Recently Kitty (Night Quilter) and I had the opportunity to meet in person after following each other’s work online for years. Both loving embroidery, repurposing textiles, creativity and the sewing community in general we plotted a tutorial that would allow us to play off each other’s creative personality and engage the greater sewing community as a whole.
A year ago I made an Easter Egg shaped pincushion out of velvet and repurposed leather. We expanded on this idea and invite anyone who wants to participate to make a similar pincushion and, if interested, incorporate repurposed leather (Earth Day is coming up after all, and repurposed leather is typically thin enough to easily sew on a domestic sewing machine. Be bold. Be brave. Let’s sew leather!).
In this tutorial we give everyone some guidelines but the emphasis is PLAY and MAKING THIS PROJECT YOUR OWN. Don’t celebrate Easter? No biggie, make a similar pincushion in another shape. We will be following on Instagram so please tag your makes #eastereggpincushion (as well as tagging @nightquilter and @entropyalwayswins) so we can all enjoy. To celebrate this group project we will both randomly be giving participants some of our own pincushions as well as supplies to make them. All you need to do to be eligible is to play along, tag us, and tag #eastereggpincushion so that we can find you!
Thin leather (~6×12 inches)
Wool felt, velvet, jeans or any other material for the inner portion of the pincushion (~6×6 inches)
Embroidery hoop (a 4” hoop will *just* fit the inner egg)
Egg Pincushion Template (print HERE) (note updated the pdf 3/20/2017)
Embroidery thread (embroidery floss, perle cotton, or 12wt thread works. Use what you have!)
Embroidery or other needle (Kitty uses Tulip size 3 milliners)
Double sided fabric tape or fabric glue (optional)
Sewing machine with a walking foot
Leather sewing machine needle
Thread (Kitty and Hillary used 40wt Aurifil thread)
Chalk or other removable marker
Muslin or other scrap fabric (6×12 inches)
Craft clips (both Clover wonderclips or Evergreen Art Supply craft clips work great)
Crushed Walnut shell or other favored pincushion fill
Step 1: Templates and Leather
Print the Easter Egg Pincushion HERE and cut along both inner and outer egg outlines.
Trace the template onto the wrong side of the leather, marking out two eggs–one with only the outline and one with both the inner and outer lines drawn. Carefully cut along the marked lines, remembering to cut one piece along only the outer egg outline and cut the other piece along both the inner and outer egg outlines. Set your leather pieces aside.
Step 2: Embroidery
Using chalk or water soluble marker, trace the inner egg outline onto on your embroidery surface (felt, velvet, jeans, etc) so you will know the limitations of your embroidery design. Adorn at your heart’s desire with embroidery, applique, etc. You are welcome to copy our experiments but please feel free to try your own ideas.
Step 3: Attach the Embroidery to the Leather Upper
Align your embroidered material so that the embellishments fit within the window of your leather upper (the egg with the hole cut out of the middle). Secure the right side of your embroidery to the wrong side of your leather upper with double sided tape, glue, or other method. Then, using a ¼ or ⅛ inch seam allowance, top stitch the two together along the inner egg as shown. Thread the top threads to the back of the piece, tie all loose ends together and trim. Finally, trim the seam allowance of your embroidered material carefully about ½” away from the stitched line so that it remains easily inside the outer margins of the egg.
Step 4: Make an Inner Pincushion
Using only the outer margin of your Egg Template, trace and cut two pieces of muslin. Sew the two pieces together using a ¼ inch seam allowance, leaving a small opening to use for filling. Fill with crushed walnut shells (a funnel can be helpful for this). One half cup of crushed walnut shells for this project seems to be the right amount. Use, a little more if you want a more rounded pincushion. Sew closed the opening of the inner pincushion.
Step 5: Finishing your Pincushion
Place the two leather egg pieces wrong sides together and secure with wonderclips. (Note that pinning will create visible holes in the leather–use clips!) Sew around the outer margin of the egg using a ¼ seam allowance, leaving an opening at least 3 inches long unsewn. Stuff your filled and fully closed inner pincushion through this opening. Ensuring the inner pincushion remains entirely inside, top stitch the remaining way around the outer edge of the egg. Thread the top threads to the back of the piece, tie all loose ends together and trim or bury.
Step 6: Share your creation with us!
Tag your pincushion on Instagram #eastereggpincushion as well as tagging @nightquilter and @entropyalwayswins or link to the blog posts. We can’t wait to see what you create! Enjoy!!