Monday, September 5, 2022

Oblong Pulled Thread Pincushion

This little pulled thread embroidery sample became my first oblong pincushion. With no fixed plan in mind, the pincushion grew from this small design as I went along.

I damp stretched the embroidered flower sprig before deciding what to do with it. Most of my pincushions are square. This time I wanted to try something different.

The embroidery seemed a little plain on its own. Perhaps it needed some lace on either side to soften it? Cotton lace looked too heavy, so I went with a lighter synthetic lace instead. I would normally stick to all natural fibres, but the synthetic lace gave the delicate effect I was looking for. Backstitch over two linen threads secured the lace to the embroidery.

I had to iron the linen very carefully after I added the lace. With the high heat that linen requires, the lace would have shriveled up under a too hot iron. Once the lace was stitched in position, I withdrew a thread, four threads away from the backstitched lines.

Hemstitch would open up the gap left by the withdrawn thread a little further and give the lace an 'anchor'. The first row of hemstitch is on the left in the photo below. It needed more than this.

I finally settled on a row of hemstitch on both sides of the withdrawn threads. The hemstitched rows finished off and balanced out the design, 

When developing a new pattern, I sometimes stitch a number of samples to adjust the design, or test out stitches, tension or finishing ideas.  An oblong pincushion was the my initial idea for the flower sprig design, but I eventually chose to stay with a square pincushion shape. Instead of adding lace as I did for the oblong pincushion, I chose four-sided stitch to border the central motif.

Visitors to my Etsy shop Lynlubell may recognize the Flower Sprig pincushion which is available in the shop as a digital pincushion pattern. Click here to visit the shop and view the pattern.

Till next time, happy stitching!


  1. Fabulous! Both turned out beautifully.

    1. Thanks, Pamela. Although the two have the same motif in the centre, the shape of the pincushions makes them look quite different.