Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Try it with Island Batik- biscornu pincushions

June's theme for Island Batik ambassadors is "TRY IT"

Meaning that we have to try a new technique!
Well...... hmmm I did do the reverse applique technique that was a new technique for me, but otherwise I've been scratching my head about something "new" I could try a new template, a new Accuquilt die, a new pattern?? I did decide on a new pattern, but I'll show that later. Ha ha!

Instead, as you may know, I host a pincushion swap and it had been a while since I did this technique, so I figured I'd show it and when I showed pics in the IB ambassador FB group, several hadn't heard of this before.... so what is it?

-a biscornu pincushion to be exact.

Here's wikipedia's explaination of it

A biscornu is a small, octagonal, stuffed ornamental pincushion. It is usually made out of Aida cloth or linen,[1] sewn from two square sheets of cloth (forming the top and bottom of the cushion) in such a way that each corner of one square is hemmed to the middle of a side of the opposite square.[2]
Embroidery, hardanger, and/or cross-stitch are used to decorate the top and bottom of the cushion. A button is typically secured in the center of the cushion to give a small depression on the top. Beads, tassels and other objects can decorate the biscornu.[1] They are typically able to fit in the palm of your hand. The name is derived from the French adjective, biscornu, meaning skewed, quirky or irregular.
Mathematically, two squares joined together in the pattern of a biscornu will form the boundary of a unique convex polyhedron, by Alexandrov's uniqueness theorem.[3] In the case of a biscornu, this polyhedron is a flattened square antiprism, with ten faces: two smaller squares (diagonally inset into the squares from which the shape is formed) and eight isosceles right triangles (the corners of its original squares) around the sides. However an actual biscornu will have a somewhat more rounded shape than this polyhedron. 

I have this biscornu embroidery file set that I've had for a long time from designsbysick.
Each set had a top and bottom embroidery file.

I stitched out two different sets on scraps of batiks and then trimmed 1/4" all the way around.

 Then the fun "biscornu" part starts, on the back of the top piece I marked the center of each side and the corners but 1/4" away from the corner, and the same with the front of the bottom piece.

Then to start, you line up the corner (always 1/4" away) with the center mark of the bottom piece and slowly sew to the center.

the center mark should line up with the corner on the bottom piece (again 1/4" away) then with the needle down, you pivot and make sure everything is flat and line up the fabric on the top with the fabric on the bottom and sew to the corner, which is the center of the bottom piece, and keep going until there's 1/8 side left.

It looks like this, it can help to snip the corners, but be VERY CAREFUL!

Then turn them inside out like this

I stuffed mine with crushed walnut shells (not too much) then whip stitched closed

since the pincushions weren't stuffed too much, I then added a button to the middle of each and pulled it pretty tight, that accentuates the biscornu 8 sided look!

VOILA! super fun and easy!

Mine were made with 4" blocks, so any orphan blocks would look great with this technique.

I did a few batik pincushions for a book too with this technique
The one on the right was a simple block with a skinny border and the same on the bottom in a different color and it creates a wavy look.
The one in the front is with small appliqued flowers and the one in the back is a 6" QUBE block.

So this is my pre- try a new technique item
I still have a quilt in the works


FlashinScissors said...

A great post Bea!
This is something I’ve been meaning to try and you have explained it so well!
Interesting links too!
Barbara xx

Barb said...

That is so interesting, I truly enjoyed your post...turned out adorable.

Kathleen said...

I never heard of biscornu before. Looks like a fun one to try someday....when that pincushion bug strikes!