The bees and blooms on these appliquéd and embroidered wool pincushions prove spring has sprung.
Designer: Roseann Meehan Kermes
• 2×5-1⁄2" rectangle yellow felted wool (appliqués)
• 2-5-1⁄2 ×6-1⁄2" rectangles pink felted wool (appliqué foundation, pincushion back)
• Scraps of felted wool in aqua, fuchsia, orange, lavender, red, purple, light blue, light gray, and black (appliqués)
• 6" square green felted wool (appliqués)
• Embroidery floss: yellow, pink, green, purple, aqua, orange, red, and black
• Freezer paper
• Polyester fiberfill
• 1⁄4" hole punch (optional)
• Fabric glue stick (optional)
Finished pincushion: 6×5"
Quantities are for 100% wool fabrics.
Cut pieces in the following order. Click on "Download this Project" above for pattern pieces. Felted wool (available in many quilt shops) doesn't fray, so there is no need to turn under the edges of the appliqué shapes. To felt your own wool, machine-wash it in a hot-water-wash, cool-rinse cycle with a small amount of detergent. Machine-dry it on high heat and steam-press. To use freezer paper to prepare appliqué pieces, complete the following steps.
1. Lay freezer paper, shiny side down, over patterns. Use a pencil to trace each pattern the number of times indicated in cutting instructions, leaving 1⁄4" between tracings. Cut out freezer-paper shapes roughly 1⁄8" outside drawn lines.
2. Using a hot dry iron, press each freezer-paper shape, shiny side down, onto right side of designated wool; let cool. Cut out wool shapes on drawn lines; peel off freezer paper.
From yellow wool, cut:
• 1 each of patterns B and D
• 2 of Pattern K
From pink wool, cut:
• 2 of Pattern A
From aqua, fuchsia, orange, lavender, red, purple, and light blue wool scraps, cut:
• 4 of Pattern C
• 4 of Pattern D (or use 1⁄4" hole punch to punch out four 1⁄4"-diameter wool circles)
• 1 each of patterns L and M
• 2 of Pattern J
From green wool, cut:
• 1 each of patterns C, E, G, H, and I
• 2 of Pattern F
• 1-1⁄8 ×2-1⁄2" stem strip
• 1-1⁄8 ×2" stem strip
• 1-1⁄8 ×1-1⁄2" stem strip
From light gray wool, cut:
• 2 of Pattern N
From black wool, cut:
• 2 of Pattern O
Appliqué Pincushion Top
Designer Roseann Meehan Kermes left the edges of some appliqué pieces loose to give the pincushion top added dimension and texture.
1. Referring to Appliqué Placement Diagram, position yellow wool B scallop on square end of a pink wool A appliqué foundation; pin or use fabric glue stick to baste scallop in place.
2. Using one strand of yellow embroidery floss, whipstitch along scallop edge. To whipstitch, bring needle up at A (Whipstitch Diagram). Insert needle at B and bring it up again at C. Continue in same manner around scallop edge. (The straight edges of the yellow wool piece will be stitched when the pincushion top and back are stitched together.)
3. Layer each D circle on a C circle. Referring to Appliqué Placement Diagram, position layered circles along scallop edge. Using two strands of pink floss, make a French knot in center of each set of circles to secure. To make a French knot, pull floss through at point where knot is desired (A on French Knot Diagram). Wrap floss around needle two or three times. Insert tip of needle into fabric at B, 1⁄16" away from A. Gently push wraps down needle to meet fabric. Pull needle and trailing floss through fabric slowly and smoothly.
4. Referring to Appliqué Placement Diagram, position green wool 1⁄8 ×1-1⁄2" stem strip on appliqué foundation; pin in place. Using one strand of green floss and a couching stitch, sew stem strip in place. To make a couching stitch, work small stitches 1⁄8" to 1⁄4" apart, back and forth over the strip (Couching Stitch Diagram).
5. Repeat Step 4 to sew two remaining stem strips in place.
6. Referring to Appliqué Placement Diagram, position green wool E, F, G, H, and I leaves near stems; pin or use fabric glue stick to baste pieces in place. Using one strand of green floss and a running stitch, sew a vein line through the center of each leaf to secure. To make a running stitch, pull needle up at A and insert it back into fabric at B (Running Stitch Diagram). Continue in same manner, loading several stitches on needle at a time.
7. Referring to Appliqué Placement Diagram, stack a J oval and K oval atop 1⁄8 ×1-1⁄2" stem; pin or use fabric glue stick to baste pieces in place. Using a single strand of purple floss, stitch three Xs over K piece to secure pieces and make a flower center.
8. Using two strands of aqua floss and lazy daisy stitches, add eight petals around flower center to make a small flower. To make a lazy daisy stitch, pull needle up at A (Lazy Daisy Stitch Diagram). Insert needle back into fabric at B, about 1⁄16" away from A, leaving a loop on fabric surface. Bring needle tip out at C and loop trailing floss under needle tip, keeping floss as flat as possible. Gently pull needle and trailing floss until loop lies flat against fabric. Push needle through to back at D to secure stitch.
9. Referring to Appliqué Placement Diagram, repeat steps 7 and 8 using remaining J and K pieces and pink and orange floss to make a second small flower.
10. Repeat steps 7 and 8 using L and M pieces, yellow and red floss, and 12 lazy daisy stitches to make a large flower.
11. Referring to Appliqué Placement Diagram, position light gray wool N wings and black wool O bodies on appliqué foundation; pin or use fabric glue stick to baste pieces in place. Using two strands of yellow floss and a couching stitch, sew across each O body to make two bees.
12. Using one strand of black floss and a backstitch, add a bee trail to one end of each bee to complete pincushion top. To backstitch, pull needle up at A (Backstitch Diagram). Insert it back into fabric at B and bring it up at C. Push needle down again at D and continue in same manner.
1. With wrong sides together, layer pincushion top with pink wool A pincushion back; pin.
2. Using two strands of yellow floss, blanket-stitch pieces together around yellow edges of pincushion top. To blanket-stitch, pull needle up at A (Blanket Stitch Diagram), form a reverse L shape with floss, and hold angle of L shape in place with your thumb. Push needle down at B and come up at C to secure stitch. Continue in same manner up to pink portion of pincushion top.
3. Using two strands of pink floss, blanket-stitch around remaining edges, leaving a 2" opening.
4. Stuff firmly with fiberfill. Blanket-stitch opening closed to complete pincushion.