The Making of a Finger Pincushion — Lots of Photos

I’ve been having fun putting these finger pincushions together and have had a few questions about the method to make them, so thought I’d do this quickie tutorial. Lester is alert and ready to watch.

Start with a 4.5″ square.   Because you’re going to be wearing this on your finger, next to your skin, I think it’s really important to wash the fabric first and get rid of the residual chemicals from the fabric manufacturing process.

Fold it in half, into a triangle shape.

Set your machine to a short stitch length.  In my case I used a 2.  Start stitching at one end of the triangle, carry on to a quarter of an inch before the end of that side, pivot and start down the other side for about an inch.  Secure and cut your thread.   Leave an area of approximately 1.5″ open and then begin sewing again and go right to the end.  This is what your triangle will look like.

This next step is optional, but I think it helps a lot when stitching the pincushion closed at the end.  I fold the two sides over, where the opening is, and then press them.  I find it makes it a lot easier and faster to do the final stitching by hand to close the pincushion.

Gently turn your triangle right side out.  Use something like That Purple Thang to push out the corners and tip.   This is what it will look like at this stage.

After some experimentation, I’ve found that using a combination of batting scraps torn up and some polyester filling to stuff the little pincushions makes them firm but not too firm.  Using only batting scraps can result in rather lumpy pincushions.  I start out with a large handful of the polyester fill and some batting scraps.  Almost all of what’s showing in this picture will be used to stuff this pincushion.

Start by putting some of the polyester filling in, and push it down to both ends of the triangle.  Keep adding polyester filling until it’s about 1/3 full.  Then start adding some batting scraps, bit by bit.  Push them down into the polyester filling.  Then add more of the polyester filling and keep adding it and the batting scraps and pushing them down to ensure a firm pincushion.  Bear in mind that you will have to stitch up the opening in the seam and fold the ends over to make the ring, so make sure that you don’t fill it too full.  This is what mine looks like after I’ve finished stuffing it along with the few remaining scraps of batting that I didn’t use.

Using a very small ladder stitch or your favourite applique stitch and a thread colour to match your fabric, stitch the opening closed.  The final step is joining the two ends of the triangle together to form the ring.

Although it’s awkward, try overlapping the ends on your finger before you start stitching them together so you can get a rough idea of  how large a ring you need to leave to make it comfortable to wear on your finger.  Then just stitch to secure.

It’s a bit difficult until you get the first 3 or 4 stitches in, and then becomes much easier.  Overlap the two ends and start stitching by once again using a thread that matches your fabric.  I make a quilter’s knot, and then bury it in the pincushion stuffing, much like you’d bury your knot when beginning to quilt.  Bring the needle out at one of the ends and start stitching them together.

Try to stitch around both ends; the one that ends up on top and the one beneath it. It’s rather difficult to get a decent picture of the joining, but I hope you can see that I’ve basically tacked the ends down by stitching around them.

Next step?  Start using and enjoying your new finger pincushion.  But make yourself a couple because, once you get used to using these, you will never want to be without one.  You might just want to make a few for friends too.

Or you could contact Just Jennifer, and buy some of these pincushions directly from her.  I understand that her company will have a booth at the Paducah show in April.

Smudge found the whole thing so relaxing that he stretched out!

18 thoughts on “The Making of a Finger Pincushion — Lots of Photos

  1. Oh! I actually MIGHT be able to do this auxiliary sewing. Great tutorial this one! I’m pleased to see Lester was so interested in this one. I think it might have had something to do with that very pretty fabric and I can see how it is relaxing to make one. The proof is in the puddin’. (puddin’ = Smudge)

    After using my own finger pincushion – I’m hooked. These are so nifty. Who knew? Everyone but me. But now I know and there’s now turning back. 🙂


  2. Cathi, thanks for the nudge I needed to make these again. I had made one a couple of years ago, but didn’t have the right size square and fussed and fussed. Loved the result but it was too much work—and then you solved all the problems and so I made 5 this afternoon. Happy day! (pressing the seam allowance before turning is brilliant!) Putting a picture on my blog tomorrow with a link to you. Just have to find time while downloading the new pies and tarts collection!!
    Thanks, again. (Cats look like they’re doing better!)


  3. Thank you for this! Incredible tutorial Cathi. Well done! I just made little scissor cases for my PIF gifts and now will attempt your finger pincusions to accompany them! Oooohhhhh lala, all thanks to YOU! Ive been trying to think of another small item it could easily mail that would be useful. Xo


  4. Thank you so much for the pattern. I just found the site and finished making my first pincushion just now. A lady had given me one years ago but wasn’t sure what to do. I’m making all the ladies in my Sunday school one for Mothers Day. Thanks again . Hopefully I’ll see you at the show


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