I think I have a pincushion problem

I have been sorting through my patterns and notes, looking for ideas for the Instagram pincushion swap I signed up to (#IGpincushionswap). In the process, I realised that:

  • I need to sort out my filing system. It is a mess!
  • I have a lot of patterns for pincushions and a lot of pincushions.

Pictured below is just a fraction of the pincushions I have made and given away over the years, many of which were never photographed or recorded.

I can see why Rebecca of One Wee Bird suggested I sign up for the swap!

Most of the pincushions I have made are fairly functional. I think it might be time to make something a bit silly and frivolous. I would like to make something special for the swap.

This little pincushion was made using a Laurraine Yuyama pattern. It is Patchwork Pottery’s ‘Book Pillow and Pincushion’ pattern, which a friend bought for me as a Christmas gift. She knows that I love books as much as I love sewing.

It turned out very, very girly, but that is because I started with the fabric for the front page. I was able to fussy cut this print to fit perfectly. As the print is for a rose perfume, it seemed only fitting to incorporate some rose prints. Then, I got a bit carried away with lace and ribbon. OK. I got a lot carried away. As a result, it looks more like an old-fashioned perfume box than a book.

My cover turned out too big. I have checked my measurements, and I think it was a pattern error. If I make it again, I know to chop ¼ inch off one side of the front and back cover pieces, but it do not think it ruins the finished effect. I gave it to the friend who gave me the pattern – fair trade, I think.

I do not think I will make a book for the swap, but a few people in my Instagram swap group have this pattern on the Pinterest boards and hints of things they like.

Do you have a pincushion problem? What makes a good pincushion?

43 thoughts on “I think I have a pincushion problem

  1. Those orange/apple pin cushions are cute!

    I have a couple of pin cushions my mum made for me though I’ve never made one for myself. My favourite though id the magnetic one (I forget who makes it) because I can drop my pins wherever and then suck them up with the magnet! It’s so handy for those times I drop my container of basting pins…

  2. I have made many a pincushion over the last few years- some to keep and some to giveaway! I like a sturdy and chunky pincushion which doesn’t escape too easily! Lead shot in the bottom helps!

    • I haven’t tried lead shot. I don’t think the swap will be the time to try, either. The postage by weight would be scary! As it is, I worry about using crushed walnuts (my favourite filling) if sending overseas.

  3. I KNEW This swap was perfect for you Carla! I’m so excited to see what you choose to do! I love the pin cushion that you made for me and it has both qualities that I think are important, practical and gorgeous to look at 😍

  4. I like a large pincushion so I can use different parts of it for different sorts of pins and needles. It needs to be pretty, brightly coloured so it’s easy to find on a table littered with bits of fabric, and in an ideal world it would feature a wrist strap so when I’m pinning something large up on my design wall, I don’t have to run the risk of holding a dozen pins in my mouth! I have a long telescopic aerial thing with a magnet in the end, so I just poke that at pins on the floor and don’t even have to move!
    You really do have a bit of a pincushion problem, but it’s a very pretty collection, and it could be so much worse…

    • Ah! I have different pincushions for different types of pins – one for applique pins, one for flat head pins, one for my favourite glass head ones, one that sits by my sewing machine, etc. – instead of one big one. Sometimes a pincushion lives with a project until the project is finished. I have never had a wrist strap one, but I think I would like it.

      Most of these have found new homes.

  5. My pin cushion problem is that I keep making them and then going back to my old tacky one (that I’ve had from the beginning of time) which is a spotlight brand plastic container with a foam piece on top … in my defence I did cover the foam top with some lovely fabric. I like that I can store the pins in the container when I’m not using it – to keep them safe from little fingers … I’m on the hunt for a flat jar that I can replace it with … the closest I’ve come up with is a baby food jar, but even that’s too high … ho, hum.

  6. There are things to put pins in?? 😀 I know of these pincushions you speak of, I just never remember to use them…all my pins are in the same plastic box they came in, much to hubby’s dismay since they seem to migrate out of it constantly. I had a pincushion that my MIL gave me and I used for awhile, but it was small enough that most of the pins stuck out and stabbed me, which didn’t seem to be any better than my open container. I like the idea of a magnet…. but anything strong enough for my purposes probably shouldn’t be near the computer part of my machine. :/ But your pincushions are so cute!!! Even just as objects of art. 😀

    • I thought the box pins came in was sort of like the bag fitted sheets come in – a bit magic. Once you open the container and take out the pins or the fitted sheet, it is impossible to shove them all back in again!

      I have a store-bought magnetic pincushion with a container underneath. It sits by my machine with no harm and picks up the escapee pins really well. Something like that might work well for you as a transition from the plastic box they came in.

  7. They are all darling! If you have to have a problem, this pincushion one is a good problem to have. It’s useful and doesn’t bother anyone. Doesn’t take up a lot of space. And lovely to look at. I found your blog about a year ago when I was looking for pincushion ideas. I loved your chicken pincushion. My problem is… I still haven’t made my first pincushion! Thanks for sharing your collection.

  8. I think it’s entirely appropriate that you love pin cushions. They are small and compact, just like you. Maybe one day you could fill your Mini with pin cushions – there’s a challenge for you.

  9. Yes you do have a lot of pin cushions and they are all so darling. I love the tea pots, the cathedral window one, and the one that looks like the inside of an orange. They are all so clever.
    Now about the organizing bit, that’s not my thing at all. I can always find what I want and I keep things orderly but not overly organized.

  10. I do not have a pincushion problem. In fact, I hardly ever used one until a friend gave me one a couple years ago. You, on the other hand, might need a few meetings of Pincushion Lovers Anonymous. That said, they are lovely! You have such patience to make those tiny little things so perfectly!

  11. I’m ashamed of mine! It’s a rolled up piece of fabric scrap, secured to stop unravelling. Very ugly but does the job.
    You’ve definitely spurred me on to make a new one! ✂️

  12. Man, those are a LOT of pincushions. I think we need to find you a support group. 🙂 I can’t tell you how much I LOVE the one you made me. I smile every time I use it. I really like your cathedral window one. I think that might be a good way to try that particular block. Rebecca was right when she said this was the perfect swap for you.

    • It is scary when you realise that I have made them all in just the last few years.

      The cathedral window one is the exception. It is older than the rest. It might be a decade old! I would like to make another of those one day. As you say, I made it to understand how cathedral window blocks were made.

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