Tutorial For the HexieLove Pincushion
Wouldn’t these be fun for hexi-swaps! These are fun to make and very fun to use.
English Paper Piecing is so popular. Choose your favorite fussy-cuts and have fun with this!
You really only need fabric, needle, thread, scissors, hexagon paper shapes and some filling. I have a few personal preferences. Use what you have and like. I also used crushed walnut shells for the filling.
I have a set “G” of Marti Mitchell templates. I used the smaller hexagon one to cut my fussy-cut shapes. The others fabrics I used were from a mini charm pack, 2-1/2″ squares, untrimmed. I have a big spool of Superior Threads Bottom Line in Natural. I wound a bobbin to keep in my bag for small portability. Leave the big spool at home!
I use the 1″ hexagons, that is one side of the hexagon is 1″ long. I cut my papers from the Fiskars punch pictured.
There are lots of fabulous techniques demonstrated online for English Paper Piecing Hexagons; use what you’re comfortable with. I’ll show my preference. Center your hexagon papers on your fabric placed face-down.
I use the Sewline glue stick and place a dab of glue in the center of the hexagon to hold it in place. Less is more with the glue! Glue down the side edge, beginning on one side and moving around counter clockwise.
After the glue dries, I give them a good pressing. This is very helpful later on.
When choosing my layout, I want to think about orientation. If your hexagon has a pretty focal point, to have it visible, it should be oriented toward the center of the hexagon flower, the top half of the pin cusion. Take a look at the finished sample to see what I mean.
Sew the outer ring of hexagons together, leaving one seam unsewn. I use about 20 tiny stitches per 1″ side. That is a lot of stitches but you want your filling to stay inside the pincushion! I do not knot my thread, but do a couple of stitches at the beginning and end of each side, pulling through the loop to secure. This really secures the intersections and I don’t like making knots…
Notice that I have sewn the outer ring of the hexagons together leaving the lower two un-sewn. This makes it easier, in my opinion, to sew the center hexagon to the outer ring.
Place your center hexagon face down on the hexagon that is first, next to the opening. Before you sew, flip it up to be sure the orientation is correct. Stitch the hexagon around on all six sides, bending the papers when needed. I punch my own so I am not concerned about having to throw away a couple of creased papers. (I use a light cardstock).
Use your favorite, most comfortable technique to stitch while keeping the other “petals” out of the way. Sometime I use the handy clips.
If I come to a place where I need to stop before I reach the end of a seam, I just use a clip to hold everything secure.
Once they are all sewn together, I give them a final press. I also press the bottom, center hexagon very well to really set the crease. (not shown here) It helps later on.
Now we are going to sew the petal edges together. Notice that the pincushion is inside-out while sewing the petals together.
I find it easier to begin this process by removing the center hexagon paper (the one with the girl’s face). The makes manipulating the fabric a bit easier. Also, I remove the papers after I am finished with that “petal”.
Continue around until all the petals are sewn together and it should look something like this.
Position your bottom, center hexagon, face down, considering orientation. Sew around 5 of the six sides. Remove any remaining papers.
Now it is time to carefully turn the pincushion right-side-out. Be careful not to stretch the opening as much as possible. It should resemble the photo below. I like how the flower looks like an extension of her hair!
Bottom side. Notice the opening to insert the walnut shells filling (or whatever you are using). I like the weight of the shells.
Honestly, this is the most challenging part of the process for me. I used a funnel and every time it seemed full, I settled them in and put in more. I kept repeating this until I was either bored or it was full! Carefully sew the hole closed using small stitches. I used the same technique as when I paper piece but keep in mind that it is on the right side. Do your best, it is on the bottom anyway! *Wink*
These are a great size and I needed one for the craft room (I mean break room) at work. I like to get away during a break, when I can, and do a little sewing, cutting or gluing. It really relaxes me and freshens me to go back at it in the office.
One thing I noticed was that the lighter fabric tends to show the dark shells through. You may want to consider using iron-on interfacing on the lighter fabric, especially if it is the center one? Might hold up longer too? I haven’t tried this with hexis; I would be curious to hear other ideas.
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial! If you make any of the pincushions, I would love it if you would post with the hashtag #hexieLovePincushion and @prayeriewife so someone else could find the tutorial. I’d love to see a bunch of these made and given away as a gift, maybe to someone that could use a smile. 🙂
Best wishes always,