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Directions for Prensentation Pincushion Project / January 2001

(This project utilizes letters from our Buttons Monogram Set.)

This project courtesy of Pauline Richards.

Pauline Richards, an embellishment expert, publishes the Total Embellishment Newsletter, currently beginning its fourth year. She is known for her innovative stories in SEW NEWS, Sewing & Serger Update Newsletters and her work with several sewing machine and trim companies. Pauline works with Linda Griepentrog, Editor of SEW NEWS as co-director of the magazine's SEW N'Go educational shopping tours. She holds an M. Ed degree and has 17 years of teaching experience on the high school and college levels.

For more information on Total Embellishment Newsletter, visit their website at:

Step 1. Print the instructions.

These are .pdf files, and require Adobe Acrobat Reader software in order to view and print.
To insure printing in exact size, be sure that FIT TO PAGE (see Properties under the Print Menu) is not selected.

Step 2. Review instructions and materials required (materials list at the end of these instructions).

Step 3. Cut the fabric

For the top, you will need one piece of plain drapery quality fabric 5 1/2" (13.97 cm) square.

For the back, you will need one piece coordinating print fabric 5 1/2" (13.97 cm) square, plus 22" (55.88 cm) of 1" (2.54 cm) wide bias cut fabric.

Trim the corners of the fabric panels as shown in Figure # 1.

Step 4. Sew out a sample of the design.

We recommend that you first sew out a sample on a scrap of the top fabric. Each letter from the Buttons Monogram Set is a 6 color design. The end result will be more successful if you choose thread colors that are compatible with the fabric chosen for the back panel.

Step 5. Embroider the letter of your choice

Hoop a sheet of stabilizer along with the top fabric, and carefully position the hoop so that the letter chosen will sew in the center of the fabric.

Step 6. Sew the piping

Attach the cording foot to your sewing machine. Surround the cotton cording with the bias fabric strip and sew to create piping.

Step 7. Assemble the pincushion

Starting at the bottom of the monogram, match raw edges and pin the piping 1/4" (.64 cm) from the edges all around the fabric square. As you work, clip the piping at each corner to create a smooth corner. To finish the piping ends, overlap the ends within the seam allowances. (see Figure # 2)

Step 8. Sew the front and back panels together.

Position the monogrammed top and coordinated fabric back right sides together and pin the raw edges together. Place the pincushion back against the machine and sew slightly inside of the previous stitching line. Leave 2 1/2" (6.35 cm) open for turning.

Step 9. Trim corners, fill, and sew shut

Trim the corners, turn the pincushion right side out and straighten corners and edges. Fill the pincushion with fiber fill. Hand stitch the opening closed.

Step 10. Apply pin decoration.

Print the rope decoration illustration (see Figure # 3) and trim so that there is approximately 1/4" (.64 cm) all around.

Place the template on a soft surface that you are not afraid to damage, and using a pushpin, make holes at 1/8" (.32 cm) intervals along the rope outline.

Carefully position the template on the pincushion between the edge of the monogrammed letter and the edge piping, and secure with low-tack masking tape.

Using an air-soluble marker, make a mark through each hole in the template, insuring that the marks are going through before removing the template.

Use these purple dots as guides, and position straight pins close together along the lines, leaving the heads approximately 1/4" (.64 cm) above the fabric surface.

Repeat this procedure on the opposite side of the letter.

Allow 24 hours for the purple guide spots to fade away.

Congratulations! Your project is complete.


You will need:

1. Pincushion top: one 5 1/2" (13.97 cm) square, plain drapery quality fabric. 2. Pincushion back: one 5 1/2" (13.97 cmm) square coordinating print fabric.
3. 22" (55.88 cm) of 1" (2.54 cm) wide bias cut fabric.
4. One small bag of fiber fill.
5. 2" (55.88 cm) of cotton cording.
6. Medium weight cutaway stabilizer
7. Air soluble marking pen (fine point).
8. Cording or piping foot.
9. Letter of your choice from the Buttons Monogram Set.
10. Straight pins
11. Low-tack masking tape.

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