Victorian Pincushion on spindle stand: 5 – assembling the needlebook

I’ve embroidered and assembled the Victorian pincushion on its turned spindle stand from a chart pack from Victoria Sampler, and now I’m starting to assemble the needlebook that will go with it.

Victoria Sampler pincushion

First, I made a template of the front area of the needlebook from tissue paper by placing the stitching and the tissue paper on my light box and gently drawing the outline in pencil onto the paper.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

Using the template, I cut the front and back stitched areas out (allowing a centimetre seam allowance on each) and a front and back lining piece from cream satin, again with a one centimetre seam allowance. I then cut two  iron-on interlining pieces to the exact size of the template, and ironed them to the reverse side of each piece of satin. The inner page of the needlebook was cut from white felt to the size of the template and then trimmed to be an eighth of an inch smaller all round, so that it won’t stick out at the edges when the needlebook is closed. I also cut two thick card pieces to the exact template size, to stiffen the covers of the needlebook.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

I temporarily tacked the seam allowance of the satin to the reverse on both lining pieces.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

I laced the front and back stitching over the stiff card with strong quilting thread.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

This is the back panel of the needlebook once laced over the card.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

Placing the stitching and the lining wrong sides together, I slip-stitched them together all the way round.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

Finally, I removed the tacking stitches from the lining piece.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

Holding the back piece, felt inner ‘page’ and front piece together, aligned carefully, I threaded narrow silk ribbon through the three eyelets. The two outer ones I tied in a small bow, and the centre one I looped through, knotted three inches from the loop, and then tied a bow at the end.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

This shows what I did with the ribbon:

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

The needlebook can now be opened, and needles placed in the ‘page’ inside.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

This is such a pretty needlebook, which can now be hung on the pincushion stand from a pin placed in the cushion pad on the top.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

Now I’ve just got the ‘strawberry’ to stitch and assemble, and the whole project will be complete!

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Victorian Pincushion on spindle stand: 4 – stitching the needlebook

I’m currently stitching this gorgeous pincushion on a wooden base from a Victoria Sampler chart booklet in my stash. Having stitched the pincushion itself, I’m now stitching the smalls – starting with the little needlebook.

Victorian pincushion embroidery by Victoria Sampler

This pretty needlebook takes motifs from the pincushion itself, as well as a Bargello wave along the bottom. Three little square eyelets at the top will become the method of making the ‘pages’ of the needlebook hold together – I’ll be threading ribbon through those at the final stage.

This didn’t take long to do, and I was quite pleased with how it turned out…..until I realised just as I was finishing the stitching that I had miscounted somehow, and made it eight fabric threads too long! I think it was when I was working out the placement of the little pearl beads.

Not being a perfectionist, rather than unpick loads and do it correctly, I decided to make my needlebook just a bit longer than the Victoria sampler one! It just means that I have to make sure the reverse side of the needlebook is adapted to be exactly the same shape as this front panel, and adjust the shaping when I assemble it.

Victoria Sampler embroidery needlebook

It was easy to make the adjustment for the extra length on the reverse side, as there is a lot of ‘blank space’ between the eyelets and the main design.

Victoria Sampler embroidery needlebook

Shhh!! No-one will notice…..

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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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