Kimberly Servello's Embroidery Blog

Kimberly Servello - Pattern Drawer and Embroideress

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tudor Rose Padded Pinwheel

Last year I did a stint as Stage Manager in a local production of Shakespeare.  It was an interesting and exciting experience.  In a conversation with the Director she said "You shouldn't remake a piece unless you have something to add to it."

Of course, she was speaking of theatre, but at the time I thought that the same could be said of designing.  It's that aspect - adding something of myself to the design  - that drives me to do it.

In that spirit I reworked the Quaker Pinwheels, reproduced so charmingly by Erica Uten.  I was utterly beguiled by the shape and diminutive nature of them.   They were knitted as were the originals.  Mine was to function as embroidery equipage, so it seemed more natural to embellish it with embroidery.

More crucially effecting my design was the fact that embroiderers use needles much more often than pins.  On a pinwheel, the pins are stored by pushing them into the edges of the wheel.  This is great for storage, but isn't practical as a resting place for needle/pin whilst using it.  I needed to alter the piece in a way that provided both storage and holder for pins & needles.

This was accomplished by padding one side of the wheel with 2 layers of wool felt.  The photo, right, shows the difference in thickness between the padded and unpadded sides.

Two felt wheels were cut using the same pattern used to cut the card backing.  They were whipstitched together then placed in between the card and the needlework.  I thought it might prove more difficult to lace the embroidery to the card because of the padding, but found it made no difference.

The needlework was then laced to the card.

I haven't included complete instructions for the assembly of a pinwheel because they can be downloaded free from Needleprint.

Here the flat side is being sewn to the wool felt spiral filling.

Erica instructs you to cut the wool strip, used for the spiral filling, to the same width as your ribbon.  For my padded pinwheel, the wool strip should be cut marginally narrower.  I cut mine about 1/16" narrower, giving me wiggle room to conceal the seam.  (When the padded side is sewn to the felt spiral filling, the padding makes the stitches slightly longer. )  

This side view shows how the padded side projects beyond the ribbon, and how the ribbon still conceals the stitches used to attach the needlework to the spiraled filling.

It's a lovely little trifle that will add beauty to the Art of Embroidering.


  1. c'est super tendre et doux a la fois ,j'aime beaucoup ,bisous frifricreations

  2. I am so inspired by your photos; thanks for sharing all the details of your projects so we can imagine stitching in this manner, too.

    1. Thank you, Susan. I always like hearing that this blog has inspired other stitchers! That's what it's all about.

      Happy Stitching!


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