I've had the book Patchwork Please by Ayumi Takahashi sitting on my shelf for over a year and I'm ashamed to say, I hadn't yet attempted any of the projects inside. I suspect this was because when the book arrived, several of the projects relied on simple paper piecing and I was completely intimidated. So I let it gather dust for a while...until now!
This pincushion project features on the front cover of the book and it was a nice little project that I completed on a rainy afternoon.
The top of the pin cushion requires four small blocks to be paper pieced, then stitched together to form the block for the top. This is where fussy cutting comes into play and I was a bit sad to trawl through all my scraps and find that I didn't have many small prints that lent themselves to fussy cutting. I managed to find a small fox, a bird, some flowers and at a stretch, some measuring tape fabric, which I think looks pretty great and next time I'd probably make every piece using that!
In the book, the fussy cut fabrics are framed within linen, and so were the majority of the other versions I saw on flickr and around the web after doing a search to see how others had interpreted the pattern. I didn't have any linen so I used a quilting cotton with a cross hatch type print, which has been a brilliant fabric to use as a background. There was no selvedge on the fat quarter I bought but I'd really love to get some more!
The fabric covered button was made using a scrap left over from the backing of my Zahra quilt.
One tip I'd give if you are a beginner with paper piecing is that many templates don't come with seam allowances. This one didn't as it was printed in the book. Make sure you add 1/4" to all the outside edges so you can stitch the small blocks together with ease.
I love the finished product and I'm sure I'll be going back to Patchwork Please to make more of these as a swaps or gifts for friends who sew.