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!

Finger Pincushions

After I was so lost without the finger pincushion and then receiving the lovely new one, I decided to try my hand at making them.  I used a couple of different of methods for the final stitching together of them, different stuffing and think I’ve found the perfect “recipe”, so to speak.  They’re dead easy to make — a 4.5″ square folded in half into a triangle shape and stitched, leaving an opening to turn them right side out and then insert the stuffing — and they are absolutely the best tool going for piecing.

As a hand piecer, I wear mine on my index finger.  Machine piecers apparently wear these on their thumbs.  I know that I’m absolutely lost without mine — not having it makes piecing seem so much slower.  It took me maybe half an hour to get used to wearing it when I first got one.  Now?  Now I can’t even begin piecing until it’s on my finger.  So now that I have figured out how to make them, the next step is to find the decorative braiding to make them look that much nicer.

There were some interesting responses to the post on Friday regarding what people use to mark quilting designs on their quilt tops.  I decided to play it safe and have a scrap piece of the cream fabric on which I’ve made marks using a number of things such as a graphite pencil, chalk pencil, watercolour pencil.  I’m going to let it sit for a week or so and then wash it to see if the marks come out.   I’m planning to hand quilt the pink and cream quilt, so know that the marks will be on it for a while and want to be sure that whatever I end up using will come out without  any problems.

We had one of those glorious mid-February days late last week when one thinks spring isn’t far off. Saturday and Sunday showed us winter isn’t done with us yet. This was the scene on the roof garden Monday morning.  It may be pretty, but winter seems to be lasting altogether too long this year.  It’s time for spring.

Lester was on the windowsill on Sunday for a while.  Not that there was much to see, but that seems like another true sign winter may be drawing to a close.  I think he’s getting bored without any birds to watch.  We didn’t get a picture of him there, but did get this one of him having a snooze later on in the day.

Mr. Q.O. has been using the heating pad on his shoulder lately as he has a frozen shoulder.  Smudge decided it was there for him.