Fruit PincushionsPincushions are pretty popular these days and with so many people starting to sew again, they make great gifts. Fortunately, there are some options beyond the orange tomatoes. I took a stab at making one based on a pattern by Heather Bailey. I was originally inspired by Patty the Snug Bug who has a tutorial on how to make them and she sells them at her Etsy store, too.

Walnut ShellsInstead of doing a tutorial for these, I’m just going to pass along some tips based on my own experience and advice I found most helpful.

1. I used the crushed walnut shells for filler instead of sand or emery sand. I had no problems with it and it is much cheaper than the sand. You can buy it at the pet store in the bird section.

2. Do not be afraid to overfill. Load this sucker up!  I made this mistake because I wasn’t sure how much the the tufting would firm it up and it did, but not enough for a real pincushion. Mine will probably be relegated to toy or knick knack since it really isn’t tight enough for a pincushion.

3. Use wool felt if you can since you’ll be sewing with it and wool seems to hold up much better than the acrylic felt at craft stores.

4. Get yourself a doll needle 5 inches long. It really helps with the tufting. I can’t imagine trying to do this without it.

I need to make a few more of these to get the hang of it completely, but it was fun and I will have a whole fruit bowl before I’m done!

Fruit Pincushions