Peppermint Swirl Pincushion


(featured in the Simple Abundance Moda ad in the Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Publication)

1 Layer Cake square- red
1 Layer Cake square (or 8″ square)- cream
1 Layer Cake square- aqua
1 Layer Cake square- green
2-3 small red buttons
1 large button
Warm and Natural batting scraps
2 cups crushed walnut shells or other filling

1. Cut two pieces of batting, one 5″ x 10″, and one 5″ x 5″.
2. Fold the red Layer Cake square in half. Place the 5″ x 10″ piece of batting inside. Cut the green layer cake in half to make a 5″ x 10″ rectangle. Fold it in half. Place the 5″ x 5″ piece of batting inside.

3. Print out pattern pieces from this pdf file. Trace 5 swirls onto the red fabric, and 1 of each leaf onto the green fabric with a water soluble fabric marking pen. (Having some problems with the pdf file- it will be up a little later.)

4. With matching thread, sew around each shape on the lines you marked with the pen.

5. Do the same with the leaves. Sew around the whole shape, then add a small line down the center of the leaf, about 2/3 of the length.
6. Remove all the pen lines with a damp cloth. Cut out the shapes 1/8″ from the stitching. (Yes, there will be raw edges!)
7. Using the circle from the pdf, cut one cream circle, one aqua circle, and one circle from your batting.
8. On the cream circle, Fold it in half, then in half again to find the center. Pinch it to make small creases. This will mark your center.
9. Place the swirls around the center, evenly (or not!) and pin them to the cream fabric.

10. Stitch them to the cream fabric, following the stitching on each shape, up one side and down the other. You don’t need to stitch along the outer edge. The swirls will hang over the edges a little bit.

11. If you’d like, you can jazz it up a little bit with your darning foot and a few squiggles.

(here’s a close up of mine)
12. Layer the 3 circle pieces in the following order: Batting, Aqua back (right side up), Cream with swirls (right side down). Pin around the edges. Sew a slightly bigger than 1/4″ seam around the circle through all three layers (making sure to catch the edges of the swirls), leaving a 1″ opening so you can turn it.

13. Trim the swirls so they are flush with the circles. Clip around the shape, every 1/4″, up to the seam, making sure you don’t clip into the seam!!

14. Turn right side out, trim any fraying threads. Fill with crushed walnut shells about 3/4 of the way full. (Use a funnel to do this part, unless you want a big mess!)

15. Stitch the opening closed.

16. Stitch the leaves on in the center, going all the way through to the back of the pincushion.
17. When you get to the back, add the large button, and bring the needle back through to the front. Repeat each time you add a button to the center. When you finish, tie the thread off on the bottom, hiding the extra thread behind the bottom button.
18. Enjoy your sweet little peppermint pincushion. Or give it away and make another. And then another, and one more after that. 🙂

One sweet little Christmassy sewing treat.
And there you have it! Enjoy!
Simplify (blog)

Simple Little Runner

*1 Moda Charm Pack of your choice (40 5″x5″ squares)
*1/2 yd fabric (binding/strip)
*2/3 yd fabric (backing)
*Cotton batting 26″x 43″

*1.5 yds ric rac

1. Lay 40 charm squares out in 8 rows of 5 as shown below:
2. Pin and sew two charm squares together as shown below, right sides together, with a 1/4″ seam.

3. Continue sewing squares together to make up a single row of 5. Repeat with each of the 8 rows.

4. Press each row, alternating seam direction. (Press seams on row one to the right, row two to the left, etc)

5. From 1/2 yd, cut five 2-1/2″ x 42″ strips. Trim ends. Set aside two strips.

6. Measure top row of squares and bottom row of squares. Cut the two strips from last step the same length as the rows. Pin and sew one strip to the bottom row, right sides together.

7. Press, then continue to sew the rows in order, pinning and pressing between each row until your quilt top is finished.

7. Cut one piece of backing 25″ x 42″. Press well. Using masking tape, tape it to a hard surface like a floor or table, smoothing out any wrinkles..

8. Make a “quilt sandwich” by placing batting on top of backing, and then the quilt top on top of the batting. Smooth out fabric and pin the corner of each square, making sure each safety pin goes through all three layers of the quilt. (My little helpers always “help” with this part.)

9. Stipple quilt, or sew straight lines along the seams. For more detailed stippling instructions, visit my stippling tutorial here.

10. Once you are finished quilting your runner, trim the edges. Make sure your corners are square. Cut two 24″ pieces of ric rac. Sew a straight stitch along seam as shown below.

11. Sew the remaining 2-1/2″ strips (cut in step 5) together, end to end lengthwise. Bind quilt. For more detailed binding instructions, visit my binding tutorial here.

One simple little 23″ x 40″ runner. Not to mention, a very proud you. 😉 Hooray!

That’s it! Now go ahead, make one for everyone you know!