May 21, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday

Hello Everyone! Hope you are having a great Tuesday.

Today's tutorial was inspired by my darling friend, Nadia. She mentioned that cactus embroidery would be fun. Since I live in Tucson, Arizona, and we have cacti in abundance here, I thought it would be fun to create a little pincushion with a cactus embroidered onto it. Pun intended!

I drew some prickly pair cacti, using the ones surrounding my mailbox as a model. The pattern is available for you here. To make this little prickly pear pin cushion you will need the following:

-Two pieces of fabric cut into 6 by 4.5-inch rectangles
-One piece of felt cut into a 6 by 4.5-inch rectangle
-Sand or Emery Sand to fill the pincushion (I found some at the craft store)
-Embroidery hoop and coordinating floss
-Sewing machine

Step one: Transfer the cactus pattern onto one fabric piece and stitch. I used DMC No. 8 floss on natural cotton muslin.

Step Two: Cut and prepare the pieces of the pincushion for sewing. Place the blank piece of fabric down first, then the embroidered piece of fabric face down, and the felt on top of that. Using a 1/2-inch seam allowance, sew around the pin cushion leaving a 2-inch opening along the bottom edge. 

Step Three: Clip the corners of the pincushion and flip through the space that was left open in the prior step. 

Step Four: Take the sand and carefully pour it into the pincushion between the blank fabric and the felt. You want to make sure the felt stays on the underside of the embroidery. Once the pincushion is filled to your liking, use a slip stitch to close opening. 

Step Five: Stick your pins into the pincushion and use it up!

Hope you enjoy and have a happy Tuesday!

Hi, I'm Kristen! I am a lover of all things stitchy and crafty. I have been sewing for as long as I can remember. My grandmother taught me how to sew Barbie clothes when I was young and I have been sewing ever since.

You can find me at Bobbypin Bandit, on Instagram, and my Etsy shop.


  1. Sweet! Had to laugh though - when I saw the first picture I thought it was a sleeping lady under the covers with cacti tied with bows for her hair. Haha, still see "her" in the last photo.

  2. Love your cactus! I like the idea of stitching the natural beauty found in our daily surroundings. I have never used sand (or Emery sand) to fill the pincushions which I think is a great idea. Thanks for sharing the informative tute!