Pincushions Rule

needlework pincushions knit

An array of pincushions: (1) baseball; (2) jockey cap; (3) cube with ribbon and flowers; (4) child’s shoe; (5) velvet and leather shoe; (6) scalloped navy velveteen with beadwork pillow; (7, 8, and 9) baskets Numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9 collection of Loene McIntyre; number 5 courtesy of Anne Powell. Photo by Joe Coca.

Since at least the 16th century, needleworkers have cherished their pincushions. These handy, often diminutive, sewing accessories continue to abound. Frequent PieceWork contributor Mary Polityka Bush focused on Victorian-era examples in her article in the March/April 2015 issue of PieceWork, “Bunnies, Canoes–and Roller Skates, Too: Novelty Pincushions of the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries.” Here’s an excerpt:

“Other novelty pincushions replicated stylish ladies’ hats and shoes. Collectors filled cabinets with tiny chairs, rockers, coaches, sleighs, roller skates, wheelbarrows, canoes, and Venetian gondolas. Animal pincushions took numerous forms: domestic creatures included realistic and comic dogs of many breeds, kittens, and birds. Pigs led the farmyard parade, followed by mules, goats, lambs, and fowl. The wild animal category encompassed woodland denizens such as foxes, bunnies, and mice, as well as exotic elephants and camels. There were fearsome crocodiles and rhinoceroses, whose diminutive sizes rendered them more delightful than threatening. Perhaps the most charming were silver hedgehogs—pins, poked into an interior pincushion through holes in the perforated body, imitated the animal’s spiny armor.”

tatted pincushion

Marion T. Leyds’s stunning “Save the Trees Around the World” tatted pincushion. Complete instructions, materials, and more for this are available in a new PieceWork kit.
Photo by Joe Coca.

Practical and fanciful–what a fabulous combination! There are complete instructions in the March/April issue for 5 stand-out pincushions–embroidered, knitted, and tatted. And I’m very happy to announce that the tatted pincushion is now available as a PieceWork kit! It includes shuttles, size 40 cotton thread, and our Shuttle Tatting: The Basics and More with Georgia Seitz DVD. Sweet!

And there’s still time for you to enter our PieceWork Pincushion 2015 Contest! You’ll find information and the entry form here.

Pincushions do rule!