Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Square Pincushion with out a Sewn in Gusset

Yesterday I spent an hour or so, sewing my Argentine Hexies together. Belief it or not, after over 25 years in quilting I have never done this before. My BFF in Texas helped me find a website that shows how to do this. I wasn’t smart enough to save the address, but have noticed several good ones listed. Just pick one. Anyway, here is the results.

I then decided to make a square pincushion and applique this to the top. Problem here, I don’t like to sew in gussets. I will do almost anything to not have to sew one in. All the patterns available show gussets. Then I remembered that when making a bag, you can make square bottoms with out a gusset. I talked it over with BFF in Texas. She’s not a big bag maker so wasn’t familiar with this technique but told me to go for it. So I just dug in and made a try at it. Here it is

Okay, it’s square but too small and too tall. But my technique worked to make a box. You can see the cross seams that make a flat square into a box. Now I’ll show you a step by step guide on how to do this.
With the experiment I started with two 5” squares both interfaced with a light interfacing. I sewed the cross seams ¾” from the corner. The experiment ended up to be 3” across and 1¾” tall. So I started the same 5” with the final one. Had a problem with that because the upholstery fabric I was using shrunk while pressing. So I added some of the camel fabric to fill it out then topstitched in blue to match the upholstery fabric.
You can see that I had to do this twice in order to make my 5”. Here is how I did the interfacing after the fact.
Here is the first step to making the pincushion, sew together the top and bottom fabrics leaving a 1” opening. Don’t worry about the corners because they will be cut off during the next step. In a corner pull the front away from the back.

Then reposition so that the seams are together with the allowance going in opposite directions. Using a ruler mark a line where the pincushion equals 1”. I used a line on the ruler above my stitching to keep the ruler straight with the pincushion. Repeat for all 4 corners, backstitching at the stop and start of each. Cut each corner ¼” from stitching.
Have you noticed yet that I forgot to interface the backing fabric. I had 3 corners sewn before I noticed this. Undid them and redid them. Ugh!!!
Here is the little pillow I created using this technique. Notice the corners have already been cut.
Time to stuff it with you favorite stuffing. I used crushed walnut shells. This is available at your local pet store in the bird or lizard section. It is commonly used as liter. This will weight the pincushion so that it won’t tip over and is cheaper than the emery we have been taught to use. Be careful some people are allergic to nuts and this stuffing can be hazardous to them. One of the ladies in our pincushion swap bought a bag and stuffed her giveaway pincushion just to have her eyes start watering and her nose running She also started swelling all over. She had to ask a friend to sew the pincushion closed so she could mail it on time.
I like to stuff mine so that nothing else fits into the cushion. Here’s mine:
The finished size on the second one ended up to be 3 ½” square by 1½” tall.
Well I’ll have to do something else with those hexies. They just didn’t look right on this pincushion so I just put a button on the top and bottom and called it finished. I also have the prototype to use yet. Oh well maybe the next swap.


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