Wool Flower Pincushions

Love to work with wool? Bring garden-fresh blooms to any sewing table with folk art wool pincushions that you can stitch in an afternoon.


What you'll need:

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  • 5x9-inch rectangle pink felted wool (background)
  • Scraps of green, yellow, dark pink, turquoise, red, blue, and orange felted wools (appliques)
  • Two 6-1/2x9-1/2-inch rectangles teal plaid felted wool (pincushion)
  • Embroidery floss: green, dark pink, and gold
  • Polyester fiberfill
  • Freezer paper

Finished pincushion: 6x9 inches

Quantities are for 100-percent wool fabrics.

Download Patterns for Wool Flower Pincushions

Felted wool (available in many quilt shops) doesn't fray, so there is no need to turn under the edges of the applique shapes. To felt your own 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.

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  1. Lay freezer paper, shiny side down, over patterns. Use a pencil to trace each pattern the number of times indicated, leaving 1/2 inch between tracings. Cut out freezer-paper shapes roughly 1/4 inch outside the traced lines.
  2. Using a hot, dry iron, press freezer-paper shapes, shiny side down, onto designated fabrics; let cool. Cut out fabric shapes on drawn lines and peel off freezer paper.

To make the best use of your fabrics, cut the pieces in the following order.

From pink wool, cut:

One of Pattern E

From green wool, cut:

One 1/4x5-inch strip for stem

One of Pattern D

From yellow, dark pink, turquoise, red, blue, and orange wool scraps, cut:

One each of patterns A, B, and C

Five of Pattern D

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  1. Referring to Applique Placement Diagram, position green wool stem on pink wool E background; baste in place.
  2. Using two strands of green embroidery floss and a couching stitch, sew stem in place. To make a couching stitch, work small stitches 1/4 to 3/8 inches apart, back and forth over the strip (Couching Diagram).
  3. Position A flower on background; pin. Using one strand of dark pink floss and a running stitch, sew A flower in place. To make a running stitch, pull needle up at A and insert it back into fabric at B (Running Stitch Diagram). Continue in same manner, loading several stitches on needle at a time.
  4. Referring to Applique Placement Diagram, position B and C pieces on center of A flower. Using two strands of gold floss and a star stitch, sew both pieces in place. To make a star stitch, pull needle up at A and push it down at B (Star Stitch Diagram). Bring needle up at C, cross it over first stitch, and push needle down at D. Pull needle up at E and push it down at F.
  5. Using two strands of gold floss, add a French knot at center of C piece. To make a French knot, pull the floss through at A, the point where the knot is desired (French Knot Diagram). Wrap the thread around needle two or three times without twisting it. Insert the tip of needle into fabric at B, 1/16 inch away from A. Gently push the wraps down the needle to meet fabric. Pull needle and trailing floss through the fabric slowly and smoothly. The size of a French knot depends on the number of floss strands and how many times you wrap them around the needle.
  6. Referring to Applique Placement Diagram, position D leaves along stem; pin. Using one strand of green or gold floss and a backstitch, sew each leaf in place. To backstitch, pull needle up at A (Backstitch Diagram). Insert it back into fabric at B and bring it up at C. Push needle down again at D and bring it up at E. Continue in same manner.
  7. Pin appliqued background to a teal plaid rectangle. Using one strand of dark pink floss, tack-stitch along scalloped edges to make pincushion top. To tack-stitch, pull needle up at A and push it down at B (Tack Stitch Diagram). Come up at C and continue in same manner around entire shape.
  8. With right sides together, sew together pincushion top and remaining teal plaid rectangle, leaving a small opening for turning. Trim corners.
  9. Turn right side out. Using a chopstick or the eraser end of a pencil, push out corners. Stuff pincushion firmly with fiberfill. Whipstitch opening closed to complete large pincushion.

What you'll need:

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  • Scraps of dark purple, turquoise, and yellow felted wools (appliques)
  • 6-inch square pink felted wool (pincushion)
  • Embroidery floss: pink
  • Polyester fiberfill
  • Freezer paper
  • Heavy card stock
  • Sewing thread
  • Embroidery needle

Finished pincushion: 3-1/4-inch- diameter

Quantities are for 100-percent wool fabrics.

Download Patterns for Wool Flower Pincushions

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To make the best use of your fabrics, cut the pieces in the following order.

From dark purple, turquoise, and yellow felted wool scraps, cut:

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One each of patterns A, B, and C

From pink felted wool, cut:

One each of patterns F and G

From heavy card stock, cut:

One of Pattern F

  1. Referring to Applique and Assemble Large Pincushion, steps 3 and 4, and using one strand of pink embroidery floss, applique flower pieces to pink G background to make pincushion top.
  2. Cut sewing thread 24-36 inches long. Thread length through an embroidery needle and knot ends. Work small, even gathering stitches, about 1/8 inch long, around pincushion top about 1/4 inch from edge.
  3. With right side down, place a small amount of fiberfill in center of pincushion top; position card stock F piece on top and pull gathers tight around card stock circle. Secure thread. Note: Turn pincushion top over to check firmness. You may need to relax gathers and add more fiberfill before securing thread.
  4. Place a small amount of fiberfill in center of card stock circle.
  5. Position pink F piece over fiberfill. Note: Pink F piece should cover gathering stitches.
  6. Using one strand of pink floss, tack-stitch pincushion top and pink F piece together along edges to complete small pincushion.
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