Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cactus or Pincushion?

Pincushion cactus:

Cactus pincushion:

I started with the tutorial from PC at Meijo's Joy. (So cute!) I drew a cactus-shaped paper pattern that looked like a good size for some 2-inch clay pots I got at the craft store. I used the pattern to cut out 6 felt pieces for each cactus.
I made the base narrow, but this was unnecessary since it gets hidden in the pot, and it also made it more difficult to stuff, so I think next time I will make the base wider.

I used a very short stitch and a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
I backstitched a good 1/2 inch at each end at the opening, since that part gets the most stress.

Turned - almost a cactus!

After turning, I stacked three of the cactus pads together and stitched them together through the center, bottom to top.
This was extremely difficult with the thick felt - I could barely get it under my presser foot!

nice and even at the top
In some cases the tops did not come out even, but I can disguise that with fancy pins!
very uneven!
Each little section had to be stuffed - I used polyester batting.
Stuffing is easier with long tweezers and very small bits of batting.

I packed it tightly so the cacti would be very solid.

Once all six of the cactus sections were full, I slipstitched the bottom closed.
This will not be visible and will not have much stress on the stitches.

Now for the little pots. I decided to have some plain and some wrapped in a loosely woven fabric that looks like soft burlap.

For the plain pots, I glued a piece of cork to the bottom just in case the pot is placed on wood furniture (we don't want scratches).

The pincushions will be top heavy, so to keep them from flopping over, I placed a small handful of pebbles in the bottom of each pot.

To finish, I simply glued the pincushions into the pots. Then it was finally time to put the pins in!

I made some fancy pins with beads and earring backs. (They are hiding my uneven cactus tops.)

Here I pinned bee and ladybug buttons to the pincushions.

I call this one the princess cactus.

The finished cactus garden.

Now, these were supposed to be gifts, but will I ever be able to let any of them go?



  1. Those are absolutely adorable! What lovely gifts they would make, though I would have a hard time letting them go as well. I also bet they would be a popular item on Etsy if you decided you wanted to put them into production.
    Happy Friday, and happy sewing!
    xo, Anita

  2. I love your blog