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Monogrammed Pincushion

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Monogrammed Pincushion

I was looking for a quick little project to embroider last weekend so I designed this pincushion using lots of little sparkly things from my oddments box. I think it would make a nice little Christmas gift for any sewing friends.



This pincushion measures 10 x 10cm.


  • Scrap of off-white wool blanketing, the kind used for heirloom ribbon embroidery. I found a piece 28 X 23cm to be just big enough to fit in my embroidery hoop.8 x 8mm mother of pearl shirt buttons.
  • 8 x 10mm mother of pearl shirt buttons.
  • 32 metallic copper seed beads with holes large enough to accommodate 4 strands of ordinary sewing cotton.
  • 4 clear ruby red seed beads of the same size.
  • 8 x 5mm silver cup sequins.
  • 6 strand embroidery thread in the following colours:
    • pale dusty pink
    • medium dusty pink
    • rub red (to match the seed beads)
    • caramel brown
    • light dusty green (not pale)
    • medium dusty green
    • bottle green
  • Ordinary sewing thread to match the medium shade of pink
  • Sewing thread to match your fabric
  • 40 – 50 sewing pins with tops in your choice of colour to match the pincushion.
  • Handful of soft filling.
  • Appropriate embroidery and sewing needles.
  • Tissue paper for tracing.
  • Ruler.
  • Set square
  • Compass
  • 3cm high initial, either hand drawn or from your favourite transfer or computer font.


1: Trace a 10 x 10cm square onto your tissue paper. Join the diagonals to
find the centre and draw a circle with a 4cm diameter in the centre.

2: Place the tissue over your fabric and baste over the outlines of the
square and circle in a contrasting thread. Make sure you have the grain
running parallel to the sides of the square.

3: Embroider the front of the pincushion as follows, using 6 strands
of thread throughout (except where stated otherwise):

Embroidery diagram KEY
key Button, sequin, red bead.
key Lazy Daisy st.
key 8mm shirt button.
key French Knot.
key Running Stitch couched with three evenly spaced stitches.
key Button, sequin, metallic copper beads.

a) Embroider your monogram in the centre of the circle with the caramel thread using stitches and thread thickness appropriate to your choice of letter.

b) Embroider the circle with french knots using the lightest shade of green.

c) Embroider the four lazy daisy stitches attached to the circle using the medium shade of green.

d) Following the embroidery diagram, sew on the eight 8mm shirt buttons with the medium shade of pink embroidery thread.

e) Using 2 strands of the the matching pink sewing thread sew on the four large buttons between the small buttons as follows:

Sew through the button twice
Bring the thread back to the front of the button,
through a sequin,
over the edge of the sequin and through the same button-hole again.

Repeat for the other side of the sequin, using the other button-hole

Bring the thread back to the front of the button and through the sequin,

through 8 metallic copper seed beads,
back through the first bead you threaded,
back through the sequin and the other hole in the button
Make 2 small stitches on the back of the fabric so as not to pull the thread too tight
Bring the thread to the front as before, through both the hole in the button and sequin,
Wrap the thread just below the first bead two or three times to make the beads able to lie flat.
Take the thread back through the sequin and the other button-hole and fasten off at the back of your work.

Still sane? My brain hurts…

f) Embroider the three french knots near each corner with the pale pink thread.

g) Embroider the lazy daisy sts in each corner, and the couched threads on each side of the square with the bottle green thread.

h) Finally sew on the remaining buttons with two strands of the red embroidery thread in each corner, so as to form a little “flower”, as follows:

Bring the thread through the button,
Back through the sequin,
through the button and fasten off at the back.

4: Cut out the square, leaving a 1cm seam allowance all round. Cut another square to match, making sure you have the grain of the fabric running parallel to the sides of the square.

5: With right sides facing, sew the squares together, remembering to leave a hole large enough to turn the pincushion out the right way. Trim corners and turn cushion out the right way.

6: Fill firmly with stuffing (or stuff firmly with filling…) and sew the opening closed with an invisible stitch.

7: Now take all those lovely coloured pins and stick them in the cushion along the seams, making sure you have the same number on all sides and that they are evenly spaced.

8: Finished!

All images and text Copyright © April 1997 Sarah Bradberry All rights reserved

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