Victorian pincushion on spindle stand: 3 – assembling the pincushion

I’m currently stitching this gorgeous pincushion on a wooden base from a Victoria Sampler chart booklet in my stash. I’m up to the part where I need to assemble the stitching to make the actual pincushion.

Victorian pincushion embroidery by Victoria Sampler

This is my completed pincushion stitching, before I started to make it into the pincushion.

Victoria Sampler ribbon embroidery beaded pincushion

To make the pincushion pad, I rolled a strip of 2 ounce wadding into a ‘cinnamon bun’ shape, and stitched a few tacking stitches over the end of the  strip to stop it from unravelling. I made a stiff card base for the pincushion, a little bit smaller than the diameter of the wooden circular base, and made a hole in the centre of the card.

Victorian pincushion by Victoria Sampler

Then I trimmed the fabric to within an inch of the embroidery, and made a line of running stitches round the edge, 1cm in, with strong quilting thread. I placed the wadding shape on the card, and then the embroidery on top, and pulled up the running stitched line to gather the fabric onto the dome of wadding.

Then I laced back and forth across the card circle’s base, to pull the fabric tightly to the circular shape.

Next, I used the Perle 12 mauve thread and, following the tacked lines on the circle, I pulled the thread up through the centre hole of the card, wadding and embroidery in the centre, and down over the edge of the shape, six times, to make the divisions on the pincushion, finally tying off securely underneath. Then I removed the tacking stitches.

Lastly, I stuck the pincushion to the wooden circular base, making sure it was centred.

Victorian pincushion by Victoria Sampler

To make the edge look neat where the pincushion joins the wooden base, I made a thick cord using lots of the Perle 12 mauve thread. Tilting the pincushion so that I could see what I was doing, I stuck the cord around the edge, a little at a time, using tacky PVA glue, tucking in the last bit to make it look like one continuous cord (I glued the very end bit first, before trimming, so that it didn’t suddenly unravel when cut!).

Victorian pincushion by Victoria Sampler

Ta-da!! One very successful pincushion on a spindle base!! I used vintage cotton reels from a sewing box that I bought in an antique shop to fill the spindles around the base, using shades picked from the embroidery colours I’d used.

Victorian pincushion by Victoria Sampler

Lovely, isn’t it? Now I need to make the strawberry emery and needlebook that go with this.

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Victorian pincushion on spindle stand by Victoria Sampler: 2 – beaded flower border

I’m currently stitching this gorgeous pincushion on a wooden base from a Victoria Sampler chart booklet in my stash. I’ve done the ribbon embroidery centre of the design, and now I’m up to the beaded flower border.

Victorian pincushion embroidery by Victoria Sampler

As I said last time, I found, as I started to stitch this border, that it really helped with the placement of the embroidery stitches for the flowers to EXACTLY  copy the position of the tacking stitches from the chart as I was marking out the fabric in advance of doing the stitching. What I mean is, if the central vertical tacking stitch line, for instance, goes over four threads each time, then reproduce that – don’t do six threads, then four threads, then five threads, etc., as if it doesn’t matter, because it will make counting out from a tacking stitch line to the starting point of a flower more difficult if your stitches vary in length from the chart.

I found this out when I started doing the first little beaded flower:

Victorian pincushion embroidery by Victoria Sampler

The actual flower is easy – two tiny seed beads stitched in place on each side of a square, with a larger pearl bead secured in the centre. What was really difficult at first was working out the exact PLACEMENT! I kept getting it wrong! Each beaded flower is quite a long way away from any other element, and to count out from a ribbon embroidery stitch was too hit and miss anyway. The tacking stitch lines made it easier.

Victoria Sampler embroidery beaded pincushion

What I also found to be really helpful was to first make a cross stitch in beige thread that matched the fabric as much as possible, in the space that the pearl bead would eventually be stitched, and then place the little green beads around the four sides of that cross next, and stitch the pearl bead in place last, pulling it into position so that it nestled down among the green seed beads.

Victoria Sampler embroidery beaded pincushion

Finally, once the beaded flowers were all done, I added the outer border of dark green leaves using the silk ribbon.

Victoria Sampler ribbon embroidery beaded pincushion

At this point, it was important not to go ‘Great! I’ve finished it!’, and undo the tacking lines, as they are necessary for the assembly part next.

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Victorian pincushion on spindle stand by Victoria Sampler: 1 – getting started

I’m just starting the next embroidery project that I want to stitch, and I knew right off that it would be one of Thea Dueck’s lovely designs. I’ve got so many of her Victoria Sampler chart booklets in my stash, and several are already kitted up, so it shouldn’t take long to decide which one to get going on, right? Wrong!

This is the one I had planned to do – it’s the Victorian Purse – a beautiful shaped bag and stitching accessories set. I’ve had this in my stash for about 8 years already.

Victorian purse embroidery by Victoria Sampler

I bought the thread pack are the same time that I got the chart booklet. These seem pricey at first, until you work out that if you had to source all those speciality threads from scratch, it would cost way more! Plus, I love getting the little packets in the post  🙂

I chose some 28 count evenweave in pink and beige from my stash to stitch them on (originally bought from Sew and So, I think, but they are closed now).

Victorian purse embroidery by Victoria Sampler

So, there I was, mentally getting ready to stitch all that, when I saw THIS:

Victorian pincushion embroidery by Victoria Sampler

It’s a co-ordinating pincushion, strawberry and needlebook, to match with the Victorian Purse designs! Oh, how lovely! The wooden spindle had to be ordered as well, and at first it was out of stock, so I had to wait, but eventually it arrived from Canada, so I had no excuse not to start. The Victorian Purse will have to go back in the stash cupboard for later.

This project has a lot of ribbon embroidery in it. I love the look of ribbon embroidery, but I’ve not done much before, so I looked at Thea’s YouTube videos to see exactly how to do the stitches. They are actually quite simple to do, and the project grows quickly.

I found, more by luck than judgment, that it really helped with the placement of the embroidery stitches for the flowers to EXACTLY  copy the position of the tacking stitches from the chart. What I mean is, if the central vertical tacking stitch line, for instance, goes over four threads each time, then reproduce that – don’t do six threads, then four threads, then five threads, etc., as if it doesn’t matter, because it will make counting out from a tacking stitch line to the starting point of a flower more difficult if your stitches vary in length from the chart. I think it will also be crucial when I stitch the little beaded flowers around the border.

Victorian pincushion embroidery by Victoria Sampler

It only took me a couple of longish stitching sessions to get this far, so I’m hoping this might be quite a quick project, and I might even have time to get the Victorian Purse done as well.

What do you think of it so far?

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