I had seen some really adorable pin cushions on Instagram and Pinterest and had yet to try my hand at making one, so in February I signed up for the IG Pin Cushion Swap (#IGpincushionswap) to make my first pin cushion. My partner, Maja, lives in Croatia and she mentioned that she loves Disney, Smurfs & bright colors." I like to send extras along with my swaps and found a little set of Smurf figurines. That gave me the idea to make the actual pin cushion be a Smurf house.
I made it out of felt and went through a process of trial and error for what would work to make it the right shape. Since I do not enjoy sewing felt on the sewing machine, the whole project is hand sewn (oh, except for a little liner pouch to hold the crushed walnut shells). I don't typically hand sew, but I think it worked out well.
I started with a 8 1/2" circle. My first prototype had a base that I made by folding darts in the circle. The roof of the house is close to a semi-circle, as large as I could cut from a single 8 1/2" x 11" piece of felt. It didn't look like much at this stage, but I figured it would work and just hoped it would come out as cute in reality as it was in my head.
My second prototype base had less bulk because I cut Vs for the darts instead of folding the felt. Still a little wonky looking.
At this point I started the long journey of hand stitching. This meant the project could go on vacation with me for some car sewing. You can see how I cut my circle for the base of the house. Nothing is measured. It's all just eyeballed. So unlike me.
I purchased crushed walnut shells to put in the base of the pincushion and poly fill for the rest of it. Once I'd stitched the walls of the pin cushion I was concerned that my stitches might not have been perfect enough to keep the smallest crushed walnut dust inside, so I created a little pouch to hold the walnut shells. I slipped it into the base of the pin cushion before stuffing it with poly fill.
The finished pin cushion. It's a little giant. Maybe 8" tall and 6" across the base. ;-)
Here's the entire package I sent for the swap. Maja told me that it was "absolutely amazing and [she] only wants to use it as display." ;-) The best part is that she forgot that she mentioned Smurfs on her swap form so she was totally surprised. Win!
Here are the three pin cushions (and so many other goodies!) that I received from my partner, Jenipher. Aren’t they cute! The little ones are a bracelet and a ring pin cushion. That's right! Pin cushion jewelry!