Pincushions are a part of my personal journey with textiles, the first piece of English Paper Piecing I made was a simple 14 hexagon pincushion. Since then, I have created an array of pincushions using different techniques and fabrics which have been included in exhibitions and as workshop samples.

The history of pincushions is a fascinating read. While pin pillows and unmounted pincushions emerged in the 15th century, it wasn’t until pins were widely affordable during the 1800s that cushions were commonly sold as trinkets or commemorative gifts.

The pincushion was one of the few work-box accessories that could be fashioned by the needlewoman herself and many ‘home-made’ pincushions were first projects for the budding needlewoman. These could be finely stitched patchwork examples in a variety of shapes or novelties, such as a painted silk playing card with pins stored around the edge.

Pins, Politics, Fashion and Self-defence by Robert Bleasdale