Teacup pincushion 1: a quick but cute embroidery project

In January of this year, I saw this image on the Facebook page of Inspirations Magazine, by Country Bumpkin publications (in Australia). I don’t know if this is a project from the magazine, or just an inspirational picture that they had found online somewhere, but I thought it was a very nice idea.  I got tempted to ‘do a little browsing’ on Ebay, and found that there are hundreds of cup and saucer sets being sold (not just complete sets of china, as I’d expected).

Teacup 5

So, I started to narrow down my search for something similar to the image I’d seen on Facebook. There were lots to choose from, but I knew I wanted something that would be simple to translate into an embroidery design, so that helped to keep me focussed. The design I settled on was Royal Stafford ‘Fragrance’, and the cup and saucer set cost me just £4.

Teacup 1

With such a simple design in shades of mainly pink and green, it was easy to choose threads from my stash. I’ve got loads of pinks and greens! I decided to use a white cotton drill fabric, also from my stash, which I’d originally bought from Chawla’s website (based in London). It cost £4.95 per metre in 2012, is 60 inches wide, and the code is GT395-02. It’s a good, tightly woven fabric, so I didn’t need a supporting fabric like a muslin behind it. I used what I think is the reverse of the fabric as the side to stitch on – that is, I didn’t use the side with the diagonal ridges, but the smooth side instead.

I drew round the top of the cup onto plain paper, and planned my design – making sure it only extended to within half an inch of the cup’s rim, so that the design wouldn’t get lost in the shaping of the pincushion itself when I fitted it into the cup. I used one motif based on the pink flowers, and one based on the spray of berries, and repeated each one three time in a circle.

Teacup 2

Here are the threads and beads I chose to possibly use:

Teacup 3

I cut a piece of the cotton drill fabric 14 inches wide to easily fit an eight inch Susan Bates hoop, although the motif itself is tiny. It makes it easier to stitch it in a  large hoop, and definitely allows me enough fabric for finishing.

Teacup 4


I’ll work out the stitches to use as I go – it shouldn’t take long to get this one finished!


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4 thoughts on “Teacup pincushion 1: a quick but cute embroidery project”

  1. I’m pretty sure it’s from a recent issue of Cross Stitcher, or possibly some other UK craft mag I read. I definitely saw a tea cup with a cross stitch just like that! Your design is lovely.

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