Tomato Pincushion

Felted wool pincushions will be the hit of the party when given as take-home favors.


What you'll need:

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For gray-and-gold pincushion

  • Two 5-inch squares gray felted wool (applique foundation, backing)
  • 5-inch square gold felted wool (tomato applique)
  • Scrap of red felted wool (strawberry applique)
  • Scraps of green felted wool (leaf appliques)
  • 5x10-inch piece muslin (lining)
  • Embroidery floss: gold, light gold, red, and green
  • Crafts sand
  • Pink safety pin

Finished pincushion: 4-1/2 inches square

Measurements include 1/4-inch seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Get patterns for the tomato pincushions.

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To felt wool, machine-wash it in a hot-water-wash, cool-rinse cycle with a small amount of detergent; machine-dry it on high heat and steam-press.

It's not necessary to add seam allowances when cutting out the applique pieces. Because felted wool doesn't ravel, there are no edges to turn under. Cut the edges cleanly, keeping them as smooth as possible.

Cut pieces in the following order.

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From gold wool, cut: One of Pattern A

From red wool, cut: One of Pattern B

From green wool, cut: Two each of patterns C and D

From muslin, cut: Two 5-inch squares

1. Referring to Applique Placement Diagram, arrange gold wool A tomato and red wool B strawberry on gray wool 5-inch-square applique foundation; baste in place. Using two strands of gold embroidery floss, blanket-stitch around edge of tomato.

To blanket-stitch, pull your needle up at A, form a reverse L shape with floss, and hold angle of L shape in place with your thumb. Push your needle down at B and come up at C to secure stitch. Continue in same manner.

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2. Using two strands of light gold floss and a running stitch, create lines on tomato. To make a running stitch, pull your needle up at A (Running Stitch Diagram) and insert it back into fabric at B, 1/8 inch from A. Pull your needle up at C, 1/8 inch from B, and continue in same manner.

3. Using two strands of red floss and a running stitch, add lines around strawberry.

4. Position green wool C leaves at top of tomato and green wool D leaves at top of strawberry. Using two strands of green floss, tack pieces in place.

5. Using two strands of green floss, stem-stitch a vine between the strawberry and tomato. To stem-stitch, pull your needle up at A (Stem Stitch Diagram), then insert it back into fabric at B, about 3/8 inch from A. Holding floss out of the way, bring your needle back up at C and pull floss through so it lies flat against fabric. The distances between points A, B, and C should be equal. Pull gently with equal tautness after each stitch. Continue in same manner, holding floss out of way on same side of stitching every time.

6. Layer a muslin square, the remaining gray wool 5-inch square, and appliqued foundation with right side down. Place remaining muslin square on top; pin to hold in place. Stitch around all sides, leaving an opening at bottom for turning.

7. Turn pincushion right side out. Fill with crafts sand. Whipstitch opening closed. Place a pink safety pin on tomato.

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