Plain or Fancy -- a Hoop-Tuffet is the easiest pincushion around
Make a Hoop-Tuffet with an embroidery hoop and wool--each contributes elements of good design and function with minimal assembly. Then decide if you want just the clean lines or should you go over-the-top?
Start with a small embroidery hoop--and choose a nice wood one with smooth, rounded edges. You can paint the hoop if you want to add some color, but wait until the end. The outer hoop is removeable even after finishing, and you may decide you like the natural wood color just fine. The photos show a 3" hoop--4 and 5" also work well.
Our favorite felted wool is from Weeks Dye Works. The wool is sturdy and beautifully hand-dyed. It stretches smoothly when stuffed with wool roving and is kind to needles and pins--perfect for pincushions.
Instructions for a Hoop-Tuffet
Cut a square of felted wool 2” larger than the diameter of the hoop--a 5” square for a 3” circle hoop. Cut a second square one inch less for covering the back—4” square.
Base: Loosen the screw and remove the inner section of the hoop. Trace around the outer edge of the inner hoop on lightweight cardboard. Trace a second circle, cut out both and glue together. Trim the corners of the smaller wool square to make a rough circle, then hand sew a long running stitch (1/4" stitches) along the outer edge, leaving the thread attached for gathering. Center the cardboard sandwich on the wool circle and pull the stitches to gather tightly. Secure and knot the thread. This is the tuffet base—set aside for now.
Tuffet Top: Lay the inner wood hoop on a flat surface and center the larger wool square over top. Loosen the screw on the outer hoop and press down over the wool and inner hoop. Tighten the screw, but don’t tug the wool—it should be smooth, but not taut.
Flip the hoop to the back and trim the corners of the wool to leave a circle (don’t trim more than necessary to create the shape. Hand sew a long gathering stitch at the outer edge. Pull to gather then secure and knot the thread.
Pull off bits of roving and fill the inside edges of the hoop between the wool front and back. Continue to stuff, first the edges then the center, to raise the tuffet shape on top. The felted wool will stretch as you work, and adding the wool roving in bits prevents lumps.
Finishing: When you can press the hoop down on a surface and see a nice dome shape, remove the outer hoop and sew the base to the back. Replace the outer hoop and tighten the screw. The base is intentionally sturdy to push the roving up into the tuffet. It also holds the hoop up off a table surface just a bit which offers plenty of embellishment opportunities. You can add a row of trim below the outer hoop or push the outer hoop down a little and add trim around the little shelf of the inner hoop.
Feeling Really Creative?
Have you noticed how the best part of a muffin is the top? Bakeries figured that out too and started selling Muffin Tops--just the top, with all the good stuff. You can make a Pumpkin Spice muffin top pincushion, beginning with your completed Hoop-Tuffet.
We used the Pumpkin Spice Roll Pincushion pattern #P1081 to cut and assemble a candy pumpkin, cream swirl, cinnamon stick, 3 puffs of whipped cream and a star anise. (The star anise works best with a wool-felt blend, but everything else is WDW wool again.) Tack the decorative tidbits to the pincushion and add some button sprinkles. Finish with a set of handmade pins. Looks good enough to eat!
- 3" embroidery hoop (or 4-5")
- Felted wool
- Wool Roving
The items below are available on our website, click HERE
Have fun creating pincushions, plain or fancy!