Ready to work on your Mini Dresden Pinnie? Today, I am sharing how I applique my mini Dresden down onto the background fabric. Find Part 2 of this series here, and find the Mini Dresden Pinnie Tutorial here.
Now we are ready to applique our Dresden down onto our background fabric. First. you need to cut a 6.5 inch square of fabric. I have this handy 6.5 inch ruler from Olfa that makes the job quick, and since we are going to trim it down after appliqueing, it doesn’t have to be precise.Then, I use several long flat pins to pin the Dresden down to my background fabric, taking care to center it. You can find the center of your background square by folding it in half and in half again and gently finger crease to find the center point. Next, I gather up what I need to stitch the Dresden down. My favorite thread for applique is The Bottom Line by Superior Threads. I also always use Unicorn Thread Gloss by Robotmom Sews. This thread conditioner helps to prevent knots and twisting of the thread and I use it any time I am doing any sort of handstitching.Using a fairly small needle, start by bringing your needle up from the back, and just barely catching the outside edge of one blade.Then, make a small stitch, going down through only the background fabric right next to where you just came up and then coming back up through the blade just a short distance to the left. (Or if you’re left handed, you may choose to go the other direction.) It should look like this. The stitching almost disappears. Continue on in the same manner, going down through the background fabric right next to where you just came up, and catching the blade just a bit farther down, making a small stitch each time. I try to catch the point of each blade with a stitch, and also the inner point where the blades meet.I usually aim for 3-4 stitches along each side of each blade, but it isn’t an exact science at all. Continue all the way around until you get back to where you started. I like to overlap a few stitches there to be sure it’s secure. Here’s what it will look like when you have it all stitched down.Time to add the center! Grab your prepared center circle and center it over the blades, being sure it covers all of the raw edges. I just use one long pin to hold it down while I stitch.Sew it down in the same manner as the Dresden. Coming up from the back, catch just the edge of the inner circle.Go down through the Dresden blade behind, right where you just came up and make a small stitch, again catching the edge of the circle. Continue making these small stitches all the way around until your center is appliqued down. If you had any little wonky parts of your circle, you can often smooth them out with your stitches as you do this – just use your needle to turn under any parts that need smoothing so you have a nice circle when you are finished.Time to add some hand quilting! Cut a 6.5 inch square of batting and grab your basting spray. Very sparingly, spray the batting and smooth down your completed pinnie top. (Note – I use basting spray for a lot of projects and love how it works, but several times I have been a little overzealous with it and it has shown thorough on my fabric. Always go lighter than you think you need!) Now, gather up your hand quilting supplies. I like to use perle cotton in size 8, Fons and Porter Utility Needles and again Unicorn Thread Gloss! Coming up from the back, I like to start at the intersection of two blades. Pull your thread all the way through. Then take several stitches at once, paying attention to the length of the stitch that is on the front and that on the back. I like to make the stitches on the front slightly longer than those on the back. Since this is a pincushion, and the stitching isn’t going to show through on the back, it’s not crucial that the needle goes all the way through the batting on every stitch. I aim for 3-4 stitches on each side of each blade, but again it doesn’t always end up that way.Continue all the way around until you get back to where you started.Then, I like to add stitching around the inner circle as well, using the same method.Give it a good press and you are ready to trim.I use my bigger 6×24 inch Olfa ruler when I trim, centering the inner circle as best I can from left to right and top to bottom.Then, without lifting my ruler, I trim away the excess on the right and left. Then, I turn the ruler and line up the center again, this time being sure to line up the edge I just cut as well. Again, I cut both sides without lifting the ruler.And, your Mini Dresden Pinnie top is finished! I really enjoy hand appliqueing my Dresden and adding some hand stitching, but you could certainly do this by machine as well. Here’s a pretty example that was made by my friend Cassie over at SewStitchingHappy.
Next time, in the last part of this series, I’ll share how I assemble and stuff my pincushion.
Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave a comment with any questions you have about this part of the process, or to tell me what you hope I cover in the final post.
Check out the #minidresdenpinnie hashtag on Instagram to see lots of adorable Pinnies that have already been created. Happy Sewing!