Escargot: Snail Pincushions

Please don't pretend like these aren't the cutest things you've ever seen.

Please don't pretend like these aren't the cutest things you've ever seen.

Say hello to my little friend...

Escargot pincushion pattern by Sewn Into the Fabric.

Escargot pincushion pattern by Sewn Into the Fabric.

These sweet little snail friends are so easy and quick to sew up. You need one in your life. Or, if you're like me, you need three and counting! They're perfect for using charm packs with tiny prints and pretty buttons from your collection. I can't think of any sewist of any age who wouldn't love one as a gift. And they're a ton of fun to make. Grab the pattern from Sewn Into the Fabric here.

It's also a great project for sewing with kids! Hazel is five now, and she helped make a snail for herself (it's the yellow one in the photo below). After picking out the perfect fabric from some Dear Stella fat quarters I have, she traced and cut the pattern pieces. Then she sat on my lap and pushed all the buttons for the machine sewing part, and took charge of filling the shell and body. She made hers look like it was "walking" so the body is reaching out from the shell. Very lifelike! 

I was really happy to have all of the supplies I needed for this on hand already. I'll list them and where they can be found, but I would wager you've got most of them yourself.

Ground Nut Shells: My friends at Plum Easy sell Ground Nut Shells for pincushion filling. They come in unscented or scented, are inexpensive, and are PERFECT for this purpose. The ground nut filling is malleable so you can shape after filling, and they've got a great weight to them. The pincushion doesn't lift up when you take a pin out, they rest soundly on the arm of a chair, and they double as pattern weights. What's not to love, I ask you? This is the bag I bought from the very very wonderful people at Plum Easy.

Milliners Needles: I hate trying to figure out how to pick a needle that matches my thread weight. Life is complicated enough already. So happily, I got these from the teacher of a hand sewing class I took, and they work great. This pack from Clover includes several sizes to try out (affiliate link).

Pearl Cotton: I used two kinds of pearl cotton for these. The navy is Wonderfil Eleganza and the peach is DMC No. 8. I prefer pearl cotton over embroidery floss because it sews beautifully, threads easily, and doesn't get tangled.

Iron Finger: This was an impulse buy, and I felt buyer's remorse when it arrived on my doorstep. Since then, though, I've used it a ton. For these pincushions, for example, I needed to iron seams open on very small parts. Before the Iron Finger, I used an oven mitt to protect my hands while ironing something I couldn't lay flat. But these pincushion parts are too small for an oven mitt. I was able to insert the Iron Finger under the seam and iron against it. (This method works well when making tubes for purse tabs and straps as well). Anyway, I recommend getting one. They're not even expensive. I bought this one (affiliate link) for about $7 USD.

You need to make one of these. Seriously. When you do, tag me @weftyneedle on Instagram or Facebook. I want to see all the iterations these little cuties can take. We should really form an Escargot Pincushion Club and try to out-cute one another. The world needs more snail-love!

Tara Curtis