Cathedral Window Patchwork Pincushion

Now that the A to Z challenge is over, I shall be blogging about whatever I find interesting – all sorts of things – and my involvement in various activities in the local community.

I belong to a craft group, which meets once a fortnight.  Usually I take a project I am working on, but occasionally I join in with a group project.  The latest project was to make a pincushion using cathedral window patchwork.  As I didn’t possess a pincushion and liked the “one made earlier”, I decided to join in.  The instructions for materials required were a little vague.

“Two pieces of cloth.”  (Cloth is used in the North of England where southerners might say material and I think Americans would use the word “fabric”.

I had a piece of cloth (a fat quarter), which had already been cut into for an earlier project, so I looked for a piece for the background, which would show it off to advantage.  The piece I found was not very big, but I thought it would do.  So I gathered together some sewing equipment and my two pieces of cloth and headed off to the meeting-place.

The instructions began, “Cut two squares 8½ inches”.  The best I could hope for was 7 inches!  I almost abandoned the whole idea.  Then I decided that I’d make a smaller pincushion.  The formula for the size, assuming turnings of ¼ inch is that the pincushion will be (x – ½)/2 inches square, where x is the side of the square.

The background material had to be folded twice in a way which reminded me of the paper-folding most girls do at school to produce a gadget that is worked by a thumb and finger on each hand.  No-one at the group knew what these are called.  However I had a chance conversation with a knitter at a local arts centre the following day and she does origami.  They call them salt-cellars, because if you turn them upside-down they can be used in that way.  The link also gives other names and the folding instructions.

Two smaller squares of the contrasting fabric are required.  Their edges do not have to be neatened as they are completely enclosed by folds of the background and stitched in place using catch stitch.

This was the first time I had tried patchwork.  I managed to complete the project in an evening.  There was one steam iron available for the group and a delay while others were using it.  We also spent time chatting.  I did not finish it in the two hours, but carried on sewing at home afterwards.  Mine is not perfect, but I enjoyed making it and consider it to be attractive and fit for purpose.

Pincushion - First side

Pincushion – First side

Pincushion - second side

Pincushion – second side

Have you ever done this style of patchwork? If not, are you likely to have a go?

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6 thoughts on “Cathedral Window Patchwork Pincushion

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