I am a chronic fabric-scrap hoarder. Every time I work on a project, I look at all the leftovers and think "I could make something with that," no matter how small or oddly shaped the pieces are.
The problem is that I never actually find a use for all those bits I've been saving, so I've ended up with a large bucket full of scraps that need to find good homes.
I'm particularly drawn to selvedges-I love the combination of text and patterns-and I have an entire sub-scrap section devoted to these little fabric edges. I can't bear to throw away these bits, but what do I do with them? Enter the latest season of Quilting Arts TV to the rescue! The DVD set of this season of our sister magazine's popular show just came across my desk, and one of the projects is a selvedge pincushion.
This little pincushion is perfect because it not only uses up a lot of my scraps, it's a great tool to have in my sewing room. I usually have several pincushions scattered around my sewing space-one in my cutting area, one by my sewing machine, and a couple in a drawer in case the others go missing. This project is really quick and easy, so whip up a couple yourself and get rid of some of those scraps you've been saving!
Layer the selvedge scraps on top of one of the fabric squares to make the front of your pincushion (Step 2).
Pin piping to the back fabric piece and sew in place (Steps 4 and 5).
– 1 1/2" x 5 1/2 " selvedge scraps
– Two 5" x 5" fabric scraps
– About 21" piping
– Zipper foot for your sewing machine
– Rice or other pincushion filling
1. Lay one 5" x 5" fabric square on your work surface. This will be the backing of the top of your pincushion.
2. Lay a selvedge scrap along the bottom edge of the backing fabric. Lay another selvedge piece on top of the first, overlapping the pieces. Continue to add selvedge scraps until the backing fabric is covered. Experiment with the amount of overlap to show off different amounts of your fabric scraps. Once you find an arrangements you like, pin the selvedge scraps in place on the backing fabric.
3. Stitch along the edge of each selvedge scrap to secure them to the backing fabric. Remove pins as you sew.
4. Lay the other 5" x 5" fabric square right side up on your work surface. This will become the back of your pincusion. Match the raw edge of your piping to the raw edge of the fabric. Starting in the center of one side, and leaving a short tail, pin the piping around the fabric square. Clipping the rough edge of the piping around each corner will help things lie a bit flatter as you sew.
5. Use a zipper foot to sew the piping to the back fabric, being sure to overlap the ends of the piping as you sew completely around the square. Remove pins as you sew.
6. Place your finished selvedge square, right side down, on top of the back/piping piece you just completed. Pin the pieces together and sew through all layers using your zipper foot just along the edge of the piping (the piping will be sandwiched between the fabric layers, so you may have to feel out the edge with your fingers as you go). Remove pins as you sew and be sure to leave a small opening for turning the pincusion.
7. Clip the curves and turn the pincushion right side out through the hole left in Step 6. Fill the pincushion with rice or a filling of your choice and then slip-stitch the opening closed.
Such a great (and fast!) project for using up some of those scraps that are hanging around your sewing space! Whip up a couple yourself, and if you don't get Quilting Arts TV in your area, check out the latest series on DVD for more great projects!