Willing Hands Needlework Design

"She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands"
Proverbs 31:13

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works in progress and other stitching related activities. From time to time I'll also be adding extra info about goings-on in my life.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Napkin Ring Pin Cushions

If you are fortunate enough to have inherited some silver ( or any other kind ) napkin rings and you don't use them, here's something you can do with them.

I don't know who originated this idea but I learned of it from a stitching friend (Thanks, Marty!) who made one from a book by Blackbird Designs. Hers was made with a wooden napkin ring which she had painted. I love silver and collect antique silver British mustard pots so when I saw Marty's pin cushion, I thought a silver napkin ring would make a spectacular pin cushion.

When I was in London in January I went looking for a mustard pot on Portobello Road and found a shop specializing in silver. I did find a mustard pot there but also saw a huge bowl full of napkin rings sitting on the counter. I wish I had bought lots of them instead of just one - it got made into a pin cushion and given to a friend. The two in these photos are from Ebay where napkin ring prices range from $20 up to several hundred dollars.

In designing the stitching for these pin cushions, I used motifs on the napkin rings themselves as inspiration. In one photo you can see the thistle on the ring and also the variation of it that I stitched. The other ring has an ornate leaf which I translated into stitching with a very colorful overdyed floss.

You could also make a pin cushion for just one end of the napkin ring so that the ring would be the base and sit on its flat side. I hope that this inspires you - these would make wonderful gifts for very special stitching friends!

Now I'm off to take another look at Ebay.....


  1. What a great idea! Those are gorgeous -- both the napkin rings and the designs. Love them!

  2. Betsy-that is a great idea-thanks for sharing!

  3. What a lovely design and a great idea!

  4. What a great idea. I'll have to look for silver napkin rings now.

  5. Betsy these are fantastic. Thanks for showing them. Can you share how they are put together? I'd love to do something similar.

  6. Here you go, Teresa... you need a five inch square of linen for each end. Stitch a design which is about 2x2 inches on each piece of linen. Cut each piece so that the design is centered in a 5 inch circle. Work a running stitch around the linen, stitching 1/2 inch in from the raw edge ( I used #12 pearl cotton to do the running stitch ). Pull up the threads to gather the fabric and stuff very firmly with polyfill or wool roving. When both pieces of linen have been gathered and stuffed, place them so that they are back to back with the gathered areas touching and then stitch them together tightly. It will look sort of like a sausage when it is finished. Push one end through the napkin ring and keep pushing until the two ends are centered on either side of the ring. If you have a silver napkin ring you can push the pin cushion back out if you need to polish the ring. Hope this makes sense!

  7. Thanks so much for the idea now I can put to use another item I bought many years ago. I just had to have. Do not think I have the silver but who know what I have stored away. Many are for the Holidays
    Thanks again