Herringbone Pincushion Tutorial

4.23.2019

Hello Stitchers! I have a scrappy secret, but I think it's one that a lot of us share—a lot of times when I need a little snippet of fabric, when I *should* reach for my scrap basket—I pull a brand new piece of fabric off the shelf instead. Shhhh—I won't tell!



However, I am trying to break that habit, and hope that I might help inspire you to do the same! I challenged myself to make something using ONLY scraps from previous projects, and I came up with these super scrappy pinnies! I've written up a tutorial so you can make some, too! Let's get stitching!



Herringbone Pincushion Tutorial

Materials
(2) Muslin, cotton voile, or solid quilting cotton rectangles for foundation piecing 2-1/2" x 7-1/2"
(1) Backing fabric (linen or quilting cotton) 4-1/2" x 7-1/2"
Lots of quilting cotton scraps 1/2" to 3/4" wide x 4-1/2" long
(4) Quilting cotton scraps 1-1/2" to 2" wide x 4" long for ends
(2) 100% Cotton quilt batting 5-1/2" x 8-1/2"
Machine piecing and quilting thread or other 100% cotton thread
Crushed walnut shells (affiliate link) or other weighted pincushion fill
Hand quilting thread to finish the pincushion

Tools
Sewing machine, cutting mat, rotary cutter, quilting ruler, erasable fabric pen, iron and ironing board, chopstick or other tool for turning corners, hand sewing needle, small funnel, spoon

Terms
Right side: the side of the fabric with the design printed on it
RST: Right sides together

Instructions

1. Place the foundation piecing rectangles side by side as shown. Using a quilting ruler and pencil or erasable fabric pen, draw a 30 degree line on the left-hand piece, and a 30 degree line going the opposite direction on the right-hand piece, somewhere around the middle. The lines do not need to line up since we’re keeping this scrappy!



2. Place a quilting cotton strip along one of the lines, right side up. Place another quilting cotton strip RST on top of the first strip, matching the long sides along the line. The ends should overhang the sides of the foundation rectangle. Sew the strips together with a 1/8” seam allowance. Press the top strip open. If your machine doesn’t like sewing such a narrow seam allowance, then use one that is slightly wider—we don’t want those pieces pulling apart!





3. Continue adding strips in this way until you have covered the end of the foundation material, then sew strips to the other side of your first strip to finish it. Use wide strips for the last corners of the patchwork, mine are about 2”—remember that you will lose a bit of fabric in the seam allowances so it’s okay if they’re a bit wider than the other strips.

 Retro Mama :: Herringbone Pincushion Tutorial

 Retro Mama :: Herringbone Pincushion Tutorial

 Retro Mama :: Herringbone Pincushion Tutorial

A few tips:

* It helps to do a few stitches beyond the sides of the foundation material, you’ll get a cleaner fold when you press the strips open. Backstitch right on the edges of the foundation rectangle.

* I did not repeat very many fabrics because I didn’t want to accidentally have the same fabrics next to each other!

* I mixed up the widths between 1/2" and 3/4” for an extra scrappy look.

4. Turn over the patchwork panels and trim to the original 2-1/2” x 7-1/2” size.





5. Place the two patchwork panels RST and sew them together along one long edge with a 1/4" seam allowance, backstitching on both ends of the seam. Open up the panel and press the seam allowance open.

6. Place the patchwork panel on a piece of batting and press*. Secure with a couple of pins if necessary. With your quilting ruler and erasable fabric pen, draw quilt lines following the herringbone pattern, spaced 1/2” apart or as desired. Quilt the panel. I used a walking foot and a stitch length of 3.0, with cream colored thread.



7. Place your linen or print backing fabric on a piece of batting and secure with pins if necessary*. Quilt as desired. Trim and square the quilted pieces, making sure they are the same size.

* I do not use backing fabric underneath the quilt batting—omitting it helps reduce the bulkiness of the seam allowances.

8. Place the top and bottom pincushion pieces RST, secure with pins, and sew around the outer edge with a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving a 2” space on one long side for turning and stuffing.



9. Trim the corners and turn right side out. Press with an iron, making sure the unsewn edges are turned under neatly.



10. Fill the pincushion with crushed walnut shells or other weighted fill. I used a homemade cardstock funnel and a spoon. Leave just a little bit of space for the fill to move around. Sew the hole closed with little ladder stitches (you can see a photo of this in Step 3 of the Finish section of my house ornament tutorial).

If you make these pincushions, be sure to tag me @retro_mama and use the hashtags #herringbonepincushion #retromamapattern and #stitchupyourscraps on Instagram!





And a little scrap storage tip: I have tried a few different ways of storing my scraps but my current favorite method is to keep scraps of all the same color, regardless of size, in a zip closure plastic bag. It makes finding the perfect prints for these monochromatic projects so easy! I keep all of the bags on a little cart that I bought at the craft store. What's your favorite way to store scraps?



Happy Stitching!
Kim

24 comments:

  1. Super cute, Kim - thanks for sharing!

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  2. I love this! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Son todos maravillosos ! me encantan las telas y colores ,tan alegres !!!!!!
    Besos.

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  4. Very nice project to use some leftover fabric pieces.

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  5. So stinking cute!!! Cant wait to make these! Thanks for the excellent tutorial retro mama! Stitch on!

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  6. Your pinnies are adorable and will be great gifts for my quilting friends. Thanks for the tutorial!

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    1. Yay!! I love giving pinnies as gifts! Happy Stitching! :)

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  7. Love this thank you. After I make pincushion I'm going to use it to make my little purses. I'm excited.

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    1. So fun! I want to make a herringbone panel into a pouch--there are so many ways to use this technique!

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  8. Very cute - need to make a few - or 4 or 5 - for gifts. :) Thanks for sharing!!

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  9. Very cute, you have great scraps!

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  10. These are great....easy to follow instructions....ready to make several

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  11. I just love this idea, and will start following you as your blog is so colorful and fun. I don't do scrappy that well. It rattles my sense of order, but this is a great way to do paperpiecing and scrappy in a small item Thank you for posting and Sherry @ A Quilting Life for telling us about it Dottie

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    1. Hi Dottie, I'm so glad you found me! I used to be so persnickety about colors matching *perfectly* but forcing myself out of my comfort zone has really opened up the possibilities! I hope you enjoy stitching these up!! :)

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  12. Such a cute idea, and looks pretty simple, great instructions

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  13. These pin cushions are SEW darling! Must. Make. NOW!!!

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  14. Love the idea, and if you attach a strip of quarter inch elastic to each end, you can slip the pincushion onto the bed of your sewing machine, to right of the needle. Very handy for those who like to pin pieces together as you piece.

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  15. These pin cushions are so beautiful, thank you for the pattern and the tutorial.

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