Initial Appeal

Give a monogrammed gift this holiday season! Machine embroidery makes quick work of this cute pincushion. For instructions on making a coordinating make-up bag, brush and powder puff dress set, see "Initial Appeal" in CME's November/December 2006 issue (click here to order this issue).


  • 6" square of linen
  • 8" x 14" additional linen or coordinating fabric
  • Sewing thread
  • Seam sealant
  • Compass and plain paper
  • Polyester fiberfill or wool roving for stuffing
  • Embroidery designs of your choice: circular frame 3 1/2" or smaller and initial


  • Stabilize a 6" square of linen fabric with fusible cut-away stabilizer large enough to hoop.
  • Embroider the frame and initial at the fabric center. Slow the machine speed slightly and reduce the tension setting.
  • Remove the excess stabilizer and press the work from the wrong side by laying it on a well-padded surface.


Note: Seam allowances are 1/4".

  • Use a compass to draw a 4 1/2" diameter circle on a sheet of plain paper. Use it as a pattern to cut the embroidered linen, keeping the motif centered on the circle. Cut a second circle from linen or coordinating fabric.
  • Cut a 2" x 12 1/2" strip of linen or coordinating fabric to use as a boxing strip.
  • Apply seam sealant to the short ends of the boxing strip to prevent raveling when the pincushion is turned and stuffed.
  • Fold the strip in half, right sides together, and stitch the short ends for 3/8" from the raw edges (C). This leaves the center of the seam open for turning and stuffing. The opening is small but workable, and leaving the opening along this straight grain edge will help maintain the cushion's shape. If preferred, leave a larger opening later, in the seam that joins the boxing to the bottom circle.
  • Divide the embroidered circle and boxing strip into quarters and mark with pins. With right sides together and matching the pins, sew the circle to the boxing strip.
  • Repeat to join the second circle to the other side of the boxing strip.
  • Turn the pincushion right side out and stuff firmly. Sew the opening with invisible hand stitches to close.

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