Spools of Thread Pincushion Tutorial

Spools pincushion
Posted in Sewing

I am sure that by now you’ll have seen my Spools of Thread FPP pattern. If not and you are new to FPP then the Spools of Thread pattern is a fabulous place to start. To help you along the way there’s also a sew-along where you can see exactly how it’s done. See further down the page for links to the pattern and the sew-along.

In this post I am sharing with you one way of making your Spools of Thread pattern go further by showing you how you can make a Spool block and turn it into a pin cushion!

Spools of Thread Pincushion in mustard

How to Make a Spools of Thread Pincushion

In order to make a Spools of Thread Pincushion you will need the following materials:

  • Spools of Thread pattern
  • Fabrics for Spool (see pattern for requirements, but you only need small amounts)
  • Fabrics for Pincushion:
    • 5″ x 5.5″ (for base)
    • Two (2) of 1.5″ x 3.5″
    • Two ( 2) of 1.5″ x 5″
  • Stuffing of your choice

You will also need a sewing machine, iron, pins, needle and thread.

Make your FPP Spool

Make up one completed Spool block. Keep your papers in for the time being. You can watch the week 2 Spools of Thread Sew-Along video if you need help on how to do this.

If you have made this pattern before or have done FPP before you may like to try out a little fussy cutting as  I have done with this project. I have used the Mellow Mauve colourway of the Cocktail Party print from Lewis & Irene and have fussy cut so that there is a complete cocktail glass showing in the middle of the thread section of the spool. I talk about fussy cutting in the demo and walk you through my thought process when selecting and cutting fabrics.

Spools of Thread Pincushion with Lewis and Irene

Add Short Strips

Take the two shorter 1.5″ x 3.5″  wide strips and sew one to each side of the Spool section. Use a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Press away from the Spool, towards the outer edges.

Spools Pincushion Side Sections_Add Side Sections

Add Long Strips

Take the two longer 1.5″ x 5″  wide strips and sew one to the top and one to the bottom of the Spool section.

Press away from the Spool, towards the outer edges. This completes your Spools Pincushion top section.

Remove the papers from the Spool section at this point.

Spools Pincushion Top and Bottom Sections_Add Top and Bottom

Construct Pincushion

Take the completed Spools pincushion top and place right sides together with the pincushion back.

Sew around the outside edges, leaving a gap of about 1.5″ for turning through.

Spools Pincushion Sew RST

Box the Corners (optional)

This next step is completely optional. If you like, you can box off the corners to make more of a boxed rectangle than a pillow.

Whilst the pincushion is still inside out, stick your finger into each corner in turn to fold the corners so that the seams (that you have just stitched) meet and you have created a point.

Pop a pin through the middle of the seam allowance and check that it pops out through the middle of the seam allowance on the other side. This will help to ensure that your seams match up when you turn the pincushion through and that the corners are straight. This pin is marked on the illustration below with a yellow head.

Once you have the seam allowances matched pop a couple of pins through both layers to hold in place.

Mark a horizontal line 0.5″ from the tip of the point that you have folded (not from the ends of the seam allowances) and sitch in place. Securing with a few reverse stitches at each end.

Repeat this process on all four corners.

Boxing the Corners

Filling & Finishing

Turn your Spool pincushion through to the right side and fill with your chosen filling. You might like to use toy stuffing or crushed walnut shells or a combination of the two.

Close the opening you left for turning through with a ladder stitch or a whip stitch (see below for video links if you’re new to these techniques)

Closing your pincushion

Get the Spools of Thread pdf Pattern

The Spools of Thread FPP pdf pattern is available from the shop section of my website. As a pdf pattern is it available for purchase and immediate download so that you can get sewing straight away!

Video Resources

I have a few videos that you might find useful if you are making a Spools of Thread Pincushion. There are links to the following reources:

  • Essential Tools for Foundation Paper Piecing
  • LIVE demo where I showed you how I make the pincushion
  • Spools of Thread Sew-Along where I reach you the basics of FPP (week 2 focuses on FPP tecnhiques)
  • Demo on how to sew a ladder stitch
  • Demo on how to sew a whip stitch

Essential Tools for FPP

Watch the LIVE demo

Spools of Thread Sew-Along

Learn the Ladder Stitch

Learn the Ladder Stitch

Learn the Whip Stitch

Spools of Thread Pinnie Tutorial
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