Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Toadstool pincushion tutorial

This is an Amanita muscaria or more commonly called fly agaric or in Dutch “Vliegenzwam”. I took this photo near our cottage last year in October. These are the most unique toadstools that almost don't look real.

Here is my pincushion version of this toadstool. In this pincushion, the white glass headed pins create the white spots of the real toadstool. I have created a step~by~step photo tutorial for you to try making this pincushion yourself:

Using a saucer from a coffee or tea cup measuring 5 inches, trace and cut out a circle of red felt.

With red thread, baste a line about 1/4 inch from the edge of the circle. This is not rocket science so we don't have to be exact. Just stay as even as possible and be sure to not make your stitches too large so they will gather easily. Don't forget to leave a tail at the start and finish of the stitching to be able to pull the thread. I make a rather large knot to start so I can pull it back easily when it comes time to gather. These stitches will not be seen in the finished pincushion.

Gather the seam forming a flat ball by pulling carefully on both ends of the thread.

When the ball is formed to the desired size, knot the ends and stuff with your filling. Your cap should be well stuffed as this is where the pins will go in. Since I am using what I have on hand for these pincushions, I am cutting up an inexpensive quilt batting to fill my pincushion.

Measure the bottom of your stuffed mushroom cap. Mine measured 2 inches.

Cut a square of white felt to that measurment.

Fold this square in half and then again in half and cut a quarter circle. This is a bit like the paper snowflakes you maybe made as a child.

Pin this circle in place over the red mushroom cap and sew in place.

Be sure to take a deep enough stitch that the felt is secure. By clicking on this and all the photos, you should be able to see the detail.

The white is now sewn to the top.

Cut a piece of white felt 2-½ x 3 inches. Fold this piece in half so that it measures 2-1/2 X 1-1/5 inches. Sew a seam down the long edge and around the bottom edge forming an L shape. Be careful to backstitch the beginning and end to make sure it is secure.

Now press the bottom seam flat and take a couple of stitches diaginally. Do this on both sides of this bottom seam. This will give the stem some extra depth.

Turn the stem right side out using a unsharpened pencil to push out the corners.

Stuff the stem with your filling but not totally up to the top. You leave just a bit unstuffed. As you place the stem on the cap and push it slightly, the felt will give you a slight edge to stitch it to the cap.

Now place white glass headed pins into the cap to create your spots and there you have it! Your very own fall toadstool. I hope you have as much fun creating this as I did designing it. Please let me know if you make one as I would love to see it!

*** This is dedicated to Andrea, my CHL list sister, who's questions about how to find these patterns gave the idea of doing one of the pincushions as a tutorial. I am so flattered that people like these enough to want to make them too. ***


Nancy said...

Heidi this is beautiful! Thank you.

Kristen said...

Wow, you are good! Can I say, how in the world do you make those stitches so perfect when connecting the bottom of the mushroom to the top? For those of us (me):) who aren't hand stitchers, I need a tutorial on that. :) Sorry Aunt Heidi, I am not a very good stitcher. :) I LOVE YOU!!!

Nancy said...

This is too cute for words. You are just a wonder. One thing after another.
I love you, Mom

Ginger said...

Great tutorial, Heidi! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hallo Heidi,

Hier nog een 40-er die in Amersfoort woont! Sinds een tijdje lees ik regelmatig je blog en geniet van de mooie dingen die je maakt. Die speldenkussens zijn ook erg leuk, ik heb goede voornemens ... Dank voor je paddenstoeluitleg. Complimenten voor je blog, het ziet er altijd picobello uit!

Hartelijke groet, Carolien van Boven

Anonymous said...


How sweet! My first blog dedication. Thank you for the tutorial. You are inspiring. I promise to try. I'm excited to have something fun to start. I know I'll feel the pleasure of creating that I experienced when I used to stitch.

Thank you very much,

crazyhaberdasher said...

Fabulous Heidi! Thankyou for the tutorial. ....cheers, Marian

Ragged Roses said...

What a great pincushion! We're going on a mushroom hunt in a couple of weeks with the girls, they love spotting toadstools!
Kim x

Karen said...

Heidi - these are so cute and your directions would be very easy to follow.

Hugs - karen

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

I am going to make me one of these!! Thank you for your wonderful tutorial! You know, I really did not know that there were real toadstools like that. I love them! xo, Becky

Deb said...

Heidi, The little toad stool is just adorable! What a great idea.

Janice said...

You are SO creative, Heidi!! That toadstool is so cute! Thank you so much for sharing instructions, as I would like to attempt one for my MIL who sews alot. Maybe I can make it for her for Christmas! Blessings!

Iowa Sunshine said...

Heidi, This is just so adorable! I wish i could see the real ones. Ours are white or grey with holes. I kind of like the white ones but yours is tops! I think i'll try this tonight. =) Thanks. HUGS