chiefly hand sewn, but are far from difficult.  It's great for using up scraps and/or fat quarters.

You will need:
- 12 - 2" x 3 1/2" rectangles, 4 of center color, 8 of secondary color, and 8 of the third (outside edge) color
- 1 cotton base fabric, 8" square, preferably the same or close to the fabric chosen for the center star
- 1 lining fabric of a neutral color, 8" square
- 1 backing fabric, same as the fabric chosen for the front (third color) outside edge
- 2 coordinating buttons
- Coordinating threads
- 8 1/2" length of rick rack, ribbon or cording for loop
- Poly-fil
- Poly-pellets

The orange batik (top 4 rectangles in the photo) will create the center star, therefore the 8" square that acts as the base to which all pieces are stitched, needs to be either the same fabric or pretty close. Although you will be stitching the pieces right beside each other, the background will show a little.

the 8" square fabric is folded and pressed twice (in a square shape) to create a crease to act as a guide. Each rectangle is folded and pressed 1/4" along 1 long edge, then folded in the shape of a triangle.

Placing the first of the 4 folded triangles in the lower corner of your base fabric, begin by pulling your needle through the center, catching the point of the triangle in your first stitch.

Progress your stitches evenly down one edge of the triangle's fold, ensuring that the edge continues to run alongside the fold of your base fabric.

Always begin at the center, each time you sew a 'side,' despite the fact that it will be tempting to just drag your thread across. For my right handed friends, you'll probably want to start at the lower left hand corner and stitch toward the left.

Continue to stitch into place each of the 3 remaining center triangles, to form a square. For the 2nd layer, pin each of the first 4 triangles so that their center folds align with the seams you just made with the first round. They should each be 3/4" from the center point. Do measure!

I promise - eyeballing it is only going to make you kick yourself later when it's crooked; which reminds me to recommend that you now scroll up to the top of this page and look at the center photo. See the lower pink/green pincushion? Go ahead and study's why I now measure instead of eyeballing it with this project :)

The remaining 2nd layer triangles lie on top of the first four - again 3/4" from the center. Because I make these so often, I finally cut one of my tape measures to about 12" so it's more manageable when I'm traveling.

For layer 3, the triangles begin atop the four you just placed. Now - here's where I deviate from the original pattern. I place them 1 3/8" from the center, instead of the recommended 1 1/2" from the center. Otherwise, I tend to wind up fighting to get the ends of the second layer tucked beneath this layer.

Hand stitching complete.

At this point, I like to pin flat all my little 'flaps' and secure them by machine, 1/4" from the outside edge of the octagon you've just made. It's also a good time to stitch into place the loop, as shown.

Layer your backing fabric atop a neutral lining fabric, and cut two 6" circles. While lining isn't critical, I find that it makes them so much nicer.

pin the backing fabric with liner on top of your star, right sides together. Machine stitch around the circle, 1/4" seam allowance, leaving a space for turning. I like to double stitch across the loop for extra security.

When cutting away the extra fabric, I leave the general octagon shape around the piece in order to ensure that the hand stitching remains in tact. Otherwise, I find that if I cut the knots I've made, my little triangles can come loose.

Folded Star Pincushions Tutorial

Turn and press.

Folded Star Pincushions Tutorial

Choose one button for the front (usually a small one) and one button for the back (I like to use a big one). Stuff with poly-fil, adding a few poly-pellets to the bottom portion for extra weight. Hand stitch to close the opening.

Folded Star Pincushions Tutorial

Use a long needle with ample thread length and start on top, pulling your needle through to the back.

Folded Star Pincushions Tutorial

Your knot will be left on top, but will be covered by your top button. Secure the bottom button before pulling back through to the top, to secure the top button. Redundantly stitch between the two so both are as tight as you like them.

Folded Star Pincushions Tutorial

The small button on the front is just enough to hide any 'point' imperfections and also serves to pull the folds taut to keep the wrong side of the fabric from peeking out.

Folded Star Pincushions Tutorial

the large button on the back serves as a good anchor.

Folded Star Pincushions Tutorial

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