"Woven" Fabric Pincushion
Posted by NancyC on Friday, February 22nd, 2013
Hi, this is Nancy from prims and proper a little shop on ETSY. I make sweet girly stuff for your home and your favorite dog. I am very happy to be teaching again for Riley Blake Designs.
Today we are going to be using the Little Red Riding Hood collection by Tasha Noel. When I first saw this fabric, I thought it was adorable. I knew the colors and the size of the prints would work well for the design of my pincushion.
As a little girl, I loved making potholders for my Grandmothers by using stretchy strips of fabric and a loom. This pincushion uses the same basic idea. Pressed strips of fabric are "woven" together to create a piece of fabric that can be cut into any shape.
For this project you are going to need:
Fabric - 6" x 6" piece for the backing plus assorted fabrics cut into 8 1/2" x 1" strips (I used 20 strips)
Fusible interfacing 6"x 6" (Fusible only on one side)
Button (I used a covered button kit)
Polyfil or your favorite pincushion stuffing
Tools: rotary cutter, ruler, iron, starch, bias tape maker (optional, but helpful), marking pen, small pointy scissors or awl, pins, needle, thread and sewing machine
I like using small prints when using this technique. I fussy cut to take advantage of the design on the fabric knowing that the center of the fabric is what will be seen. (Fussy cut means to look at the design printed on the fabric and cut with the design in the center). I also cut some of my strips without any of the fabric pattern, giving the appearance of having used a solid color fabric.
For this pincushion, I chose to make a circular pincushion 4 1/2" in diameter. Before I cut my fabric strips, I spray the fabric with a little spray starch. I've found it helps the strips go through the bias tape maker easier and gives a nice crisp edge.
Cut your fabric into 1" x 8 1/2" strips using your ruler and rotary cutter. I used 20 strips for my pincushion, but you may want to make a few extra. (These strips are longer than you need, but when you weave the strips, the ends tend to get off kilter and will be cut away). .
If you are using a bias tape maker, cut one end of your strip into a point diagonally. Insert your strip into the tape maker and iron as it comes out. Use the point on your scissors or an awl to guide the strip through if necessary. Make all of your strips.
If you are not using a bias tape maker, fold each strip in half lengthwise, iron and then open the strip back up. Fold each raw edge towards the middle on the wrong side of the fabric and press. Spray a little starch on both sides and iron. This will keep the strips closed and remove the crease. Repeat for the other strips.
Now for the fun part, weaving your strips together.
Lay your 6"x 6" piece of fusible with the fusible side up on your ironing board or pressing mat. I use a pressing mat with a grid that I can put pins into. I also found a fusible called Quilter's Grid on Point that has lines on it that would work on a ironing board. Having lines will keep your strips straight as you weave making your finished piece nice and even.
Lay your strips on top of the fusible horizontally with edges touching. (Raw edges down). If you are using a gridded mat or fusible, line up your fusible and the first strip along one of the lines. I leave about a 1/2" of fusible showing above my first strip.
Pay attention to the pattern on the fabric. Some of the strips will lend themselves to be used as vertical strips, others need to be used as horizontal strips.
I find pinning them on the ends helps to hold them in place. DO NOT IRON.
Now take one of your strips and starting from the top, weave over and under the horizontal strips. When you have reached the bottom, move your strip even with one of the vertical lines on the grid. You may want to adjust the strip to take advantage of the design by pulling it towards the top or the bottom. Once the strip is where you want it, put a pin in place at both ends.
For the second strip, repeat the process but go under then over.
For the third strip, repeat what you did for the first strip. As you weave, you may need to adjust some of the horizontal strips and repin them. Move each strip close to the previous one creating a tight weave.
Keep adding strips until your fusible is completely covered. Double check to make sure you have not skipped any strips during the weaving process. Once you are satisfied with the appearance of your woven fabric, you can press with a hot iron. (I remove my pins slowly so that my strips stay in place).
Lift your piece and turn over and press on the other side. Once your fabric has cooled, trace the shape you want onto the fusible side. I chose to make a circular pincushion 4 1/2" diameter. I used a ribbon spool as my template. Your finished pincushion will be the size you have traced.
Machine stitch on your traced line. I used an open toe foot so that I stayed on my stitching line. The stitching will help to hold your fabric weave intact and makes it easier when turning your pincushion right side out. Check on the right side of your weave that it still looks ok. Cut off the extra strips of fabric hanging beyond the edge of the fusible.
Place your woven fabric right side down on your backing fabric so that the right sides are together. If you have used a directional print on the back like I did, make sure your patterns are going in the same direction. Stitch over your previous stitching line through both pieces of fabric leaving about two inches unstitched for your opening. Backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitching.
Trim off the extra fabric leaving a 1/2" seam allowance. Clip into your seam allowance about 1" apart being careful not to cut the stitching. This will help keep the shape when you turn your pincushion right side out.
Carefully turn your pincushion right side out. Poke along the seam with your finger to push out the edge. Stuff your pincushion with fiberfill and hand-stitch the opening closed. You could leave your pincushion just the way it is, or add a button to the center.
I wanted a little something extra on my pincushion, so I made a covered button with Little Red Riding Hood in the center. One of the fabrics had words that I thought were very sweet. I cut out the words, made a folded strip, gathered it with a long machine stitch and made a ruffle to go around my button. I hand-sewed the ruffle and the button to the top of my pincushion and added a button on the bottom.
I hope you enjoy my little pincushion.