Quick Gifts for Quilters: Felted Wool Pincushions

Felted flower pincushions

When I’m looking for easy gifts to make, I often turn to projects with felt. Because the edges don’t fray, you can often skip several finishing steps and felt makes a lovely base for hand embroidery.

We put felt-friendly fiber artist Jamie Fingal on the case, and this is what she told us: But do you use felted wool–or wool felt? Is there a difference?

“Well, the thing that is the same is that they are both wool-based. And in both, the edges will not ravel. After that, the difference is substantial.

“Felted wool is a woven fabric (from wool, in this case) which has been sent through a sudsy, hot water wash which causes the wool fibers to first open, and then bond to each other. Depending on the original fabric, the weave will be tighter and cut edges will not ravel. Felted wool can have familiar wool weaves such as tweed and herringbone.

“Wool felt, on the other hand, is made from loose wool fibers (not woven), which are bonded by the same sudsy, hot-water process. Wool felt has no discernable weave.”

So now you know. And, you can use either to make this Flower Pin Cushion like Jamie did in Quilting Arts Holiday 2015 (though Jamie favored felted wool for that tweedy texture). They make great gifts for quilters!

"Flower Power Pincushion" • Jamie Fingal

“Flower Power Pincushion” • Jamie Fingal


1. Cut 2 circles with 4″ diameters from felted wool.

2. Sew a completed flower to the center of 1 of the circles. (Use Jamie’s directions in the magazine for the flower or design your own.)

3. Use a buttonhole or running stitch to sew the 2 circles together. Leave a 2″ gap for stuffing.

4. Insert fiberfill into the pincushion.

5. Close the gap using the same stitch.

This is just one of the many tutorials shown in the Quick Gifts section of Quilting Arts Holiday, along with other felt projects, modern Christmas quilts and wall hangings, painted and embellished gifts and decor, and much more.

Make a whole bouquet of these flower pincushions for friends or to decorate your studio! Grab a copy of Quilting Arts June/July 2019 for more great floral inspiration or subscribe for ever-changing inspiration for any season!

vivika hansen denegre


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