The Patch Smith's finished project - cute right?!
Basically it's a combination of a pincushion and a mat for underneath the sewing machine. I thought this would be particularly good as when I moved my sewing machine from the dining room table earlier (it's the only big enough table for sewing!) there were depressions in my nice new padded tablecloth, which I want to avoid in the future. Plus, as the table is really the only place in the house I can craft, it'll allow me to slide my machine around more easily as everything competes for table space.
This project is a perfect scrap buster. The pincushion itself really requires minimal amounts of fabric, and for the mat underneath you don't see it much, so you can just use really any old scrap. I happened to have a bunch of scraps left over from making a sewing machine cover, so I decided to make a matching/contrasting pincushion mat.
First, measure the base of your machine, or however big you want the underlying mat, and add 1/2" to each side for seam allowances. I used my new quilting and binding skills that I acquired from making my Stacked Coins Quilt, plus some of the leftover batting to make the underlying mat.
I just used a simple straight quilting, just because it's quick, and I didn't want it to be too lumpy underneath the machine. Now, the important part of the adaptation, which I didn't do properly and thus had to add extra fabric on - your pincushion should be WIDER than your mat. Otherwise it makes it a total pain to finish off at the end. So you need to make sure you add enough fabric to the template pieces to make this work. My finished width of the mat was about 33cm, so I should have made my pincushion about 35cm PLUS SEAM ALLOWANCE.
These are my original pieces, without extra fabric added on. Sew this right sides together along three sides (assuming you've measured correctly). Flip it right side out and sew one side to the mat with about 1/4" seam allowance (I recommend sewing the side you want to be the bottom first). For the second side, you can either sew it by hand to finish it off really nicely, or if you're like me you can just fold over and top stitch with the machine. Remember to leave a space unsewn to stuff it! I used just standard polyfiller. You want it to be really really full and firm so it holds the pins. I then stitched the rest closed. It probably would have been easier to do it by hand, but I'd already started at that point, so had to basically overstuff the middle part so I could then get the end under the presser foot. Then I had to sort of squish and knead the filler so it evened out a bit.
My finished project. It's a little bit wonky as my seams didn't quite line up - this is something that is a constant issue for me! The filler is also a little bit lumpy, but I'm hoping that as I use it the filler will even itself out over time. This will be perfect for when I'm removing pins during sewing, because I'm constantly leaving my other pincushion at the other end of the table or in the other room depending on where I'm doing my piecing.
This was a nice and easy morning project. I think in all it took me about 3 hours or so, with plenty of tea breaks! Now.... what's next?!